Engage wishes to appoint a new Chair of Trustees to take over from Shân Maclennan who stepped down in May having served wonderfully as Chair since 2018.
Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education is the lead body for visual arts engagement represents visual arts education professionals throughout the UK and in over 20 countries worldwide. We support arts educators, organisations, freelancers, and artists to work together with communities in dynamic, open exchanges that give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from the arts.
This is a pivotal time for Engage as we set out a new strategic direction, having completed an organisational restructure in order to provide more flexibility within the core staff to respond to the fast-changing environment for our members, as well as financial stability. We seek a chair who will ensure that a new strategic plan is realised in alignment with Arts Council England ‘Lets Create’.
The Chair will act as an ambassador for Engage, developing relationships with key stakeholders, provide leadership to Engage and its Board; oversee the forward strategy ensuring maximum impact for members and the sector and will operate within our charitable objectives.
The Chair will support Engage to develop
The Chair will have experience as a charity trustee, working in small organisations, have credibility with decision makers and will being their networks to Engage.
Engage values and cares passionately about the diversity of its staff, trustees and members. Our board should reflect our diverse sector in order to ensure our network has leadership that draws fully on the different skills and perspectives our country has to offer.
Applications are encouraged from candidates from across the UK, regardless of sex, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief, and from the broadest range of personal and professional backgrounds. We particularly welcome applications from those from a black or ethnic minority background and people living with a disability.
We are looking for someone with passion for the visual arts and education.
The ideal candidate will have:
- Leadership experience, including line management of a senior executive
- Experience of working collaboratively
- Experience of being a charity trustee
- Experience of working with small organisations
- Significant presence with personal stature and networks that will enhance Engage’s standing
- Credibility with high level decision makers and those with influence in the visual arts
Skills and knowledge
- Clear knowledge and understanding of issues affecting arts organisations and specifically visual arts and heritage and education
- Clear understanding and experience of governance of a charity
- An understanding of and commitment to the need for promoting cultural diversity and inclusion in the leadership and delivery of Engage’s work
- Good communication and chairing skills
- A sound understanding of financial management
- An appreciation of the need for Engage to diversify its income and a willingness to support the organisation’s fundraising strategy
- Time to commit to the role and the organisation, both for internal meetings, and in acting as an ambassador and advocate
- Understanding of and commitment to promoting the aims and objectives of Engage
- Ability to act as an authority, advocate and leader in the cultural sector and visual arts with an excellent track record of governance
- Effective personal and communication skills, allied to an ability to be objective, listen, inspire and motivate
Role of the Chair
The new Chair will join a committed Board of Trustees that seeks to support the Director, staff team and members in developing the organisation.
The role of the Chair is to:
- Lead the board of trustees in setting the strategic direction of Engage within its charitable objects and ensuring that it fulfils its responsibilities for the governance of Engage
- Work with the Director and the wider Board to develop and deliver the Trust’s strategic direction and goals
- Act as an ambassador and spokesperson for Engage and assist in developing relationships with key stakeholders
- Optimise the relationship between trustees and staff
- While it is an NPO of Arts Council England ensure that Engage’s vision is consistent with its Let’s Create investment principles
- That Engage has an active and effective fundraising strategy and effective plans to increase membership fees and other new income streams
- Line managing and supporting the Director whose responsibility is to carry out the day-to-day management of Engage’s affairs and hold regular reviews of performance and the annual appraisal to ensure that the Director is fulfilling their own responsibilities
Engage’s Chair promotes good governance by ensuring that the Board of Trustees effectively performs its principal tasks of:
- Ensuring that proper financial, administrative, and legal arrangements are in place
- Commenting on/approving policy matters, Engage’s three-year plan, and the content of its annual report
- Ensure that the board of trustees is effectively fulfilling its remit and responsibilities
- Ensure that Engage continues to innovate, push boundaries, and challenge the status quo
Role of the Engage Board
- Ensure Engage functions within the legal and financial requirements of a company and charitable organisation
- Be responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of Engage
- Determine policy
- Agree the annual budget and decide on any major resource issues
- Approve the annual accounts
- Appoint senior staff
- Carry out the appraisal of senior staff
- Monitor performance against agreed objectives and targets
- Represent and promote Engage externally
- Assist in fundraising from the public and private sectors
- Observe the Memorandum and Articles of Association (Engage’s regulatory governing documents)
The statutory duties of each Engage trustee:
- Ensure that Engage complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
- Ensure that Engage pursues its objects as defined in its governing document
- Ensure that Engage applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives
- Contribute actively to the Board’s role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets, and evaluating performance against agreed targets
- Safeguard Engage’s good name and values
- Ensure the effective and efficient administration of Engage
- Ensure the financial stability of Engage
- Protect and manage the property of Engage and ensure the proper investment of its funds
- Appoint the Director and monitor her/his performance
In addition to the above statutory duties, each board member should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they must help the board reach sound decisions. This may involve:
- Scrutinising board papers
- Leading discussions affecting Engage and the sector
- Focusing on key issues
- Providing guidance on new initiatives
- Other issues in which the trustee has special expertise
Engage is the lead professional association in the field of gallery education, with about 700 members in the UK and abroad. A registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.
For more information about Engage, you may find it helpful to visit the ‘About’ pages on our website.
Engage champions diverse education practice; runs ground-breaking projects and programmes; promotes learning through artworks, artists, museums, and galleries and above all encourages everyone to get involved in the arts. To see the impact of Engage we recommend you view some of the projects or programmes we run.
Or, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask more detailed questions about the scope of Engage’s work.
Terms of Appointment
Engage Trustees are appointed for a three-year period. A maximum of two terms of three years can be served.
The time commitment required is typically 2 to 3 days per month.
This is a voluntary position and is not remunerated. Payment for loss of earning might be possible depending on circumstances. Travel, and when necessary, accommodation expenses may be paid as well and any necessary training and support for this role.
Applying for the post:
We welcome applications from people with a range of diverse backgrounds, particularly people with disabilities, people of colour, people who identify as LGBTQ+ and people from a range of socio-economic and educational backgrounds.
To discuss this opportunity further please contact Jane Sillis, Director, email@example.com.
The outgoing Chair, Shân Maclennan would also be happy to speak to prospective candidates. Please contact Jane Sillis to request an introduction.
To apply, please submit your CV and covering letter addressing the person specification to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 23 August, 10am.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to meet with representatives of the Board at a mutually convenient time.
If you would like a confidential discussion regarding any reasonable adjustments during the process, please also indicate this in the covering email or letter.