Non-executive directors/Trustees in education

Academy Ambassadors
Closing date
15 Dec 2021
JN -062021-4349

Are you a board-level professional looking for an opportunity to make a significant impact on the educational experience of our future generations? The Academy Ambassadors Programme (AAP), funded by the Department for Education (DfE), is supporting academy trusts across England to identify non-executive directors/trustees to join their boards.


The AAP brings the expertise of senior leaders in the business world, public sector and the professions to boards of academy trusts throughout the country to raise standards of education and improve the life chances of young people, which is critical to our social and economic success.

As an Academy Ambassador you will be matched to an opportunity which aligns with your professional expertise and personal values. Each academy trust in England is unique and the sector offers an extensive selection of prospective roles. From large national trusts in excess of 50 academies, to small community-based trusts, you can be guided by our regional experts to find a match to suit you.

Board governance in education is a strategic, ‘eyes on, hands off’ commitment which typically involves attending c. six board meetings per year/6-8 hours’ time per month.

Person description

Academy trust boards seek business leaders with board-level experience in myriad areas, however those with skills and expertise in finance, accountancy and audit are especially important to academy trusts. As academy trusts are funded directly by government, transparency and accountability in all areas, but particularly relating to finances, is paramount.

Bringing your knowledge and experience from public sector working, guiding fellow trustees and offering perspective and challenge to guarantee effective scrutiny is a hugely-rewarding opportunity, not only to ensure value for taxpayers’ money, but to deliver greatest value for the children whose education sits at the heart of our work.

What impact will the opportunity have?

By working together, inspirational educationalists and talented business leaders can provide a better future for the next generation. Improving the life chances of young people, particularly the disadvantaged, is critical to the UK’s social and economic success.

The key functions of the board are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent

What's in it for the volunteer?

As an Academy Ambassador, you will join our ambassador network which provides resources, guidance, networking events and webinars to support you in your role.

Volunteering on an academy trust board is deeply rewarding because there is no more important social mission than improving the life chances of young people. In this role you will be responsible for making decisions that directly impacts the prosperity of the next generation and beyond.

Academy trusts are charitable bodies which support schools to give children a better future. For young people to have the best possible opportunities in later life, it’s vital that we have individuals with the right expertise leading schools, holding executive teams accountable. Becoming a Trustee is a fantastic opportunity to give back and impact your local community, by strengthening education.

Additional application instructions

All roles are pro bono.

People from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Governing boards should represent the communities they serve, as well wider society. NSN’s Academy Ambassadors Programme welcomes interest from underrepresented groups to ensure that academy trust boards are diverse in background, skillset and thought.

Diversity is a powerful instrument for effective governance. Trustees are required to make choices that impact the daily lives of children from school finance all the way through to staff and pupil recruitment. When making difficult decisions, it’s essential that boards possess a broad set of beliefs, experiences and ideas to inform their final judgements. We believe that true representation at board level enables all children to fulfil their potential.

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