Governance Structure

At the heart of our Trust is strong governance, the mechanism by which we are held to account.

We believe we have an effective governance structure which comprises:

Trust Members
The Trust does not have shareholders, but it does have Members who provide the highest tier of non-executive oversight; they are the guardians of the company. Their key role is to appoint the Trustees and hold them to account for the successful governance of the Trust. We have five Members, one of whom is the Chair of the Trustees.

Board of Trustees
The most important tier of governance in a Multi-Academy Trust is the Board of Trustees who may either be appointed by Members or co-opted onto the Board by other Trustees. They are Trustees for the purposes of charity law and also fulfil the role of appointed Directors in regard to company legislation.

Trustees hold the legal powers and responsibilities of the Trust. As a group, the Board of Trustees sets the overall strategic direction of the Trust and is accountable to the Secretary of State. The Board determines the level of delegation to our schools’ Local Governing Bodies so that these can be as effective as possible. We have 10 Trustees, one of whom is the CEO, and they have overall responsibility and ultimate decision-making authority for all the work of the Trust.

Delegation: The Trustees delegate authority to the following key groups to ensure the effective leadership and governance of our Trust:

Trust Board sub-committees
The Trust Board has established four sub-committees to oversee specific areas of its work: Finance; Audit and Risk Assurance; Education and Standards; and HR. Membership of these sub-committees is confirmed annually. They are populated by Trustees and, where necessary, Associates to the Board.

Local Governing Bodies
Each of our schools has a Local Governing Body which comprises parent, staff and Trust Governors; our Church schools also have Foundation Governors. Our Governors form a crucial part of a school’s success, offering peer support and challenge to leadership teams. They are highly valued and encouraged to work closely with us, defining school vision and direction alongside the leadership team.

School Improvement Hubs

We have also set up Improvement Hubs to support school improvement along with our existing Teaching and Learning School and SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training). One of these is our Governance Improvement Hub whose current members are Trustees, Governors from our LGBs and Headteachers. Matters arising from their discussions as a governance think tank feed into the half-termly meetings of the Chairs and Vice Chairs Group which is made up of all 16 schools’ Chairs and Vice Chairs of Governors.

Who’s who?



David Kennedy

Peter Nicholson

Brenda Jarvis

Chris White (as Chair of Trustees)

Chelmsford Diocesan Education Trust

Chris White (Chair)

Denise Broom

Danny Cohen

Lesley Duffin

Vivienne Hole

Susan Sunderland (Vice-Chair)

Peter Tidmarsh (CEO)

James Wood

George Yerosimou


Finance Committee Membership

HR Committee Membership

Danny Cohen

Chris White

Peter Tidmarsh (CEO)

James Wood (Chair)

Lesley Duffin (Chair)

Vivienne Hole

Susan Sunderland

Peter Tidmarsh (CEO)

George Yerosimou

Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Membership

Education and Standards Committee Membership

Denise Broom (Chair)

Danny Cohen

Susan Sunderland

Vivienne Hole

James Wood

George Yerosimou (Chair)

Peter Tidmarsh

Lesley Duffin

Chris White

Danny Cohen


Local Governing Body Chairs





Alderton Infant

Debra Hughes

Ivy Chimneys Primary

Hannah Jones

Alderton Junior

Samantha Davies

Judith Hodges

Lambourne Primary

Lesley Duffin

Buckhurst Hill

Joy Barter

Limes Farm Infant

Alastair Smith

Chigwell Row
(Interim Executive Board)

Lesley Duffin

Oak View Special School

Pat Bagshaw

George Yerosimou

Epping Upland

Colin Tankard

St John’s Primary

Sue Sunderland

Hereward Primary

Rita Midwinter

Staples Road Primary

Marwan Mikdadi

High Beech Primary

Peter Walker

Theydon Bois Primary

Matthew Dawkes

Hillhouse Primary

Daniel Bruton

White Bridge Primary

Stephen Williams


For further information about each school’s LGB, please go to their website as detailed on the Home page.