Chair of Board

Imperial House, 22 - 26 Paul Street, London
18 Aug 2021
24 Sep 2021
Arts and Culture
Long Term

We are looking for a Chair of the Board to play a vital role in delivering real impact and shaping the ISTD of the future by providing high quality governance.

Working in close collaboration with the Chief Executive and other Board members you will actively contribute to the development of the Society’s strategy. As Chair of the Board, you will have a proven commitment to increasing dance participation and safeguarding the reputation and values of the Society.

The Chair should be fully committed to address all areas of concern to ensure that the Society is an equitable, diverse, and inclusive organisation.


 The main purpose of this role:

• Ensure the Society is carrying out its charitable purpose for public benefit

• Comply with the Society’s governing document and the law

• Act only in the Society’s best interests

• Manage the Society’s resources responsibly

• Act with reasonable care and skill

• Ensure the Society is accountable to all its stakeholders (including members, students and their representatives, regulators, and members of the public who come into contact with our services)


Person Specification:

To take up the critical role of Chair of the Board, individuals need to be engaged and motivated in the work and mission of the Society. Commitment, engagement, and reliability are key to fulfilling your responsibility as Chair. The Chair of the Board must demonstrate:

• A wholehearted commitment to the mission of the Society

• An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of charity trusteeship/Companies Act directorship

• An ability to work effectively as a member of a team and to take decisions for the good of the Society • A willingness to meet the minimum time requirement required for fulfilling the role of Chair and any other duties (e.g.: serving on Council sub-committees and Working Groups)

• Integrity

• Ability to operate at both strategic and detailed levels, deal with complexity and make strategic financial and business decision

• Sound, independent judgement

• An ability to think creatively

• A willingness to contribute ideas, thoughts, comments

• A commitment to fairness and to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion


Key Responsibilities:

In carrying out the collective responsibilities of Council, the Chair of the Board will:

1. Guard the long-term future of the Society by ensuring that:

• Council sets the mission, vision, strategy and high-level policies for the Society within the powers and restrictions in its charitable objects and governing instruments (Articles and supplementary Rules and Standing Orders);

• Council takes steps to monitor the performance of the Society and to ensure that the Society satisfies all regulatory and legal compliance requirements;

• major risks to which the Society is exposed are reviewed regularly and systems are established to mitigate these risks without the Society becoming totally risk averse;

• the Society's financial dealings are systematically accounted for, audited and publicly available;

• there are appropriate systems and controls in place to safeguard and manage the resources and assets of the Society responsibly, and to maintain financial stability;

• internal controls and systems (both financial and non-financial) are audited and reviewed regularly;

• Council and the Society are fair and open to all sections of the community in all the Society's activities;

• Council and the Society hear the voices and views of key stakeholders, especially beneficiaries. 1.2 To ensure the highest possible standards of governance by ensuring that;

• the Society has a governance structure that is appropriate to a Society of its size/complexity, stage of development, and its charitable objects and that these structures and the governing instruments are reviewed regularly;

• Council delegates sufficient authority to its sub-committees, the chair, the chief executive officer and others to enable the business of the Society to be carried on effectively between meetings of Council;

• Council's delegated authority is recorded in writing by means of terms of reference for board sub-committees, role descriptions for postholders (eg vice chair, treasurer) and for key staff, etc; and, Council monitors use of these delegated powers;

• Council has on it the skills it requires to govern the Society well and these skills are utilised, and that Council has access to relevant external professional advice and expertise;

• there is a systematic, open and fair procedure for the recruitment and cooption of trustees, future chairs of Council and future chief executive officers;

• all members of Council receive appropriate induction, advice, information and training (both individual and collective);

• trustees act reasonably, always act in the interests of the Society and comply with the Council members role specification;

• conflicts of interest (actual and perceived) are recognised and managed such that personal and collective independent judgement can be demonstrated and exercised at all times;

• Council of trustees regularly reviews its performance.

1.3 To ensure the proper and efficient conduct of board meetings by:

• chairing trustee meetings effectively, seeking consensus, balancing the need for full debate on key questions with the expeditious dispatch of business so as to reach clear and agreed decisions as swiftly as possible;

• encouraging all trustees to participate and to feel free to challenge constructively both the chair and the chief executive officer;

• taking an active role in ensuring that Council agendas are meaningful and reflect the key responsibilities of trustees;

• ensuring that the Chief Executive Officer and her staff provide Council with relevant, timely and accurate information to allow Council to discharge its responsibilities. This should include alerting Council to major risks, informing Council of current and future key issues, including significant trends, and informing Council about external changes which may impact on the Society;

• ensuring that board decisions are made in the best, long-term interests of the Society and that Council takes collective ownership of these decisions;

• ensuring that decisions taken at meetings of Council are implemented;

• ensuring that that there is an annual programme of Council and subcommittee meetings, carefully structured agendas and high-quality briefing papers providing timely information and concentrating on governance.

2. To support, and where appropriate, to challenge the Chief Executive Officer and to ensure that Council as a whole works in partnership with executive staff

2.1 To support the chief executive officer by:

• ensuring there are clear and open processes for the recruitment (and if necessary, dismissal) of the chief executive officer, and for setting and reviewing the remuneration package of the Chief Executive Officer;

• ensuring that Council focuses on its governance role and does not slip incrementally, or otherwise, into the management role;

• arranging regular, but not over frequent, meetings with the Chief Executive Officer and by developing a professional relationship with the chief executive officer within which each can speak openly about concerns, worries and challenges;

• providing leadership to the Chief Executive Officer to ensure that the Society is run in accordance with the decisions of Council and the Society's governing documents and that there is clarity about the Society's objectives at all levels;

• supervising the Chief Executive Officer on behalf of Council always remembering that the Chief Executive Officer is responsible to Council as a whole and not to any one individual or sub-group of trustees;

• ensuring the Chief Executive Officer's performance is reviewed regularly;

• ensuring the Chief Executive Officer has the opportunity for professional development and has appropriate external professional support;

• in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer, to agree respective roles in representing the Society and acting as spokesperson.

2.2 To make sure that Council understands and fulfils its responsibility to hold the Chief Executive Officer and the executive team to account by ensuring that:

• when necessary, the chair and the trustees challenge the Chief Executive Officer constructively and only in the best interests of the Society and as "critical friends";

• the Chief Executive Officer is clear about the key performance indicators by which she will be held accountable;

• the Chief Executive Officer understands her crucial responsibility to provide relevant, honest, timely, high-quality information and advice to Council of trustees;

• there are appropriate mechanisms, both internal and external, to verify that Council receives a balanced and honest picture of how the Society is doing.

2.3 To ensure Council works in partnership with management by:

• ensuring through the Chief Executive Officer, that the staff understand the role of Council and that the Chief Executive Officer provides an effective link between Council and staff;

• ensuring that staff are aware of Council's appreciation of their successes and hard work;

• ensuring that, through the Chief Executive Officer, a performance evaluation process is in place for everyone in the organisation and that the Society invests in the development of staff;

• ensuring that whenever practicable, trustees visit various parts of the Society, and have informal opportunities to meet the leadership team, staff, and beneficiaries.


Commitment to the Role

The Chair of the Board will be expected to show dedication and commitment to their role, which will include attendance at meetings and key dates throughout the year. This will include, Council, Nomination and Remuneration, Finance and Audit and AGM meetings, (in total approx. 10 meetings in 2021/22). Other possible attendance for the Chair would be at larger meetings (such as the examiner meetings), however this would be on an optional basis.

The Chair would also be invited to all ISTD Events, (such as student competitions) as well larger Society events, such as our prestigious annual Graduation ceremony. The Chair of the Board is appointed for a term of 3 years and can be re-appointed for a further two terms (9 years in total).

The Chair of Board is a voluntary role and is unpaid, however this is an exceptional opportunity to play a pivotal role in an organisation with a proud history and a brand that stands for the pursuit of excellence in the dance world.


Equal Opportunities

The Society values diversity of thought and experience. We welcome applications from anyone regardless of their age, disability, ethnicity, heritage, sexuality, gender, and socio-economic background. If you have any access needs or there are any barriers to access, please let us know this in your application or if you would like to discuss any of this prior to applying please email:


Method of Application

To apply for the role of Chair of the Board, please send a letter of application and CV to

The letter of application should summarise what you are able to bring to the role and how you meet the person specification. The successful candidates will also be required to provide details for two recent references that can evidence skills and suitability to carry out this role, (whether in an employed or voluntary capacity).

  • Applications Close: Friday 24th September 2021.
  • Interviews: w/c Monday 4th October 2021.
  • Formal Appointment at AGM Meeting: Wednesday 17th November 2021.

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