bckr | The Blackheath Conservatoire for Arts, Music and Drama seeks new Trustee – would suit employment lawyer
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The Blackheath Conservatoire for Arts, Music and Drama seeks new Trustee – would suit employment lawyer

The Blackheath Conservatoire for Arts, Music and Drama seeks new Trustee – would suit employment lawyer

Closing Date
26 May 2022
Time Commitment
12-15 days a year

The Blackheath Conservatoire for Arts, Music and Drama (“The Conservatoire”) is an arts charity operating from its historic Victorian building in Blackheath, South East London. It offers high quality and innovative individual and group lessons in music, art and drama.

The Conservatoire attracts around 2,000 student interactions a week, with classes and tuition delivered by its network of 120 freelance tutors, and is open seven days a week. The Conservatoire’s values include excellence, creativity, sustainability, and inclusivity – and it provides a vibrant and welcoming space which will soon include a cafe, to inspire and nurture its diverse community of life-long learners.

The Conservatoire’s belief is that arts education is fundamental to personal enrichment, societal wellbeing and community cohesion and should be accessible to people of all backgrounds, abilities and ages. Part of its social mission is to offer bursaries for individuals who would otherwise be unable to access private tuition, along with a range of other charitable arts programmes. The Conservatoire plays a large part in the local community, and has partnerships with schools, hospitals, and care institutions providing access to music lessons and choir performances.


The Conservatoire’s Trustees operate collaboratively, pragmatically and are approachable. The Board is supportive of the senior leadership team, while providing constructive challenge.

Role specification

The Conservatoire seeks to appoint four Trustees with a strong alignment with its vision and mission who will be proactive in helping it to grow and succeed. In addition to the formal Board and committee meetings, Trustees will be willing to undertake informal engagement with the charity, including providing strategic advice on an ad hoc basis to the management team. Trustees will be expected to use their specific knowledge and experience to help the Board reach sound decisions; assist the senior leadership team with advice as required; and keep informed about, and support as appropriate, the activities of the organisation.

Responsibilities of the Trustee may include:

  • Offering strategic support, guidance and constructive challenge to the leadership team and provide effective oversight
  • Contributing to the Board’s collective role in setting the charity’s strategic direction and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • Ensuring that the charity uses its resources in line with its charitable objects
  • Carrying out the core responsibilities of charity governance, as set out in Charity Commission Guidance
  • Safeguarding the reputation and values of The Conservatoire and have an active concern for diversity and inclusion, and a commitment to increasing the impact of the charity
  • Acting as an ambassador for the charity and using their networks to promote its work and, where appropriate, to seek funding
  • Have a commitment to integrity, honesty, accountability and openness
  • Attending and engaging in training and events as required, for example, safeguarding


Person specification

The successful candidate(s) may have experience in one, or more, of the following areas:

Financial and accounting acumen: Candidates should have in-depth experience of working directly with financial and accounting issues. Experience could be either in a leadership role of a finance function or as a director or partner of a professional services firm in this area. Candidates will be able to lead the Board in debates about complex financial and accounting matters and preferably be a chartered accountant.

Risk management, including health and safety: Candidates should have industry experience in risk management to lead the Board on the identification and management of risks to the organisation. The Trustee will ideally have recognised qualifications and industry experience in Health and Safety.

Fundraising: Candidates must demonstrate a successful track record of strong professional fundraising experience, and ideally in Public Sector Trusts and Foundations fundraising. They will have a strong network with grant-giving charities and foundations or similar, which can be leveraged to raise funds for The Conservatoire.

Digital transformation: Candidates will be able to demonstrate a previous successful track record of assisting and overseeing an organisation through a period of digital growth and transition, to enable them to advise the Board on this.

Human resource management/employment lawyer: Candidates will bring a deep understanding of human resources strategies of organisations of a similar size to that of The Conservatoire. Further, candidates should also have a solid and practical understanding of UK employment law, so that they can be the Board’s lead on matters relating to HR policies and procedures.

Building expertise in historic/listed buildings: Candidates will be able to advise on the maintenance, management and development of The Conservatoire’s listed historical buildings. This candidate would ideally be able to advise the Board on priorities and strategies for the buildings’ restoration and up-keep.

Physical presence from Trustees is required from time-to-time, so The Conservatoire would ideally like to hear from candidates based in South East London, but are equally keen to hear from candidates who have a strong understanding of the above skills and are located farther afield with connections to South East London. Previous charity experience would be ideal for these Trustee appointments, but is not a requirement. The Conservatoire is open to appointing first-time Trustees to its Board.

The Conservatoire is committed to diversifying its Board, please see the Diversity section for more information. The Conservatoire seeks to appoint Trustees who are collaborative, pragmatic, approachable and will have the ability to constructively challenge the senior leadership team and fellow Trustees, as well as being supportive. The Conservatoire’s Trustees act as ambassadors for the charity’s mission and cause, so whilst previous arts experience is not a requirement for this appointment, it is imperative that Trustees have a passion for art, music and drama and the role it can play in transforming lives.

This is a ‘Quick Apply’ opportunity which only requires candidates to submit their CV and confirm their interest in the role. Should the client be interested in considering them further, candidates will be willing to provide a brief written outline of their motivation; should they be called to interview, candidates will be willing to take reasonable steps to meet the client (at minimum by video call or equivalent).

Board composition

For more information about The Conservatoire’s Trustees, please see here.


The Conservatoire welcomes applications from everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, belief or disability. As men, individuals early in their career, and individuals from an ethnic minority background are currently under-represented on the Board, applications from those individuals would be particularly encouraged. All appointments will be made on merit, following a fair and transparent process. In line with the Equality Act 2010, however, the organisation may employ positive action where candidates from underrepresented groups can demonstrate their ability to perform the role equally well.

Terms of appointment

This role is unremunerated, and reasonable, pre-agreed travel expenses will be reimbursed. The time commitment for this role is estimated at 12-15 days per year. The Conservatoire’s Board meets every two months, with an annual strategy-day in March, and Trustees will be expected to provide additional ad hoc engagement where needed and will contribute one day per month to support projects and if possible attend events at The Conservatoire. The appointment is for a four-year term, which can be renewed once at the discretion of the Board.


Please contact www.nurole.com enquiries@nurole.com for further information.