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Chair of Trustees Learning Community Trust

The Learning Community Trust (LCT) is a high-performing multi-academy trust based in Telford and Shropshire. With demonstrable excellence in school improvement and a focus on community engagement, The LCT is proud to be a leader in developing schools and achieving high-quality results. Due to the retirement of our current Chair, Mike Briscoe, we seek a new Chair of Trustees to lead our non-executive governing board.

  • Location: Telford and Shropshire
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses paid
  • Closing date: Rolling applications

We know that different voices, ideas and perspectives will enable us to support our leaders effectively. Our board contains a range of professional and lived experiences. We have a positive blend of new Trustees and long-standing Trustees. It will be key for our new Chair to demonstrate leadership skills to ensure that all of the board’s voices are heard, and their skills used effectively.

This role is an opportunity to be visible in our communities and represent our organisation with key stakeholders such as the Department for Education, Ofsted, Education & Skills Funding Agency, and other local partners. More than that, this role is an opportunity to ensure that we as a trust are serving our most important stakeholders effectively – our learners, their families, and the wider communities.

Who we are

The Learning Community Trust (LCT) is proud to be a leading multi-academy trust across Telford and Wrekin. We are a collaborative family of schools and are proud of the diverse individuality of the communities that we work within. We take a holistic, school-centred approach to school improvement. Our Trust is made up of five primaries, three secondaries, and two special schools, with more joining us later this academic year.

Established in June 2017 and sponsored by the Department for Education (DfE), the LCT operates with a clear vision of inclusive education and a commitment to raising standards. Our vision is to provide an outstanding education for all children and young people, preparing them for success in their present and future. We aim to build a stellar local, regional, and national reputation while prioritising the best interests and experiences of all of our learners.

We are an all-through academy trust with eleven schools (and growing). We serve over 5,000 children and young people and have a staff base exceeding 1,000 people. We take this responsibility very seriously and strive to be the best we can be for learners and personnel alike.

Our governance structure comprises a Members’ Body and Trust Board, supported by committees focused on audit and risk, resources management and educational standards. We are proud to have an exemplary Board of Trustees, which this new Chair will lead, supported by our Governance Professional. At a local level, each of our schools has their own local governing body. The executive function is designed to be lean and focused, prioritising the best outcomes for learners, staff, and the community.

Our existence is rooted in a commitment to providing excellent schools for the community. We work with schools facing challenges and aim to make good schools even better. We also consider associate arrangements for schools and educational organisations that align with our goals. The LCT is involved in early years through secondary provision, leading and supporting secondary, primary, and special schools. Our scope extends to post-compulsory education, with strategic collaborations with local providers and a Memorandum of Understanding with Telford College for post-16 progression.

Our aims are focused on achieving excellence in education, fostering a collaborative culture, providing high levels of care and support for all children, ensuring schools are at the heart of their communities, and engaging positively with families and the wider community.

About the role

Our new Chair will lead the non-executive governing Board of Trustees, appraise the CEO, and be a figurehead of our organisation. You will be responsible for providing stability during a period of growth and change and be a proud outward-facing ambassador for our Trust across our communities. The Chair will play a crucial role building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders and, supported by the Governance Professionals, ensuring all aspects of legal and regulatory compliance associated with being a multi-academy trust.

Our new Chair will galvanise our group of high-performing Trustees to positively challenge, scrutinise and, above all, support our executive leaders and CEO as we continue to drive excellent education across all of our schools and academies. While direct school or academy trust leadership experience is not essential, our successful candidate will come from the public sector with a demonstrable understanding of statutory-age education. Key to this recruitment is finding individuals with fresh perspectives and people who are committed to providing support to ensure that we remain a leading MAT locally and regionally.

To ensure a successful transition and continued success, we are seeking a Chair with the following qualities:

  1. Stability and Leadership: Provide stability during a period of change and growth.
  2. Strategic Vision: Contribute to the strategic growth of the Trust.
  3. Community Engagement: Navigate local politics and maintain relationships with local authorities.
  4. Fresh Perspective: Bring a fresh view to the organisation and adapt to the evolving governance model.
  5. Collaborative Leadership: Work collaboratively with fellow trustees, the CEO, and external stakeholders.
  6. Education Leadership: Ideally, possess educational leadership experience or expertise.

The Trust is committed to diversity and welcomes individuals with varied backgrounds and experiences to apply.

Who we are looking for

Your professional experience does not need to be limited to just schools and MATs as we believe there are benefits in having a wider lens than this and so would welcome applications from people who have worked across the public sector, be that in an educational institution, a sector body or other related and relevant professional setting.

We need a Chair to manage meetings effectively, so having an understanding of effective governance, either in a professional or non-executive capacity is ideal for us.

Above all, our Chair must believe in what we do and support our CEO in ‘how we do it’. The LCT schools are underpinned by robust central services but empowered to retain and own their identity, aligning with the communities that they serve. Our Chair must be sure that our Trust retains our learner-focused purpose and continues to deliver on the values that we have been founded on.

Peridot Partners and the Learning Community Trust are, together, committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and our client expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will be subject to an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references before any final offer can be made.

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

Chloe Cox | chloe@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07539 386980

Eddie Caviezel Cox | eddiec@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07951 920768

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Chloe Cox

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Accessibility information

The Trust gives an undertaking that all of its employees and volunteers, and those who apply for employment/volunteering, will be treated with equal fairness, respect and dignity, regardless of race, colour, gender, sexuality, marital status, gender reassignment, care of dependants, age, disability, religious or political beliefs, pregnancy or maternity, or unrelated criminal convictions.

We understand that different members of the community have different access needs and have made some modifications to the way we do business to accommodate people from diverse communities and abilities. We offer the following amenities:

  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for interviews.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

Further information

Meeting room access – the entrance to the proposed venue for interviews and the majority of Trust meetings (LCT offices) has onsite parking and step-free access. The meeting rooms are on the first floor and can be accessed via a lift if needed. We are able to use the facilities across our schools if meetings are outside normal school hours.

Reasonable adjustments – examples include offering virtual attendance where this preferred/needed, an expenses policy is in place for trustees/governors as we do not believe volunteers should incur costs when undertaking their role and we would not want this to be a barrier to candidates.

Diversity in governance – we acknowledge our governance at both trust and local level is not as reflective of the communities we serve as it could be and has therefore been identified as an area for improvement.

Applicants with a disability 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 role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

For further information or to organise a conversation, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Chloe Cox | chloe@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07539 386980

Eddie Caviezel Cox | eddiec@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07951 920768

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    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Role Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Learning Community Trust – Chair of Trustees” into the subject field.

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

    Chloe Cox | chloe@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07539 386980

    Eddie Caviezel Cox | eddiec@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07951 920768

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    This is a rolling application recruitment process. We are moving to interview as soon as we receive enough suitable interest, and we will be in touch as soon as possible regarding the next steps. We want to provide everyone with the opportunity to apply. If you are concerned that this role may close before you are able to apply, please get in touch with our advising consultant to discuss your options. 

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