A message from the CEO

Thank you for registering your interest in joining Pontefract Academies Trust – we are delighted to provide you with an application pack. It is hoped that the information provided will be of interest and help you with your application process.

Pontefract Academies Trust is a cross phase Multi Academy Trust comprising of eight schools: six primaries and two 11-16 secondary schools. The Trust is a medium sized family of schools all located within a tight geographic hub within Pontefract. Pupils are drawn from the local community that includes a mix of different catchment areas.

As the Chief Executive Officer of the Trust I am truly excited by the opportunity of leading the Trust to the next phase of its development. The Trust is part way through a journey of school improvement. Pace and a trajectory of improvement is the unwavering expectation. The last 12 months has seen this expectation become a reality. Our six primary schools have delivered their best ever SATs outcomes. In addition, our two secondary schools have obtained their best ever outcomes; the Trust has also moved one of our secondary schools from special measures to a ‘good’ Ofsted judgment inside twelve months. The transformation of our schools has truly started.

Our challenge remains to improve outcomes for all but specifically for disadvantaged pupils. In a socially just society, all children must have a fair chance to learn and thrive. We have made strides but not enough and we do not want our children and young people falling through the cracks.

Simultaneously, our central services and infrastructure that underpins our core business has been subject to change. Human Resources, Finance, ICT and Estates are all functions that we have started to align and centralise. The alignment and centralisation of back office functions is to bring economies of scale, financial gains and greater flexibility. Importantly, it frees up our school leaders to focus upon driving up standards in their schools and not be distracted by non-core activities that can be dealt with by specialists. Despite the Trust being in existence for five or six years, these areas are still in their relative infancy and have not reached their full potential yet. This area remains a major priority and we aim to continue to remove distractions from our leaders and teachers, so that they can deliver on our mission. The post of Chief Financial Officer can have real impact here.

The post of Chief Financial Officer is a very exciting one as the Trust moves to the next phase of its life cycle. We are looking for someone that strongly fits with our values and guiding principles. You will be a strategic thinker, and someone with good judgment. Whilst possessing strong technical ability, we are keen to appoint someone who can link strategy to execution and provides perspective and insight. You will see the budget as the servant of the organisation’s strategy, be outward facing and build strong relationships with school leaders and external stakeholders. Obviously, as a Trust we know that budgeting and strong financial processes are one crucial element of the Trust’s responsibilities. The importance of making sure that resource is allocated where there is most need and that the oversight of over and underspend is clear. However, we are looking for someone to join our executive team who sees strategic investment and resourcing as an all-pervading role that is essential to sustainability and successful organisational growth.

We look forward to hearing from you and exploring your future with us through our selection process. Yours faithfully,

Julian Appleyard OBE,
Chief Executive Officer,
Pontefract Academies Trust