Chair of Trustees

Opportunity by Learning without Limits Academy Trust
Location Knighton Lane East, Leicester LE2 6FU, UK

We are a Trust of 5 schools, with just under 3500 students. We pride ourselves in walking towards challenges and as such, we are a Trust that works with a group of challenging schools in order to improve the life chances of the students we serve.

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About this role

The Learning without Limits Academy Trust was founded in 2016 to serve the communities of Leicester City and Leicestershire. We are a Trust of 5 schools, with just under 4000 students. We pride ourselves in walking towards challenges and as such, we are a Trust that works with a group of challenging schools in order to improve the life chances of the students we serve.

Our Board of trustees is constituted from a mixture of educationalists, public servants and increasingly a group of specialists from the private sector. This gives us a breadth and depth to the challenge and support that is available from our governance structure. We place high value in our local governing boards and invest in their professional development in the same way as we do for other staff within our trust.

We are a highly collaborative Trust and whilst we have a responsibility for the education of the students in our own schools we also feel a sense of collective responsibility for improving the standards across the areas in which we work.

We invest heavily in our school improvement strategy and we are always looking for new ideas that will support and drive standards forward in our schools.

We expect our schools to reflect the Trust vision and values in all of their activity and we work together where we have natural alignment in our practice. Our schools also have the autonomy to respond to the individual needs of their own community, allowing them to be creative in addressing the challenges they face. This approach leads to high degrees of innovation and collaboration improving standards and outcomes for our students.

When you can volunteer



  • Willing to take a DBS Check

Full details and an application pack can be found at

The Chair of the Board of Trustees is a leadership role that provides clear direction to the Board who work as a team to challenge, support and contribute to the strategic leadership of the Trust.

Boards should focus on their core functions:

• ensuring there is clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

• holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils

• overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent

• Supporting the executive leaders to analyse and manage risk across the organisation

• ensuring the voices of stakeholders are heard

Strategic Leadership Responsibilities

The chair provides strategic leadership that allows trustees to fulfil their functions by:

• ensuring that there are transparent and effective processes for recruiting, benchmarking and setting remunerating and inducting a new Chief Executive

• ensuring appropriate trustee involvement in the recruitment of executive leaders

• ensuring the Board has good knowledge of the school(s) and has mechanisms in place to obtain and listen to the views of parents, pupils and staff

• ensuring that their is effective communication between the Board and the Local Governing Bodies

• ensuring that the Board sets a clear vision and strategy for the Trust

• ensuring that the Board and schools have a shared vision and sense of purpose

• leading the Board in monitoring the chief executive’s implementation of the strategy

• setting the culture of the Board, balancing and valuing both the support and challenge responsibilities

• ensuring the Board acts as a team

Developing the Team

Boards needs a range of skills and knowledge to carry out their functions effectively. It is the responsibility of the board’s chair to:

• ensure the Board has the required skills and commitment to govern well, and that appointments made fill any identified skills gaps and ensure a diverse team

• ensure all members of the Board have a thorough understanding of their role and receive appropriate induction and ongoing development as required

• ensure that Board members are involved, feel valued and encourage their development

• ensure the Board act reasonably and in line with the Trust’s agreed code of conduct

• develop a good working relationship with the vice chair, keeping them fully informed and delegating tasks as appropriate

Working with School Leaders

The Chair and Chief Executive of the Trust must develop effective working practices which are mutually supportive. It is the responsibility of the Chair to:

 • ensure all Board members concentrate on their strategic role and hold the Chief Executive to account

• build and encourage a professional relationship with the Chief Executive which allows for honest conversations, acting as a sounding Board and ensuring there are no surprises at meetings

• meet regularly (normally fortnightly) with the Chief Executive • oversee and participate in the Chief Executive’s performance review, ensuring that appropriate continuing professional development (CPD) is provided

• ensure that the Chief Executive provides staff with an understanding of the role of the Board and acts as link between the two

Influencing Improvement and Achieving Outcomes

The board’s activities should be focused on Trust improvement and achieving the best outcomes for pupils. The chair of the Board is expected to:

• ensure the Board is involved at a strategic level in the Trust’s self-evaluation process and that this feeds into its key priorities

• ensure the board’s business is focused on the strategic priorities

• collaborate with executive leaders to ensure the Board has the information it needs to monitor the implementation of policies; pupil attainment and progress and the financial health and sustainability of the Trust 

• take the lead in representing the Board at relevant external meetings with agencies such as Ofsted, the DfE and the local authority

Leading Board Business

Chairs are responsible for the smooth and effective running of Board meetings and so are required to:

• ensure that the Board appoints a professional clerk capable of advising the Board on its functions and relevant procedure

• ensure that a development and appraisal process is in place for the clerk that includes a conversation about the pay and remuneration they receive

• work with the clerk and the Chief Executive to plan for Board meetings, ensuring that agendas focus on the board’s key responsibilities and strategic priorities and reduce unnecessary paperwork

• collaborate with the clerk to establish effective working procedures and sound committee structures

• ensure that decisions taken at the meetings of the Board are implemented • ensure that complaints made to the Board are dealt with in a timely and effective manner through the adopted complaints procedure

Wider Leadership Responsibilities

• The chair has wider leadership responsibilities associated with the role and status of lead trustee on the Board, such as:

• being a first point of contact and playing a leading role in employment matters as required by the adopted procedures of the Trust e.g. grievance, disciplinary, capability

• where required, acting as a first point of contact and respondent in matters raised with the school or Trust by external bodies e.g. LA, DfE, ESFA

• where required, representing the Board in its dealings with external partners and be an advocate for the Trust

• attending Trust events as appropriate and encourage other governors to do so


Location Knighton Lane East, Leicester LE2 6FU, UK

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