Board of Trustees

The Trustees are responsible for the same three core governance functions performed by the governing body in a maintained school: setting the strategic direction, holding senior school leadership to account and overseeing the Trust’s financial performance.

Each school in the MAT has its own local governing body, which considers issues relevant to the individual school. 

Trustees are ultimately responsible and accountable for the Trust. It’s up to them to make sure the Trust is compliant with its charitable objectives, but also with company and charity law. Trustees are both company directors and charity trustees as academies have the legal status of both company and charitable trust. 

The term of office for Trustees is 4 years

Mrs Sharon Wilson | Senior Executive Leader/Primary Lead

Interim Senior Executive Leader and Primary Lead for the Trust,Ss Sharon Wilson has been the Headteacher of Grove Road Primary School since 2012 and has been involved with the  Ridgeway Learning Partnership since its inception in 2017.  Sharon has nearly 30 years of experience working in education in Hertfordshire. 

Sharon was appointed to her first headship in 2003 working in St Albans. She then joined the Hertfordshire school advisory team in 2009 gaining her School Improvement Partner (SIP) accreditation from the National College for School Leadership (NCSL).  Since 2009 she has worked with over 30 Primary Schools, supporting  them in an advisory capacity to ensure the best quality provision for the children in their care. 

Sharon returned to full time headship in 2012 at Grove Road Primary School and continues to work on a consultancy basis for HfL (Herts for Learning) as a School Effectiveness Advisor (SEA).

Mr Julian Crane | Ex-officio Chair of Trustees

Appointed 8 November 2017 by the Members. Crane julian

Chair of Trustees since November 2021. Previously Vice-Chair of Trustees, Chair of Audit Committee and Chair of Resources Committee. 

Actively involved in school governance since 2009. Prior to becoming a trustee, Julian was Chair of Governors at Grove Road Primary School. 

Currently, Director of Assurance & Risk Management at Alight Solutions, a $3bn turnover business transformation partner, providing health, wealth and payroll solutions to 4,300 clients globally. 

Qualified Chartered Accountant and Pension Trustee. 

Mr Robin Spencer | Vice Chair

Appointed 16 November 2021 by the Members.Robin Spencer

Prior to retiring was a solicitor and partner in the law firm Hogan Lovells (formerly Lovells) he was a partner for 17 years and for 10 of those years led the Business Restructuring and Insolvency Group worldwide. For three years he sat on the Partnership Council of Lovells (2007-10) which was the governing body of the partnership.

After retiring Robin obtained an MSc from UCL in archaeology and volunteered in his local Citizens Advice Bureau. His BA degree in law was awarded by the University of Cambridge (Pembroke College).

Ms Vicky Edwards | Chair of Standards Committee

Appointed 8 November 2017 by the Members.Edwards vicky trustee

Currently Chief People Officer at Alfa Systems, a leading asset finance software company. Responsible for leading Alfa’s global people activities in support of creating a high-performance culture, across attraction, recruitment, development, retention and engagement of the best talent.

A School Governor at Grove Road Primary School for 3 years prior to joining Ridgeway Learning Partnership in 2017.

Working as part of the Leadership team she takes responsibility to understand the pulse of the organisation allowing insight to develop tailored interventions in support of business strategy.

Good judgement on people and situations bringing valuable insights to drive change and commercial improvements.

Mr James Foskett | Chair of Resources Committee

Appointed 16 November 2021 - Co-optedJames Foskett

Qualified Chartered Accountant specialising in charities and not-for-profit organisations. Director of Cansdales Business Advisers Ltd, partner of Cansdales Audit LLP.

Governor at Tring School since 2012.

Mr Matthew Gibbs | Chair of Audit & Risk Committee

Appointed 8 November 2017 by the Members.Gibbs matthew

Director for Savills plc. Joined Savills in November 2021. Prior to this was a founding partner/board director of DP9 Ltd, a town planning consultancy based and focused on the London property market.  

Nearly 30 years experience in the planning and development industry. 

Ms Gill Budgell

Appointed 16 November 2021 by the Members.Gill Budgell

Extensive experience in the education sector including teaching, advising,  governance and commercial educational publishing with particular areas of expertise in Early Years and Primary Language.

Director of Frattempo Ltd. since 1998, Gill offers global consultancy services to educational publishers supporting and advising on matters of policy, strategy and new product development in both EdTech and traditional publishing.  She is a long-standing judge for national resource awards as well as an experienced presenter and published author.

Gill has previously governed in Berkhamsted and Tring across primary and secondary schools and she continues to be a Trustee of a local MAT in Buckinghamshire too.

Broad experience and valuable networks ensure that Gill brings creative perspectives and realistic solutions to the challenges of MAT governance.

Miss Daisy Cave


Information to follow shortly

Mr Andrew King

Appointed 1 April 2020 by the Members.Andrew King

Director and owner of Lennons Solicitors, a regional law firm with offices in Buckinghamshire, employing over 40 staff.

Qualified solicitor, specialising in dispute resolution, with a particular interest in high value commercial litigation, contentious probate, and serious injury cases.

Recommended by Legal 500 as 'a first-class litigator, robust in dealings with opponents, tenacious in securing good results for his clients and a very good communicator'.

In April 2020, having acted in one of the first "virtual" trials conducted in England and Wales, authored and self-published on Amazon, The Virtual Workspace: 50 Tips for Effective Video Conferencing.

Mr James Shapland

Appointed 16 November 2021 by the Members.James Shapland

James Shapland is a serving headteacher at a large Local Authority, maintained secondary school. Prior to working in education James worked for a construction technology company, after which he trained as a science teacher. He has extensive experience in school leadership roles.

Mr Rod Gibberd | Chief Operating Officer & Company Secretary in attendance

Gibberd rod mr business directorPrior to moving into education in 2005, worked at Executive Board level in a pan-European £300m+ outsourcing company and gained strong expertise in finance, legal, HR, change management, ICT, organisational restructuring, communications and marketing, property management, business management and senior leadership.  

Company founder who worked as a management consultant focussed exclusively on improving value for money and performance in local authorities.   

Since 2005 has worked on the Senior Leadership Team in two schools. Achieved NPQH in 2011.

Joined Tring School in 2013 as Business Director. In 2015 successfully led the bid for a £30m school rebuilding project. Established a trading subsidiary of the school in 2019 to operate leisure facilities. 

Strong relationship management skills have been invaluable with the DfE, Local Authority, Diocese, commercial sector and other secondary and primary schools. 

Mrs Lorraine Slade | Chief Financial Officer in attendance

Slade lorraine mrs financeQualified as a Chartered Accountant working for a top 5 audit firm in London. After spending nearly 6 years in audit, moved to a stockbroker working in their internal audit department. Subsequently worked for a TV production company as Group Financial Controller across Europe. 

Joined Grove Road as Finance Manager in 2016, later becoming Finance Manager for RLP. Appointed CFO in November 2023. 

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