The Academy Ambassadors programme brings the expertise of the business world onto boards at multi-academy trusts (MATs) throughout the country to raise standards of education and improve the life chances of young people, which is critical to our social and economic success.
Uffculme Academy Trust is a five school multi academy trust (MAT) working across Devon and Somerset. It was born of the partnership between Uffculme Secondary School, an outstanding 11-16 comprehensive, and Uffculme Primary School, one of the biggest of the secondary school's eight feeder schools. In September 2019 Holyrood Academy and Axe Valley Academy joined the trust, bringing a wealth of experience in working with students from age 11 to 18 and presenting more opportunities to share knowledge and experience across the trust as a whole. In January 2021, Neroche Primary school joined the trust, which alongside Holyrood Academy means that Uffculme Academy Trust is now able to offer an all-through provision for students aged between 2 and 18 years in its own locality. The trust employs 467 staff to support its 3300 learners, with three of the schools rated as Outstanding by Ofsted, one as Good, and the final and most recently to join as Requires Improvement.
The founding school of Uffculme Academy Trust, Uffculme Secondary School, is a nationally renowned outstanding secondary school, which regularly achieves amongst the best outcomes in England. Uffculme School is also the host school for the West Country Teaching School Alliance, a teaching school that delivers exceptional CPD, school to school support and initial teacher education across three counties.
The board seeks two business leaders with strategic board level experience in:
Role one: The trust is interested in hearing from candidates who have experience in HR and employment law. This may have been acquired within a small to medium sized enterprise or through a varied HR consulting practice. Experience of managing staff through growth and organisational change would be desirable.
Role 2: The trust seeks someone with experience in the legal field who will be able to support and challenge the executive team as they further develop their approaches to trust compliance.
As a key member of the board you will support the trust in achieving the following over the next 12 – 24 months:
- Enhancing oversight of the trust’s curriculum, educational quality and standards following the recent expansion is one of the key objectives, and the trust have agreed to set up a Quality of Education Committee from the start of the 2021/22 academic year. Chaired by an independent School Improvement Specialist, and working with Directors and the LGC chairs, the Committee will have a broad remit to assess and monitor how educational quality is delivered for all students including those with special educational needs.
- Building support for the benefits of collaborative working across the MAT is also a key challenge for the CEO and Senior Leaders. The trust has taken small initial steps, for example, by appointing a Head of IT across the trust, and the Board has now asked for a strategic plan for cross-school working where appropriate, together with an approach to funding that will underpin any resulting expansion of MAT resources. A key element of the plan will be building capacity within the trust - spotting and nurturing talent to improve retention and grow future leaders.
- Maintaining a balanced budget is a perennial challenge for the trust team and they are continuing to focus on the difficulties of achieving this objective. While delivering a balanced budget, it is also important to ensure that sufficient funds will always be directed where needed to support school improvement plans.
Board governance in education is a strategic, ‘eyes on, hands off’ commitment which at Uffculme Academy Trust consists of 10 board meetings per academic year, amount to approx. 6 hours’ commitment per month.
You will be responsible for:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent
As an Academy Ambassador, you will join our ambassador network which provides resources, guidance, networking events and webinars to support you in your role.
All roles are pro bono.
People from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Please register your interest now to be considered for the role.
Please be aware the closing date may change if we have received sufficient applications.