Forward Education Trust— Chairs

Forward Education Trust (FET) is seeking new Chairs for the Local Academy Councils of four of its schools in Birmingham: Hallmoor School, Leycroft Academy, Lea Hall Academy and The Heights Academy.(Deadline: 17 February)

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Forward Education Trust (FET) is a non-profit group of special academies working across Birmingham and its neighbouring local authorities. The Trust is driven by improving both the personal and academic achievements of its pupils, making every day the best it can possibly be for each pupil. FET's purpose is to ensure that the children in its schools receive the best possible education, care and life chances by being the West Midlands' bespoke provider of choice for children with high levels of special educational needs.

FET's leadership is based on an ethos of community, wherein everyone can move forward together, striving for and achieving opportunities to improve outcomes and provide stability and success for all. This ethos is supported by the Trust's six core values — FET strives to be: forward thinking, ambitious, principled, motivated, trustworthy, and above all, nurturers of talent.

The Trust consists of six specialist provision schools, providing SEND education to over 750 pupils. The Trust is growing; with 400 staff and an annual turnover of £18m, FET will be welcoming a seventh school in September 2023. The Trust's growth strategy centres on the idea of letting each school develop its own unique identity, whilst also allowing the schools to come together to form a single entity or 'family'. Forward Education Trust does not believe in growth for growth's sake — but with such an ongoing demand for specialist schools, there are opportunities for the Trust to reach even more children with its exceptional educational offering.

Above all, FET believes in its children. It empowers people to make the right decisions, and strives to be creative in the way that it approaches the education and care of children. Mutual respect pervades all of the Trust's relationships: together, the Trust's staff learn, practice and collaborate — creating a sense of unity within the organisation which enables FET to nurture its talent, for the benefit of its young people.

Role specification

Forward Education Trust (FET) is a not-for-profit educational charitable company. The Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees, which in turn oversees Local Academy Councils (LACs). Each School has its own LAC. The LACs are an important part of the governance structure of the multi-academy trust, providing local governance and oversight to the individual schools in the Trust.  

Each LAC is made up of nine members: the Head Teacher; the Trust Appointed Chair of the LAC; two parent representatives; two staff representatives; three Trust-appointed members.

The Local Academy Councils are charged with the following key areas of accountability:

  • Keeping the schools educationally sound and safeguarding all pupils
  • Ensuring all pupil groups, whatever their social or ethnic diversity, receive at least a good standard of education and are prepared for their next stage of education or life
  • Being aware of their allocated school budget
  • Complying with all legal and mandatory duties on schools conferred to them or the Head Teacher by duty of their post
  • Taking due regard of the Trust ethos and vision and values and working in partnership with other settings within and outside the Trust
  • Providing school related and education reports as required

FET is looking for LAC Chairs for the following four schools:

  1. Hallmoor School, a coeducational school in Kitts Green, Birmingham, which caters for over 270 children aged four to nineteen, the majority of whom have an autism diagnosis
  2. Leycroft Academy, a primary school in Tile Cross, Birmingham for over 170 children aged four to 11 who have a diagnosis of autism
  3. Lea Hall Academy, a Primary and Key Stage 3 boys' school in Kitt's Green, Birmingham that caters for 80 boys with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, situated in the eastern area of Birmingham
  4. The Heights Academy, a new SEND school opening in Solihull in September 2023, catering for 116 pupils, aged seven to 16. The Heights Academy will primarily serve children with a diagnosis of complex autism with SEMH

Person specification

Forward Education Trust (FET) is seeking new Chairs for the Local Academy Councils (LACs) of four of its schools in Birmingham: Hallmoor School, Leycroft Academy, Lea Hall Academy and The Heights Academy.

The Trust is open to candidates coming from a wide range of different backgrounds, and it welcomes both those who have a direct interest in a particular school, as well as those who have a more general interest across a number of the schools. The role of LAC Chair would suit someone who has operated at a strategic level in their executive career, who understands the difference between governance and management, and has the interpersonal skills and confidence required to lead the Board. Whilst an understanding of the education sector would be beneficial, it is not a requirement for the role.

Above all, the successful candidates will be aligned with the Trust's mission to to ensure the children in its schools receive the best possible education, care and life chances by being the West Midlands' bespoke provider of choice for children with high levels of special educational needs. Although prior board experience is welcome, the Trust is open to applications from first-time non-executives.

Board composition

You can read more about the governance of the Trust here.

Terms of appointment

There are six LAC meetings per year, which take place half termly. LAC meetings generally take place on weekdays in the evening, are around two hours in length, and are currently hybrid. Additionally, Chairs will be expected, ideally, to have a weekly meeting / phone call with the Head Teacher, and to attend a termly one hour meeting with the Chair of the Trust Board, CEO and Director responsible for Governance. There is also an expected commitment to complete relevant online training, which generally takes no more than three hours per year, and to attend the bi-annual Trust LAC training sessions, which are around an hour and a half in length and currently delivered virtually. Additionally, there will be ad hoc communication with the Board, school visits and involvement with other activities such as recruitment, subject to availability. Reasonable, pre-agreed domestic expenses will be reimbursed. The appointment is for a renewable two-year term.


UK-West Midlands


Forward Education Trust welcomes applications from everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability. It is committed to equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practices and it positively encourages applications from all sectors of the community. As women, disabled people and those from ethnic minority backgrounds are currently under-represented on the Board, applications from those candidates would be particularly encouraged to reflect the diversity of the whole school community. All appointments will be made on merit, following a fair and transparent process.

The deadline for consideration is 17 February 2023.

If you would like to register your initial interest in this role, please fill in the form below.

Please note that registering your interest via this microsite does not constitute a formal application for the role. If it would be worth submitting an application, a member of the Nurole team will be directly in touch ahead of the deadline to let you know and invite you to apply through the Nurole platform.