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Clerk to the Governors

Employer
The Francis Holland Schools Trust
Location
London (Central), London (Greater)
Salary
£30,000
Closing date
18 Oct 2021
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Part-time, permanent position
Required January 2022 or sooner

THE ROLE

We are seeking a part-time Clerk to the Governors to manage and support the work of the Governing Council. The Clerk plays an essential part in the continuing development of our highly effective and successful Council, helping to ensure that our schools continue to flourish under strong leadership.

The main focus of the role is to provide proactive advice to the Council on constitutional and procedural governance matters, and to provide effective administrative support to the Council and its committees. The Clerk reports directly to the Chair of Governors and works closely with the Heads and Chief Operating Officer.

The position is for 2.5 days per week on average, although flexibility will be required as working hours will vary depending on the cycle of meetings. Meetings are timetabled well in advance to enable pre-planning.

The starting salary will be dependent on experience. We expect that it will be in the region of Ck for 2.5 days per week, but it may be higher for exceptionally qualified candidates. We would welcome a conversation with potential applicants regarding their salary expectations; please feel free to contact us at the email address below to discuss.

BACKGROUND

The Francis Holland Schools Trust governs two leading independent day schools for girls.  Both Schools were founded by the Reverend Canon Francis Holland.  The first, Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park, was established in 1878 and takes girls from 11-18 and its sister school, Francis Holland School, Sloane Square, was established in 1881 and educates girls from 4-18.  Both schools are well-regarded, over-subscribed and academically selective at key entry points.  The schools offer bursaries, in addition to a range of academic, music, art, drama, ballet and sports scholarships. 

Girls achieve exceptionally good results in examinations at GCSE and A level, and progress to some of the best universities in the UK and abroad, however we offer achievement beyond academic results through a wide range of co-curricular activities and clubs, as well as opportunities for community and charitable activities.

HOW TO APPLY

Please download an application form from https://www.francisholland.org.uk/vacancies/, and return it with your CV to jobs@fhst.org.uk by the closing date: 9am on Monday 18 October. If you have any queries about the position please contact jobs@fhst.org.uk. The Trust reserves the right to interview and close the vacancy prior to the advertised closing date therefore early applications are encouraged.

JOB DESCRIPTION

Title:  Clerk to the Governors   

Reports to:  Chair of Governors

Based at:  Much of the role can be carried out at home, although attendance will be required at all Council and committee meetings which are usually based at Francis Holland School, Sloane Square, or Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park. Attendance will also be required at the annual away day which is normally based in London.

Working hours: 2.5 days per week on average, flexibly deployed. Attendance at some evening meetings will be required.

Job Purpose: Reporting to the Chair of Council and working closely with the Heads and the Chief Operating Officer, the Clerk will provide administrative services to the Council, Governors and their committees to ensure corporate compliance and effective governance.

Key Responsibilities:

Council meetings and proceedings

  • Set a programme of meetings well in advance, serve the Council (three meetings a year) and the committees (currently 12 meetings a year), prepare, commission and circulate papers in good time, using the governors’ section of the Trust website as much as possible, and follow up on action items.
  • Convene and attend all Council and committee meetings, record attendance, take notes and prepare minutes for signature, and record all decisions
  • Serve as necessary any working groups that may be set up from time to time
  • Arrange and attend annual Strategy Day.
  • Maintain and update all terms of reference for committees and working parties
  • Ensure that Council and committee meetings are properly constituted and meetings are quorate
  • Ensure that council policies are updated regularly according to schedule, using e-mail for agreement as appropriate to amount of council business and significance of any changes

Legislative updates and training

  • Maintain a good working knowledge of all legislation, regulation or guidance pertaining to governance as may be published by the Charity Commission, Companies House, AGBIS, ISI and other bodies as necessary.
  • Provide regular updates to Council members on regulation and guidance pertaining to their statutory obligations and governance.
  • Advise Council members, the Heads and senior teams on company law and governance matters, and reply to queries on statutory and procedural matters
  • Ensure that the governing instruments meet the needs of the schools and advise the Council of appropriate or necessary amendments
  • Conduct for all new Council members on behalf of the Chair of Council: formal identity checks;  right to work in UK checks; DBS check; registration with Companies House as a director (as necessary);completion of declaration of interests, code of conduct and trustee appointment letter
  • Administer induction and facilitate training programmes for council members, end of first year feedback interviews with Chairman, and exit interviews as appropriate
  • Facilitate safeguarding checks and training for members
  • Liaise with legal advisors to ensure council members are full apprised of the legal implications of their decisions where relevant

Council members and relationships

  • Be accountable to the governors, working closely with the Chair of Council, other Council members, the Heads and other stakeholders
  • Be responsible for maintaining databases of Council members and their term of office, and membership of committees and working parties; and keeping the relevant web pages up-to-date
  • Maintain a record of the skills matrix of the Council, working with the chair of Governance and Nominations Committee on arrangements for appointments
  • Organise and serve any panels that may be necessary to hear appeals or deal with any grievances, complaints etc
  • Keep the governors’ portal on Firefly (or any successor computer system) up-to-date

Statutory documentation

  • In conjunction with Chief Operating Officer (COO), ensure that statutory annual returns and other filings are sent to Companies House, and that the schools’ responsibilities to Charity Commission are met.
  • Liaise with COO on preparation of annual report and accounts
  • Ensure periodic audits of governance as recommended by AGBIS
  • Ensure whatever may be required statutorily if overseas school is developed is delivered
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