Governance

The Board of Directors is accountable in law for all major decisions about our academies. However, this does not mean that the Board is required to carry out all the Trust’s governance functions and many are delegated, including, for example, to the CEO and the Board’s audit committee. It is vital that the decision to delegate a function is made by the full Board of Directors and is recorded. Without such delegation, the individual or committee has no power to act…

Parent Forums

Although not part of our governance structure, parent forums are a valuable source of information and are helping the Board to make strategic decisions based on the views of a much wider variety of stakeholders.

You can find out more by looking at the parent forum page on the individual websites of our academies, you can find them here.

Members

Academy trusts do not have shareholders; they have members. The role and rights of members is analogous to that of shareholders. They hold the AGM and appoint Directors. Our members are:

Fiona first moved to Kent as a newly qualified teacher in 1979 and has lived and worked in the Swale area ever since. Fiona’s experience in education spans all age groups from 4 to 18 years although the majority of her teaching has been in the secondary sector.

Over the course of her career Fiona’s responsibilities have been both pastoral and academic which has given her a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of education. Fiona has led subject departments and faculties alongside responsibilities for safeguarding, child protection and social and emotional care. She has worked with social services to introduce new initiatives into schools, delivered training to county governors and children’s services across Kent and also led a federation of schools in a national pilot focused on achievement of pupils in Key Stage 3.

In 2013 Fiona accepted the Headship of a school in extremely challenging circumstances and over the last four years has used her expertise to see it develop into a popular and oversubscribed, successful school. In more recent years she has represented secondary Headteachers on the board of the Kent Early Help and Safeguarding Group and also represented Headteachers in Kent as a member of the Kent Children’s Safeguarding Board. Fiona was also a member of the Strategic Headteacher’s group for the South East for the national organization Teach First.

Fiona retired from Headship in August 2017 and now wants to divide her time between the children’s charity she established ten years ago, her family, advisory and voluntary work.

Appointed: 19/09/2015

As a School Governor in excess of 25 years, Georgina has been a Leading School Governor in both primary and secondary education. Still an active school governor and Chair, Georgina previously worked as the Principal Accountant for Kent County Council Education Department for 20 years covering four districts with 23 staff.  She produced and undertook training across the County for Head teachers, Deputy Head teachers and Finance Staff including involvement with the appointment of head teachers.  Working with NCL in setting up the Bursar Programme for School Finance Staff, she set-up and ran County Bursar/Business Managers Workshops and wrote and undertook training for all staff within Finance on School Financial Management. Since retirement, Georgina has maintained her expertise within Education and is a committed volunteer to a number of charities, schools and working groups.

Appointed 10/05/2019

Appointed: 07/12/2017

Wayne Barry is a Learning Technologist and Academic Developer for Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) since 2006, and has over 20 years of experience working in the Higher Education sector. Previously, he has worked in IT sales, IT training and educational software development. A graduate of Canterbury Christ Church University and University of Edinburgh, he qualifed as a Chartered IT Professional with the British Computer Society. Wayne has subsequently worked on a range of local, national, international and award-winning projects involving technology, learning spaces and education. Wayne is part of a small multidisciplinary team responsible for planning, supporting, and evaluating the technology-enabled learning platform in the provision of high quality, flexible and innovative curricula at CCCU. He is an evidence-informed practitioner with a passion for the technological, pedagogic and strategic issues around learning technologies, alongside developing collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders, and engaging with research and knowledge exchange activities. Wayne is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Association for Learning Technology, and holds a Doctorate in Education (EdD). Away from work and studying, Wayne enjoys the creative arts, travelling and tracing his family tree.

Appointed on: 14/12/2017

Prior to retiring in August 2017 I was the founding CEO of a Multi-Academy Trust working within South East London and Kent.  I have been part of the teaching profession for 32 years; twenty of which have been as either a Head Teacher or as  an executive leader in a wide variety of schools.  I feel extremely honoured to have been a school leader; a role that I undertook with integrity alongside an incredible sense of being a ‘servant leader’.

The last six years of my career were spent in leading an Academy Trust of four primary schools with a free school in pre-opening.  I am firmly committed to the idea that successful leaders should support the system by taking responsibility for more than one school wherever possible to ensure that excellent practice is disseminated and supported.   During my time as an executive leader I worked hard to ensure that the community-offer across the Trust supported extended school provision both through out of hours care and through the provision of high quality pre-school provisions operating on each site and offering birth to five child care.

Through my work as a Local Leader of Education (2008), and since 2011 as a National Leader of Education, I have aspired to demonstrate the ability to work sensitively and collaboratively with a range of partners in order to improve the life chances for the pupils within those schools.  I have supported, and developed, school improvement in a range of capacities, including secondment, PSCL support, LLE/NLE input and also Professional Partner working with newly appointed Head Teachers.  All of these roles require the need to demonstrate emotional intelligence thus allowing me to work effectively with school in the most challenging circumstances.   Additionally, my range of successful roles, and my work with the National College, demonstrates working within, and beyond, my own individual organisations; sharing and harnessing the best resource to bring about improvement in my own and other schools.  My vast experience is also put to good use across a range of HR-related activities including mentoring and coaching.  My skills and experience have also been utilized, providing independent/unbiased support, to resolve disagreements through mediation if there are disputes between colleagues.

Two key skills required to be a National Leader of Education, alongside being an effective Executive Leader of four schools, include being both articulate and reflective .  Each of these attributes is evident in my day to day work and in my pedagogical thinking.  My work to date demonstrates determination to improve outcomes for children and young people.  I am not afraid to have ‘difficult conversations’ if it means improving the life chances of our young people. 

In 2014 I had the very real privilege to be appointed by the Regional Schools’ Commissioner (RSC), Dominic Herrington, initially for a three-year term, as a member of the South East South London Region’s Head Teacher Board (HTB).  This was subsequently extended in order for the delayed elections to be put in place to elect the new Head Teacher Board Members for November 2017.  The experience of sitting on the HTB Board has enabled me to share my experiences and expertise while also being able to learn from the wider practice that is evident across the academy sector. This included developing strategy in relation to MAT Health Checks and Financial Monitoring.    I was able to use this knowledge and experience when appointed as the Interim CEO of a failing Trust which had run into difficulties on all levels including HR, Financial and Pupils’ Outcomes-related.   I am able to sit on Boards and apply my knowledge and experience from being a CEO as well as having been part of the strategic decision making at DfE level. 

I am highly conversant with Multi Academy Trust (MAT) governance models and good practice. My most recent Trustee Board appointment is at the request of the SESL RSC in order to support a Trust that has recently lost its CEO through ill health; unfortunately his resignation also coincided with the end of the Board’s term of office and therefore a completely new board has been appointed.

I believe that peer to peer support is a fantastic resource; I view this work as part of the moral imperative of being a school leader with responsibility for supporting the development of the next generation.  More recently I have been working closely with the DfE in the reducing workload initiatives and working on the follow up to the three, initial reports through various DfE workshops and working parties in relation to the February 2017 Reducing Workload updates. It is my interest in supporting peers that has led me to pursue becoming an external advisor for HT and CEO appraisal.  A role that I am thoroughly enjoying as I am able to be empathetic to the appraisee whilst also maintaining a focus on improving pupils’ outcomes. I am also a coach and this gives me another avenue through which to support colleagues in their work.

Since retiring I have joined the Chartered College of Teaching (CCT) and have become an advocate for this organisation as I do believe that our vocation benefits through having a well-informed, professional body to support teaching as a profession.  I have been invited to become a Regional Lead Advocate but, due to other commitments, I shall be leaving this until 2018.  As part of my role of advocate I am a member of both the Medway CCT steering group as well as having been approached to sit on the South East London Regional Advocate Team, a position which I have accepted.

I am keen to support professionals to develop further and as such I am an accredited facilitator of the new National College’s National Professional Qualification (NPQ) courses; this includes the delivery of the 1:1 coaching element for all of the NPQ courses including that involved in the new NPQH training course which was introduced in September 2017. I am also able to deliver bespoke training to schools and MATs on a range of subjects including Safeguarding and Child Protection, Recruiting for Quality, as well as a range of leadership and/or motivational talks.  I am also able to facilitate as the host for training days and conference events.

Leadership at all levels within a school is a real interest for me and I include Governance at all levels in this aspect of a school’s development.  During my career I have been an appointed Local Authority (LA) governor, a staff governor, an ex-officio Trustee as well as being a Chair of a Board of Trustees within a Special School Trust in Kent.  I am also very proud to be a Member of the Stour Academy Trust in a voluntary capacity in order to contribute to this growing trust which serves a wide geographical area.

I consider myself to be a ‘life-long learner’ and as such I have become a full member of Vistage, a world-wide leadership organisation committed to supporting and developing lead professionals across the commercial and voluntary sectors.

I fully endorse the DfE’s work in examining workload and recruitment concerns related to the teaching profession. My work-life harmony is balanced and this is through the wonderful companionship of a tortoise, a dog and a wonderful life-time ambition to be the owner of a rather superb campervan.  The perfect combination for an ideal life and a very good reason to retire early while young enough to have the energy and wherewithal to enjoy it to the full! 

 

Claire March is a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at Canterbury Christ Church University where she has worked since 2006. Previously she worked as a primary school teacher in East Kent for nine years which informed which informed her knowledge and practice. Whilst at Christ Church University Claire has a particular interest in children’s development within the field of Art and Design and focuses on this within her research. Working on a range of research projects with teachers, students and children to develop an understanding of art and design practice at present within Education, which she shares on national level.  Claire works with a number of the ITT programmes within the University and supports students in their initial stages of their primary teaching careers, which enables her to work across a range of schools. Claire is also a Partnership development lead for the faculty of Education which enables her to work with a range of educational partners across Kent and beyond. Claire is currently also a Governor of Hawkinge Primary school and a member of the National society for Education Art and Design. Away from work Claire loves to cook, spend time with her daughter and enjoy the arts.

 

 

Directors

Directors work with the leadership team to set the strategic vision and ethos of the Trust. Our members are:

Full name: Mrs Fiona Trigwell
Date of appointment: 07/12//2017
Term of office expires: 06/12/2021
Appointed by: Appointed by GB/board
Relevant business and pecuniary interests:
Governance roles in other educational institutions: 
Relationships between other governors or school staff: 
Attendance record at Directors meetings over academic year 2019/20: 1/1

Fiona first moved to Kent as a newly qualified teacher in 1979 and has lived and worked in the Swale area ever since. Fiona’s experience in education spans all age groups from 4 to 18 years although the majority of her teaching has been in the secondary sector.

Over the course of her career Fiona’s responsibilities have been both pastoral and academic which has given her a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of education. Fiona has led subject departments and faculties alongside responsibilities for safeguarding, child protection and social and emotional care. She has worked with social services to introduce new initiatives into schools, delivered training to county governors and children’s services across Kent and also led a federation of schools in a national pilot focused on achievement of pupils in Key Stage 3.

In 2013 Fiona accepted the Headship of a school in extremely challenging circumstances and over the last four years has used her expertise to see it develop into a popular and oversubscribed, successful school. In more recent years she has represented secondary Headteachers on the board of the Kent Early Help and Safeguarding Group and also represented Headteachers in Kent as a member of the Kent Children’s Safeguarding Board. Fiona was also a member of the Strategic Headteacher’s group for the South East for the national organization Teach First.

Fiona retired from Headship in August 2017 and now wants to divide her time between the children’s charity she established ten years ago, her family, advisory and voluntary work.

Full name: Mr Daniel Jeffery Moore
Date of appointment: 27/04/18
Term of office expires: 26/04/2022
Appointed by: Academy members
Relevant business and pecuniary interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff: None
Attendance record at Directors meetings over academic year 2019/20: 0/1

Daniel Moore qualified from Manchester medical school in 1990 and has been working as a GP in East Kent since 1997, now working as the senior partner in a local practice with over 14,000 patients. This practice is the result of a recent merger of two local practices and now provides minor injury and x-ray facilities to the local community as well as the full range of GP services. As part of this Daniel has been working as a GP trainer for Health Education England assisting other doctors to become GPs since 2002 and has also been working as a GP appraiser for NHE England, reviewing the quality of education completed by qualified GPs since 2005. More recently Daniel has spent the last 2 years on the Governing Board of Canterbury and Coastal CCG representing GPs from Faversham and completing a Masters degree in Law at the University of Kent at Canterbury. 

Full name: Mr Tejinder Pal Singh
Date of appointment: 10/05/18
Term of office expires: 09/05/2022
Appointed by: Academy members
Relevant business and pecuniary interests:
Governance roles in other educational institutions: 
Relationships between other governors or school staff: 
Attendance record at Directors meetings over academic year 2019/20: 1/1

As an Indian born British Citizen I am fully aware of the benefits of education in creating opportunities both for social mobility and in working life opportunities. With post graduate qualifications, including a Masters in Business Administration I work at a senior and strategic level within a business context.

As part of my business role I manage large teams, often with conflicting priorities, ensuring a legally compliant, quality product is delivered. A key focus is developing standards, procedures, IT systems and improving food production standards across a global business.

Alongside production reasonability’s I regularly plan, manage and deliver on large scale business projects. As a successful project manager, I draw on a range of business skills including negotiation, people management, planning and finances.

Currently living in a small, close knit and supportive community, with two school age boys I have taken the decision to use my spare time to assist and contribute in improving and securing the educational experience of young children like my own.

Full name: Miss Victors Standing
Date of appointment: 03/10/2018
Term of office expires: 23/01/2022
Appointed by: Academy members
Relevant business and pecuniary interests:
Governance roles in other educational institutions: N/A
Relationships between other governors or school staff: 
Attendance record at Directors meetings over academic year 2019/20: 1/1

Victoria is a Participant Development Lead for Teach First, a charity which aims to end educational inequality by working with schools in areas of the greatest socio-economic need. In her current role, Victoria works closely with a wide range of schools across Kent, providing training and developmental support to graduate recruits on the Leadership Development Programme, which includes a two-year Post Graduate Diploma in Education.

Prior to this, Victoria worked as a Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for teaching and learning in a large, non-selective secondary school in Kent. She is a passionate advocate of the importance of teacher education; she takes a keen interest in educational research and is committed to sharing this with teachers and school leaders so that classroom practice is informed by robust evidence about what we know works best for children.

A law graduate, Victoria spent thirteen years teaching A Level law in schools in the Swale area. Prior to becoming a Deputy Headteacher, she held a range of leadership posts in schools, including Head of Sixth Form, during which time she was involved in an innovative project aimed at widening access to Higher Education.

In her spare time, Victoria likes to travel. She is a member of her local Amnesty International group and actively campaigns for greater awareness of global human rights issues.

Full name: Miss Robyn Alexandra Ford
Date of appointment: 24/01/18
Term of office expires: 23/01/2022
Appointed by: Academy members
Relevant business and pecuniary interests:
Governance roles in other educational institutions: Director at Ethos School Improvement Limited
Relationships between other governors or school staff: 
Attendance record at Directors meetings over academic year 2019/20: 0/1

Robyn is a Schools Officer (Assets, Projects and Legal) for the Canterbury Diocesan Board of Education. Responsibilities of the role include buildings and capital projects, place planning, admissions and academy conversion policy and processes. The role comprises advising, supporting and guiding the Board of Education, Church schools and academies on issues relating education, charity and company law. In addition advice and guidance is offered regarding property and finance, including capital funding, to ensure that Church schools and academies remain sustainable and meet the needs of their communities.

A law graduate, Robyn has a broad range of experience, covering property, employment, environmental and charity law.

As well as being a qualified sailing instructor, Robyn has considerable skills in analytical research and project management, together with experience of community engagement projects.

In accordance with the Trust’s Articles of Association, which are Church Minority Articles to maintain representation from both the Church School’s foundations, Robyn was nominated to the Board of Directors by the Diocese of Canterbury Academies Company Limited on behalf of the Canterbury Diocesan Board of Education.

Full name: Mrs Sarah Louise Wraight
Date of appointment: 26/04/2019
Term of office expires: 25/04/2023
Appointed by: Academy members
Relevant business and pecuniary interests: Barclays Bank – Director
Governance roles in other educational institutions:
Relationships between other governors or school staff: 
Attendance record at Directors meetings over academic year 2019/20: 1/1

Sarah is a career banker, starting from the ‘bottom’ within banking after leaving school and now successfully manages risk on a global basis for Banks. Initially working her way through the back office and branch banking she was selected for the Management Training Programme, providing fast-track opportunities to deliver great results. Sarah has broad experience, representing over a decade within frontline banking and regulated sales followed by two decades spanning compliance and financial crime risk management.Sarah specialises in her ability to influence stakeholders, including as an example through setting global banking policy and frameworks. Sarah provides pragmatic technical advice, oversight and direction for sizeable banking businesses. She has been successful at influencing Government Departments, which have resulted in changes to legislation, as an example. She has extensive technical experience covering UK, EU and US Regulatory Compliance and Anti Money Laundering legislation alongside the ability to convert such requirements into effective and efficient solutions.

Full name: Mr Olatunde Adeniyi Aje
Date of appointment: 17/06/2019
Term of office expires: 16/06/2023
Appointed by: Academy members
Relevant business and pecuniary interests: Roldot International Ltd, Tony Gee & Partners LLP 
Governance roles in other educational institutions:
Relationships between other governors or school staff: 
Attendance record at Directors meetings over academic year 2019/20: 0/1

Olatunde Adeniyi Aje is a chartered civil engineer with an MBA in Port Management experienced in development of large-scale marine civil engineering projects both in the UK and overseas. His expertise spans from planning, regulatory consenting and stakeholder management to developing design for construction and construction supervision. Aje has contributed to the delivery of capital infrastructure projects around the world in the private and public sector to include contract administration on the £1.5b DP World London Gateway Port Development Project and providing technical specialist services to Westminster City Council on its structural asset interfaces with the £4b Thames Tideway Tunnel Project.  Aje brings his years of both technical and business experience into his current role as Marine Group Director for a UK Civil Engineering Consultancy where he is responsible for developing and implementing the business group’s strategy to achieve the corporate goals.

Full name: Miss Rachael Howell
Date of appointment: 30/06/2017
Term of office expires: 31/08/18
Appointed by: School Staff
Relevant business and pecuniary interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff: Close family member (Mrs J Howell) employed at Sturry CofE Primary School
Attendance record at Directors meetings over academic year 2019/20: 1/1

Rachael Howell is the Deputy CEO and Director of Education for the Stour Academy Trust.  Appointed as a class teacher in 2005, Rachael Howell has a long and diverse history with the Trust, having undertaken most roles within its structures.  As a teacher in the sponsor school, Rachael led RE, English and Safeguarding whilst developing teaching strategies and approaches to improve the quality of education offered across the school.  Her role as lead for data and assessment emerged when the sponsor school federated with Hersden which led to her appointment of assistant Headteacher of the Sponsor school.  In 2012, Rachael moved into headship and was part of the successful team to secure an outstanding judgement for the school and SIAMs in 2015.  She began her current role in September 2015 and is currently undertaking the Executive Educators training for future CEOs.

Full name: Mr Simon O’Keefe
Date of appointment: 14/08/2012
Term of office expires: 31/08/2020
Appointed by: Original (signatory) members
Relevant business and pecuniary interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff: None
Attendance record at Directors meetings over academic year 2019/20: 1/1

Simon O’Keefe is the CEO of The Stour Academy Trust, established in 2012 with schools based around the Canterbury area and more recently in Sittingbourne, Ashford and the Isle of Sheppey. The primary only Trust has grown steadily since being established and is one of the first MATs to have both faith and non-faith schools. Appointed as a substantive Headteacher in 2002 and Executive Headteacher in 2009, Simon has many years of experience in leadership. In 2003 his school was top of Kent’s performance league table, in 2006 recognised as the second most successful school in the UK, with this achievement repeated in 2009 in another school. In 2012, following the establishment of the Trust, the sponsor school was amongst the top 100 schools nationally for sustained improvement and judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in February 2015. His leadership has been described by Ofsted as “inspirational”, “passionate”, “very effective” and as having a “strong sense of ambition” Simon has recently been appointed as a National Leader of Education and his Trust identified as one of the top performing Trusts in the country.Simon O’Keefe is the CEO of The Stour Academy Trust, established in 2012 with schools based around the Canterbury area and more recently in Sittingbourne, Ashford and the Isle of Sheppey. The primary only Trust has grown steadily since being established and is one of the first MATs to have both faith and non-faith schools. Appointed as a substantive Headteacher in 2002 and Executive Headteacher in 2009, Simon has many years of experience in leadership. In 2003 his school was top of Kent’s performance league table, in 2006 recognised as the second most successful school in the UK, with this achievement repeated in 2009 in another school. In 2012, following the establishment of the Trust, the sponsor school was amongst the top 100 schools nationally for sustained improvement and judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in February 2015. His leadership has been described by Ofsted as “inspirational”, “passionate”, “very effective” and as having a “strong sense of ambition” Simon has recently been appointed as a National Leader of Education and his Trust identified as one of the top performing Trusts in the country.

Accounting Officer: Simon O’Keefe
Chief Financial Officer: Tommy Cullen

Full name: Mrs Claire March
Date of appointment: 28/01/15
Term of office expired: 28/01/2019
Appointed by: Academy members
Relevant business and pecuniary interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: Governor of Hawkinge Primary school 
Relationships between other governors or school staff: None
Attendance record at Directors meetings over academic year 2018/19: 2/2