Knowledge Schools Foundation




Recruitment of Chair

Role description and Skills Profile


The Board of trustees is seeking a new chair for the Knowledge Schools Foundation Trust (KSFT) effective October 2024 when our current chair of 9 years will step down.


The KSFT is a charitable foundation whose purpose is to enrich the educational experience of pupils attending the schools of the The Knowledge Schools Trust. It fundraises for facilities, resources and activities not covered by the Knowledge Schools Trust annual grants from the Department for Education.

There are six schools in the Trust and the KSFT is currently active in four. Funds raised for each school are fenced for that particular school. We are most active in the West London Free School where we fund a rich co-curricular programme that enables all pupils, regardless of income, to participate in as many school clubs as they like.

We raise donations from parents, generous benefactors, external grant making trusts and statutory funders contributing to a recurring annual income in the region of £130,000 plus some additional grants that come in from time to time increasing the annual average to £190,000 

The role of Chair is to lead the board of trustees ensuring that it fulfils its role of governance for the KSFT. The board is currently made up of seven trustees and the charity has no employees. We rely on the schools to carry out much of the operational tasks required to conduct our business but we also expect Trustees to have a somewhat hands-on role. The board meets 4 times a year.

For more information on the KSFT please visit our website


Duties of the Chair

  • Lead fundraising activity - seek donations from parents and benefactors, grants, and other funding.
  • Schedule and efficiently run meetings to make decisions.
  • Receive requests for school grants and seek trustee decisions on awards
  • Attract new trustees to join the Board
  • Ensure Trustees are adequately trained
  • Ensure production of Annual report and Impact reports covering all schools
  • Ensure active communication programme with parents.
  • Ensure The charity has strong governance and appropriate policies.
  • Develop relations with KST Board, Head teachers and key school and Trust staff


  • Tasks to be delegated
    • o Financial records and accounts
    • o Banking relationships
    • o Produce annual accounts for Charity Commission and Companies House
    • o Produce quarterly financial results for trustee meetings
    • o Control disbursal and tracking of grants.
    • o HMRC relationship
    • o Charity payment processor relationships
    • o Active PR and Communication with parents/donors
    • o Securing grants from external providers


We have recently undertaken a strategic review of the activities of the KSFT and the resulting decisions will be made at future board meetings. The Chair will need to lead the ongoing implementation of those decisions in partnership with the schools. 

The time commitment of the Chair is approx. 2 days a month. This increases around the time of meetings and at the time of the Annual General Meeting. The amount of time required should reduce as a number of tasks identified are delegated.  The role is voluntary.


Skill profile

Candidates for the role of chair should be able to demonstrate a good number of the following skills and attributes:

  • personal integrity
  • commitment to the Foundation Trust and its mission
  • Experience in raising funds for charities
  • good understanding of the environment in which the Foundation Trust is operating
    • o Charity sector
    • o State school sector
    • o Corporate entity sector
  • good understanding of the role and legal responsibilities of the board and trustees
  • ability to chair meetings well, encouraging debate and facilitating decision-making
  • ability to work with staff in KST schools and the central team of the Knowledge Schools Trust
  • ability to build and get the best out of a team while addressing any skills or experience gaps
  • ability and willingness to delegate and trust others
  • strong relationship-building and communication skills
  • negotiation and diplomacy skills with the ability to have courageous conversations
  • ability to think strategically and objectively, take the long view and prioritise
  • capacity to process information quickly and understand relevant data, drawing valid conclusions with a considered approach to risk
  • understanding of finance, banking for charities and HMRC.


The Board is looking for expressions of interest by March 28th and would look to have conversations with candidates after April 16th, the return from Easter break.

Expressions of interest should be emailed to  with a copy to or any questions can be sent to the same addresses or phone Thomas Newman on 07796 443115.


Enriching the educational experience for pupils