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Governors for Schools' Trustee Recruitment Service
Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Closing date
7 Jun 2024

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Job Details

South Pennine Academies is looking to recruit a trustee to join the eleven-school Trust which operates with an annual budget of £40mn.


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 South Pennine Academies


South Pennine Academies has eleven academies and a SCITT (school-centred initial teaching training); this includes three secondary schools and eight primary schools across Kirklees, Calderdale and Oldham.


The Trust has over 850 staff across the three local authority areas and they serve over five-and-a-half-thousand pupils aged 3-16 years. The pupil demographic includes 44% disadvantaged pupils, 21% SEND (special educational needs and disability), 25% EAL (English as an Additional Language), and 41% in receipt of Pupil Premium.

The Trust Board has gone through a period of change following changes in CEO and Chair. The new Chair, who is himself the CEO of a multi-academy trust, is now keen to build capacity and expertise within the board.

The Trust’s eight Primaries are all rated by Ofsted as ‘Good’ and the Trust is also focused on securing the long-term improvement of two Secondary schools on their journey out of Special Measures. One of the secondary schools achieved a ‘Requires Improvement’ judgement in autumn 2023 and the work continues to secure the school to be at least ‘Good’ when it is next inspected. Both Secondary schools serve disadvantaged communities with one also being multicultural; both schools also have larger proportions of children with special educational needs.

The Trust Board is mindful of the challenges in supporting its current schools and consequently is not looking to grow further at this point, however once improvements are secure in the next 2-3 years, further growth is a possibility.


The Trust is also the main partner in Huddersfield School Centered Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) School and trains staff to support the supply of good teachers across all phases in the region. The Trust is also building additional central HR capacity with the addition of an in-house HR Director to the central team following the retirement of the Director of Operations in December 2023.


The Trust’s requirements


The Trust is looking for an ‘educationalist’ to join the Board of Trustees. The ideal candidate will have a background in senior leadership within an academy trust or similar and hold experience in SEND/Inclusion.

The Board meets four times a year including a meeting at the end of September to review the previous years results and affirm strategy and then once each term.


All meetings are held on Tuesdays at 5.30pm at the trust main site in Elland. While it is possible to join the meetings remotely occasionally, the Trust prefers face-to-face meetings of the full Board where possible.

The Board additionally has three committees that look in detail at the Quality of Education, Finance & Resources and Audit & Risk. The committees meet 2-3 times a year. These meetings are often, but not always, held on Tuesdays at 5.30pm and are held online using video technology. As an ‘educationalist’, the successful candidate will be asked to join the Trust's Quality of Education committee.


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:


Companies House information:


Get Information About Schools:




Useful information – academy trust governance


Academy Trust Handbook:


Governance Handbook 


Competency Framework for Governance:



Company info
020 7354 9805
Sycamore House
Sutton Quays Business Park
Sutton Weaver
United Kingdom

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