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Trustees Stratford School Academy

Stratford School Academy is seeking four new Trustees to join its high-performing and ambitious board — an opportunity to make a strategic impact on a forward-thinking and motivated trust.

  • Location: Newham, London
  • Salary: Voluntary

Who we are

We are a beacon for education in the community of Newham. We provide inspirational learning for 1,500 learners, supporting them to achieve their best results, develop their wider talents, and make them well-rounded individuals.

Stratford School Academy strives for excellence in everything that we do, whether that is through our results — or through the development of students who become confident, responsible, and kind by the time that they come to leave Stratford School Academy.

We are proud to have been judged by Ofsted to be ‘good’ in its November 2022 inspection report— we have created a culture that fosters aspirational learners to flourish in their future careers and as individuals, whilst remaining humble, grateful and kind.

About the roles

Stratford School Academy is seeking four new trustees to join its high-performing and ambitious board.

Our trust board members are the registered directors of the trust. The Academy’s trust board are responsible for ensuring the clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the trust — Stratford School Academy trustees are committed to ensuring our success. We have a diverse range of experience, knowledge and interests that collectively supports and challenges Stratford School Academy to ensure that we deliver on our vision and remain a key pillar of the Newham community.

Our trust board is undergoing exciting change. Over the past decade, the trust has gone through a number of exciting developments. In that time, we have become financially excellent, and we have turned around our learner outcomes and can now celebrate being a leading education provider in Newham.

However, we do not want to stand still and rest on our recent success. Our role is to serve our community, to continue to strive for excellence for all of our learners and give them the best chances to reach their true potential. To do this, our headteacher, Craig Hewitt, and his executive team need an expert, trusting and supportive board of trustees to scrutinise, challenge, and support them in ensuring we maintain our excellence and motivation for many years to come.

We have enjoyed a stable board of trustees for many years — but retirements, departures because of other commitments and possible changes following forthcoming elections for parent seats open up the chance to refresh our board as we consolidate our successes. You would be joining three other new appointees, including Kim Caplin, who became our Chair in July.

Looking to the next stages of our development, we seek professionals from a range of backgrounds to contribute their expertise and insight that can provide us with different perspectives and help us to progress.

The prospect of new capital projects, an ever-changing edu-political climate and the need to increase our links into our community make this an exciting opportunity for individuals to come and make a strategic impact on a forward-thinking and motivated trust.

Who we are looking for

Being a trustee, you will contribute not only to the strategic development of the trust but also to the community. As such, it is important that you are passionate about providing the best opportunities for our children and staff — and have the necessary strategic leadership experience to support and challenge our leaders. Stratford School Academy is proud to have a culture that puts the learners at the heart of everything that we do, and we need our trust board to reflect this.

We are open to the sector background of our new trustees, but we are looking to add to our board with individuals from professional backgrounds in any of the below:

  • Accounting/financial services
  • Education – teaching and learning in a primary or secondary environment
  • Commercial – understanding of operating in a business climate
  • Human resources
  • Construction and development

While these areas would add the greatest value to our team, we can also consider backgrounds in health and safety, the environment and sustainability. All applicants will need to demonstrate their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

The current and anticipated skills and experience within our board mean that, on this occasion, we would benefit from those bringing with them experience of education — but there is still room to also consider applicants from other professional backgrounds, as listed above. Our new trustees must have the ability to contribute to our strategic direction, and so experience of working at management or executive level is desirable. Our new trustees will join an already high-performing and skills-rich board and ensure that our executive leadership is positively challenged and held to account. You will ensure that data is provided clearly, and offer thought and positive challenge in our board meetings.

Our future strategy is to increase our presence and add more value to the communities that we serve. Our new trustees will need to have an ability to support us in connecting to local businesses and enhancing our visibility. Whilst having a deep-rooted connection to Newham is non-essential, an appreciation for the communities that we serve is.

Time commitment

Formal meetings: board and committees

Candidates need to be able to attend all board meetings and the meetings of at least one committee. We expect to hold between three and four board meetings in a year and our Resources, Audit and Risk Committee and our Quality and Standards Committee are each planned to meet five times during the year.

The timing and location of governance meetings is a matter for the board as a whole but, in keeping with recent practice, all of the 2023 to 2024 meetings are scheduled to take place between 6.00pm and 8.00pm. Board meetings are on-site (remote attendance is not permitted), while all committee meetings are held remotely (on-site attendance is not permitted).  There is also an annual general meeting during December, for which the mode of attendance is yet to be finalised. While always subject to change, our Governance Meetings Schedule is available.

Formal meetings: link visits

Each of our trustees may be required to take up a ‘link’ role. We are reviewing these roles in the light of recent and forthcoming trustee departures and appointments but, typically, they include safeguarding, estates, health and safety, community and various curriculum areas. Link trustees are expected to undertake at least one visit in a year, which forms part of the evidence-base when the performance of the school is assessed by the board or a committee. The visit is likely to be preceded with a planning meeting and followed by a debrief, both of which may be conducted remotely by mutual agreement.  Some link visits will be more frequent.

Formal meetings: hearings and others

Trustees have statutory duties to review the headteacher’s suspension and exclusion of students, to consider complaints that reach a certain stage and to hear staff-related appeals such as those for redundancy and discipline. While the number of such cases has been few at Stratford School Academy, when they arise they have tight timescales laid down by law.  For example, a panel of trustees must review a permanent exclusion within fifteen school days. It is realistic and fair to be clear with prospective applicants that, across the board as a whole, we need to be able to field these panels, comprising of three trustees, normally.

In addition to the meetings and panels mentioned above, there sometimes is a need to form recruitment panels for new trustees or to hold meetings for a specific and unplanned need.  Unplanned board meetings have, during recent times, been held remotely.

Informal visits: school events

Alongside the formal work, we are keen to return trustees’ engagement with the school to pre-pandemic levels. This means that we are especially interested to interview candidates who have the capacity and the interest to support us through attendance at various school events. This does not mean that every trustee should attend everything. It does mean that, across the governing team as a whole, we want to be visible to our staff, pupils and volunteers.

Peridot Partners and Stratford School Academy 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 candidates 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:

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

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

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

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About Stratford School Academy

Rooted in the local community in the borough of Newham, we aim to provide an inspirational learning journey for every student. It is our firm belief that all of our students have the potential to achieve in school, regardless of their starting point or individual circumstances.

Our school culture is built upon high expectations for all, ensuring that our students flourish — this not only means students achieving strong examination results but also developing their wider skills and talents, character, sense of belonging and civic duty.

Our teachers and support staff are all skilled and committed professionals who work tirelessly to provide great experiences and outcomes for all of our students.

Relationships between staff and students are built upon respect and understanding; behaviour is very good. Our curriculum is a rich one, rooted in academic disciplines studied to GCSE.

Our students past and present are strong evidence of our success. We are proud of their academic progress, sporting achievements, musical performances, drama productions and their contribution to the local community.

We aim for our students to leave Stratford School Academy as highly educated, knowledgeable, resilient, confident and well-rounded individuals, in control of their destinies and able to make a positive contribution in a changing world.

This part of London is home to many faiths and cultures and we see the richness of this diversity as one of our greatest strengths, whilst also stressing the importance of what we all have in common.

We hope our website gives you a flavour of life at Stratford School Academy — we invite you to browse the pages of the prospectus and watch our virtual tours of Stratford School Academy.

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

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

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

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    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Stratford School Academy – 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 | eddiec@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07951 920768

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

    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.

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    Closing date: 9 a.m. Thursday 28th September 2023
    Candidates informed of outcome: Wednesday 4th October 2023
    Interviews: Tuesday 10th October 2023

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Stratford School Academy 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.

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