Role details

Oak National Academy - Chair

Application deadline 31 January 2023


Oak National Academy
Sponsor department
Department for Education
Change Management
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
1 day(s) per week
£420 per day
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
11pm on 31 January 2023

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    10 January 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11pm on 31 January 2023

  3. Sifting date

    6 March 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    31 May 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

Person specification

Essential criteria

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate the following essential criteria:

  • A proven track record of exceptional leadership resulting in successful delivery of strategic outcomes.
  • Senior Board level experience of providing strategic direction, facilitating effective decision-making, driving delivery and governance oversight in a high-profile and complex environment.
  • Strong communication skills with outstanding ability to influence and build effective relationships with stakeholders across the education landscape, including ministers.
  • Experience at senior leadership level in the education sector and an understanding of the broader education landscape.
  • Experience of designing, implementing and/or advising on a knowledge-rich, evidence-based curriculum to achieve positive educational outcomes, including knowledge of the 2014 National Curriculum reforms.

Desirable criteria

In addition, the following is desirable:

  • Experience as a non-executive Board member or Chair of an Arm’s Length Body Board or equivalent.  

Role description

Role description

The Oak National Academy Board provides governance to the organisation. It provides leadership and direction to the executive, setting strategic aims and standards.
The Oak National Academy Chair will:
  • Set the strategic direction of Oak National Academy and its Board to ensure that the Non-Departmental-Public-Body (NDPB) can achieve its objectives and purpose as agreed by the Secretary of State, whilst balancing this aim with operational independence.
  • Promote the efficient and effective use of staff and other resources.
  • Represent Oak National Academy and its Board both internally and externally, maintaining the confidence of the education sector and sustaining a broad range of stakeholder relationships. This includes acting with propriety, being politically impartial and consideration of conflicts of interest.
  • Provide for the induction, training, objectives and performance assessment for all members of the Board so that it has the knowledge and expertise to direct the NDPB’s business effectively.
  • Act as a point of contact between ministers and the Board.
  • Ensure that the Board Operating Framework is in place and adhered to; setting out the role and responsibilities of the Board consistent with and adhering to the Government Code of Good Practice for Corporate Governance.

Application and selection process

How to apply

Please submit the following documents by email to:

1.    A candidate application form.

2.    A completed evidence template - you will need to demonstrate clearly how you meet each of the essential criteria (maximum 300 words per criterion – if this is exceeded only the first 300 words will be considered).

3.    A CV of no more than two sides of A4 in Arial font 12.

4.    A Diversity Monitoring Form.

Please include ‘Oak National Academy Chair application’ in the subject box and submit each document as a separate attachment.

The Department is happy to accept applications in alternative formats from applicants who, for reasons of disability, may find it difficult to fill in the standard form.

If you would like to have a conversation with us regarding reasonable adjustments, please contact us at:

Please note the following:

The Department cannot accept applications submitted after the closing date.

Applications will be assessed solely on the documentation provided; please refer to the advert and checklist above to ensure you have provided everything requested.

Applications will be acknowledged upon receipt.

The Department cannot provide feedback at application stage; feedback will only be given to candidates unsuccessful following interview.

If a large number of applications is received, a preliminary sifting exercise will be conducted. You should be aware that in this situation, your application might not be considered in full by all the members of the panel.

For successful candidates invited to interview, the cost of a standard travel ticket to the venue will be reimbursed. If the interview cannot be attended in person, a remote option will be available.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a Board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAPs perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.
The Advisory Assessment Panel for this recruitment will consist of:
Andrew McCully, Director General, Schools Group, DfE - representative of Department and Chair of the Advisory Assessment Panel;
Susan Lovelock, Director of Professional and Technical Education, DfE - representative of the Department;
Clare Wagner, Head of The Henrietta Barnett School - independent panel member.

Additional information for candidates

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life These are:

  1. SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends;
  2. INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties;
  3. OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit;
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office;
  5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;
  6. HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
  7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive Board Members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the Boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

How to complain

Please contact the Department for Education’s Free Speech team if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at: .
We will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

Contact details

The time commitment for this role is no more than one day per week carrying out duties.  This time commitment is expected to be used flexibly - i.e. Board activities may amount to more than one day in one week and less in another.
Remuneration is £420 per day for a maximum average time commitment of one day per week.
Work will be undertaken remotely with travel to London or other locations as required.
If you wish to have an informal and confidential discussion about this appointment, please contact Jenny Oldroyd/Stuart Miller, Directors of Curriculum and General Qualifications Directorate (Jobshare.OLDROYD-MILLER@