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Executive Director of Excellence and Standards Nova Education Trust

The Nova Education Trust is seeking an ambitious school improvement expert to join our dynamic senior leadership team. You will be responsible for delivering high standards and expectations across our family of schools.

  • Location: Nottinghamshire – based in the Trust central office in Nottingham with visits to schools
  • Salary: £95,000 - £115,000

The Nova Education Trust are looking to appoint an Executive Director of Excellence and Standards to work with our family of schools and make a direct impact upon children’s learning and the working lives of our staff. The Trust currently serves 15 academies (five primaries, nine secondaries and one sixth form college) and we are of proud our support with Madani Schools Federation in Leicester.

The new Director will ideally have delivered successful school improvement in primary, as well as secondary education and preferably bring experience of working across a multi-academy trust or other educational organisation. We are seeking someone with a comprehensive knowledge of the current Ofsted framework, a clear understanding of policy and an appreciation of pedagogy as merits the seniority of this position.


The successful candidate will join the Nova Executive Leadership Team and will report to the CEO, deputising for him where necessary and thus must be an influential and inspiring leader. This is a pivotal role with responsibility for realising and contributing to the overall strategic educational direction of the Trust. As such it requires strong communication skills, and collaboration with staff to embed this vision and ensure educational success through high standards of teaching and learning and quality assurance.

This is an exciting new opportunity open to an experienced and qualified school improvement professional who has the credentials to be a future CEO. Our staff are supported through a comprehensive professional development programme and provided with excellent career opportunities.

We are offering a highly competitive salary that is negotiable upon experience and track record and there will be a level of support with relocation where applicable.

The Nova Education Trust welcomes applications from candidates from a range of backgrounds, and if you believe that you have the necessary skills, vision and ambition, we invite you to make an application for the post. Above all we are seeking for someone tenacious with drive, ability and creativity and who aligns with the Nova ethos to ’work hard and be kind’.

We strongly encourage you to contact the Peridot team for guidance and support, before submitting an application.


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

Sally Lawson-Ritchie | sally@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 158737

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

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Dear applicant,

Thank you for your interest in working at the heart Nova Education Trust.  I hope that you will find this pack useful and informative in helping you to complete your application.

Since taking up the role of CEO I have become even more mindful of the role that a trust plays in ensuring that as an organisation we foster and nurture a great working environment across our family of schools and our central team. My executive colleagues and I are committed to building an organisation that works with each and every member of staff as a key stakeholder working in an organisation that puts learners first.  This commitment and strong belief underpin our desire to become the local Trust of choice:  a community in which staff feel valued, nurtured and supported to be the very best versions of themselves. We know that employees deeply care about issues such as cultural inclusivity, sustainability and a healthy work–life balance and so do we.  All sectors have learnt and adapted their thinking to be more flexible and creative following the recent experiences of the pandemic.  This flexibility in many situations has been positive and productive for the trust, our staff and our external stakeholders and going forward we are committed to using technology to establish and embed a more flexible and balanced approach to support positive life changes for teaching, support and operational staff.

We know those who choose to work in education care about building vibrant, child-centred learning communities which are committed to excellence, where pupils and staff know they are valued as individuals and are empowered to succeed.  Our work in supporting, shaping and educating young people is important and meaningful and that work builds supportive relationships and a sense of community.   The ‘why’ of why we get up and come to work in the morning is quite clearly our pupils. Every single trust employee is part of creating the right environment for our young people to flourish. It is high quality, committed staff that make the difference in our sector, no matter what the job role.

We have a strong focus on providing all staff, teaching and non-teaching, with high quality CPD opportunities. We have fantastic practice both operationally and educationally happening within our schools, and we work hard to share that best practice and adapt it to work in our individual communities. We are not a trust that imposes a ‘done to’ model into each of our schools. Instead, we are about sharing those key ingredients of brilliant practice so that leaders can personalise that practice to enrich their own environments and communities.

We are looking for an exceptional individual, an aspirational and intelligent executive leader who has the imagination, passion and experience to support and challenge us to even greater things in the service of our young people.   An executive leader who shares our values;

  • Leads by example: with honesty, integrity, humility, and professionalism.
  • Is trustworthy loyal to others: we are committed to demonstrating a selfless commitment in all that we do.
  • Is innovative: we remain open to learning from others.
  • Believes that we all learn together: in our vibrant, creative, diverse and inclusive family of schools.
  • Is highly ambitious with a selflessness commitment and generosity to others: supporting our staff and students to believe that through hard work, all can succeed and grow.

Ashfaq Rahman

Chief Executive Officer

The Nova Education Trust is a cross-phase Multi-Academy Trust based in Nottinghamshire with approximately 1200 staff and supporting over 10,000 children. Our family is currently made up of 15 academies (five primaries, nine secondaries and one sixth form college). In 2019, we entered into a long-term support partnership with Madani Schools Federation in Leicester to work with their two schools.

Established in 2011, the Trust has successfully supported schools of all phases to secure improved educational standards. We deliver exceptional educational support with access to curriculum and pastoral groups, and support in areas such as safeguarding, governance and other central service functions.  The Trust runs a successful School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme which links 23 schools together sharing effective practice and developing new models for staff development.

We are therefore a key player in the region by developing new teachers and providing training and development programmes for existing teachers and support/operational staff throughout their careers.  Central to our mission is addressing equality, diversity and inclusion as we resolutely promote a diverse and inclusive community – a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit.

The Trust has a clear governance structure with the Board of Trustees as the legal accountable body for Nova Education Trust and they are responsible to the Secretary of State for Education for the effectiveness of each of the trust schools. Trustees have established one local governing board for each school, with a key role to provide local input into school plans, budgets, community and stakeholder engagement and to review alignment with Nova strategy, approach, ethos and vision. This approach enables schools to still belong to their communities and for governors to be significant and valued partners in the life of their school.

The well-being of every student and quality of education is of primary importance to us and we offer a high level of pastoral care and guidance. Our approach to behaviour is simple with the expectation that all staff and students will follow the Nova  Education Trust ethos to “work hard and be kind”.

The Nova Education Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will be subject to an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references.



Nova Education Trust’s accessibility statement applies to its own website and the additional 15 school websites.  We aspire to allow as many as possible to be able to access our websites easily and to navigate through them without barriers.  Where any aspects of our sites are not accessible or where different formats are required, we welcome individuals to contact us.

We offer the following amenities:

  • We are based on the first floor of our building however there is lift access and welfare facilities available on our floor.  All our rooms on our floor are step-free.
  • We have meeting rooms that support hearing loops
  • Accessibility dogs are always welcome on our premises
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats if needed
  • We would be happy to source a sign language interpreter if required
  • We provide a flexible working environment, including locations

Examples of adjustments may include changes to working hours, location of work, adjustments to specific workstation. Other adjustments include at recruitment stage such as adjustments to the interview process or how an interview assessment takes place.

We are currently in the process of working to launch a new EDI strategy to establish workplace initiatives required to develop our trust.  We welcome new recruits to be able to contribute to our goals to help us assess where we are now, what we are doing well and what needs developing to create a strong delivery plan.  Our engagement with wider stakeholders, such as the above, will be linked to our plan and will inform our overall commitment to EDI.

We are also working to show both our existing employees and future candidates that EDI is a core value of our trust and that we are taking practical steps to address where we need to improve.  Our Equality Information and Objectives statement is attached for reference purposes

    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 Job Description and Person Specification and complete this Equality Monitoring Survey.

    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 “Executive Director of Excellence and Standards – Nova Education trust” into the subject field.

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

    Sally Lawson-Ritchie | sally@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 158737

    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.

    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.

    Closing date: Tuesday 3rd May 2022

    Candidates informed of outcome: Friday 6th May 2022

    First Stage Interviews: Wednesday 11th May 2022

    Second Stage Interviews: Wednesday 25th  May 2022

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Nova Education 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 would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring survey.

    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.

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