Location: West Midlands
Closing Date: August 21, 2020
Forward Education Trust
WEST MIDLANDS | BIRMINGHAM/SANDWELL/SOLIHULL
Forward Education Trust currently comprises three schools in Birmingham and
surrounding areas, with a further three schools set to join the trust in the coming two
years. The trust board is therefore exploring opportunities for growth within this very
specialist area of education. To achieve its aims, FET seeks trustees in order to achieve
the trust vision.
Meetings are usually at either the Brays School in Tile Cross, Birmingham. Some of
our meetings are held virtually.
About the Trust
Forward Education Trust is currently a three school multi-academy trust consisting of
two primary day special schools – Brays School and The Bridge School – and a 4-19
special school, Hallmoor School. The trust has received approval to open a special
secondary free school in Sandwell and is relocating an additional special school, which
it is sponsoring, and which will join the trust shortly in a new build site in Birmingham.
A further secondary special free school will join the Trust in 2022. Other schools may
additionally join the trust over the short- to medium-term.
The trust provides specialist education to pupils with wide ranging complex special
educational needs who cannot receive the education and additional ‘wrap around’
support they need in mainstream settings. Pupil needs include autism, complex
medical, including life limiting, conditions, profound and multiple learning difficulties,
social emotional mental health, complex physical, severe learning difficulties, sensory
difficulties, and moderate learning difficulties.
The trust places emphasis on the collaboration of its schools, aiming to operate and
perform as a united team. Ensuring consistency across educational approaches within
the trust allows it to support all its schools and maintain a focus on the challenges
The trust also provides improvement support beyond its schools; Forward Education
Services consists of advisers with substantial experience and qualifications, such as
serving Ofsted inspectors and National Leaders of Education. Through school
improvement contracts the trust supports non-trust schools locally, regionally, and
nationally to improve educational performance. The trust works with Local
Authorities on quality assurance projects for special provision and alternative education. The trust can be contracted to offer other services, including school and
pupil premium reviews.
Plans for the Future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- To secure business functions through successful recruitment of key
personnel to the trust
- To secure the appointment and development of a strong senior team with
clear succession planning for trust leadership and for the Board
- To secure successful expansion/integration of other schools into the trust
- To continue to ensure financial stability to provide a solid long-term
foundation for anticipated growth and expansion.
Over the longer term, the trust seeks to improve upon the quality of education
offered to vulnerable children with special education needs (SEN) across a wider
Trust Ethos & Values
The trust board has recently updated its overall vision:
‘FET is the provider of choice for the excellent education of children with high levels of
special educational needs in bespoke provision.’
The trust works to educate, nurture, and empower through dynamic and robust
leadership and governance. The trust ethos is focused on ‘moving forward together’,
striving for opportunities to improve outcomes and providing stability and success for
all. Improving both the personal and academic achievements of children drives the
Trustees – or non-executive directors – are both charity trustees and company
directors of the academy trust. The core functions of their role are ensuring clarity of
vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding executive leaders to account for the
educational and financial performance of a charitable company funded by the public
The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all
the powers of the trust in compliance with its charitable objects, company, and
Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and the seven
principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan: selflessness, integrity, objectivity,
accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
The strategic expertise required for this role includes:
Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates possessing different criteria will be considered)
Estates/ Property Management
System Leadership in the special needs phase of education
The trust seeks individuals who can commit to its values, principles and its academies
possess short and long-term strategic vision and understand the difference between
the Executive’s role in operation and delivery compared to the trust board’s role in
setting the strategy and providing good governance.
A clear understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and
liabilities of trusteeship is vital to anyone considering this role, as well as the
understanding that a contribution to the trust direction and strategy, and an ability to
work effectively as a member of a team, are core aspects of the role.
Depending on whether applicants take up sub-committee membership this is usually
between four to six hours per month on average
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). 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.
Membership or 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note candidates should live within reasonable travelling distance of the trust
and/or have a link with the region.
General information can be found at www.fet.ac
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
Closing date for applications: Friday, 21st August 2020