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Trustee and Chair – Unity Community Primary

Working with children, families, and communities to create opportunities to learn and grow.

Big Life Schools Multi Academy Trust want to recruit a new Trustee who will chair the Unity Community Primary Local Governing Committee.

About Big Life Schools Multi Academy Trust

We are a small ambitious trust which currently has two primary schools in Manchester developed through the DfE Free School route.  Both schools are new build and provide high quality environments for pupils to learn.  They are based in the heart of communities.  Both were rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

Big Life Schools is part of the Big Life group which is in the business of changing lives.  Its mission is to fight inequality by working with people and in places to inspire change.

About our schools

  • Longsight Community Primary is a single form primary school which shares a site with the Longsight Children’s Centre and Nursery. It is rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted.
  • Unity Community Primary is a two-form school and nursery in Cheetham Hill. It is still a growing school and has three more years of growth before it is full.

We are not like other schools.  We invest in developing relationships with families and communities to support our children.  We have a comprehensive wellbeing programme, family support workers and community engagement activities.

  • We work with communities to develop schools which provide the best educational outcomes and support children to grow into healthy, happy and resilient adults.
  • We are Rights Respecting Schools at the heart of our communities, welcoming and supporting all families and promoting respect, understanding and tolerance.
  • Our schools are hubs in their communities, with opportunities for people to volunteer, train and take up employment. We partner with local schools, community and faith-based organisations. We attract a range of income to widen our offer to the local community.

Our curriculum 

Over the past three years we have invested in developing a unique curriculum which meets the needs of our children and helps achieve our vision.  Our curriculum aims are:

  • We strive for outstanding outcomes in education and wellbeing.
  • We give children the deep knowledge and cultural experiences they need to develop their understanding of the world and become informed future citizens.
  • We help children find their voice and build on their strengths to become resilient and persistent learners with a hunger for knowledge.
  • We give all children rich and sustained experience of a broad and balanced curriculum which includes: the joy of creativity, including knowledge of the arts and music; becoming active and healthy and appreciating the power of nature and the outdoors.
  • We support children to develop the characteristics they need to succeed and be part of a community, including being able to think and reflect; help and give and value difference

Time commitment

The Multi Academy Trust meets four times a year and the Local Governing Committee meets three times a year.  Meetings are usually two hours long and are a mixture of in person and virtual.  Meeting papers are published a week in advance through a Board Portal, and trustees are required to prepare by reading and submitting factual questions or corrections in advance of meetings. Trustees are also required to attend annual strategy meetings, visits to the school and attend training (virtual). As Chair of the Local Governing Committee, you will also be involved in appraising the Headteacher and the governors, as well as regularly meeting the Head and visiting the school. You will also be expected to undertake any training required to enable you to discharge your role effectively.  The term of office is 4 years.

Skills required

You do not need to have an education background to apply for this position.  You need to have a passion for educating and growing our children, and transferable skills which will enable you to undertake this role.


  • Critical listening and the ability to ask effective questions.
  • Strategic thinking.
  • Excellent communication.
  • Problem solving and analysis.


  • Understanding of data.
  • Finance and/or accounting knowledge.
  • HR experience.
  • Knowledge of education.
  • Leadership and management.
  • Risk management.
  • Legal expertise, particularly knowledge of charity law.
  • Marketing and communications.


As a Trustee of the Multi Academy Trust you have all the responsibilities of a Director and Charity Trustee, as well as a Governor, including the below responsibilities.

  • Develop the trust’s vision and strategy.
  • Establish a culture of high educational standards, which promotes staff and pupil wellbeing.
  • Set the trust’s strategic aims and objectives.
  • Ensure all pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • Monitor provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
  • Monitor educational performance of the trust’s academies, using a range of data sources.
  • Ensure stakeholders (parents, pupils, staff, and the local community) are informed and consulted as appropriate.
  • Approve the budget for the academy trust and, where relevant, for academies within the trust.
  • Monitor and evaluate the trust’s financial performance.
  • Approve and review trust policies and hold staff to account for their implementation.
  • Ensure the trust is compliant with legal requirements, including that all statutory policies and documents are in place.
  • Make sure the trust complies with laws that apply to charities and companies, and with its funding agreement.
  • Carry out the appointment and performance management of the principal/chief executive.
  • Be a source of challenge and support to the principal/chief executive.
  • Monitor and evaluate the trust’s staffing structures.
  • Monitor health and safety in the academy/across the trust.
  • In a multi-academy trust, work with those involved in local academy governance, supporting, and holding them to account.

How to apply

CVs should be submitted to Victoria Vickers at:

If you wish to arrange a conversation with the Chair or Accountable Officer in advance of your application, please email Victoria to arrange.

The closing date for applications is Friday 4 February 2022.

Interviews will take place the week commencing Monday 14 February 2022.

Find out more about what makes Big Life a great employer, from career development to a comprehensive staff wellbeing package.

The Big Life group positively promotes diversity in the workforce. We are committed to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.

This post will be subject to an enhanced level DBS check.