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Trustees Speakers Trust

Speakers Trust empower young people with the speaking and listening skills they need to thrive in school, work and life. We are looking for Digital and Education experts to join their board.

  • Location: Hybrid / London
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses paid
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 12th August

Who we are

Speakers Trust wants to create a society where everyone has the skills, confidence, and opportunity to speak and be heard.

Would you like to channel your digital expertise or experience in the education sector to give every young person the confidence, skills and opportunity to speak in public?

Our work

Student Workshops: Speakers Trust delivers almost two thousand speaking and listening workshops with schools and youth organisations every year, reaching tens of thousands of young people.

Speak Out Challenge: The flagship “Speak Out Challenge” programme has been active in most secondary schools in London for 20 years. 7% of teachers value their contributions to their whole-school oracy education.

Educational Resources and Teacher Training: Speakers Trust provides resources and training to help teachers deliver effective oracy education.

Amplifying Youth Voice: The charity provide platforms for young people to voice their opinions, showcasing their speeches to over 10,000 people at their events annually and reaching over 1 million people online.

Innovative Digital Learning: Speakers Trust is pioneering digital learning, including AI-powered tools, to support young people in building their confidence and skills.

“My students have experienced something quite rare — the space to think and the freedom to speak about hopes and fears in an entertaining, mutually respectful and intellectually intelligent workshop. Many thanks.”

Teacher

Individual Impact

Building confidence and well-being: Speakers Trust’s programmes enhance confidence, mental well-being and essential communication skills.

Employability skills: 98% of teachers believe that essential skills like speaking and listening are important for their learners’ employment opportunities. However, too many young people continue to leave education lacking the confidence and skills to articulate their ideas.

Extensive reach: Speakers Trust supports one in every five state secondary schools in England, directly working with over 35,000 young people each year. Since their inception, they have positively impacted over half a million students.

Focused efforts: Over 40% of the students the charity works with initially lack the confidence to share their ideas in public. Through the work of Speakers Trust, 80% of students report being more likely to seize public speaking opportunities in the future.

Long-term benefits: Speakers Trust alumni report lasting improvements in confidence and speaking abilities, positively affecting their careers and their lives up to 15 years later.

Societal Impact

They believe in the power of speaking and listening skills to drive social and economic change.

Social cohesion: Speakers Trust work fosters empathy and social cohesion by encouraging students to listen and share their perspectives on important issues within the classroom and with their community.

Social inclusion: By amplifying young people’s voices on issues that matter to them, they contribute to a greater sense of belonging for marginalised young people.

Social mobility: Speakers Trust gives disadvantaged students access to enrichment opportunities to develop essential life skills — thus improving social mobility.

Economic contribution: By developing a critical employability skill in young people, Speakers Trust are contributing to a more skilled and productive workforce in Britain.

“I believe that at the core of humanity is the story; yours, mine and the one we create together.  The work Speakers Trust do in unlocking the story and the storytelling power within the next generation is both inspiring and vital and I am beyond thrilled to be part of the team”.

Lizzie Runham, Chair of Speakers Trust & HR VP of Meta

About the roles

As the education sector evolves, Speakers Trust is looking for trustees who are passionate about empowering young people through developing their speaking skills and can apply their experience, knowledge and expertise to a charity with a small team but a huge reach.

Speakers Trust is looking for each new trustee to play a leading role on the board in these specific areas:

Digital

We are looking for someone with significant direct experience in technology being used in a transformational way. This experience could come from an allied sector (e.g. education technology) or where they can contextualise experience gained in any industry.

They will act as a lead trustee on Speakers Trust’s continued digital transformation to advise and support the rest of the board and the CEO. This would involve continued use of technology to manage their programmes, as well as deploying technology including Artificial Intelligence directly to improve the current programmes and to launch new initiatives.

Education

Secondly, we would like to hear from someone with knowledge, experience and a network in education leadership and/or policy. This trustee would be integral to helping the executive team navigate an evolving education environment to advocate for Speakers Trust’s work with policymakers and other stakeholders.

They will advise and support the rest of the board and CEO on education policy and school strategy, as the political and operational climate for schools and the education sector changes.

Other responsibilities

Trustees are collectively responsible for the governance and strategic direction of Speakers Trust; developing the charity’s aims, objectives, and goals in accordance with legal and regulatory guidelines — and oversight and constructive challenge of performance against these guidelines. They are individually responsible for advocacy of the charity and contextualising their skills, knowledge and experience to contribute to its success.

  1. Strategic leadership and advocacy
  • Ensure Speakers Trust pursues its stated charitable objects as defined in the Articles of Association, by establishing a clear vision, set of values and strategy, and ensuring there is a common understanding of these by trustees, staff, volunteers and contractors.
  • Advocate for the charity and its objectives beyond their own networks and support the events and programmes the charity delivers.
  • Ensure that the organisation defines its goals and evaluates performance against agreed targets.
  • Uphold the good name and values of the organisation.
  1. Governance and compliance
  • Ensure the organisation complies with the Articles of Association, charity law, company law, and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
  • Ensure that the organisation acts in accordance with employment law and exercises a duty of care to its employees.
  • Ensure that the major risks to the organisation are regularly identified and reviewed and that systems are in place to mitigate or minimise these risks.
  • Ensure that the organisation has a governance structure that is appropriate to a charity of its size/complexity, stage of development, and its charitable objects, and reflects the diversity of its stakeholders.
  • Ensure that the board regularly reviews and improves its governance structure and the individual and collective performance of the board.
  1. Operational oversight and financial stewardship
  • Ensure that operational plans and budgets support the vision and strategy.
  • Ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation, including having appropriate policies and procedures in place.
  • Ensure the financial stability of the organisation.
  • Hold the CEO and executive to account for the management and administration of the charity.
  • Ensure that the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its charitable objects.
  1. Continuous improvement and engagement
  • Become an active member of relevant committees, or task and finish groups.
  • Continually build their understanding of the charity, its work, and its environment by engaging with the work of Speakers Trust and the developments in the education and charity sector.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the safeguarding responsibilities of the charity.
  • Ensure that the board regularly reviews its own training needs and creates an expectation of continuous professional development throughout the organisation.
  • Ensure there is a regular review of the external environment for changes that might affect the organisation (political, financial, demographic, competitive, partnerships, alliances).

Time commitment

The board tends to meet 5 times a year in person with online participation available to those who occasionally can’t make the face-to-face meeting.

Speakers Trust expect the time commitment to be the equivalent of a day a month spread across various activities such as preparation for board meetings, support to the executive team, and attending events throughout the year.


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

Ellen Norwood | ellen@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07944 354762

Marie McQuade | marie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07903 442646

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

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Welcome from the Chief Executive

Hello and welcome to Speakers Trust.

We are on a mission to address a significant challenge, and we hope you can help.

Too many young people fail to reach their potential because they leave school without the skills and confidence to share their ideas out loud.

Public speaking is often cited as people’s greatest fear, and this fear begins and can be tackled at school. Speaking skills are essential, not just for the workplace, but also for overcoming shyness, driving social change, and building strong connections and relationships.

Our charity was founded by someone who struggled with a fear of public speaking throughout their life. Twenty years ago, they started what has become the UK’s largest public speaking programme in schools: the Speak Out Challenge.

Over half a million young people have now benefited from our work. Witnessing their growth in confidence is a special moment for all of us at Speakers Trust. Hearing directly from young people about how this has opened opportunities for them to succeed at school and work is incredibly rewarding.

Our challenge remains, and our strategy is evolving. This is where you may be able to help.

Firstly, we anticipate a significant review of what young people are taught in schools and colleges. This provides an opportunity for us to advocate for speaking and listening to have the same focus as reading and writing in the curriculum.

Secondly, we are already experiencing how technology can complement our face-to-face work. As Artificial Intelligence becomes more embedded in educational technology, we see this as the biggest opportunity to scale our impact since the charity was founded.

If you think you can help in either of these areas, we would love to hear from you. You would join a small, welcoming, and high-performing team, all committed to ensuring that young people have the confidence to speak and be heard.

Best wishes,

Russell Findlay
Chief Executive

About us

The Speakers Trust team

Speakers Trust work is delivered by expert speaking coaches and managed by a small team led by Russell Findlay, the Chief Executive Officer — supported by a group of committed trustees with a diverse range of skills and knowledge.

Chief Executive
Russell Findlay brings 30 years of implementing strategic change. After a career in the technology, media and telecoms sector, he has spent the last 20 years leading charities that empower young people to reach their potential in sport and education.

Chair
Lizzie Runham is an experienced global HR leader with a depth of experience across the tech, financial services, healthcare and professional services sectors.

She has over 20 years of experience in the field, 15 of which were in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Lizzie is a firm believer in the right of each person in the world to experience the dignity of work, and in organisations’ urgent responsibility to make that a reality. Lizzie is VP HR for Meta and an Independent Non-exec for Monzo.

More than 40% of the young people we meet say they don’t have the confidence to speak in front of a group of peers.

Our mission is to change this.

Accessibility information

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Speaker’s Trust values and respects all differences in people (seen and unseen). We aspire to inclusive working experiences and an environment that reflects the beneficiaries we serve, where people have equal access to career development opportunities, their voices are heard and can contribute to our future.

Speakers Trust is an equal-opportunity employer. We particularly encourage applications from disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, as these groups are underrepresented as trustees throughout the sector.

Should you need any reasonable adjustments in applying for this role, please contact our advising consultants.

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

Ellen Norwood | ellen@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07944 354762

Marie McQuade | marie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07903 442646

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    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting cover letter 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.

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    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Application: Speakers Trust – Trustee Digital OR Education” into the subject field. You will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of your application within 2-3 days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please make contact with our admin team.

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

    Ellen Norwood | ellen@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07944 354762

    Marie McQuade | marie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07903 442646

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

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    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.

    Timetable

    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 12th August 2024
    Informed of the outcome by: Thursday 15th August 2024
    First stage interviews: Wednesday 21st August 2024
    Final interviews: Thursday 29th August 2024


    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Speakers 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 practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.


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