Board of Trustees
Our trustees oversee the strategy and direction of the trust and ensure that the professional staff work in the best interests of the charity.
In addition to their scheduled meetings the trustees regularly meet on special projects and to provide advice and guidance to the Chief Executive Officer, Principals, and other senior staff.
The current Trustees are:
Board of Trustees (ID 1289)
Andrew HillChair of the Board of Trustees
I have 20 years of experience (1989 - 2009) working for BAA plc during which time I held a number of senior financial roles including:
- Financial Director for Heathrow Airport Limited.
- BAA plc Group Financial Controller - turnover ca. £2.8Bn per annum.
- Finance and Controls Director for Heathrow Terminal 5 Project - project cost £4.3Bn over a six year construction period.
Between 2009 and 2017 I was UK Managing Director for LogiKal Projects, undertaking both strategic and operational management of the business.
I have also served in a non-executive director capacity for:
Spelthorne Housing Association (1995-1997) - this appointment was on the formation of the Housing Association and involved key decisions on acquisition of housing stock from the local authority as well as setting up operating structure and governance from scratch.
BAA Pension Trust (2006-2009) - the body responsible for managing the pension assets for members of the BAA plc pension scheme. This involved handling complex risk issues which arose when the sponsoring company was subject to a hostile takeover bid. The scheme assets were ca. £2.5Bn.
Sharon BurtChief Executive Officer
I wholeheartedly understand the importance of every child feeling safe and happy to come to school. At Solent Academies Trust we proudly place pupils and their families at the heart of all decision making, and our senior leaders facilitate high performing teams to be innovative, courageous, forward thinking, and ambitious for our community, and beyond.
I am passionate about driving high standards in education to achieve the very best outcomes for young people, and I have greatly enjoyed every minute of my 25 years teaching and leading in a broad range of specialist and mainstream settings.
Our executive team and I are unwavering in our expectations for high quality leadership and governance, strong partnerships, effective change management, innovative project developments, and coherent business functions which enable our trust to grow and thrive with capacity and integrity.
Together we promote entrepreneurial challenge and innovation to impact widely on our self-improving school led system, improve equality of opportunity and increase social mobility for all our community. Current projects include establishing a city wide Inclusive Employability Hub, expansion of specialist provision including holistic therapies and services, and extending opportunities for training and employment for young people with complex needs and disabilities.
I have been a Specialist Leader in Education since 2012 (Leadership and Management, SEND and Safeguarding), and place a high importance on using enquiry led learning as the flywheel to accelerating improvement in the classroom.
My experience spans a broad range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities including Autism, speech, language and communication difficulties, complex learning/ medical needs and social, emotional and mental health needs. Specialist expertise also includes sensory integration approaches, attachment awareness and use of PACE.
Gordon DuffVice Chair of the Board of Trustees
I have been a member of the school governance community for over 15 years, and I have chaired and supported many governing boards, across the primary and secondary phases of education (EYFS - KS4).
This has included being a member of and supporting boards in LA maintained schools, academy schools and Multi Academy Trusts in a National Leader of Governance role.
I also have extensive experience of working with schools and boards that specialise in alternative provision (AP) and special educational needs provision (SEND).
I am currently employed by Hampshire County Council and in my role as Governor Services Co-ordinator for Hampshire Governor Services, I am a part of a dedicated team, that provides advice, support and training to a large number of governance boards across the county and beyond. I firmly believe that strong governance impacts positively on the outcomes for children and I have been fortunate over the years, to have worked alongside many very committed education professionals and governors/trustees, to ensure that children locally, receive the very best provision we can offer.
I am proud to be a Trustee and Chair of Governors for Solent Academies Trust and I will continue to work with leaders, staff, governors/trustees, and all of our stakeholders, to ensure that the children in our schools are afforded the very best opportunities.
Ray is founder and director of p3m global, a specialist Portfolio, Programme and Project management (P3M) consultancy. In this role he has led a diverse team and worked with a wide range of clients, both domestically and internationally, across various sectors from FTSE 100 to central government.
Ray brings together the change management specialisations he has developed in his field with his experience serving as a City Councillor for Southampton City Council, as well as the outreach work, he does for the PMI Educational Foundation which brings project management expertise to organisations around the World that would otherwise not be able to acquire it.
Philip joined the Solent Academies Trust Board as a trustee in 2019 and has chaired the Finance and General Purposes committee since 2022.
Philip brings extensive experience in commercial strategy and asset transformation. His expertise has been gathered in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, and the United States. Philip is currently the CEO of a start-up focused on addressing climate change. Philip is a Sloan Fellow of the London Business School and holds two engineering degrees from Imperial College London and the University of Birmingham.
I worked within Retail Finance for over 23 years through various roles from Casher to Divisional Director, within Personal and Commercial Management and Leadership roles, managing from 4 to a team of over 4000. I have worked with growing businesses as well as international organisations.
I have also worked within Further and Higher Education initially at Chichester College Group as a Lecturer and then as Director of Higher Education building curriculum to support local and national skills gaps for the incumbent students and those who did not wish or have the capacity to attend University in a standard format.
I currently work as Senior Lecturer at Solent and Winchester Universities specialising on Management and Leadership Strategy which has given me the opportunity to teach utilising me experience within operations, strategy. management and leadership
Originally, I spent the first part of my career working on original research into Protein Biochemistry. After that I spent ~35 years in the pharmaceutical industry in major global, multinational organisations. In that time, I have held many senior positions within the manufacturing, supply, and distribution functions. I operated at Director/Board level and completed my career with Pfizer UK.
I have guided many small company start-ups by helping them obtain Government and private sector loans to finance their business. This also included a significant element of mentoring.
I have also had close links with Portsmouth University Business school and was an active member of their Advisory Board (past Chair) and Chaired their Employability Committee. I am/have been giving my time to other charitable organisations in Trustee /Non-executive director roles. This keeps me busy and learning all the time.
I have been a Trustee at the Solent Academy Trust for 4 years and Chair the Standards Committee together with being a member of the Risk and Audit committee. I also chair the Standards committee.
David is currently the Managing Director of a lighting design and manufacturing company based in Basingstoke, UK. Previously he worked for 16 years in the food manufacturing industry, leading the European and Middle East businesses for a US based parent company. He has also worked within the defence and telecoms industry in a variety of commercial, project management and financial roles.
He brings an overall experience of leading complex organisations, strategy and planning and change management. David is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA from the University of Bath. He has a keen interest in special needs education based on personal family experience. In his spare time David enjoys spending time with his family, keeping fit, travelling, and supporting his favourite football team, Preston North End.
Ruth is an experienced school and system leader who has always had a passion for ensuring that young people with SEND have the best education we can provide for them. Ruth’s experience includes senior leadership in mainstream secondary schools, leading specialist provisions, as the lead school improvement partner for inclusion in a large local authority and currently as CEO of a Multi Academy Trust. The Trust she works with is a partnership of five special schools who am to meet the needs of young people with a range of needs including speech, language and communication, autism, moderate learning difficulties and social, emotional and mental health needs.
Ruth lives in Essex and is married with two children who attended their local mainstream schools, one of whom had special educational needs relating to sight loss and had an EHCP throughout his school career. She brings her personal as well as professional knowledge to this role and is honoured to part of the Solent Academies Trust
Murray joined the Solent Academy Trust Board in the Autumn of 2023, having previously been a Trustee at Dove House Academy School and chair of its Audit and Risk Committee. His grandson is also a pupil at Dove House.
He is the Vice Chair of Old Basing & Lychpit Parish Council and chair of its Planning and Development Committee. Murray’s past experience includes being a director of a statutory Tribunal and, more recently, as Deputy CEO of the oldest and largest of the Inns of Court.
There are four committees of the Board that meet at least termly:
- Risk and Audit Committee, chaired by Ray Mead.
- Staffing and Pay Committee, chaired by Sue Banger.
- Finance and General Purposes Committee, chaired by Philip Slaughter
- Standards Committee, chaired by Gareth Morgan.
The terms of reference for each of the committees is available in the following PDF.
Appointment Details, Attendance Records and Register of Interests
The appointment details, attendance records and register of interest for our current trustees can be found in the PDF below as well as details about resignations and retirements in the last 12 months.
Minutes of Meetings
Minutes from meetings of the Board are available on request by emailing email@example.com