We are currently seeking a trustee to join the board of Great Heights Academy Trust, a trust of eight schools, with an annual budget of £30.1m.

As a trustee/director your key responsibilities will be to:

  • Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Hold executive leaders to account – both for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils and the effective and efficient performance management of staff
  • Oversee the organisation’s financial performance and ensure its funds are directed to the best possible educational outcomes for young people

By volunteering as a trustee/ director you will be responsible for contributing to the strategic decision-making of the board, helping the trust to realise immediate and long-term goals, and ultimately ensuring transparency, accountability and, challenge.

About Great Heights Academy Trust

Great Heights Academy Trust is a multi-academy trust (MAT) in West Yorkshire that supports pupils age 2-18. The Trust has two Secondary schools and six Primary schools all of which are officially graded ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. Another school is also due to join the Trust soon. The Trust supports approximately 4900 pupils and employs 397 full time staff.

The Trust provides it’s schools with accessible expertise and capacity to support school improvement via their specialist designations: English Hub, Research School and SCITT (school centred initial teacher training). Great Heights Academy Trust has a well established School Centred Initial Teacher Training centre which trains both Primary and Secondary phase teachers, some of whom join the Trust’s schools and some move to other schools in the region. The Trust has had this facility for some time and has recently been re-designated.

In addition, the Trust has Research School status which involves about 30 schools and cutting edge research and practice in the teaching of literacy and reading as well as curriculum development. The Trust also has a DfE-designated English Hub which shares best practice on teaching English and Literacy. Each of these specialisms has its own oversight committee that provide reports periodically to the Trust Board.

The Trust’s requirements

Great Heights Academy Trust is looking for a trustee to join their board. The ideal candidate/s will have a keen eye for detail and have experience in strategic decision making and business leadership. The ideal candidate may currently work in the Legal (contracts) field.

This is a growing and forward-looking Trust and the successful candidate will be inquisitive and eager to contribute to meetings as well as be effective at preparing for meetings.

All meetings are face-to-face but the Trust can facilitate Zoom, or similar, on occasions if physical presence isn’t possible. Trust Board meetings occur five times a year (Oct, Dec, Mar, May and Jul) and are Mondays at 5pm and run for up to 90mins.

All board meetings are preceded by a Committee meeting which lasts one hour (4pm-5pm). Committees are: Finance & Premises, and Education Standards. These committees operate alternately before the board meetings (e.g. Oct = Standards and Full Board, Dec = F&P and Full Board, etc). There are three of each committee meeting per year. The successful candidate will likely be asked to join one of the committees – this can be discussed with the Trust.

Successful candidates will receive the following support from the Trust (alongside Governors for Schools e-learning module) when starting the role:

  • Trustee Induction Pack
  • Briefing meeting with Trust Officers
  • Briefing meeting with the Chair
  • Review with the Chair after the first meeting
  • Offer of a Mentor Trustee

What difference will you make?

Volunteering on an academy trust board is deeply rewarding as it allows you to impact the life chances of young people. Academy trusts support schools to give children a better future. For young people to have the best possible opportunities in later life, it’s vital we have individuals with the right expertise leading schools and holding executive teams accountable. Becoming a trustee is a fantastic opportunity to give back to your local community by strengthening education.

As well as looking for new opportunities to give something back to society, you may be looking for opportunities to build your experience in strategic decision-making at senior level or demonstrate your ability to perform in a non-executive position as part of a portfolio career.

All roles are pro bono

People from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Governing boards should represent the communities they serve, as well as wider society. We welcome interest from underrepresented groups to ensure academy trust boards are diverse in background, skillset, and thought.

Diversity is a powerful instrument for effective governance. Trustees are required to make choices that impact the daily lives of children, from school finance all the way through to staff and pupil recruitment. It’s essential that boards possess a broad set of beliefs, experiences, and ideas to inform their final judgements. We believe that true representation at board level enables all children to fulfil their potential.

Useful information – about the trust

Trust website: https://greatheightstrust.org.uk/

Companies House information: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/07465343

Get Information About Schools: https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/Groups/Group/Details/16954


Useful information – academy trust governance

Academy Trust Handbook: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/64a52424c531eb000c64fe78/ATH_2023_FINAL_040723__digital__tracking_off.pdf

Academy trust governance guide – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/-governance-in-academy-trusts