Home / Roles / Chair of the Board of Directors | Advantage Schools

Chair of the Board of Directors | Advantage Schools

Advantage Schools

Advantage Schools is a small but incredibly ambitious school trust. They are looking to appoint a new Chair at an exciting time for the organisation as they look to grow, develop and prosper.

  • Location: Bedford
  • Salary: Unremunerated

About the role

Advantage Schools educates over 900 children each year, has a turnover of £5.5m and a supported ambition to grow by at least two further schools in this year. The Trust has excellent financial health which will enable their growth and a very good quality of education across their schools, both of which are oversubscribed due to the positive reputation they have built. The Trust moves into 2019-20 with very good performance, an excellent leadership team, secure finances and a deepening relationship with a number of schools considering joining Advantage Schools.

At Elstow School they celebrated the best ever outcomes at Key Stage 2, with the Board clear about expectations around further improvement from this good position.

At Bedford Free School they were thrilled with the performance at Key Stage 4, headlined with the provisional Progress 8 figure of +0.81, placing the school firmly in the top 150 secondary schools for progress, nationally.

The Chair of the Board will work alongside eight talented non-executive Directors, a nationally acclaimed CEO and his team to ensure the Trust’s ambition is realised. The Chair will have a duty to ensure the extensive future network of schools have the best academic curriculum available, with the Trust being recognised as a sector leader with influence across the education sector. They will do this through adopting and promoting the Nolan Principles of Standards in public life and setting an example to the sector in the manner in which is transparent, open, ethical and fair.

Working closely with the CEO to provide robust support and challenge, through both formal and informal appraisal, as Chair you will use your substantial experience of strategic leadership to apprise plans and encourage innovation. You will be both leader of the Board, and external ambassador; raising the profile of Advantage Schools with potential future partners, funders, regulators and stakeholders.

Who we're looking for

As the Chair of Advantage Schools you will bring talent and experience which will enable the Trust to grow strategically and sensibly. You will use your experience of Non-Executive Board exposure to support the development of the Trust’s governance structures and encourage accountability and success in each of the schools. It is expected they will continue to develop appropriate systems for the Board of Directors to be apprised of developments and enable strategic discussions and planning, which the Chair will be very much involved in.

You will have experience of leadership in a complex organisation, a track record in organisational development and the ability to act as an influential ambassador for Advantage Schools. Ultimately, they require a Chair who is attracted by their ambitious plans and wants to be part of an education system which aims to offer the sector best practice and influence it right across the country. The time commitment for the Chair is expected to be around four days per month.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential chat, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Drew Richardson-Walsh | 07739 364 033 | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk

Closing date: 12pm, Friday 14th February 2020

Education recruitment with Drew Richardson-Walsh

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Drew Richardson-Walsh

View profile

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in joining Advantage Schools as the Chair of our Board of Directors.

We are an ambitious School Trust, formed presently of two schools with excellent academic standards, secure finances and a superb reputation.

We have a world-class Board of Directors and a very good executive team, who have established the capacity to grow significantly in a short space of time.

We now require a Chair who is excited by the opportunity that this brings. Together, we could transform education. Being a beacon for what schools and school leadership should be and making a positive difference to hundreds of thousands of young people.

Our capacity requires the support and direction of someone who is comfortable in strategic planning, combined with the experience to challenge and support myself as CEO. The profile of our new Chair will be such that they are comfortable talking of our values – summarised as aspiration, respect and honesty – and promoting our vision to a range of schools, school leaders, fellow chairs and other stakeholders.

In the next four years, we wish to have grown to at least eleven schools. This could hence be a tremendously exciting time for the Trust and for the person appointed into the role.

Please take a moment to read the information we have provided for you, and speak to our consultants at Peridot.

If you are as excited by our ambition and prospects as we are, then we very much hope to hear from you.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Lock
CEO of Advantage Schools

Formed in April 2017, Advantage Schools runs Elstow School (a primary school) and Bedford Free School (a secondary school) though have every intention of growing over the coming years.

The Trust believes wholeheartedly in its values of ‘Aspiration, Respect and Honesty’ and knows that, given the right circumstances, all children are capable of extraordinary things. In a short space of time they have already had a significant positive impact on the educational outcomes for children in the Bedfordshire area though recognise they have the ability and capacity for even greater effect and influence.

The Trust work closely with families and partners to ensure all children receive their entitlement to:

  • an environment that allows them to focus on learning
  • an academic curriculum with very high expectations
  • well-qualified, well-trained teachers
  • great extra-curricular experiences

In providing these things they ensure that children who join their schools grow into well-rounded young adults who can take their place in the community of educated citizens.

Advantage Schools ensures their curriculum is rich in knowledge, they expect hard work and they do not make excuses.

They craft their curriculum around the core knowledge contained in traditional academic subjects and work together with families to support high expectations and aspiration.

They believe every child should have the opportunity to go to university at 18 and, for the vast majority, this should be a choice of highly-selective universities.

To access a full job description and application details,
please fill out the form below.


Thank you for your interest in this role.

Please download the Overview of the Chair’s role and fill out the Equality Monitoring Form

If you would like to have an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

To apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. Please include your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Chair, Advantage Schools” into the subject field.

Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

All applications will be considered solely on merit.


Closing date for applications: 12pm, Friday 14th February 2020
Candidates informed of outcome: by 5pm, Wednesday 19th February 2020
Interviews: w/c Monday 2nd March 2020

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and Advantage Schools are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring form.

The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018.

The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

Data Processing, Protection and Privacy Policy

By completing the form to view, or if you have access to this page from an email invitation, Peridot Partners will have processed your personal information. For more information about Peridot Partners’ data processing activities and your rights, please read our Privacy Policy.

You might also be interested in: