The role of a Director
Our Board of Directors are responsible for making strategic decisions about the running of the Trust. They play a critical role in accountability, effectiveness and standards and have duties as both directors (under company law) and trustees (under charity law).
The day to day running of the schools within the Trust is delegated to the Local Schools Committee and is regularly monitored to ensure high educational standards.
Our Directors bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Trust.
Chair of the Board of Directors / Chair of the Ethos, Learning & Standards Committee
Gill Marlow was a hospital and community pharmacist for 20 years. She retrained and taught secondary maths and science to GCSE for 15 years including six years as Head of Year, leading a team of 13 tutors with 350 pupils. She ran the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme for 15 years and as a Mountain Leader she trained expedition teams for this award. She also trained teams for Ten Tors Expeditions. Her relevant skills are in leadership in Education, Maths and Science and also Data. As a governor she was the maths and data governor, the Chair of the Teaching & Learning Committee, the Chair of the Admissions Committee, on the Ethos Committee and Vice-Chair and then Chair of the Board of Governors.
Matt worked for the NHS for 23 years before leaving due to ill health. During that time he progressed from an apprenticeship in the pharmacy department to running projects at National level. Matt specialised initially in recruitment and retention, then job evaluation with responsibilities across the South West, before moving into Quality Management of Education for doctors in training, and finally implementation of Patient Record systems and training end users. Matt has qualifications in Project Management, HR and Employment Law, as well as over 20 years experience of supporting and representing staff as a workplace representative of the Unite Union. Matt has been a school governor for two Church of England primary schools in North Devon over a period of almost 8 years, chairing their Finance and Resources committees, as well as advising on HR issues and recruitment.
Sam has a varied background across leadership and coaching positions in the Army, as a Captain in the Royal Signals, and in Financial Services. A Chartered Wealth Manager and now director and business owner of Wood Mitchell Financial Planning, the thread that runs through Sam’s professional experiences is education. Passionate about social mobility and education for all, Sam has worked with schools, further and higher education organisations in supporting their financial education and leadership development over the last 20 years and has joined Alumnis MAT to support the strategic development of the trust. Sam is a mother of 4 and is part of a family that loves sports and the outdoors, and she is a keen Triathlete herself.
Trust Safeguarding Non-Exectutive Director
Sue Denham has worked in education for the last 35 years. Initially working as a teacher, deputy headteacher, acting headteacher and advisor in Lincolnshire before moving to North Devon in 2007 to become headteacher at a rural primary school. She was then asked to become an executive headteacher of a church school so both schools joined in a federation, with time divided operationally and strategically across both sites. Sue has great experience working collaboratively with other schools having been part of a cooperative trust and then a multi academy trust. She has led her schools through several ‘good’ OFSTEDs and 2 outstanding SIAMS. She firmly believes that is our duty as educators to do everything we possibly can to provide each child with the best possible education. She is passionate about SEND, SEMH and inclusion. She retired from headship in August 2022, and has retrained to be a wedding and funeral celebrant.
I have worked as an English Teacher for over twenty years in several of our local secondary schools. Earlier in my career, I was a Sen Coordinator which has given me a strong understanding of the barriers some of our young people face in accessing education. I also ran an Off-site facility for students at risk of permanent exclusion from school. On my return to mainstream education, I became a head of year. This time has given me clear insight into the variety of challenges and needs some of our students deal with. It is also why I believe passionately in the character education that drives our students. It gives them the skills they need to face whatever social, emotional or academic challenges come their way. I have two children: Isla, is 8 and attends an Alumnis primary and Seth is 11 and just starting his secondary school journey having graduated from Alumnis Primary School last year. I am totally committed to ensuring that our children get the very best education possible in order for them to reach their full potential both academically and personally.
Robyn has worked in the Facilities Management sector since graduating from the University of Bath in 2003. She has a wealth of experience in senior HR management, and more recently specialised in Reward. She held a position at a Local Schools Committee for a number of years, taking a keen interest in the set up and growth of Alumnis before joining the Alumnis Board as an Associate Director in July 2019. Robyn is passionate about equity for all. Robyn takes a keen interest in the outdoors and sport, and is the mother of 2 sporty children, so she is often found transporting them to events.
Chief Executive Officer
I have led and progressed schools ranging from ‘inadequate to outstanding’. I have also been fortunate to work with schools in wide ranging contexts as a national trainer and consultant, as well as chairing a national board for professional development. Having served communities as a senior leader of education over the last 25 years, the influence of collaboration and shared accountability has been pivotal in transforming people’s beliefs and sense of belonging. As a Board we serve communities from a privileged position, enabling us to influence from within the system but also ‘on the system’, with the ambition to achieve equity and excellence as standard in all classrooms.
Leo is an experienced regulation professional and chartered engineer, with a wide range of skills in regulation, compliance, asset management, investment planning, stakeholder, portfolio, programme and project management. She is currently Director of Performance and Regulatory Compliance at National Highways where she applies her extensive knowledge of infrastructure operation and management to ensure and demonstrate that the Strategic Road Network is efficient and effective. Her role includes responsibility for the stakeholder relationships with the Office of Road and Rail, the Department for Transport and Transport Focus, as well as planning for future investment periods. Previously, she has held parent governor positions at 2 primary schools and a secondary school, leading on a range of portfolios including safety, estate, teaching and learning, PHSE and Vice Chair. She has also sat on her local church PCC and volunteered with Scouts