Non-Executive Director

Uxbridge, London (Greater) (GB)
30 Sep 2019
14 Oct 2019
The Harefield Academy Trust (THAT)
Contract Type
Voluntary / Trustee

The Harefield Academy Trust (THAT)

The Harefield Academy Trust is seeking to appoint a trustee to support the next step of the trusts development. The trust wishes to develop by appointing an educationalist to help ensure they have an outstanding curriculum based on their intention to challenge all students to achieve their best and acquire the skills and knowledge needed for success.  Trust meetings take place at the academy in Uxbridge UB9 6ET.

About the trust

Harefield Academy Trust is an ambitious single academy trust providing 11-18 students a demanding curriculum for students whether day or boarding. The lead sponsor, Haig Oundjian, is a businessman who first became involved in the development of the academy through his association with Watford Football Club. He brings the academy a passion for backing a high quality independent school within the state sector. He is determined to offer an 11-18 school that is accessible and open to the community.

The trust’s aim is to create an Educational Centre of Excellence for the whole community that is successful, innovative, cohesive, energetic, healthy, inclusive and filled with opportunity.

The academy benefits from a boarding house and has a national reputation for sport which attracts students from a wide area. The most recent Ofsted report rated the academy as requires improvement although since this time the outcomes are on an upward trend and the trust expects this to be moved to good when Ofsted next visits.

Plans for the future

Key challenges for the next 12 months:

  • Student number growth - whilst the academy benefits from being able to offer a small 3 form intake secondary the financial benefits of additional student numbers are indisputable. The exam success is having an impact but too slowly at present.
  • Strengthen governance - for the past 18 months the trust has been in discussions with other trusts about joining them which have not offered an appropriate partnership. The trust is now exploring a merger with another single academy that wishes to expand. As a result restructuring plans for governance have been on hold. It is now clear these need to progress.
  • Raise standards - the past 3 years have seen an upward trend thanks to an immense effort by their outstanding leadership team. They want to build on this success and achieve well-above rating for Progress 8 in 2020.

Trust ethos & values Their purpose is to provide all students with the highest quality education through the delivery of an outstanding, well-balanced and creative curriculum in a supportive, safe and caring environment.  Their aspiration is that all children are driven, ambitious and self-motivated; that they are supported in fulfilling their potential in order to enhance future life chances and develop into well-rounded, honest, articulate human beings who make a valued contribution to society. Their ethos is one of mutual respect and kindness within the school community and beyond; it is a school where every child matters and is valued; where diversity is embraced and where high expectations, hard work and exemplary behaviour are the norm.  

Role summary Number of positions advertised:


Role 1 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director - an Educationalist

The trust wishes to strengthen its board by appointing an educationalist to help ensure they have an outstanding curriculum based on their intention to challenge all students to achieve their best and acquire the skills and knowledge needed for success. They will take a key role working with the trust’s outstanding headteacher to ensure the trust board have agreed their curriculum intentions in preparation for an Ofsted outstanding judgement.

Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust. The core functions of their role are: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of a charitable company funded by the public purse.

The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust in compliance with its charitable objects, company and charity law.

In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.

Person specification

Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 details the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective governance:

The strategic expertise required for this role includes:

Essential (candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below):

  • Senior leadership experience in a secondary context
  • Non-executive/ Trustee and 
  • Corporate Governance or
  • Mergers and acquisitions


  • Ofsted training
  • HR
  • Marketing

 Detail the skill-set and experience required for the role, including a sense of scale and calibre – e.g. financial management of over £x budget; successful track record of change management. This might include strategic oversight roles and specific areas of responsibility.

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum. 6 board meetings a year

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings take place at The Harefield Academy, Northwood Way, Harefield, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB9 6ET.

Governance structure

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 33% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 900 multi academy trusts of 3+ schools. 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.

“Boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.” 
Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2019)

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 do not need to have any specialist knowledge of education. 

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 8th November 2019

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