Non-Executive Director

Wakefield, West Yorkshire (GB)
24 Feb 2015
10 Mar 2015
Executive Management
Contract Type
Non-executive director

Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) is a Multi-Academy Trust of 7 secondaries and 6 primaries, with a further 3 primaries set to join early in 2015. The Trust currently has academies in the Wakefield, Doncaster and Sheffield areas, with a further two in the East Ridings at Goole (approximately 40 minutes' drive away from the Head Office).

The trust are seeking an additional Director to provide further strength and expertise through business and financial experience.

  • To provide additional and independent capacity within the Board in the consideration of alternative Educational and Business strategies
  • Help to ensure that robust and measurable strategies are in place to support the rapidexpansion of the Trust
  • Support the best use and deployment of Educational and Business (including Finance) resources within the Trust and its portfolio of Primary and Secondary Academies

The successfully appointed Director will provide further strength and expertise in a specific area of either Education or Business (including Finance)

  • Potential trustees will need to have a strong interest in education, although no specialist
  • Knowledge of the education system is required. Trustees should have experience in at least one of the following areas:
    • A good knowledge of corporate governance
    • Strong financial skills
    • Experience of dealing with personnel issues, whether as a HR professional or not
    • Experience in the business or commercial sectors, in particular experience of growing a business 
    • Senior legal experience

The Trust Board is responsible for:

  • Overall strategy, including overseeing the growth strategy for the group
  • Monitoring performance of all academies - ensuring that school improvement strategies are'
  • Improving the quality of education for all students
  • Ensuring public funds are used cost effectively and appropriately

Board members have legal responsibility for the work of Wakefield City Academies Trust and need to ensure that work is carried out according to the charitable objects of the foundation and in accordance with the law. Trustees are provided with liability insurance.

Trust Origins:

Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) came into being as a result of the conversion of Hemsworth Arts & Community Academy on 01 August 2013. WCAT evolved as a result of the outstanding performance of Wakefield City Academy and its predecessor school Wakefield City High which, despite being situated in an area of high social deprivation, has been judged outstanding in each of the last three Section 5 Ofsted reports. The latest, in March 2013 under the new framework, produced Grade 1 judgements in every inspection category. Through Wakefield City Academy, the lead Academy sponsor of WCAT, and the Wakefield City National Teaching School Alliance, it has established a proven sustained record of raising achievement in challenging circumstances, with a wealth of talent and a wide range of experiences on which to draw.

Each WCAT academy has a unique character and an identity which is reflected through a diverse range of strengths and they stand proudly at the heart of their communities. Academies have their own Principal/Headteacher and Local Governing Body which are accountable and responsible to the Chief Executive Officer and the Board of the Wakefield City Academies Trust. In total, the Trust is currently made up of over 6000 primary and secondary pupils. The Trust is renowned for its moral purpose and its belief that all can succeed, whatever their circumstances or background - "Achieving Excellence Through Partnership".

WCAT is committed to supporting the development of children, young adults and staff, at ease with themselves and each other, with the knowledge and skills to thrive in the midst of exponential change.

WCAT has many strengths - most notably the exceptional rates of progress and standards of academic achievement. Through Wakefield City Academy and its accreditation as a National Teaching School - Wakefield Regional Teaching School Alliance (WRTSA) - its exceptional practitioners and colleagues, WCAT will never be distracted from its mission to secure outstanding educational outcomes for all learners. Underpinning WCAT's numerous core values are:

  • Visionary work on leadership
  • Governance
  • Cutting edge delivery of the curriculum
  • Challenge and use of data
  • Pupil achievement and progression
  • Educational transitions
  • IT technologies
  • Inclusion - serving the needs of all local children and the wider community

WCAT is renowned as an employer of excellence. Providing outstanding professional development and training combined with an extensive range of career development opportunities in which every colleague feels valued and appreciated.

WCAT believe that all young people, regardless of their background or ability, prosper in outstanding education establishments. WCAT academies refuse to place limitations on any pupil's performance and, as a consequence, pupils become increasingly ambitious and self-propelled as learners. At the heart of our aims, as a Trust, is a recognition that exceptional academies are built upon key foundations:

  • Excellent leadership
  • High standards of professional effectiveness
  • A relentless focus on improvement
  • Very high standards of behaviour
  • A constant focus on teaching, learning and innovation
  • Risk taking and succession planning

Key Challenges for the next 12 months:

  • The rapid and sustained changes within the delivery of teaching and learning resulting in a number of converted Primary and Secondary Academies being taken out of Special Measures, Serious Weaknesses and Requires Improvement categories as judged by Ofsted
  • Challenges within the Business sector of the Trust (including Finance)

All Academies are in a partnership of equal standing irrespective of their length of membership within Wakefield City Academies Trust. The underlying principles for this Scheme of Delegation are:

1. WCAT is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee, and it remains true to its own ethos, aims and objectives

2. WCAT is governed by a Board of Directors who are responsible for, and oversee, the management and administration of the organisation and its Academies. The Board's intention is to be as light-touch as possible within the Scheme of Delegation in order for Academy Local Governing Bodies (LGBs) to fully meet the needs of their pupils, students, staff and the local community

3. The Directors are accountable to external government agencies including the Charity Commission, Education Funding Agency and the Department for Education for the quality of education provided, and ensure that all statutory obligations are met

4. In order to discharge these responsibilities, the Directors appoint people who are more locally based to serve on LGBs which are established to ensure the good governance of the individual Academies. The LGBs are at all times subject to any directions the Directors may give. The terms of this delegation may be altered, suspended or withdrawn by the Directors at any time

5. WCAT believes that the representatives of each Academy LGB are best able to service the needs of their Academy and their local community. A single LGB may be delegated responsibility for more than one Academy in small primary academies

6. Responsibility for the strategy, management and operations for each Academy will be delegated to an LGB. Certain decisions and actions in respect of WCAT and the Academies are reserved to the Directors

Current Board of Directors:

Alan Yellup OBE - Chief Executive Officer

Mike Ramsay - Chair

John Anderson - Vice Chair

Trevor Evans - Director

Rob Foreman - Director

Marjorie Beardsell - Director

  • Minimum time commitment would be around eight hours per month
  • Full Board Meetings - Quarterly
  • Sub-Committee Meetings (Finance & Remuneration Committee/Audit & Risk Committee) -Quarterly, prior to Board Meetings

Head Office and location of Trust Board Meetings:

Wakefield City Academies Trust,  Warmfield View,  Wakefield WF1 4SF

If you would like to apply for the role please click "Apply now" by Friday 20th March 2015