Non-executive director/Trustee at The Academy of Woodlands

This is an opportunity to contribute to the community within Gillingham by becoming a Trustee and Academy Ambassador at The Academy of Woodlands. Board meetings are held at ME7 2DU when safe to do so.

The Academy Ambassadors programme brings the expertise of the business world onto boards at single-academy and multi-academy trusts (SATs and MATs). Academy trusts exist to improve the outcomes of young people. At the highest levels of governance, they need highly skilled individuals with a variety of experiences to hold executive leadership teams to account. Insights from a wide-range of backgrounds, ensure that boards are able to make informed choices on decisions that impact the lives of children and staff.

The Academy Ambassadors Programme is service funded by the Department for Education, to match senior business leaders with academy trusts looking to strengthen their boards. By working together, inspirational educationalists and talented business leaders can provide a better future for the next generation.

The opportunity

The Academy of Woodlands was founded as a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) in April 2013 with just Woodlands Primary School initially in the trust; the trust formed as a MAT with the intention of growing. The last Ofsted was rated 'Good' and was carried out in December 2019. The trust oversees a total of 760 pupils, 150 employees and a budget (income) of £4 million.

The trust is located and embedded within a diverse local community, where the school provides a safe and friendly space for the whole community. Woodlands Primary School has a new Headteacher - the previous Head was in post 25 years and took the school through the transition into a MAT, whilst also growing the school from two to three form entry. The new Head is forging her own path supported by a new trust board chair. The trust board is positive and proactive and would benefit from some charity and/or corporate governance expertise.

The board seeks one education leader with strategic experience in:

  • School governance/leadership

Throughout your term of office (typically 4 years, but this may vary between trusts), you will be an active contributor to key board decisions. Specifically, in the next 12 - 24 months the trust's key focus areas will be:

  1. Introduction of new Headteacher following the retirement of previous Head of 25 years - this includes setting up new systems and processes which will require change management throughout the whole school community.
  2. Forming of new Board, and the introduction of a new Chair of Governors. The previous Chair of Governors and other long standing key Governors retired their positions when the previous Head retired. The Board are now introducing new systems and processes to satisfy academy trust governance requirements and aspire to grow in future.
  3. Recovery from COVID - as is the national picture, a recovery curriculum has been introduced to help children catch up with their progress following home-schooling and the uncertainty of COVID.

What's involved?

Board governance in education is a strategic, 'eyes on, hands off' commitment which at The Academy of Woodlands typically involves attending c. six board meetings per year/6-8hours' time per month. The trust is looking to hold in-person board meetings which usually start at 5pm. Extraordinary board and committee meetings will be a mix of in-person and virtual meetings.

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.

What next?

Please register your interest now to be considered for the role.

When you select the option to Apply you will be redirected to the Academy Ambassadors webpage where you will find a full role specification with more details of the opportunity and the trust, including details of how to apply for the position.

Please be aware the closing date may change if we have received sufficient applications.