What an incredible end-of-term Assembly! Celebrating your amazing stories, friendships, and memories at Guildford County was unforgettable. Despite exams, summer is just around the corner!Good luck on the final stretch! Ace them, then enjoy a well-earned summer break!— Guildford County Sch () May 26, 2024


🌿 Help us reach our goal! Northmead is thriving but we still need to gain over 10K more points to beat our competitors (friendly competition!). Log your points and make a difference for the environment today! ♻️ us: [] 🌍— Northmead Junior School () May 26, 2024

26/05/24— Northmead Junior School () May 26, 2024


Read about the amazing triumphs of Fullbrook's U16 girls football team. What an achievement! Congratulations to all involved, we shall be talking about this for a very long time!


Great way to finish a busy half term!


Fantastic Friday has been absolutely fantastic. Everyone has had a relaxing day trying new things and enjoyed spending time with different children. See the newsletter for photos, year group updates and some end of year arrangements.— Northmead Junior School () May 24, 2024


What an afternoon of house events! Everything from rounders, quizzes, Dance, Music, chess, boardgames, Maths challenges, Art and crafts meant everyone had a chance to win their house some points.Oh, and we had a silent disco for Year 9s as well - just for fun!— Kings College () May 24, 2024


What a super sporty week…— Boxgrove School () May 24, 2024


4NP enjoyed lunch in the sunshine today on their trip to Shere. What a busy but helpful week it has been for Year 4!— Northmead Junior School () May 23, 2024


4W had an excellent day yesterday exploring Shere and learning about the speed of the river using dog biscuits!— Northmead Junior School () May 23, 2024


End of term message from Mr Smith.— Guildford County Sch () May 23, 2024


A few years ago, our caretaker Chris Day embarked on a rewilding project at Wodeland. Alongside recent development work, these rewilding efforts have flourished, as you can see. We are grateful to Chris and his team for preserving and enhancing natural beauty at Wodeland.— Guildford County Sch () May 22, 2024


Our Battlefield troops have landed and begun their exploration! Despite a slightly damp day, their spirits remain high. There's much to learn and investigate!#weareguildfordcountyschool— Guildford County Sch () May 22, 2024


Please stop by the Astro Turf before and after school tomorrow as staff attempt to cycle from London to Paris to raise funds for The Winter Garden and the growing environment beyond. You can donate via our Just Giving Page 🚴🚴🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️🚴— Boxgrove School () May 22, 2024


Busy, busy, busy!


Day 2 Stop 1, we have visited Canadian National Memorial and Bimy Ridge— History Department () May 22, 2024


Our People

We see success being founded upon nurturing relationships, challenge, support and high expectations; and encourage an ethos of creativity, expression, dedication and achievement in each and every school, securing the best outcomes for all those in our care.

Schools are led locally by those who know their students, staff and communities best; their headteachers and local governing bodies.  Staff are motivated, well-managed and well-led; with clear opportunities for career progression and development within the MAT.  We all want to imbue our children and young people with a lifelong love of learning and strive to provide quality education in a caring environment at the heart of the local community.

At the trust, we are 'better together'.

High level MAT organisation structure



Our members are the conscience of our trust, ensuring that we all remain true to our aims and objectives. They are able to hear viewpoints from any individual within Learning Partners and they hold the trustees to account for the strategic operation of the trust. They appoint the trustees and have the power to remove the trustees if necessary. They also appoint our auditors and meet twice a year. Members do not sit on any other committees.


Fiona Boulton

Fiona has been Headmistress at Guildford High since September 2002.  Prior to that she was Deputy Head at Guildford High for 5 years.

Fiona grew up in Guildford where she was a pupil at Boxgrove Primary School.  At age 11 she was offered a place at Guildford County School, which was then a Grammar School.  Before she could take up the place her family moved to Kent, where she attended the local Comprehensive school.   She is keen to finally be involved with Guildford County School.

Guildford High is a member of United Learning, it is a Teaching School and Fiona is a National Leader of Education.  She firmly believes that schools working in collaboration are stronger than schools working in isolation and is very supportive of the idea of the trust.  She hopes to bring some of her experience of cross-school work to the table. 

Gareth Hicks

Gareth was a parent governor at Boxgrove Primary School from 2009 until 2017. He has two children, currently in education. Gareth feels privileged to be able to take an active part in the continued success of the trust.

Stephen Ravenscroft

Stephen is a Partner at law firm Stone King, who have offices around the UK.  He leads the Education Team and has specialised in charity and not-for-profit law since qualifying as a solicitor in 1997.

Stephen has been involved in the academies programme since its inception back in the early 2000s, initially advising on the “type 1” failing school projects. He has acted on the conversion to academy status of over 170 maintained schools of all types, including community, faith and alternative provision schools.

Stephen has been instrumental in developing some of the larger multi academy trusts. This experience of building trusts from small entities to quite complex and sizeable organisations has given him insight into the legal issues and the organisational and strategic challenges which may lie ahead.

Stephen’s particular expertise surrounds governance structures of multi academy trusts, drawing on his charity law background. This experience includes a detailed understanding of the relationships between academy trusts and their trading subsidiaries. He has particular experience in dealing with the establishment of academies within the faith sector and has acted on a significant number of academy conversions within Surrey.

Stephen is recognised as a leader in both education and charity law by Chambers and Legal 500. He has recently stepped down as a member of the Executive Committee of the Charity Law Association having served on the committee for 9 years. He is a governor of two schools and sits on an Academy Strategic Board for a Catholic Diocese.


Linda Wilding

Linda Wilding (ACA PhD, with a background in private equity), is one of the most experienced non-executive directors on the London market.  She has held board roles in the life sciences, pharmaceutical and consumer products sectors.  Linda is Chairperson of Governors for Schools, a charity to recruit, train and promote excellence in school governorship in the UK.  Educated at an inner city school in Liverpool, Linda is passionate in her belief that great education offers essential  opportunities to all students.  Previously a trustee of Guildford Education Partnership, Linda now joins as a member of Learning Partners.

Geoff Wyss

Dr Geoff Wyss has been a school governor for 20 years, starting when his children were at Holy Trinity Junior school and then for 14 years with George Abbot School. He has been heavily involved with taking George Abbot through the process of becoming an academy and subsequently with the formation of GEP Academies. 

He has recently completed the National College of Teaching and Learning Leadership Development programme for Chairs of Governor’s and is a Surrey Additional Skills Governor. In this role he provides support for other schools in the Guildford area. By training and profession Geoff is an engineer in high technology systems and was for many years a Director of a local systems engineering company before becoming an independent consultant. He has recently retired. 




Current Board of Trustees 2022-2023

Andrew Isherwood, Chair of Trust Board

Andrew was an officer in the Royal Navy and then re-trained as an accountant with a global Pharma company. He subsequently worked as a Director of an international consultancy firm advising banks, investment banks and other financial services companies on transforming their operational performance.AIsherwood

With two children attending local schools, Andrew is passionate about enabling young people from across the area to achieve their potential. Most recently, he was Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Guildford College Group where standards improvement was critical and achieved.

In his spare time, Andrew coaches juniors at Guildford Rowing Club.

Kathy Ashford, Trustee

Kathy Ashford served on the Governing Body of Guildford County School for many years, latterly as Vice Chair of Governors.  This was a period of significant change, covering the initial bid for Specialist Status in Music, the conversion to academy status, several Ofsted inspections and the recruitment of a Headteacher.  Throughout her time as a Governor, Kathy was employed as manager of a local confederation of schools, and she remains in this role to this day.KAshford

Earlier in her career, Kathy worked in the communications sector, notably as Director of Communications at the University of Surrey.  She also has experience in change management and is a published children’s author.  Kathy is a registered psychotherapist, currently working both in private practice and within a university setting.

Jon Cox, Trustee

Dr Jon Cox has been Headmaster of the Royal Grammar School (RGS) since 2007.  Prior to his appointment he held various leadership roles including Second Master, Head of Sixth Form and Assistant Housemaster at Whitgift School.  He was educated at the University of Southampton (PhD Biochemistry, BSc Physiology & Pharmacology) and the Royal College of Music (Certificate of Advanced Performance). Headshot Jon Cox

During Dr Cox’s leadership of the RGS, he has developed and strengthened partnerships with Learning Partners, working closely with George Abbot School and Kings College, Guildford.

Sarah Fothergill, Trustee

Sarah is a qualified accountant with 14 years' experience in Finance working across the UK and internationally, and is currently a Financial Controller for a large defence company.Sarah Fothergill

Sarah has been on the governing body at a Learning Partners Junior School, Northmead, for three years with a focus on Health & Safety and Maths, and is also a Team Leader at the North Guildford Foodbank. Sarah is married with one son and enjoys keeping active.

Renata Joseph, Trustee

Renata JosephRenata is a qualified geography teacher with 26 years of experience working in London schools.

Since 2019, Renata has worked at Saint Cecilia’s Church of England school, where she is Headteacher. Committed to the Self-Improving School System, Renata previously led the Canons Park Teaching School Alliance.

Renata is a member of the Department for Education Secondary Headteachers’ Reference Group and a trustee for the National Association of Able Children in Education (NACE), where she leads the Education Committee.


Jennifer Osler, Trustee

Jennifer’s professional background is in teaching, education management and school leadership. A qualified teacher, she worked in schools and colleges for 15 years, before joining the examination board AQA, where she is a Head of Curriculum and manages a portfolio of qualifications. Jennifer Osler Learning Partners Trustee

Jennifer was Chair of the Governing Body at Guildford County School prior to joining Learning Partners Trust.

Andrew Scanlan, Vice-Chair of Trust Board

Andi has lived in the Stoughton area of Guildford for over 20 years. He is married with three boys of secondary-school age.

Andi has worked for British Airways for over 20 years. He currently works in the airline’s Business Transformation team as a Process Effectiveness Manager, managing a team which helps all areas of the airline improve the way they do things whilst being sensitive to the impact these changes have on both colleagues and customers.AScanlon

Andi previously served as a governor at Stoughton Infant and Nursery School and was Chair of Governors from 2010 to 2018. He was a member of the Children and Learning Committee, Finance and Resources Committee, Strategy Committee and the Headteacher's Performance Management Committee.

Paul Smith, Trustee

Paul Smith is Professor of Composite Materials and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Surrey.  He is an engineer by background and has been working on the mechanical properties of materials for over 30 years.Paul Smith

Paul also has a strong interest in education.  He holds a PGCE, with mathematics as his primary subject.  He also served on the governing bodies of two schools in Guildford (Merrow Infants and Bushy Hill Junior) including a term as chair.

Anne Turner, Trustee

Anne has worked in education as a headteacher, an Ofsted inspector and an Education Director. AET Cropped

Having served as a governor at Kings College Guildford and a trustee, Anne leads our Education Committee. 


Dame Marcia Twelftree, Trustee

Dame Marcia TwelftreeMarcia retired from the headship of Charters School, a large, mixed comprehensive school rated "outstanding" by Ofsted in August 2009, having spent 16 successful years as the headteacher of 2 different schools, each one offering challenge and enjoyment. As a headteacher Marcia was committed to Education-Business partnerships and was the headteacher representative on the board, overseeing all aspects of partnership working, including work experience. Marcia was a member of the Government Implementation Review Unit (IRU), representing headteachers, from 2003-09. This group worked closely with government advising on all aspects of policy implementation. She was also a member of the Board of the School Food Trust from 2007 to 2011 which managed the transformation of school food to ensure more healthy options were available.

Marcia was honoured to be created a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in the New Years Honours List of 2010.

Since retiring from headship Marcia has been working with schools in the south of England as an Educational Consultant in all areas of School Improvement. This has involved chairing Governing bodies, chairing IEBs, mentoring and coaching school leaders and running training sessions for school staff and governors. She was the Regional Director for CfBT until the summer of 2017, overseeing their secondary schools in the Thames Valley Area. She was also a trustee of The Prince Philip Trust in Windsor and Maidenhead from 2011 to 2021, a charitable trust which gives financial support to organisations and individuals in the area. 

Marcia remains passionately committed to education and to supporting schools to do the very best they can to support the students in their care. 

Historical (within last 12 months)
  • Geoff Wyss, former Trustee
  • Joanne Harper, former Trustee
  • Fergal Roche, former Chair of Trustees
  • Jonathan Coles, former Trustee

Copies of minutes from board and committee meetings can be viewed upon request.  Please contact our clerk Julia Mason for further information on




Trustee Committee Membership

Trust Board Committees 2023-24

Audit & Risk Committee 

  • Sarah Fothergill, Committee Chair
  • Kathy Ashford
  • Andi Scanlan
  • Geoff Wyss (Co-opted Committee Member)

Education Committee 

  • Anne Turner, Committee Chair
  • Kathy Ashford
  • Jon Cox
  • Renata Joseph
  • Jennifer Osler
  • Dame Marcia Twelftree

Finance & Resources Committee 

  • Paul Smith, Committee Chair
  • Sarah Fothergill
  • Richard Hubbard (Co-opted Committee Member)
  • Andrew Isherwood
  • Andi Scanlan

Governance Leaders' Group 

  • Drew Shovelton, Chair 

Remuneration Committee

  • Kathy Ashford, Committee Chair
  • Andrew Isherwood
  • Jennifer Osler
  • Andi Scanlan
  • Geoff Wyss

Strategy Committee - Historical

  • Andrew Isherwood, Committee Chair
  • Jon Cox
  • Paul Smith
  • Anne Turner

Local Governing Bodies

Our Schools' Local Governing Bodies


Chair of Governors

Further details

Boxgrove Primary School

Adam Askew

Click Here

Burpham Primary School

 Brenda France Click Here

Fullbrook School

Chris Borgars

Click Here

George Abbot

Trevor Skerritt

Click Here

Guildford County School

Alison Curtis

Click Here

Guildford Grove Primary School

Heather Archer

Click Here

Kings College Guildford

Jo Oliver

Click Here

Loseley Fields Primary School

Andrew Shovelton

Click Here

Northmead School

Debbie Gooch

Click Here

Pirbright Village School

Julia May Douetil

Click Here

Sandfield Primary School

Melanie Liv Hancox

Click Here

Shalford Infant & Nursery School

Sarah Hardcastle

Click Here

Stoughton Infant School

Sophie Lewis Click Here

Tillingbourne Junior School

Mick Michell Click Here


Note - All Chairs appointed to serve for the current academic year.

For expanded details of the Trust's academies' Local Governing Bodies, their full details, their Registers of Interests and their attendance records, please follow these links to each individual school site


Learning Partners puts the education of young people first, driven by the headteachers’ group, which comprises the headteachers/principals, or head of school, from member schools. The group drives the school improvement and academic strategies of our trust, monitoring standards and ensuring optimum collaboration between schools to enhance education and best practice in school management. 

Alison Fitch and Rebecca Stacey

Boxgrove Primary School
Alison Fitch

Since qualifying in 1996, Alison has held a number of positions in Infant, Primary and all-though schools, joining the Senior Leadership Team, at Boxgrove Primary School in 2002 as a Phase Leader and English Lead.  Alison became the Deputy and Safeguarding Lead at Boxgrove in 2005 and completed the NPQH in 2008.   Alison worked closely with Initial Teacher Training institutions as a tutor, interviewing and supporting trainees and contributing to the development of teacher training programmes.  She is passionate about the power of coaching in bringing about school improvement and in improving well-being for the whole community and coaches teachers and leaders in other Surrey schools.  

Alison and Rebecca began their acting co-headship in 2013 before becoming substantive in Spring 2015 and continue to enjoy opportunities to work on DFE and Trust programmes supporting women in leadership.  

Rebecca has worked in education for over twenty years and has beenRebecca Stacey headteacher at Boxgrove Primary School for seven years.  Rebecca is passionate about inclusion, having worked as an Inclusion Officer in a previous role.  She is also an advocate for flexible working and the huge benefits that this model can bring to an organisation, having worked with the DfE to produce materials to promote leaders and teachers working in this way. 

Rebecca says that being a headteacher is a massive privilege and she absolutely loves her role and the community she serves.  

Jo White

Heads welcom 1Burpham Primary School

Before training to be a teacher, Jo worked in recruitment and then project management. In her 26 year career in Surrey, she has taught across all phases from EYFS to KS2 and is now entering her 10th year of headship at Burpham Primary school.

Jo has supported colleagues as a mentor for the Chartered College of Teaching and the NAHT(National Association of Headteachers) and as a Learning Partner for SaFE (Schools Alliance for Excellence). She is also a member of the Executive Board for Primary Council, representing the views of colleagues across the county.

Jo is passionate about providing an inclusive environment so that every child can experience success and achieve their potential.

After work (and sometimes before) you can find her out walking her cocker spaniel Reggie who joined the Burpham team in 2021.

Kate Carriett

George Abbot

Kate CarriettKate trained as a secondary music teacher in Birmingham and led two music departments in Warwickshire and Staffordshire before moving on to become a Head of Year in Croydon.

From there Kate moved into senior leadership in Surrey before becoming a headteacher in 2011.  Kate has now been headteacher at two secondary schools within the trust.  

George Abbot is one of the largest schools in the country, so Kate's expertise has developed in all matters personnel, legal, leading change on a large scale and continually improving teaching and learning. 

George Abbot is a longstanding SCITT provider (school-centred initial teacher training), and partners with South Farnham Educational Trust (SFET) in the delivery of the early career framework, specialising in the delivery of the early career teachers secondary framework.

Russell Mitchell

Glebelands School 

Russell mitchell headteacher glebelands schoolRussell was born and raised in Ireland before moving to England to complete his degree in mathematics and sports science at the University of Surrey.

Graduating with honours, he began his teaching career in 1997.

Russell joined Glebelands School as Head of Mathematics, and has since fulfilled many senior leadership roles. In 2017, he became Headteacher, where he strives to create opportunities and excellence for all his students.

Steve Smith

Guildford County School Steve smith

Qualifying as a Geography teacher in 2001, Steve spent eight years honing his craft in the classroom.  During this time and as an academic at heart, Steve gained a masters degree in Educational Leadership. 

Away from schools, Steve has held fellowships of the Royal Geographical Society and the College of Teachers and whilst working has led on teacher induction, careers education and served as a governor of three secondary schools. 

Qualifying as a Mountain Leader in 2007, Steve has also led and delivered all three levels of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and he has a passion for learning outside the classroom. 

Rona Mackie

Guildford Grove School

Rona mackieRona has spent her entire twenty-two year career at Guildford Grove Primary School. As a result, she is incredibly passionate about the school and the community it serves. She firmly believes in a culture of achievement where all pupils can succeed and has a relentless drive to improve standards.

Rona joined the leadership team at an early stage of her career where she led on literacy across the school and was also a phase leader. Rona then moved into an Assistant Headteacher role before becoming Head of School in 2015 and then Headteacher in 2016. Over the years in her Headship role, Rona represented Surrey Headteachers on Schools Forum and Primary Council. Since 2020, Rona shared the Headship at Guildford Grove with Lucy Ryder after having her two children but has since returned to the Headteacher role in September 2023.

Alastair McKenzie

Kings College Guildford & Fullbrook School

Alastair mckenzie

Alastair started his career as an English teacher in 2003. Prior to moving to whole school leadership roles, he led the English department at George Abbot School and qualified as an Advanced Skills Teacher. During this time he also worked within the Teaching School as a Professional Tutor, enjoying working with trainees to support them as they developed in the classroom.

He joined Kings in 2012 as Vice Principal, before taking on the headship when Mrs Carriett moved to George Abbot in 2016. He has subsequently taken on an Executive role, leading teams at Kings and Fullbrook. Passionate about effective leadership, he developed a course for aspiring Headteachers within and beyond the MAT.

He retains a love of all things literary, as well as enjoying a wide variety of sports.

Amanda Pedder

Loseley Fields Primary School

Amanda PedderAmanda has been working in the primary sector in Surrey for over 25 years.  Throughout her career, Amanda has had a keen interest in personal development and in particular championing those children disadvantaged and vulnerable.

In her early career she developed an expertise in personal and social education, working with the local authority to write high quality sex and relationship education schemes of work for schools to use across Surrey. She is also an experienced coach and mentor supporting teachers and leaders in developing areas of their practice including leadership development and managing pupil behaviour.  She has been a designated safeguarding lead for two decades and has a wealth of knowledge about safeguarding.

Amanda successfully achieved her national professional qualification for headship (NPQH), in 2003 whilst working as a deputy in another school within the trust.  She has worked as headteacher of Loseley Fields since October 2018 where she has helped stabilise staffing and drive improvement across the school through rigorous curriculum development.

Sarah Carrington

Northmead Junior School & Stoughton Infant and Nursery School

Sarah carrington 2Sarah qualified as a primary teacher in 2002 and spent 16 years at the same school undertaking a variety of roles from subject leadership, Assistant Headteacher with responsibility of Key Stage 2 and in the latter years she was the school’s SENCO and Deputy Headteacher. 

Sarah also worked as a specialist leader in education (SLE), supporting schools with initial teaching training and provision for special education needs.  The SLE role progressed into two secondments as an Interim Headteacher which was a fantastic professional development, alongside the national professional qualification for headship (NPQH), for her current role as Headteacher at Stoughton Infant and Nursery School and Northmead Junior School.


Gavin Dutton

Pirbright School

Screenshot 2021 11 09 at 08.31.06Gavin grew up in Surrey and spent his entire teaching career in the local area.  He has a passion for creative learning and ensuring that primary aged children receive experience led learning which is purposeful and physically active.

When not in school he can be found either at the rugby or the theatre and these two passions influence his activities at school.  He became the headteacher at Pirbright in 2015.

Kate Collins

Sandfield Primary School

Kate Collins

Kate has enjoyed a varied teaching career working across many different settings; from 5-form entry junior schools to three-form entry primary schools located in Tower Hamlets, Dorset and Surrey.  She has taught from reception to year 6. 

Maths has always been an area of specialism, with Kate attaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Mathematical Education from Brunel University, as well as being a lead maths teacher across Surrey, leading training in schools on both maths and assessment.

Kate achieved her national professional qualification for headship (NPQH), in 2014 and used these leadership skills in her deputy headteacher role at Boxgrove Primary School and, since February 2019, as the headteacher of Sandfield Primary School. 

Kate's vision for education is to inspire children to love learning, through a rich, engaging, creative and broad curriculum.

Michelle Dutton

Shalford Infant SchoolMichelle dutton headteacher at shalford

Michelle has worked in the primary sector for over 25 years, including 11 years of headship experience. She has spent her entire teaching career in various parts of Surrey working both in some very large primary and very small infant schools. She is passionate about good quality Early Years education, which she believes is the foundation for a child’s future development and successes.

Michelle achieved her national qualification for headship (NPQH) in 2012 and has since been the headteacher at Shalford Infant & Nursery School. She loves reading and spends much of her spare time with her head in a book, something that she also enjoys doing in school, Storytime Club in the library is always the highlight of her week!

Nora Kettleborough and Sahar Shillabeer

Surrey Maths School (SuMS)

Nora KettleboroughA physicist by trade, Nora has taught Physics across a variety of schools over the last decade, leading their Physics departments and specialising in sixth form education. She has a particular interest supporting young people from under-represented backgrounds in STEM into further education, and has prioritised this work both as a teacher and leader. As a senior leader, Nora has developed progressive wellbeing and inclusion practices for student, staff and broader school stakeholders. Before joining SuMS she did this most recently as DSL and Senior Mental Health Lead at King’s College London Maths School.

Sahar ShillabeerSahar qualified as a secondary maths teacher in 2005.  In her first post, she worked in a variety of roles over a 10-year period including leading the Maths Department, developing the school’s outreach programme and sitting on the SLT team. She then worked as a Curriculum Development Lead at Mathematics Mastery, working on the secondary curriculum and delivering bespoke CPD. Realising how much she missed being in the classroom, she returned to school as a KS5 Maths Coordinator before taking on the role of Head of Maths at the Royal Ballet School. In the two years prior to taking up the Co-Headship at SuMS, she worked at King’s Maths School, first as Head of Y13 and then as an Assistant Head in charge of the timetable and logistics, internal and external examinations, data and systems, UCAS, and the challenge and extension programme.

Sahar & Nora are excited to lead a unique and wonderful school here in Surrey.  Their vision is for a diverse, inclusive school; a thriving hub of mathematical joy that students from the South-East can call home.

Ben Stevenson

Tillingbourne Junior School 

Ben stevensonBen started his career as a primary school teacher in 2012 after obtaining his Education degree and PGCE from Bath Spa University.

He has held many positions within school leadership over the past 11 years; first as a year group leader, then Phase leader, deputy Headteacher and now Headteacher at Tillingbourne Junior School. During that time Ben has always been passionate about supporting disadvantaged pupils as well as encouraging colleges to grow and thrive within their roles in school through effective coaching and CPD.

Ben's vision for education is to help children to find their own interests, strengths and talents through the delivery of a broad and varied curriculum where children are encouraged to think for themselves and find what makes them tick!

Executive Team

Our executive team supports headteachers and schools deliver an excellent standard of education across the whole trust.

Through partnership, systems leadership and shared accountability, the team establish the trust's ways of working; implementing systems and structures which benefit children’s education, deliver smooth financial operation and improve school performance by investing in training and mentoring school staff.


Jack Mayhew

Jack MayhewJack Mayhew brings significant experience of school leadership from both the secondary and primary sectors to his CEO role at Learning Partners.  Jack founded Athena Schools Trust, as Executive Headteacher, and led the merger with the 7 schools of Guildford Education Partnership in 2021, forming Learning Partners Academy Trust.  A teacher for more than 20 years, involved in school leadership for over half that time and a head, of one description or another, for almost 8 years, across three different schools, he is pleased to lead the trust with like-minded individuals and schools seeking a collaborative multi-academy trust model.

Jack has experience of school leadership in a variety of contexts and varying educational stages. He has experience of forming a multi-academy trust team before joining Guildford County – a school he led to outstanding Ofsted status in 2017.

Leading schools where children thrive is Jack's modus operandi for Learning Partners, where schools have a shared vision for education of being ‘better together’. The best way to face the challenges facing schools in the current climate is through collaboration, honesty and high expectations.

Patrick Overy

Patrick Overy.jpgPatrick is the Chief Operations Officer for the trust. Patrick was previously School Business Manager for Guildford County School and brings a wealth of knowledge to the trust from previous roles, including as an Operations Manager within the electronics industry and, as a volunteer, as the vice-chair of a national youth organisation. Patrick trained as a Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineer.

Patrick is an accredited School Resource Management Advisor and provides support to schools on behalf of the Department for Education to assist them in making the most effective possible use of resources.

Patrick’s role is to ensure that the trust provides effective support to our schools, enabling them to offer the best possible learning experiences for children and young people.

Kathryn Krynicki

Kathryn KrynickiKathryn has worked as a classroom teacher in the primary sector teaching for all ages between Nursery and Year 6.  Alongside her role as Director of Education, Kathryn is also a serving headteacher with 11 years headship experience, she has extensive experience of school academy trusts and school leadership.

Kathryn is an accredited NLE and has had the privilege of working with a variety of schools across the South East region in supporting them with varying aspects of school improvement.

Kathryn works to support governing bodies within both the maintained local authority and academy sector cross phase to include primary and secondary.

Kathryn has worked as part of the school improvement team since 2020 and has been able to visit all the schools within the trust, to work with leaders, teachers and staff teams to help them develop the curriculum offer for the trust’s learners.

Alongside her school improvement team colleagues, they aim to support the trust’s schools with providing the very best education they can, for the children they serve.  They do this via bespoke school improvement work and professional development.

Andrew Roach

Andrew Roach

Andrew is the Director of Education for the trust. Andrew has significant experience of secondary school leadership including a number of years as a Senior Deputy Headteacher in a large north London comprehensive.  In addition, he has been a facilitator for the National College of School Leadership delivering LfTM, Leadership Pathways through the Institute of Education and most recently as Lead Facilitator for STSN’s NPQSL programme. He is also an on-line facilitator supporting the NPQ suite of courses.  Andrew is currently delivering the ECF in George Abbot School’s role as a Regional Delivery Partner on behalf of South Farnham Teaching School hub and acting as the Appropriate Body for all secondary ECTs.

He has been a Leadership Development Advisor of the Fast Track and the Accelerate to Headship programmes.  Between 2016-21, he was employed as the Director of the Teaching School alongside his role as Director of Education.

Areas of expertise: Provision and delivery of school-based and external training. bespoke workshops and training programmes.  Coaching support, career consultations and interview support for Deputy Headteachers and Headteachers.

School Improvement Team

Andrew Roach, Director of Education

ARoach 2Andrew is the Director of Education for the trust. Andrew has significant experience of secondary school leadership including a number of years as a Senior Deputy Headteacher in a large north London comprehensive.  In addition, he has been a facilitator for the National College of School Leadership delivering LfTM, Leadership Pathways through the Institute of Education and most recently as Lead Facilitator for STSN’s NPQSL programme. He is also an on-line facilitator supporting the NPQ suite of courses.  Andrew is currently delivering the ECF in George Abbot School’s role as a Regional Delivery Partner on behalf of South Farnham Teaching School hub and acting as the Appropriate Body for all secondary ECTs.

He has been a Leadership Development Advisor of the Fast Track and the Accelerate to Headship programmes.  Between 2016-21, he was employed as the Director of the Teaching School alongside his role as Director of Education.

Areas of expertise: Provision and delivery of school-based and external training. bespoke workshops and training programmes.  Coaching support, career consultations and interview support for Deputy Headteachers and Headteachers.

Kathryn Krynicki, Director of Primary Education

Kathryn KrynickiKathryn has worked as a classroom teacher in the primary sector teaching for all ages between Nursery and Year 6.  Alongside her role as Director of Education, Kathryn is also a serving headteacher with 11 years headship experience, she has extensive experience of school academy trusts and school leadership.

Kathryn is an accredited NLE and has had the privilege of working with a variety of schools across the South East region in supporting them with varying aspects of school improvement.

Kathryn works to support governing bodies within both the maintained local authority and academy sector cross phase to include primary and secondary.

Kathryn has worked as part of the school improvement team since 2020 and has been able to visit all the schools within the trust, to work with leaders, teachers and staff teams to help them develop the curriculum offer for the trust’s learners.

Alongside her school improvement team colleagues, they aim to support the trust’s schools with providing the very best education they can, for the children they serve.  They do this via bespoke school improvement work and professional development.

Olivia Wernick, Trust Inclusion Lead

LOlivia Wernickiv initially began working with young people through directing youth theatre and work as a Teaching Assistant at a Special School following an MA in Drama and Theatre Studies.

Liv was greatly impacted by her work with students with additional needs, and after training as a Drama Teacher and working as a Head of Department, Olivia completed her NA SENDCo qualification.

Liv has been a SENDCo and Inclusion Lead in Surrey schools since 2016, she is also a member of the British Psychological Association and qualified Exam Access Arrangements Assessor.

Holly Wise, Safeguarding and Mental Health Lead

Holly WiseHolly joined the Trust in December 2023 as Safeguarding and Mental Health Lead.

Holly has a BSc in Counselling, and a PGDip in Social Work. She has been a registered Social Worker since 2017 and has experience of frontline social work with children and families across Surrey and Berkshire. She has also worked as a Designated Safeguarding Lead across two schools.

Holly is passionate about ensuring that children are safeguarded at school, home and in the community, and is looking forward to collaborating with the Trust’s schools.

Michele Miller, School Improvement Partner

Michele millerMichele is an Education Consultant who believes that every child deserves to benefit from the very best we can offer in our schools. She works with school leaders across the South East to maximise the learning experiences and outcomes of students.

Michele has worked in a variety of schools as teacher, subject leader, and senior leader, and has written and delivered professional learning to teachers across the country, and is the leadership and learning consultant for the Schools Alliance for Excellence.

Michele works with Learning Partners in the ongoing review and development of teaching, learning, and leadership in our secondary schools. Her approach is to work in close partnership and collaboration, with a curious approach so that we can explore how to continually strive to be better today than we were yesterday.

Rachel Hughlock, Primary Practice Lead

Rachel HughlockRachel has worked for the trust since 2016 in her role as Primary Practice Development Lead.  She has over 20 years of experience working in education as a teacher and acting Deputy Head.

Rachel is passionate about improving teaching and learning and improving standards of attainment within our schools.  She provides strategic support for senior leadership teams as well as providing support for teaching and learning across both our primary and secondary schools.  As part of her role, Rachel also delivers CPD to both teachers and trainees.

Graham Tuck, School Improvement Partner

Graham Tuck (1)Graham supports the trust as a School Improvement Partner. Graham has had thirty years experience teaching and leading in secondary schools, including five years as a Head of English and ten years of successful secondary headship.

Graham was also a School Improvement Partner and National Challenge Advisor and worked in school improvement for various local authorities.

Graham was a lead inspector for Ofsted for a number of years before moving to the Oasis multi-academy where he worked as a National Director responsible for strategy and innovation.

Carol Pearce, School Improvement Partner

CPearceCarol has been supporting the trust since September 2018, adding a wealth of educational leadership experience to the team.  Her passion is to support school leaders, including governors, to be the best they can be; continually improving the provision they offer their children so that they thrive.

Carol’s experience includes being a teacher across the entire age range (Nursery through to Secondary), Headteacher, Service Leader for Education Standards within a local authority, School Improvement Partner, a National Leader of Governance, a Trainer delivering National School Leadership Programmes and a Trainer in Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Pip Utting, School Improvement Partner

Pip uttingPip is an experienced leader and serving Headteacher in a neighbouring authority. Pip has led both Infant, Junior and Primary Schools as well as carrying out Executive Headship roles during her 18 years as a Headteacher.

Pip is a designated Local Leader of Education and also a leadership coach for South London aspiring Heads. She is delighted to be joining the Learning Partners team as a school improvement partner.

Louise Vymetal, Deputy Inclusion Lead

Louise vymetalLouise joined the trust in February 2024, having gained a vast amount of previous experience in various primary schools. Louise's expertise is working with children with additional needs and holds the National Award for SENCO (NASENCO).

Louise's passion is for inclusion within education and has undertaken roles as assistant head and deputy head with a focus on inclusion. For the past eight years, Louise has held the responsibility of Deputy Safeguarding Lead (DSL).


Tanya Marchetti, School Improvement Coordinator

Tanya MarchettiTanya joins us with over 25 years experience within both the School Educational Travel sector and Adventure Travel Industry.

Her passion for customer service has always been at the forefront of all her previous roles within sales, operations, administration & project management. Leading & inspiring teams to deliver an experience and creating a desire to return.

Shaun Fishburn, Data Officer

Shaun joined the trust in January 2024 as the new trust Data Officer.

With over 30 years IT experience he hopes to bring his  skills and expertise into the education sector.  Working with the schools, Shaun hopes to enable data analysis to allow the trust and schools to work together to improve the education for all pupils. Shaun fishburn

School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)

Jo Jones, Director of ITT

Jo JonesJoanna is the Director for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and since joining the trust has supported graduates into the teaching profession.

Joanna has twenty-five years of experience teaching and leading primary schools in London and Surrey.

In more recent years she has also worked as an NPQH assessor and facilitated the work of Surrey’s Primary Headteachers’ Phase Council.

Richard Honeysett, Secondary Cohort Lead

Richard Honeysett

Richard is the Secondary Cohort Lead for the George Abbot SCITT and works closely with the trainee teachers through the training programme. He also visits the trainees in their placement schools to observe lessons and liaise with mentors and professional tutors.

Richard leads the mentoring programme to ensure mentors offer the necessary advice and support for the trainees. Richard has taught for 24 years in three secondary schools in Hampshire and Surrey, most recently as an Assistant Headteacher.

Gerry Newman, Secondary Course Facilitator

Gerry NewmanGerry joined George Abbot School in 2010 as the Teaching School Administrator and moved into the SCITT Team in 2014. 

In her role as Secondary Course Facilitator, she is responsible for the organisation of the Secondary SCITT Programme and provide pastoral support for the Secondary Trainees.

Suzy Wright,  SCITT Recruitment Administrator

Suzy WrightSuzy has worked for the trust since February 2019.  She has over 15 years of administration experience and has worked within the education sector since 2014.  Suzy has a BA Hons in Business Administration.

In her role as SCITT Recruitment Administrator, Suzy provides a first point of contact for teacher training enquiries, organises interview days and information events and has designed various marketing materials.


Central Operations Team

Nicola Riley,  Head of HR

Nicola RileyNicola is a Chartered Member of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and has a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management.

She joined the trust in September 2023, having previously worked in Human Resources in both state and independent schools, as well over 14 years’ HR experience in the hospitality industry.

Nicola believes that people are at the heart of any organisation and having the right people doing the things in the right places is crucial to securing the best outcomes for children in our schools.

Lynsey Filby,  HR Advisor

Lynsey FilbyLynsey joined the HR team in September 2022 as HR Advisor moving from the role of SCITT Rectruitment Facilitator for George Abbot SCITT.

Her role in HR is to oversee the Management Information System and provides professional advice and guidance to senior leaders and staff. Previously, Lynsey worked within the field of Human Resources for the private and public sector and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She also holds a Business Studies and Social Policy degree.

Becca Wilkins-Butler,  HR Advisor

Becca Wilkins ButlerBecca joined the Trust in January 2024 as HR Adviser. Becca has previous experience within the Public Sector and a keen interest in Education.

With a degree in Counselling, Becca has a specific passion for mental health and well-being, particularly in respect of young people and believes in the significance of education in supporting young people with their mental health by facilitating learning and building resilience. Becca is excited to be a part of the Trust which supports this education by providing advice and guidance to schools to enable them and the children who are part of them to grow and thrive.

Sally Busby,  Head of Projects & Operational Strategy

Sally busby

With more than 20 years leadership experience, Sally’s comes to the Trust with many years private sector and more recently, public sector/ Local Government business experience.

Sally Holds qualifications in Leadership, Business Management & Project Management, and brings a strong operational and business delivery approach to the trust and is excited to learn and develop new skills within the Education arena.

Sally joins us as Head of Projects and Operational Strategy with a view to reviewing and streamlining systems processes and procedures for major projects and strategy planning.  Sally is keen to deliver positive change and make a difference in this role within the Trust.

Sarah Allen,  Head of Finance

Sarah AllenSarah is a qualified accountant who joined the trust as Finance Officer following four and a half years as School Business Manager at Shalford Infant School. Prior to this she worked as a Financial Controller and has over 15 years of commercial finance experience gained in the private sector.

Sarah believes great financial management can help the trust deliver the best outcomes for its children.

Kim Seymour,  Senior Finance Manager

Kim Seymour

Kim is a qualified ACCA accountant with over 12 years’ experience in finance, starting in practice as an Auditor and later progressing into Corporate Tax. Kim then gained experience in Commerce in her role as Financial Operations Manager with Twinings Tea.

Outside of work, Kim is a busy Mum to three boys and is training for her first half marathon.

Helana Muller,  School Business Advisor

Helana MullerHelána is a qualified accountant who joined the trust as School Business Manager at Pirbright Village Primary School in April 2018. She moved to the Central Operations Team in September 2023 as School Business Advisor. Prior to this she worked as Financial Controller in the private sector for over 10 years in a variety of industries. She took a career break when her children were little, during which time she volunteered at Pirbright Village Primary School as Treasurer of the PTA and also served as Governor at the school.

Katy Mansell,  Finance Analyst

Katy MansellKaty has recently joined the trust in September 2022 in a new role as a Finance Analyst in the central team.

Previously Katy has worked in both the education and corporate sectors with her previous role being a Finance Officer in another school in Guildford. She holds a degree in Business Information Systems and has recently completed her AAT level 3.

Mirela Samuel,  Finance Assistant

Untitled (297 × 210 mm)Mirela joined Learning Partners Academy Trust in Feb 2023. After receiving her BA(Hons) degree in Management in Commerce and Tourism, Mirela worked in the Travel Industry for 18 years in various roles, including finance and operations. In 2017, Mirela trained to become a Teaching Assistant and thoroughly enjoyed her role in a primary school for 6 years, helping children to be the best they can be. Mirela has found working in the education sector very fulfilling and is delighted in her current role to be able to bring her experience in finance to education.

Sandra McAllister,  Academy Conversion Project Lead

Sandra McAllister (002) (1)Sandra joined the trust in January 2023. Her role is to support schools who are looking to join The Trust and to assist those schools in the Academisation process.

She has 25 years’ experience as a School Business Manager and currently works in a large primary academy.

Ben Sayers,  IT Director and Deputy Data Protection Officer

Ben Sayers IT Director & Deputy Data Protection Officer (1)Ben Sayers is the IT Director at Learning Partners Academy Trust. His team's strategic goal is to "improve teaching and learning through better ICT". The Learning Partners Network Team supports our schools in all aspects of IT, providing tailored support to meet the requirements that our schools face. Our technical staff are skilled in their areas of expertise, with an ICT Apprentice programme to ensure that the team has continuity for the future.

The Learning Partners Network Team is purpose-built to grow as our community and school numbers grow. Our structure is designed to meet schools' needs with IT Technicians onsite, the Service Desk providing remote support and a Development & Infrastructure Team to lead on projects. This structure combines on-site and centralised support staff to better co-ordinate helpdesk tickets and projects for each one of our schools, with our projects being planned together so our schools get the benefits of group purchasing.

Anne Benson,  Head of Operations

Anne bensonInformation coming soon

Julia Mason,  Governance Coordinator and Clerk to the Trust Board

Julia MasonJulia first joined the Trust in 2020 as clerk to the Trust Board. Julia has a background in both the education and corporate sectors. She has worked in a variety of school roles, both classroom-based and administrative, for many years. She has provided clerking support for a range of governing bodies, from small infant schools to large secondaries, and at trust board level. Julia strongly believes in the importance of good governance to ensure positive outcomes for all children. Julia is also currently clerk to the local governing bodies of two Learning Partners Academy Trust schools; Guildford County School and Loseley Fields Primary School.

Gaby Sutton, Senior Administrator and PA to CEO

Gaby SuttonGaby first joined the trust as a Food Technology Technician at George Abbot School in 2014 before taking the role as administrator within the central team.  She holds an honours degree in French and Italian and prior to a career break she was a Sales, PR and Marketing executive.

Gaby is now PA to the CEO and also responsible for the communications and marketing of the trust. Gaby loves visiting our schools and is always delighted to support them in their marketing and communications strategies. As well as supporting Jack, Gaby ensures that the trust office is organised and efficient to enable the team to provide a high level of service to all of our schools.

Doug Dalgleish, Capital Projects Lead

Doug DalgleishDoug is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Building. He has a university honours degree in Building Construction & Management.

Doug joined the trust in 2022 having previously worked as a project manager in the construction industry for 25 years. He has a wealth of experience in delivering complex construction projects on time and within budget.

Sally Cave, Estates Manager

Sally caveSally joined George Abbot School as Premises Manager in 2018 and moved to the trust's central operations team in 2024, to assist the schools with Health and Safety compliance. She holds a NEBOSH qualification in Health and Safety and is a member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. 

Previously she has worked for PPP Healthcare and DHL, within Premises, Project Management and Training roles. Before joining George Abbot, she ran the retail side of her family's business selling bathrooms and kitchens, winning bathroom showroom of the year. She is looking forward to working with all the schools within the trust, supporting them with Health and Safety compliance. 

Dominique Morris, Compliance Manager

DominiqueDominique joined the trust in February 2024 in the Central Operations Team as a Compliance Manager.  Prior to this, she was the manager of a busy horse-riding stables, ensuring compliance with all legislation and regulations as well as coaching and encouraging education within the sport.

Dominique is also a qualified solicitor; she has worked in family law so is used to fighting for the best outcomes for children.  Dominique is looking forward to working as a part of the Trust to ensure that schools are supported in providing children with the best education

Holly Donnithorne-Doughty, Compliance Administrator

Holly donnithorne doughtyHolly joined the Trust in January 2024 in a new role as the Compliance Administrator in the Central Operations Team.

Prior to this, Holly was the Office Manager and PA to the director in her family-run construction company, during which she also took a work break to raise her four young children.

Holly has a strong background in retail management and alongside her role, Holly is studying for a diploma in Governance, Risk Management and Compliance.

She is looking forwarding to be working with the trust as she has attended two of the schools herself. The ethos and values of the schools have stayed with her into adult life and she strongly believes and supports in the Trust’s mission ‘Working together to make schools better for children’; as a team, we can all achieve this.  


Jodie Farrell-Gray,  Operations Coordinator

Jodie Farrell Gray

Jodie joined the trust in September 2023, as an Operations Coordinator in the Central Operations Team. She has a background in Operations and Learning Development within a range of industries, including education, and she holds an honours degree in Sociology with Criminology.

Jodie is a staunch believer in the importance of education and is excited to be able to support the schools that are part of the Learning Partners Trust, and the wider community too.