The Trustees set the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the trust. They hold executive leaders to account and oversee the financial performance of the trust.
The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust in compliance with its charitable objects, company and charity law.
Christopher Watt was a founding Member of Tove Learning Trust and is Chair of Trustees. Chris has extensive experience of being a governor for over 20 years at Sponne, with 11 years being Chair of Governors. He has seen the school through foundation, trust and then academy status. Chris was previously Chair of Governors for 5 years at a primary school. Chris is an active trustee representative on many of the local governing bodies and leads the Chairs of Governors group across the MAT.
- 15 years as director and shareholder of a privately owned corporate finance company. Role included business recovery and restructuring, HR, debt recovery and premises management.
- 5 years as a business recovery specialist.
Tove Learning Trust
- CEO of the MAT leading 8 secondary and 3 primary schools across Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes and a regional hub in the West Midlands.
- Previously CEO of Grace Academy Trust from 2014-2019, leading 3 secondary schools across the West Midlands. Grace Academy merged with Tove Learning Trust in April 2019.
- Leads the strategic vision, growth and development of the trust; collaborating with other academies who share our aims and values.
- Proven track record of school improvement: drives improved outcomes for pupils striving for good or outstanding ratings
- Executive Headteacher at Sponne School, an outstanding academy.
Outcomes at Tove Learning Trust
- Led a team of School Improvement Directors to facilitate improvements in teaching and learning in maths and science, with improved GCSE and A level exam results and P8 scores improving year on year.
- Improved governance structures within academy schools, improving challenge and accountability.
- Implemented core service support to increase financial stability and legal compliance.
Outcomes at Grace Academy
- Improved teaching and learning standards significantly along with student outcomes; all 3 have made strong improvement.
- MAT was performing poorly and it was at risk of closing in 2015 by the DfE.
- Implemented an organisational restructure; appointed key leaders; remodelled the central team; effective structures put in place; financial responsibility and accountability established.
- Student numbers have improved strongly and local reputation of academies have strengthened.
- Supported challenging communities e.g. all have around 55% Pupil premium.
- One Academy had the Secretary of State visit in September 2015 as it was the most improved in the Birmingham area.
- NLE work at leadership level, Maths & English support through NSS (National Support School) at Coventry. Impact was that leadership improved in 2013-14, Maths results significantly improved and English went up.
- Worked with two other secondary schools in Northants long term – one for around a year with leadership and Maths support. All had positive impact with improvements in standards; both were through brokering arrangements with the LA.
- Continuing school improvement work with a range of schools demonstrating improvement.
- Consultancy work on Pupil Premium Reviews for schools within the region.
Secondary School Experience
- 2018-date: Rushden Academy; Chair of Governors.
- 2012-17: Sponne School governor; chair of Students & Personnel Committee.
Primary School Experience
- Primary School Governor for 8 years including Chair of Governors for 2 years.
- Previously member of various Governing body sub-committees.
- Working with Diocesan Board of Education with regard to church related priorities.
- Recruitment and selection of Headteachers & Senior Leaders.
- Governor at Primary school level for 10 years.
- Governor at Sponne since 2009. Previously Vice-Chair of Governors at Sponne from 2015 to 2017.
- Chair of Water Hall Primary School Academy Improvement Board.
- Member of TLT Pay and Performance Committee, including oversight of Headteacher Performance Management.
- Headteacher recruitment and selection.
- Safeguarding and safer recruitment experience.
- Works for the NHS supporting children with speech and language difficulties.
- Duncan is a qualified lawyer with an extensive background in various legal firms.
- Duncan has been a Managing Partner at Tollers Solicitors since 2011, and established the first Insolvency Business Unit in Tollers.
- Duncan became Head of Tollers Commercial Services Practice in 2008, and was responsible for the performance and direction of all of the Tollers Commercial Business Units, with leadership of Corporate, Commercial, Real Estate, Dispute Resolution, Employment and Insolvency.
- Recognised in ‘The Lawyer Hot 100’ list in the ‘Leaders’ section in 2015
Leadership and Voluntary Community Experience
- Previously Governor of Tresham College (Higher Education) until 2017
- Active runner and cyclist, taking part in marathons and cycled to Paris as charity fundraising challenges.
- Member of R3 Midlands Region Committee until 2008
Details to follow.
- Chief Information Officer & member of Senior Leadership team at Haas F1 Team
- Responsible for global IT and digital platforms, people, budgets and operations
- 20 years technical and leadership experience in various forms of international motorsport
- Chair and attend multiple core business operational committees for strategy, finance, direction and governance
- Champion of STEM in schools, diversity & inclusion within technology sector and sustainability
Leadership and Voluntary Community Experience
- Trustee of SSNAP (Supporting Sick Newborn and their Parents)
- Scouts group volunteer
- Educational panel member & occasional speaker
- Advisory council member for several global technology companies
- Fellow of the British Computing Society (BCS)