The Phoenix Education Trust is inviting applications for three 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. We need someone committed to our vision, with the capacity for regular (weekly) engagement as Chair. We are also looking for two additional trustees, with particular skillsets, especially: media engagement, charity governance, HR knowledge, and strategic support building our networks.

About us

The Phoenix Education Trust is a small, national charity, which creates democratic spaces in education, facilitating students’ freedom to learn in an atmosphere of mutual trust, respect and care. We want every learner, teacher, parent and child to feel truly seen and heard. Our facilitators are highly skilled at establishing collaborative decision-making processes, and everyone at Phoenix embodies our core values through their contributions to mutually agreed objectives. Our activities can be categorised into three main strands:

  • Programmes: We host workshops and seminars, enabling people to put our values into practice within education settings.
  • Ideas: We gather and share quality research and case studies, contributing innovative perspectives within education debates
  • Networks: We create spaces for pioneers to meet and share ideas, access opportunities and develop new ways of doing education

Role Description

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


Induction Process

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. New trustees 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. We will do our best to facilitate opportunties for new trustees to get some hands on experience of our work, by observing programmes, or meeting members of our network and democratic learning settings around the country. 



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

Please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Informal interviews will take place with one staff member and at least one other Trustee.

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:

Donald Barr - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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