Seeking New Trustees

As we are about to join the Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of regularly funded organisations and are expanding our activities in the East Kent region after relocating to Margate in early 2017, we are seeking to recruit:

  • A new Chair

And individuals with strong experience in:

  • Finance
  • Higher education
  • Partnership development
  • Business development
  • Financial sustainability and corporate investment
  • Marketing and Communications

We are looking for Trustees who will help us raise awareness of our work in the region and nationally, develop long-term partnerships and a strong regional network, continue to build a sustainable and financially stable future, and champion the work of the organisation.

We are committed to having a Board that is more diverse and connected to Kent than it currently is. We are particularly welcoming applicants from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and candidates who are based in Thanet and Kent.

About Open School East

Open School East (OSE) is an innovative arts charity that delivers a free and flexible education programme with and for communities less likely to access traditional provision. Located in Margate, Kent, OSE offers a space for artistic learning that is free, experimental, collaborative and brings together diverse voices. We provide high-quality tuition and studio space to emerging artists, run learning activities for young people and adults, commission artists to develop participatory projects, and produce and host cultural events and social activities for and with everyone.

Founded in 2013, Open School East has developed and established a successful ‘alternative art school’ model with a focus on inclusion and co-production. OSE is committed to reducing inequalities in the arts and to fostering cultural and social exchanges between artists and the broader public. We do this by opening our programmes outwards, responding to our locality – with all its challenges and opportunities – and providing an informal environment for the sharing of knowledge and skills across all communities and generations. Our approach is innovative, versatile and inclusive: we equip artists at an early stage of their career with the tools to become resourceful and self-sufficient, and enable participants to shape their experience and creative voice by becoming active learners and co-producers of OSE’s programmes.

For more information, please visit:

What we are looking for

We are seeking to recruit a number of new Trustees, who like us believe in the transformative power of creativity on personal and community levels, and who endorse our experimental, collaborative and inclusive values. We are looking for Trustees who will bring dynamism, expertise and local and regional connections, and help the organisation develop its future ambitions. In particular, we wish to recruit:

  • A new Chair who will ideally be Kent-based or have a strong regional affiliation;
  • A Trustee with financial knowledge to monitor the financial practice, probity and wellbeing of the organisation;
  • A Trustee working within the field of Higher Education to help us develop policy and build partnerships and bridges to ensure the efficiency of our learning programmes;
  • A Trustee from the business sector, who will inform the development of the organisation from a fledgling to a robust charity;
  • A Trustee with experience of development and corporate giving, including within the creative and cultural sector;
  • A Trustee to help the organisation develop its marketing and communications strategy in order to broaden awareness of our work, increase our visibility and amplify our reach.

Responsibilities of the Trustees

Chair’s responsibilities:

  • Provide governance and aspiration for Open School East, ensuring delivery in line with the current business plan.
  • Ensure that Open School East pursues its objects and complies with its governing documents (i.e. its Articles of Association) and with charity law, company law, and any other relevant legislation or regulations, and that Open School East applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects.
  • Ensure that the Board has put in place satisfactory systems of control in respect of legal, operational, and financial risk management.
  • Contribute actively to the Board of Trustees’ role, in cooperation with the senior management team, in safeguarding the strategic direction of Open School East, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets, and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
  • Safeguard the values and ethos of Open School East.
  • Support and line manage the Co-Directors.
  • Use specific skills, knowledge or experience to help the Board of Trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve scrutinising Board papers, leading discussions, supporting high profile fundraising activity, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives or other issues in which the Trustees have special expertise.

Trustees responsibilities:

  • Contributing specific skills, knowledge and experience in support of Open School East’s objectives.
  • Contribute to the development of strategy, policy, business and financial planning, and of the Board of Trustees.
  • Have an appreciation and understanding of the work of Open School East and a solid grasp of all activities in which the organisation is involved.
  • Act as an ambassador and advocate for Open School East and promote Open School East using contacts and networks where possible.

Trustees’ time commitment:

  • Attend a minimum of two quarterly Board meetings every year (the 2 hour-long meetings take place alternately in Margate and London).
  • Attend yearly Board training where appropriate and where possible.
  • Attend the Board and staff annual away day where possible.
  • Attend events of public significance related to Open School East’s programming and fundraising activities (ideally one annually).
  • Be available at times outside of Board meetings for phone conversations or one-to-one meetings with the Co-Directors and for Sub-Committees as required (these take place between two and three times a year depending on the activity supported by the Sub-Committees).

Please note that the Chair and Trustees positions are unpaid but that travel expenses will be paid for.

How to apply

If you believe your experiences and skills are relevant to OSE’s needs and if playing a part in OSE interests you, we are keen to hear from you and have a conversation with you.

Please email Co-Director Anna Colin for further information or send a supporting statement, outlining your experience and skills relevant to the available positions, as well as a CV.