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Governance

PPAT operates a structure as below:

Members

Members have the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the Trust is delivering its charitable objective of "advancing public education in the United Kingdom" and delivering its vision of "Being the best we can be".

Members hold the Board of Directors to account for the effectiveness of governance across the trust, They receive a bi-annual report from the Board and can appoint or remove Directors.

The founding members of a trust determined its Articles of Association, a legal document which set out the Trust's governance structure and how it will operate.

Our current members are:

Alan Miller (Chair)

Alan has run his own business carrying out general building repairs and maintenance.  In the past Alan has served as Chair and Vice Chair of the Governing Body of a maintained school.  Alan’s particular area of expertise is Health and Safety and he acted as the link Governor for a number of years.  During this time he regularly conducted site tours with the Site Manager.

Andy Weston

Andy is a Chartered Certified Accountant who works in the commercial sector but also has extensive experience from working in public sector organisations.  Andy was previously been a Governor at Preston Primary for 8 years during which time he has chaired the Finance and Premises Committee and has been the Vice Chair of Governors.

Jo Boyland

Jo currently works as a business manager in a Somerset secondary school.

Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) Representative

Paul Murley was appointed as the DBE representative in March 2024. Now retired, Paul was the engineering services manager at AgustaWestlands and a founder member of the AgustaWestlands Christian Fellowship. Paul served as a governor of a maintained secondary school and of a primary school before serving a number of terms as a Director of Preston Primary Academy Trust.

Directors (Trustees) 

The terms academy director and academy director mean the same thing and represent the same level of governance. Our Articles of Association are based on those for Church Academies and we use the term Directors to describe people governing at this tier.

The Board of Directors ensures that Trust business is conducted in compliance with company and charity law and is ultimately responsible for delivering the core functions of governance

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the trust’s schools and their pupils, and the performance management of staff.
  • Overseeing and ensuring effective financial performance 

Our Trust has 8 directors. 4 directors are appointed by Members; 2 foundation directors are appointed by the Bath and Wells Diocese Board of Education. The Chief Executive Officer is automatically a director and the final director is co-opted by the board.

Mike Kerrigan (Chair)

In his professional life Mike has experience of working in Finance and Information Technology.  He is currently self-employed as an IT Consultant and spends his time designing solutions, identifying issues and writing software for large global IT systems.  The systems supported fully integrate all areas of business operations including sales, purchasing, finance, manufacturing and distribution.  Mike also manages development projects for his clients and occasionally provides training and guidance to users and other developers. 

Mike became a Governor at Preston Primary School in 2007, he became Chair in 2009, during which time the school improved its Ofsted rating from Satisfactory to Outstanding. He then became Chair of Preston Primary Academy Trust in 2013. He was designated as a National Leader of Governance in March 2013 and is involved in advising other new Chairs in the local area in order to secure school improvement.

Bernie Green (CEO)

Bernie was previously Head teacher at Preston Primary for 10 years, taking the school from a “satisfactory” judgement prior to her arrival, to “outstanding” in January 2012.  She was key in the decision to convert to Academy status in November 2013.  Prior to this appointment at Preston, Bernie was Head teacher at Abbas and Templecombe Primary School for 9 years.  This school was awarded an outstanding Judgement in 2006 and 2009.  Her track record in school improvement is unquestionable.  As a National Leader of Education, she has been involved in supporting school improvement in many schools over the past 14 years; initially through programmes such as the ISP (Improving School Programme).  Bernie is committed to a collaborative approach in providing an excellent education for all pupils.  As joint lead in the Wessex Teaching School she plans and delivers Leadership and School improvement training across Somerset.  Sponsorship of other schools is a natural development of this work.  During her 10 years at Preston Primary School she has developed a strong, capable team who are enthusiastic and excited about the prospect of sponsorships through a Multi Academy Trust structure.  Capacity within the Academy is excellent.

Lucy Iddon

Lucy is a qualified ACA accountant and is currently working for the fashion company Mulberry. She previously worked for Deloitte UK as an assistant manager.

Peter Strange

Peter is a retired secondary teacher of English. During his teaching career he held a number of departmental and school leadership roles including Head of English and Assistant Head. He was responsible for managing pupil primary/secondary transition arrangements. Before his teaching career, Peter worked as a researcher at the BBC

Louise Orton (foundation)

After studying for an Economics degree and PGCE in Mathematics, her career has been in education: teaching Maths, Head of Maths and school leadership in schools both in the UK and overseas. She was appointed Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning) at Sherborne Girls school (known for its all-round education and Christian foundation) in January 2014. Her specific skills include performance management of staff, recruitment, curriculum design, school timetabling and meeting the individual needs of pupils. She has a DSL level 3 qualification and is a trained team inspector of overseas independent schools.

Peter Levey

Peter is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (FCA) and has been in practice for over 40 years.  His expertise lies in all matters financial and fiscal.  Peter has also been a school governor for about 8 years in total and has gained experience in that field.  

Sue Schaffer

Sue was invited to join GKN Aerospace as a Global Learning and Development Officer following the closure of the GKN Yeovil site in 2017. She is responsible for developing training programmes and for the Learning & Development system for a global audience of over 67000 people.  Sue is highly experienced and has worked within Human resources for over 25 years as an HR Generalist covering all aspects within the function. Previous experience within education includes carrying out the role of Clerk to Governors to a local primary school and being on the governing board at Templecombe School.

Foundation directors promote the Christian distinctiveness and values of our Church schools but responsibility is shared by all directors.

Finance, Audit and Premises Committee

This committee has oversight and responsibility for the finances, personnel and premises of the Trust. Its decisions and recommendations are reported to the Board of Directors. Members, who are all directors, are appointed to the committee according to their skills.

Committee members are:

Lucy Iddon

Mike Kerrigan

Bernie Green

Louise Orton

Peter Levey (Committee Chair)

Governors

The Board of Directors has delegated some of its governance functions to Local Governing bodies. They are particularly responsible for:

•             holding the Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
•             ensuring school level policies reflect school ethos and values
•             monitoring that Trust policies are followed
•             engaging with the school's stakeholders.

Together with the Head Teacher, they set the school vision and strategy.

All LGBs have 2 elected parent governors to fulfil the statutory requirement that governance places are reserved for parents.

Church schools have 2 foundation governors appointed by the Bath and Wells Diocesan Board of Education.

Details of LGB membership can be found on the governance documents page.

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