Trustees

Sir John Dunford

Sir John Dunford has over 42 years of experience of school leadership and has written and spoken extensively on the subject for the last 20 years. He is currently Chair of a number of organisations including Whole Education, South Gloucestershire Education Partnership Board, Step Forward Volunteering (charity), a Director of John Dunford Consulting Ltd, a speaker and consultant on school leadership and pupil premium and has been a Governor of St Andrew’s since 2000. He has previously worked as a teacher and Headteacher, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, National Pupil Premium Champion and Chair of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors.

Gill Weston

Gill Weston is a freelance education consultant with over 30 years’ experience in education. She works predominantly with leadership teams in schools to support collaborative learning and development. She was previously Assistant Director for Education, Learning and Skills at Leicestershire County Council with strategic oversight of 0-19 education, Early Years provision, school organisation and admissions, governor services, school improvement and SEN and alternative provision.

Jeremy Benson

Jeremy was a governor at Meadowdale Primary for fifteen years, stepping down in Summer 2016 at the same time as his son finished Year 6. He is a lifelong civil servant working on education. He enjoys spending time with the family, listening to music and watching football, sometimes all at the same time.

Wayne Burbidge (Director of Finance and Operations)

Wayne brings many years of experience working as a Finance Director and in other senior roles in the private sector with small and large organisations. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW). Previous roles include Director of Finance for EMEA, UK Finance Director of Lennox Industries, Director of Internal Audit EMEA, Project Manager for a large IT implementation in Scandinavia and Senior Manager Audit and Business Services at Price Waterhouse.
He has a breadth of experience in facilitating operational change which is proving invaluable in securing Learn Academies Trust’s ability to respond to the changing educational landscape and develop a wise and sustainable approach to growth.
Wayne’s depth and breadth of experience in the private sector, and as a former Local Governor and MAT Trustee, has enabled him to develop a clear view of the path towards maximising Learn-AT’s administrative and operational efficiency. His enthusiasm and drive to simplify and improve IT, Finance and Operations is releasing our teachers and leaders from the administrative burdens and costs of ineffective and inefficient back office procedures and systems.

Stef Edwards (CEO)

Stef Edwards has been Headteacher of Great Bowden Academy for ten years and is an accredited National College of Teaching and Leadership Local Leader of Education which involves working with other school leaders to support school improvement. She chairs the Affinity Teaching School Alliance Research and Innovation Working Group. Stef was previously a Primary Strategy Literacy Consultant working with schools across Leicestershire, a Leading Literacy Teacher and a primary school class teacher.

Kerry Rodger (Chair of the Heads' Group)

Kerry has been a teacher for 24 years and the Headteacher at Meadowdale Primary school since January 2009, having previously been a deputy head teacher and acting headteacher at another school for over 6 years. Kerry is a Local Leader of Education and works with Affinity teaching school alliance on school-to-school support as one of the system leaders. Kerry is also a trained facilitator for Inspiring Leaders and delivers NPQH, NPQSL and NPQML modules across the East Midlands. Kerry has an MA in Teaching and Learning and completed her MA study into the use of Nurture Groups in mainstream settings. Kerry is the lead singer in a covers band in her spare time…

Peter Rowbotham

Peter has a background in Local Government (including Partnerships). He has been a Governor of Ridgeway Primary Academy for 17 years, recently as Chair. He has also been a PTA member at Meadowdale Primary School and Club Secretary & Safeguarding Officer for Market Harborough Rugby Club.

Reverend Barry Hill

Newly appointed Team Rector for the Harborough Anglican Churches. Barry has worked with the Diocese of Leicester as Diocesan Mission Enabler since 2009. During this time, he has overseen the development of fresh expressions of Church across the diocese and has played a significant role in encouraging local churches in their calling to serve their local community. He was previously Curate of Emmanuel Loughborough and has a background in the aviation business.

Mark Christison

Mark is a Chartered Accountant and senior, experienced Finance Director with Prestige Park Homes, based in Rushden, Northants. Experienced in the finance and commercial sectors, he has a wealth of experience in mergers and acquisitions and the fiscal management of large, complex, multi-site organisations. He sits on the Finance and Audit Committee.

Natalie Packer

Natalie Packer is a freelance educational consultant specialising in Special Educational Needs and Disability. She is a member of the Academies Enterprise Trust SEN Team and an Associate Consultant for NASEN. She trains for RTA and Osiris and delivers the Outstanding Teaching Intervention in primary schools.
Natalie is an associate expert for Optimus' SEN Hub and for The Key for school leaders. She is a consultant governor for a large 4-18 school in Dubai.
Natalie has had experience as an Interim Executive Headteacher in a Primary School. Prior to that, she worked for the National Strategies SEN Team as a Senior Adviser for Achievement for All,
supporting the development of a highly successful programme aimed at improving outcomes for
pupils with SEND.

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