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Schoolsworks Academy Trust

Our Governance

As prescribed in our funding agreement with the Department of Education and in our Articles of Association, The Board of Trustees of Schoolsworks Academy Trust are its trustees and the governors of all our schools.  The company members are the custodians of the overall vision of the Trust and their roles and responsibilities are also set out the Articles. 

Schoolsworks' organisational chart can be found here.  

 Our Members


Role of the Company Members


The key roles of the Company Members of the Trust are determined by the Trust’s Articles of Association and include the following:

  • The removal of any of the Trustees
  • Amendments to the Articles of Association when and if required
  • Changes to the name of the Trust

While in strict company law terms, the role of the Company Members are limited, through these specific roles, and in particular with regard to the powers to appoint and remove Trustees, the Company Members are seen as the guardians of the vision and mission of the Trust:  if they are concerned about the direction of the Trust, then they have the ability to exercise their powers to remove members of the Board of Trustees.  They will meet at least once a year, usually in January, to receive the Annual Report and audited accounts from the Directors and to appoint the auditors.

Margaret Allen

Passionate and enthusiastic about education, Margaret’s roles have ranged from a Primary school teacher to Head of Training and Professional Development with a Global remit. As the Curriculum and Education Specialist within Renaissance she has supported a number of international Initiatives including a 3 year contract with the Seychelles Government to support English reading across all of their Primary schools. She has delivered presentations on a variety of topics including assessment and classroom practice to trainee teachers, school governors and many education forums, but her favourite subject is reading with picture books and language acquisition. As a grandmother of 8 children she is particularly enjoying revisiting books that she shared with her own children.

Roy Blackwell

Roy Blackwell started his working life as a teacher, after which he became Education Officer for a Local Authority before spending ten years in the civil service which led to him travelling around Europe negotiating bi-lateral and multi-lateral treaties for HM Government.  

Between 1999 and 2019, Roy was Clerk to the United Westminster Schools/Grey Coat Hospital Foundation, an ancient (1594) charity which has strong links with Westminster Abbey. He was also Clerk to the governing bodies of the schools which make up the Foundation, an unusual mixture of independent and state schools, the latter being inner city academies. From January 2020 and May 20222, he was interim CEO of the Challenger Multi Academy Trust which had primary and secondary schools in Bedford and Essex.

He is currently Chair of the VOCES8 Foundation, a charity dedicated to music education; a Director of the City of London’s Academy Trust; Vice Chair of the City of London Academy Trust; and Chair of Governors of Highgate Hill Academy. He was also an inaugural member of the City of London’s Education Board; chaired the Independent Schools Pension Scheme committee and was a board member of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. He is Vice Chair of the Confederation of School Trusts and represented it on the Independent and State School
Partnership group. He joined the board of BrainCanDo, a charity which is looking at how neurological research can improve teaching and learning, in 2020. 


He was Master of the Worshipful Company of Educators for the year 2021/22 and joined the governing body of Chelsea Academy in September 2022.

Jonathan Funnell

Jo is a chartered builder and has led surveying and architecture consultancies over a number of years.  His background with schools has been both professionally and in governance.  Initially as parent governor at River Beach Primary School, Jo was appointed as a director and ultimately chair of Schoolsworks' board for a 4-year term.  

Nicholas Henton

Nick has worked in a number of posts in staff development and as a trainer in the FMCG sector.  Nick was co-chair of governors at Edward Bryant School when Schoolsworks was founded in 2012 and served a term of office as the inaugural chair of the board.


Our Trustees

Schoolsworks is primarily governed by a Board of Trustees, who are also the trustees and the governors of our schools.  They bring together a range of skills and experience from within and around the education sector.
A full organisational chart including the Board, committees and local governance structures can be viewed here.

Norman Rose | Chair of the Board

Norman RoseNorman Rose is an experienced solicitor with a particular interest in corporate governance in non-profit organisations.

One of Norman’s personal interests is vocational education and training where, from 1998 to 2010, he was an active participant in developing and implementing government policy.

In December 2016 he was appointed a non-executive director of Schoolsworks, and Chair of the Board in September 2020. 





Amanda Blackburn |Trustee


Amanda Blackburn is an Executive Headteacher of two primary schools in the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education Multi Academy Trust.

Amanda has a keen interest in professional development for staff at all levels and leads on training for middle leaders as a Delivery Partner for the revised NPQs with the Church of England. She is an advocate for inclusive practice, restorative approaches to behaviour and achievement and opportunities for all.


Stuart Collins | Trustee

Stuart Collins works as the Transport Provision Manager at West Sussex County Council, where he has been employed since 2005.

Stuart was a parent at Rose Green Junior School, where he also serves as a community member of the School Community Council there.

The Board appointed Stuart as a Trustee and his management experience in the public sector is a welcome addition. 




Malcolm Dennett |Trustee

Malcolm is an Accountant by training with a varied career in both the public and private sectors.

He has been a Finance Director in the NHS and also a Management Consultant supporting many aspects of change in the public sector.  He is currently also a Non-Executive in the NHS and has also been a Trustee within the charity and third sector 





Adam Hackett | Trustee

Adam is a Trustee of Schoolsworks Academy Trust, having been appointed in December 2016.

Adam is Chair of P3 (People, Potential , Possibilities) and Rugby Portobello Trust, the national Social Inclusion charity, whose mission is to improves lives and communities by delivering services for socially excluded and vulnerable people to unlock their potential and open new possibilities.

Adam is also a business mentor with Kilfinan Group and has founded three successful sales and service businesses. He has forty five years experience of managing capable and creative people and with a record of driving outstanding results. 

He is a passionate supporter of young people of all ages and is married with two grown-up sons  


Richard Harvey-Swanston | Trustee

Richard Harvey-Swanston has a background in primary school teaching and leadership, and works as a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Brighton in Initial Teacher Training and Masters education programmes.

Richard specialises in the teaching and learning of mathematics and has a particular interest in teacher professional development and the application of educational research to practice.




Elliot Hirons | Trustee

Elliot Hirons

Elliot is a Major in The Parachute Regiment, having served for over a decade.

He has extensive experience in Leadership and Management, Operational and Strategic planning, and risk management. He has also spent a large portion of his career in the training and development field.

Elliot is married, with a 6 year old son and is a parent at Downsbrook Primary School



Ian Long | Trustee

Dr Ian LongAfter a brief spell working for Shell and with children in the care of the local authority, Ian has taught in seven contrasting schools in both the state and independent sector.

He recently retired from the headship at Albyn School, an independent coeducational school for children and pupils aged 2-18 located in Aberdeen, Scotland.

When second deputy at the City of London Freemen’s School in Ashtead, he was made a Freeman of the City of London and now undertakes voluntary work as a special interest group co-ordinator with the Worshipful Company of Educators


Graham Tiley | Trustee

Graham has a background in the earth sciences and worked for more than 30 years in the energy business, much of which was spent overseas in East & West Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Alongside his career in energy, Graham has more than a decade of experience in non-executive director roles, including serving as Chair of the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kyiv, Vice Chairman of the Board of the International School of Amsterdam, whilst this year he was appointed as the Chair of the Board of an independent specialist college based in Brighton.

In addition, he is a founding Partner/Director in a start-up company that provides music studio and events services that allows him to combine his business interests with his passion for music. 


David Tow | Trustee

Working in education for the past 22 years, David has lead inspirational change in his own schools and groups of schools working closely together.  Passionate about local schools being able to provide the best education for all children David pursues education that provides children with life choices and better life chances.

Throughout his career, David has developed a special interest in school finance, safeguarding, and bringing about strategic institutional change in teams of professionals and community stakeholders.  His involvement in the Schoolsworks Trust is based around a desire to act altruistically for local schools in his local community. 


Executive Directors

Cathy Williams, Chief Executive Officer sits on the Board of Trustees


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