Jun 112018

Non-Executive Director - Yorkshire Collaborative Academy Trust

The Yorkshire Collaborative Academy Trust (YCAT) seeks to appoint two Members. This is a growing multi-academy trust dedicated to working with primary schools. The trust was formed in 2015 by three primary schools that had a long track record of successfully working in partnership; two further schools joined in the 2016/17 academic year. Board meetings are held in the North Yorkshire area.

About the trust

YCAT is building a partnership of schools that put the needs of children at their heart, and is committed to collaborative working. Its schools work together to ensure pupils are confident, responsible and are equipped with the knowledge and skills to take ownership of their life-long learning.

One of the trust’s schools is the lead school for the Harrogate and Rural Teaching Alliance (HART) which includes approximately 50 members. The trust recognises the importance of attracting new teachers into the profession and developing their skills. YCAT plays an active part in this through its School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme.

The trust seeks to continue to identify ways to further improve progress in its high attaining schools. This is achieved through the establishment of consistent operational models, to ensure that its provision has the maximum impact on children’s outcomes.

Plans for the Future

YCAT is committed to growing the trust in order to continue to meet the need for more innovative approaches for school improvement across the region and in particular in rural areas.

The trust’s plans for the next year include focusing on the five key elements of its strategy:

  • Improving pupil outcomes;
  • YCAT growth and further developing its trust-wider learning community;
  • Financial & commercial effectiveness;
  • Developing strong leadership and governance;
  • Developing employees.

To improve pupil outcomes, key priorities have been agreed both at school and trust level. Growth in the coming year includes the planned conversion of a school into YCAT, together with focused plans on development of leadership and succession planning. Financial and commercial effectiveness will be further improved through the renegotiation of contracts for services with the aim of achieving better value for money. Work is ongoing to further strengthen governance at all levels including embedding new processes and training.

The trust recognises that its staff is its greatest asset and it is committed to supporting the health & well-being of staff as well as their continued professional development.

Trust ethos & values

YCAT is built on shared core values and a passionate belief in collaborative approaches to learning. At the heart of YCAT are its trustees who have a wide range of experience from the education and business sector and a commitment to good governance. The trustees are the custodians of the vision that YCAT shares with its family of schools and strategically plan school improvement across its schools.

YCAT is a partnership of primary schools that believe that through working and learning together they will make even more difference to children’s lives. Striving to better meet children’s needs is the fundamental goal of the schools, while strong working partnerships and commitment to collaboration will help the trust to more consistently meet all of its pupils’ learning needs.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 2

Roles 1 & 2 – Member

The Members provide independent oversight to the work of the Board of Trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. At Yorkshire Collaborative Trust the Members attend up to two meetings per year. Members have powers and responsibilities as set out in the trust’s Articles of Association, for example to appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. The role of the Member is often characterised as being “eyes on, hands off’.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Corporate Governance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee


  • Strategic
  • Finance

Person specification

To become a member, it is desirable for an individual to have had previous experience in a NED (non-executive director) or trustee role, with demonstrable experience of working in a role responsible for corporate governance. Potential candidates should be able to demonstrate experience at a senior manager or director level in the private, charity or public sector. It is important that members of any trust can be relied upon to act honestly, diligently and in good faith.

Time commitment

Two board meetings (including AGM) per academic year

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

The trust rotates meeting locations around its schools, so meetings could be in Harrogate, Askwith, Leyburn, Lothersdale or Hawes. Due to the current location of its trustees, most meetings are held in Harrogate or Askwith. The AGM and other meetings with Members are usually held in Ripon.

Trust website: http://ycatschools.co.uk/

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 programme 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, 6th July

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.