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Montsaye Community Learning Partnership seeks new Non-Executive Directors – legal expertise welcomed

Montsaye Community Learning Partnership (MCLP) seeks two non-executive directors preferably with experience in HR, compliance or legal to support 3,250 pupils across North Northamptonshire. Board meetings are held at Montsaye Academy, Rothwell, Kettering.

 

About the trust

Montsaye Community Learning Partnership (MCLP) is formed of one mixed secondary school with a sixth form and eight primary schools with two nursery schools in North Northamptonshire. It serves the market towns of Rothwell and Desborough and surrounding villages.

The trust evolved from a single converter academy – Montsaye Community College – which became Montsaye Academy in August 2011. Under the local authority, an Area Improvement Partnership (AIP) had been in place for many years and grouped together primary schools with a lead secondary – this was Montsaye Academy. In September 2013, seven of the primary schools from the AIP joined with Montsaye Academy to form a Multi-Academy Trust – Montsaye Community Learning Partnership. In April 2019, it is expected that Hawthorn Community Primary School will become part of the MAT.

The trust is currently reviewing its governance structure and central capacity to ensure it is fit to meet the demands of the current and evolving education landscape. The schools’ current Ofsted grades are all Good or Outstanding making MCLP a leading trust in the area.

 

Plans for the future

The main challenges for the board over the next two years are:

  1. To continue to improve the educational outcomes across the trust for all our pupils.
  2. To ensure the trust is structured appropriately to meet the challenges ahead.
  3. To ensure the financial strength of the trust as a whole is improved and able to sustain the long term objectives.

MCLP plan to grow the trust to meet the demands of local demographics, spreading the good practice and achievement across the trust more widely.  MCLP also plan to expand at secondary level to facilitate sharing of best practice, improving outcomes and collaborative working at that level.

 

Trust ethos & values

By working collaboratively across the entirety of a child’s education MCLP aim to enhance pupils’ life chances by providing a cohesive educational experience that will help that child to become an independent, thoughtful and resilient learner who makes excellent progress regardless of their starting point. Please see http://mclp.org.uk/index.php/mission-statement for more information.

Roles 1-2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Trustees – or non-executive directors – are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.

The trust would welcome applicants with a legal or governance background and an HR background.   The incumbent would play a lead role in help move the trust to a new, independent structure, contributing to the growth and development of the trust.

 

Person specification

MCLP are looking for trustees with specific HR or legal skills or with a general commercial background. A background in business would be complimentary to the existing skills of the board. The post would bring a more commercial view to operations.

The competencies required for this role include:

 

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

–       HR

OR

–       Legal/Compliance

 

Desirable

–       Non-executive/Trustee

–       Growth Management

 

 

Time commitment

6-10 hours per month minimum.

 

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Montsaye Academy, Greening Road, Rothwell, Northants NN14 6BB.

Please see http://mclp.org.uk/

 

Governance structure

Please see http://mclp.org.uk/index.php/about-us/trust-directors

The Infant and Junior Schools in both Rothwell and Desborough have been federated in recent years each having one Local Governing Body.

 

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 832 multi academy trusts of 3+ schools. If the schools are to fulfil their potential, the trusts need non-executives (known in charity law as trustees) to bring a wide range of skills and experience to help guide strategy, ensure their ambitions can be soundly financed and keep their schools up to the mark delivering for their pupils.

“Academy boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.”
Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2017)

Trusteeship is a voluntary, unpaid role for people who have the energy and skills to make a real contribution to shaping the future of our schools. You do not need to have any specialist knowledge of education.

Applications

Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit programme which recruits senior business leaders and professionals as volunteer non-executive directors onto the boards of multi-academy trusts. If you are interested in applying for the role please send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for to academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. Please note: candidates should live within reasonable travelling distance of the trust and/or have a link with the region. For more information, please call 0207 952 8556 or visit www.academyambassadors.org.

Key dates

We strongly recommend applying as early as you can to have the best possible chance of being considered as we may change the closing date if we have received sufficient applications. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process –

 

Deadline for applications: 18th April 2019

 

Paukinson’s UK seeks Independent Audit and Risk Committee Member

Imagine not being able to move, sleep, or smile. Feeling anxious or depressed and struggling to think or remember. Your body not feeling like your own. This is what Parkinson’s can feel like.

Every hour, two people in the UK are told they have Parkinson’s – a brain condition that turns lives upside down, leaving a future full of uncertainty.

Parkinson’s UK is an ambitious and dynamic charity, passionate about improving the lives of everyone affected by Parkinson’s.  We are working towards bringing forward the day that no-one fears Parkinson’s, and our pace and determination is stronger than ever.

Due to the natural retirement of a committee member we are currently seeking an Independent Audit and Risk Committee Member. The charity is in the final year of a 5 year strategy and is growing at a fast pace with income expected to be nearly £40m by the end of 2019.   This position offers a real opportunity to make a powerful impact because the guidance and leadership from our Board and its committees will be crucial to this and to the charity achieving its ambitious goals.

As an independent member of our Audit and Risk Committee, you will be a crucial part of the organisation’s governance, providing valuable expertise and knowledge to help the Board manage risk and properly discharge its responsibilities by ensuring that the Charity has effective internal control systems and is operating within approved policies, its budget, and the law.

To be successful in the role, candidates must be able to demonstrate:

  • Commitment to the aims and values of Parkinson’s UK
  • Understanding of the duties and responsibilities of being a committee member
  • Extensive experience and understanding of financial and risk management
  • Understanding of the role of audit (internal and/or external)
  • Willingness to devote the necessary time and effort

 

Please click here for further information and application details.

Shaw Trust (disabled/socially excluded charity) is seeking new Trustee

Join us to help one million people transform their lives each year

Shaw Trust is proud to have supported disabled people and those who are socially excluded for over 30 years. With an annual turnover of £250 million and 4,000 dedicated staff, our goal is to create an inclusive world where everyone achieves their potential and positively impacts their community.

We are currently seeking Trustees to increase the size of our Board, as well as to make it more diverse and representative of the communities we serve. You will play a critical role in providing oversight and guidance for our future strategy so that we can achieve our ambitious aims. You will be responsible for ensuring the organisation is sustainable, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it has been set up.

This role offers a great opportunity to become part of an influential organisation at an important time in its development. We are looking for a broad range of skills. We are particularly focused on achieving an improved gender mix and better BAME representation. Additionally, and not exclusive to this, would be a desire to add representation from some of the client groups we serve including ex-offenders, those with a disability or impairment and those that have experienced long-term unemployment. Trustees are generally drawn from those who already have board experience or equivalent in the commercial, public or third sector. However, we would also be interested in candidates who could demonstrate strategic thinking and enthusiasm – we can always provide training and mentoring. Perhaps most importantly, you will bring a demonstrable commitment to and passion for the aims of Shaw Trust as well as an empathy for the clients we serve.

The posts are unremunerated but very rewarding. Candidates would be joining a team of committed Trustees and a first-rate executive team. All expenses are reimbursed, including childcare and where appropriate loss of earnings.

There are four board meetings a year, held in locations across UK, but Trustees are also encouraged to join one of the key committees – Audit, HR or Performance and Investment which also meet quarterly. Meetings are held during the day, but we would seek to be flexible depending on the needs of those attending.

 

Please click here for further information and application details.

Shaw Trust

 

Redthread (young people’s charity) seeks new Trustee with legal skills

We empower young people to thrive as they navigate the challenging transition to adulthood by integrating trauma-informed youth work into the health sector. Whether a young person is seeking support for anxiety, needs help with an eating disorder, has been the victim of a stabbing, or has suffered a sexual assault, we support them to overcome the challenges they face through our dynamic youth work programmes. In 2018, we won the children and youth category of the Charity Awards run by Civil Society Media for our Youth Violence Intervention Programme.

We have reached a key stage in our development as an organisation and are looking for new Trustees to meet our expanding role, and to replace a couple of Trustees who recently stood down having worked with Redthread for a number of years. We have grown significantly over the last two years, expanding into the Midlands and into local A&Es, making this an exciting time to join a thriving organisation where you will have a real impact on our continued growth and success. Our work was recently featured on BBC News which gives a taster of what we do what we do.

To find out more about becoming a Redthread Trustee, please download the candidate pack for further details. If you would like to apply for the role, please send your CV, a completed equality and diversity monitoring form, and a supporting statement to applications@redthread.org.uk.

Interviews to be held the week beginning 13 May.

Redthread website

Foreign & Commonwealth Office seeks new non-executive member to its Audit & Risk Assurance Committee – would be suitable for a lawyer

The Whitehall and Industry Group, whose Head of Talent Patrick Reihill recently presented to BCKR’s members, has alerted BCKR to a new role they are seeking to fill on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The FCO is looking to appoint a new non-executive member to its Audit & Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC). The successful candidate will have a good track record in managing at the highest level in the private, public or voluntary sector and be able to contribute to the Committee’s governance, risk management and control agenda.

The FCO has a worldwide network of embassies and consulates, employing over 14,000 people in nearly 270 diplomatic offices. They work with international organisations to promote UK interests and global security, including the EU, NATO, the United Nations and the UN Security Council and the Commonwealth.

 

The Audit & Risk Assurance Committee

The Audit & Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) supports the Permanent Under-Secretary (PUS) in his role as FCO Accounting Officer to ensure there are effective arrangements for governance, risk management and internal control. It has no executive responsibilities, but reviews the comprehensiveness, reliability and integrity of assurances provided to the Management Board; challenges the executive; and promotes best practice across the FCO. It meets quarterly and is chaired by Warren Tucker, Non-Executive Director.Upcoming priorities for the Committee include oversight of an ERP Replacement, expansion of programmes funds, and the continuous improvement of financial, risk and programme management processes.

 

Person Specification

The successful candidate will demonstrate the following qualities or skills:

  • Substantial experience of board level governance, risk management, audit and control issues in an executive or non-executive capacity in the private, public or voluntary sector;
  • Experience of working internationally, or working for an organisation with an international remit;
  • Experience of risk, performance and financial management;
  • Experience in managing similar sized organisations;
  • Ability to understand the objectives of the organisation and its current significant issues and risks;
  • Ability to understand the organisation’s structure, including governance arrangements and key relationships such as that with a sponsoring department of a major partner;
  • Ability to understand the organisation’s culture;
  • Broad understanding of the government environment, particularly accountability structures and current major initiatives;
  • Sound judgement and a high level of integrity (including when dealing with confidential or sensitive issues) and a commitment to the seven principles of conduct in public
  • The modern FCO wants to reflect the very best of 21st century Britain and encourages applications from all suitably qualified applicants irrespective of background or circumstances.

 

Time Commitment

The Audit & Risk Assurance Committee has formal meetings quarterly in Whitehall (April, June, October and December), plus a further meeting to review the Resource Accounts in July. Total commitment is expected to be around five days per year. The appointment is for three years, with the option to extend for a further three years.

The successful candidate will receive a thorough induction into the organisation to enable them to contribute fully to the work of the committee.

 

Please click through to the Whitehall & Industry Group site for further information and application details.

Sheffield Students’ Union seeks External Trustee (legal/advisory expertise welcomed)

Sheffield Students’ Union, an educational charity supporting around 30,000 students at the University of Sheffield, is seeking an external trustee to join its Trustee Board.

About the Students’ Union

Founded in 1906, Sheffield Students’ Union has a long and proud tradition of representing, supporting and enhancing the lives of our members.  We launched a long-term strategy – Ours for Life ( see attached PDF) – one that will last us a generation. Our services, facilities and activities are designed to create a sense of community and encourage student leadership.  We deliver excellent services that including retail, bars, catering, entertainments and a nursery: all of these activities ensure that the Students’ Union is a “destination” for our members whilst enabling us to re-invest in vital welfare, academic and social services. We are outward-facing and support our students to participate in their local community.

Our purpose is to represent, inspire, involve and independently support our members. We are focused on maintaining our reputation as an outstanding student-led organisation in the UK.

For further information about Sheffield Students’ Union, our charitable purpose and strategic objectives please click link below.

Trustees

Being a trustee in a Students’ Union is extremely rewarding.  You will bring knowledge and experience to maintain an oversight of a wide range of activities at a strategic level in a dynamic, forward-thinking organisation.  Confident and diplomatic, you will be an independent voice, providing constructive challenge and thoughtful solutions.

If appointed, you will work as part of a seventeen-member Trustee Board who are responsible for the governance, strategic leadership and oversight of the organisations finance. This is an unpaid volunteer role with significant opportunities to learn new skills, work with a team and gain a detailed insight into how a large charity is run.  The Trustee Board meets 4-5 times a year, with the opportunity to serve on one of the specialist Board Committees. Induction, training and support is provided for all trustees. The Trustee Board navigates the challenges and opportunities of being led by our members whilst complying with its responsibilities under charity law and its commitment to deliver good governance.

Sheffield Students’ Union welcomes applications from all candidates irrespective of age, pregnancy and maternity, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, or marital or civil partnership status.

If you feel you can contribute to a democratic, values-driven, large charity with an ambitious strategic plan and a commitment to transforming lives, we will be delighted to hear from you.

 

Terms of Office

External trustees are eligible to serve for a term of four years, with the option to serve for a further four year term subject to a review by Nominations and Board Effectiveness Committee and approval by the Students’ Union Council.

 

Please click here for further information, including link to a detailed person specification and details of how to apply.

Justice (victim/perpetrator support charity) seeks new Trustees – legal skills sought

Could you help change lives and reduce the harm caused by crime?

Belong specialises in enabling hope, rehabilitation and recovery amongst those who have been victims or perpetrators of offences. Our services include mentoring, art therapy and restorative justice interventions. We work with children, young people and adults in custodial and community settings.

We are looking for committed people with senior level experience in criminal justice, charity management and/or financial management to join our specialist team as trustees.

Trustees duties include:

– Maintaining the vision, mission and values and long term strategy of Belong.

– Effectively managing and developing Belong’s resources and funding.

– Overseeing Belong’s service delivery, in conjunction with Belong’s management staff

– Enhancing and protecting Belong’s reputation.

We are particularly looking for people who have skills and knowledge in one or more of the following areas to join our trustee board:

  • Restorative justice
  • Art therapy
  • Prison and Probation management
  • Law
  • Human Resources
  • Financial management
  • Fundraising
  • PR and marketing

Trustees will need to be able to commit approximately 7 hours per month to their role. Our trustee board meets bi-monthly in central London.

Apply now to join the Belong team and help us reduce crime and the harm it causes!

 

Please click here for further information and application details.

Age Concern Slough & Berkshire East seeks new Trustees – legal expertise welcomed

The Board is the executive body of Age Concern Slough & Berkshire East holding responsibility for the good governance of the charity. Trustees/ directors have a shared duty to ensure that the charity has clear direction and purpose, that resources are effectively used, that the charity is well managed, operates within the law, its finances and budget to fulfil its declared objects.

Note: Trustee roles are honorary and unpaid. Please refer to the memorandum & articles for clarification.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Ensure that Age Concern Slough & Berkshire East complies with charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation.
  • Ensure that all regulations relating to the delivery of services including the CQC are complied with by receipt and review of quality monitoring reports.
  • Ensure that Age Concern Slough & Berkshire East pursues its charitable objects as defined in the Memorandum and Articles of Association, and that resources are applied exclusively in
    pursuance of the charity’s objects.
  • Contribute actively to the Board’s role in giving clear strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy.
  • Ensure through the terms of reference granted to the Finance Committee, the charity’s financial stability and continuing solvency and participate in financial decision-making regarding the assets of the charity.
  • Under direction of the Chair, be prepared to take part in the appointment of the Chief Executive, in the appraisal of his/her performance.
  • Ensure Age Concern Slough & Berkshire East is managed effectively and efficiently both in its employment practices and in the area of service delivery.
  • Contribute specific knowledge, skills or experience to help the Board reach sound decisions, by regular attendance at committee and appropriate sub-committees.
  • Participate in reviews of the Board and trustee appraisals to ensure it has relevant composition and skills.

 

REQUIREMENTS

  • Commitment to Age Concern Slough & Berkshire East and its objects.
  • Safeguard the good name and ethos of the charity and comply with the Code of Conduct and all relevant policies relating to good governance.
  • Willingness to contribute constructively to debates and discussions.
  • Attend committee meetings, sub-committees where agreed and the AGM.
  • Honesty, integrity, impartiality and good judgment.
  • Understanding of the client group and their needs

 

SKILLS

Expertise in one or more of the following:

  • Finance
  • Law
  • Property
  • Fundraising
  • Marketing / PR
  • Consumer and Advocacy
  • Social / Care
  • Strategic and Management

 

TIME COMMITMENT REQUIRED

  • Board Meetings at intervals of 3 months or as otherwise determined
  • Attend AGM and EGM’s
  • Preparedness to act on sub committees.
  • Attendance at social events/launches etc.
  • Preparedness to make service visits as part of induction or quality monitoring processes.

 

About Age Concern Slough & Berkshire East

Age Concern Slough and Berkshire East is a local independent charity focussed on improving the lives of elderly people in the local community. We provide a range of vital services in Slough and the surrounding areas including Befriending, Lunch Clubs and Opportunity Centres, Information and Advice, Exercise Classes, Carers Support and Care at Home.

Every day our staff and volunteers help to reduce loneliness and isolation, and encourage engagement in the community and healthy lifestyles. We champion the rights and needs of older people, and do everything we can to improve lives.

The support of Age Concern Slough and Berkshire East means that many people do not need more intensive and expensive forms of care such as a place in a Care Home. We help people stay in the home they love.

Please click here for further information and application details.

Age Concern website

Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation (IRMO) seeks Legal Trustee

IRMO is a community-led organisation that provides Latin Americans with tools and information in an empowering process to build secure, independent, and integrated lives in the UK.

IRMO’s Board of Trustees is made up of six to nine Trustees, who work together to ensure the charity is run properly. As a trustee you will have the opportunity to support IRMO’s strategic development, make decisions about what the charity will do, and oversee its finances. Trustees meet every six to eight weeks and are asked to commit an additional eight to ten hours between meetings to follow up on actions, provide advice, and input into strategic documents/areas of work relevant to their areas of expertise.

We are recruiting for a Legal Advisor Trustee to join our Board to lead on resolving legal issues for IRMO as they arise; to identity, stay up to date and communicate with the board changes to legal regulations around charity or employment law; and to support in clarifying HR and employment matters where necessary.

 

What are we looking for?

  • Lawyer in any area or legal advisor in all or some of these legal areas – employment, property, dispute resolution.
  • Integrity
  • A commitment to IRMO and its objectives
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to their duties
  • Strategic vision
  • Good, independent judgement
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • English (essential), Spanish and/or Portuguese skills (preferable)
  • Personal/professional networks that will enhance IRMO’s positioning

 

What difference will you make?

IRMO works in the UK to champion the rights of Latin American migrants, and support them to live empowered and fulfilled lives in the UK. As a trustee, you will be part of the strategic development of the organisation, and therefore making a difference in the life of over 4,000 migrants every year.

 

What’s in it for the volunteer?

Though this role, you will be part of a talented and extremely committed team, have the chance to give back to the community, to get close to a migrant community, and to participate in multiple training sessions.

Please click here for application details.

IRMO website

YMCA seeks new Trustee – charity law expertise welcomed

The YMCA England and Wales (YMCA EW) has an income of £18.8 million, employing 275 people and over 880 volunteers. We work on a national level to strategically support the local YMCAs by providing a voice with government, key policy makers and national media and represent them by advocating for the needs of the most vulnerable young people across England and Wales.

We support local YMCAs by promoting high standards of working, sharing best practice, fundraising on their behalf, partnering with them to pilot new projects and providing training opportunities for staff and volunteers.
Together, we focus on young people, helping them to play an active and fulfilling role within their communities. This is our youth-minded community approach. They also provide a wide range of community-based activities and services to help meet local needs wherever they are based.

The Appointment(s)

We look to strengthen our Board of Trustees and have several Member vacancies which are available for individuals who are currently working within the YMCAs federated structure. You could be a YMCA Board member, Chief Executive or Senior Director with aspirations to engage and support on a national level.

There is also an opportunity for two Independent Trustees who have no prior connection to the YMCA (or who have not served as a staff member in the last five years) who would be co-opted to the Board.

There are several distinct skill-sets which would complement the expertise of the Board:

  • Retail – bringing a clear understanding of retail strategy developed in the charity or private sectors
  • Income Generation – offering strategic insight into income generation and vision for greater economies of scale through collaboration and partnership
  • Policy and Campaigning – advising on strategic campaigns and lobbying priorities to strategically influence at a national level
  • Pensions – the provision of experience and leadership of good governance in pension schemes to ensure the successful management of the scheme
  • Charity Law – bringing legal knowledge and understanding of governance with a clear understanding of how this would apply within a federated structure

 

Please click here for further information and application details.

Agency microsite here for this role

Crossness Engines Trust (Pumping Station trust) seeks new Chair

Crossness Engines Trust is an award-winning charity working to conserve and interpret the Grade 1 listed Crossness Pumping Station, opening it up to over 4,000 visitors a year as an important national heritage site and a valuable educational resource.

Built in 1865, by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, as part of a revolutionary new sanitation system for London, Crossness features some of the most spectacular ornamental Victorian cast ironwork found in the world today and is an inspiring example of excellence in architecture, engineering and public health.

The Role

The Trust is looking for a passionate and committed Chair to:

  • Hold the Board, its supporting committees and executive team to account for delivering the Trust’s Mission, Vision and Strategic Plans;
  • Provide inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees, executive and volunteers;
  • Ensure that each Trustee fulfils their duties and responsibilities and that the Board functions as a unit to achieve agreed objectives;
  • Act as an ambassador and the public face of the Trust.

As the Trust is undergoing significant organisational change, the Board currently meets every four weeks. This is expected to reduce in the future.

The Trust is seeking a Chair with the following qualities: 

  • Passion and commitment to the Trust, its strategic objectives and cause;
  • Strong leadership skills and personal gravitas to lead a significant national organisation;
  • Strong inter-personal and relationship-building abilities;
  • Tact and diplomacy in an ambassadorial role;
  • The ability to motivate staff and volunteers and foster a collaborative team environment;
  • Broad knowledge and understanding of the charity sector and current issues affecting it.

The Trust is also looking for individuals with experience and knowledge of:

  • Senior strategic leadership;
  • Trust governance and working with or as part of a Board of Trustees;
  • Financial management and Trust finance;
  • Defining and implementing successful organisational change;
  • External representation, delivering presentations and managing stakeholders;
  • Chairing meetings and events.

For further information, please click here.

Crossness Pumping Station website

Romney Marsh Day Centre is seeking 2 Trustees

Romney Marsh Day Centre are seeking 2 Trustees as a major part of our Strategic Plan of Development for services to older people on the Romney Marsh. Applicants are sought from any type of business or organisation where experience can be passed on to help us with our aims, and the minimum age is 18 but there is no maximum age. Previous experience at Board level is preferred but is not as essential as a passion to support older people in our community. Training in how to fulfil the role is provided.

RMDC has been in New Romney for some 30 years, and is based in Sunflower House. We have a purpose-built building in the Centre of New Romney and we offer a Day centre and local community meals on wheels, in addition to other support and care services. The building also is the home of other outside services for older people and also an NHS hub for local GP’s, and other NHS consultants.

To plan for future requirements of older people and to secure funds for these plans, we seek to replace long serving retired Trustees for 2019. With new Volunteer Trustees to bring business experience to the Board, we can expedite our plans sooner rather than later. There are 4 Board Meetings in a year and some preparation and reading is required. If you are able to help with special tasks as they arise in between meetings, that would be appreciated. Currently meetings are held to fit in the free time of all Trustees and are late afternoon or evenings.

 

Please click here for application details.

The Tennis Foundation seeks new Trustee

In January, the operational activities of the Tennis Foundation (“TF”) and LTA were integrated; however, the TF Charitable entity still remains a body independent to the LTA.

The TF has historically provided funding, in the form of grants, to organisations delivering valuable work in the community, SERVES being the best example of this. Whilst some of this existing activity is being integrated into the LTA’s activities, further schemes can be funded through the TF, utilising its existing reserves and future funding generated by the entity.

The TF has become a grant giving charity in line with the charitable objects and the LTA’s vision of Tennis Opened Up, with a view to investing its reserves. The grant giving criteria will be developed with an emphasis on making revenue grants. These revenue grants will be made to third parties with a focus on the areas of activity which the TF traditionally managed i.e. disability tennis, tennis in education and tennis in lower socio economic areas.

The TF Board of Trustees are accountable for where TF reserves are invested and will have responsibility for ensuring they are invested in line with the charitable objectives. We are seeking individuals with solid knowledge of the grassroots sporting landscape, specifically where sport has made a difference within hard to reach and lower socio economic communities, and for individuals who have experience of grant giving within this environment. Experience of working as part of a Board of Trustees and of charity governance is required, and familiarity with a range of fundraising techniques and strategies would be a benefit.

Due to the formation of the Trust we are currently seeking to appoint a number of independent Trustees, with one position being appointed as the Chairperson (independent means not an employee of the LTA, LTA Board member or an LTA Council member).

The role of Trustee is not accompanied by financial remuneration, although reasonable expenses may be claimed. The appointment will serve an initial three-year term and will be eligible for re-appointment for two additional terms. Please note we are looking for these posts to start in May 2019, and the 3 year term will officially start from September 2019.

 

Please click here for further information and application details.

The Point of Care Foundation seeks new Chair

Are you seeking a senior governance role in an influential not-for-profit organisation? Do you have experience of governance, business strategy and a commercial mind-set, combined with a commitment to the values of the not-for-profit sector? The Point of Care Foundation offers the opportunity to get involved with a charity that does deeply satisfying work supporting health and care professionals and making services more responsive to patients, families and communities.

About us

The Point of Care Foundation was founded five years ago with a mission to make healthcare more human. Working with over 250 NHS and other care organisations, we have helped them to improve patients’ experience of care and strengthen support for staff through our evidence-based programmes – the Sweeney programme and Schwartz Rounds. A truly patient-centred approach – which concentrates on listening, understanding and responding to the needs of the whole individual – is essential to the delivery of the best possible quality of care and this can only be delivered by well supported staff. The Foundation has seen a rapid growth in the spread of its interventions and has achieved significantly more influence than its size suggests.

 

About the role

Our founding Chair, Sir Adrian Montague, retired in 2018 having skilfully led the Foundation through the start-up phase; in more recent times he has enabled it to focus on ensuring its work is sustainable in a difficult funding environment. The new Chair will build on these achievements, working closely with the Chief Executive and the board to provide the leadership the Foundation will require as it develops and delivers long-term strategic plans.

The new Chair will command the confidence of Trustees and enjoy working with a creative team on new and exciting projects. You may already be a Chair of Trustees, or have previously served as a Trustee or Non-Executive Director and be looking for the opportunity to chair your first board.

We believe the successful candidate will enjoy working with The Point of Care team, and will find involvement with the charity and its work very rewarding.

 

Please click here for further information.

Holocaust Educational Trust seeks new Trustee

Our aim is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today. The Trust works in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust, providing teacher training, an outreach programme for schools, teaching aids and resource material. With hatred, fake news and Holocaust denial on the march our work could not be more relevant or more necessary.

We are now looking for two new Trustees to join our Board as we expand our reach and impact and update and diversify the programmes we offer.

 

Trustee Role:

Purpose

Our Trustees are collectively responsible for governing our organisation. The Board ensures that we manage our finances, operations and programmes in line with our charitable objectives. Trustees agree our strategy and annual budget and evaluate the performance of the Trust’s senior managers against them. Trustees are expected to attend all Board meetings and may be required to serve on Board sub-committees, as well as representing the Trust externally for fundraising or partnership purposes. Trustees are required to act independently and in the charity’s best interests at all times, ensuring that risk and resources are managed appropriately in line with relevant regulations, legislation, charity best practice and the collective decisions of the Board. Safeguarding young people is at the heart of our work as an organisation. Trustees are expected to observe the highest regard for safeguarding and for the interests and wellbeing of the diverse young people we serve.

 

Person specification

We are seeking to recruit two new Trustees who:

• Have experience of Board-level governance in a national charity or social purpose organisation and / or who have extensive experience of leading risk, regulatory, compliance or strategic functions in a complex organisation.

• Have experience in our core remit of working with young people or in a related field (managing and mobilising volunteers, taking programmes to scale or establishing new projects or ways of doing things in established organisations).

• Have the time and energy to commit to a hands-on role in delivering our new strategy, while respecting the separate and complementary roles of Trustees and senior managers.

• Are highly collaborative with and respectful of others while being willing to challenge constructively in the spirit of continual improvement.

• Are passionate about our cause and are familiar with the context in which we operate.

 

2 HET Trustee Profile March 2019

We are particularly keen to recruit Trustees who:

• Have a background in education, whether in a school, council, relevant government department, research institution or educational charity or

• Have experienced HET’s own educational programmes as a teacher or Ambassador or

• Have experience in creating a campaigning function in an established charity, including understanding relevant legislation/regulations and governance responsibilities relating to charity campaigning or

• Have experience in the design and evaluation of large projects with restricted funding. We particularly welcome applications from groups who are currently under-represented on our Board (in particular, people from BAME backgrounds, disabled people, young people and people from outside London).

In order to apply, please send a CV, equal opportunities monitoring form (available via the HET website) and covering note explaining your interest in joining the Holocaust Educational Trust Board to recruitment@het.org.uk with the subject line ‘Trustee recruitment’ by 9am on Wednesday 27th March.

Interviews will take place in the second week of April.

AGE UK Sevenoaks and Tonbridge seeks new Trustees

We are looking for charity trustees to serve on our governing body

You need to have personal skills or experience to ensure that Age UK Sevenoaks and Tonbridge is delivering its charitable outcomes. You need to make sure we are solvent, well-run and efficient.

The trustee role can be very rewarding and enjoyable offering an opportunity to serve the community whilst learning new skills

Please contact Gillian Shepherd-Coates on 01732 454108 for further details or email here.

 

AGE UK website

Eikon (young people’s support charity) is seeking to recruit a new Chair of Trustees

Eikon is Surrey’s largest youth services charity with an annual income of almost £2m and has been working in the local community for almost two decades, providing preventative and long-term support to some of the county’s most vulnerable young people and their families. Through establishing inspirational relationships between the young person and their adult professional, our vision is to develop happy, thriving and resilient young adults who contribute positively to society. This year Eikon will have a direct and indirect impact on approx. 30,000 young people.

Eikon has strategic partnerships with Surrey County Council, NHS Trusts, schools and other charities, and works directly with young people, training teachers and supporting parents. Eikon has buses in community hotspots across Surrey, sports projects in many Surrey boroughs and runs 11 youth clubs.

Eikon is about to launch a new 5-year strategy, which builds on it many strengths and outlines its aims for the future. At the heart of this strategy is a deeply held commitment to support the alarming numbers of young people who are living in damaging, often tragic circumstances. The two strategic aims are (i) Thriving and resilient young people, and (ii) Improved environments (family, community, social care and education) for young people.

The Chair has five principal responsibilities:

· Strategic Leadership – Providing leadership to the Charity and its Board, ensuring the Charity has maximum impact for its beneficiaries, operates within its charitable purposes, has a clear strategic direction, robust fundraising strategy and regularly reviews major risks.

· Governance – Ensure that the Charity’s governance arrangements work in the most effective way and within all agreed Policies, and that the Board of Trustees process is robust and refreshed, as appropriate.

· External Relations – Act as an ambassador and spokesperson for the cause and the Charity, and represent the Charity at external functions, meetings and events.

· Efficiency and Effectiveness – Chair meetings of the Board of Trustees effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision-making process whilst ensuring that decisions are taken in the best, long-term interests of the Charity.

· Relationship with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Establish and build a strong, effective and supportive working relationship with the CEO, ensuring that he/she is held to account for achieving agreed Strategic and Business Plan objectives, appraised annually and given the opportunity for professional development.

The successful candidate will have:

· Personal Qualities – Demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to the Charity, exhibit strong inter-personal and relationship building abilities, be comfortable in an ambassadorial role, demonstrate tact and diplomacy with the ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment and an ability to be a ‘thought leader’, articulate and discuss related ‘bigger picture’ concepts.

· Experience – Significant experience of (i) operating at a senior strategic leadership level within an organization, (ii) charity governance, chairing meetings/events and working with or as part of a Board of Trustees, (iii) external representation and working with external stakeholders, and (iv) preferably working with young people.

· Knowledge and Skills – Broad knowledge and understanding of the Civil Society sector and the public sector (eg local government and/or NHS), strong leadership skills with the ability to motivate and bring people together, financial management expertise and a good understanding of charity governance issues.

Hours and Role: Approx. one day per week on average, not evenly distributed (busier in the spring and autumn).  Five evening Board meetings, a Board away day, plus teleconferences and approx. five committee meetings each year, regular meetings and phone calls with the Chief Executive, liaison with individual Trustees and senior staff.

 

Please click here for further information and application details.

Eikon website

Hampshire Parent Carer Network seeks new Trustee

We are seeking new trustees to support HPCN into the next year and beyond in order to renew and invigorate the work we do across the organisation.  We are recognised amongst other forums across the country for our work and are renewing our strategy and purpose for the future.  HPCN represents the parents and carers of young people across Hampshire. A parent carer forum aims be a well-informed, connected and empowered community of families of children with disabilities or additional needs, offering support to each other and working in partnership with service providers to create quality services that meet the needs of all parent carers and their children.

This role is as a charity trustee not as a member of a parental steering committee often associated with parent carer forums.  Your will act to support HPCN meet its requirements as a charity and attend an average of 6 meetings per year including the AGM.  You will not be involved in the operations of the forum but will provide advice on strategy and governance.  HPCN will be looking to set up a forum for parental involvement in setting the future goals and priorities of our work and you will work closely with the management of the forum and this group to discuss future strategy.

HPCN works closely with the National Network of Parent Carer Forums, Contact, Hampshire County Council (Children’s Services, Education, Adult Service, CAMHS and Health Services). This is an opportunity to support the future of young people in Hampshire and their rights to services that meet their needs.

The role is voluntary, previous experience of volunteering in a governance or trustee role is necessary alongside an interest in ensuring that the voice of parent/carers is heard in Hampshire.

 

Please click here for further information and application details.

 

Southwark Children’s Centres seek Chair of Strategic Development Board

Children’s centres improve outcomes for young children and their families and reduce inequalities, particularly for those families in greatest need of support.

We are looking for an experienced and skilled Chair for the Camberwell & Dulwich locality and the Peckhamm, Nunhead & Peckham Rye locality boards’ and any relevant cross-boundary work. The Chair will help to ensure that Children’s Centres based in these localities continue to achieve the targets and objectives required. This role will help us to continue giving local parents and children the greatest chances in life. If you feel you could share our passion, embrace our values and help to lead us through an exciting stage of growth and development, we would love to hear from you.

The purpose of the Strategic Development Board

The purpose of the Strategic Development Board is to provide strong and supportive strategic guidance to the children’s centres within the locality. The effectiveness of the board is reliant on meaningful multi-agency and parent partnerships that embed a cross sector approach to service design. This will result in planning and delivery of consistent, co-ordinated services and interventions across the borough.

The board will help develop a strategic vision, set ambitious targets, as well as plan for effective multi-agency resource allocation. The board will have a monitoring and scrutiny function and will focus on ensuring high quality and continuing progress.

There is a Strategic Development Board (SDB) to cover the four localities in Southwark, which are;

  • Camberwell and Dulwich locality (currently seeking a Chair)
  • Peckham and Nunhead & Peckham Rye locality (currently seeking a Chair)
  • Bermondsey and Rotherhithe locality
  • Borough & Bankside and Walworth locality

How it works

  • Each Board is subject to a Memorandum of Understanding with the Funding Recipient; that outlines roles, responsibilities and any delegated functions.
  • The Board has a Terms of Reference in place and provides appropriate support/training to members.
  • The SDB has responsibility for delivering agreed regular reports to the Board of the Funding Recipient to ensure they are fully informed of all aspects of performance as well as any safeguarding issues.

Person specification

  • A knowledge of and commitment to the work of the Children’s Centres based in the locality
  • Experience of multi-agency working
  • Previous Chair experience
  • Good meeting and presentation skills
  • Supportive and confident leadership style
  • Understanding of the voluntary sector, governance of a charity and charity law.
  • Ability to be strategic
  • Excellent communicator with the ability to consult effectively with trustees, volunteers, staff, delivery partners and service users.
  • Ability and willingness to devote time and effort to the organisation.

Time commitment

The board meets 3/4 times a year. In addition to board meetings you will also need to attend a Strategic Development Overview Board (partnership board) which meets 2-3 times a year.

 

Please click here for further information and application details.

The Kings Fund seeks new Chair

The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. The organisation works to shape policy and practice through research and analysis, develop individuals, teams and organisations, promote better understanding of the health and social care system, and to bring people together to learn, share knowledge, and debate. The Fund has a sizeable endowment and income is derived from a mix of investments, charitable activities, including a successful leadership development practice, and commercial sources.

The Chair leads the Board of Trustees and works in partnership with the Chief Executive to ensure that the organisation is well placed to deliver its strategic objectives and overall vision to improve health and care in England. This is an exciting time for The King’s Fund as it moves into a new phase of its work under a recently appointed Chief Executive. The organisation is currently working on a new five-year strategy to be launched in the autumn, creating the opportunity to work in partnership with the Board to oversee the delivery of this new strategy.

This is a high-profile, influential role and candidates will bring significant leadership experience, and the credibility to chair an impressive board whose members are supported by a dedicated and talented leadership team. The King’s Fund has always played an important role in shaping health and care services for the good of patients in England, and the Chair will play a leading role in ensuring this continues at a very challenging time for the system.

The King’s Fund has retained Russell Reynolds Associates to assist with this appointment. For further information on the position and additional details on qualifications, requirements, terms and conditions of service please review the position specification available via the link here.

Paul’s Cancer Support Centre in Wandsworth seeks new Trustees – law experience sought

What will you be doing?

The board of Paul’s Cancer Support Centre is responsible to ensure that the charity has a clear vision, mission, strategic direction and effective execution. The board is responsible for good governance.

We are looking for trustee with experience in least one of the following:

  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Medicine / health sector

 

Trustee responsibilities 

  • Ensure strategic direction for the charity
  • Ensure effective execution
  • Ensure good governance and compliance with all legal requirements

Application details can be found here.

PCSC website 

The Royal College of Pathologists seeks Lay Trustee

The Royal College of Pathologists has a key role in the professional aspects of pathology in the development and delivery of healthcare. Pathology is the science at the heart of modern medicine, vital for the diagnosis and clinical management of disease. We are seeking to recruit a lay trustee to our board to replace one of the 2 lay trustees who is demitting office. Trustees as a whole have a responsibility for ensuring that the College complies with its governing documents and charity law as well as other relevant legislation and regulations. The College has a lay governance group and the new lay trustee will be expected to take on the role of vice chair of that group.

The trustee board meets 5 times per year, and the lay governance group meets twice a year, all on a weekday. In addition trustees will also need from time to time to: attend dinners / events on behalf of the College; be available by email or occasionally by telephone between face to face meetings for advice and to make decisions by circulation; and to be available for other ad hoc requirements.

Our trustees are unremunerated, but we pay travel and other related expenses. The closing date for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 10 April, with interviews for shortlisted candidates being held in the afternoon of 25th April.

A role description, person specification and application form is available on the College’s website.

 

 

The HEART Education Trust seeks new Non-Executive Trustees – legal expertise welcomed

The HEART Education Trust in Norfolk supports four primary schools and over 1,000 pupils. The trust seeks three non-executive directors with senior business experience as it focuses on improving attainment and plans to grow. Board meetings take place in Norwich.

 

About the Trust

The HEART Education Trust is a multi-academy trust based in Norfolk, established in April 2013.  It currently consists of four primary academies in Norwich with a total of just over 1,000 pupils, 150 staff and a budget of £5m.  The Trust has 400 children who received pupil premium funding.

The trust is fully committed to the belief that schools themselves are best placed to secure improvement in educational outcomes for pupils and young people. They have developed a model for school improvement that sees schools working together, sharing the best possible practice to deliver an outstanding education and sustaining that outstanding practice. One school is Ofsted Outstanding and the other three are rated Good.  The Trust has recently appointed a new Chair and is looking to strengthen the board having invested in the infrastructure and central team.  There are currently no Local Governing Bodies at the schools given their small size.

 

Plans for the Future

The trust plans to take on a further two schools within the next 18 months. The key challenges for the trust over next two years will be:

  1. Improving teaching and learning to raise progress and attainment
  2. Raising aspiration within the communities the trust serves
  3. Recruitment and retention

 

Trust Ethos & Values

The HEART Education Trust vision is for every pupil to leave their academies having identified and developed their knowledge, and possess a range of skills and talents and a sense of their own uniqueness.  They believe that by the end of their time at a Trust academy, each one of its pupils should be confident in themselves and know that through hard work, dedication and perseverance, they are capable of achieving anything they aspire to. For more information, please see http://www.thehearteducationtrust.co.uk/about-us/mission-statement-vision-key-values/

 

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 3

Trustees – or non-executive directors – are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objective and with company and charity law.

 

Person Specification

The trust welcomes directors who can bring an independent viewpoint and advise on trust policies, processes and systems. The competencies required for these roles include:

 

Essential (either)

–       Corporate Governance

–       Non-executive/Trustee

–       CEO/General Management

 

Desirable

–       Change Management

–       Growth Management

–       CFO/Finance

–       HR

–       IT/Technology

–       Risk

–       Turnaround

–       Entrepreneur/Founder

–       Succession planning

–        Property/Estate management

Person Specification

Candidates could come from any sector but the trust would particularly welcome those from a corporate background with skills in HR, finance, risk, growth and change management or legal. They should have experience of leadership in a similar sized organisation and be committed to improving the life chances for young people. Technical IT network strategy experience would also be an asset.

 

Time Commitment

6 hours /month minimum. There are six afternoon meetings a year which are preceded in the morning by committee meetings.

 

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings take place at Heartsease Primary Academy, Rider Haggard Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR7 9UE. The trust website is http://www.thehearteducationtrust.co.uk/

 

Governance Structure

Please see http://www.thehearteducationtrust.co.uk/about-us/governance-structure/ for more information.

 

Background on Academy Trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ schools.  If the schools are to fulfil their potential, the trusts need non-executives (known in charity law as trustees) to bring a wide range of skills and experience to help guide strategy, ensure their ambitions can be soundly financed and keep their schools up to the mark delivering for their pupils.

“Academy boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.”  Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2017)

Trusteeship is a voluntary, unpaid role for people who have the energy and skills to make a real contribution to shaping the future of our schools.  You do not need to have any specialist knowledge of education.

 

Applications

Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit programme which recruits senior business leaders and professionals as volunteer non-executive directors onto the boards of multi-academy trusts. If you are interested in applying for the role please send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for to academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. Please note candidates should live within reasonable travelling distance of the trust and/or have a link with the region. For more information, please call 0207 952 8556 or visit www.academyambassadors.org.

 

Key Dates

We strongly recommend applying as early as you can to have the best possible chance of being considered as we may change the closing date if we have received sufficient applications. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process –

 

Deadline for applications: Friday 19th April 2019

 

Code Your Future (coding school for disadvantaged people) seeks a new Trustee with a legal background

What will you be doing?

Duties will include:

  • Taking a lead role on the Board of Trustees for legal and compliance matters and help management to ensure the Charity is compliant at all times
  • To provide the Board of Trustees, management team and members of staff with guidance for legal matters with the charity
  • Set, shape and deliver key objectives from the charity’s strategic plans, alongside fellow Board members and the management team.
  • To liaise with external advisors if required, ensuring that the charity is kept up to date and informed of any changes and updates to its legal obligations
  • Review policies and risks annually with the Chair and other Trustees, giving advice on any legal implications they may present
  • Provision of ad hoc legal advice including in relation to commercial agreements, property law and charity law
  • Be an active champion of Code Your Future

 

What are we looking for?

For this crucial role, the ideal candidate for our Board of Trustees will be an inspiring and dedicated individual with experience and skills in these areas:

  • A solicitor or barrister with a current practising certificate, qualified in England and Wales or Scotland, with relevant experience
  • A knowledge and understanding of the UK charity sector, good governance, Charity Commission, Companies House requirements, relevant legislations and statutory requirements
  • An understanding of the challenges facing small UK charities in respect to legal compliance
  • Able to operate at senior management/strategic level, with time to commit consistently throughout the year
  • Superlative communication skills, able to represent the charity both with professionalism and passion, and prepared to act as an ambassador for Code Your Future at all times
  • Previous experience of serving as a trustee of a UK registered charity is desirable.

 

What difference will you make?

Code Your Future is a free coding school for refugees, asylum seekers and people from other disadvantaged backgrounds. With your help we can strive to become a sustainable organisation, active organisation with positive roots in the community. CYF has a small group of trustees from a variety of backgrounds and experience but is seeking someone with fundraising background in charities to complement their skill set. As an organisation with full charitable status, you could help us to create a strong compliance and safeguarding culture.

For further information and application details, please click here.

The RAF Benevolent Fund seeks new members to the Main Grants Committee

The RAF Benevolent Fund is the Royal Air Force’s leading welfare charity. We are looking for new members to join the Main Grants Committee (MGC), the Fund’s senior grant making body. The MGC meets at the Fund’s Head Office in London six weekly for up to 4-hours on each occasion to consider a wide range of welfare cases from those members of the RAF Family who are in need; these are those individuals who serve currently, have served and their dependants. The range of support that the Fund offers is holistic and person-centred, with the primary aim of reducing or removing any adversity that is being experienced.

The Fund is a forward-looking charity and we are seeking a small number of experienced people to join the MGC. Successful applicants will be interested in our work, have a relevant background (such as, third sector, medical, nursing, Human Resources or, potentially, wider), and be prepared to work with other members of the Committee to provide the optimum level of support to the consideration and determination of the welfare cases presented. Applicants do not need necessarily to have a military background but will have empathy for what the Royal Air Force stands for. The Fund’s most recent annual review is available on our website at www.rafbf.org

For further information and application details, please click here.

Child Poverty Action Group seeks new Trustees

CPAG has for more than 50 years been the leading charity campaigning for the end of child poverty in the UK. We make a difference; empowering families with the right advice, influencing the policy debate – especially to reform Universal Credit – combatting unfair social security legislation in the courts and standing up for families and children in the media. 

A combination of factors including a sustained assault on our benefits system, means child poverty is forecast to rise sharply.  Now you have the chance to support the dedicated people who work for CPAG to stay at the cutting edge of campaigning, playing your part in the struggle to end child poverty in the UK.  We need to arm our Trustee Board with the very best skills, in digital publishing, campaigning, policy making and the benefits system.  We are looking for three people to join the board.

CPAG’s activities include: policy and research, campaigning, lobbying and media work, welfare rights advice and legal test case work. We are the largest provider of information and training to welfare rights advisors and the most enduring campaigners for a more progressive approach to social security.

We are open to applicants from the private, public and voluntary sectors, and to those in executive roles seeking their first Trustee role as well as to experienced Trustees who have the required expertise.  We wish to increase the diversity of our board.

CPAG is strongly represented in Scotland and our Board includes a Trustee with specific Scottish experience and insight. As the Scottish regime begins to diverge from that in the rest of UK, we would welcome applicants based in Scotland with the requisite skills and experience.

 

Please click here for further information.

The Personal Support Unit seeks new Trustees – lawyer sought

The PSU is an award winning charity that provides practical and emotional support to the vast numbers of people facing the civil and family courts without the help of a lawyer. We have just under 700  volunteers and around 52 staff based at 24 locations in 19 cities in England & Wales.

In June 2018, we reached the milestone of helping on 300,000 occasions.  Over 75% of these occasions of support were in the period 2013-2018. At the end of January 2019 we had reached 343,407 occasions of support. This reflects both the great need, resulting from changes to Legal Aid provision, and our successful expansion to date to meet more of that need.

We are now looking for a number of trustees to replace experienced Board members who are coming to the end of their terms of office. The Board is particularly interested in recruiting a practicing lawyer/barrister, an investment or corporate business person and someone with an understanding of the financial requirements of a charity.  An interest in fundraising and an understanding of the civil and family court would be useful.

 

For further information, a link to a recruitment pack and application details, please click here.

PCU website

The Institute for Public Policy Research seeks new Trustees

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is the UK’s pre-eminent progressive think tank. We’re looking to recruit inspirational individuals to join our Board of Trustees.

The recruitment of new trustees comes at an exciting time for the Institute. We have recently launched the IPPR Centre for Economic Justice, following on from our flagship Commission on Economic Justice. The Commission involved leading figures from business, trade unions and civil society, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, General Secretary of the TUC, and Head of the City of London Corporation alongside community activists and organisers.

IPPR works across the full range of public policy. We are at the forefront of shaping the policy response to climate change, shifting patterns of work, and new demands on the welfare state. Our recent report on climate change — This is a Crisis — achieved significant cut through to public debate. Our research helped secure a new funding settlement for the NHS and to inform the debate on Brexit. The Institute is unique among major think tanks for its presence across the UK – with dedicated think tanks for Scotland and for the north of England, based in Edinburgh and Manchester respectively.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the oversight and governance of the Institute. The Trustees currently meet four times a year for around 2 hours and attendance is expected at least at three of these meetings. The Board of Trustees is chaired by Jess Search, founder and Chief Executive of DocSociety, and includes people from all walks of life—business, the arts, academia and politics. More information about current Trustees is available on our website www.ippr.org.

As a trustee you will be part of a progressive organisation, therefore we will be looking for individuals with an ability to think creatively, willingness to speak their mind, ability to work as part of a team, with a strategic vision and a commitment to the organisation.

IPPR is committed to equality of opportunity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. As an organisation engaging in critical debate about a wide range of progressive policy issues, we value the creativity and range of perspectives that a diverse Trustee Board can provide.

Trustee role

> Provide strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance

> Support the Director of IPPR to help the organisation to flourish in a complex and ever-changing public policy context

> Ensure that the organisation complies with its governing document, charity law, and any other relevant legislation or regulations, for the public benefit

> Safeguard IPPR’s reputation and values and ensure the financial stability and sustainability of the Institute and assist with fundraising and networking

As a charity, the position on the Board is not remunerated, though all reasonable expenses will be paid.

 

Please click here for application details.

IPPR website

African Prisons Project seeks new Trustee with legal services experience

This is an exciting time for APP as we transition from a focus on welfare of prisoners to also improving access to justice. As we do so we navigate significant funding cuts to international justice work. We are looking to strengthen our board with a new chair and trustees whose skills and experiences include legal practice, accountancy and philanthropy.

Role Description

The primary responsibilities of a Trustee are the following:

  • Ensuring that the Board as a whole works effectively together, fulfils its responsibilities for the governance of APP, and evaluates its performance on a regular basis. APP’s governance framework encompasses six areas: nurturing APP’s identity; enabling learning and renewal; focusing on impact; cultivating organisational health; bringing stretch; and growing public fidelity and trust.
  • Collaborating with, supporting and appropriately challenging the DG.
  • Supporting the Director General in developing APP’s strategy and associated operating plans.
  • Acting as an ambassador for APP, representing the charity at key moments and events, and supporting the DG in managing relationships with key external stakeholders.
  • Visiting field programs in Africa to connect with, learn from and encourage front-line staff and those we serve.

Personal Specification

The following experience, skills and personal attributes will be required:

  • We are particularly looking for those with legal services experience, accountants and those with experience in philanthropy.
  • A strong commitment to serving, supporting and empowering the most marginalised, ignored and down-trodden across society, and a willingness to be transformed by them.
  • Significant, demonstrable experience in a senior leadership role gained within any (or a combination) of business, government, church or voluntary sectors.
  • Previous experience of chairing committees, boards or leadership teams effectively.
  • Expertise in a range of relevant fields relating to the Board’s role, for example including: governance, law, organisation development, strategy, intentional communities, financial management, marketing and fundraising, penal justice, international development, etc.
  • High emotional intelligence, coupled with strong relational and communication skills.
  • The ability to build an effective relationship with the Director General, characterised by both support and effective challenge.
  • A willingness to be part of a ‘community of servants, accountable stewards and courageous changemakers’ following Jesus’ example in loving the unloved and seeking justice for the oppressed.
  • A commitment to putting the power of the law into the hands of the poor and willingness to engage in community life, including practice of shared spiritual disciplines, such as lectio divina.
  • A strong and visible passion and enthusiasm for APP’s work.
  • Ability to foster a collaborative team environment with other trustees
  • Strong networking capabilities that would support APP

Expectations

  • The ability and willingness to offer around 7-8 days each year (plus additional time for overseas travel and ad-hoc telephone conversations with the DG and trustees as the need arises).
  • Get involved with the organisation and attend various internal meetings
  • Demonstrate commitment to APP by supporting fundraising efforts
  • Be able to serve for a term of 3 years

 

 

Please click here for further information and application details.

The Renal Association seeks new Trustees – legal experience sought

The Renal Association (RA) is a dynamic charity and the leading professional body for the UK kidney community. It has over 1000 members who deliver clinical care for people with kidney diseases, kidney research or related fields. It comprises two arms within one entity. The highly recognised Renal Association UK Renal Registry (UKRR) which collates outcomes from UK kidney units and publishes an annual report which guides service delivery and is involved in education, research and improving the quality of patient outcomes and experience. The Renal Association professional arm supports lobbying in kidney matters (dialysis, transplantation, chronic kidney and rare kidney diseases), high quality clinical care, education and research. It aims to support kidney doctors, patients and allied healthcare workers.

The RA is a registered charity with over 30 employees based in Bristol.

For more information about the RA and these roles please see the role description and candidate information pack.

The Opportunities

Following an external governance review earlier this year, the RA seeks to strengthen its trustee board with appointment of non-member trustees to help lead the Association as it continues its exciting development and delivers its strategic plan which will be launched in April 2019. Major changes are already underway including the appointment of a CEO over the whole entity. The secretariat supporting the professional arm was recently brought in house.

The Person(s)

The RA Board is looking to appoint outstanding people who bring broad experience in one or more of the following areas (essential):

  • Finance and risk with a recognised accounting qualification,
  • Legal

And who may also have experience in (desirable):

  • Change management / organisational development
  • Communications

The appointees should be clear, strategic thinkers interested in the important charitable aims of the RA. You should be able to demonstrate objectivity, willingness to contribute time and energy and willingness to be accountable to the organisation.

You will be expected to attend the trustee board meetings (circa 4 face to face meetings per year plus monthly Board teleconferences) and will be asked to attend and/or chair sub-committee meetings or task and finish groups. Experience of chairing meetings is desirable.

Timetable

Deadline for all applications: Tuesday 2nd April 2019

Preliminary Interviews with Trustees Unlimited: Tuesday 9th April 2019

Interviews with Renal Association: End of April / Early May 2019

The successful applicants will be required to attend a face to face trustees meeting taking place in Brighton during the annual meeting, UK Kidney Week® on Sunday 2 June. The annual meeting runs from Monday 3 – Wednesday 5 June and provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Renal Association.

 

Please click here for application details.

Dept for Culture, Media & Sport: Advisory Council on National Records and Archives seeks 8 Board Members

The Advisory Council on National Records and Archives (the “Advisory Council”) is an advisory non-departmental public body (“NDPB”), which provides independent advice to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on matters relating to records and archives in the United Kingdom and, in particular, England and Wales.  It has several roles, which include the following:

  • it advises the Secretary of State on issues relating to public records which are over 20 years old (historical public records), including public access to them, at the point of transfer to The National Archives (“TNA”)
  • it advises the Secretary of State on requests from Government departments to retain historical public records under the Public Records Act 1958
  • it acts for the Secretary of State in deciding on requests from departments for historical public records to remain closed under certain Freedom of Information Act 2000 exemptions and challenges departments to provide evidence to justify such requests; and
  • it advises the Chief Executive and Keeper of TNA on matters relating to his duties as Historical Manuscripts Commissioner under the Royal Warrant through the Council’s sub-committee, the Forum on Historical Manuscripts and Academic Research.

 

The Advisory Council also supports government departments and TNA by providing independent advice and scrutiny on issues relating to records management and archives.  This includes:

  • advising the Secretary of State on major objectives, programmes and policy changes for TNA;
  • proposed legislation affecting TNA;
  • the implications for records and public services of any proposed change to the status of TNA; and
  • any subjects brought to its attention by the Secretary of State.

 

Person Specification

Essential skills and experience

  • Ability to weigh up the balance of arguments objectively and independently;
  • Ability to engage in and facilitate strategic thinking;
  • Ability to collaborate, negotiate and influence at a senior level;
  • Ability to comply with confidentiality restrictions and to work with information of a sensitive nature;
  • Ability to scrutinise and influence policy; and
  • Ability to demonstrate energy and persistence.

 

Desirable criteria

Specialist knowledge in one or more of the following areas would be beneficial:

  • Archives policy and information management: as practised in libraries, archives and records offices or developed as a discipline in the information management and information rights communities.
  • Users of archives:for example, for purposes of academic or independent historical research, journalism and productions in other media.
  • Public policy and government: such as experience of offering advice and undertaking scrutiny in the context of the national political and administrative framework of government.

 

Additional Information

The Advisory Council typically has up to eighteen members, who are appointed by the Secretary of State, by public appointment. They come from a wide range of fields, including users of historical records such as historians and journalists, retired senior public, civil and diplomatic servants and professionals with relevant information expertise, including (but not limited to) archivists, compliance practitioners, digital curators, lawyers and records managers. We are seeking to appoint up to eight new members in this appointments exercise.

 

Please click here for further information.

Anita Hoffman – Creating a Second Career

Anita is passionate about helping others lead fulfilling and productive lives, long after their first career has ended.  She does this through her senior executive and board search and coaching business, Executiva Ltd, her research on longevity for Cranfield University and her writings.  Her book ‘Purpose & Impact: How Executives are Creating Meaningful Second Careers’, was published in April 2018.

Anita is an inspiring and engaging speaker who will help members realise how they can use their experience and positions to help solve societal issues and create meaningful work through  their potentially 60 year-long working lives.  We would strongly encourage you to join us.

Sandrine Roseberg from Heidrich & Struggles – The Headhunter’s Perspective

Starting as a lawyer, Sandrine Roseberg moved into search consulting nearly 20 years ago.  Sandrine is now a partner in Heidrick & Struggles/JCA Group London office, covering their CEO and Board Practice and she led JCA’s Board Practice for more than six years before their merger with Heidrich & Struggles in 2016.

Well able to articulate the strengths and weaknesses of lawyers when looking for board roles, Sandrine will take members through her typical search process and how lawyers can help themselves along the way.

Marie Gabriel – The NHS Chair

Marie Gabriel is an upbeat, dynamic speaker, keen to share her enthusiasm for bringing about changes in the NHS with members. Marie chairs East London NHS Foundation Trust, a provider of mental health and community health services. She has also chaired health commissioning organisations (with budgets up to £3bn), Newham University Hospital Trust (Vice Chair) and Newham Community Health Council.  Marie’s contribution to health was on the Health Service Journal’s inaugural ‘Inspirational Women’ list.

Taking her first Director level role at the age of 23, Marie runs her own consultancy company specialising in action research, partnership and Board development and developing the not for profit sector. Her work experience reflects her commitment to realising and building the capacity of individuals, organisations and communities. This is also reflected in the range of voluntary work Marie undertakes.

We are delighted that Marie will share her thoughts with members on how they too might contribute to this huge and valuable area.

School Aid seeks new Chair

School Aid is a UK and South Africa registered charity whose purpose is to enhance education and promote literacy among African children. This is done by collecting and distributing educational resources from the UK to under-resourced schools in Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania, creating sustainable school libraries and delivering literacy initiatives.

The UK Chairman works closely with the UK Board of Trustees and a small management team, headed by School Aid’s UK Chief Executive, as well as liaising with the Chairperson of School Aid South Africa.

 

Job Description and Person Specification

The Chairman will hold the Board and Chief Executive team to account for the Charity’s mission and vision; providing inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees, ensuring that each trustee fulfils their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the charity to achieve agreed objectives.

Principal responsibilities

  • Provide leadership to the Charity and its Board, ensuring that the Charity has maximum impact for its beneficiaries.
  • Ensure that Trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the Charity.
  • Ensure that the Board operates within its charitable objectives, and provides a clear strategic direction for the Charity.
  • Ensure that the Board is able to regularly review major risks and associated opportunities, and satisfy itself that systems are in place to take advantage of opportunities, and manage and mitigate the risks.
  • Ensure that the Board fulfils its duties to ensure sound financial health of the Charity, with systems in place to ensure financial accountability.
  • To be responsible for the performance of all aspects of governance, ensuring the clarity of roles and structures, and the effectiveness of all processes of governance.
  • To line manage the Chief Executive and ensuring the implementation of School Aid’s strategy, plans and board decisions, and to deliver high quality governance of the organisation.
  • To make sure the board as a whole works in partnership with staff, and where appropriate offering specific expertise to  support staff management activities.
  • To plan for succession among the board and for its chairman.

Main Accountabilities

  1. Ensure School Aid is compliant with its governing document; legal and charity requirements and regulations; and that the organisation monitors and addresses all major risks
  2. Oversee the development of School Aid’s strategic direction with fellow Trustees
  3. Safeguard the charity, its reputation, efficient operation and financial stability, working closely with Trustees and staff
  4. Oversee the development and implementation of School Aid’s policies
  5. Set the annual cycle of board meetings and set the meeting agenda
  6. Chair board meetings, confirm draft minutes for distribution and ensuring full discussion with contribution from all Trustees and monitor that decisions taken at the meetings are implemented
  7. Line manage School Aid’s Chief Executive, liaising with and supporting her/him to deliver School Aid’s objectives and to meet our targets,
  8. Take a leading role in the induction of new trustees and ensure that the Board of Trustees  is regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to govern and lead the charity effectively
  9. Maintain a dialogue and exchange of information with the Chairperson of School Aid  South Africa in order to effectively deliver our joint mission and to promote initiatives that  strengthen our relationship and enhance our collaboration
  10. Participate with School Aid’s Chief Executive in staff appraisals/performance to ensure School Aid staff are managed in line with best practice.
  11. Represent School Aid as appropriate to the Chairman’s role. Act as an ambassador for  the charity, as a spokesperson for the organisation when appropriate and represent the charity at external functions, meetings and events

Core competences

  1. A  commitment to School Aid and its mission.
  2. Strong strategic planning skills, able to develop vision and encourage others to contribute.
  3. Strong communication and interpersonal skills, able to liaise effectively with a wide range of stakeholders and audiences.
  4. Independent judgement.
  5. An ability to think creatively.
  6. An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.
  7. An ability to work effectively as a member of a team.
  8. Acceptance of Nolan’s principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

Personal attributes

  • strong leadership skills
  • tact and diplomacy
  • impartiality and the ability to respect confidences
  • commitment to equality and diversity

 

For further information, please click here.

School Aid website

Centre for Osteopathic Research and Excellence seeks new Trustee with experience in policies, processes and governance

We are a new start-up charity aimed at providing affordable osteopathic healthcare to everybody irrespective of income. We also research non-pharmaceutical treatment for chronic pain whilst providing a mentoring service for new graduate osteopaths.

We are looking for a trustee with experience in policies, processes and governance to help ensure we are performing at the best of our abilities.

Our board is made up of three trustees with experience in finance, marketing and corporate healthcare. If you would like to join our dynamic team and help drive a burgeoning charity forward then get in touch.

Visit www.coreclapton.org for a look at our flagship centre in the heart of East London.

 

Please click here for further details.

Ad Meliora Academy Trust (Norfolk) seeks new Non-Executive Director – applications from lawyers welcomed

Ad Meliora Academy Trust seeks two non-executive directors with senior HR or corporate governance experience to join the board. There are currently three primary schools in the trust. Board meetings are held at Blenheim Park Academy near Fakenham.  Ad Meliora means “towards better things”.

 

About the Trust

Ad Meliora Academy Trust is a fledgling multi academy trust (MAT) established in 2016 with 695 pupils, 120 staff and a budget of £3,842.  There are 135 pupil premium children at the three primary schools in the trust – two in Kings Lynn and one situated on the boundary between West and North Norfolk (approx. 10 miles away).

 

The trust is still small but making rapid improvements: Two schools joined the trust after an Ofsted ‘Requiring Improvement’ and significant inroads are being made in achieving better outcomes for all children. After a period of change the Board has a new Chair and are looking for strategic thinkers to guide them to the next phase of the Trust.

 

Plans for the Future

The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

 

  1. Recruitment of Non-Executive Directors (Trustees) Following an External Review of Governance the trust has been advised to recruit further directors to join the board.
  2. Consolidation within the three existing academies in terms of securing excellent outcomes for all children.
  3. Ensuring the sustainability in one of the academies which currently has 80 children on roll – the school was originally a High School for an American airbase.
  4. Support the move of St Edmund’s children into their new school in September 2019

 

Trust Ethos & Values

Ad Meliora Academy Trust’s vision is to inspire all children to be happy and become the best they can possibly be: The values are: Respect / Excellence / Enthusiasm / Working Together / Safe / Resilience

Find out more at https://www.admelioratrust.org.uk

 

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:

2

 

Roles 1-2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Trustees – or non-executive directors – are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.

 

The competencies required for these roles include:

 

Essential (either)

–       HR

–       Corporate Governance

–       Legal/Compliance

 

Desirable

–       Real estate/Property

–       Risk

–       Branding/Marketing

–       Change Management

Person Specification

The trust is keen to recruit individuals who have the time to commit to the role and are focused on making a difference to the lives of young, and often disadvantaged, children. Specifically, the trust welcomes applicants with experience in one of the following areas:

  • HR or Legal: an individual who is engaged in HR and Change Management or a practising lawyer.
  • Corporate Governance: someone with experience of working as part of a corporate board of directors.

 

Time Commitment

6 hours /month minimum. The board currently meets six times a year from 10am to 12pm.

 

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held at Blenheim Academy (Lancaster Road, Sculthorpe, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 7PX) with some rotation around the other academies in the trust. To see the list of schools and for more information, please see the trust’s website: https://www.admelioratrust.org.uk

 

Governance Structure

Please see https://www.admelioratrust.org.uk/who-we-are/

 

Background on Academy Trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 29% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

 

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 760 multi academy trusts of 3+ schools.  If the schools are to fulfil their potential, the trusts need non-executives (known in charity law as trustees) to bring a wide range of skills and experience to help guide strategy, ensure their ambitions can be soundly financed and keep their schools up to the mark delivering for their pupils.

 

“Academy boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.”
Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2017)

 

Trusteeship is a voluntary, unpaid role for people who have the energy and skills to make a real contribution to shaping the future of our schools.  You do not need to have any specialist knowledge of education.

 

Applications

Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit programme which recruits senior business leaders and professionals as volunteer non-executive directors onto the boards of multi-academy trusts. If you are interested in applying for the role please send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for to academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. Please note: candidates should live within reasonable travelling distance of the trust and/or have a link with the region. For more information, please call 0207 952 8556 or visit www.academyambassadors.org.

 

Key Dates

We strongly recommend applying as early as you can to have the best possible chance of being considered as we may change the closing date if we have received sufficient applications. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process –

 

Deadline for applications: Friday 19th April 2019

 

The HEART Education Trust in Norfolk is seeking 3 Non-Executive Directors – legal skills welcomed

The HEART Education Trust in Norfolk supports four primary schools and over 1,000 pupils. The trust seeks three non-executive directors with senior business experience as it focuses on improving attainment and plans to grow. Board meetings take place in Norwich.

 

About the Trust

The HEART Education Trust is a multi-academy trust based in Norfolk, established in April 2013.  It currently consists of four primary academies in Norwich with a total of just over 1,000 pupils, 150 staff and a budget of £5m.  The Trust has 400 children who received pupil premium funding.

 

The trust is fully committed to the belief that schools themselves are best placed to secure improvement in educational outcomes for pupils and young people. They have developed a model for school improvement that sees schools working together, sharing the best possible practice to deliver an outstanding education and sustaining that outstanding practice. One school is Ofsted Outstanding and the other three are rated Good.  The Trust has recently appointed a new Chair and is looking to strengthen the board having invested in the infrastructure and central team.  There are currently no Local Governing Bodies at the schools given their small size.

 

Plans for the Future

The trust plans to take on a further two schools within the next 18 months. The key challenges for the trust over next two years will be:

 

  1. Improving teaching and learning to raise progress and attainment
  2. Raising aspiration within the communities the trust serves
  3. Recruitment and retention

 

Trust Ethos & Values

The HEART Education Trust vision is for every pupil to leave their academies having identified and developed their knowledge, and possess a range of skills and talents and a sense of their own uniqueness.  They believe that by the end of their time at a Trust academy, each one of its pupils should be confident in themselves and know that through hard work, dedication and perseverance, they are capable of achieving anything they aspire to. For more information, please see http://www.thehearteducationtrust.co.uk/about-us/mission-statement-vision-key-values/

 

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:

3

 

Trustees – or non-executive directors – are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objective? and with company and charity law.

 

Person Specification

The trust welcomes directors who can bring an independent viewpoint and advise on trust policies, processes and systems. The competencies required for these roles include:

 

Essential (either)

–       Corporate Governance

–       Non-executive/Trustee

–       CEO/General Management

 

Desirable

–       Change Management

–       Growth Management

–       CFO/Finance

–       HR

–       IT/Technology

–       Risk

–       Turnaround

–       Entrepreneur/Founder

–       Succession planning

–        Property/Estate management

Person Specification

Candidates could come from any sector but the trust would particularly welcome those from a corporate background with skills in HR, finance, risk, growth and change management or legal. They should have experience of leadership in a similar sized organisation and be committed to improving the life chances for young people. Technical IT network strategy experience would also be an asset.

 

Time Commitment

6 hours /month minimum. There are six afternoon meetings a year which are preceded in the morning by committee meetings.

 

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings take place at Heartsease Primary Academy, Rider Haggard Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR7 9UE. The trust website is http://www.thehearteducationtrust.co.uk/

 

Governance Structure

Please see http://www.thehearteducationtrust.co.uk/about-us/governance-structure/ for more information.

 

Background on Academy Trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

 

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ schools.  If the schools are to fulfil their potential, the trusts need non-executives (known in charity law as trustees) to bring a wide range of skills and experience to help guide strategy, ensure their ambitions can be soundly financed and keep their schools up to the mark delivering for their pupils.

 

“Academy boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.”  Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2017)

 

Trusteeship is a voluntary, unpaid role for people who have the energy and skills to make a real contribution to shaping the future of our schools.  You do not need to have any specialist knowledge of education.

 

Applications

Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit programme which recruits senior business leaders and professionals as volunteer non-executive directors onto the boards of multi-academy trusts. If you are interested in applying for the role please send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for to academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. Please note candidates should live within reasonable travelling distance of the trust and/or have a link with the region. For more information, please call 0207 952 8556 or visit www.academyambassadors.org.

 

Key Dates

We strongly recommend applying as early as you can to have the best possible chance of being considered as we may change the closing date if we have received sufficient applications. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process –

 

Deadline for applications: Friday 19th April 2019

 

The Legal Aid Agency is seeking solicitors, barristers and Fellows of the CILExs to join their panel – 100 vacancies

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has a panel of Independent Funding Adjudicators (IFAs) and Independent Costs Assessors (ICAs). The Panel considers appeals against certain LAA decisions including those relating to claims for costs.

We are looking for solicitors, barristers and Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (FCILEx) to join the panel for a term of up to five years from 1 July 2019.

As an IFA or ICA (or both) you will use your knowledge and expertise to decide appeals against refusal of funding and assessment of costs. We expect to allocate you up to 60 hours of work a year and the appeals sent to you will relate to the areas of law in which you specialise. The volume and complexity of cases will vary. As an IFA or ICA you will normally work alone but exceptionally you may be asked to form a committee of two or more members if warranted by the circumstances of the case.

Panel members are not employees of the LAA. Nothing in this announcement should be construed as or taken to create an offer of contract of employment between yourself and LAA.

 

Person Specification

Essential criteria

As a solicitor or FCILEx, you will:

  • work for an organisation with a contract with the LAA and have a good knowledge of the LAA’s contract, regulations and guidance; and
  • be a LAA Contract Supervisor in the category/categories where you declare a specialism or be able to demonstrate how you meet the equivalent requirements; and
  • have a proven record of accurate, timely and successful submissions for funding and claims for costs.

As a barrister, you will:

  • handle regular legal aid work in the area(s) of law where you have declared a specialism; and
  • have a proven record of high-quality advice, advocacy and billing on such cases.
  • If you are an employed barrister, you must work for an organisation with a contract with the LAA and have a good knowledge of the LAA’s contract, regulations and guidance.

You will need to be able to consider appeals in one or more of the following areas of law:

  • crime
  • debt
  • education
  • employment
  • housing
  • family
  • probate and succession
  • clinical negligence
  • civil mediation
  • public law children
  • mental health
  • human rights
  • judicial review
  • high cost cases
  • multi-party actions
  • prison law
  • immigration
  • extradition
  • claims against public authorities
  • community care
  • assessment of costs

Generic skills

  1. Highly effective interpersonal and communications skills including succinct and effective report writing.
  2. Experience of objective decision making against a set of criteria that requires both adherence to rules and the reasonable and impartial exercise of discretion, in circumstances where the facts may be complex and where there may be pressure from individuals in serious personal circumstances and from those representing them.
  3. Understanding of and commitment to the Seven Principles of Public Life and to the practising of equality and diversity.We will prefer candidates with experience of legal decision making, candidates with judicial appointments and those who are actively involved in the assessment of costs to a high standard.Use personal and professional skills, experience and judgement with the highest standards of integrity and honesty in decision-making.

Desirable criteria

We will prefer candidates with experience of legal decision making, candidates with judicial appointments and those who are actively involved in the assessment of costs to a high standard.

What we expect of you

Use personal and professional skills, experience and judgement with the highest standards of integrity and honesty in decision-making.

 

Additional Information

Background

In 2013 LAA created a national Review Panel with skill sets matched to the volume and nature of the appeals we expected to receive. We communicate with members about changes in practices and procedures designed to improve consistency of decision making.

These are public appointments with recommendations to appoint being made by LAA’s Chief Executive to the Lord Chancellor.

Much of the information that you will see as a Review Panel member will be subject to confidentiality provisions but may be disclosed by the LAA along with your notes or other appeal documents.

It is essential to remember that in exercising this public function you must act in accordance with the Seven Principles of Public Life set out below. Every decision you make will need to be properly justified with appropriate reasons.

LAA and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have agreed an indemnity for Review Panel members in carrying out their functions, provided they have acted honestly and in good faith. LAA will determine the applicability of the indemnity according to the facts of any particular case.

Location:

Work is allocated according to business need and most appeals are considered by panel members individually in their own homes or offices. Very occasionally a panel member might certify a case as being suitable for an oral hearing in which case three panel members would have to come into the office  – normally 102PF but these instances are rare.

Remuneration:

You will be remunerated at a rate of £52 per hour and reasonable expenses will be reimbursed. Panel members are paid through the Judicial Payroll and as they are deemed “office holders” as defined in the relevant revenue law, the Agency is required to pay basic rate income tax and National Insurance contributions on all payments to panel members.

 

For further information and application details, please click here.

Georgina Harvey & Matt Higgins: Exploring Remuneration Committees

BCKR was pleased to welcome Georgina Harvey and Matt Higgins recently, who shared with us their experience of Remuneration Committees.

Matt and Georgina are seeing a lot of each other at the moment as they are in the midst of a couple of weeks when all their RemCo work comes together. The flow of the Committee work is definitely not as it used to be.  It is much more time consuming and involved.  Long consultations with shareholders, explanatory letters, ten-page summaries at the end, 20+ meetings with shareholders in between, 20-30 pages on remuneration for the annual report, plus the need to look forward and backwards on all senior remuneration, for both the exec directors and the rest of the senior team, as well as keeping abreast of where the remainder of the works force sits.  This is the most challenging couple of weeks in the cycle.

Matt and Georgina took the members through their helpful slides, which can be found here.  The remainder of these notes do not cover the full presentation but focus on the extra bits of engaging narrative they provided.

 

A successful committee

More than for any other committee, relationships are key on RemCo. You can’t set rem in a bubble.  You need lots of engagement with management, but the relationship has to stay very professional to make it easier to deliver news they do not want to hear.  Big Yellow was unusual in having to drag the management to being paid well enough.  Normally it is very much the other way around. Much will have been heard and discussed outside the committee room.

Ensuring you have a mix of backgrounds on the committee is important – sector experience, audit chair, HR experience (but you need to understand the bias of all involved – including the HR team).

 

Who does a Rem Consultant advise?

Management, the RemCo, the HR rewards team? The reporting line should be to the RemCo Chair but there is a need for the consultant to understand the management perspective too. An advisor shouldn’t meet with the executive team without running it by the Chair first.

An adviser might have a good perspective on shareholder sentiment.  Their input can be very helpful in developing new approaches to e.g.: LTI or bonus structures.  It really helps to have that outside perspective, since the consultant will already know how others are approaching the issues, both corporates and shareholders.

The Chair has to deliver difficult messages and sometimes they are received better when delivered by the adviser not the Chair.

 

An effective Chair

There are plenty of stakeholders to consider in the rem space.  Careful handling of board, management, shareholders, and shareholder bodies [ISS, IA and PIRC] all of whom require different timings and approaches.

Consultations over changes to rem structure take at least three months.  Georgina’s preference is to approach shareholders with what you’re looking for, from the off, and row back if needed.  Some still choose to go in asking for too much to have ground to ‘give’.

A letter will go out to shareholders a few months ahead of the AGM outlining proposals for imminent changes to the rem policy, rem structure and levels. The letter announces that the company is opening a consultation, detailing when and how the Committee would like to hear from them.  This could be sent to as many as 20-30 different bodies.  The process of seeking shareholders’ views may be through meetings, calls, emails – all are possible, generally at the choice of the shareholder.  Often the shareholders themselves will be opposed to each other’s viewpoint e.g. TSR measures for Rem loved by some, hated by others. (Total shareholder return – Dividends plus capital increase).

The Chair needs to be tough, principled and brave enough to do the right thing.  They need to be prepared to listen and also to compromise, taking on the views of the shareholders.  This is where the preparation outside the boardroom is vital, having papers prepped well in advance of the meeting.

Georgina’s natural approach is to have a consultation, listen to feedback, report back to the RemCo then produce a wrap-up letter which will explain any opposing views and why and what any proposed compromise might be.  All then understand the rationale.

Things to consider include alignment with strategy, risk appetite, absolute levels of pay, the general environment, benchmarks and, even after all that, how strong a level of shareholder support the board requires.  Some companies are content with a simple pass, with 51% of the vote, others seek less friction and require over 80%.

 

Areas of tension

Rem can feel like a hostile environment, with shareholders and the press against you, with the latter basing their views on truth or misinformation.  This scrutiny can sometimes make it hard for the RemCo to make a decision that is right for the business. You need a mature executive team, which has a long-term approach to keeping shareholders happy.  Sometimes the management are behind the curve in feeling how the market views executive pay generally and therefore their own rewards.

Target setting – Any adjustments to the Rem structure will require a shared understanding from the outset of why changes are being proposed, and how best to achieve the objectives. For instance, it is important to create an LTIP which aligns with shareholder experience – dividend and capital increases will have to sit comfortably against the chief exec’s pay.

It’s getting tougher!

 

 

Harvey Higgins Presentation Feb 2019

Riverside Trust seeks new Chair (Riverside Studios)

Riverside Trust is a charity which was formed with the sole purpose of administering the famous Riverside Studios, the dynamic West London cultural venue on the banks of the River Thames overlooking the iconic Hammersmith Bridge, where people and artists come together to discover and participate in extraordinary arts and entertainment, reopening in 2019 after redevelopment.

Originally a Victorian water pump factory, Riverside Studios started off as film studios before becoming BBC studios in the 1950s to 70s. In 1975, after the BBC moved out, a charitable trust formed by Hammersmith and Fulham Council transformed the building into the arts venue renowned for inspirational work across the arts – theatre, dance, music, film and spoken word.

In 1976, Peter Gill was appointed Riverside’s first Artistic Director and soon established the Studios as a leading London arts venue with acclaimed productions of The Cherry Orchard starring Judy Parfitt, Julie Covington and Michael Elphick (1978), The Changeling starring Brian Cox (1979) and Measure for Measure (1979) starring Helen Mirren.

During this time Riverside also hosted the highly successful Dance Umbrella seasons, as well as a huge variety of international productions including the work of Polish theatre maestro Tadeusz Kantor and a series of legendary theatre workshops with the Italian playwright Dario Fo. Samuel Beckett rehearsed productions at Riverside, later describing the venue as ‘a haven’. An influential gallery also flourished under the direction of Greg Hilty, hosting exhibitions by such luminaries as David Hockney, Antony Gormley and Yoko Ono.

Throughout the 1990s Riverside Studios continued its popular programme of theatre, film, opera, dance and music with notable productions including Hamlet starring Alan Rickman, Robert Lepage’s The Seven Streams of the River OtaThe Master Builder starring Brian Cox and Anthony and Cleopatra starring Vanessa Redgrave.

In 1993 Riverside’s current Artistic Director, William Burdett-Coutts, came on board and oversaw the transformation into a mixed model of commercial and charitable work to ensure financial viability. However, following the loss of public funding and unsuccessful and protracted discussions to source funding for the Trust, he established Riverside TV Studios Limited to run Studio 1 as an independent entity. RTVS will remain the tenant in the new building. In this way, television production returned with Studio 1 hosting such long-running shows as TFI Friday and, in more recent years, The Apprentice: You’re Fired!, Celebrity Juice, Russell Howard’s Good News and The Last Leg.

The 2000s saw companies such as Complicite and The Wooster Group bring their ground-breaking work to Riverside, while other notable theatre productions included Scaramouche Jones starring Pete Postlethwaite, The Exonerated starring Stockard Channing and Danny Glover, the smash-hit musical Salad Days, A Round-Heeled Woman starring Sharon Gless and Mies Julie by Yael Farber.

It was during this time that the original building became increasingly challenging to maintain and after several consultations a lifeline was thrown to Riverside Studios in the form of a deal with a property developer to rebuild the spaces on the same site within a new development of residential flats.

Development began in 2014 when the original building was demolished. Riverside Studios will re-emerge double the size of the old building in 2019 as a 90,000 sq.ft., state-of-the-art arts and media centre with a cinema and screening room, two performance spaces, gallery, café, bar and bakery, event space and spaces to hire for the local community and beyond through its digital programme.

Riverside Studios has been pushing the boundaries in the arts and technology for over 40 years. During its period of closure Riverside continued to co-produce several theatre productions including Generation of Z (2015), Nirbhaya (2016), Raz (2016) and A Christmas Carol (2015, 2016).

Role specification

At this pivotal moment in its history as Riverside Studios re-opens in its brand new building, the Riverside Trust is seeking an outstanding Chair to lead on strategic development and to oversee the artistic, charitable and financial success of the organisation.

The new Chair will already have a significant track record of achievement and will be networked to potential funders. The Riverside Trust is seeking an impressive ambassador and an inspiring and confident communicator. The post involves chairing board meetings and, ideally, a familiarity with corporate governance and fundraising.

The successful candidate will have a passion for Riverside Studios’ mission and the strategic abilities to understand and guide the development of the organisation. As an experienced senior leader in their respective field, the new Chair will challenge constructively and help the organisation think creatively as it continues its journey delivering an arts venue for London and the future of the arts.

The new Chair will provide leadership and direction to the Board and Executive Team enabling them to fulfil their responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of Riverside Studios. The Chair will also be central to driving the organisation’s fundraising activities which are crucial to Riverside Studios achieving financial resilience.

Specific responsibilities will be to:

  • Lead the Board in meeting the vision and aims of Riverside Studios, while ensuring appropriate strategies, plans, funds and governance arrangements are in place
  • Ensure the Board and its committees have an appropriate mix of experience and expertise to enable it to discharge its legal and governance responsibilities
  • Ensure adequate succession planning processes are in place for the position of Trustees and Executive Team
  • Provide support and guidance to the Executive Team
  • Create a productive working relationship with the Executive Team to ensure harmonious working and the achievement of Riverside Studios’ objectives
  • Ensure the management of Riverside Studios and its procedures are effective and appropriate in order to safeguard sound financial performance, management of risk and compliance with relevant legal and stakeholder requirements
  • Ensure the Board’s decisions are implemented in an effective and timely manner
  • Ensure Riverside Studios upholds the highest standards of integrity and probity, and aspires to the highest standards in all its dealings as a not-for-profit charity regulated by the Charity Commission
  • Represent the charity within the arts and technological sectors to raise Riverside Studios’ profile within these sectors and help establish it as a leader in the live-to-digital field

Fundraising

Additionally, the new Chair will play a vital leadership role in delivering Riverside Studios’ three-year fundraising campaign by facilitating and supporting relationships with potential funders, including individuals, trusts and foundations and corporate sponsor contacts to the organisation. Working with the Executive and Fundraising Teams, the Chair will represent the charity to all stakeholders and potential funders, ensuring an effective and productive relationship to secure major gifts / sponsorship.

Commitment

The Chair will be appointed for an initial three-year term with an option to renew for a second term. In addition to the four Board meetings per year the Chair will be asked to attend:

  • Monthly meetings with the Executive Team
  • Finance, Fundraising and Nomination Committee meetings
  • Regular fundraising events
  • Meetings with a variety of stakeholders as required
  • Some performances

Person specification

Required:

  • Leadership: The successful candidate will demonstrate leadership skills and strategic vision, ideally gained through prior experience in a chairing capacity within the arts and / or charitable sectors
  • Fundraising and development: The successful candidate will have strong influence and networks within their sector or field and will be willing to leverage their experience for the charity’s fundraising and development aims

Additionally, the organisation is looking for a domestic UK-resident candidate to fill this role.

Along with the above competencies, the successful candidate will also have a high level of commitment to fundraising activities, and be well-networked and willing to introduce potential supports to Riverside Studios. They should have excellent communication and presentational skills, be comfortable acting as an ambassador for Riverside Studios, and be passionate about performing arts.

They should display commitment to the vision of harnessing the opportunities of digital technology to engage current and new audiences in innovative and exciting ways, and be empathetic toward the history, culture, and social ethos of Riverside Studios both as a national and local organisation.

Riverside Studios is committed to an equal opportunities policy. As women and ethnic minorities are currently under-represented on the Board applications by such candidates would be particularly welcomed. All appointments will be made on merit, following a fair and transparent process.

Board composition

Robin Price – Interim Chair
Farrukh Dhondy
Dan Large
Tim Lefroy
Michelle Marks
Charlie Mawer
Alan Morgan
Tim Simon
Greg Smith
John Woodward

Remuneration

All reasonable domestic expenses will be covered if requested and agreed in advance.

Process

This process is being run in-house by the organisation. Applications will be viewed by them without edits. We therefore advise applicants to avoid using ‘see CV’ or ‘please call me to discuss further’ in your application as it may restrict your chances of successfully progressing to the next round.

Connected Parties

This organisation has requested that candidates do not contact them directly. Instead, if you know someone at the organisation please mention it in your Reason for Application. Members discovered not respecting this may risk having their membership terminated.

Questions & Feedback

In the event you have any questions or feedback about the way the role or your application has been handled, please contact enquiries@nurole.com.

Role timetable

Deadline for applications: 5th April

Candidates can expect to be contacted by: 19th April

Candidates can expect the process to be completed by: 3rd May

 

Please contact nurole.com directly for further information.

Parents and Children Together seeks new Chair

PACT (Parents and Children Together) helps hundreds of families every year through outstanding adoption and award-winning therapeutic support and inspirational community projects across London and the south of England.  We are one of the UK’s leading independent adoption agencies.  Our mission is to provide adoption and community services to vulnerable children, women and families.

We are looking for someone who shares our passion for making a difference to the lives of children and families and has experience in a senior executive role in the corporate world or the public sector.  Using your strong leadership skills and experience of charity governance you will steer the Board in meeting the charity’s strategic aims and objectives and ensure the proper governance of the charity.

As our Head Office is in Reading ideally you will be based in the Thames Valley and will be able to commit an average of 2-3 days per month of your time. It is a voluntary role although travel expenses may be claimed.

 

Click here for further information.

The Royal Free Charity seeks to appoint new Chair of Trustees

The Royal Free Charity is one of the largest NHS charities in the UK and  supports The Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust at The Royal Free Hospital, Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital by providing funds to enhance and complement their work. We do this through four key strategic objectives: adding value to the patient experience, helping improve the staff experience, investing in the physical and technical environment and investing in medical research and facilities. We are passionate to make every day feel better for every NHS patient, and working with the Trust, ensure that the patient comes first and their journey through the hospital is of the highest quality. We also work alongside UCL and the Royal Free in their drive to extend their knowledge of medical conditions for the benefit of us all.

We are proud of our recent achievements which include raising money for The Pears Building, a £62million flag-ship project to build a globally leading medical research centre into immunity and transplantation. This will be the largest development at the Royal Free for over 40 years and will drive major improvements in NHS care and research. We have also given more grants to improve patient experience, increased our research grants, and developed new support hubs for patients with long-term conditions to improve their health and well-being. Hundreds of skilled and dedicated volunteers share our goal of making the patients experience the best it can be and give their support and kindness to patients every day of the week across all three sites.

We are now looking for a new Chair of Trustees to join our highly capable and committed board and staff team, to help us realise a vision for the future that is aligned and as ambitious as our Trust partner, creating shared goals, and importantly continuing to focus on enhancing the patients’ experience.

As our Chair you will play a key part in helping shape our next strategic phase to grow the impact of the charity, build our fundraising capability and keep us focused on delivering our flagship Pears Building Project.

We are looking for an experienced and inspirational Chair who will bring significant strategic leadership skills to shape our vision and strategy. You may have a local connection and/or been a patient at the Trust. Your ambition must match our own and we are looking for an activist and ambassador, able to represent our work to a range of audiences, from major donors, to community supporters and key NHS stakeholders. Your communication, influencing and negotiation skills will be well developed and you will bring a diplomatic and emotionally intelligent approach. Whether you have a background in the private, public or charity sectors you must be patient focused and able to proactively support our fundraising activity. If you have experience of the NHS or healthcare this would be helpful, but not essential.

 

For further information please click here.

Healthwatch Bucks is seeking new Board Members

Could you help lead Healthwatch Bucks? We’re the local independent organisation working to shape and improve local health and social care services for local people.

We are looking for new Board members to add their skills and perspectives to those of the current Directors who share a commitment to our mission and span a broad range of professional qualifications and leadership experience.

You would need to commit between 8 and 16 hours each month to Healthwatch Bucks including participation in quarterly meetings in public at different locations across the county.  You would also be expected to participate in one or more of the Board committees or working groups.

Together with your colleagues on the Board, you would be responsible for the overall governance of Healthwatch Bucks with particular regard to setting the strategic direction and making sure that the organisation is well run.

Our Board members should have a good grasp of local issues surrounding health and social care and preferably live or work in Buckinghamshire. We want to our Board to reflect the diversity of our county and the many different communities which live and work here.

We are looking for team players who are excellent communicators with proven problem-solving and interpersonal skills. If you would like to know more about us and what we are looking for in our directors, please download an information pack from our website.

As for all our directors, these are voluntary and therefore unpaid roles.

 

For further information and application details, please click here.

Citizens Advice Braintree Halstead and Witham is seeking to appoint a new Trustee

Are you interested in social justice and want to help change things for the better?   Could you give a few hours of your time every month to provide direction and leadership to our vital local service.  Would you like to shape the future of local advice services?

Citizens Advice Braintree Halstead and Witham is a charity which helps around 3,000 clients each year providing them with advice relating to their legal, money and other problems.  We aim to work with people  to try and fix the underlying cause of their problems, give them confidence to take action and help them become more knowledgeable about their rights.  We are looking for people from all backgrounds to join our trustee board and help us develop the service we offer.  We have just embarked on an ambitious journey of development to expand our services in new and innovative ways.  We are looking for people with vision, independent judgement and a willingness to give time and commitment to being a trustee.  The board of trustees holds early evening meetings every 6 weeks and occasional day time planning meetings.  Being a trustee will give you the satisfaction of helping to lead and develop a local and influential charity.

 

For further information, please click here.

 

 

The Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group seeks to appoint new member – a legal professional with forensic science, biometric data and the ethics of consent expertise

Home Office Appointment: Members of the BFEG are appointed as individuals to fulfil the role of the group and have a duty to act in the public interest. Members are not appointed as representatives of their profession, employer or interest group.

Committee members are expected to:

  • Attend and contribute to quarterly plenary BFEG meetings and subgroup meetings, as necessary; and
  • Act corporately with other members to ensure that the BFEG fulfils its responsibilities by providing ministers and the Department with impartial, independent, balanced and objective ethical advice on issues within the group’s remit.

 

Members also have responsibility for:

  • Developing the evidence base of topics under consideration to formulate advice;
  • Examining and challenging, if necessary, the assumptions on which advice is formulated;
  • Ensuring that the BFEG where appropriate the concerns and values of stakeholders are considered before a decision is taken; and
  • Ensuring the BFEG acts in accordance with the Code of Practice for members, which incorporates the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Practice for Science Advisory Committees.

 

Person Specification

To complement its existing skills and knowledge, the BFEG is seeking up to 4 new members. Applicants should have demonstrable expertise as either:

  • A legal professional with considerable knowledge of forensic science, biometric data and the ethics of consent.
  • A social scientist with considerable knowledge of the social and ethical impact of technological innovations upon individuals; or
  • A data ethicist with experience of working with large data sets and who can demonstrate experience of applying this to issues across the biometric, forensic and criminal justice arena or other relevant fields.

In addition to the above your supporting statement should provide evidence of your skills and experience against the essential and desirable selection criteria set out below.  Please be clear about the scale and significance of your role/achievement.  The evidence you provide against the selection criteria will be used by the selection panel to determine your suitability for the role.

 

Essential skills and experience

  • An understanding of the breadth and depth of ethical issues related to the collection, storage and use of biometric and forensic information and data;
  • The ability to think logically and objectively to analyse complex information from diverse sources, identify key issues and make effective impartial and balanced decisions;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with committee members and stakeholders and to actively and constructively contribute to discussions, negotiating between conflicting opinions and values and generating options to reach consensus;
  • The confidence to deal with difficult situations sensitively and take accountable decisions;
  • An appreciation of equality and diversity and a willingness to champion difference; and
  • An awareness of how the views of the scientific community and the public are changing politically and socially.

 

Desirable

  • Evidence of working successfully in a professional, community or voluntary capacity on committees or other decision-making groups and reaching impactful and timely conclusions.

For further information please click here.

All We Can (Methodist development & relief organisation) seeks new Trustees

Could you help us fulfil potential as a Trustee? The Board of Trustees of All We Can is currently seeking trustees for a variety of roles focused on finance, our partnership and programmatic work as well as public engagement and general governance. Your contribution will help have a direct impact on our transformational work to end poverty and injustice all around the world. As part of the Board of Trustee’s, you will help govern All We Can in line with its charitable objectives and to maintain oversight of the organisation’s financial affairs on behalf of the Board.

All We Can is an international development and relief organisation. It is the relief and development agency of the Methodist Church and its vision, priorities and values are grounded in Christian principles. It helps people in the world’s poorest communities to become all that they can, by investing in partnerships that improve quality of life and create positive, long-term change for individuals, families and nations. It also provides emergency support in humanitarian crises, and challenges the causes of poverty, inequality and injustice and promotes solutions through engaging in education and advocacy, both in the UK and internationally.

All We Can has ambitious plans for the future, and is near to the beginning of development of a new 5 year strategy. To support this, the organisation’s governance also needs to be highly effective and far sighted in outlook and to provide the right balance between challenge, championing and support.

Candidates will need to be able to commit at least 5 half day meetings a year and 1 full day meeting a year which includes 3 daytime Board meetings in London and extra committee meetings either in person or by video conference. Trustees are all volunteers, though expenses are met. We are keen to receive expressions of interest from people from a range of backgrounds, to ensure the Board continues to have a diverse ethnic, gender and age profile. For an informal discussion and to find out more, download an information pack from www.allwecan.org.uk/jobs

 

Wandsworth Community Chaplaincy Trust seeks new Trustees – law experience welcomed

Are you interested in volunteering as a trustee with Wandsworth Community Chaplaincy Trust? We are a small organisation, based in the Wandsworth community and prison. We support the transformation of prisoners through our volunteer befriending scheme.

We are looking for people from diverse backgrounds and faiths (including those of no faith) who have specific skills and experiences to help us fulfil our vision. We are especially interested if you have experience of fundraising, finance, law or human resources.

We need people who are interested in our work. Please refer to the website for more information. Meetings are held once every six weeks and we are looking for people willing to carry out the duties of a Trustee.

 

For further information and application details, please click here.

The IARS International Institute (youth charity) is seeking new Trustees

At a critical point in our development and history, we are looking for ambitious and passionate individuals who can act as non-executive directors for a minimum of 2 years (renewable 3 times).

ROLE PURPOSE:

  • To ensure, in common with fellow Board members, that the IARS International Institute operates in a manner which enables it to fulfil its aims and objects as effectively as possible.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES & TIME COMMITMENT:

  • To commit to spending 1 day per month on supporting IARS (flexible) To attend and contribute constructively to the quarterly Board meetings and annual Away Day.
  • To appoint, line manage, supervise regularly and appraise the Executive Director.
  • To ensure the effective governance of IARS and ensure that its activities are compliant with its charitable status, company law and constitution.
  • To have a full understanding of IARS’ vision, mission, strategic objectives, charitable objects and constitution.
  • To agree the strategic direction for Independent Academic Research Studies.
  • To agree the staff structure, terms and conditions of service.
  • To monitor the organisational work plan.
  • To agree the budget, monitor financial performance and produce annual reports and accounts as per the Charity Commission and Companies House requirements.
  • To ensure that IARS’s equal opportunities policies are followed through in practice of the organisation.
  • To treat with confidentiality any information about IARS members, users and staff that is personal, private or sensitive.
  • To represent IARS in a positive light and safeguard the good name of the charity to external stakeholders.
  • To be a champion and an ambassador for IARS and its mission and help raise funds.
  • To receive training  and appraisal when appropriate and work collaboratively with the Executive Director, the Founder, staff, interns and volunteers.
  • To comply fully with IARS’ constitution, standing orders and policies and procedures.

 

For further information and application details, please click here.

IARS website

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is looking for 3 new trustees

Are you passionate about bumblebees and nature?

Do you have the skills and enthusiasm to help us reverse pollinator decline?

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) is looking for 3 new trustees to join its Board.  The Trust is entering an exciting period of new strategic development and you would help steer development to achieve the Trust’s aims and to ensure that the charity is managed effectively.

The Trust is committed to valuing others and treating everyone with respect. The Trust recognises the value of a Board and staff team that come from diverse backgrounds and offers fresh perspectives and ideas. As a result, the Trust is keen to welcome applications from all.

BBCT website

For further information and application details, please click here.

Westfield Academy seeks two new Trustees/Non-Executive Directors and a Member – legal expertise welcomed

Westfield Academy is a single academy trust that seeks two new trustees/non-executive directors and a Member to help strengthen the governance of trust. Westfield is recognised locally as a trust that always goes the extra mile for its students. It prides itself as an integral part of the local community. The trust looks to welcome new ideas from future trustees. Board meetings are held in Watford.

 

About the trust

Westfield Academy is a non-selective community school that converted to an academy in September 2013. A few months prior, Ofsted had judged Westfield Academy Good in all areas and did so again in 2016. Exams results for students are consistently the highest for a non-selective school in the Watford and Hemel Hempstead area, with students making at least Good progress.

 

At Westfield Academy, one size does not fit all. The trust celebrates the individual differences of its students. This is reflected in the school’s curriculum where subjects range from Further Mathematics and Latin, to Hair and Beauty, Horticulture and Construction, depending on the requirements of the student.

 

The school’s sixth form offers a choice to students between the academic A-Level program, taking on a BTEC or joining one of the school’s ‘Academies’. There are two Academies, one for Hair and Beauty and one for Football. The Football course is a joint venture with Watford FC and has proven to be both popular and successful among the students in the school.

 

Plans for the future

The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Financial Stability: To satisfy the requirements of the Education Skills Funding Agency’s (ESFA) Financial Notice to Improve (FNTI). Refer to the annual financial report for August 2018 and the ESFA report and FNTI.
  2. Governance: To broaden the expertise of the trust body with non-executive trustees who are committed to an inclusive education.
  3. Partnership: To improve the partnership with the senior team and supporting its own evolution to meet changing needs.
  4. Increasing student numbers: Westfield Academy’s new premises are built for c.1600 students – the trust currently has c.1000.
  5. Sixth form: The sixth form is seen as a priority for the trust over the next few years as overall outcomes are currently judged as Requires Improvement.

 

Trust ethos & values

The trust’s motto is “believe, strive, achieve”. It highlights the qualities that Westfield Academy believe all young people need to thrive in the modern world. The school itself is a purposeful focused environment where every child gets the opportunity to succeed.

 

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:

3

 

Roles 1-2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Trustees – or non-executive directors – are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.

 

The Non-executive directors will be responsible for ensuring good governance through acting as critical friends to the senior leadership team. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and potential growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.

 

Person specification

Until the Independent Review of Financial Management and Governance at Westfield Academy is delivered and accepted by the ESFA, it is not possible to say exactly what the long term requirements of any new Trustees will be. However, the trust is accepting applications from candidates with a strong understanding of governance. They will be expected to hold executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of the trust. They will be responsible for setting the trust’s vision and values and the strategy for achieving this vision.

 

As experienced business leaders and strategic planners, successful applicants will have the ability and determination to adapt and transfer their experience to an educational setting. They will have a willingness to devote time, an understanding of the legal duties and liabilities of trusteeship and the ability to challenge, evaluate and interpret information.

 

The competencies required for this role include:

 

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

–     CFO/ Finance

–     Corporate Governance

–     Legal/Compliance

–     Remuneration Committee Chair

Desirable

–       Change Management

–       CEO/General Management

–       HR

–       Restructuring

–       IT

 

 

Time commitment

In the first year this is likely to be 10-12 hours per month minimum reducing to 6 hours a month in future years.

 

Role 3 – Member

Members are the equivalent of the shareholders in a company. A member is able to alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy.

 

Person Specification

There is an expectation from the DfE that Members should have skills in corporate governance, finance, legal, HR and education to enable holding the Trustees to account.

 

The competencies required for this role therefore include:

 

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

–     CFO/ Finance

–     Corporate Governance

–     Legal/Compliance

–     HR

Desirable

–       Risk

–       Change Management

 

Time Commitment

Members only meet once a year so the commitment is likely to be 6 hours a year.

 

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Tolpits Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 6NS.

For more information on the trust, please see: http://www.westfield.herts.sch.uk/

 

Governance structure

For more information, please see: http://www.westfield.herts.sch.uk/about/governors-committees

 

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

 

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 832 multi academy trusts of 3+ schools. If the schools are to fulfil their potential, the trusts need non-executives (known in charity law as trustees) to bring a wide range of skills and experience to help guide strategy, ensure their ambitions can be soundly financed and keep their schools up to the mark delivering for their pupils.

 

“Academy boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.”
Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2017)

 

Trusteeship is a voluntary, unpaid role for people who have the energy and skills to make a real contribution to shaping the future of our schools. You do not need to have any specialist knowledge of education.

 

Applications

Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit programme which recruits senior business leaders and professionals as volunteer non-executive directors onto the boards of multi-academy trusts. If you are interested in applying for the role please send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for to academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. Please note: candidates should live within reasonable travelling distance of the trust and/or have a link with the region. For more information, please call 0207 952 8556 or visit www.academyambassadors.org.

 

Key dates

We strongly recommend applying as early as you can to have the best possible chance of being considered as we may change the closing date if we have received sufficient applications. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process –

 

Deadline for applications: 2nd April 2019

 

Eynsham Partnership Academy (EPA) seeks new Trustee/NED with legal background

Eynsham Partnership seeks two new Trustees/Non-Executive Directors. One with estates/property management experience and another with a legal background with executive-level experience. The trust has developed a very strong partnership built on mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other. The schools are all committed to meeting the needs of all students. Board meetings are held at Witney Road, Eynsham, OX29 4AP.

 

About the trust

The Enysham Partnership Academy was formed in 2014 with one secondary school and 6 primary schools from an existing partnership in the local area surrounding Eynsham in West Oxfordshire. The Eynsham Partnership academy was the first multi-academy trust nationally that comprised of a community secondary and primary school, and voluntary aided and voluntary controlled church schools.

 

The Trust currently comprises Bartholomew School, Eynsham Community Primary School, Standlake CE Primary School, Stanton Harcourt CE Primary School, Hanborough Manor CE School, Freeland CE Primary School and St Peter’s CE Primary, Cassington.

 

The purpose of the Trust is to maintain good and outstanding schools, and to ensure the rapid improvement of schools, which need support now (and in the future); also to act as a vehicle for enabling the sharing of best practice and the economies of scale to be achieved across the group of academies.

 

Plans for the future

The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. School Improvement: To support the continued development of all schools in the trust, especially the rapid improvement of Enysham Community Primary School, rated Requires Improvement by Ofsted in May 2017.
  2. Governance: To develop the newly established central team (HR, Finance and Payroll) and to ensure the trust has a high performing Trust Board.
  3. Vision and Values: To review the EPAs vision and values statement.

Re-structuring of the Trust Board is currently underway following an external review (as a result of a decision not to merge with another multi academy trust). This has resulted in some vacancies on the Board.

 

Trust ethos & values

The trust aims for all members of its community to be beacons of excellence: looking inwards rigorous in their self-evaluation; looking outwards – learning from the best; and looking forwards exploring new possibilities. http://www.epa-mat.org/welcome/

 

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:

2

 

Roles 1-2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Trustees – or non-executive directors – are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.

 

Person specification 1

The trust seeks a candidate with a strong portfolio of estates/facilities management, preferably within an educational setting. As an experienced business leader and strategic planner, the successful applicant will have the ability and determination to adapt and transfer their experience to an educational setting. They will have a willingness to devote time, an understanding of the legal duties and liabilities of trusteeship and the ability to challenge, evaluate and interpret information. All trustees are expected to play a strategic role in successfully effecting change and will be expected to sit on at least one of the three Committees: Standards, Finance and Resources and Audit.

 

The competencies required for this role include:

 

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

–       Real estate/Property

–       Community Engagement

Desirable

–       Non-executive/Trustee

 

 

Time commitment

8 hours per month minimum, including Committee meetings.

 

Person specification 2

 

The successful applicant will have significant experience within the legal sector, with demonstrable knowledge of employment law and the ability to make informed decisions and carry out due diligence. They will have a willingness to devote time, an understanding of the legal duties and liabilities of trusteeship and the ability to challenge, evaluate and interpret information. All trustees are expected to play a strategic role in successfully effecting change.

 

The competencies required for this role include:

 

Essential

–       Legal/compliance

 

Desirable

–       Change Management

–       CEO/General Management

 

Time commitment

8 hours per month minimum, including Committee meetings.

 

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Witney Road, Eynsham, OX29 4AP. Trust website: http://www.epa-mat.org/

 

Governance structure

For more information, please see: http://www.epa-mat.org/topic/governance

 

 

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

 

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 832 multi academy trusts of 3+ schools. If the schools are to fulfil their potential, the trusts need non-executives (known in charity law as trustees) to bring a wide range of skills and experience to help guide strategy, ensure their ambitions can be soundly financed and keep their schools up to the mark delivering for their pupils.

 

“Academy boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.”
Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2017)

 

Trusteeship is a voluntary, unpaid role for people who have the energy and skills to make a real contribution to shaping the future of our schools. You do not need to have any specialist knowledge of education.

 

Applications

Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit programme which recruits senior business leaders and professionals as volunteer non-executive directors onto the boards of multi-academy trusts. If you are interested in applying for the role please send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for to academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. Please note: candidates should live within reasonable travelling distance of the trust and/or have a link with the region. For more information, please call 0207 952 8556 or visit www.academyambassadors.org.

 

Key dates

We strongly recommend applying as early as you can to have the best possible chance of being considered as we may change the closing date if we have received sufficient applications. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process –

 

Deadline for applications: 4th April

 

WaterHarvest (Winchester) is seeking a new Trustee

WaterHarvest is a small but growing charity focused on water-harvesting in rural India. For over 30 years, we have been helping marginalised people through different community led solutions including providing underground water tanks for families, irrigation systems for farmers and land regeneration programmes.

We are committed to a culture of openness, integrity and professionalism.   We are now looking for trustees to join our board and to help shape our vision for the next 30 years. We aren’t looking for specific experience or skill sets. The most important thing is time, energy and interest in international development.

A trustee would be expected to attend one board meeting and one committee meeting a quarter and also be available at short notice for discussions (via phone if needed). Meetings are held around 10am weekdays in Winchester.

 

Please click here for application details.

WaterHarvest website

Munro Health (West London complementary health charity) is seeking new Trustees.

Are you able to make a difference to a local West London complementary health charity? We are looking for committed, enthusiastic and pro-active individuals to join our trustee board.   We are a small London based charity that delivers a range of complementary therapies to support the health and well-being of those who would otherwise not be able to afford or access such treatments.  Our beneficiaries are diverse and includes carers, the elderly, homeless and survivors of traumatic events. You will work collaboratively with other trustees and be confident in making decisions that will shape the future direction of the charity.  You will contribute to the existing board with your skills and experience. The nature of being a small charity means that additional ‘hands-on’ support between board meetings and for projects would be welcome.  This is a non-remunerated role but reasonable travel expenses for board meetings will be reimbursed. We welcome applications from people of all ages (over 18) and backgrounds who feel they have the skills and attributes to help strengthen the Board.

About us: Munro Health is a small London based charity.  We deliver a range of complementary therapies to support the health and well-being of those who would otherwise not be able to access such treatments.  These treatments are often often out of reach for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community that could benefit from them the most. Our beneficiaries are diverse and includes carers, the elderly, homeless and survivors of traumatic events. We were founded by Lucille Munro who was awarded an MBE in 2003 for her services to community health.  We are dedicated to continuing her legacy to enrich lives and provide support through complementary therapies.

 

Please click here for further information and application details.

Munro Health website

Home Start Westminster seeks new Trustee – law experience welcomed

We are a leading family support charity, working with families with young children who are experiencing difficulties in 3 boroughs – Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, and Hammersmith & Fulham. All these areas have pockets of severe deprivation: the number of children living in poverty in Westminster, for example, is currently 38%. We offer a unique service, training volunteers to provide weekly practical and emotional support to families in their homes, supervised by a small number of professional staff.

The Board of Trustees sets the vision, strategic direction and the management of the charity. It is responsible for overall governance, including acting as guardians of the charity’s assets, and overseeing operational effectiveness, funding, finance and human resources.

We are looking for committed, experienced people with diverse skills to join the Board of Trustees. The Board is keen to appoint people in areas such as (but not exclusively) human resources, law, early years& social care and working with volunteers. Above all, we need people who are committed to giving every child the best possible start in life, who are able to give time, and who have a creative approach to problem solving.

The charity is fortunate to have a small, highly committed, experienced and enthusiastic team who work with and report to, the Board of Trustees.

All trustees are unpaid. The Board meets every two months. Most Board members also sit on sub committees which meet as required. As a small charity there are many ad hoc tasks which may arise where the trustees with particular skills may need to be directly involved.

 

Please click here for application details.

Age UK Croydon seeks new Trustee – legal background welcomed

Are you looking for a new experience? Want to be part of a supportive community? Feeling charitable?
Age UK Croydon is currently looking for new Trustees to help us strengthen and govern the organisation.
If you would like more information on what we do please visit the AgeUK Croydon website.

We aim to lead the way in empowering, enabling and supporting older people in Croydon to live healthily and independently.
We are a vibrant, friendly, progressive and influential organisation held in high regard by the local community and Health and Social Care decision makers.

The important qualities we are looking for:

  • An enthusiasm to improve the lives of older people.
  • Applicants with skills, experiences and personal attributes that can make a difference.
  • A background in Health or Social Care, Volunteering or the legal profession.
  • Representatives from the community of Croydon would be an added bonus

 

Interviews will be arranged with members of the Board. This volunteer role will require an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.

 

For further information, a link to a Trustee Application Pack and an application form, please click here.

The Maypole Project seeks new Trustees

The Maypole Project provides a lifeline of support for children with complex and life threatening illnesses and their whole family; aiming to relieve and help preserve the mental and physical well-being of children and young people who have complex medical needs. We provide a range of support services to all members of the family from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.

The overarching responsibility of the Board of Trustees is to ensure the appropriate and safe running of the charity.

Role responsibilities

  • Understand the charity’s role and interests
  • Make agreements and resolutions regarding the charities activities to ensure that they are within the Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Identify any conflicts of interest, declare and follow protocol as directed
  • Oversee the management of the charity’s resources ensuring that assets are used responsibly and for charitable purposes
  • Identify and manage any risks to the charity; ensuring these are maintained in a register
  • Ensure that the charity is compliant with applicable laws and guidelines
  • Apply knowledge and skills to role with care, taking advice on unknown areas
  • Minimise personal liability

Time commitment: 3 to 4 meetings per year plus associated work relating to trustee and treasurer

Term of Office: 3 years, renewable

Responsible to: CEO and Board of Trustees

 

For application details, please click here.

British Geriatrics Society seeks new Lay Trustees

Do you want to help improve healthcare for older people? The British Geriatrics Society is seeking two new lay Trustees.

The British Geriatrics Society is the professional membership organisation for doctors, nurses and other healthcare specialists engaged in the treatment and care of older people across the UK. Our membership is expanding and we currently have over 3,900 members. We are a registered charity and limited company with a mission to improve the healthcare of older people across the UK.  We are based in Farringdon in Central London, with national councils in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

The role

We are seeking to strengthen our Trustee Board of twelve by recruiting two new lay trustees to take over from the existing lay trustees as they approach the end of their term of office.

  • To contribute actively to giving firm strategic direction to the British Geriatrics Society (BGS), setting overall policy, defining goals, and setting targets and evaluating performance
  • Scrutinising board papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives
  • Supporting, constructively challenging, and motivating the Chief Executive and other senior staff
  • Networking, acting as a BGS ambassador and winning support externally.

The person

  • Committed to improving the health care of older people across the UK
  • Strategic vision and experience of strategic planning
  • One or more of the following areas of experience at a senior level: health or social care commissioning; charity senior management or trusteeship; policy influencing; long term financial strategy; marketing; charity law; commercial sponsorship.

The new lay members of the Trustee Board will help to steer the charity through an exciting period of development.

Our trustees are unpaid but we pay travel and other out of pocket expenses, and provide an induction to the BGS’s work.

 

For further information and application details, please click here.

Learning Through Horses seeks new Trustee

Learning Through Horses is a North London based charity delivering alternative education and work experience programmes, which, through working with horses, provide an opportunity for disengaged and / or vulnerable young people and adults to develop vital skills required to further their employment and educational success.

Working alongside our charity partner, Strength in Horses which offers equine therapy to similar troubled or vulnerable young people, we offer an alternative to traditional therapy or education settings and find that many clients respond incredibly well to interacting with the horses and having the freedom of being outdoors.

We are looking to expand our Board in general and would welcome applications from anyone interested in joining. In addition to any special areas of expertise you can contribute, the duties of a trustee are to:

• Ensure the organisation complies with its governing document, charitable law and any other relevant legislation or regulations to ensure the organisation pursues its objectives as defined in its governing document and applies resources exclusively in fulfilling its objectives;

• Safeguard the good name and values of the organisation and represent it at functions and meetings as appropriate;

• Be collectively responsible for the actions of the organisation and other trustees, while ensuring the effective and efficient administration of the organisation;

• Ensure the financial stability of the organisation;

• Make sure the organisation is properly insured against all reasonable liabilities;

• Declare any conflict of interest while carrying out the duties of a trustee;

• Use any specific knowledge and experience to help the board reach sound decisions.

 

Please click here for further information and application details.

The Girls’ Day School Trust seeks new Trustee (governance experience welcomed)

The Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) is a family of 23 independent girls’ schools and two academies located across England and Wales. GDST schools represent the very best in teaching and pastoral care. They foster academic excellence but also build character, helping girls to be confident, resilient and fearless. Whatever her disposition and direction in life, the GDST strives to create environments where each girl can learn without limits and thrive in her own way.

The Trust was founded in 1872 and throughout its history has been at the forefront of education for girls and a strong voice in promoting opportunities for young women.

Today, the GDST is a vibrant, successful organisation and its schools are some of the very best in the country. Each one has its own distinct identity, but they all share a common purpose: to help every girl fulfil her potential and make her dreams a reality, for the benefit of everyone.

Role specification

The trustees form a Council which is legally responsible for the GDST’s activities, including setting strategy, authorising building and other capital development programmes, and ensuring financial viability and the safety and welfare of pupils.

The successful applicant will be appointed as a trustee to further the work and aims of the GDST and act as an ambassador for the organisation. They will also chair the GDST Academy Trust Board, which has responsibility for the two academies within the GDST, with effect from September 2019.

Statutory duties:

  • With the other Council Members, to ensure that the Trust complies with its governing document (the Memorandum & Articles of Association), charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • To ensure that the Trust actively pursues its objects as defined in the Memorandum & Articles of Association and uses its resources exclusively in furtherance of those objects
  • To contribute actively in giving firm strategic direction to the Trust, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance against those targets
  • To safeguard the reputation and values of the Trust
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the Trust
  • To ensure the financial stability of the Trust
  • To protect and manage the property of the Trust and to ensure the proper investment of the Trust’s funds
  • To appoint the Chief Executive and monitor his / her performance
  • To chair and / or attend Council committees, subsidiary company boards or other groups given delegated authority by the Council

Additional duties:

  • To prepare for Council business by reading and reviewing Council and, if applicable, Committee papers
  • To attend meetings of the Council and contribute to discussions and decision making
  • To be an active Council Member in exercising its responsibilities and functions
  • To use any specific skills, knowledge or experience to help the Council reach sound decisions
  • To comply with any Council Codes of Conduct and Conflict of Interest policies

Person specification

The Trust is seeking to recruit further high-calibre and insightful individuals to join the Board, who have the ability, experience and profile to help shape the future of girls’ education. Applicants must have the following experience:

Required:

  • Education: The successful candidates will have experience in the education sector, for example in policy-making and / or the management of independent schools and academies
  • Governance: The successful candidates will have experience in board-level governance, particularly in the not-for-profit sector

The successful candidates will be team players, with a strong track record and an understanding of business and financial management. Sound judgement, strong communication skills and an empathy with the mission and values of the GDST are also essential.

Additionally, all trustees should have an understanding of, strong commitment to, and active support of the mission, strategies, and values of the Trust, including:

  • Girls’ education
  • The independent education sector
  • An ability to provide effective, independent, creative and strategic leadership of a large and complex organisation
  • A strong interest in, and for some a direct experience of, the education sector
  • A strong commitment to Nolan’s seven principles of public life – selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership

Board composition

Juliet Humphries, Chair
Helen Williams CB, Deputy Chair
Kathryn Davis, Deputy Chair
Rita Dhut
Masha Gordon
Richard Harris
Mary Hockaday
Fraser Montgomery
Peter Oliver
Judy Simons
Vicky Tuck

Remuneration

Trustees are not remunerated but may reclaim any reasonable expenses incurred directly in carrying out their role for the charity.

Process

This process is being run by the Girls’ Day School Trust and applications will be viewed by their team directly without edits. We therefore advise applicants to avoid using ‘see CV’ or ‘please call me to discuss further’ in your application as it may restrict your chances of successfully progressing to the next round.

Connected Parties

This organisation has requested that candidates do not contact them directly. Instead, if you know someone at the organisation please mention it in your Reason for Application. Members discovered not respecting this may risk having their membership terminated.

Questions & feedback

In the event you have any questions or feedback about the way the role or your application has been handled, please contact enquiries@nurole.com

Role timetable

Deadline for applications: 25th March

Candidates can expect to be contacted by: 8th April

Candidates can expect the process to be completed by: 26th April

 

Please contact nurole.com for further information application details.

Patrick Reihill: Insights from the Whitehall & Industry Group – lawyers and public sector roles

BCKR recently welcomed Patrick Reihill from the Whitehall & Industry Group to share his experiences of public sector role recruitment. A copy of Patrick’s presentation can be found here.

 

What do law firms get out of their WIG membership?

Most use it for the events WIG put on, to get a better understanding of policies coming through and the inner workings of government and also for their leadership programmes.

 

What is the normal recruitment process for a public sector role?

WIG will go through a very thorough briefing process with the client and challenge them about the type of individual they are looking for and from that, draw up a brief.

The role will then be advertised for 4-6 weeks and also be brought to the attention of their existing network.  BCKR does review the WIG advertisements in compiling their lists.

Then they will draw up a shortlist.  WIG won’t meet the candidates face to face before the shortlisting stage.  That’s when the more detailed bullet points come in – the value added skills that differentiate between candidates.  It is important at this point for candidates to give as much as possible for the headhunter to hang their hat on. The covering letter is often more elaborative than the CV.

Next is the interview stage.  Fairness is always at the top of the panel’s mind, so the same questions will be asked of all candidates and there is no deviation from the script.  It can appear to be quite a forensic overly formalistic process.  There will not be an opportunity for supplementary questions.  It is important to have an understanding of how government and Whitehall operates.  Make sure you keep your answers short.  Overwhelm yourself with examples of how you fit the job competencies detailed in the job description.

 

What due diligence?

  • How does the minister/permanent secretary see NEDs working in his/her department (WIG can always help you here)?
  • Do you know any of the current NEDs who are stepping down or previous NEDs? Have a cup of coffee with them – anything to get a steer on what the panel are really looking for.
  • If you get the opportunity for a ‘fireside chat’ (which would only occur after an initial interview) this would be the opportunity to meet with key sponsors, and a chance for a more informal discussion where you must sell yourself. This is not to be taken casually.  It is certainly not to be taken as an indication that you have the job.

 

Why would you put yourself through this?

The intellectual challenge and the opportunity to give something back.

The political involvement can add a fundamentally interesting element to life.

It is usually the work above and beyond the boardroom that is really interesting.

It will require extra time but and can be very rewarding and complimentary to your other activities.

The other thing to take into account is that there are lots of roles in the WIG arena so statistically you have a better chance of getting one than in the straight commercial sectors.

You will also meet a lot of interesting people serving on these boards, which in turn increases your network for the future.

Don’t give in if you get rejected.  The more roles you go for the more you will pick up about the process.

 

Addressing your weaknesses.

There is an industry perception that law firms don’t know how to run a business.  This is the lawyer’s fault. It is up to you to re-write your CV with headlines around your commercial experience giving tangible examples of your translatable skills.  Get rid of your list of deals. For example:

  • Commercial income that you have been instrumental in increasing
  • The size of teams you have led
  • Business decisions you have been involved in

 

How do you go about developing your CV?

  • Make sure it is role specific.
  • Seek help – WIG is always willing to give advice.
  • Lay it out in a straightforward way illustrating your business skill-set with real successes/outcomes.

 

Headhunters

They are a challenge.  Headhunters are undeniably client focused and they are frankly not trained to advise candidates.  You need to do as much of their job as possible.   Things to think about:

  • Be focused personally – what are your interests, skills and breadth of experience?
  • Use your network – clients, mutual connections.
  • Consider getting a mentor.
  • Go digital – make sure you are on LinkedIn.
  • Think about all the prejudices lawyers have to overcome and tackle them head on.
  • Start early but don’t just jump in without due consideration.
  • Ensure involvement in your organisation. Be a champion within your own firm.
  • Think about charity trusteeship as early as you can.

Lifejackets (reading charity) seeks new Trustee and new Chair of Trustees

Lifejackets is a small charity in south-east London that helps children make sense of today’s big issues using stories and poems. Our first few years have been a mix of exciting projects, practical learning, negotiating challenges and hard work.

Our work currently involves developing and promoting free resources for schools and youth projects. Our activities encourage children to use the insight gained from our readings and activities in developing their own ethical code. We have just launched a free, key stage 2 resource themed on ‘Home’ looking at housing, homelessness, refugees & belonging.

Considering issues like these can be stressful. We find it essential that our activities offer a hopeful and empowering experience. The feedback we have received from teachers has been excellent.

This is a fascinating time to join our board, as we make our next steps with some significant work under our belts. Joining the board will involve maintaining an overview of a constantly changing organisation and asking supporting (and sometimes difficult questions), holding our vision and helping us stay aligned with our aims. You will be engaging with information from within LifeJackets (finances, policies, communication, project development and books) as well as other organisations including the Charity Commission.

You’ll need a sense of humour, a constructive approach, a willingness to consider all sides of an argument. Also, you’ll be in sympathy with our vision of a future where children are empowered to make considered ethical choices.

The core time commitment for trustees is four meetings a year with one trustee away day. There are opportunities to get involved with more of our work according to your interests and gifts. Our Chair of Trustees also needs to meet & communicate with our Director.

We can offer you an opportunity to join an innovative and friendly organisation that finds simple ways to make the world a fairer and kinder place. Trustee expenses will be met.

If you are would like to know more about either the trustee or Chair of Trustees position, please contact Carrie Comfort, our current Chair of Trustees for an informal conversation, by clicking on our logo and following the link to our website where there is a contact form. Alternatively, our Twitter handle is @life_jackets_uk .

Our aims are:

-To promote understanding of those who may be considered ‘other’.
-To foster greater awareness of social, global and ethical issues among children and young people.
-To encourage and equip young people to develop their own ethical framework.
-And to inspire a love of reading, which is a pathway to all of the above.

 

For further information and application details, please click here.

Anglian Learning in Cambridgeshire seeks new Trustees – legal experience required

Anglian Learning in Cambridgeshire is formed of three primary schools and four secondary schools. It seeks a new Trustee/Non-Executive Director with legal experience to strengthen its board through a period of growth. Board meetings are held at Bottisham and Sawston Village Colleges, Cambridge.

 

About the trust

Anglian Learning was established in September 2016, initially a small multi academy trust formed of two secondary schools, and two other local, successful secondary schools in the Cambridge area. Three are Village Colleges which provide adult and community education in addition to regular 11-16 provision. The fourth is the only urban school in the group, celebrating a diverse intake of pupils and providing its own sixth form. The school has proven financially challenging but has achieved Good in its very recent Ofsted inspection.

 

Since its formation, Anglian Learning has grown to include a hub of three primary schools in and around Cambridge. As a community, the schools support outstanding education but endeavour to provide a broad and enriching curriculum, supporting the arts and sport as well as providing students with every academic opportunity.

 

Individual school performance is positive with three secondary schools rated Good and one school rated Outstanding by Ofsted in their latest inspections. The trust is looking to pursue a course of school improvement, working towards ratings of Outstanding in all their schools.

 

The trust has further plans for growth, although is mindful of the need to do so steadily. It has won a bid for a new primary school and is hoping to establish a second hub of primary schools, as well as increasing its existing number of secondary schools. With these developments, the trust will need to restructure over the next 12-24 months. Anglian Learning therefore seeks creative and enthusiastic trustees to support the board through this period of growth.

 

 

Plans for the future

 

The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

1.     Financial: to formulate a rigorous and sustainable financial model which will help support the schools in the trust, and help maintain an active and competitive sixth form at one secondary school.

2.     Progress: as a fairly new organisation with a new CEO who started in September 2018 and a new Finance Director starting in January 2019, the trust looks to develop new and existing structures of leadership.

3.     Growth: to develop a sustainable and economically viable growth plan and effectively monitor risk as the trust goes through a period of growth.

4.     Improving outcomes: to maintain and improve outcomes for all students, especially those from the poorest backgrounds.

Anglian Learning are planning to expand its existing primary hub, set up a second hub and bring on board additional secondary provision. This will require some restructuring over next 1-2 years. The trust’s existing governance structure is under continuous review by the Trust Board’s Governance Working Group, to ensure that the above targets are met.

 

 

Trust ethos & values

 

Anglian Learning schools share the belief that successful learning communities are underpinned by ambitious vision, trust and strong inspirational leadership. The trust believes that these values are reinforced by working with like-minded schools, leaders and teachers to provide excellent education for all our students, improving outcomes and student experience.

 

 

Role summary

 

Roles 1 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Trustees – or non-executive directors – are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.

 

Person specification

The trust welcomes candidates with a strong legal background. Prior board experience is desirable.

 

As experienced business leaders and strategic planners, successful applicants will have the ability and determination to adapt and transfer their experience to an educational setting. They will have a willingness to devote time, an understanding of the legal duties and liabilities of trusteeship and the ability to challenge, evaluate and interpret information. All trustees are expected to play a strategic role in successfully effecting change and will have the opportunity to sit on one of four existing committees: HR, Finance and Audit, Education and Remuneration.

 

The competencies required for this role include:

 

Essential

       Legal/Compliance

 

Desirable

        Real Estate/Property

       Branding/Marketing

       Risk

       Growth Management

 

Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum. 5 board meetings a year held at 8am (no longer than 2.5 hours). 

 

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held on a rotational basis between Bottisham Village College, Lode Rd, Bottisham, Cambridge CB25 9DL and Sawston Village College, New Road, Sawston CB22 3BP.

 

Trust website: https://anglianlearning.org/

 

Governance structure

Please see: https://anglianlearning.org/trustees-board-members/

 

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

 

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 775 multi academy trusts of 3+ schools. If the schools are to fulfil their potential, the trusts need non-executives (known in charity law as trustees) to bring a wide range of skills and experience to help guide strategy, ensure their ambitions can be soundly financed and keep their schools up to the mark delivering for their pupils.

 

“Academy boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.” 
Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2017)

 

Trusteeship is a voluntary, unpaid role for people who have the energy and skills to make a real contribution to shaping the future of our schools. You do not need to have any specialist knowledge of education. 

 

Applications

Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit programme which recruits senior business leaders and professionals as volunteer non-executive directors onto the boards of multi-academy trusts. If you are interested in applying for the role please send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for to academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. Please note: candidates should live within reasonable travelling distance of the trust and/or have a link with the region. For more information, please call 0207 952 8556 or visit www.academyambassadors.org.

 

Key dates

We strongly recommend applying as early as you can to have the best possible chance of being considered as we may change the closing date if we have received sufficient applications. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process 

 

Deadline for applications: Tuesday 26th March 2019

The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) is seeking a new Chair of its Board of Trustees

BCT is proud to be the UK’s leading non-governmental organisation devoted solely to the conservation of bats and their habitats. Since its formation in 1991, BCT has grown to become an organisation with more than 6,000 members, with offices in England, Wales and Scotland and a team of around 30 staff, including scientists, specialists in training, outreach and biodiversity, volunteer engagement, fundraising, media and membership. BCT’s core activities include: taking effective practical conservation actions and influencing policy to secure bat populations; running the National Bat Monitoring Programme; delivering advice about bats; training professionals and volunteers; and engaging and educating wider audiences.

BCT is seeking a new Chair of its Board of Trustees (BoT) from September 2019. This is an exciting and challenging leadership role, and is a voluntary, unpaid position.

As Chair of BCT you would be expected to provide leadership to the BoT, working with the Chief Executive to ensure it remains focussed on the delivery of BCT’s charitable objectives and its long-term strategy.

You will need proven leadership skills, an understanding of charity governance, and a passion for and knowledge of nature conservation. You will need an interest in bats, or a desire to learn about them. Please refer to the role description on our website (follow link) where you will find further details of the qualities we are looking for.

 

Please click here for further information.

BCT website

Camden Canals and Narrowboat Association seeks new Trustees

Want to help us reach out to the North London community? You don’t need to know about canals or boats.

We are a small charity which maintains & runs a historic canal narrowboat on the Regent’s Canal in London.

We are staffed entirely by volunteers.

We are looking for new Trustees.  You must be 18 years or over.

An understanding of the workings of small organisations run by volunteers would be an advantage.  We particularly need younger people from different ethnic backgrounds to join our ageing board.

All trustees are also directors of the limited company.

This post is not remunerated, but expenses will be refunded.

Meetings are held about once a quarter in North London.

Applicants will be contacted by phone initially, when your queries can be answered, and then you will be invited to meet us to learn more about what we do. Successful candidates will need to supply references.

The Objects of the Association are:

1. To assist in the relief of distress and hardship suffered by young people, the elderly, the vulnerable, and other people with special needs in the London Borough of Camden (and adjoining areas).

2. To advance the education of young people and others in regard to canals in Camden and adjoining areas, their history, their uses and their environment.

3. Provide one or more narrowboats for the benefit of people living or working in the London Borough of Camden (and adjoining areas)

Further, we have a special responsibility for preserving and maintaining the historic narrowboat, TARPORLEY.

 

For further information, please click here.

Camden Canals and Narrowboat Association website

PIOT Foundation seeks new Trustees – interest in international family law / labour law

PIOT Foundation is a non-profit organisation that specialises in providing professional support to skilled migrants and expatriates who embark on their journeys into the UK. We are now looking for trustees to join the organisation, with a vision to contribute to and build PIOT Foundation from the beginning.

Experience

It is essential that trustees possess knowledge and experience in 3 main areas pertinent to PIOT Foundation. These include fundraising, research and communications. A background in management will be particularly beneficial when managing the relevant departments, including various projects on issues relating to immigration and expatriation.

The ideal candidate will be a firm decision-maker when assessing situations or problems that may arise as well as have a genuine interest in International Family Law, International Labour Law, International Migration and Human Rights. The ability to advise and provide expert knowledge on key areas forms a big part of the role as well as the ability to adapt to changing situations.

Skills

  • Intellectual
  • Financial understanding
  • Creative
  • Strategic
  • Forward thinking
  • Team player
  • Fundraising

For further information and application details, please click here.

PIOT Foundation

Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (CARAS) seeks new Trustees

The Organisation: CARAS is a charity in south west London, working together with people of refugee background to provide practical, educational and social help. We create supportive relationships, networks and spaces that enable people to access what they need in order to increase their well-being and safety. Our team of staff and volunteers run a large range of activities and services which offer a place of welcome to refugees and asylum seekers, working with them to recognise skills and develop potential.

CARAS has become one of the largest providers of support for refugees in south London, working with some of the largest numbers of unaccompanied and separated children in the UK. We have responded to changes in demographics and are proud of our ability to remain agile.

Our Mission: To work together with asylum seekers and people of refugee background to provide practical, educational and social help. We create supportive relationships, networks and well informed services that enable people to access what they need in order to increase their wellbeing and safety

Our Vision: All who have sought refuge in the UK are welcomed, valued and supported within a community in which they can flourish.

Our overall goal for 2019-2021: Create a space that is welcoming and safe for asylum seekers and refugees, providing pathways for integration into the larger communities around us.  All activities will embody the key areas of social connection and friendship, confidence building, English language, opportunities for community integration and access to advice.

This is an exciting time for CARAS. The charity has grown considerably over the past 3 years. We currently employ 4 full-time and 4 part-time staff and are supported by a team of over 100 volunteers.  CARAS currently works with approximately 450 beneficiaries per year, 80% of whom are separated children. We have a wide range of expertise on our staff team including specialisms in refugee education, social work, volunteer support, facilitation, community development and women’s gender-related work.

Main purpose of the role

The CARAS Board of Trustees is led by a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Their work is supported by the trustees who collectively and individually ensure that strategic decisions are made in the best interests of the organisation and its beneficiaries.

Your Overarching Responsibilities as a Trustee

As a charity trustee for CARAS, you will have 6 main duties which you are responsible for alongside your fellow board of trustees. You are both individually and collectively responsible to:

• Ensure the charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit

• Comply with the charity’s governing document and the law

• Act in the charity’s best interests at all times

• Ensure the charity is accountable

• Manage the charity’s resources responsibly

• Act with reasonable care and skill

Trustees steer the organisation to ensure that activities are working toward the vision and mission of the charity. Our current trustees come from a range of backgrounds and are dedicated to CARAS’ mission of bettering the lives of refugees and asylum seekers. We actively encourage applications from people who have an insight into the needs of our local community and the people we work with, or are themselves members of those groups.

Qualities

  • A willingness to actively participate in trustee meetings and decision-making
  • A strong and visible passion and commitment to the charity and its goals
  • Strong communication and inter-personal skills
  • Confidence as an ambassador for CARAS
  • Tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and respect diverse views
  • Strong networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of the charity
  • Ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment
  • Ability to commit time to conduct the role well, including attending out of hours’ meetings
  • An understanding of the needs and aspirations of refugees and asylum seekers

Experience

  • Experience of decision-making within a team or project
  • Some personal experience, either paid or unpaid, of the community or charity sector would be useful. However, we welcome applications from individuals who may currently lack this but are eager to learn.

Commitment

  • To attend quarterly board meetings and the charity AGM as agreed
  • All trustees will serve a three-year term. They are eligible for re-appointment for additional terms as laid out in our governing document. All trustees agree to clear terms of service.

This is an unpaid volunteer role, although expenses for travel within London may be claimed.

 

Caras.org.uk

For application details, please click here.

Southern Brooks Community Partnerships seeks new Trustees (South Gloucestershire)

Expression of interest sought for trustee positions

“Working with communities to understand local needs and bring people together to find better ways of doing things”

Southern Brooks Community Partnerships is an independent charity (RCN 1157061). We are looking to source high calibre individuals who can contribute to the development of this growing charity. 2019 is a great time to join the Board as Southern Brooks have two new commercial projects in the pipeline – a flagship affordable housing scheme and the development of an existing day care facility for early onset Alzheimers.

We are looking to appoint a number of voluntary Board members to play a major role in contributing to its planning and development, strategic oversight, commercial development and management of the charity. The current board are passionate about the work of Southern Brooks and have invested their time to working in partnership with the Local Authority and other like-minded organisations within South Gloucestershire to help empower individuals and build stronger communities, addressing the charity’s key areas of work: learning & development, health and wellbeing, and community cohesion.

We now require several dynamic individuals who are able to work as part of an existing team to contribute to the development and success of Southern Brooks.  As a board member you will work closely with the senior staff and we would like to hear from individuals with:

  • Strong business contact networks within South Gloucestershire or Bristol, which can be leveraged to benefit the charity.
  • Ambition, tenacity and who are not afraid to challenge opinions.
  • A local knowledge and wider experience of commercial social ventures, legal, business development, project management skills, social housing, further education, retail, health and social care.

For further information and application details, please click here.

Southern Brooks Community Partnerships website

Anti-Bullying Charity seeks new Board Members – lawyer required

An exciting opportunity for a trustee with a fresh registered Anti-bullying Charity; as a board member you will be ask to take important decisions for the future of the charity and bring in your expertise for other leading tasks.

We are looking to hire 6 more Trustee/Board members for our anti-bullying charity.

Searching for Individuals from different back ground to help running the charity and also take on/lead specific tasks depending on the back ground.

What we need: an accountant, a lawyer, someone with fund raising experience (marketing/finance), primary/secondary school staff,  psychology/neuroscience. If you belong to a different background, but you think you could fit the Charity needs please come forward. We need individuals very committed to our cause and the job required, very determined and passionate about it. There are periods were there will be tight deadlines to meet, you must be willing to put all your efforts into it. Prior trustee experience a plus, but not essential.

About We Are Stronger Charity: it’s an anti-bullying Charity CIO founded in 2017 and registered with the charity commission since 2018; providing anti bullying programme to schools and one to one Counselling support, raising awareness and understanding of the effects of bullying. We are currently present in UK, but soon opening in Italy; we have already built solid relationship and we keep expanding at a fast pace.

We are looking to hire 6 more Trustee/Board members for our anti-bullying charity.Searching for Individuals from different back ground to help running the charity and also take on/lead specific tasks depending on the back ground.

What we need:

An accountant, a lawyer, someone with fund raising experience, marketing, Art/Event coordinator, finance, psychology, neuroscience. We need individuals very committed to our cause and the job required, very determined and passionate about it.

As this is a quite new organisation we are currently expanding and need more people to take on lead specific task and be part of a wide decision making process. You will gain experience with new methodologies and other skillset; you will be part of a constant growing process and manage the organisation in various countries, with the possibilities to be part of big events in copeartion with TV professionals

You will be part of a growing Charity, with the ambition to be all around the world and be able to reduce the bullying rate and suicides connected to it; you will gain exposure to other organisations we cooperate with all around the world.

 

For further information and application details, please click here.

Camberwell After School Project is seeking a new Chairperson

Camberwell After School Project is seeking a Chairperson who can offer strategic leadership to help steer the organisation towards our 2020 vision for change and sustainability.

The Chair will

  • Lead the board of trustees, ensuring that it fulfils its responsibilities for the governance of the organisation;
  • Work in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer, helping him or her achieve the aims of the organisation;
  • Optimise the relationship between the board of trustees and the staff/volunteers.

Overall

  • Leading the committee and the organisation to enable it to fulfil its purpose.
  • To ensure an effective relationship between:
    • the committee and the staff/volunteers
    • the committee and the external stakeholders/community
  • Acting as a spokesperson and figurehead as appropriate.
  • To supervise and support the head of staff.
  • To lead the process of appraising the performance of the chief executive
  • To sit on any sub committees of the board, as appropriate.

Specifically

  • Plan and prepare the committee meetings and the AGM with others as appropriate.
  • Chair committee meetings ensuring:
    • A balance is struck between time-keeping and space for discussions.
    • Business is dealt with and decisions made.
    • Decisions, actions and deliberations are adequately minuted.
    • The implementation of decisions is clearly assigned and monitored.
  • Ensure adequate support and supervision arrangements are made for the head of staff and any other staff/volunteers directly managed or reporting to the committee.
  • Ensure that a successor is found before the term of office finishes.

 

What are we looking for?

  • Previous experience of chairing meetings
  • Good knowledge and understanding of charitable organisations
  • Has the relevant skills to run a meeting well.
  • Good communication and people skills
  • A willingness to lead the organisation
  • Possesses tact, diplomacy and powers of persuasion.
  • Possesses relevant knowledge

You will work as part of a management team, sharing new and creative ideas in terms of moving the organisation forward in a competitive childcare market.

Drive organisation towards new direction for self sufficiency and sustainability.

 

What’s in it for the volunteer?

  • Being part of a long established and caring childcare organisation
  • Networking and meeting new people in the voluntary sector
  • Develop knowledge, understanding of local and national issues, and how these may impact on the voluntary sector and organisations such as CASP.

 

For further information and application details, please click here.

Fulham Good Neighbours seeks new Trustee – legal background sought (must live in Fulham)

We have up to 10 trustees on our board and as one of them, you will be responsible for the governance of this well-loved charity. You will be required to attend bi-monthly evening board meetings, in addition, you will have the opportunity to contribute to other initiatives like the annual Parsons Green Fair. Board members, together, manage the organisation, employ all paid staff, make policy and ensure that it is implemented, ensure the proper financial management of the organisation, and that it adheres to all legal responsibilities as a registered charity and as a company limited by guarantee.

The candidate

You will be a local Fulham resident, preferably with some governance experience. We are looking especially for candidates who have HR or legal background and encourage applications by those who come from groups currently under-represented on the board: people who are disabled, come from BME communities or are under 35 years old. As a trustee, you can serve 3 terms of up to 3 years each and we are looking for candidates who are willing and able to contribute for the full period of 9 years.

The organisation

Established in 1966, Fulham Good Neighbours supports older people, including those with dementia, with practical tasks at home such as basic DIY, gardening, and decorating. We also run a range of social clubs and are supported by over 60 volunteers. In 2016 we were declared The Best Charity in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

What we offer

We are an award-winning, well established local charity with a small but friendly team of 7 staff members (6 of whom work part-time). There is a well-established board of directors with 8 other trustees. You will have the chance to make a real difference to our long term sustainability and success and through that impact positively on the lives of local older people.

 

For further information, a link to a full role description and details of how to apply, please click here.

Larissa Joy: Lawyers test, challenge and bring skills that are incredibly valuable to the boardroom

We recently welcomed Portfolio Lawyer, Larissa Joy, to share the interesting turns her professional life has taken with our BCKR members. Larissa is somewhat of an evangelist for a plural career. She has taken a number of varied paths during her entire career and continues to do so in the further development of her portfolio.

Larissa’s first holiday job was as a tour leader with Saga, which when she looks back on it, taught her a great deal.  She ran into trouble when, leading sixty American passengers, the Danube had completely dried up and the tour was conducted by land in coaches. She went on to lead Saga’s first 50 day round the world tour.  Difficult as the Danube experience was in the days of no mobile phones, she realised early the value of putting oneself into new and testing situations as an instructive experience.

Larissa trained as a lawyer at Theodore Goddard.  Her next move was in-house at IMG where she combined the role of lawyer and working on music, sport and television deals, combining her interests in the media and music, one of the factors that had led her to train with Theodore Goddard.  Next, she moved into advertising – joining a 90-strong firm that was looking to sell the business.  They needed a lawyer to help them with preparing the business for sale and also with setting up new offices in Europe. They sold successfully to a holding company and merged the agency with an exciting network of agencies, where Larissa picked up a great deal of experience about mergers in people businesses. After several years in the combined business, she followed the Chairman to the Ogilvy group, where she was in charge of assessing potential new businesses for acquisition. She went on to become Vice Chairman of WPP’s Ogilvy Group UK.

From there, Larissa joined Weber Shandwick as their UK COO, just after a merger and having performed that role successfully, was asked to take on a European leadership role.  She was then headhunted into the world of Private Equity – in the emerging markets field – joining Actis as a Partner and COO.  Her experience of managing change, managing people businesses and mergers and acquisitions were relevant to her new role. She was soon doing business in emerging economies such as India and Africa.  It taught her a huge amount, not least how to achieve success in different cultural environments and she learnt about partnership.

After the birth of her third child she came to the conclusion that she needed more control of her time. That was when the role as Chair of the House of Illustration came along, and alongside some consultancy work in professional services, other portfolio roles followed after that.  Her NED and Chair roles now consist of:

  • NED at Charles Russell Speechlys
  • NED at Saxton Bampfylde
  • NED at L&Q
  • NED at Helpforce which works to develop the future of volunteering in the NHS
  • Chair of The Foundling Museum
  • Chair of SBT. This is a consortium of Clifford Chance, Bain, EY, Permira, Thomson Reuters and others who collaborate to invest in growing high-potential social enterprises.

Larissa’s approach has broadly been to be predisposed to say “yes” when asked to have a chat about the potential opportunities that come her way, however unusual the role might sound initially.

Due diligence:  Though it is obviously vital that you take the time to look at the previous financial history and to review the Board and take soundings in the market about an organisation, it is also important to talk to people within the organisation you are thinking of joining. It is also important also to bear in mind that due diligence tends to be about looking backwards at what has happened and sometimes things can, and do, take a different course. For example, Larissa joined an organisation as Senior Independent Director in the early part of her portfolio career where the reason for bringing on board new NEDs was because, following a change in leadership, there was a desire to improve governance and viability ratings and to assess future strategic options. She accepted the role, having significant confidence in the Chair and the individuals she met, knowing the whole picture and found the challenge of being on the Board throughout the turnaround very interesting and satisfying and learned a great deal. Larissa stresses that the one to one time you spend with your colleagues (on both the executive and the non-executive side) is very important.

 

What perceptions of lawyers on boards have you encountered? 

A question Larissa has been asked several times is along the lines of:  “I see you are a lawyer by training – are you going to be the type of Board member that always points out the risks?” Larissa stresses that lawyers are so valuable for the efficacy of good governance of an organisation.  They test, they challenge, and they offer an alternative perspective. They bring skills that are incredibly valuable as part of a cognitively diverse boardroom.

 

Head-hunters:

She believes that the best firms can be a huge help and she has always tried to be helpful to them in their searches, suggesting names and giving advice when they are conducting a search.  It is a good way to start a relationship.  Ask for their advice and try to meet with as many as possible to build relationships.  Head-hunters are an important part of your route to market, as well as your networks.

 

Highlights and pitfalls of portfolio life

Larissa loves the opportunities to make connections between the different organisations where she is an NED or Chair, where that makes sense and does not create any conflict. It is very important to ensure that time is not filled up to allow some room for when NEDs are called on to deal with an unexpected situation, when inevitably more time is required.

 

When developing your portfolio career, did you have a structured plan or did you keep an open mind and see where things led?

Larissa remembers going to see search firms when she was thinking of leaving Private Equity and saying, “this is my experience – what can you offer me?”  But at the time she was not certain about which direction she wanted to take. She now realises that can make it tricky for the search firms to help! She learned to keep an incredibly open mind.  She stresses the need to think carefully about your network and who people you know who rate you might be willing to introduce you to.  Think strategically about people you know on boards or about your particular sector. It is hard to find the time to network – but even use social occasions to make connections and help other people because in the end it all comes full circle and things are increasingly interconnected.

 

How do you assess the time a role will require?

For an organisation that is less used to having NEDs, you will probably need to complete a year’s cycle to get an idea of the time commitment required.  You may be pulled into a ‘task and finish’ situations but it is important that you don’t get pulled into the executive side of things and remain independent.  The role of the Chair is often a greater demand on one’s time.

 

Do you find there is much difference working in the Not-for-Profit sector as opposed to your commercial roles?

On the surface, if well-run, there is almost no difference.  Governance is important in both. But difficult or unexpected situations will occur. Not for Profit can be quite full on in terms of revenue and fundraising.

A good Chair will ensure proper debate. Diversity of thought and challenge is good and should be celebrated. Equally, it is important that risks and major issues are robustly aired. Operating in a regulated environment brings its own challenges and having a Regulator helps to underpin a good discipline to be vigilant about governance and compliance.

 

Is it important to have a balance between Not for Profit and commercial roles?

Larissa finds it exciting to have both and to bring the two together. Networks built in the Not for Profit world have been invaluable in building her portfolio and also very rewarding.

 

Do you turn down many roles?

She is often contacted about things and she will always take the time to suggest other people to help in the search, but at the moment she has a full portfolio so tends to signpost people in other directions.

 

Why would you want to have a lawyer on your board?

A partner in a law firm for example understands cashflow, how to market, run a team, good governance, compliance, contracts, and will have successfully built relationships and trust.  They are likely to have sector expertise, the ability to recognise when to red-flag an issue.

When these skills are part of what a person does day to day they can sometimes underplay them – these are such valuable skills for an organisation – in and outside the boardroom.

Discussion under Chatham House rules

London Rangers FC (Christian football club) seeks new Trustee

London Rangers FC. Based on the Christian values of the management team & board, we want to be more than just a football Club: we want to be an agent of hope within London…..”​

London Rangers FC will be a Football Church..

FIVE YEAR DEVELOPMENT PLAN

  •  At the end of 5 years the club aim is to be:​

Playing at Step 5 in the National Football League

FA Community Charter Club​

Begin a healthy Church

​The main focus will be the development of a successful football team with homegrown players. Alongside this we will also clearly promote the development of youth by providing opportunities for those society marginalises. We aim to offer them a positive football/faith experience.​

We are looking for Board Members with a Christian faith, meetings will be in Evening or Weekends and can be done by phone, Some roles can be fulfilled remotely.

Any of the follow skills are desirable, but the most important is a heart to serve. We are more interested in whether you can see the vision.

Church Pl*

Football Development*

Business Planning/ Business Management *

Charity or Company Law/Governance *

Education & Training *

Event Organisation *

Fundraising & Sponsorship *

PR, Marketing & Social Marketing *

Local Authority/ Government *

Project Management *

Risk Management *

Volunteer Management *

Please click here for further information and applications details.

London Rangers FC

Compaid (disabled people’s charity) seeks new Trustees – legal experience sought

Compaid is seeking a number of new Trustees to join our dynamic Board, as we continue to develop our services and support to disabled and other vulnerable people in and around Kent.

Our Trustees are responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of Compaid, and we are particularly seeking individuals with experience in one or more of the following sectors:

  • Digital Inclusion
  • Information Technology
  • Community Transport
  • Local and/or National Government
  • Fundraising
  • HR
  • Legal Affairs

Compaid Board meetings are held four times a year in Paddock Wood, and each Trustee is also expected to serve on a quarterly sub-committee, overseeing either finance and fundraising, business development or governance issues.

 

For further information and application details, please click here.

Herts Young Homeless Group seeks new Trustee – legal expertise required

Becoming a trustee with hyh offers a challenging and rewarding opportunity for you to be part of a fantastic homeless charity.

Overview of role

The duties of a Trustee are:

  • To ensure that the charity complies with its governing document, charity law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • To ensure that the charity pursues its charitable objects as defined in its governing document
  • To ensure the charity applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects, i.e. the charity must not spend money on activities which are not included in its own objects, no matter how worthwhile or charitable those activities are
  • To contribute actively to the executive committee’s role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • To safeguard the good name and values of the charity
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the charity
  • To ensure the financial stability of the charity
  • To protect and manage the property of the charity and to ensure the proper investment of the charity’s funds
  • If the charity employs staff, to appoint and support the chief executive officer and monitor his or her performance
  • In addition to the above statutory duties, each Trustee should use any specific knowledge or experience they have to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions.  This will involve scrutinising committee papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues, and providing advice and guidance requested by the committee on new initiatives, or other issues relevant to the area of the charity’s work in which the Trustee has special expertise.
  • Work closely with the NHS and other appropriate organisations, keeping abreast of developments which may affect the organisation  to ensure informed decision making
  • To act in an Ambassadorial role for the Friends and Herts Young Homeless at all times.

Person Specification

Each trustee must have:

  • Integrity
  • A commitment to the charity
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to their duties as a trustee
  • Strategic vision
  • Good independent judgement
  • An ability to think creatively
  • A willingness to contribute constructively to discussion and debate
  • An ability to work effectively as a team member

For further information, a link to candidate brief and application details, please click here.

Nottinghamshire Hospice seeks new Trustee – legal expertise welcomed

Nottinghamshire Hospice is an independent, local charity who has been caring for adults living with cancer and other life limiting illnesses, and their families, across Nottinghamshire since 1980. We pride ourselves on being able to give people support so they can choose where they want to be cared for at the end of life. We are able to do this by offering services that mean adults can be cared for in their own home by our Hospice at Home team and in our Day Therapy Centre by a multi-professional team supported by many wonderful volunteers. Our family and carer support team provide a listening ear, counselling and advice on solving problems of all shapes and sizes. All care and support is free of charge for patients and their families.

We are looking for Trustees who can make a significant contribution to the Hospice Board by being able to share and implement their knowledge, expertise and experience.  Trustees are responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the Hospice, its financial health and the probity of its activities in accordance with the Hospice’s governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines. We are particularly keen to hear from local people with experience in the following areas:

  • Legal practice
  • Accounting and finance
  • Marketing and communications
  • Commerce or business

Successful applicants must be able to attend a minimum of 6 Board meetings, 6 Sub-committee meetings, the organisation’s AGM and 2 Strategic Planning days per year. We encourage trustees to represent the charity at public events and take an active part in promotional activities as well.

Becoming a Trustee offers the opportunity for both personal and professional development and is highly rewarding. You will be part of a team of skilled people who are passionate about giving up their own time to help others. Training will be provided where necessary and you will be reimbursed for any expenses incurred in connection with your role.

 

For further information and application details, please click here.

Maria da Cunha: Prioritise your area of expertise and do what interests you

On graduating from the LSE Maria started her career as a competition lawyer at Hogan Lovells. She moved in-house to Lloyds Bank when her two children were toddlers.  Her next move was to British Airways as a competition lawyer where she soon went on to become Head of Legal.  She took on a variety of different roles whilst still being GC, in Government and International Affairs, Economic regulation and then for the last 8 years she became Head of Human Resources and Industrial Relations. She combined this with 8 years on the BA management board.

Then, having spent 15 years in the same industry, she thought she needed more breadth and about 4 years ago Maria started to look for NED roles.

 

How Maria went about getting her first role it

  • Maria started by making a list of businesses she was interested in and a list of those she didn’t want to do. You are committing a considerable amount of time to these types of roles – make sure it’s something that interests you.
  • Then she assessed what value she could add to these businesses (excluding her legal skills) which she felt would be in the following areas:
    • Transformation change and disruption
    • Media and coms/crisis management experience
    • Regulatory and international experience
    • Government interaction

Forget your list of deals.  Think more about your areas of expertise whether it is digital, cyber, sector specific …. This is what you should include in your CV.

You need to put the leg-work in.  Use your network.  Talk to Chairs/SIDs and other NEDs.  Get the support of your boss and colleagues.

Be aware of the time commitment.  Whilst still working at BA, Maria spent many a weekend reading the board pack etc.

The first board Maria was appointed to was at De La Rue (the security company which prints currency and passports and has contracts with many different countries.) She felt the skills she brought to the board room were:

  • International experience
  • Transformation
  • Constructive challenge
  • Team work

 

A year later Maria took on a second role for a not-for-profit organisation in the social care sector, for people with learning difficulties, which was very different but where she could really make a difference.

Very different skills are needed when working in the charity sector rather than the commercial sector.  Charities need real hard business experience and can require you to be much more hands on and therefore charity board roles can be more time consuming.  The skills needed around the board table itself and in relation to governance are not very different, but it is the work behind the scenes where things can differ significantly.  Much more time is required coaching young trustees or sitting on other committees, talking to the CEO or HR directors, all of whom are likely to have less experience and resources than you are used to in the corporate and City world.  You don’t get the same level of support from the company secretary either.  There also tend to be fewer meetings which can make it harder to keep across what is going on.  From a people perspective those working in the charity sector are generally very enthusiastic but less commercially aware.

 

Things to consider when presenting yourself to others when launching yourself into the NED world

Maria asked herself what the pillars were that defined her as a person, such as teamwork, collaborative influencing, communication, all vital skills on a board which are bread and butter to any lawyer.  Most lawyers will have people management experience through managing a practice area, developing talent, appraisals, building and making teams coalesce quickly or bridging between different teams etc.

 

Do you have any particular sector experience?  For instance, international experience is useful for companies growing and expanding overseas.  Think about the kinds of clients you are involved with.  Governance experience is vital.  Compliance. Do not though focus on that alone as boards will also have their General Counsel and external lawyers to seek legal advice from.

 

Deconstruct your practice.  Be clear about the areas you want to avoid as well as those you enjoy but don’t rule out too much.  You just need to be interested enough in the business to commit 3 years to it.

 

Was it hard to convince the Chair at De La Rue that your experience was relevant?

It was actually the headhunter that Maria had to convince.  That can be quite hard as they have a tendency not to think particularly creatively.  She tried to think about the boxes they would put her in and then how she could persuade them to the contrary.

She made a list of all the executive search firms and got in touch with and saw all.  Out of a long list there were about 2-3 firms who actually understood her and remain in touch to this day – still sending through stuff.

 

Headhunters are probably the biggest obstacle to overcome in this process, so you need to make it easy for them.  Point out the obvious.

  • Tell them what sectors you are interested in.
  • Lawyers are well disposed to get to grips with a new business, with a natural curiosity and an ability to absorb the data quickly. Remind them of this.
  • Illustrate your commerciality. There is a consensus that lawyers sit on the fence and don’t take a view.  Persuade them that you can make judgements on the best path to take.  Find examples of where you have taken calculated risks.

 

Are there any courses, seminars etc that Maria found useful?

It is important to be comfortable reading the accounts and financials, particularly if you find yourself on an audit committee.  Keep yourself up-to-date.

Places to check are the Institute of Directors, PwC who run a series of workshops targeted at NEDs. Fidelio Executive Search also runs a programme for prospective NEDs.

 

Being on a board gives you a more rounded view.  You get to see things from a different perspective, from the investment point of view. There can be a lot of cross fertilisation which helps a lot in the executive job. Being an adviser has actually helped her.

 

Lawyers’ soft skills are all there, building consensus, advising vs challenging.

 

Have there been any surprises being a director?

Being the recipient of paperwork makes you much more appreciative of the role a company secretary plays.

 

A really important lesson to understand in any non-executive role, is that you do have to plough through a lot of guff to get to the nub of the problem, particularly at the beginning.  Keep digging and trust your instincts.  It has been interesting to observe that with a balanced board working in unison, you make better decisions and you can learn a lot from that.

 

What has your greatest learning curve been?

Probably dealing with activist shareholders and keeping the investor base happy.  Hadn’t appreciated how complex a problem that would be.

The Open Spaces Society seeks new Trustees – legal skills welcomed

The Open Spaces Society is seeking Trustee/s (co-opted) to help it fulfil its role of protecting open spaces and public paths for the use of the public.

Number: two if possible

Role: to be part of the governing body of the Open Spaces Society (a registered charity and limited company) and help it fulfil its role of protecting open spaces and public paths for the use of the public and, in particular to help it become more financially self-sufficient and thus ensure it continues help future generations. We have an excellent committee but, like many small charities, are in need of more help in certain areas. We would be pleased to co-opt people with the expertise and background below, but they need to join the society before they are eligible to serve as a trustee.

Term: at least one year – preferably two to three.

Desirable expertise/background:

  • a genuine interest in the objects of the society; and
  • resident in Wales with a knowledge of and interest in our work there (we would like at least one trustee to be a Welsh resident to help make our work more relevant to Wales); and/or
  • background in publicity/marketing/social media/fund-raising especially in the charity sector; and/or
  • legal expertise.

Hours: Not onerous. There are four trustees’ meetings a year plus the AGM—currently all in London, lasting three to four hours on a weekday. There is an option of serving on subcommittees or working parties (eg finance, membership) according to skills and interests.

Apart from meetings, most work can be done online and from home. There are occasional exceptions.

 

For further information and application details, please click here.

Doorstep Library Network seeks new Trustee

Doorstep Library Network brings books and the magic of reading directly to children in their own homes in some of London’s most disadvantaged areas. Our 100 plus passionate and committed volunteers currently visit over 500 children on 11 different housing estates in Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster and Lambeth after school throughout the school year. They bring books into homes that otherwise might not have any, and support children to learn to love reading for pleasure and in doing so to improve their reading skills.

Our volunteers also work with parents to enable them to fully participate in their children’s reading. We build strong and lasting bonds with the families we work with; the trust that develops allows our volunteers to give additional support to the most vulnerable families, signposting them to local services and help.

Why Doorstep Library?

Poor literacy levels amongst the most disadvantaged children in London are shocking. One in four children leave primary school unable to read or write properly. 40% of 11 year olds from inner London schools have reading ages of between 6 – 9 years old when they start secondary school. One in three children don’t have access to books in their homes.

Poor reading skills are inextricably linked to economic disadvantage and reduced life chances. For various reasons, children from the poorest families are less likely to have books, less likely to read with their parents and less likely to read for pleasure. Not only are they more likely to fall behind in their studies as a result, they fall behind in their lives.

We believe in the power of words to take children places not just in their imagination, but in their lives. We want to see a world where all children can thrive in homes in which books are celebrated and a love of reading is embraced.

Our History

Doorstep Library started out in 2009 as a small group of volunteers with a vision – that enabling the most disadvantaged children to learn to love reading for pleasure would give them skills for life. Our first project was in Fulham on one of the most notoriously violent and socially isolated housing estates in the borough.

Today we are a registered charity with 8 full-time and 6 part-time employees, more than 100 volunteers and over 500 beneficiaries. Turnover in 2017 was £253,000 and our supporters include Trusts, companies, schools and individuals.

Our Future

DLN has ambitious plans to scale up our work. In order to do this we need to raise more funds by diversifying our funding base, recruiting and training more volunteers.

Trustees

Trustees are responsible for the effective governance of the charity.  We work closely with the Director and the senior management team to ensure that DLN is delivering it mission in a cost effective and efficient manner.  As we grow so our board of trustees will help us build our reputation as a charity uniquely placed to be part of the drive for improved literacy and life chances in some of the most deprived areas in London.

Trustees role

Remuneration: The role of Trustee is not accompanied by any financial remuneration, although expenses for travel may be claimed

Location: London SW1W ODH

Time commitment: 4 Board meetings per year. Trustees may also represent the Charity at various events and meetings with key stakeholders and members of staff.

Reporting to: Board of Trustees (Executive Committee)

Job Description

Principal responsibilities

Governance

· Ensure that Doorstep Library complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations

· Ensure that the governance arrangements are working in the most effective way for the Charity

· Encourage positive change where appropriate

· Ensure that the Board of Trustees is regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to govern and lead the charity effectively, and which also reflects the wider population

· Annually assess the changing environment and approve the organisation’s business plans

· Annually review and approve the organisation’s strategy

· Review and approve the organisation’s fundraising strategy

· Annually review and approve the organisation’s budget

· Approve policies

· Work within any agreed policies adopted by the charity

External Relations

· Act as an ambassador for the cause and the charity

· Maintain close relationships with key members of the local authorities, funders and with key influencers

· Act as a spokesperson for the organisation when appropriate

· Represent the charity at external functions, meetings and events

Efficiency and effectiveness

· Ensure that decisions are taken in the best, long-term interests of the Charity and that the Board takes collective ownership

· Contribute actively to the board of trustees by giving firm strategic direction, defining goals, setting targets, and evaluating performance against agreed targets

· Foster, maintain and ensure that constructive relationships exist with and between the Trustees

· Review the results achieved by the staff team in relation to the organisation’s aims and objectives, annual and long range goals and the performance of similar projects

· Be certain that the financial structure of the organisation is adequate for its current needs and its long range strategy

· Provide candid and constructive criticism, advice, comments and praise

· Approve major actions of the organisation, such as capital expenditure on all items over authorised limits and major changes in activities and services.

Person Specification

Personal Qualities

· Demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to the charity, its  strategic objectives and cause

· Exhibit strong inter-personal and relationship building abilities and be comfortable in an ambassadorial role

· Demonstrate tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively

· Strong networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of the charity

· Ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment

· Ability to commit time to conduct the role well, including travel and attending events out of office hours

Terms

Board members will be invited to serve a three-year term to be eligible for re-appointment for one additional term.

 

For application details, please click here.

Doorstep Library Network

The Air Ambulance Service seeks a new Chair

The Air Ambulance Service provides two very important functions, Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) and The Children’s Air Ambulance which provides paediatric transfers across the UK.Our objective is to save lives, utilising specialist pilots, doctors, and paramedics and with our work centred on saving lives, improving clinical outcomes and being able to react quickly and efficiently to emergencies.

We are at the forefront of innovative clinical care and we challenge boundaries.None of this can be achieved without a hugely dedicated team of colleagues, volunteers and the general public.

The role holder will hold the Board and Executive Team to account for the Charity’s mission and vision, providing inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees, ensuring that each trustee fulfils their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the charity.The Chair will also support, and, where appropriate, challenge the Chief Executive and ensure that the Board functions as a unit and works closely with the entire Executive of the charity to achieve agreed objectives.He or She will act as an ambassador and public face of the charity in partnership with the Chief Executive.

Principle Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Provide leadership to the charity and its Board, ensuring that the charity has maximum impact for its beneficiaries
  • Ensures that Trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the charity
  • Ensure that the Board operates within its charitable objectives, and provides clear strategic direction for the charity
  • Ensure that the Board is able to regularly review major risks and associated opportunities, and satisfy itself that systems are in place to take advantage of opportunities, manage and mitigate risks
  • Ensure that Board fulfils its duties to ensure sound financial health of the charity, with systems in place to ensure financial accountability

Governance

  • Ensure that the governance arrangements are working in the most effective way for the charity
  • Develop the knowledge and capability of the Board of Trustees
  • Encourage positive change where appropriate
  • Address and resolve any conflicts within the Board
  • Appraise the performance of the Trustees and the Board on an annual basis
  • Ensure that the Board of Trustees is regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience to govern and lead the charity effectively, and which also represents the wider population
  • Work within any agreed policies adopted by the charity

External Relations

  • Act as an ambassador for the cause and charity
  • Maintain close relationships with key policy makers and with key influencers
  • Act as a spokesperson for the organisation when appropriate
  • Represent the charity at external functions, meetings and events
  • Facilitate change and address any potential conflict with external stakeholders

Efficiency and Effectiveness

  • Chair meetings of the Board of Trustees effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision making process
  • Ensure that Trustees are fully engaged and that decisions are taken in the best, long term interests of the charity and that the Board takes collective ownership
  • Foster, maintain and ensure that constructive relationships exist with and between the Trustees
  • Work closely with the Chief Executive to give direction to Board policy making and to ensure that meetings are well planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities of trustees
  • Monitor that decisions taken at meetings are implemented

Relationship with Chief Executive and wider Management Team

  • Establish and build a strong, effective and constructive working relationship with the Chief Executive, ensuring he/she is held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives
  • Support the Chief Executive, whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the two roles
  • Ensure regular contact with the Chief Executive and develop and maintain open and supportive relationship within which each can speak openly about concerns, worries or challenges
  • Liaise with the Chief Executive to maintain an overview of the charity’s affairs, providing support as necessary
  • Conduct an annual appraisal and remuneration review for the Chief Executive in consultation with other Trustees
  • Ensure that the Chief Executive has the opportunity for professional development and has appropriate external professional support

For further information and application details, please click here.

Southend Carers seeks new Trustee

This is an exciting opportunity to have a role in leading a dynamic, effective organisation delivering vital services for Carers at the heart of the community.

Southend Carers are seeking new Trustees to join its board to collectively shape and deliver it’s strategy and vision of the organisation and safeguard it for the future.

As a charity trustee and company director you will be responsible for the running of charity, ensuring good governance and prudent financial management. You will be joining an existing group of trustees with a wide range of professional skills and experience, and supported by a motivated, skilled and hardworking staff team.

This is a voluntary role requiring a minimum commitment of at least one monthly board meeting, plus occasional time spent responding to communications, reading and considering papers and ad hoc meetings as required.

We are seeking those with an interest in the charity/voluntary sector, some experience of management either in the business, voluntary or public sector.

It is important to have good communication skills and work well with others, and be willing to learn about Southend Carers services, policies and procedures.

We welcome interest in this role from people of all ages and from all communities.

For further information and application details, please click here.

Southend Carers

Peter Bennett-Jones – Charity Chair

Peter Bennett-Jones founded PBJ Management, an artistic talent agency, in 1988 alongside the Tiger Television Group and has worked as an agent and producer domestically and internationally since then.  His long-term clients include Rowan Atkinson, Harry Enfield, Lenny Henry and Armando Iannucci.

Members however may be more interested in the BCKR context, in hearing of Peter’s services to charity and the arts.  He co-founded Comic Relief, which he chaired from 1998-2013 and was, until earlier this year, the Chair of Save the Children.  In the arts, Peter was on the Board of the National Theatre for 8 years (Chairing National Theatre Productions – the company which produces all NT work outside the South Bank) and is trustee/director of the Liverpool Everyman-Playhouse. He is also a Governor of Rugby School, Chairing the Arnold Foundation.

BCKR is delighted to welcome Peter to share his experiences on these boards, and his thoughts on the lawyer board members he has encountered along the way.

Steve Williams – The Portfolio Lawyer

Soon after qualifying at Slaughter and May, Steve moved into industry, quickly becoming general counsel at Unilever, a role he held for 25 years until 2010. While there, Steve was a non-executive director of Bunzl for 9 years, on their Audit and Remuneration Committees, and of Arriva for 5 years, where he was SID, and he joined the board of Whitbread.  The Whitbread role continued until 2017, first as SID and then as chair of the Remuneration Committee.

Steve currently chairs the Remuneration Committee on the board of Croda International, is Deputy Chairman and SID of the Moorfields NHS Trust and Vice Chairman of the De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust, a contemporary arts centre in Sussex (having already served as Chairman for six years). He is also a Board Member of The Leverhulme Trust, the second largest research grant funder in the UK, and Senior Advisor to headhunter Spencer Stuart.  He has served as non-executive to Eversheds and on the Companies Committee of the CBI and the Takeover Panel.  He remains a member of the Law Society Company Law Committee.

Members will rarely come across a lawyer with such a diverse range of non-executive roles, and they will gain a lot by understanding how he approaches each role and plays up or down his legal credentials accordingly.

Steven Sussman & James Godrich: company accounts – how to look at the numbers

Before hearing James Godrich on the key things to look for in a company’s accounts, BCKR members heard from Steven Sussman.  The second part of the talk is not summarised here, although the slides accompanying these notes provide a good reminder for members of what they heard and will hopefully provide a useful teach-in for those unable to join us.

Steven is CEO of our regular host, JM Finn and members heard his thoughts on what to consider when looking at NED positions and what the regulated firms he’s been involved with have sought from their own NEDs.  Steven provided a colourful and salutary reminder of the associated risks.

What to consider when applying for NED roles:

  • Regulated firms – as a NED you are at risk so you need to consider whether it’s worth it – your assets and reputation may be called to account
  • Time v money – it is not just about showing up to 4 board meetings per year. Much more is required.  There are often committee meetings as well (and non-executives will generally be expected to sit on at least one other committee) and to do a good job, a lot of preparation is required (including reading 50-100 pages ahead of each meeting for even the smallest of committees – much more for the main board meetings).  You need to really consider the time commitment
  • Money v risk – is the risk you’re taking worth the money you will get paid?
  • Learning – Do you know the industry? You need to get up to speed with the firm and the industry so there might be a lot to learn up front.
  • The financial state of firm – remember to look at this area of a firm when you consider a NED role e.g. how cash rich are they / are they profitable / is it a credible business?

As a NED you are responsible to the shareholders so you need to be able to be objective.

Boards don’t look specifically for bankers or lawyers, they want someone who can add value and credibility, ask the right questions, probe. Be professional. Bring contacts. Do you have financial skills as an extra resource that can be useful. Can you introduce clients. Can you give advice/ insight, add a fresh objective view.

And with that, he passed the baton to James Godrich. James’ Powerpoint slides can be found here.

Rachel Hubbard: “Start early, start small”

We recently welcomed Rachel Hubbard, currently leading the Social Impact sector at Saxton Bampfylde, to BCKR.

Saxton Bampfylde is now 32 years old, with the founder, Stephen Bampfylde, still involved.  They have always been focused on the non-profit world, charities and NGOs. Rachel leads the social impact sector.

Different headhunting firms operate different processes and for the candidate and headhunter this process can feel different depending on the type of organisation involved. Saxton Bampfylde does not operate through the ‘little black book’, or by relying on their database.  Their research-heavy model is very different.  They start with a clean bit of paper every time, talking to as many as 120 people for a non-executive search (150 for executive roles), asking the people they can think of who might be interested.  They can also create a mind map. That’s not to say they don’t use feedback from previous searches, or their database, but that is not the main focus. Probably one third to half would be people they haven’t spoken to before as they do try to challenge the brief.   A lot of roles need a lot of advocacy by the headhunter.  Especially the Chair roles currently.

She could fill her life with cups of coffee with potential candidates, but they don’t pay – headhunters need to work efficiently.  To get your first role, don’t look to the search firms – find someone who can introduce you to an organisation.  Can you do voluntary work, or consultancy for an organisation? Start early, start small.  Be seen to be have thought about the voluntary sector before claiming to be able to offer much to them.

Search firms have to win the work like any business.  Their marketing focus is on potential business, not candidates.  They need to look for their clients, and attract them, finding outwhat motivates them, what interests them, who they know, in order to build that trusted adviser status.  She sees this relationship building as similar to the role of a lawyer winning clients.  Become knowledgeable, listen and then come back and advise. When dealing with headhunters remember this.  Once you’ve established yourself, remind them who you are, making it simple and concise, and don’t expect a cup of coffee.

The briefing process from the client is very important in any search.  They don’t often hear “We want a lawyer”, unless the organisation has historically had a lawyer on their board, when repeat lawyers are often valued.

They generally operate to a 12 week process.

Skills audits: before the board makes an appointment they will do a skills audit to work out what they want on the board as a whole, and what they’re missing.  This exercise often makes clients very clear on what they’re after, so the simple database search won’t get the headhunter very far, as it’s the combination of skills that the client will be looking for.  Often, therefore, the headhunter is already trying to amass two or three separate skills into the pot, and it’s unlikely to be law.

Real interest isn’t enough, often something has to resonate. For example, for a homeless children’s charity or a charity for children in care, being “interested in children” is not enough, whatever the professional day job.  It requires something else in the candidate’s life – have they had real life experience of adoption, living in care etc? See if there are ways that make your application stand out.

Start early and do things on a voluntary basis to build experience but also credibility.

One highly sought-after skill: income generation relevant to that organisation. Can you make them more connected with major donors? Do you have experience of winning grants, or giving/winning large contracts akin to those of the organisation? Can you extend their network? etc.  All these could bring money into the organisation.

Another useful skill: can you offer consumer insight – marketing generally, HR, or legal experience – in their sector? Knowledge of stakeholders in that organisation is highly prized.

Who is the competition?

People who can write an application which speaks to the client.  A great CV and a letter that conveys understanding of the motivation for the organisation. If the CV alone shows the candidate is not competent, she often gives up, but clients often focus as much on the letter.

She’s astonished that even when 150 people write applications for chairing a huge charity, often captains of industry, their applications are poor, they convey no evidence for why the organisation should choose the individual.   You must explain “Why on earth they should choose me?” and provide evidence. Get someone else to read the CV and letter first – many clearly don’t.

CVs

Lawyers – can you write a CV which is not prose or discursive, and instead looks like a business CV which demonstrates your management experience? It’s a good idea to bring it alive with numbers – this is very important.  Ensure your CV is no longer than 2 pages.

To be a convincing non-executive trustee, you must demonstrate on paper and in any meetings that you are someone who is comfortable with ambiguity, realising that decisions are often made for the broader social good and which are counter to your sense of logic. The organisation may act against your own better judgement, so it is vital you appreciate the varied motivations of those around the table.  It can be emotionally charged.  You have to be up for this and ready for bold decisions being made without all the data or evidence necessarily always there.  This can be challenging for those with careers based on evidence and facts.

People choose people.  It’s a privilege to be chosen as a trusted adviser, or trustee – there needs to be an affinity, since much unpaid time will be spent with that individual over a number of years.  Arrive with a low ego and show empathy.

What’s your USP? Provide evidence that volunteering is something you do.

Make it easy for people to contact you. Do you really want to work in the non-profit sector? Are you up for the challenges this can bring?  These organisations can come at the world from a very different place.  Despite this, diversity of viewpoint and, essentially, collaboration are hugely valued.

The stakeholders’ viewpoint can be the one that has the final say in a decision.  Ultimately a charity must focus on their mission.  A good lawyer trustee may be good at remembering to bring a discussion back to these first principles.

Skills audit: Will not include lawyers! But it will include governance… not commenting on the minutes, but trying to bring proportion to the whole area in the press spot light at the moment.  Need to think where you will fit in.  The governance of charities is getting closer and closer to corporate position.  The instincts of the lawyer to question things is still good. The questions you can raise about the what-ifs, asking about the consequences of a decision being made, clarity around how decisions will fall.

Are there templates for a skills audit?

Yes. Charity commission website provides them. Will vary by type of organisation.  Grant giving body will look very different from housing association, NGO etc.  To some extent they mirror the executive skills of the organisation.

What makes a good cover letter?

Opening paragraph, where it says in a nutshell why what you do is remarkable and why you can add value. Show you’re  keen and excited and that it’s not all about you.

Are there differences in process etc. between paid and unpaid roles?

Not really, but a commercial organisation can have a simple more streamlined process with fewer involved.  Very few other differences.

Would you expect a panel interview?

Yes, four to five panel members.  Don’t presume anything.  Do your research.  What will be will be.  Panels don’t necessarily know each other, have gathered quickly in advance, but may well ask really tough questions addressing really tough issues.  Don’t be fazed.

Charities also consider whether there are stakeholder groups accessible who can join in the interviewing too.  If so, this will often be used and their views will be very important.  The insights from that group are often aligned with the more analytical process of the trustees

Interviews: Don’t talk at people.  Don’t knock them flat.  Get on and have a well argued intellectual debate and critically, come up with consensus. Most organisations are sceptical about those who’ve had no exposure to the non-profit sector but think they can nonetheless waltz in and make an impact.  Start early.

Starting points:  Samaritans volunteering.  Reading sessions in a school.  Giving time to sector.  School governor.  Mentoring and outreach programmes for clients. Talk giving.  When boards can see that you’ve taken the time despite busy careers etc. it shows real interest.

Good CVs? Pages of prose are really unhelpful.  Hard if you haven’t got much beyond legal work.  Therefore, make it look like a business CV.  Clear statement of your organisation and roles.  Bullet points, not paragraphs, two pages max, keep numbers in it, bring forward the volunteering side, don’t hide it away e.g. leadership role in your church etc. The bits of your day job that people don’t realise are important.

Letter: Spell client right! Tone is critical, often there’s too much “I”, not enough heart.  Need a story that builds empathy.

Interview coming up… how do you get a sense of the organisation before interview? What interaction can you hope for?  Many will build in a conversation with a decision maker to allow you to ask questions etc.  Do ask for this if not offered.  Remember the individual decision maker will also be making judgements at that meeting.  As for auditors etc. wait until the right late stage of the process. By short-list time it’s often about fit rather than the not skill set, hopefully, if the headhunter has done their job well.  This is even more important in a non-profit than a commercial organisation.

The pool of candidates is probably not as strong if no headhunter has been involved in the process, and the pool is harder to get into if you are not in the right network.

SaxBam’s appointments lately have been comprised of 53% women, 38% bme, but the diversity afforded by the socio-economic background is also critical … Much harder to see from the CV itself.  Life experience is able to add something very different which a board may value.

Lots of digital skills required at the moment in searches.  It’s easier to attract those individuals as they don’t dwell on their personal accountability.  But the operational end of delivering services is much harder.

Charles Randell: “The best way to get NED roles is through relentless networking”

We recently welcomed Charles Randell, currently Chair of the FCA, to BCKR.  Charles joined Slaughter and May in 1980 and stayed for 33 years, despite various efforts to ‘escape’.  He interviewed widely for other jobs before becoming a partner, but concluded they were equally as ‘bad’.  So, he took partnership but set himself a target to leave by the age of 50.  On approaching 50, he accepted a job chairing a government owned business which was in the process of being privatised but he had a change of heart over the weekend and pulled out.  This decision set him back quite some way on future jobs in the public sector!

He was still at Slaughters when the financial crisis hit.  By the end of the crisis period, he had nothing left in the tank for transactional client work – particularly pitching to clients and the ensuing rejections. But he did know many more people in government and the Bank of England. One of these rang to encourage Charles to apply for a non-executive position on the Prudential Regulation Committee at the Bank which was to be his cornerstone commitment, and he finally handed in his notice at Slaughters.  There had been hope of him remaining as a partner while fulfilling the Bank’s role but, at his first meeting at the Bank of England, there were so many conflicts that he realised he had no choice but to leave.

At around the same time, he joined the Department of Energy and Climate change board, which again came about through personal contacts gained through his work.  He ended up Chairing the Audit and Risk Committee there too.

In his experience he has found that visiting head hunters was universally a disappointing experience. Despite that, he still did the rounds with them all.

It is well known that Chairs don’t actively seek to have lawyers on their boards, for the reasons we all know too well.  He still gets asked if he has any comments to make on the minutes!

 

Reflections on the role of a NED

  • The job of a NED can be quite lonely and certainly an enormous contrast to being at a law firm where you can have useful conversations about issues with colleagues on a casual basis. It is difficult to find the right level of engagement, so you are not isolated from what matters in the everyday workings of the organisation you are working for.  The dangers lie in not being able to walk about and find out what’s going on.
  • The Bank of England was initially very structured and difficult to penetrate – though it is becoming more relaxed.
  • Good governance is key. There is the Code but, in his experience, good governance is incredibly rare.  In a financial services firm, the tell-tale signs are:
    • Chief Executive dominance
    • Culture of high executive pay
    • An imbalance of material information between the executive and non-executive teams
    • A chronic lack of succession planning by powerful Chief Executives.

The PRA does have a watch list of financial services firms and plenty are on it.

With this in mind, the most critical thing in looking for a NED position is to have/choose the right NED colleagues.  If you are not the Chair, it is obviously much harder to change the culture of the board and organisation.  NEDs are most effective when working persistently to raise issues with the executive – as a group.  Be dogged in a constructive and helpful way.

Freedom to poke about and a good quality exchange of information with the executive are essential.  If you are not getting that, something is wrong with the culture of the organisation.

 

Risks of being a NED

Compared to the unlimited liability you undertake as a lawyer, the risks are minimal.

Yes, there is a risk of public humiliation if things go wrong.  Personally, Charles doesn’t think the risk is so great.

Financial services are no worse than many other industries and at least they are highly regulated so you have the comfort that others are also doing the checks.

The key risks relate to there being a lack of diversity of thought amongst the board.  If you are just reacting to stuff being fed to you rather than delving into the underlying issues perhaps you aren’t giving it the mental space that is required.  You need to maintain a freshness of approach.

Charles has found it useful to look at the agenda and identify the issues before reading through the board pack.

He has found being the Chair of an organisation much more intensive.  The workload is considerable and the challenge as chair is to ensure that the right things get to the top of the agenda – focusing on the core objectives. This is not always easy.

 

Q&A

 

How did you find the public appointment process?

It is formalised and less open.  If the process doesn’t produce the right candidate, they will ring up the right candidate and suggest they apply.  You need to assume that those making the appointment have an agenda.

There is undoubtedly more bureaucracy around the process in the public sector.

The approach of ministerial boards go either way.  The willingness of the Secretary of State to engage with the board and use it as an advisory body varies enormously.  Departmental boards are a very mixed bags.  Your best bet is to ask around before joining a board.  They can be very dependent on the minister (as Chair) – from full engagement to not turning up at all.

Non-departmental public bodies/Quangos are much more settled environments as they are not subject to the vagaries of reshuffles etc.

 

What signs should you look out for recommended to the when applying for senior public appointments?

Each post will have two candidates recommended to the minister so that he/she always has a choice. The key is in the integrity of the selection panel.  Ministerial add-ins do happen but don’t necessarily get far.

 

How do you break from the issues of the day as board Chair and get time to add the right things to the agenda?

It is a job you never finish.  It is usually more a question of getting stuff off the agenda.  Often on government bodies it is part of the reward structure for people to present papers to the board.  These things appear on the agenda months in advance.  The struggle is to get control of the agenda and to fill it from the top down.

 

When you look at when you left Slaughter and May did you get the timing right?

Charles thinks he lucked out.  If you look at the triggers enabling him to be able to find a job, it came down to random chance and the result of happy coincidences, chance conversations and luck. You have to make your own luck by working your contacts.

Like many lawyers he does not enjoy self promotion.  He is happiest with pen in hand.  A lot of lawyers think they don’t have a network.  You have to start with the people you know through work and personal contacts and then just plug away making new connections with every cup of coffee you have.  It does get easier as you go through the process as you realise what you need to get out of the conversations.  If you lack that persistence, then you probably aren’t cut out to be a good NED anyway.

 

When it comes to risk – as a NED – how do you know what you don’t know?

When he joined the Bank of England, he took about 6 months to learn what it was all about.

In 2-3 years your insight will be better informed.  You will pick up areas which you think should be on the agenda.  If you are fobbed off – don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to ask the dumb question and have the strength of your convictions.  For instance, with Carillion, the board papers would have said one thing, but the reality was different.  If the executive team aren’t providing the board with the right information, how can a NED be expected to know what’s missing.

You won’t catch everything. If you want total control, being a NED is not for you.  You can though, keep an eye on areas that might typically show up problems:

  • Sales incentives
  • Accounting anomalies
  • Divergence between cash and P&L

 

Ask the basic questions. Do the best you can.

Suzanna Taverne: play to your sectoral strengths and develop your network

Suzanna started her career as an investment banker at SG Warburg after which she moved into Finance and Strategy Director roles at Saatchi and Saatchi and then at Pearson.  Her next move was in to the public sector when she took on the role of Managing Director of the British Museum, overseeing the Millennium Great Court project.  This in turn led to a role at Imperial College, in what was effectively a COO role.

At the end of that phase she decided she didn’t want to work only in the public sector, so she decided to embark on a portfolio career which she hoped would offer an opportunity to use her not-for-profit, commercial and public sector experience. In doing so, she was clear that it was important to pursue only organisations that had a clear sense of values.

She made a plan to take on up to five positions – two or three commercial roles (her ‘earning engine’), one in the public sector and up to two not-for-profit roles.  There were endless opportunities in the not-for-profit sector, but the commercial roles were harder to come by.  She hoped that her previous board experience was a strength but realised that head hunters like to target candidates with a strong functional or sectorial skill set.  With her mixed career experience, she didn’t necessarily tick all the head hunter boxes.

Her portfolio went on to include:

Nationwide Building Society where she was on the Board during the Financial Crisis

  • NED at Ford Credit Europe. The issues surrounding Brexit have been particularly challenging
  • Serving on the board of the BBC Trust
  • Chairing the board at Marie Stopes International and also serving on the board of Age UK.

 

What has she learned about NED life?

Her first NED role (with Gingerbread, the charity for one-parent families) coincided with a huge professionalisation of the not-for-profit world.  In that sector there

is now much greater clarity on the level of commitment and professionalism required; on how NEDs are recruited and on Board evaluation

Suzanna stressed that the key is to work out your strengths, what you enjoy doing and to check that the purpose and values of the organisations you work with are in line with your own. It is also essential to have a good working relationship with the Chair.

Suzanna found it important not to spread yourself around too thinly, and that it helped her to have an ‘anchor’ role (2-3 days per week).  She has really enjoyed taking on Chair roles, which allows you to help shape an organisation.

As a trustee, playing to your strengths is important.  You need to work out what you can specifically contribute.  Be strategic.  Your conversations with other board members outside the board room are equally as important to the meetings themselves.  It is also important to work out how your sectoral experience can help.

 

How to get the role

Networking is essential.

All the things you gain from your full-time job you need to replace in your portfolio life.  It wasn’t obvious to Suzanna where you got your personal development from.  This is taken for granted in the day job.

  • The portfolio life can be a lonely business and you need to approach it in a deliberate way.  Suzanna took to reading the papers much more seriously to keep abreast current affairs and the business world.
  • Surround yourself with people whose brains you can pick and talk things over with, such as recent events in companies etc.  Don’t be afraid to put forward a hypothesis and see how others react.  You will learn through that experience.
  • Be purposeful with your diary planning.
  • Lack of infrastructure can be challenging i.e. arranging your own travel, managing your diary and the lack of IT support.
  • Think about what your network can do for you.  They are most likely to be the source of your next job.  Every interaction is of value to both sides.

When it comes to lawyers Suzanna admits to a degree of prejudice –

  • Comparative lack of practical experience
  • Lawyers have spent their whole professional life as an adviser not as principal
  • Lawyers are employed to consider risks and provide for them which is very different from the role of a board member, where decisions have to be made in a short period of time

Saying that – Suzanna worked under former lawyer Geoffrey Howe – where he steered Nationwide through the financial crisis incredibly skilfully.  He was a steady and rational person who didn’t crumble under the immense stress.

Overall, lawyers embarking on a portfolio life need to play to their sectoral strengths, develop their network and get good hard experience thinking as principals.

 

Q&A

When you left Warburgs you decided you would prefer to be a principal rather than an advisor.  Why? 

I was more interested in how deals were developed than the actual transaction.  However, Warburgs provided an invaluable experience of the inner workings of the board room and an understanding that good governance is key.  Being part of a professional services team for a while is a great training ground for later corporate life.

 

How do you get started on the NED journey?

Suzanna became a trustee at Gingerbread quite early on but had had no other board role; after a while she was asked to become the Chair.  Later she left Imperial College with no role to go to and began her portfolio career from a standing start.  Her previous experience at Gingerbread was very important in her thinking.  It helped her to do (though not to get) her first NED position.

She got started by using her existing network and stresses that a network is really only an idea until you develop it.

You can’t embark on this journey without firstly putting in the leg work and secondly having the passion to do it.  Every job has to work on its own terms but doesn’t have to be your ‘dream’ job.  Nobody will hire you as chair without solid experience.

 

What is your view on headhunters?

They are a necessary evil but ancillary to your network.  Remember that head hunters work for their client so limit your expectations of them.  Work out which head hunters work in the area you’d like to work in.  You will learn a lot from the questions they ask you.

 

What does a lawyer have to do/say to convince you that they are not just an adviser?

She would want to see that you are able to contribute to the big strategic questions being faced by the organisation.  Your covering letter should allude to an aspect of the business of that particular organisation.  Can you be illustrate that you can help the organisation achieve its strategic goals? You really need to provide some sort of evidence that you have succeeded in doing this in other roles. For all NEDs it is about being able to articulate relevant leadership, commercial and strategic skills – so for Lawyers, contextualising your experience to non-lawyers is vital.

 

How do you judge an organisation that you are about to get involved with?

Talk to as many people as possible.  Current and past board members – just as if you were taking out references.  And do remember that organisations always put forward their best case when recruiting NEDs. So, finding the ‘fault lines’ can take some digging.

 

Sir Nicholas Young: Lawyers know how to ask the right challenging questions – a much-needed skill in a Trustee

We recently welcomed Sir Nicholas Young to BCKR where he shared his thoughts with us. He began with some facts about the voluntary sector.

It is a huge sector with 170,000 charities in the UK with a combined total income of £45 billion per year.  Add in housing associations, private schools the total yearly income reaches £73 billion compared to, for instance, the car industry (£71 billion) or the farming industry (£5 billion).

 

Of the proper established charities about:

  • 45% of their income comes from the public/individual donations
  • 30% comes from central and local government in the form of contracts/fees for services provided.
  • 25% comes from trusts, investments, lottery funding etc.

 

Charities are hugely diverse in their make-up.

  • 34% have an income of less than £10k per year
  • Only 2000 have an income over £40,000
  • Just 40 have an income over £1million

 

As a sector they employ 765,000 staff most of whom are part-time.  This represents 3% of the total UK workforce.  There are 14 million charity volunteers in the UK who volunteer at least once a month.

Nick started his career as an M&A lawyer at Freshfields.  After 5 years, he took time out and went back-packing with his wife. On their return they left London and moved to East Anglia where he joined a small legal firm but a had nagging feeling that his interests didn’t really lie in making big businesses even bigger.

Sue Ryder was a local charity to him, with nursing homes in the UK, 50 homes in Eastern Europe.  Nick contacted their head office and ended out being put straight through to Sue Ryder herself.  The next day he went to meet Sue and she spent ½ a day with him talking about her life.  She was in the SOE and had worked with survivors of the concentration camps.  After their meeting, they established a relationship and eventually she persuaded him to quit the law and join her organisation.

He stayed for 5 years at Sue Ryder Homes, but it was the organisation was the ‘founder’s child’ and that meant that many of the ideas Nick had for putting the organisation on the right legal footing were met with resistance.  A complex relationship to manage.

He left and went to the Red Cross which at the time was an organisation which had lost its way.  The management and trustees had fallen out.  The organisation had undergone huge changes after the war with the introduction of the NHS. In the following 40-50 years they got involved in a variety of different things.  Essentially it was organised like 93 separate county charities.  Nick was brought in to run ‘the UK’, but given its structure, it took a while to modernise.   With his legal hat on, looking for a way to collapse the structuring,  he realised that the trustees were unaware of their personal liability in their roles and when Nick wrote to them to highlight this fact it made a lot of trustees sit up and think and subsequently leave.  Restructuring was underway!

After 5-6 years with the Red Cross he left to join Macmillan Cancer Support as their Chief Executive.  This was a wonderful, slightly happy go lucky, organisation.  They had very dedicated volunteers who raised lots of money.  The relationship with government became very interesting.   A little before Tony Blair was elected, Nick had a meeting with Chris Smith (shadow Health Secretary) and Harriet Harman.  He sold them the idea that they needed a strategy to counteract the post code lottery in relation to cancer care services.  During that meeting Harriet realised that this could be a great mandate for their manifesto and when they came to power, there was a transformation of cancer services. Macmillan was then able to work closely with government on a strategic level.  Which was very interesting.

After 6-7 years Nick went back to the Red Cross as their Chief Executive running the UK and overseas.  At the time they had a deficit of £14 million so needed a restructuring.  He only stepped down from that role quite recently.

 

Trusteeships

The governance of charities is becoming increasingly important issue due to the public’s waning trust in charities in general.  This concerns particularly the charities’ relationship with donors and potential donors, and, since the Oxfam crisis, with ensuring the safety of beneficiaries.  That crisis has been a huge wake-up call for charities, heightened by the fact that The Charity Commission’s role is now that of the regulator rather than there simply to support charities.  This leaves a lot riding on charity trustees, who now have a big responsibility for people who are part-time volunteers.  For large charities in particular, it is a weighty responsibility, and trustee boards have found it difficult to get to grips with the public scrutiny.

So, there is a real need for better trustees and a better relationship between trustees and the management.

 

What makes a good trustee?

  • Passion and enthusiasm
  • Relevant expertise and experience
  • An ability to ‘bring it to the table’. To challenge management.  To ask the right question.
  • Time commitment. Charities will always want more time they have asked you for.
  • To have the ability to strike the right balance between support and challenge. There should be a creative tension between management and trustees.

In big charities it is an oversight role.  In small charities you need to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do a bit of everything.

Working with volunteers is a challenge.  You can’t manage them in the same way you manage staff in the private sector.  It requires patience and understanding.  It is important to understand that the staff are there to support the volunteers and channel the volunteers’ passion constructively.

 

Lawyers – why do relatively few trustee boards have lawyers on them?

One great skill a lawyer has is the ability to get to find out what the real problem is.  To ask the right challenging question.  There is much need for these skills on trustee boards and Nick is always keen to encourage other lawyers to join the sector.  It will offer you the chance to feel good about ‘giving back’ and also to have fun.

  • There are lots of recruitment consultants to help you get charity roles e.g. Saxton Bampfylde, Spencer Stuart and Odgers being the main ones.
  • The key is to do something that really interests you. Make sure the organisation supports its trustees
  • Be clear about what you are taking on in terms of time commitment

 

How difficult is it to sit on the board of a charity verses a listed company?

The gulf is not so huge between the two.  There are greater differences between a sitting on the board of a small or large charity.  There is a gap in the support for charities, left by the Charity Commission’s role now being that of regulator rather than to support.

 

Is the lack of lawyers on boards a problem sitting at the desk of the headhunters?

When Nick went to see a charity headhunter they questioned why he would want to leave the law!  Lawyers are still perceived as one dimensional “we don’t need a lawyer now”.  Lawyers need to get better at marketing their business skills:

  • A good understanding of how organisations are structured and work.
  • A general understanding of law is incredibly valuable to a board.
  • A commitment to doing things the proper way.

 

Are there too many charities in the sector?  How should the problem be addressed?

As an example – there are 700 charities with the world ‘cancer’ in their title.  There isn’t an obvious answer how the government can stop people wanting to help other people.  It is hard to halt the passion of volunteers.  There is an absence of collaboration.   Perhaps this is an issue lawyers could push to the forefront.

 

Are there sectors where there is more need for trustees to join their boards?

Organisations do struggle to get trustees in the ‘un-sexy’ sectors such as mental health, prisons and crime, refugees and INGOs, partly due to reputational exposure.

 

Where should you start your search?

  • Define which sector interests you.
  • Go to a headhunter that specialise in charity trusteeships
  • Research a charity you are interested in and then approach the Chief Executive or Chair. You’d be surprised how welcome these types of approaches can be.

Will Dawkins: Tactics for getting that board role – Get skilled-up, widen your horizons and prepare

This week we welcomed Will Dawkins, Head of Board Practice at Spencer Stuart to BCKR to share his thoughts with us.

 

The current situation

The current situation for lawyers on FTSE 100 boards has neither significantly changed nor improved over the last 5 years.  There are currently 12 NEDs who come from a true professional lawyer background on FTSE 100 boards.  In the US it is more like 50% of companies who have a lawyer on their board.

The reality of the FTSE 100 market is that there are probably only 780 positions available at any one time and 1% of those will be open to lawyers.

A typical board will have the following NED seats to fill:

  • 2 executives (these will be people who have managed a large business)
  • 1 SID
  • Chair of Audit (a CFO or Audit person)
  • Chair of Remco (someone who has lived with REM e.g. a former CEO or perhaps someone from an HR background)
  • 2 seats will go to the next REM and Audit chairs
  • This leaves 2 potential seats for newbies – one of which could of course be a lawyer.

In general terms in the UK, a board’s role is about strategy and ensuring its implementation and challenging management on their business decisions.  There is therefore an emphasis on the possession of business skills.

A very typical question a headhunter will ask a prospective candidate is “tell me a story about how you coped with an alien situation?”

  • Do you have the ability to deal with complex scenarios?
  • Are you able to make big decisions based on limited information?

There is therefore considerable benefit in looking at roles in other organisations.  Other options might be:

  • Regulatory agencies
  • Government departments
  • Trade organisations
  • NHS trusts
  • School governorships
  • Major charities

The organisations are interesting and really need people like you.

 

What are the pros and cons of inviting a lawyer onto your board?

The Pros

  • In relation to quoted companies there is an increasing emphasis on diversity and not just in gender and race but the desire to have diverse insight, personal characteristics and thought around the board table.
  • In this highly regulatory environment, the agenda is often focused on compliance and regulatory matters. Lawyers are well placed to add value on these complex issues.
  • The ability to read board papers and drill down through the detail to come up with 3 important questions is second nature to a lawyer.
  • A commitment to accuracy is useful in the boardroom and reassuring.
  • Morality – need people who are able to make the right call.
  • Business-minded – law firms are one of the most successful business sectors. Lawyers broad exposure and perspective on business should help. But you need to be able to present yourself as good business people through your role as a lawyer.
  • Managing ego.
  • Complexity – your ability to deal with complex financial structures.
  • Commoditisation: the experience of addressing the business

 

Cons:

  • They don’t need a lawyer on the board for legal advice.
  • You have the wrong skill-set. A lack of business background to challenge the CEO.  A lawyer is happier advising than making decisions.
  • You are too precise in your thinking.
  • Your perceived lack of commercial acumen – for example, not being good with numbers.

 

Tactics

  • Skill-up
  • Adjust your expectations – don’t restrict yourself to PLCs
  • Preparation

 

Skilling Up

At the long-list stage you will be ranked against other business people so try to build evidence of your business acumen.

  • Build experience through work in the charity sector
  • Learn the language of business
  • Look at your weaknesses in business and train up.
    • Management training
    • MBA
    • Advanced Management Programmes are run by most business schools
    • Spencer Stuart also runs a 3-day (invitation only) board role-play course

It will show that you are serious; it will take you outside your sphere of experience, increase your network and make you a better interviewee.

 

Expectations

Take a look at the full range of options.  Don’t restrict yourself to PLCs.

 

Preparation

Before you go to a meeting with anyone – research them for example in BoardEx.  Check their connections.

 

How to promote yourself with the headhunters?

Headhunters are looking for people for their jobs – not looking to contact people for roles which may appear.  Your CV should state plainly near the top what you are looking for, which makes it easier for the headhunter to make a match.

If you want a coffee/meeting with a headhunter give them a reason to talk to you.

  • You may have your eye on a particular board.
  • You may have an introduction from someone who the headhunter won’t want to offend.
  • You may have an introduction from a client or senior adviser. Cold calling doesn’t really work. The headhunter will only think about you passively through a cold call approach.  They are only proactive for their clients.  They are reactive for potential candidates.
  • Identify a particular sector you are interested in, so you reach the right person within the headhunting firm. The Board Practice should be your first point of call not the Legal Practice.
  • Find a link within the firm through your contacts. The leading firms in the corporate sector are:
    • Russell Reynolds
    • Heidrick & Struggles
    • Spencer Stuart
    • Lygon Group
    • Korn Ferry
  • In the not-for-profit sector, it is easier to become aware of roles as they have to be publicly advertised. The main firm in this sector is Odgers and Berndtson (who deal with two thirds of the public-sector roles).

 

What will make you liked or not?

If you can evidence that you’ve thought carefully about what you want and who might be interested in you.

 

Government appointments

Government departments are a very different option from a PLC.  There is less focus on strategy and more on operational efficiency and effective delivery.  It can be very challenging.  Their boards are typically made up of academics, business people, lawyers and accountants.  They do have to advertise their roles and they have to demonstrate that all candidates are given exactly the same process.  However, it can often be a two-pronged approach, with sought-after candidates being asked to apply.

If you don’t receive a call from the headhunter in advance of your interview it will be indicative of the interest in you.

 

You will be interviewed by a panel, where all candidates are asked exactly the same questions.  However, it is an accessible world for a lawyer.

The downsides are that ministers have often chosen their preferred candidate and so, if possible, you should try and find out (discretely) whether there is a preferred candidate.

 

What kind of remuneration can be expected of these different roles?

  • FTSE 100 companies pay approximately £70k for a NED role – unlimited personal liability.
  • A public NED role will pay somewhere between £10-20k
  • A charity role £0

 

Do concerns around liability affect people taking on these roles?

To a degree, especially in the financial services sector, companies and most (major) charities have D&O policies but you should recognise that reputational liability is a greater risk than legal and financial liability.

Kirsty Watt and Gavin Robert: Lawyers are highly sought-after at multi-academy trusts

We recently welcomed Kirsty Watt from Academy Ambassadors and Gavin Robert, former Linklaters partner, to BCKR to discuss academy trusts and how lawyers make a good fit for their boards.

NED roles for BCKR members are being offered through Academy Ambassadors who came to speak to the group today, together with Gavin Robert – a BCKR member who found a NED role with England’s largest primary academy trust through the AA – BCKR relationship.

Lawyers are particularly sought after for the boards of multi-academy trusts for their ability to provide scrutiny and challenge. Academy Ambassadors provides a free, bespoke service matching business people and professionals with multi-academy trusts looking to strengthen their boards. Since 2013, the not-for-profit programme funded by the Department for Education has introduced over 900 business people and professionals to trust boards.

The NED role at an academy trust has impact and makes a significant contribution to improving education and life chances. As multi-academy trusts (MATs) grow and develop they face significant challenges and the skills and experience of lawyers can help these trusts and their pupils to succeed.

Academy Trusts have expanded massively over the last 5 years, which has not been without its own challenges.  Academy Ambassadors came into the picture at the beginning of this expansion when it became obvious that these new organisations needed the backing of a strong board.

A school usually converts to an academy when the Department for Education asks for a school to be taken out of local authority control.

  • If a school fails Ofsted inspection and goes into special measures.
  • A school is doing well but wants to convert.

Is there ever hostility when a school decides to convert?  It varies.  Some parents are hostile to the idea.  It is a question of doing the right thing for the locality.  The need is for organisations that can raise standards in a short time and Academies have been successful in doing that.

The usual route to becoming an academy is either:

  • A business sponsor taking over a school (usually a failing school)
  • A strong head who is asked to get involved in other schools (which is the most common model) – with a structure where one corporate body oversees a number of schools.

Obviously, it can be a big leap from being a primary school teacher to becoming Chief Executive of an organisation with a budget of £10-200 million.  Academy Ambassadors come in to help match people who want to make a contribution on a pro bono basis to support these teachers by joining multi academy trust boards.

The educational environment is stimulating and has plenty of governance challenges, in particular, a number of growing Academies need to establish an independent corporate body/central board to oversee the local school governing bodies.

Gavin was introduced to Academy Ambassadors following a BCKR breakfast and was interested in having a mixed portfolio which included the voluntary sector.

He joined REAch2, which is one of the largest primary multi academy trusts, with 58 schools.  It is the largest primary-only academy and covers the UK up to the midlands.  Reach4 and Reach South cover Yorkshire and the South Coast.

The challenge with primary school Academies is that they are made up of many more smaller schools.  REAch2 has an income of £100 million and a staff of 4000.

It was established by Sir Steve Lancashire who developed a scalable system, with central services to keep pace with the rate of expansion.  It is all funded through grants per pupil – though extra funding is received for converting a school to an academy.   The board are not involved in any external fundraising.  The bare facts are that increased occupancy equals more income.  Academy schools all come from the state system.

Gavin’s first role for REAch2 was to join one of their Regional Boards.  There are 4 regions with 15 schools in each region.  There is also a central trust board.  This is quite a governance-heavy model.

On the Regional Board Gavin stepped up to be Chair of the Education Committee.  It was a fast learning curve, particularly learning to disseminate educational data.  As a competition lawyer, Gavin didn’t feel particularly well versed in Corporate Governance.  But the Committee consisted of two head teachers and one governor who were experienced in education which helped.   The focus was mainly on strategy, direction and also risk and audit.

He later moved to the Trust Board where he became Deputy Chair.  They formed a Rem Com and he sits on that too. The statutory accounts, which are published, are heavily scrutinised.  Executive pay is a very hot topic as is gender pay gap.   Education has the 2nd/3rd worst gender gap.

Now Gavin is also on a Governance Steering committee set up to examine the governance model, allowing greater power for the Regional Boards.  He has found the regional board level to be very interesting – in particular, the detailed discussions about improving local schools.

The heads teachers report to the Regional Director who has a team of 4-5 assistant directors who go into help turn schools around.

 

What are the advantages of an Academy Trust role?

It is very clearly a NED role (not a governor role).  Multi academy trust boards are definitely corporate roles.

Do schools in these large trusts still have local governing bodies?  Yes – they are a mix of parent and non-parent trustees.  They play a governing/supervisory role in relation to their individual schools, but they cannot, for example, hire or fire a head teacher.  They tend to oversee the following areas:

  • Disciplinary and performance issues
  • Parent/staff surveys
  • Holding the Head teacher to account
  • Curriculum – the local offering to pupils

They are not involved in the strategy of the trust.

Resources are shared across schools – which is really the most valuable asset of the MATs.  For example, a good leader from one school will share best practice in failing schools.

Financially, MAT boards focus on the reserves policy.  Finance for the MATs is received through ‘top-slice’.  Each school in the trust receives money directly on a per pupil basis and the trust will take a percentage off the top.  The role of a trust includes:

  • Educational performance
  • Creating capacity
  • Challenging schools on resources
  • Top slice policy

 

If you are looking to take on a role what should you look for?

  • Think about the nature of the challenge you want
  • 5% of trusts are in a turn-around scenario
  • A match has a lot to do with geography and time available. Anticipate 5-6 hours a month but realistically it will be 8 hours.  Gavin does 4 days per term.  Initially you need to get up to speed with a lot of jargon
  • Your decision will most likely come down to how you think you will get on with the other members of the board.

Gavin has found it to be a manageable and very rewarding role.  You learn an enormous amount from fellow trustees and it is a very good intro to NED roles.

If you are interested in pursuing a role with an Academy Trust, BCKR members can have a one-to-one conversation with an experienced adviser at Academy Ambassadors to help match them to a role. The locations where roles are currently available for lawyers are: Bexley, Leicestershire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton, Barnsley, Sheffield, Rotherham and Liverpool. However, further roles are coming on-line this month in London, the South-east, South-West as well as northern regions. By registering your interest now, you will be informed of these roles when they are available.

 

Further information is available here and BCKR’s contact is kirstywatt@newschoolsnetwork.org who you can email to express interest.

 

Lord Falconer: The nerdiest of lawyers can make a decision without reading all the papers or having all the boxes ticked

This week we were delighted to welcome Lord Charles Falconer to BCKR.

Looking back Charlie’s experience as a lawyer could seem quite depressing.  Between the ages of 22-45 he was the nerdiest commercial barrister. He had concluded that success was brought about by serious hard work and always being on top of things – mostly on top of reading the papers.  But now – after broadening his career with a stint in politics – he can look back and see how completely absorbed in the day job he was and that there actually other approaches to success beyond being the best-read person in the room.

Having made silk at 40, he was appointed to the post of Solicitor General at 45 (this had no relation to the fact that he used to share a room with the PM at school).  Charlie had come to believe that lawyers were the cleverest, most hard-working individuals out there but he was disabused of the opinion during his time as Solicitor General.  As a politician, the ability to think strategically and to connect with other people was equally as important as being across the facts.  He learned that lawyers aren’t very good at that. You sometimes have to make decisions without knowing absolutely everything.  He felt a bit at sea to begin with.

He moved from the SG role to being in charge of the Millennium Dome.  Pretty disastrous for him.  He was then moved to the Department of Housing which was a liberation.  This gave him experience of a job outside of the law, with few papers to read, where the aim was fundamentally to help as many people without means as possible to get housing.  This required developing relations in and out of politics to secure the necessary help.  It is true to say that he became completely obsessed with housing.

After a year however, lawyers in politics were in short supply and he was moved to the post of Criminal Justice lawyer for the Home Office.

When Charlie left the world of politics he really wanted to continue working in housing.  By that time housing associations were the biggest sector building affordable housing, local authorities having been deprived of the ability to build after Thatcher introduced the ‘right to buy’.  Housing associations have their beginnings in charities or religious organisations and most range from small and local to huge associations worth billions with strong covenants relying on large numbers of tenants receiving housing benefit.

Charlie chaired Amicus Horizon for 9 years and found it to be an incredibly worthwhile experience.  When he joined, the board was mainly populated with resident trustees but over the years they expanded numbers.  More independent professionals including accountants and people from HR backgrounds.  When he joined, at the start , they were actually in supervision due to a range of bad decisions that included:

  • Bad maintenance contracts
  • Health and safety issues
  • Fraud and corruption

Between 2008-2017 Amicus merged, came out of supervision and built more houses than any other association in London.

Housing associations are keen to get high calibre professionals on their boards and lawyers’ skills are a good match.  You get a much better understanding of the issues at a board table if there is a broad range of people, especially if you include those whom you might not come into contact with otherwise.   You do need to be able to think strategically and it can be time consuming when you are firefighting.  But housing (or the lack thereof) is an incredibly important aspect of social justice.  If the issues aren’t addressed the UK may find itself in a similar situation as the US where communities are polarised – the extremely wealthy living in one area, next to those living in poverty.  A two-tier city like Los Angeles.  It is a massive social problem.  But because of that, sitting on a housing association board gives you much needed insight in to a world that would otherwise pass you by.

Lawyers aren’t thought to bring much to the table.  Can fall into two categories

  1. Big rhetoricians
  2. Read all the papers

In between are people who are able to deal with others, and to come to a conclusion about a problem without dotting every ‘i’.

Lawyers are reluctant leaders.  Happy to dominate and control but ultimately shuffle the actual decision onto the client.

 

There is a balance somewhere between outrage and detail.

 

Q&A

Ultimately his full engagement with a topic made him more willing to offer his views on issues, to form a view then provide the support for that view (where the reading remains useful), and always followed by leadership.  As Solicitor General he had to engage in public policy issues as a lawyer – he was not particularly well liked by lawyers or politicians at that time, and he was particularly struck by the ability of non-lawyers to make good strategic decisions drawing on insights rather than by reading all the facts and figures first.  Despite his political career he will always be perceived as a lawyer.  There were people who questioned the decision to have a lawyer as Chair Amicus Horizon – even though he had been Minister for Housing!  So – there are definitely hurdles to overcome.

 

What motivated you to go into politics?

Charlies absolutely loved the commercial bar but he had always engaged in politics and after the Labour landslide, when the role of Solicitor General came up he thought that it would be a two-year job and then he’d go back to being a barrister.  He didn’t go into politics because he’d had enough of the law.  He measures real success as gaining the approval of judges and lawyers …. He is still waiting for that!

 

In Housing Associations now, there is a tremendous tension between the profit making machine and developing enough affordable homes.  How do you Housing Associations best deal with this tension? 

Between 2010-2015 the government was pressing hard on Housing Associations to use their assets to make more money e.g.  building 3 large houses in Mayfair and using the profit from those to build 30,000 affordable homes.   A political issue – having assets which you should sweat for greater good.  But housing is very dependent on grants, regulation and goodwill from government.  The politics has changed as government has become aware that they need to put more grants.  Simplistically more government money will equal more houses.

 

What are the warning signs to look out for if you are thinking of joining a Housing Association board?

  1. Strange movements of cash in the accounts
  2. Resident complaints
  3. Contractor manipulation

 

How do they recruit NEDs?

  1. Headhunters – Saxton Bampfylde and Odgers
  2. Inside Housing Magazine

 

There is no shortage of vacancies for these roles and in the next 18 months there will probably be a number of Housing Associations refreshing their boards as terms reach their end.  If you make an approach to a local association they may suggest you start on a committee first and then transfer you on to the board

 

The most important thing is that you need to be engaged and represent and stand for the values of the organisation.

Josyane Gold: Networking, focus and persistence – the key to attaining your first role

We recently welcomed Josyane Gold, retired lawyer, to BCKR to share her thoughts with us.

Zygos appointed Josyane to the board of Electra Private Equity, a FTSE 250 investment trust, 5 years ago, after retiring from her 25-year career as a corporate partner at S J Berwin.  At that time there was no structure or support for senior partners thinking about life after the law, so she felt she had to be very strategic about her transition, particularly once she’d decided to go down the route of looking for non-executive roles.

She spoke to her managing partner about this transition, explaining that it would take time to find the first roles but that if she succeeded, it would be positive for the firm and would reflect well on the practice.  She negotiated a phased departure over 3 years, reducing her equity accordingly and then moving to a consultancy role at 3 days per week.

Josyane felt she needed the time to draw a line under her legal career.  She suggested a financial package to the managing partner that included access to a senior coach or career adviser of her choice (at the firm’s cost) for 18 months.  She felt this was necessary, so she could learn more about the world outside law since she had been so heavily focused on her legal career, and she didn’t really know what her skills were beyond the legal ones.

Josyane began the process of looking for her first role by examining her goals, skills and what really mattered to her.  The consultant helped her recognise and understand her skills and how they were transferable and also helped with creating a new CV.

Networking was where it started.  She had lots of introductions from people who had gone through the process of retiring, or joining the non-executive world.  She began meeting with headhunters and looked at roles in listed and unlisted companies.  She didn’t really know where she was heading.  Without fail, the headhunters told her that they NEVER received a mandate for lawyers – which was rather deflating.  Though saying that – her first role did come through a recruiter.

Critically Josyane’s recommendation is that you focus on your own network.  She had coffees left right and centre with clients, letting them know that she was looking, making connections all the time.  Your first role will inevitably come directly or indirectly from your connections.

She attended seminars, joined the FT NED club and took relevant courses.

She spent time on her on-line profile, creating a website and up-dating her Linked-In profile.

After a few months, she received a call from a headhunter regarding the role at Electra, who were looking to recruit a non-exec (to replace a retiring board member) with someone with a legal background!  Josyane felt comfortable in that sector and coincidentally the retiring director was an old client who had come to see Josyane 6 years prior regarding taking on the role herself at Electra.  There is no doubt – for the first time in her career – that diversity worked in her favour for this appointment.

For Josyane it was a perfect starting point.  She undertook plenty of due diligence, got up to speed on corporate governance and got straight down to a full induction process.  There were 6 board members, all fully independent non-execs.  The role of the board was to choose and supervise the fund manager.  A wholly non-executive structure, which works to a point but when something crops up, it all falls apart a bit.

Josyane was engaged for 20 days a year including the AGM and strategy day.  The board was diverse in terms of men and women and skills.  There was an excellent dynamic and they built constructive relationships with the manager.  Josyane learned a lot from her fellow board members.  It probably took 3 years to feel confident in that role but thereafter, she felt she had properly made the shift from the role of an adviser to that of principal.

She wasn’t initially clear where she could contribute.  It took time to find her feet and understand that she had something to say.  The process was accelerated by the arrival of an ‘activist’ board member.  It was a fascinating, if time consuming, period but it proved that she did have something to bring to the table.  During that process she saw the best and worst of listed boards.  Ultimately the activist took control of the board and most of the previous board members resigned.

After leaving Electra Josyane joined the board of advisers for Palamon, where she is highly involved with the investment team.  She has built up an ambassadorial role with Palamon.

She is also mentoring several former clients and doing some charity work alongside.

Observations:

  • Seek assistance at the start of your transition to help you with re-packaging yourself.
  • Work your own network.
  • Start thinking about this step early.
  • Focus on an industry sector where you have experience – all options are open after your first role.
  • If serious about building a portfolio – take on other roles during your first role – don’t wait.
  • Undertake careful due diligence before taking on your first role – but it won’t tell you everything.
  • Continue learning and networking through seminars etc.
  • Persevere – it is a satisfying and challenging route to take post law.

 

Q&A

When you joined Electra did it operate in the way you expected?

The first thing that hit her was that so much is financial.  Looking at performance, running through valuations (not her background).  Others around the board table were better equipped.  It took a while to recognise that this was not a problem.

She thought she’d be required to be a funds specialist but that wasn’t really the case.  She was put on the Management Engagement committee which was all about building relationships managers and this really spoke to her skills.

Taking time to understand the dynamics of the board and what other members had to add was important in recognising her own skills.

All your preparation can only take you so far.  The rest you learn on the job.  On the whole as a lawyer, you don’t get to see the decisions being made, so you are not there seeing the full panoply of things the board are discussing.

Josyane was lucky to have a very supportive Chairman who took her aside once and said she was doing a good job but that she didn’t look like she was enjoying it (which was probably true).  At that point she gave herself permission to do so.

 

Were there skills that you had never been required to use as a lawyer that you have since had to learn?

She was attracted by the notion of being a principal rather than adviser.  That was the main change.  During one verification process at Electra, Allen & Overy were up all night working on the verification notes.  Josyane went to bed and just had to sign the papers in the morning.  That really brought home to her that she was now in a different role.

It is good to get out of your comfort zone.  Comfort can mean coasting.  You learn quickly on the job.  It is scary but suddenly you realise from a business perspective that you understand so much more about how a business runs.  You never lose the fear that things will go wrong – but that is what keeps the adrenalin pumping.  Don’t shy away from the numbers.

Lawyers haven’t helped themselves by not building their profiles whilst in full time practice – so take more time to prove themselves.

 

How is being a lawyer informing your contribution around the board table?

  • Analytical skills – the ability to assimilate and articulate
  • Breadth of contact and industry knowledge
  • Risk

 

 

 

Karen Brown: “Why would you want a lawyer on your charity board? Why wouldn’t you?”

We recently welcomed Karen Brown to BCKR to share her thoughts with us.

When asked the question why would you want a lawyer on your charity board, Karen’s response would be – why wouldn’t you? Maybe the better question might be “why would a lawyer want to be on a charity board”?

Things have changed dramatically in the last 5 years. There has been a huge shift in governance with the external environment requiring much more formal governance procedure to be in place. Some charities are still adjusting to this.

How lawyers would be viewed on boards depends very much on the lawyer. Boards are there to help create an environment where the organisation can take risks but achieve its mission safely.

Enabling lawyers were the ones Karen liked when she was working in broadcasting. The prejudices against lawyers are well known – that they have a tick-box mind-set, aversion to risks etc. – but Karen is yet to come across one of those. Lawyers’ experience is all about dealing with messes and they are able to bring:

  • Good analytical skills
  • All round abilities
  • The right questions to ask
  • Values that match the organisation
  • Strategic brain

They are people who know how to flex, roll up their sleeves, advise at times and insist at other times.

We overlook the point that lawyers have a far broader experience than they are generally credited with, managing large businesses dealing with many of the same issues as other organisations. Issues around law and fundraising are under-resourced in terms of legal support within charities so it can be very useful to have a lawyer on your board.

How does selection work?

Some charities only use search agencies for Chair recruitment. But the principles are the same whether the search for trustees is being done through an agency or by the organisation itself – so building your networks is the first task.

Usually, the board will go through a standard skills audit and look for the experience that is lacking. Look at the diversity of the existing board in terms of all protected characteristics e.g. gender, BAME, also where you live, socio economic mix, age etc and mode of thinking (lateral, creative, strategic).

Achieving the optimum board skills can be a difficult balance to strike. Very often, recruiting organisations can be blind to the breadth an individual can offer. So it is up to you – the applicant – to demonstrate that.

Expect to prep hard. Quite often a potential trustee gets turned away only to be appointed at a later date. It is important to understand the reasoning behind a board’s decision not to take you on. Get to know the organisation better, if appropriate, and apply again.

Another route to board appointment is to do other volunteering for the organisation such as supporting the legal department, being on a sub-committee or doing a piece of work for the organisation.

How do you decide if the organisation is right for you?

Think about what your interests are.

  • Do you like large or small organisations?
  • What drives you? You need passion for the organisation. Think hard about whether you are prepared to be up at night worrying for them.
  • Do your due diligence – think about what might go wrong.

Due diligence – how do you start the process?

  • Ask questions.
  • What does the organisation say about itself?
  • What do others say about the organisation?
  • What are the main issues facing the organisation?
  • Insist on talking to the company secretary.
  • Check regulatory record.
  • Check fundraising practices.
  • Spot check e.g. Is their website compliant?

The most important thing is to have an understanding of the organisation’s culture. Talk to other trustees (including outgoing trustees) though choose carefully. Meet the Chair and CE.

How do you diagnose the functionality of the board?

  • Ask questions and listen out for ‘weasel words’.
  • Look at annual governance review.
  • If you are offered the role but feel that you need more information, you can say yes subject to further due diligence.
  • The risk is usually not so much what is known (but perhaps not disclosed) but the information which should have been known but isn’t.
  • It may be useful to talk to the Finance Officer too.

Lawyers on boards provide mixture of advice and insistence but avoid being an unpaid professional adviser. It has always been the right of trustees to get legal advice paid for. Obviously, a lawyer on a board should not be the provider of that advice (while still giving their views and suggesting sources of advice).

Lawyers on boards should be aware that they will be held to a higher standard in carrying out their role given their professional background.

How do you get the best from board members?

Be clear with each other about requirements and expectations.
Conduct annual reviews. Give feedback.
Understand things from the organisation’s perspective.

There is nothing grand about being the trustee of a charity. Think of yourself as a servant.
It can be incredibly rewarding, working with brilliant people doing extraordinary work.
The important point is never to lose sight of the mission of your organisation.

Have you seen lawyers exploited?

The very nature of being a trustee in the charity sector is in part to be exploited for your experience. When inappropriate, you can say no.

General Discussion

The Charity Commission guidance is very vague. Regulators seem to deliberately leave requirements that way with considerable scope for interpretation. They then, in retrospect, hold you accountable.

Oxfam and others have been working on how law firms can provide help to charities in a pro-bono way. Firms could make a huge contribution to the charity sector not just through being trustees e.g. there might be scope for joint procurement to increase opportunities and reduce costs.

It is very important to have at least one trustee with finance expertise on the board, who understands accounts. Finance is such a crucial aspect of a charity’s success and survival.

If you look at a number of charities in crisis, a common theme is that they are doing good but feel they are above compliance with the rules at the same time. This challenge is not helped by the volume of guidance on the rules by lawyers, accountants and the Charity Commission but without these, charities do not have the know-how to put the rules into practice.

Some suggestions for strengthening governance

– For trustees ideally, there could be a simple core set of guidance – with an online test to be completed before becoming a trustee.
– There should be more reliance on audit and external reviews.
– Trustees shouldn’t be paid – but for larger charities the model could be a supervisory board made up of (unpaid) NEDs responsible for governance and an executive board made up of senior executives responsible for management.
– Charities need to spend more money on governance and resource areas of concern.

A large proportion of the country’s services in social welfare and the education sector are delivered by small charities. The country is increasingly dependent on them.

Challenges facing the charity sector:

  • Charities don’t have the resources for dealing with a media crisis, where there will generally be a long period of being scrutinised by the press.
  • Need to draw a distinction between charities who are also contractors and other service providers.
  • There is a proliferation of ‘any one can have a go’ small organisations, with inherent weaknesses (including approaches to compliance with the rules).
  • With so many different challenges for the sector, the Charity Commission lacks the resources to address the issues.
  • Small charities, with few to no employees at all, are subject to the risk of founder’s syndrome or abuse of the charity.
  • It is easy to characterise organisations as thinking the mission is more important than the meeting the rules. Having said that, some rules are a major impediment to the mission of some charities. For instance, the money laundering/banking rules make getting cash to a disaster zone safely virtually impossible.

Denise Jagger: “Being on a board gives you skills – which can help your law firm”

We recently welcomed Denise Jagger to BCKR, who shared with us her wealth of expertise acquired on her non-executive journey which, rather unusually, began when she was in her 30s.

Top tips:

  • Getting a portfolio takes a long time, so you do have to start early and put in the effort.
  • Do not underestimate the power of your network. Denise found her most interesting roles on her own. Your contacts are important; you can use them for several things, not just getting you introductions to roles but also later on to introduce donors to charities, for example.
  • Do not assume that people will think of you as a candidate, lawyers aren’t good at self-publicising, so you need to let people know that you are looking for non-executive roles.
  • It’s important to start looking for NED roles while you’re still in an executive role and your contacts are in your reach. Before you leave your firm!
  • Educate yourself, using organisations such as BCKR, or taking finance courses for non-accountants, to become financially literate. You have to have a way to overcome that prejudice.
  • Do use a separate CV for non-executive applications. It should be completely different from your legal CV.
  • Don’t rule anything out. Denise used always to say she wouldn’t do financial services, but then got offered a role in insurance and it ended up being one of the most important and interesting things she’d ever done.
  • Get yourself known with the headhunters. Use your contacts to help with introductions.

Skills rather than deals

There is an increased focus on diversity on boards now, so it is getting easier for lawyers (despite still being presented as the ‘wildcard’ on headhunters’ short lists).

Boards never look specifically for lawyers; there is a massively out-dated stereotypical view of lawyers. We don’t need a lawyer; we can buy in that skill/we have a GC already/a lawyer will stop us from doing what we want etc. So it’s important to bring out your skills rather than your deals.

It can be easier for in-house lawyers who have sat on committees and boards, or even for lawyers who have run legal teams or departments. You need to point out your managerial skills in that case. Show your vision and strategic capabilities.

Sector experience can be a benefit, depending on the situation, but not necessarily. Some don’t want their board members to have sector experience because they have it in drones already in their executive team, but there can be situations where it’s appreciated.

Charity trustee role

Get experience early on. For example, start by becoming a charity trustee, get your first role under your belt, and build your experience from there. These can help hugely if you want to move into commercial roles later, because you meet the right people and develop the right skills.
You can learn so much, there are some hugely talented, resourceful, creative, interesting people on these trusts and trustee roles are not that difficult to get in comparison with listed company NED roles.

Denise was once on a museum trust, where she learned lots of useful skills she could use later on. She got it because she was a local. Find something that fits your interests e.g. conservation, riding, education, NHS etc.

Don’t wait for a job notice, just get in touch, write in and offer your skills. In smaller trusts you may be asked to chair a committee, so it’s a great opportunity.

How did she get her first roles?

  • 1st role: While she was in private practice, she did an IPO for a healthcare client. Years later, the client called her up and offered her a board role.
  • 2nd role: Whilst GC at Asda, a friend of a friend met the chair of a building association who needed someone with consumer experience.
  • Next roles: Local museum trust and other smaller industry panels. Started to build out her CV.
  • 1st PLC role: Redrow, the house builder, she got the job following her responsibility at Asda for onboarding subsidiaries. This led to other PLC roles such as Belway, another house builder.

How does she manage her executive and non-executive career simultaneously?

When she joined Asda she already had a role, asked to keep it and they let her. Then she took on additional roles within Asda. It’s harder in private practice but not impossible. Sometimes there can be conflicts of interest, or at least perceptions of them.

Now she’s a 3-day Partner at Eversheds and not a fee earner, which takes off some pressure. It takes a lot of planning and time management.

When she returned to private practice she was able to negotiate and brought her portfolio with her. It’s easier to make the case in point when you’re closer to retirement. It has definitely given her skills, which have helped her firm.

What roles would you decline?

Don’t just take the first role that comes along, as you have to commit to minimum three years. If you can only take on one role whilst you’re working full time, you need to make sure it’s the right role.

You’re doing it for interest, not for money, so pick well.

Meet as many people as you can. Do your due diligence. Insist on seeing the people you think are important. You have to get on with the Chairman and build a relationship.

Is there a danger that you get perceived as ‘non-commercial’ if you have a couple of charity trustee roles?

It’s a catch 22. The danger is there, so be weary. Do take on 1 or 2 charity roles as a way in, you’ll be meeting people on those boards who are perhaps on other commercial boards.

Are boards really looking for governance experience?

The smaller firms certainly are. Even if you’re not a governance specialist, as a lawyer you will intuitively know where to look. You will have a good sense and can get up to speed quickly. You can spot problems that to lawyers are common sense, but perhaps not to a commercial person, and you can come up with quick solutions. So governance is helpful.

Is it getting easier for lawyers to get on boards because of the regulatory environment?

It is becoming more important, so lawyers tick the box. Even if it’s not on the job spec and they’re not specifically looking for it, you should point out where you have an advantage.

How do you get headhunters to take you seriously?

Once you’ve been placed once, they will keep calling you, so you just need to get your foot in the door. Keep plugging at it, and after a while you will move up the pecking order. It’s all part of networking. Keep in touch. Always be helpful to them if they’re looking for names.

The Lawyer: What law firms are doing about retirement assistance – and where they’re failing

By Matt Byrne 6 March 2018, The Lawyer magazine

The idea of offering partner retirement assistance is heartily supported by top law firms. However, the results of our survey reveal that what they actually provide lacks the structure and innovative thinking found at the big accountacy firms.

 

“To what extent do you think that both firms and partners nearing retirement benefit if the former provides specific retirement-related assistance to the latter?”

While UK law firms continue to face criticism in many quarters for their approach to retirement-related issues, the results of our survey suggest that an overwhelming majority have at least recognised the potential value of providing assistance.

Some 71 per cent of total respondents said they agreed entirely that both firms and partners nearing retirement could benefit if the former provided retirement-related assistance to the latter. Another 18 per cent agreed to an extent, while the remaining 11 per cent were neutral. No respondents said they disagreed with the statement.

What the market says:

Jane Harris, partner, Milestones: More firms are taking retirement-related assistance more seriously than ever before, though they are somewhat behind the accountancy firms when it comes to structured programmes and alumni networks.

Traditionally, law firms have only thought about supporting their partners when there is a problem with performance or behaviour. However, there is now a realisation that it makes sense to be more proactive about this and treat retiring partners well so that they can leave healthy, happy and as ambassadors for the firm.

There is clearly a need for practical support, yet firms are also starting to recognise the value of placing emphasis on emotional wellbeing and providing support that helps to strengthen personal resilience when it comes to retirement.

Tony Williams, principal, Jomati: It is encouraging, at last, to see that firms now recognise they have an issue and that a constructive and proactive approach to retirement is necessary, even if they are hazy as to how to achieve this.”

Anna Ponton, head of legal and professional services, Odgers Berndtson: Ending the relationship between partner and law firm on a sour note or with a sense of lingering disappointment is not good for either party, particularly the law firm. Happy alumni can be useful alumni in terms of promoting the firm’s brand in a general way.

Loyal alumni who move on and get involved in other things will always think of their former firm first if they are asked to give recommendations.

 

“To what extent do you believe there is a business/marketing opportunity for firms to differentiate themselves by offering specific retirement-related assistance to their partners?”

This question sought to identify specifically whether or not UK firms believe that the provision of retirement-related advice could offer them some sort of commercial advantage. It was designed to assess the extent to which there is the potential for firms to differentiate themselves by offering retirement-related advice.

While the results were less clear-cut than those to Question 1, the overall picture is clear: the majority of respondents say they believe there is an opportunity.

In all, 29 per cent of firms agreed entirely with the statement while another 43 per cent agreed to an extent. Another 18 per cent were neutral, while 11 per cent disagreed to an extent.

What the market says:

Elizabeth Holden, director, BCKR: The benefits of helping retiring partners extends deep into the firm and beyond. Trainees sitting with those retiring, aspiring partners and longstanding clients all watch how the firm treats its partners.

Williams: Leaders apparently recognise that doing the right thing in terms of retirement is also good business whether in terms of better retention, improved engagement, living the firm’s culture or creating ambassadors for the firm rather than detractors.

Ponton: Providing help reflects on the culture of the firm and its standing as a ‘good place to work’. It can be a positive move on the age-related diversity and inclusion front too. But fundamentally this is about treating people with dignity and respect – people who have, let’s remember, devoted much of their life (usually) to one firm.

George Wilkinson, partner, Milestones: The larger accountancy firms and business consultancies have been quick to see the commercial value of putting in place a supportive framework for their partners when it comes to retirement.

What we have seen in the legal sector mirrors these findings in that partners are likely to continue to be active, many will bring new client work back into the firm, others are involved in charities or start-ups, creating potential new income streams. Yet many law firms continue to be slow to react, failing to place sufficient emphasis and focus on this. It takes a senior sponsor to make this work and it should be higher up the HR agenda. Only then can the benefits be realised.

 

“If you agree, what would you say are the primary opportunities/benefits to the firm of doing this?”

The survey now turns to specifics, asking those firms that agreed with Question 2 to state why they did so and also to detail what they would consider to be the primary opportunities or benefits to a firm of providing retirement-related assistance.

“We agree that there may be a marketing opportunity for firms offering assistance for retirement as it can be a valuable tool for those in the position to take advantage of it,” pointed out one firm.

“However, aside from the marketing opportunity we believe that partners benefit greatly from assistance with preparing their retirement, both in a practical sense and in relation to the psychological side too. It can be a challenging time for people who have dedicated a great proportion of their life to their work. This is particularly true for many of our partners who have not infrequently spent a great deal of their working life, if not all of it, with the firm.

“Partners are more likely to feel comfortable about retirement if they have received assistance from the firm in preparing them for it, meaning they feel positively about it and are more likely to work with the firm to hand over relevant matters, information and contacts, and leave their successors better prepared to take over their clients.”

One firm flagged up the issue of retention as an increasingly important market issue at all levels of seniority due to the increased mobility of lawyers.

“Partners who can see that their eventual transition from partnership will be managed well are more likely to stay; and, when they do leave, to remain positive towards the firm,” said this firm. “It also has a positive impact on morale as senior partners are often highly respected and popular individuals who have played major roles in training the next generation of lawyers.”

Another summed up the benefits neatly: “1) It helps the firm proactively plan succession for key roles, client relationships and skills gaps. By encouraging the partners to prepare for retirement, they are more likely to open up their client relationships to others and develop others in the team. 2) If the firm understands the aspirations and needs of retiring partners they can tailor the support provided and, where appropriate, retain expertise within the business in a non-partner role, eg senior counsel. 3) Partners that retire and leave the business feeling well-supported will remain advocates of the firm and potentially create work referrals from within their network, e.g. from non-executive networks or offer mentoring support to remaining lawyers. 4) It can send a good message to staff if they see a positive exit from the business, and relationships maintained post-retirement.

All of the above, if delivered correctly, should certainly help differentiate a firm in a competitive marketplace. Another firm addresses this point, stating “whilst I do not see the primary aim of retirement-related assistance as creating a business or marketing opportunity, there are benefits in ensuring that partners leaving a firm ‘leave well’ and act as advocates for the firm. This may include creating connections and referrals, consultancy opportunities for the individual within the firm and building a network of individuals who feel a sense of pride in having worked for us during their careers. Any assistance/support provided to partners approaching retirement demonstrates that the firm treats retirement seriously”.

The latter point is echoed by another firm, which states: “It shows they care from the cradle to the grave not just for the new recruits – who will all become old one day.”

Another, even more pithily, sums up the benefits of a firm offering its partners better holistic care: “Everyone is an alumnus eventually.”

What the market says:

Harris: What is clear is that when individual partners feel they have something to move on to they are better at succession planning, clearer about client handover and more transparent with the firm. These behaviours help to reduce all the commercial risks associated with a senior person leaving.

Those who don’t feel supported or part of the wider alumni of the firm will tend to talk negatively about the firm and their experience, which damages the firm’s reputation and can often mean clients go elsewhere as they feel their relationship has also ended when the partner leaves.

Treating people with dignity while acknowledging their contribution makes for a successful, supportive retirement programme. The benefits are many but perhaps the most poignant is the strengthening of the relationship between partner and firm. Giving partners permission to think about their next steps impacts all aspects of their lives, and all the people around them. Ultimately, it is the right thing for the firm to do.

 

“Specify the most significant initiative/area of assistance your firm has introduced in recent years that was aimed at helping its partners prepare for retirement”

Staying with firm-specific information, we asked firms to tell us about the measures they have in place to help partners prepare for retirement. ‘Coaching’ looms large among the responses, with schemes including one-on-one sessions with an external provider to help partners start thinking about career planning, and coaching ‘for the life change’.

One firm said it offered “dedicated retirement planning”, with additional training on related areas. Several responses suggested that the sense that firms are behind the curve in terms of offering structured retirement assistance to partners is not too wide of the mark.

“Sadly, very little of note,” said one firm, while another said “None, other than making decent profits to enable them to retire.”

This respondent went on to say that their firm was “at the outset” of developing initiatives to support partner retirement.

“Our focus to date has been on having honest conversations with our partners about potential timescales for their retirement,” the firm added. “These conversations allow us to be more proactive around our plans and gives partners a greater sense of confidence that we will work with them to ensure their knowledge and experience is gradually transferred to future leaders.”

One firm argued that succession planning was a two-way process for the clients and lawyers.

“Clients should know of any plans well in advance and I have not come across any evidence of any push from clients for new relationship partners,” added the firm. “As long as a quality service is still being undertaken clients are happy. Firms should recognise this like US firms do, with no compulsory retirement age. Medicals should be provided FOC to protect both sides.”

One UK 200 top 30 firm highlighted its partners’ ability to reduce working days over an agreed period, while another said it held annual lunches with retired partners, who are also invited to all the firm’s partner retirement dinners.

“We provide them with our quarterly news magazine [while] partners are offered support with IT training and assistance,” added the firm. “Coaching as to specific needs is also freely available.”

Only one firm, a large international player, specifically highlighted financial planning advice:

“We use the firm’s private wealth offering and offer an in-house legal allowance to partners to use for financial planning, tax and probate services. Last year we launched an awareness campaign around this benefit to all partners to encourage them to draw down on [it] to establish the essentials they should have in place, whether or not they are nearing retirement. We offer this to all partners including newly promoted partners and lateral hires.”

Another firm seemed much more geared up to assisting partners on retirement-related issues than the norm, at least judging by its response to this question: “We created a collection of documents which are issued to all our partners considering retirement in the next two years.

The documents include a retirement handbook which covers a range of practical advice and support for personal and professional considerations when approaching retirement, and retirement form templates for the partner to complete. The latter detail: the matters on which partners are involved to help the partner conclude them in an organised and methodical way; suggestions of tasks that should be considered ahead of retirement, matter-related and non-matter related; at what stage before retirement the transfer of leadership roles should happen and the way this is undertaken; and the transfer of key relationships to others in the team, training and mentoring responsibilities. In implementing the use of the forms we invite the relevant departmental managing partner, HR and the individual to meet to agree the information that will formulate the pre-retirement plan.”

What the market says:

Ponton: This is a very personal and critical career transition point. Being given a handbook that details what you need to do to hand over clients is frankly rather impersonal and only really benefits the firm. One of the Big Four allows partners in their 50s to attend a group seminar about life after the firm.

Once they have given their year’s notice they get sent a form/handbook that outlines what they have to do to transfer their client relationships. That’s it.

What individuals need and want is somebody to spend a little time with them. There is a tendency to feel ‘scrap-heaped’ the minute you have declared your hand. Suddenly, these partners feel they are ‘yesterday’s people’.

One of the big issues here is timing. Partners leave it far too late to start thinking about life outside the firm, but can you blame them when they see what has happened to their colleagues? This needs to be addressed at an earlier stage and the stigma of talking about and positioning for the future removed.

One suggestion would be to encourage a discussion about life outside the firm for all partners and staff, so it is not always focused on life ‘after’. So, at the point of stepping off they have relevant experience to draw on and can offer referees and a network who have seen them in action beyond being ‘just’ a lawyer.

One-on-one coaching for, say, four sessions can make a huge difference and help partners understand what lies ahead. It helps them identify their strengths and weaknesses, and, quite frankly, just provides some ‘me’ time. A good coach can help them to establish what they want, identify their network and give them the confidence to strike out into the new world. Life in a law firm is extraordinarily cocooned.

In a room of 25 soon-to-retire partners at a recent event I spoke at not a single person was being given any one-to-one help, although all professed to wanting it. They were all at big commercial firms.

Wilkinson: Our experience is that law firms are particularly cautious when it comes to spending money on development, assistance and support for their partners. There is often a difference in opinion and perspective between partners and HR. This, in turn, leads to a difference between what is delivered and what is experienced.

Many firms struggle to get the messaging right, and the content aligned with what is of most value for partners. Having a fresh pair of eyes and an external perspective makes a big difference. This is often not something that can be managed internally by the firm, particularly in the early stages.

Holden: There is much that can be done in this area, often involving extending a partner’s valuable contribution to the firm or increasing the likelihood that their activities during retirement will also benefit the firm.

Our experience over recent years is that firms are definitely improving in this area. The key to a successful retirement is good early planning, made available to all as a matter of course.

 

“Do you believe there is a benefit to your firm of partners taking non-executive directorship (or other external appointment) roles post-retirement?”

Moving on to non-executive directorships (NEDs) and other external roles, the response to Question 5 which asked whether firms thought there was a benefit to the firm of partners taking these on post-retirement was again overwhelmingly in favour, with 89 per cent of respondents saying they believed there was a benefit to the firm. Just 11 per cent said no.

What the market says:

Holden: It is great to see this level of enthusiasm for post-firm NED roles but, as those embarking on this path know, there is much to be done to bring it about. Being a lawyer, even a very successful partner at a top City firm, does not guarantee you any roles.

Wilkinson: The reality is that for many partners getting the time to focus on NED roles outside the firm is simply not on the agenda. Firms could do more to promote and support this, as clearly there are tangible benefits for both parties. Some firms have an excellent system for sabbaticals and perhaps introducing something similar where time spent working in different sectors or for clients in-house could make all the difference.

 

“If yes, what is your firm doing to assist these partners to obtain such roles? If no, what do you see as being the biggest barriers/risks to them doing so?”

In the follow-up question, we asked both sides to provide their reasons. One respondent highlighted the issue of reputational risk with any appointment.

“Lawyers are likely to be more natural NEDs for public sector/quango roles and trustee roles,” argued this firm. “Unless partners are familiar with, and can present in, a listed company environment, in a non-legal role, they are likely to be perceived, often unfairly, as being too risk-averse, and too concerned with detail rather than strategy. This means they need to be able to present themselves as businessmen with a legal background rather than the reverse. My firm, recognising the above issues, advises lawyers on how to present themselves appropriately, inter alia by meeting with exemplars. Frequently, the missing element is not knowledge but confidence.”

Another firm admitted that “whilst we can see the benefit likely to be gained by firms from former partners securing NED-type roles, we do not undertake any specific activity to encourage or support former partners in doing so”.

More encouragingly (although in a comment that also seems to confirm the general lack of retirement-related infrastructure for partners across the UK’s largest firms), one firm insisted that it seeks to encourage partners, when appropriate, to leverage its network of clients and other contacts, adding “we are about to establish a more formal alumni network (and would be interested to learn from the experience of others)”.

Another firm, which admits to providing “very little” by way of practical help other than “introductions”, pinpoints and confirms the key issue facing lawyers hoping to secure a lucrative NED role post-retirement: “Often, boards are resistant to having lawyers as NEDs as they are perceived as being not commercial enough and too focused on speciality areas. Compare that to the ‘T-shaped accountant’, with a broad range of experience backed up by deep expertise.”

What the market says:

Williams: For a white, male, private practice lawyer in his mid-50s to expect to walk into FTSE100 NED role immediately on retirement is pretty close to cloud cuckoo land. There are plenty of roles of various sorts available after retirement, but a partner needs time and help to explore these, and to develop a relevant contact base.

Given the pressures of practice it can be hard to make time – or to admit that time should be made – for considering one’s future options, which is why specialist help from outside the firm may help to provide a level of objectivity and confidentiality.”

Harris: There is this strong perception that partners will go on to take up NED-type roles, yet many have no real desire to do this. It comes down to exploring a partner’s identity and how they see themselves.

There is genuine merit and value in exploring the full spectrum of possibilities and opportunities that present themselves. This can be achieved once some of the exploratory work has taken place.

Holden: Lawyers can do much to reposition themselves in this market, but it takes effort on the part of the individual and genuine encouragement on the part of the firm. Too often only lip service is paid to it by management.

 

“Do you believe there is a benefit to your firm of partners taking non-executive directorship (or other external appointment) roles while still practising?”

The answers to this question were entirely consistent with those to Question 5, with 89 per cent of respondents saying they also believed there was a benefit to the firm of partners having external appointments post-retirement and just 11 per cent saying they disagreed.

What the market says:

Holden: While the response here is encouraging, much more could be done to make it a reality. Many firms talk about the benefit without finding ways of supporting partners to achieve it. Simply permitting these roles is not enough. The firm should actively support partners in developing themselves, their networks and the firm’s brand by taking on such roles.

The interests of individual lawyers and their firms have converged. It has become clear that, in order to survive a challenging professional life, an individual lawyer needs to create a hinterland in which they can happily exist even at times of extreme professional stress. That hinterland can exist in family life, creative art, sport, politics or in many other places. Increasingly, however, it is also coming to exist in the governance of businesses, charities, public agencies and similar organisations.

There are also likely benefits for the firm’s clients – new skills, new insights and unlimited networking opportunities. Put simply, a lawyer who understands clearly how a client thinks and reaches a decision through the experience of being one, sitting on a board, is rather better placed than one who lacks that experience. This advantage is not limited to commercial lawyers, it is applicable to all practitioners.

 

“How would you describe the firm’s approach to partners holding external appointments (such as non-executive director roles and trusteeships)?”

In this question we wanted to dig deeper into the culture of UK law firms and their philosophy towards NEDs and other external appointments for partners, asking how they would describe their approach to this issue.

It is notable that a large majority, 64 per cent, say they encourage it. And yet the answers to previous questions suggest that this ‘encouragement’ lacks something in terms of practical assistance.

Just 14 per cent admitted that they tolerate it, 7 per cent said they discourage it and 4 per cent prohibit it.

What the market says:

Holden: All too often we find that ‘encouragement’ falls well short of active support, amounting instead simply to a permissive approach with little training or guidance. However, the best firms are changing their programmes.

 

“Please state why this is your approach”

Asked why they were in favour, most firms reported benefits including gaining wider experience or additional skills and, of course, an extended network of contacts. One firm went further, stating “one of our firm’s values is ‘freedom’ and so we trust our partners to work in a way that complements their commitments outside of work. Wherever possible, we would look for ways to ensure a partner could hold an external appointment and accommodate this as part of their working week”.

On the opposite side, one firm admitted a potential “negative” was that they could be “a distraction from fee-earning”. Another said “the potential for conflicts of interest in our practice areas/localities is huge”. A third was blunt about the risks and equally blunt about the action the firm has taken to protect itself: “In previous years we lost partners to the bench and to employment tribunals. There was the additional factor of time lost to the firm and its clients. We decided that to be an equity partner you had to be fully committed to the firm. This has proved to be correct. We no longer lose equity partners. Anyone who wants to follow other careers has the opportunity to step down from equity to fixed-share partnership.”

What the market says:

Holden: It is clearly disappointing when partners leave a firm earlier than the firm would like, but it is surely more exciting when others stay longer as fee-earners because of a more progressive approach. Personal wellbeing is vital for the successful delivery of professional services. One ingredient of wellbeing is a hinterland that is not simply a retreat, but also a source of inspiration. If you want to be a good lawyer, get a life outside the law.

 

“Outline any opportunities your firm offers to partners who are looking to scale back their work levels/hours as they approach the end of their career”

For many firms this question touches on one of the most contentious issues relating to the retirement of their senior lawyers, namely when or how (or indeed if) partners can scale back their hours.

Some firms’ responses were precise and detailed in terms of the options they offer. Others’ were equally precise as to what they most definitely do not offer.

“None,” said one firm. “We expect all serving partners to devote the whole of their time to the business. If partners wish to undertake NED-type roles that will demand significant time away from the business, it is highly likely that profit-sharing arrangements will need to be adjusted.”

“Considered on a case-by-case basis they could step down to fixed-share partnership, but as a rule we want full-time, fully committed equity partners, not part-time, not fully committed partners,” said another.

At another firm partners “may reduce their hours by up to 40 per cent for a maximum of three years culminating in retirement”, while at another partners have the ability from the age of 62 to demand reduced hours “and if they choose they can scale back in one go or, for example, drop one working day a week per year”.

What the market says:

Williams: Many partners are reluctant to scale back as this is tantamount to admitting the partner is retiring in one or two years, ie ‘I’m in the departure lounge’.

Why quality talent who just wish to reduce their workload (and income) should feel this is the only option is an indication of a lack of imagination on both sides.

Ponton: A lot of firms allow their partners to be consultants for a year post-retirement. This is quite an expensive way of giving them a soft landing.

Addressing the issues earlier may mean that partners are ready to leave the firm and do something else on their retirement date rather than perhaps feeling like a bit of a spare part.

Read the full article from The Lawyer here.

A Presentation from The Fore Trust: Focusing on smaller charitable organisations

The Bulldog Trust owns and operates The Fore Trust, founded in 2012. They operate out of the stunning Two Temple Place, built by William Waldorf Astor in 1895.

The Fore Trust make grants to small charitable organisations. They are a seed investor in the charity sector, looking for small organisations at the early stages looking for an injection of cash to take them to the next stage.

Funding for first timers is hard. You often don’t get any feedback on failed applications. It is easier for corporate funding to go to larger charities. Not only do they get a pronounced reputational bump but less due diligence is required. Small charities don’t have the network to draw on.

The Fore focus on these small organisations with no more than £1 million turnover.
They provide feedback on all applications to help ensure the same mistakes aren’t made on future applications.
They offer £30k over 1 to 3 years.

They also offer access to a pro bono network. Mid to senior level executives in accounting, law and finance. Matchmaking people who are looking for ways to get involved at a level commensurate with their skills. Offering real strategic assistance.

You can join their mailing list of available trustee and adviser roles by emailing rachel@thefore.org or check their website for current roles.

They hold monthly workshops held in-house on topics such as:

  • Fundraising
  • Law for charities
  • Trustee recruitment strategies

The Fore offer three funding rounds a year. They are led totally by the organisations that apply. They try to be friendly and supportive.

Applicants need to write a 3-page compelling pitch to convince The Fore they are right for funding, including details on how the funds will be transformational, how much they need and over what period and what they will do with it.

They are trying to inspire change within the sector.

The Fore also work with businesses to become funding intermediaries, raising money to give away through grants. Organisations looking to invest CSR funds in a different way. The Fore offer themselves as a partner to do due diligence or perhaps choose which charities to support. It can be an exciting offer to businesses to give something back to their staff. Millennials value the social involvement of the companies they work in very highly.

The Fore position themselves between organisations looking for capital and people with capital looking to spend or invest. 75% of organisations who receive this initial investment go on to find further funding.

The Fore would like to be bigger and their business model is designed for expansion.

The Fore Trust host an annual Winter Exhibition, this year’s subject is Rhythm & Reaction exploring the impact that Jazz had on Britons from 1918. The exhibition is free and runs until 22nd April.

A copy of the presentation given at The Fore can be found here.

“Enthusiasm over aptitude!  If they like you, you are 80% there” Anna Ponton and Stuart Morton – Odgers Berndston

This week we were delighted to welcome Anna Ponton and Stuart Morton from headhunters Odgers Berndston to BCKR to share their thoughts with us.

 

Law firms are generally not very good at helping their partners and alumni to make the transition to life outside law. Unhappy alumni are not useful alumni; some law firms are beginning to react and ask for advice on how to improve.

 

How they work

Both Anna and Stuart are lawyers.  They run the Professional Services team at Odgers Berndtson and both sit on the board practice, chaired by Virginia Bottomley.

They understand the challenges that face lawyers who want to take on outside roles and though it isn’t an easy path to take – it is doable – but you do need to work hard at it.

A great example of someone who threw themselves into getting an outside role is Caroline Goodall, who made a concerted effort to get her first role, ending up with a role on the board of the Investment Trust which was a listed role and gave her a great PLC anchor without creating conflict.

 

How to get noticed

Lawyers don’t recognise how important their network is.  50% of roles will come through your own network – particularly the first one.

You need to spend an afternoon mapping out who can be helpful to you and then you need to get out there.  It is easier to let people know you are looking whilst still in full time practice, when you are still seeing clients etc.

But you need to banish thoughts that asking for a coffee with someone is being a bother.

Raise your profile – speak at events.

When you meet with someone, try to leave the meeting with 2-3 other introductions.

Having more than one entry point into a headhunter is a good idea.  Don’t rely on one contact.

Don’t expect overnight results.

If you are systematic in your approach it can actually be quite energising, you’ll be gaining snippets of information all the time.

Don’t leave home without your business card.

Don’t forget Linked-In.  Keep your profile up-to-date.  Redraft so that you have the right key words and skill sets – search engine optimisation!

 

What to expect

Headhunters can be likened to a Labrador – cold nose but warm heart.  They are also gatekeepers.

Getting in to see a headhunter can be hard.  One of the best ways is to get an introduction.

When you do get a chance for a cup of coffee make sure you are prepared.  You will probably only get one coffee, so make it count.

You need to have a clear pitch about who you are and what you are looking for.  Don’t expect to be spoon fed by the headhunter.

Choose your headhunter carefully.  Make sure you research what each of the headhunters do. What is their practice area?

 

How to keep in touch afterwards

Headhunters love inside gossip and knowledge.

A short 2-3 line email every six weeks updating them on where you are, what you have done recently in your search, who you have met – show you are working hard at getting a role.  This will help keep you top of mind.  An email is better than a phone call.

Having more than one contact within a firm will help build up an important picture.  And there is a lot of cross referencing within a headhunting firm and also between firms.  The pool is quite small.

 

Private sector

Beware the fireside chat.  What you think might be a casual conversation may be masquerading as an interview.  Make sure you are prepared.  Be strategic; if you are meeting a Chairman for coffee make sure you know what you want to get out of it.

Headhunters love to be able to reference you with some big wig.  They like to be able to qualify you so keep them posted on important meetings. Or get an introduction.

 

Public sector

Respect the process.  It can be quite brutal.  The is a bar and if you don’t reach it there is no nuancing your way through the process.  You have to be ok at everything they are looking for.  Consider what they are looking for and match it paragraph by paragraph in your application.

Much more preparation involved.

  • As an aside they have just placed two partners on The Law Society Board. Despite being advertised on the BCKR website and of course more widely – they had very few applicants.  Why wouldn’t you throw your hat in the ring?  Once you get your first role it is then easier to get the next one.

 

Perceptions

We are all too familiar with the negative perceptions of lawyers:

  • Not commercial
  • Too detail conscious
  • Not creative thinkers
  • Not risk takers
  • Think tactically not strategically
  • Servant of the board – not on it

The positives are:

  • Intellectual capacity
  • Ability to identify the elephant in the room
  • Highlights important detail
  • Good antenna for risk
  • Diligently reads board papers
  • Suits a regulated environment

There has undoubtedly been a bias for Chairmen to say they have a GC already and don’t need another lawyer. But really, a good NED is someone who asks difficult questions and lawyers are good at unpicking questions.

What you need to find is the right vocabulary for describing your skill set in a non-lawyer context.

Numeracy is another stumbling block for lawyers.  Make sure you can read a balance sheet.

 

The interview

It’s all about the preparation.

You need to sell yourself and your strengths.  Provide strong anecdotal evidence relevant to the role.

Don’t underestimate how important it is to show enthusiasm (smile – make eye contact – look engaged).  If they like you, you are 80% there.

Make sure you have questions to ask.  Look and act engaged.  Be energetic.

 

In summary – It is doable, but it is a long slog.  Headhunters are more likely to be helpful to you once you already have a role.  It is your network that is most likely to help you get your first role.

 

Is there a different set of bias towards a GC/in house lawyer?

As a GC; you are probably better placed because of your exposure and interaction with boards through your day job.  Your ability to see things through the client lens is a place where you can add value.

 

Your CV

Skill set is more important than deal list.  Headhunters are not interested in your introductory paragraph.  Introductory email or application letter are more important.  From a headhunter’s perspective the CV isn’t the most important aspect of you.  They are more interested in who introduces you, and who your contacts are.  They will use Linked-In so keywords in your profile are important to ensure your profile comes up in searches.

 

BCKR holds regular CV workshops for lawyers in search of tips for writing or restructuring their CV.

 

For a copy of Odgers Berndston’s presentation please click here.

 

Nick Vetch: Pick your NED role with care

We recently welcomed Nick Vetch to BCKR.  Nick is on the board of several companies and is a trustee at Bedales School and also of The Fund for Global Human Rights.  He has NEDs and is a NED.  His experience of being a NED for a commercial organisation versus a non-commercial is that there is some commonality – dependent on the size and sophistication of the organisation.  Large organisations differ from smaller ones.  In general, the NGO sector is some way behind on a corporate governance and organisational front.

 

A major trap around becoming a NED is that you either end out running the organisation or having no role at all.

 

Running it:  this happens when you have misconceived organisations with poor management and no vision.

 

No role: when you become a non-exec of an organisation where you have no influence either because they are so big that nobody has influence and you attend endless board meetings and talk of nothing but corporate governance.  Can be frustrating and boring.

 

So pick carefully and don’t fall into the trap of becoming too involved or unable to make a difference.  There is a sweet spot in between where organisations are looking for involvement from outsiders.

 

Executives generally have NEDs to meet their regulatory obligations.

  • Some view NEDs in the role of policemen, there to represent the shareholders, and are viewed as an extraneous break on activities like pay etc.
  • The more constructive view is that NEDs are there as sounding boards.

 

Since 2008 Nick has probably made six really big important strategic decisions.  Those decisions were critical to where Big Yellow have ended up in the present day.  So – Nick wants enablers of better decision making around him for those critical times.

 

For instance – if Nick were to call Tim Clark – it would be about making a big decision on which he is looking for a different mind set and challenge.  He is not expecting to be challenged on most of the day to day decisions by his NEDs as they don’t have the technical expertise and he can buy that in.  He certainly doesn’t look to Tim for legal advice.  It is his value judgement, common sense, probity and having confidence in Tim’s moral compass.

The only exception to this is the head of audit.

 

When you look at the board and the dynamics, how do you choose who to join your board?

The starting point would have to be as fundamental as you have got to like them.  He might have started with skill sets but has evolved into choosing diversity of thought over and above everything else.

 

The traps of the corporate life are that you end up in the same school of thought – stock market politics etc. – but it can result in ending up in silos.  You want someone who is not in the same silo.

 

Generally boards put a high value on sector experience.  Nick puts no stock in that.  You should have that expertise in-house.  Big Yellow is a curious mix of public company and founder-led.  It has its own style.  It is not as formal as most corporates.  They are certainly not sloppy when it comes to corporate governance but they do have a more entrepreneurial approach.  It would be very different in a big FTSE company.

 

How do you assess ability of your NEDs?

You make your best guess.  Will they strike the right balance of being challenging, but not for the sake of it.

 

How does that compare to your role as a NED?

Nick is a self-confessed control freak so does find the NED role challenging.  Fund for Global Human Rights does wonderful work but business wise they are quite primitive.  So Nick feels he can make a real difference there.  His biggest challenge is not charging in and taking over.

 

How do you find the right role?  A lot of organisations just want NEDs to tick the box.  If you want to make a difference usually your network is your best resource.

 

How do you respect the challenge from your NEDs on those big decisions if they don’t have sector expertise?

NEDs can’t guarantee right decisions are made.  It is the collective brain power that improves the chances of making the right decision.  You probably make the right decision 65% of the time.  You want to make sure that those six big decisions are in that 65%.

 

How to you avoid the traps and make good assessments of companies – e.g. Carillion?

Traps can be glaringly obvious in retrospect, though would you really invest in a contractor with a 3% margin?  You need to do your due diligence.  Ask yourself ‘would I invest in this?’ If you had rung insiders at Carillion you would have found out something was up.

 

How do you prepare for an interview?

  • Do your due diligence e.g. ring insiders, brokers & others.
  • Ask questions so that you understand the DNA of the business.

 

What is your view on taking on younger NEDs?

You need youth on the board to understand fast moving areas like technology and change.

 

How do you approach organisations you want to get into?

  • Luck plays a big role. The more work you put in, the luckier you get.
  • Don’t focus on your legal skills but how you can help executives come to better decisions. Emphasise your common sense skills and strategic thinking.
  • Your experience as a lawyer can bring different thinking and approaches into the board room. The way you think can have a very distinct impact.
  • Lawyers have a special ability to structure thought.

 

 

 

 

The Lawyer: How to deal with retiring partners

In their March 2018 issue, The Lawyer is to undertake an analysis of retirement-related issues facing law firms. “UK law firms should be doing significantly more to assist partners in the run-up to retirement and could benefit materially by doing so, experts have claimed.”

Click here to read Matt Byrne’s introductory article where BCKR Director, Elizabeth Holden, suggests that law firms could be “missing a trick” by not sufficiently investing in their retirees.

Naziar Hashemi: ‘Know Your Numbers’

BCKR recently welcomed Naziar Hashemi, Non Profits Audit and Risk Partner from Crowe Clark Whitehill to speak to our members.

Please find a copy of her presentation here.

To add depth to her presentation, Naziar added an example set of charity accounts for our members to examine.