The Phoenix Education Trust is inviting applications for two new members to join our Board of Trustees. Our current Chair is stepping down from this position, but will remain a member of the Board. In addition, we are looking for an additional trustee, with a focus on strategy and network development.
Since its conception in the year 2000, the Phoenix Education Trust has focussed its resources on promoting and supporting the development of education in which children and young people are trusted, supported and respected. This has predominantly taken the form of training services in schools, in which Phoenix introduces some of the mechanisms of democratic education and facilitates collaboration between students and staff to instigate changes to decision-making processes as well as specific aspects of school life. In addition, we have taken proactive steps to foster the network of people involved in democratic education, by attending and hosting events, establishing and coordinating national and international directories, and providing guidance as well as financial support to people wishing to further explore and contribute to the movement.
We are currently undertaking a significant Strategic Review to determine the activities and services that will enable us to increasingly focus on network development so that we can truly and proudly call ourselves "the hub for people interested in and practicing democratic education in the UK". The aim of this strategic review is to consolidate all of our myriad approaches over the years, to design a simple and coherent plan to:
1. 'Map' and celebrate the myriad good practice that exists in education settingsin which children and young people are truly trusted, supported and respected
2. Raise awareness of the values and approaches inherent in democratic education
3. Enable individuals, schools and organisations to make meaningful and constructive connections
4. Provide direct support and resources to those who wish to develop their democratic practices with children and young people
We are seeking to recruit an additional two trustees, one of whom will be considered for the position of Chair. The additional skills that we are specifically seeking to draw in are experience in strategic management and network development, ideally in the education or youth and community sector. Desirable, too, would be an applicant with knowledge of innovative fundraising approaches (e.g. corporate, individual giving and challenge prizes) or an applicant who has some experience within the field of research and evaluation.
Trustees' responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Collaborating with the other trustees and staff members to develop short and long-term strategies to help the charity pursue its charitable aims
- Acting with reasonable care and skill, and in PET's best interests, to ensure responsible management of resources and to oversee legal aspects of the charity in relation to company or employment law.
- Participating fully in democratic and consensus-based decision-making processes at quarterly general meetings
- Participating in at least one sub-committee (Management, Finance & Fundraising, or Projects) by joining regular skype meetings and contributing to reports in advance of general meetings
- Reading and responding to regular email updates from our Director (approximately one report per month, and occasional ad-hoc requests for input).
- Supporting staff in an ad-hoc capacity, such as providing guidance face-to-face or over the phone
- Occasionally attending training sessions or network events to gain first-hand experience of projects
- New trustees will be expected to spend time familiarising themselves with the charity when they join (see 'Induction Process' below)
Particular responsibilities of the Chair:
- To convene and chair general meetings and sub-committee meetings
- To provide proactive support and supervision to our Director
- To act as a channel of communication between the Board of Trustees and Staff team
- To be a key ambassador of the Trust (for instance, attending meetings, conferences and other events to represent PET's interests)
- Leading on the development of the Board and ensuring its decisions are implemented
- On occasions, the Chair may be required to take urgent action or get involved with minor crisis-management in between meetings.
Alignment with our values
Applicants must have an interest in democratic education and a willingness to learn more about the area, as well as being able to demonstrate a strong commitment to:
- Valuing and responding to the voice of children and young people
- Encouraging personal responsibility and community cohesion
- Enabling students to pursue their own personal interests and direct their own learning
- Fostering relationships of mutual trust, equality and respect
New trustees will be encouraged to spend time familiarising themselves with the Trust when they join. After a successful interview, new trustees will be invited to our next general meeting, to participate and observe, and to then decide whether they wish to proceed with the role. You will be required to read carefully our Articles of Association, to sign the PET Declaration and Ethos Statement as well as the Trustee Eligibility Declaration.
All travel and other expenses that are incurred during the course of your activities as a Phoenix Trustee will be reimbursed; including attendance at quarterly general meetings and occasional ad hoc meetings with staff, as well as a visit to a democratic school during your induction, and attendance at various events or festivals by agreement from the full Board of Trustees.
Before making an application, please refer to the Charity Commission guidance, outlining Trustees' regulatory requirements; duties, qualifications and compliance considerations. Consider whether you qualify to become a Trustee, and whether you wish to take on a role of responsibility in relation to the Phoenix Education Trust's aims, objectives and effective management.
If you decide that you are ready and wish to apply, please submit your CV and a short covering letter explaining:
- Why you want to be a trustee
- What you feel you could bring to the post, with reference to this role description
Informal interviews will take place with one staff member and at least one other Trustee, shortly after that date.
Meanwhile, you are also very welcome to contact our Director, Danny Whitehouse on the email address above, or the current chair if you have any questions before applying: