Feb 072018

Non-Executive Director, Chair of Finance - Teesside Learning Trust

North of England | Saltburn-by-the-sea
CFO/FinancialChairChange ManagementCorporate GovernanceGrowth ManagementNon-executive/TrusteeProperty/Estate managementRisk
Deadline date: 9th March 2018

Teesside Learning Trust, based in Saltburn-by-the-Sea is seeking to add a new non-executive director and a Chair of Finance to join its board as it seeks to effectively manage growth, creating a ‘family’ of academies. Board meetings are held at Enterprise Centre, Freebrough Academy, Linden Road, Brotton, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, TS12 2SJ.

About the trust

A Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) of four schools, Teesside Learning Trust operates from numerous sites around the region. Originating as Freebrough Academy, it was sponsored by Teesside University and was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in January, 2015. Following the withdrawal of this sponsorship, Freeborough Academy was granted permission by the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) to build upon its success as a sponsored academy, to establish a MAT and become a sponsor itself.

The trust currently has two secondary schools – its original academy, Freebrough Academy in Redcar and Cleveland in addition to Thornaby Academy in Stockton, and two primary schools in Redcar and Cleveland. It is currently working with a third primary school in east Cleveland to join the trust within the next few months.

Three of the four schools in the trust - Freebrough, Thornaby and Whitecliffe - are in areas that are in the top 10% most deprived, nationally.

Teeside Learning Trust is seeking to create families of academies to support smooth and seamless transition between phases.

Plans for the Future

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

  • Developing the trust’s infrastructures and leadership to effectively manage growth, including the recruitment of governors to join its Local Academy Councils.
  • Improving levels of attainment and progress at secondary level.
  • Raising the aspirations of students and the local communities of each of the academies in the trust.

Teeside Learning Trust will be looking to work with another primary and another secondary school to join the trust in the next twelve months.

Trust ethos & values

Teeside Learning Trust aims to be an outstanding provider of education. The ethos and vision for its academies is communicated through high expectations of all stakeholders and a culture that accepts no excuses for underperformance.

Further information on the trust’s ethos and values is available at http://tltrust.org

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 2

Role 1 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The trust seeks an individual with expertise relating to buildings, estates, health and safety to offer support and advice to trustees and challenge to the trust around the maintenance and enhancement of the trust estate and on health and safety issues.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Growth Management
  • Real Estate/Property
  • Risk


  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Change Management
  • Legal/ Compliance

Person specification

This trustee, with estates expertise, will possess relevant qualifications in estates and facilities, with demonstrable evidence of working at a senior level with estates and/or health and safety responsibilities, preferably within a medium-large organisation.

Time commitment

3 hours per month (minimum).

Role 2 – Chair of Finance

This role involves, among other key responsibilities, recommending accounts for approval; approving budgets for submission to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA); approving financial scheme of delegation; ensuring that trust’s funds are used in accordance with law, articles and funding agreement; monitoring budgets and KPIs; reviewing insurance arrangements, bank mandates and investments; appointing auditors; and security of assets.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • CFO/ Finance
  • Chair
  • Risk


  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Remuneration Committee Chair
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance

Person specification

This individual will preferably be working or have worked at a senior level with finance responsibilities, preferably within a medium-large organisation and with key responsibility and accountability for large budgets. Some knowledge of education/academy finance requirements would be useful but is not essential. A demonstrable commitment to developing strategic vision and the ability to work closely with senior stakeholders on all aspects of accounting and finance are vital to the success of this role.

Time commitment

3 hours per month (minimum).

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held at Enterprise Centre, Freebrough Academy, Linden Road, Brotton, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, TS12 2SJ.


Governance Structure


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ schools. 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.

“Academy boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.” Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2017)

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 do not 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: 9th March, 2018

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