Our Board of Trustees

Governance

Whitefield Academy Trust’s Executive Team is accountable to the Board of Trustees.  Our Board, which comprises individuals representing the education, business and charitable sectors, is responsible for setting the overall vision and strategic direction of the Trust and ensuring it meets its statutory and financial responsibilities.

 

The Trustees work closely with the Chief Executive Officer acting as a critical friend in order to raise levels of performance and ensure the Trust’s schools and services properly meet the needs of all those they serve.

Please see link for key information for the Trust:
https://www.whitefieldacademytrust.org.uk/68/key-information

 

Chair of Trustees

Name

From

To

Amy Maclaren 25 August 2021 17 March 2023

Vice Chair of Trustees

Name

From

To

Neil Swift 25 August 2021 15 September 2023

Trustees

Name

From

To

Amy Maclaren

18 March 2019

17 March 2023

Jasvinder Paik

18 March 2019

17 March 2023

Neil Swift

16 September 2019

15 September 2023

Jeannette Knights  29 September 2021 29 September 2025
Ken Lloyd  29 September 2021 29 September 2025

 

Members

Name

Date of Appointment

Philip John Sams  31 May 2021

Stephen Unwin

1 April 2017

Neil Swift  25 August 2021
Amy Maclaren  25 August 2021

 

Accounting officer

Name

Date of Appointment

Kirstie Fulthorpe

1 September 2020

 

Head of Finance 

Name

Date of Appointment

Suzanne Clarke

18 February 2021

Clerk 

Name

Date of Appointment

Mel Brown 

14 September 2021

Our Trust Board delegates oversight of three key areas of the Trust’s work to three committees, who support the full board in maintaining compliance and high levels of standards:

  • Finance, audit and risk committee
    • Chair: Neil Swift
    • Committee members: Jeannette Knights, Ken Lloyd
  • Quality of Education
    • Chair: Ken Lloyd
    • Committee members: Neil Swift, Jeannette Knights, Jasvinder Paik 
  • Safeguarding
    • Chair: Jeannette Knights
    • Committee members: Amy Maclaren

Further information about our governance structure is set out in our Scheme of Delegation, our Articles of Association and our Register of Business Interests. You can contact our governors or request copies of the minutes of meetings by contacting governors@whitefield.waltham.sch.uk

Biographies of Members and Trustees

Kirstie Fulthorpe BEd (Hons), NPQH, FCCT, FRSA

Kirstie Fulthorpe joined Whitefield Academy Trust as its Chief Executive in September 2020.  In that capacity she also serves as a Director on our Board.  Kirstie has extensive teaching and leadership experience, having worked in education for over 30 years.

Before joining Whitefield Academy Trust, Kirstie was the Director of Education and Children’s Services for the National Autistic Society. Previously, Kirstie was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors for Ofsted, a Regional Director for Oasis Community Learning and a Principal for the Harris Federation. She has contributed to national and international training and development and has particular expertise in early years education, primary and Special Educational Needs.

Jeannette Knights

Jeannette has been involved in school governance since 1995 and was Chair of Governors at an outstanding special school for 15 years moving on from that role in February 2021.  She has also been a National Leader of Governance (NLG) and provided support for a number of schools including special, primary and a pupil referral unit, helping schools to move on both their governance and quality of provision after a poor Ofsted inspection.

Additionally, Jeannette was a school business manager in an outstanding special school for 10 years and has since continued to use both her governance and school business experience in a consultancy capacity, supporting schools to define their strategy, structures, health and safety and building requirements for the last 5 years.

Ken Lloyd

Ken is an experienced governance consultant with extensive experience in educational governance and in organisational assessment and improvement. He’s a well-established advisor to trusts and an experienced chair for maintained and academy secondary schools. He is an active National Leader of Governance (NLG) supporting trusts and their chairs.

Ken was previously a local authority chief officer and strategic director and understands in depth the corporate governance and management of public, professional, and educational organisations.

Amy MacLaren

Amy is Director of External Relations at the British Science Association (BSA) where her remit covers PR, digital and social media, marketing, partnerships and fundraising, policy and thought leadership. Her team are responsible for increasing awareness of – and support for – the organisation, its work and impact amongst stakeholders.

Amy has extensive experience in external relations, stakeholder management and partnership building, including working with business leaders, policy makers, opinion formers and VIPs.  She joined the BSA in June 2014 from award-winning communications consultancy Four Communications, where she led the Campaigning division.  There, her clients included a range of management, leadership, employment and skills organisations, science organisations and campaigns, voluntary organisations and women’s and diversity issues.

Amy has previously worked in education (for Pearson Edexcel) and the arts. She is a Trustee of the Daphne Jackson Trust.

Jasvinder Paik BA (Hons), MBA, FFA, FIPA

Jasvinder’s connection with Whitefield Academy Trust stretches back many years when his son joined Whitefield School in Reception.  He became a Parent Governor for Whitefield School in 2012 and joined Whitefield Academy Trust as a Director in 2019.  A retired financial analyst, Jasvinder has over 40 years’ experience of budget setting, monitoring expenditure and compliance with DOA compliance.

Neil Swift

Neil is currently the Chief Executive at the Single Source Regulations Office (SSRO), an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, which plays a key role in the regulation of single source, or non-competitive defence contracts. Neil joined the SSRO in 2015 and was appointed Chief Executive in May 2018 having previously been the Chief Operating Officer.

Neil started his career as an engineer with British Aerospace before changing direction to train as an accountant with KPMG. After a move to the public sector, Neil worked in several frontline operational finance roles including as Deputy Director of Finance at a large NHS Trust in London.  Neil joined the Audit Commission in 2003, initially as a Senior Manager and Health Policy Lead, where he worked on a range of national studies and publications before becoming Head of Technical Support for the Commission’s Audit Practice in 2007. He was appointed Associate Controller Corporate Resources in 2012 and was responsible for the delivery of all support services during the transition to and eventual closure of the Commission.

Stephen Unwin

Stephen Unwin studied at the University of Cambridge and is a well-established and experienced theatre and opera director, writer and teacher.  He is also the father of a young man with severe learning disabilities who was a pupil at Whitefield School for several years.

Since 2016 Stephen has been Chairman of KIDS, a national charity which supports disabled children, young people and their families, and is a regular campaigner for the rights and opportunities of disabled young people.