Header Image 1

Our Board of Directors & Members

Our Board of Directors are the individuals with legal obligations as both charity trustees and corporate directors.  

Their three core functions are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent

Our Members are the “guardians” of the governance in the Trust.  The Members do not have any legal responsibility for Trust business, yet are the first signatories to the Trust and are often compared to the shareholder of a company limited by shares.  Our Members hold the Board of Directors to account for the effective governance of the Trust but have a minimal role in the actual running of the Trust. It is the Board of Directors who are the organisation’s key decision makers.

The day to day strategic direction of each school within the Trust is delegated to the Local Governing Body (LGB) which is regularly monitored to ensure high educational standards.

To contact our Directors or Members please email:

Board of Directors Statutory Information 

Statutory Information 2022-23

Board of Directors Meeting Agendas & Minutes




Our Directors

Please use the links below for a short biography of each Director:

Board of Directors   Andrew Bailey

Andrew originally trained as a mining engineer at the University of Nottingham and Bolsover Colliery and also worked in civil engineering, mainly involving the structural inspection, investigative testing and maintenance of high rise concrete structures. 

Since the closure of the Selby Coalfield, where he held a management position, he moved to Devon with his wife and children where they run a small farm and holiday cottage business. He has been a Governor at the Ilfracombe Academy since 2012 and a Director of St Christopher’s (secondary) MAT since 2013.

He has developed a keen interest in education and utilising his skills, knowledge and experience to help the local community in the improvement of educational provision for all.

Board of Directors   Lisa Grover

Lisa is an academic, teaching on the senior leader and senior people professional apprenticeship programmes and researching the application of ethical theory to business challenges.

She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is experienced in reward, HR systems, analytics and organisational change. 

Lisa is a leader in the Higher Education and Charity sectors and is also a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and the Chartered Management Institute. 

Lisa wants to use her skills to help create community and improve the life chances of young people within her local area.

Board of Directors   Paul Jones

Father Paul qualified as an accountant and worked in local authorities before joining the priesthood.  He is the Priest of All Saints Church in Babbacombe, Torquay and a Rural Dean.  His interests include reading, watching cricket, swimming and above all fly fishing.

Steve Kelly

Steve is a CEO of a multi-academy trust in a different part of the country which covers different age ranges.  Steve has twenty-five years plus experience, as both a teacher, leader, head teacher and CEO which brings a perspective that offers both support to the executive team and an appropriate level of challenge. Steve hopes his contribution will help support the Trust offer to pupils and, ultimately, outcomes.

Katie Fleet

Katie is passionate about bettering the outcomes of every child and has worked in the field of education for 12 years in various settings in the UK and Australia and has seen first hand the difference quality teaching and learning makes to an individual's trajectory in life.

Katie is a subject matter expert in education with a background in inclusive practice, Early Childhood, special education leadership, program design and research. Her professional interests include teaching and advising on students with Autism and other disabilities. 

Katie is currently working with Autism Spectrum Australia to design a system to measure the educational performance of students with highly individualised needs. 

Board of Directors   Stuart Ludford

Stuart is the headteacher of a large primary school in Teignmouth and has worked in schools of a variety of sizes in Devon through his career. He has experience of the challenges faced by schools in different circumstances and has been a member of the governing board in several primary schools. 

He is passionate about providing the very best experiences for children, the development of the whole child and the importance of supporting children in developing a strong framework of values, ethics and learning behaviours. Leadership development and the professional development of school teams are also high priorities. 

Stuart is also a director of a Community Interest Company providing supply teacher services in Devon and is regularly engaged in support work for other school leaders, alongside the Local Authority.  

Jane Palmer

Jane is a retired solicitor with more than thirty years experience in corporate finance, acquisitions and commercial law including contracting, employment, data privacy, health and safety, pensions and corporate secretarial.

During Jane's legal career, she held the position of company secretary in a number of English registered companies and has been a Director of both English and Dutch companies as well as a Trustee Director of her employers’ pension funds.  

Jane has previously been a Governor with a Primary school in Twickenham.  

Alan Blackwell

Alan is a semi-retired father of two daughters who runs his own business. Alan has a background as a Sales & Marketing professional which led to a career in product management and supply chain.  Alan has lived and worked in multiple countries and most recently led operations and procurement from Hong Kong for the Nord Anglia Education Group.  Alan is passionate about supporting and developing future generations.

Jo Evans

Jo has been re-energising the organisation to work collaboratively, operate effectively and continue to grow in a sustainable way. Jo has a very strong research informed background, being part of the Cambridge Primary Review Board of Directors.

She has been a leader in a range of rural and city schools, in which she has taken one school from Special Measures to Outstanding and the most recent from Good to Outstanding. This has been achieved through her resolve to provide a principled approach to education. 

Jo has recently written a book chapter for Routledge, “Aims into Practice” and has been involved in the creation of the Church of England Professional Qualification for Headship.

Our Members

Please use the links below for a short description of each Member:

Members   EDENThe Exeter Diocesan Education Network (EDEN) was formed to act as a Member to protect the Christian Foundation of church schools in Academy Trusts.  EDEN appoints a named representative to attend Members meetings, to represent the Diocese. 

As a corporate Member, it is EDEN (and not the EDEN Representative) who appoints the Foundation Directors on the Trust Board.

Members   Bishop of ExeterThe Bishop or the Diocesan official appointed by the Bishop to attend as his/her representative.  

Members MARJON

As a corporate Member, MARJON appoints a named representative to attend Members meetings, to represent the University. 

Members   Trevor MaleTrevor is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Educational Leadership, UCL Institute of Education where he is Programme Leader for the MBA in Educational Leadership (International). 

He has now worked in education for nearly 50 years, has Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) with the Department for Education and is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in England. 

He has worked full-time for three universities since 1993. In previous careers he has been an officer in the education department of an outer London borough and a qualified schoolteacher. In all employment he has held senior leadership positions.  

He continues to be an active researcher and is engaged in several live projects, with many academic articles, conference papers and book chapters having been published.  His main area of expertise is in the field of education, and in educational leadership in particular, where he has three books: ‘Being an Effective Headteacher’, ‘Doing Research in Education: Theory and Practice’ and ‘Sustaining the Comprehensive Ideal’

His main current research interests are Leadership Transitions, Multi-Academy Trusts in the English school system and Pedagogical Leadership.