Feb 162018

Non-Executive Director - Learn Academies Trust

East Midlands and Humber | Leicestershire
Growth Management Human Resources
Deadline date: 9th March 2018

Learn Academies Trust (Learn-AT) seeks a new trustee to join its board. The trust is committed to fulfilling its core purpose of learning, by developing a research-informed, professional learning community and curriculum, with an emphasis on school improvement. Board meetings are held in the Leicestershire area.

About the trust

Learn-AT is a new Church of England (CofE) majority multi-academy trust, located in South Leicestershire. The trust comprises seven schools, all of which are clustered around the town of Market Harborough, in an area of relatively low social deprivation.

The goal of Learn-AT is to cultivate a reputation for excellence and robust operations across all areas and to grow with a sustainable and controlled approach - remaining true to its core values and vision. Its core value (Fellowship) is enacted in its strong commitment to professional collaboration, system leadership and school-to-school support. The trust’s focus is for every child to flourish, with access to a broad and rich curriculum, robust and principled assessment, and excellent standards of pedagogy.

There are seven primary schools currently in the trust: five are CofE academies, two are community schools. There are approximately 1500 pupils, at present. One further CofE primary has applied to join Learn-AT with the aim of conversion by October 2017. The trust has aspirations to further develop, with the addition of more schools in the future.

Trust ethos & values

Learn-AT is a school-led trust; professionals working in fellowship in the service of children and families. Its representatives are committed to developing research-informed and engaged teaching and learning, effective school improvement, supported by robust operations and governance.

Plans for the Future

The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Implement an effective and scalable school improvement model, true to the trust's vision and values, which supports school improvement and facilitates the development of high-quality teaching and learning in all Learn-AT schools.
  2. Develop robust and coherent operational and organisational systems which support effective governance via strong risk management, accountability, financial efficiencies and communication leading to school improvement.
  3. Growth - both internal and external. The rate of expansion in local housing is likely to create pressure on existing trust schools. The trust has the intention to grow, cautiously and sustainably, creating further capacity.

The trust is committed to sustainable growth - maintaining a balance of CofE and community schools – with the addition of up to three schools per year (400-700 pupils) to the trust, reaching a minimum of 3000 pupils by 2020. Learn-AT’s mission is to form a structure which supports robust trust governance, incorporating an authentic, effective and sustainable role for Local Governing Bodies.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 1

Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.

Non-executive directors will be responsible for maintaining stability during a period of rapid growth and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.


  • HR
  • Growth Management


  • Corporate Governance
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Change management
  • Succession Planning

Person specification

The trust is looking for an individual with strong business skills across the listed areas, and senior leadership experience – particularly in HR. Learn-AT is seeking somebody with the ability to work alongside existing trustees to support and challenge the executive team, not least in implementing strong HR practices that allow the trust to grow and develop with the future addition of schools in line with the trust’s strategic vision.

Time commitment

4-6 hours per month (on average).

Trust Website


Governance Structure


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 23% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts. If the schools are to fulfil their potential, the trusts need non-executives (known in charity law as trustees) to bring a wide range of skills and experience to help guide strategy, ensure their ambitions can be soundly financed and keep their schools up to the mark delivering for their pupils.

Trusteeship is a voluntary, unpaid role for people who have the energy and skills to make a real contribution to shaping the future of our schools. You don’t need to have any specialist knowledge of education.


Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit organisation which recruits senior business leaders and professionals as volunteer non-executive directors onto the boards of multi-academy trusts. If you are interested in applying for the role please send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for to academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. Please note candidates should live within reasonable travelling distance of the trust and/or have a link with the region. For more information, please call 0207 952 8556 or visit www.academyambassadors.org.

Key dates

We strongly recommend applying as early as you can to have the best possible chance of being considered as we may change the closing date if we have received sufficient applications. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process –

Deadline for applications: Friday 9th March 2018

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