Meet our Trustees
Sue Brackenbury - SEN and Pupil Premium
The current Vice Chair of Trustees. After a career of more than 40 years in post-16 education, both as a teacher and as a manager, Sue retired in 2013 and volunteered as a school governor. She was appointed to the governing body of the Great Oaks Federation and also to the governing body of the Frithville and New York Federation; in September 2014 she was elected Chair of both governing bodies. She is now the newly elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Horncastle Education Trust and Chair of the local governing body for Frithville and New York primary academies. Sue has been committed to education for her entire career and is passionate about lifelong learning. She left school at the age of 16 with ‘O’ levels but through part-time study, she gained many qualifications, both skills-based and professional including a certificate in education and a master’s degree. She taught a range of subjects in areas of business and teacher training as well as administrative skills and English for speakers of other languages. Sue’s background in management is also very varied and she is able to apply the skills she acquired to the role of governor and chair. In 2015 she completed the Chair of Governors Development Programme run by the National College of School Leadership and in 2017 she was designated a Local Leader of Governance. She is trained to undertake external reviews of governance (ERGs).
Rick Chipperfield - Data and Curriculum
Over the past 20 years, Rick has been involved with helping children in many different ways. After working as a teaching assistant in a local special needs school, a local secondary school and two mainstream primary schools, he completed his teacher training through the graduate teacher programme. Since then he has spent 10 years teaching in a village primary school in all key stage two classes. During this time, Rick was fortunate to be both a staff and parent governor. Currently working at a small primary school in a head of school position. Out of school, he is also the chairman of a junior football club which is still going strong after 20 years. His varied roles have helped to not only develop a strong understanding of what effective child centred education looks like but also to appreciate different ways of strategic school improvement.
Stuart Griffiths - Health and Safety
Stuart first became a school Governor when his, now teenage, children were at Primary School. During this time, he has served as both Chair and Vice Chair. Stuart became a Governor at St Thomas in 2010, serving immediately as Vice Chair, and continued in the role as they joined the Great Oaks Governing body, when St Thomas federated with Wyberton Primary School. For a number of years, he has also served as a Trustee of a local Pre School and is part way through a new building project with them, to facilitate their growth. This has involved liaising with local planners, Lincolnshire County Council and commercial banking. In 2011 Stuart started two businesses, after working in the third sector for eight years. He continues to manage two limited companies manufacturing and retailing window dressings. In the last few years one of businesses has developed into an online retailer, which now accounts for half of the group turnover. Stuart takes a particular interest in the finances, staffing and property management in school and feels that this not only gives him an opportunity to give back to the local community, but it is also a chance to learn new skills for himself.
Declan McLoughlin - Legal & HR
Declan is an experienced trustee with a strong legal background, having read Law at Queen Mary University of London and now working in the Pro Bono Management function at Linklaters LLP – where he regularly deals with compliance, legal and risk issues in the context of charities and non-profits. He also regularly appears before the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security) on behalf of disabled individuals to challenge Personal Independence Payment decisions taken by the DWP.
Alongside this, Declan is the Founder and Chair of Channels CIO, a Careers, Access & Outreach that provides pro bono consultancy to schools on their CAIEG provision and supports the development of the 8 skillsbuilder essential skills in disadvantaged students across the East Midlands through bespoke programmes that target Gatsby Benchmarks 2, 5 6 and 7. At Channels, Declan developed the entire governance structure in collaboration with pro bono counsel, tailoring it to fit the needs of a small micro-charity while maintaining high quality checks and balances on decision making. In addition to the governance role, he also holds the relationships with several schools and corporates.
Declan draws on a unique pool of lived experience, having grown up in a household facing multiple disadvantages in Lincolnshire, and being a young trustee at the age of 22. This experience provides a unique perspective on the board, particularly around safeguarding legal compliance – which Declan has a particular interest in and is a qualified designated safeguarding officer.
Wayne Norrie FCCT - Safeguarding
Wayne is a qualified teacher with 25 years of experience with 22 years of Senior Management experience. He has undertaken a variety of roles including Headteacher, Senior Local Authority Officer and Senior Her Majesty’s Inspector for Ofsted. Wayne is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Greenwood Academies Trust, serving over 18,000 children and young people across 37 primary, secondary and special schools in the East Midlands and East of England.
Wayne has a deep-rooted commitment to raising educational standards for all children and young people, by providing them with high quality learning experiences. His vision for education embraces the local culture of each academy, promoting, demonstrating and celebrating diversity, inclusion and equality. Wayne believes a school should ensure that young people are able to take a full and active place in society, regardless of any barriers they may face.
Claire Welberry - Finance
After obtaining a degree in Accounting and Finance, from Nottingham Trent University, Claire joined a local firm of Chartered Accountants and three years later, qualified as a member of the ICAEW. She now has over twenty years of post-qualification experience. During her career she has worked in both Accountancy Practice and also within the Manufacturing, Travel and Agricultural industries as a Company Accountant, Project Accountant and Internal Auditor. These roles included producing monthly and year end accounts, VAT returns, Personal and Corporation tax, payroll, Human Resources, budgeting and cash flow forecasts, KPI’s, and both internal and external auditing. She returned to Accountancy practice in 2006 and after a few years became involved in the Academy school sector, preparing year end accounts, carrying out Responsible Officer visits and advising various academies on VAT and other tax matters. In 2012 Claire moved from Accountancy practice and became the Finance/HR Director for a medium sized secondary grammar school, in fact the same school she had attended herself as a child. She is now responsible for not only the Finance, payroll and HR functions within the school but also oversees both the Premises and Catering departments as well. Claire was the Treasurer for Gipsey Bridge Pre-School PTFA from 2005 to 2007, and became the Treasurer for Gipsey Bridge Primary School PTFA from 2008 to 2010. In 2012 Claire had the opportunity to become a school Governor at Gipsey Bridge Primary School, the school her two sons attended at that time. She continued in this role for three years. She is now the Treasurer for QEGS Horncastle PTFA and will remain in this role until 2021. Claire became a Trustee for Infinity Academies Trust in 2020.
Sean Westaway - Audit and Chair of Trustees
Sean has been a School Governor since 2004 and a Chair of Governors since 2006, first in a VC CE Primary School but is now the current Chair of the Infinity Academies Trust, a 7 school Majority Church of England Primary MAT based in Lincolnshire.
Designated as a National Leader of Governance between 2015 and 2021, Sean was trained to carry out External Reviews of Governance (ERG). He received extremely positive feedback from the LA (Lincolnshire) and his support work was highlighted in Ofsted reports and featured in articles produced by KYRA Teaching School and Forum Strategy both focussing on rapid school improvement and his role in achieving this.
Sean has completed numerous governor Training courses including NLG Masterclasses and has worked with all of what were the Lincolnshire Teaching Schools to improve governance for all partner Schools and Trusts.
Sean has Chaired Independent Complaints Panels and has worked with MAT boards and Maintained School boards to improve all apsect of their governance, through Reviews of Governance, mentoring of Chairs or Full Governing Bodies and periods acting as an Associate Governor to model good governance.
Sean is very passionate about governance in Lincolnshire, especially Boston and East Lindsey as traditionally these areas have not been well supported. He also provides free training to new governors and update training to existing governors through governor forums which are run 3 times per year. This enables him to reach the maximum number of governors he can, to provide them with much needed advice, guidance and support.