The Green School Trust is seeking applications for two new Trustees, one of whom should be interested in/prepared to take on the role of Chair and one who should have an accounting background. The Chair and Vice Chair are appointed annually by the Trustees.
The Green School Trust is a Multi-Academy Trust with two Church of England secondary schools, the Green School for Girls and the Green School for Boys, located in Isleworth.
The Trustee positions are voluntary roles which draw on professional skills and experiences. Being a Trustee offers the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the achievements of pupils and staff, and to help guide the schools in response to current and future strategic challenges. This is a wonderful opportunity to offer very substantial support for the local community, to shape and enrich the significant impact the school has upon young people across the catchment area and beyond, and to strengthen the links between local churches and the schools.
The Green School for Girls was established in 1795 and has 945 pupils. The Green School for Boys was established in 2017 and currently has 510 pupils in years 7-10. It will develop to a full capacity of 1050 pupils. Both schools will offer sixth form education.
The Girls’ school was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in September 2011. The Boys’ school was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in February 2020. The Trust’s historic Latin motto, Jubilate Deo servite cum laetitia (‘Be joyful in the Lord and serve with gladness’), still resonates today in the Trust’s aspirational vision for pupils and staff to “Let your light shine” (Matthew 5:16, Girls’ school) and “Reach Beyond Your Grasp” (Robert Browning, Boys’ school).
The Trust employs 164 staff across the two schools and has an annual budget of £10 million.
Trustees are appointed by the Trust’s company members, including the Bishop of Kensington and the London Diocesan Board for Schools, for four year terms. All Trustees are expected to have an understanding of, and support for, Christian faith and practice. If you are interested in applying, please find the application form here.
The general duties of Trustees in Church of England academies
The Trustees of The Green School Trust are both charity Trustees and company Directors. Under the relevant regulations and Department for Education statutory guidance, Trustees must:
● ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction for the Academy Trust;
● hold executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the Academy Trust and its pupils, and the performance management of staff;
● oversee and ensure effective the financial performance of the Academy Trust.
Trustees must also comply with the Trust’s charitable objects, with company and charity law, and with their contractual obligations under the Trust’s funding agreement. The company and charity law obligations on Trustees are to:
● act within their powers
● promote the success of the company or charity
● exercise independent judgement
● exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence
● avoid conflicts of interest
● not accept benefits from third parties
● declare interest in proposed transactions or arrangements.
Trustees must apply the highest standards of conduct and ensure robust governance of the Academy Trust, as these are critical for effective financial management. They should follow the Department for Education’s Governance Handbook 2020 and the Academies Financial Handbook (as amended from time to time). As the employer of all staff within the Trust, Trustees have a range of wider obligations, including such matters as employment law and health and safety.
Trustees are appointed subject to DBS and other required checks. They must also be able to confirm that they are not disqualified from acting as a Trustee.
Each school has its own Local Governing Body, the members of which are appointed by the Board.
Chair of Trust Board role description
Strategic and leadership responsibilities
The Chair of the Trust Board provides strategic leadership to the Board that allows Trustees to fulfil their general duties and functions, listed above, by:
● Ensuring that the Board sets a clear vision and strategy for the schools
● Ensuring that the Board and Chief Executive have a shared vision and sense of purpose
● Leading the Board in concentrating on its strategic role, including monitoring the Chief Executive’s implementation of the strategy and holding the Chief Executive to account
● Setting the culture of the Board, and balancing and valuing both the support and challenge responsibilities
● Ensuring that there are transparent and effective processes for recruiting and inducting a new Chief Executive, as required from time to time
● Ensuring the Board has good knowledge of the schools and has mechanisms in place to obtain and listen to the views of parents, pupils and staff
● Ensuring the Board acts as a team and appropriately utilises the mix of skills and experiences each Trustee brings
● Ensuring that there is a succession plan for the Chair, Vice Chair and committee members
● Line management of the Trust Clerk.
Developing the team
Multi-Academy Trust Boards need a range of skills and knowledge to carry out their functions effectively. The Chair is responsible for:
● Ensuring the Board has the required skills and commitment to govern well, and that appointments are made to fill any identified skills gaps and ensure a diverse team
● Ensuring all Trustees have a thorough understanding of their role and receive appropriate induction and ongoing development as required
● Ensuring that Trustees act reasonably and in line with the Board’s agreed code of conduct
● Developing a good working relationship with the Vice Chair, keeping them fully informed and delegating tasks as appropriate
● Developing effective working practices with the Chief Executive and other senior school staff which allow for honest conversations, acting as a sounding board and ensuring there are no surprises at meetings. Typically a Chair and Chief Executive would meet (remotely or in person) fortnightly.
Working with school leadership
The Chair should:
● Ensure that the Board fulfils its duty of care to the Chief Executive, including ensuring a safe and secure working environment, a reasonable work-life balance, and support for their wellbeing
● Oversee and participate in the Chief Executive’s performance review, ensuring that appropriate continuing professional development (CPD) is provided
● Ensure that the Chief Executive provides staff with an understanding of the role of the Board and acts as a link between the two.
Wider leadership responsibilities
The Chair has wider leadership responsibilities associated with the role and status of lead Trustee on the Board, including:
● Being available to fulfil the role as stated in Trust policies, e.g. grievance, disciplinary, capability
● Where required, acting as a first point of contact and respondent in matters raised with the schools or the Trust by external bodies e.g. LA, DfE, ESFA, Ofsted
● Where required, representing the Board in its dealings with external partners and being an advocate for the Trust
● Attending school events as appropriate and encouraging other Trustees to do so.
Leading Board business and achieving outcomes
The Board’s activities should be focused on school improvement and achieving the best outcomes for pupils. The Chair is expected to ensure the smooth running of Board business by:
● Ensuring the Board sets the vision and strategic aims of the Trust and that these feed into the key priorities of each of its schools via the Local Governing Bodies and the Senior Leadership Teams
● Ensuring that the Board has a professional Clerk
● Collaborating with school leaders and the Clerk to ensure the Board has the information it needs
● Evaluating and questioning information in order to identify appropriate actions, and modelling this approach for other Trustees
● Working with the Clerk and the Chief Executive to plan for Board meetings, ensuring that all agenda focus on the board’s key responsibilities and strategic aims and reduce unnecessary paperwork
● Chairing meetings effectively and promoting an open culture on the Trust Board that allows ideas and discussion to thrive, while ensuring clear decisions are reached as quickly as possible
● Collaborating with the Clerk to establish effective working procedures and sound committee structures
● Ensuring that decisions taken at the meetings of the Board are implemented.
Completed application forms should be sent to:-
Janet Walker, The Clerk to The Green School Trust