Skip to content ↓
Learn Academies Trust

Learn Academies Trust

Learn-AT Trustees

The ‍Trust ‍Board ‍has ‍overall ‍responsibility ‍and ‍ultimate ‍decision-making ‍authority ‍for ‍all ‍the ‍work ‍of ‍the ‍Trust and all of its schools. 

The Trustees delegate responsibility for aspects of school governance to Local Governing Bodies through a Scheme of Delegation. 

Local Governing Bodies provide advice, support and challenge to the headteacher in leading the school and ensuring all pupils flourish. They guard the school’s ethos, ensure the school collaborates with other schools in the Trust to share effective practice, resources and experience and manage its relationship with the community. They focus on:

  • Standards, curriculum and school ethos
  • Health, safety and premises, including safeguarding
  • Parental and wider community engagement 
  • Assurance and oversight of compliance and risk, including finance.


  • Jeremy Benson

    Chair of Trustees

    ‍Educational ‍Management ‍Leadership ‍and ‍Governance ‍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.

  • Dr Kim Stuart

    Vice Chair of Trustees

    Kim is an Assistant Professor in Occupational Therapy and a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA) with 18 years of experience in education. She is a Registrant of HCPC and RCOT for 20 years as an occupational therapist working in NHS, private sector, social care and strategic commissioning. She was a Governor for over 10 years at Ridgeway School and chair of governors for two schools within the trust. Kim also completed the NGA Leading Governance programme in 2017.

  • Karen Cooper

    HR Specialist

    ‍Karen ‍has ‍over ‍15 ‍years’ ‍experience ‍as ‍a ‍Human ‍Resources ‍(HR) ‍professional ‍in ‍a ‍variety ‍of ‍industries ‍including ‍healthcare ‍and ‍retail. ‍In ‍her ‍current ‍role ‍at ‍Joules ‍plc ‍she ‍focusses ‍on ‍HR ‍Support ‍and ‍Reward, ‍providing ‍proactive ‍HR ‍support ‍services ‍enabling ‍the ‍business ‍to ‍recruit, ‍retain ‍and ‍reward ‍talent. ‍She ‍has ‍also ‍supported ‍the ‍Head ‍Office ‍and ‍International ‍teams ‍at ‍Joules ‍as ‍an ‍HR ‍Business ‍Partner, ‍providing ‍strategic ‍business ‍support ‍on ‍people ‍matters. ‍Previously ‍she ‍has ‍worked ‍in ‍small ‍and ‍medium ‍sized ‍enterprises ‍(SME) ‍and ‍large ‍corporate ‍environments, ‍mainly ‍in ‍HR ‍generalist ‍roles ‍supporting ‍organisations ‍through ‍change ‍programmes, ‍leadership ‍development, ‍talent ‍and ‍succession ‍planning. ‍As ‍a ‍Chartered ‍Member ‍of ‍the ‍CIPD ‍and ‍a ‍qualified ‍Facet ‍5 ‍coach, ‍Karen ‍is ‍passionate ‍about ‍supporting ‍and ‍empowering ‍people ‍to ‍develop.

  • Sir John Dunford

    School ‍Leadership ‍and ‍Improvement

    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.

  • Reverend Barry Hill

    Team ‍leader ‍for ‍the ‍Anglican ‍churches ‍in ‍and ‍around ‍Market ‍Harborough, ‍Barry ‍is ‍passionate ‍about ‍local ‍partners ‍(schools, ‍churches, ‍community ‍groups, ‍households ‍and ‍statutory ‍bodies) ‍working ‍together ‍to ‍build ‍communities ‍that ‍bring ‍transformation, ‍so ‍that ‍people ‍of ‍all ‍ages ‍and ‍backgrounds ‍can ‍know ‍the ‍fullness ‍of ‍life ‍God ‍offers. ‍In ‍both ‍his ‍current ‍and ‍previous ‍roles ‍he ‍works ‍specifically ‍in ‍areas ‍of ‍strategy ‍and ‍development. ‍He ‍has ‍lived ‍in ‍Leicestershire ‍since ‍2005 ‍and ‍before ‍being ‍ordained ‍has ‍a ‍background ‍in ‍the ‍commercial ‍flight ‍simulation ‍industry ‍and ‍in ‍youthwork.

  • Natalie Jackson

    SEND Specialist

    Natalie ‍Jackson ‍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.

  • Stef Edwards

    Trust Leader and Executive Trustee

    Stef was Headteacher of Great Bowden Academy for eleven years and is a designated National Leader of Education and a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. Stef is a primary English specialist. She is a strong advocate for the use of evidence from educational research to support high quality professional learning for teachers and school staff - to secure the best possible education for all pupils in our schools. She has a Masters degree in Education Research and Inquiry and is studying for a professional doctorate, investigating the leadership of professional learning to support the development of research-informed teaching across a network of schools.

  • Bobby Thandi

    Bobby is the Deputy CEO of a large Multi Academy Trust operating across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire which consists of 25 academies, and as the Chief Financial Officer is responsible for the strategic financial management, systems and commercial operations of the Trust. He is also the Director leading a commercial trading subsidiary which operates an annual turnover over £2.5m. He has over 20 years’ experience in senior finance roles and overseeing support functions across the NHS, Local Authorities, Education Sector and Police Authorities. Bobby’s areas of professional expertise include strategic organisational change management, charity operations, governance, strategic growth, and developing commerciality in the third sector.

  • Nigel Corcoran

    Nigel has held a number of roles within the private and public sector and has over 25 years' experience in Estates Management, Capital Projects Delivery, Project and Contract Management within the Nuclear and Healthcare industries. He currently holds the position of Head of Estates and Sustainability at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and is responsible for the delivery of Hard Facilities Management Services. The main focus of his work is to ensure availability of critical infrastructure services and reducing energy consumption. He also provides support to ensure patient/staff safety and security solutions for everyday operational needs. He has 36 year's experience working in the highly regulated Nuclear Industry at Devonport Royal Dockyard providing and maintaining support facilities for the Ministry of Defence. Nigel is a qualified Project Manager and is working towards Chartered Engineering status from the Institute of Civil Engineers.

  • Steve Orton

    LGB Chairs' Representative

    Steve has been a local governor at Red Hill Field Primary School since 2019 and chair since 2020. He is a qualified CIMA accountant, obtaining Chartered status in June 2009, and has over 16 years of experience of working within the educational and charitable sector. Steve held a senior management position at The Creative Education Trust before joining the NOVA Education Trust in April 2017, initially as Vice Chief Financial Officer and now as Chief Financial Officer.

  • Marie-Claire Bretherton

    Marie-Claire Bretherton has a wealth of experience in the education sector, having started her career as a teacher and then becoming a successful headteacher in Lincolnshire. She has a proven track record of leading three very different schools to secure improved outcomes for pupils, even in the most challenging of circumstances. In 2012, Marie-Claire worked with a group of school leaders in Lincolnshire to establish KYRA, a collaborative community for teaching, leadership, research, and school improvement partnerships that now serves over 60 primary schools. Her leadership was instrumental in developing this thriving community of schools over a 10 year period. From 2016 to 2023, Marie-Claire also served as the Education Director for Anthem Schools Trust, where she was responsible for driving improvements across the Primary phase. She is a published author, and sought after international speaker on leadership and school improvement. Currently, Marie-Claire is serving as the Deputy CEO at Waterton Academy Trust in West Yorkshire, where she continues to make a positive impact on the education sector.