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


Chief Executive & Accounting Officer

I am a Licenced Insolvency Practitioner and have a background in accounting and finance.  I joined the Tring governing body in 2018 and have been Chair of Governors since late 2018.  I am a Foundation Governor and currently have 2 children at Tring School.  I have been involved in school governance for over 15 years.

I am also a National Leader of Governance with the National Governance Association and carry out external reviews of governance for other schools.  I am a strategic leader of governance for Herts for Learning and sit on disciplinary and exclusion panels for other schools as an independent member.

I also act as the Chair of Governors for a school in Hatfield on an interim basis.


Ex-officio Chair of Trustees

Information on the Members page

MS VICKY EDWARDSEdwards vicky trustee

Chair of Standards Committee

Appointed 8 November 2017 by the Members.

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.


Chair of Resources Committee

Appointed 16 November 2021 - Co-opted

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.


Chair of Audit & Risk Committee

Appointed 8 November 2017 by the Members.

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. 


Appointed 16 November 2021 by the Members.

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.


Appointed 1 April 2020 by the Members.

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.


Appointed 28 April 2020 by the Members.

Group Commercial Director for Clarion Housing Group, the UK's largest registered housing provider with 125,000 homes. Joined Clarion in November 2016, at the time of its formation from merger, as Commercial Finance Director.

A qualified accountant, promoted to the Group Executive in early 2019,  responsible for Clarion's subsidiary organsiations - Clarion Response, Grange and House Exchange as well as leading on Clrion's PRS & Commercial Asset portfolios.

Also leads on strategic asset management, including regeneration, disposal, mergers and acquisitions.

MR JAMES SHAPLANDAshlyns headteacher

Appointed 16 November 2021 by the Members.

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.


Vice Chair

Appointed 16 November 2021 by the Members.

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).

Mrs Debbie StevensImg 5115

Appointed 11 May 2023 by the Members

Debbie joins the Board of Trustees following a long career in education, over 26 years within the Tring community at Goldfield Infants’ and Nursery School. As Headteacher at Goldfield she led the school through inspections, receiving successive outstanding judgments.

A passion for education and continued professional development led to providing opportunities for future leaders as an NPQH trainer, mentor to new Headteachers as well as supporting schools with interim leadership during recruitment.

A qualified SENCo and founder member of the Partnership of Dacorum Schools, along with considerable experience representing local schools upon the DSPL8 Board for many years; contributing to a strategic understanding of the services available to families with regards to welfare, safeguarding and special educational needs and disability.

Particular interests include creativity and innovation within the curriculum, Values Education, social and emotional health and wellbeing across school communities. Her enthusiasm for Primary and Early Years education continues through her role as Chair of Governors at a local Primary School and Trustee here at the Ridgeway Learning Partnership.


Primary Lead in attendance

Headteacher of Grove Road Primary School since 2012.

Been in schools for nearly 45 years as either a student or an educator. Arrived at first Hertfordshire School at the age of 4 and never really left. Quality education is vital and learning is what makes the difference; it’s the gateway to choices and aspiration. Learning something new from the children she works with every day; they are at the heart of everything and why we are here.

Started teaching in 1994 and began first headship in 2003. Joined the Hertfordshire school advisory team in 2009 and has a School Improvement Partner (SIP) accreditation from the National College for School Leadership (NCSL).  Since 2009 has worked with over 25 Primary Schools, supporting them to ensure the best quality provision for the children in their care. Returned to full time headship in 2012 at Grove Road Primary School and still provides consultancy support to Primary Schools as a Hertfordshire Improvement Partner for HfL.

These are the skills, the passion and the experience she brings to the Ridgeway Learning Partnership as Primary Lead.


Chief Operating Officer & Company Secretary in attendance

Prior 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 that, come 2022, is forecast to generate in excess of £100k pa for the Trust.

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

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