South Gloucestershire and Stroud College Academy Trust (SGS AT) is seeking an experienced senior leader with a commitment to educational opportunities to join our Board of Trustees as the next Chair, working in partnership with the executive team for the benefit of its thriving student community.
South Gloucestershire and Stroud Academy Trust (SGS AT) is an innovative and forward-thinking three-school multi-academy trust dedicated to transforming education and shaping brighter futures for students.
The Trust was formed in 2014 at Forest High School, Cinderford and quickly grew to a group of three providers (one secondary school, one University Technical College, and one specialist 5-18 school for autistic children), with the successful addition of SGS Berkeley Green UTC in 2017 and SGS Pegasus School in 2017. Sponsored by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, our Trust benefits from collaborative relationships and sharing expertise.
At SGS Academy Trust, our mission is simple yet powerful: to provide exceptional education, support, and opportunities to students across our diverse community. We believe in unlocking the full potential of every individual, nurturing their talents and preparing them for success in an ever-evolving world. SGS Academy Trust focuses on the holistic development of each child, actively involving pupils, parents/carers, staff and the community. We strive to transform education in a supportive, aspirational and caring environment.
We recognise that we are on a journey and are constantly striving to achieve the best education outcomes for all our learners. Following our most recent Ofsted inspections at Pegasus and Forest, we have been making significant school improvements. We seek a new Chair to oversee and support this improvement, through positive challenge, scrutiny and support of the executive team.
Our Trust is driven by a dedicated team of Trustees, who bring a wealth of expertise and experience in various fields, including finance, education, health and safety, premises, HR and business management. Working alongside our talented CEO, Kevin Hamblin, our Trustees provide strategic leadership and ensure effective governance, enabling us to navigate the educational landscape with confidence. We are now seeking a new Chair of Trustees to replace Nigel Johnson, who after a seven-year tenure on the board as both Trustee and Chair, is stepping down.
The Chair’s role is to ensure the effective functioning of governance arrangements within the Trust and meets all safeguarding responsibilities. They develop the knowledge and capabilities of the Board of Trustees, address conflicts when necessary and encourage positive change. Additionally, the Chair conducts annual performance appraisals for Trustees and the Board, ensuring regular refreshment of the Board with a balanced mix of skills, knowledge and experience.
Our new Chair will lead the non-executive Board who collectively work with the executive team, offering scrutiny, challenge and support so that we can enact our Trust’s mission and vision. Our new Chair will provide inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees, ensuring that each Trustee thrives by offering their professional expertise to enact effective governance. As the public face of the Trust, the Chair acts as an ambassador, representing the organisation alongside the Chief Executive with key stakeholders such as DfE and Ofsted.
The Chair will be expected to lead the scheduled full board meetings, which take place six times a year (a mix of virtual and in-person meetings). They have the right to attend up to three sub-committees per year, which take place quarterly and will be expected to attend ad-hoc events such as school fetes, open days and Ofsted inspections.
The ideal candidate should be passionate, motivated and possess excellent leadership skills, dedicating the necessary time and effort to galvanise Trustees and the leadership team to drive the Trust forward. You will demonstrate the commitment and capability to foster a positive environment that encourages healthy challenge, scrutiny and support. Our new Chair must have experience of chairing meetings and events.
Strategic leadership is a crucial aspect of the Chair’s role, as they must provide expert guidance to the Trust and its Board to ensure maximum impact for the beneficiaries. Candidates should also have experience operating at a senior strategic leadership level within their professional organisations, with a proven track record of delivering successful outcomes.
Our new Chair of Governors must understand that the trust is facing significant challenges and be prepared to work closely with the executive time as we continue our journey of improvement. The successful candidate must come with a ‘can-do’ attitude and leadership qualities.
We are open to the sector background of our new Chair of Trustees, but our new Chair should come with experience of overseeing effective finances and delivering successful outcomes throughout their professional career. Having a broad understanding of the education landscape would be beneficial, but is not essential.
As we continue to strive for excellent educational outcomes and continue to liaise with key local stakeholders, we would benefit from having a Chair who brings experience of building and leveraging a network to foster effective partnerships and collaboration. In this context, we hope to continue to increase our presence by partnership working with other local schools, and local employers. Above all, we seek a new Chair of Trustees who demonstrates an alignment to SGS, and has a visible passion and commitment to the Trust’s objectives and cause. You will be an ambassador for SGS in external relations and engage with key stakeholders such as DfE, Ofsted, and more importantly, with our learners and their families at school and Trust events. We are proud of the work that we do, and want the Chair of Trustees to embody that by being a leading ambassador for SGS.
We are an inclusive community of people and welcome interest from candidates of every demographic.
Students within our Trust are our number one priority, and all staff, local school board members and trustees work together with a common aim of providing a safe and vibrant learning environment in which all learners can reach their potential and have an enjoyable and positive time at school.
We are committed to improving access to education in the communities we serve at primary, secondary and special school level and in delivering a high-quality and broad educational experience across the Trust; the continued improvement of schools within our Trust is absolutely fundamental.
Trustees are volunteers and the Board of Trustees has a strong focus on three core strategic functions:
As a Trust, we can provide support and challenge to our schools, help with staff development and succession planning and, because of the economies of scale, pool our resources. All this helps to improve our schools and provide a better education for the young people in our care.
The Board of Trustees encourages the recruitment of Trustees from all sections of the community, and applications are always welcome from people of all cultural backgrounds with a range of skills and experience.
SGS Academy Trust was formed in November 2014 in response to the request of the Regional Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, to support SGS Forest High School, an 11-16 school in Cinderford (SGS Forest High School)
SGSAT then successfully opened a University Technical College (Berkeley Green) in an award-winning, purpose-built environment at Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park in 2017. SGS Pegasus, a special free school, also successfully opened in September 2017 and moved into its state-of-the-art site in November 2019.
South Gloucestershire and Stroud College sponsors the Trust, and their size and range of expertise forms the basis of the support for schools within the Trust. The Trust aims to provide central support and expertise to ensure that each school can provide the very best education for our children, and the best quality development of teaching staff. SGS College will make their expertise and economies of scale available to SGSAT if and when the SGSAT require them at cost; however, SGSAT is an independent Trust and will make arrangements for support from the most appropriate and cost-effective source.
The partnerships within our Trust are not just about structural change; they are built on a shared commitment to improving attainment, well-being and life chances for children and young people. This moral purpose, accompanied by an outward-facing vision, is paramount for us in overcoming barriers to success. This can only be built on the basis of open, trusting relationships between all stakeholders.
SGS Academy Trust aims to focus on the development of the whole child by involving and effectively engaging with pupils, parents/carers, staff and the community in a supportive, aspirational and caring environment.
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 email@example.com inserting “South Gloucestershire and Stroud Academy 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:
Eddie Caviezel Cox | firstname.lastname@example.org | 07951 920768
Chloe Cox | email@example.com | 07539 386980
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.
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.
Closing date: 9 a.m. Wednesday 30th August 2023
Candidates informed of outcome: 5 p.m. Tuesday 5th September 2023
Interviews: Wednesday 13th September 2023
Peridot and South Gloucestershire and Stroud Academy Trust 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 will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact.
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.