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Discovery Schools Academy Trust

EAST MIDLANDS AND HUMBER | LEICESTER
  • Property/Estate management
  • Legal/Compliance
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Branding/Marketing
Deadline date: 7th July 2017
Discovery Schools Academy Trust (DSAT) is seeking three new non-executive directors to join its expanding board. The trust has recently experienced a period of rapid growth and its schools are at various stages in their continuous development. It is seeking individuals with skills and experience in law, marketing, or property to help to inform the strategy and shape of the trust going forward. Board meetings are held at Holmfield Ave West, Leicester Forest East, Leicester, LE3 3FF.
About the trust
Discovery Schools Academy Trust (DSAT) is a successful and growing Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) currently with 13 primary schools across Leicestershire, Leicester City, and Rutland. The trust was formed in July 2012 through the formalisation of a long-standing voluntary partnership between Kibworth CE Primary School and Parkland Primary School. Over the following five years, a further eleven schools have joined the trust - the most recent school joining in March 2017.
The majority of schools in this trust are judged by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’ with outstanding features. The two sponsored schools are working their way out of significant challenges, with support from the trust. New schools joining the trust this year have inspection outcomes of ‘Good’, or are rapidly improving from a previous inspection judgement of ‘Requires Improvement’.
Of the 13 schools within the trust, 12 are all-through primary and one is a junior school. Further information about the schools is available on the trust's website (address below). 

 
Trust ethos & values
The trust is dedicated to encouraging the aspirations of all, in a supportive and safe culture of learning. It is visionary, creating opportunities to develop both voice and partnerships across its diverse learning communities.
The trust aims to provide dynamic, inclusive experiences where success is created through exciting opportunities. Those within the trust inspire voice, energy, and resilience for the youth of today and tomorrow.
 
Plans for the Future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
  1. Developing an effective and efficient organisation to support the improvement of schools in the trust.
  2. Promoting achievement and attainment
  3. Developing a governance structure to reflect the needs of the growing trust.
Whilst the trust does plan to grow further in the immediate future, it has recently undergone some rapid growth and intends to consolidate for a period prior to the next phase of expansion, leading to the need for additional skills, knowledge, and expertise on the trust board. One further school is currently assessing the opportunity to join the trust. Further expansion is likely to involve developing hubs that have the potential to be self-sustaining.
 
Role Summary
Number of Positions Advertised:  3
Roles 1-3 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director
The role of a non-executive director is wide ranging. In general terms, the responsibilities are to contribute to the work of the MAT in raising standards of achievement. This involves providing a strategic view for the trust, acting as a critical friend, and ensuring accountability of the CEO.
The competencies required for this role include:
Essential
  • General Management
Desirable
  • Branding/ Marketing
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Real Estate/ Property
 
Person specification
The trust seeks candidates who can operate at a strategic level and have demonstrable evidence of working in the areas of law, marketing and/or property, in order to complement the existing board. Candidates must have a willingness to engage in training and work with the team to achieve the trust’s vision.
Time commitment
The Trust Board will move to hold meetings every half term (i.e. 6 per year) and trustees are asked to attend one of the sub-committees, meeting three times per year. Each of these proposed nine meetings are between 90 minutes and two hours in length and trustees will need to spend time prior to these reading papers in preparation.
All trustees are expected to visit one or more of the schools occasionally to maintain an understanding of the trust at school level and also engage in the trust board’s training programme. Collectively this should amount to on average around 6 hours per month.

 
Trust Website
www.discoveryschoolstrust.org.uk/

 
Governance Structure
http://www.discoveryschoolstrust.org.uk/about-us/trust-governance

 
Background on academy trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 23% 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.
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. 

 
Applications
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: Friday 07th July 2017