The Strategic Board of Trustees is responsible for, and oversees, the management and administration of the Trust and the academies run by the Trust. The Strategic Board consists of the following:
Michael Tait (Chair, re-appointed 23 September 2020)
Mike is an international chairman with 23 years’ experience in building or turning around private equity backed companies. Mike has worked with many leading names in private equity such as 3i, Electra Europe, Sovereign Capital, Advent International and Milestone Capital, and banks such as RBS, Hambros and Investec.
Most recently, Mike was chairman of 23.5 Degrees, the leading UK Starbucks franchise network where he presided over a period of considerable growth to 40 stores and Drive-Thrus and the achievement of considerable growth in revenues and profits.
Christina Kenna (CEO and Trustee, appointed 1 April 2013)
Christina is the CEO and Accounting Officer of the HEART Education Trust. With over 25 years’ experience in education and 18 years at senior leadership level in primary and middle schools, Christina is also an ex Ofsted Inspector, a Local Leader of Education (NCSL accredited) and a Pupil Premium Reviewer. Christina founded the Trust and project-managed the academy conversion of the Trust’s sponsor academy.
During her time as headteacher of the Trust’s sponsor academy (Heartsease Primary Academy), Christina took the school from “well below” to “at and above” National floor targets in less than five years, with the school being recognised as within the top 20% in the country for securing improvement for deprived pupils (2013). Christina led the school through three successful Ofsted Inspections, with judgements of ‘Good’ and ‘Good with Outstanding Features’ and finally outstanding in 2016. She led and managed the amalgamation of 3 separate schools into an all through primary/nursery and a PFI new build. She also increased number of pupils on roll from under-subscribed to over-subscribed.
Christina holds a B.ed (Hons) Degree, NPQH and Professional Qualification for School Inspection (PQSI). Her strengths lie in school improvement, change management and training future leaders. Christina has been a Magistrate (Justice of the Peace) for the West Suffolk Bench. She has a post graduate certificate in Professional Writing and was previously a member of several operatic societies.
Laura Myles (Trustee, appointed 6 March 2017 and appointed Chair of Finance Committee on 22 June 2021)
Laura currently works at a HE/FE College in Norwich. She has previously worked at a high school in Norwich and with the associated feeder schools, this included working with groups of Senior Leaders, Governors and specialist staff. She has experience of working with schools in disadvantaged areas, including those with higher than the national average for SEN and Pupil Premium. Laura has experience of organising large events, educational visits and enrichment for pupils. Laura has been a member of the Local Governing Body and Local Advisory Board for Heartsease Primary Academy since January 2015, and more recently she has held the role of Chair of the Triad 1 Local Advisory Board across Heartsease and Lingwood Primary Academy.
John Crofts (Trustee, appointed 24 July 2019)
Julie is an Education Consultant. She has been headteacher of a primary school and has held senior management positions as an Associate General Adviser, Primary Strategy Consultant Leader and School Workforce Adviser. She has specific expertise in Primary Curriculum and Early Years. Julie served as a Her Majesty’s Inspector for 12 years retiring from this role on 31 December 2019. She spent eight of these years on Ofsted’s central training team. Julie has trained over 200 HMI, and over 2000 Ofsted Inspectors. She continues to inspect schools as an Ofsted Inspector.
Becki is a Marketing Consultant at Aviva where she is aligned to the commercial insurance business; delivering B2B marketing campaigns to insurance brokers and their clients. With two years dedicated to Aviva’s Global Corporate and Specialty function, she has worked alongside Client Relationship Managers on new business pitches for large corporates with premiums in excess of £1m. Previously Becki was responsible for developing and implementing the social media strategy for AXELOS; IP owner of globally recognised project management and IT qualifications such as PRINCE2 and ITIL, formally owned by the Cabinet Office. With qualifications in both traditional and digital marketing, as well as project management, Becki brings her experience of both internal and external communications to the Board of Trustees
Hazel is the Trust’s Company Secretary and Chief Operating Officer. Educated at Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge, Hazel spent over three years working at the forefront of academy conversion, at one of the top law firms in the sector. Her background means that she has an in-depth knowledge of the obligations that the Trust faces as an academy, a charitable trust, a company and an educational provider. Prior to her legal role in the academy sector, Hazel gained experience in business development and turnaround, having worked in a leading UK bank where she managed a portfolio of commercial clients in financial distress. Hazel was a director of the Trust for six months, until she stepped down from the Strategic Board to accept her role as the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer.
In the past 12 months the following Trustees have resigned from the Strategic Board:
- J Steward (resigned 16 August 2020)
- D Tibble (resigned 23 September 2020)
- J Bell (removed 23 September 2020)
- J Morse (resigned 9 November 2020)
- J McAtear (removed 13 January 2021)
- J Knowlden (resigned 21 May 2021)
- F Rose (resigned 24 June 2021)
- T Payne (resigned 1 July 2021)