Our Team

The TLET Executive, Board and Trustees are experts within relevant professions who are values driven and whose overriding concern is the strengthening of communities through its pupils, students and staff.

School improvement is a primary focus of the trust. We believe that improvement is caused through a balance of accountability and professional development. Rigorous accountability measures are set for all schools in the chain with defined minimum progress targets and progress towards these being measured regularly via a Raising Achievement Board.

Executive

James Higham

Chief Executive Officer and Accounting Officer

James was Head Teacher at Henry Hinde Infant School (HHIS). During his time at the school, HHIS has established itself as a successful single status academy with demonstrably high impact on standards for all pupils. Under his leadership, the school’s results improved to significantly above national average in all core subjects from an on entry baseline of below national average. Attainment in foundation subjects and in the Phonics Screening Check has also increased significantly and is now consistently above national average.

As the Head Teacher of the first converter primary academy in Warwickshire, James has first-hand expertise of non-centralised service provision and of the relevant administrative and business management structures that make academies successful.

In addition, James is chairperson for a local cluster of infant, junior and primary schools that provide school-to-school support, and has led a range of initiatives to support improvement across these schools. James has also been a trustee for a local charity. These experiences to date have provided him with a wide range of transferable skills in relation to strategic vision, procedural thinking, professional support and challenge.

ceo@tlet.org.uk

Tracey Burns

Executive Assistant

As Executive Assistant, Tracey fulfils the dual role of clerk to the Board of Trustees and PA to the headteacher of Ashlawn School.

Tracey is experienced in matters of educational governance and regulatory compliance, having served secondary and primary school local governing bodies across Warwickshire and Oxfordshire.

burnst@tlet.org.uk

Laura Howard

Interim Chief Financial Officer

Laura is an experienced Chartered Accountant who has previously worked as the Chief Operating Officer and Bursar of Bilton Grange Preparatory School and the Director of Finance at Epsom College. She has developed a clear insight into the education sector through her employed work, her previous role as Governor and Trustee of the Beacon School in Surrey and her role as a Trustee of the Transforming Lives Educational Trust.

Laura has extensive experience in budget preparation, cost management, budget monitoring and change management. She has significant experience in preparing and presenting reports for many senior stakeholders such as school Governors, bankers and insurers. She has well-developed people management and leadership skills acquired through the various roles that she has undertaken within her career.

Howardl@tlet.org.uk

Directors

Stewart Jardine

Chair

Stewart is an experienced company director. He has worked in a variety of learning and skills focussed organisations. Stewart has experience developing and implementing business strategy and policy and leading the development and quality assurance of new learning programmes. Stewart’s responsibilities have included budget setting and management, recruitment, project management, managing bid processes from government funding agencies and negotiating the resulting contracts with those agencies.

His most recent employment as Director of Operations for Pearson Education included the development, implementation and quality assurance of franchised international qualifications. This project involved significant change management and reduction in costs to ensure that a quality product was provided efficiently, whilst maintaining profitability.

Stewart is currently a self-employed Education Management Consultant and has a range of experience working with a variety of organisations with a focus on auditing business processes, particularly those relating to HR and CPD, and implementing process improvements to improve quality and reduce costs.

Stewart also sits on the MAT Board as Chair and Business Director.

Jardines@tlet.org.uk

Sue Crosson

Higher Education Director

Sue was a Primary teacher for 20 years teaching across Key Stage 1 and 2. She is currently Associate Tutor, Teaching Fellow and Senior Teaching Fellow at WIE/CPE University of Warwick. She has extensive experience of Initial Teacher Education, including, undergraduate, Teach First, School Direct and PGCE Core programmes. She currently delivers modules on Leading and teaching and Professional Studies. Sue is also actively involved in assessing and supporting trainees on placements, developing mentors and supporting colleagues. Sue also leads CPE initiatives relating to safeguarding children and young people, including management of trainees’ compliance with safeguarding regulations.

Sue has detailed knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the current primary and early years teaching and learning landscape, including current research in teaching and learning and the Ofsted framework.

In addition to her professional role, Sue has been Chair of Board of Trustees of charity based in Rugby for the last two years, following 5 years participation in governance of the charity via the Board.

Crossons@tlet.org.uk

Philip Davis

Legal

Philip is a skilled chartered secretary and a non-practicing barrister with experience working in a number of listed companies and large professional services firms.

Philip currently works for Deutsche Bank in Birmingham as the Company Secretary to various companies including the Bank’s Pension Trustee Board. Philip’s current principal responsibilities include meeting preparation, drafting minutes, reviewing legal agreements and advising on governance issues like ‘Board effectiveness’ and ‘risk management’. His role involves a high level of impartiality, a broad understanding of multiple business functions and communicating with various stakeholders including directors, external advisors and internal management/staff.

Philip is a member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn and in 2017 became a Liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

Philip also sits on the MAT Board as Legal Director and Vice Chair.

Davisp@tlet.org.uk

Mike Soley

Safeguarding Director

Mike has been a uniformed police officer for 28 years. He has wide ranging experience as a law trainer, operational supervisor, tactical commander and more recently as national training manager, setting strategy and direction for specialist multi-agency responders across the UK. Mike has a broad range of transferable skills including a good understanding of operational, tactical and strategic command issues and direction, people management and conflict resolution at all levels.

Mike is also an experienced school governor and academy trustee including roles as vice chair and chair of the governors and an academy trust strategic board. Mike has taken a pivotal role in the conversion process from maintained school to academy status in primary schools and is familiar with the legislation and process as well as managing the impact within the academy and seeking to maximise academy freedoms. Mike has valuable experience in holding schools to account educationally and financially as a trustee.

Soleym@tlet.org.uk

April Gold

Trustee

April is Deputy Director of Education for Coventry CofE Diocese. Her role includes liaison with local authority, MAT and DFE stakeholders for 75 Church schools. April leads the team responsible for the Diocesan Service Agreement which is a traded support service for CofE schools. This includes governance, admissions and Christian distinctiveness.

April is resident on the Houlton Development and married to the CofE vicar. Together they are leading a Church plant in St Gabriel’s school and are involved in the intentional formation of community in Houlton working with developers, the school and the local residents association.

April retrained to teach after a successful early career in financial services specialising in the leadership of change and the human resources implications. After gaining QTS April had extensive experience in middle and senior leadership within a large bi-lateral secondary school. April was awarded advanced skills teacher status for Psychology and line managed a number of subject areas including Maths and English.

As an Assistant Head April was responsible for CPD and quality assurance of Teaching and Learning, alongside the whole school skills and enrichment programme.

Golda@tlet.org.uk

Nichola Watson

Trustee

Nichola is a board level Chief Executive with a demonstrable history working in the non-for-profit sector.

Skilled in Ethics, change management, negotiation, business planning, communication and governance. As a strategic thinker, she enjoys various voluntary governance roles within the education sector.

Nichola is a strong leadership professional with a degree in Politics/Law and educated to Post Graduate level. Nichola has recently been awarded an Advanced membership of the Institute of Directors.

Nichola is currently a governor at a primary school (non-MAT) and is the chair of the standards committee. Nichola also sits on the Evaluation Panel for Mandatory Changes (Politics).

Watsonn@tlet.org.uk

Vacancy

Members

Philip Davis

Legal

Philip is a skilled chartered secretary and a non-practicing barrister with experience working in a number of listed companies and large professional services firms.

Philip currently works for Deutsche Bank in Birmingham as the Company Secretary to various companies including the Bank’s Pension Trustee Board. Philip’s current principal responsibilities include meeting preparation, drafting minutes, reviewing legal agreements and advising on governance issues like ‘Board effectiveness’ and ‘risk management’. His role involves a high level of impartiality, a broad understanding of multiple business functions and communicating with various stakeholders including directors, external advisors and internal management/staff.

Philip is a member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn and in 2017 became a Liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

Philip also sits on the MAT Board as Legal Director and Vice Chair.

Davisp@tlet.org.uk

Stewart Jardine

Chair

Stewart is an experienced company director. He has worked in a variety of learning and skills focussed organisations. Stewart has experience developing and implementing business strategy and policy and leading the development and quality assurance of new learning programmes. Stewart’s responsibilities have included budget setting and management, recruitment, project management, managing bid processes from government funding agencies and negotiating the resulting contracts with those agencies.

His most recent employment as Director of Operations for Pearson Education included the development, implementation and quality assurance of franchised international qualifications. This project involved significant change management and reduction in costs to ensure that a quality product was provided efficiently, whilst maintaining profitability.

Stewart is currently a self-employed Education Management Consultant and has a range of experience working with a variety of organisations with a focus on auditing business processes, particularly those relating to HR and CPD, and implementing process improvements to improve quality and reduce costs.

Stewart also sits on the MAT Board as Chair and Business Director.

Jardines@tlet.org.uk

Gift Matinyarare

Finance

Gift is an experienced charted accountant. Gift is currently a senior financial analyst for the Aster Group, a social enterprises not for profit organisation. He has previously worked as a financial analyst in an international engineering company and an international bank. Gift also has experience training accountants and financial analysts in a further education college and has also worked as a financial administrator in Local Government.

Gift’s skills set includes: data mining and analytics, budget formulation management and control, cash management, month end processes, preparation of balance sheet, income statements and cash flows and maintenance review and control of business processes.

Alongside his paid employment Gift is an experienced Charity Trustee for a Faith based organisation. He has previously also acted as Secretary and Treasurer for the Board of Trustees.

Matig@tlet.org.uk

Nigel Snook

Business/Educational Strategist

Nigel Snook was the former Chief Executive of Education Development International which was formed by the merger in December 2002 of GOAL plc and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations Board. Acquired by Pearson in 2011, EDI was among the top Awarding Organisations of vocational education in the UK and high stakes international exams.

Working closely with the Board of Directors Nigel was responsible for all aspects of EDI’s business strategy including that of compliance with its obligations as a public company.

Previously Nigel was Chief Executive of Lantra Trust which operates the Sector Skills Council for environmental and land-based industries. Whilst at Lantra Nigel Chaired Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership working with the local Connexions Services and Next Step contract for the West Midlands.

Nigel began his career with the Department of Employment and subsequently worked for the Manpower Services Commission for 12 years in a range of local, regional and national roles involved with vocational education and training. For two years he was Private Secretary to Sir Bryan Nicholson, the MSC Chairman and headed up the MSC’s largest area office operation covering Birmingham and Solihull.

Nigel is an MBA and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, the Chartered Management Institute and the Royal Society of Arts and brings a wealth of experience in the management of publicly funded institutions and relationship with the Regulators.

Snookn@tlet.org.uk

Vacancy