Herts for Learning - Chair-Designate (Remuneration: £20k p.a. / Time commitment c. 24 days p.a.)

Herts for Learning is looking for a Chair who has a proven track record of successful senior management experience, including organisational strategic leadership and change management, gained ideally in a private sector or customer-focused organisation of a similar or larger size and complexity. Sector experience is not required, but a demonstrable commitment and interest in Education is a prerequisite. (Deadline: 20th January)

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Herts for Learning (HfL) is the UK’s largest schools-owned company, providing a broad range of education and business services, which support schools, academies and settings in delivering improved outcomes for children. With an excellent reputation, HfL works with 99% of Hertfordshire schools and over 3,000 schools and settings nationally, with 450 staff. The organisation provides training, support and challenge to staff and governors at all levels. Since 2013, over 250,000 delegates have attended HfL's training events or conferences, the majority of which are now delivered digitally.

HfL operates with a not-for-profit ethos and is majority owned by Hertfordshire schools, with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) owning the remaining. In 2020–21, HfL generated £22.2m, 65% from Hertfordshire schools, academies and settings, 26% from HCC, and 9% from out of county. There is clear evidence demonstrating the positive impact HfL has had on Hertfordshire schools to achieve better outcomes for children. At the start of 2020, 90.1% of Hertfordshire primaries were classified by Ofsted as good or better and primary schools engaging HfL over an extended period achieve KS2 results on average 8% points higher than those that don’t. Schools working with HfL also demonstrate improved financial stability; according to the DfE, just 3% of Hertfordshire maintained schools are in deficit, compared with 10% nationally.

HfL is at a really exciting time in its journey. With a solid financial position and the recent digitisation of a number of its services, there is now significant opportunity to develop and grow. HfL has now completed a major strategic review, which will see a renewed focus on delivering excellence in Hertfordshire, whilst expanding the breadth of the services to more schools, academies and settings in Hertfordshire and nationally. As the organisation evolves, the need to continue to become more commercial whilst retaining its social enterprise ethos will be key.

Role specification

The Chair leads the Board in ensuring the Company meets its objectives and remains financially sustainable by:

  • Driving the business of the Board and ensuring strong and effective governance
  • Engaging the Board in assessing and improving its performance
  • Facilitating effective Board meetings and ensuring that the business is covered efficiently and effectively in those meetings
  • Creating a board environment with strong working relationships, where challenge and scrutiny are welcomed
  • Inspiring and monitoring the contribution of individual Directors
  • Embodying an uncompromising approach to equality, diversity and inclusion

Person specification

Herts for Learning is seeking a visionary leader to become the next Chair. Overall board Chair experience is not essential, but the successful candidate will have non-executive experience and will have chaired committees or similar (if not a full board).

The successful candidate will have a proven track record of senior strategic leadership experience ideally in a range of organisations which are complex and broad. They will ideally have driven growth in and have operated in a customer-facing environment which has multiple and complex stakeholders. They will be commercially astute, having overseen complex budgets, and will have the vision, ambition and advocacy skills to work with the wider board and executive team to continue the exciting growth and impact that Herts for Learning has already achieved.

The successful candidate will have a collegiate style, coaching approach and will be able to guide the Board to reach consensual decisions, whilst ensuring that all voices are heard. They will have excellent communication skills, and the ability to be an ambassador for HfL locally and nationally. Whilst not essential, a link to Hertfordshire or the wider region would be welcomed. Above all, they will be passionate about the transformative power of education and be unwaveringly committed to HfL’s values, in particular, its commitment to equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practice.

Terms of appointment

  • The Chair-Designate will be appointed to the HfL Board from 1 April 2022 and will undertake a period of induction and shadowing of the interim Chair of the Board
  • The interim Chair will formally hand over to the Chair-Designate following the Annual General Meeting on 27 September 2022
  • Remuneration: £20k p.a., applicable once the Chair-Designate steps up to the Chair role on 1 October 2022 and fixed for three years
  • Remuneration will be reviewed at the start of any second term of office
  • Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed in line with the Directors’ Expenses Policy
  • Time commitment is c. 24 days per year in addition to ad hoc school visits and events

The deadline for consideration is 20th January 2022.

If you would like to register your interest, please fill in the form below. A member of the Nurole team will be in touch ahead of the deadline to let you know whether it would be worth submitting a full application and to discuss the process further.