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Date: 13/06/2018

Mercian Educational Trust is seeking a non-executive director / trustee with particular skills and experience within the field of Human Resources Do you have a passion for making a difference to the lives of young people? By joining the board of a MET multi-academy trust you can play a significant role in shaping the life chances of pupils.

Academies & Multi-Academy Trusts - Information
 Academy schools are charities run independently of local authority control. They account for 66% of secondary schools and 19% 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. 

As opposed to school governors sitting on the local governing body of one school; Mercian Educational Trust non-executive directors sit on a trust board for the Multi-Academy Trust (MAT). The trust currently has 2 academies with an annual budget in the region of £4m. The trust is growing. MET will open a satellite school, Malvern Vale Primary, in September 2018. MET also expects to be announced as the sponsor for a Worcester school by the end of the academic year.  

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. 

Many outstanding business leaders are choosing to become trust board non-executives. They gain huge satisfaction from building thriving new trusts, turning round failing schools and unleashing innovation in free schools. 

Benefits include: 
  • Giving back: helping the next generation on their way up;
  • A role that fits your career and aspirations;
  • Gaining company and charity non-executive experience;
  • Leadership development.
The following information outlines skills and experiences desirable for this position. If you would like to find out more or arrange a meeting with the Directors Chairperson, contact us by email or telephone 01648 585348.


Job Description - Non-Executive Director (HR Skills)

Key responsibilities include:

Strategy - General
  • Establishing and steering the trust’s clarity of purpose;
  • Overseeing effective governance and decision-making;
  • Scrutinising plans for growth or consolidation.
Strategy – HR Skill Specific
  • Provide consultation and challenge to Executive Management on strategic staffing plans
  • Review and agree training and development strategies
  • Provide consultation and guidance to ensure effective and positive staff relations.
Financial stewardship

  • Ensuring the trust is financially competent and has a sustainable budget.

    Financial stewardship – HR Skill Specific
  • Ensuring trust budgets are balanced to provide the best performance from staff whilst achieving financial stability.
  • Ensuring pupils are making progress – gaining the best education and experience possible;
  • Putting in place effective leadership and holding the executive leadership to account;
  • Managing risk: ensuring that the Trust is meeting its statutory and legal responsibilities.
Performance – HR Skill Specific
  • Ensuring that the deployment, skills and training of staff results in pupils are making progress
  • Holding executive leadership to account for underperformance;
  • Supporting executive leadership to address underperformance

The role of a non-executive director at a growing trust is akin to that of growing a business – with similar challenges of establishing a new organisation and its structure, setting out the ethos and creating a performance culture.

Person Specification – HR Specific
MET is looking for a range of competencies, skills and experience which include (but not exclusive to): 

  • Experience of senior leadership or non-executive directorship
  • Experience of leading and managing senior posts / as an executive within large or complex organisations;
  • Experience of managing / overseeing organisational growth and change;
  • Experience of working within a network of businesses, alliances and partnerships;
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of a Director;
  • Career and skills development in a professional services environment.

All positions recruited through Mercian Educational Trust are unremunerated (although travel expenses will be paid in some cases); 
  • The time commitment is usually from about 4-6 hours per month, comprising one meeting per term plus preparation:
  • The length of commitment varies and should be agreed on appointment. However, most trustees choose to serve for about four years;
  • Some non-executive directors choose to get more involved by chairing a committee or local governing body at an individual school;
  • Non-executive directors can sometimes be appointed to an ‘Interim Executive Board’ – which is usually a one year or less ‘turnaround’ role.