bckr | New Schools Network seeks Trustee – legal background welcomed
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New Schools Network seeks Trustee – legal background welcomed

New Schools Network seeks Trustee – legal background welcomed

Closing Date
17 June 2021
Home based
Time Commitment
1 day a month

New Schools Network (NSN) is an independent charity improving the life chances of young people by supporting the creation and long-term success of new schools.

An unacceptable number of children fail to reach their potential because they lack access to an excellent education. Too often, a child’s background dictates their destination in life, entrenching inequality and impacting communities for generations to come.

NSN is passionate about ending educational inequality once and for all. We envisage a country where every child has an equal chance to succeed in life, irrespective of their background.

NSN is powered by a dynamic and enthusiastic team, united by a passion for improving life chances for children through education.

Our values

● We take action to generate change.

● We embrace innovation.

● We believe in individual agency.

● We celebrate diversity.

● We commit to continuous improvement.

What we do

NSN finds talented people and organisations, supports them to establish new free schools across the country and, through the Academy Ambassadors Programme, places high calibre business people as non-executive directors on boards of multi-academy trusts.

By offering advice, guidance and support, the charity has been instrumental in helping hundreds of groups of parents, teachers, charities and schools to establish new schools, and has matched over 1,800 non-executive directors to boards of multi-academy trusts. Over the last six years, NSN has expanded its activities to support the 780 or so free schools that are open or have been approved to open. With clear commitment to free school from the Government and over 557 free schools already open and more in the pipeline, this is an exciting time to join NSN.

How we do it

We’re proud of the supportive, fast-paced, nurturing, open, friendly team environment we’ve created at NSN. We’re a purpose-driven organisation, which is looking to grow over the next 18 months.


Our Board of Trustees is currently made up of nine individuals, including a Chair. As a group of experts from across the education, business and charity sectors they provide a guiding hand to the charity to ensure it fulfils its objectives. We are looking for a trustee who shares our values and vision and who is an experienced and qualified accountant to Chair our Audit Committee.

The role is responsible for strategic oversight of the charity and to ensure that it maintains its vision and values.

Key responsibilities

  • Ensure than NSN upholds its mission, vision and values.
  • Ensure NSN complies with its governing document, and all relevant legislation and regulations including charity law and company law.
  • Use any specific knowledge, skills and experience to help the board reach sound decisions.
  • Ensure that NSN maintains proper financial controls and ensure that NSN applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives.
  • Support the leadership in developing a strategy and maintain strategic leadership: setting policy, defining goals and measuring performance against agreed targets.
  • Support the operational management and ensure accountability of senior leaders of NSN.
  • Review the policies of NSN and monitor the implementation of internal policies to ensure that they are inclusive and uphold NSN values while meeting health and safety standards.
  • Ensure that risk assessments for all aspects of the business are carried out.
  • Maintain effective board performance and ensure effective and efficient administration of the charity including funding, premises and to make sure the organisation is properly insured against all reasonable liabilities.
  • Safeguard the name of NSN and the values of the organisation.
  • Promote NSN and act in the best interests of the charity.

Key skills

Candidates must be able to demonstrate the following traits and attributes:

  • Passion for education and the values of NSN.
  • Support of free schools and academies policy.
  • Outstanding record of professional achievement in their field, with commensurate personal reputation of excellence.
  • A professional accounting qualification and at least ten years’ experience working at a senior level within the profession.
  • A commitment to devote sufficient time, preparation and effort to meet the responsibilities of being a trustee.
  • Strong strategic leadership skills.
  • Appreciation of the nature of risk management at Board level.
  • Driven and self-managing with commercial acumen.
  • Collaborative team player and excellent interpersonal communication.
  • Sound judgement and political sense.

Expertise or experience in any of the following will be an advantage

  • Strong understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of a trusteeship.
  • A financial or legal background would be an advantage.
  • Experience of similar role as a trustee or non-executive in a similar organisation.
  • Experience at board level within a school or academy trust.
  • NSN welcomes applications from any individual regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith of disability.  We really want to have an appropriate mix of Board members from all sectors and backgrounds.

Details and how to apply


The role of Trustee is unremunerated, except for reasonable expenses.

Time Commitment

Up to five board meetings per year with additional operational meetings and sub-committees as necessary.  Trustees will also be required to attend occasional public or private events, for example fundraising events or board away days.

As a guide we are looking for a commitment of up to one day per month.

Trustees are asked to commit to the role for three years with the possibility of one further term.


At present, board meetings are happening online.

How to apply

To be considered for this role please submit the following:

  • A detailed and up-to-date CV.
  • A supporting statement that addresses the person specification and your reason for applying.
  • Availability of dates for an initial introductory meeting with the Chair and Director.


Please click here for further information.