A recent market engagement event announced by the Department for Education (DfE) “Trustee Recruitment for Academy Trusts” has raised talk as to whether there are plans for the Academy Ambassadors programme to be revived, having been derailed last year.
The market engagement event is looking for a contractor to recruit academy trustees, including chairs of trustees, into academy trusts that are experiencing significant challenges with financial or educational performance. It is hoped that the programme will allow for additional experienced, high-calibre trustees to join the struggling trusts and improve governance.
By using a third party to resource talented trustees, the aim is that awareness of the role will be promoted to target audiences, leading to an increase in the supply of volunteers for vacancies more broadly. Given that the role of academy trustee is a voluntary role which can be demanding on the individual’s time, many academy trusts can find it challenging to recruit trustees from a broad age range, with many trustee boards being primarily formed of trustees who are retired and able to commit the necessary time to the role.
By using a contractor to resource trustees, academy trusts may find that the pool of volunteers becomes far more diverse, helping academy trusts to demonstrate equality, diversity, and inclusivity at trustee level.
However, the DfE’s proposal is aimed at those academy trusts which are the most in need, and therefore other trusts will need to continue to manage recruitment themselves.
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