James Hargrave (Chair of Trustees)
James holds a senior IT management position at the University of Cambridge where he is responsible for the strategic leadership and operational management of IT across the 11 institutions of the School of Arts and Humanities. He also holds the post of IT Director of Newnham College, Cambridge. He previously held senior IT management positions at University College London and the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. He has a degree in Theology.
James was the Chair of Governors at Stradbroke CE Primary School from 2006-2015 and was chair of the federation between Laxfield and Stradbroke since its creation in 2015 until 2018. He was appointed as a National Leader of Governance in January 2016 and supports Chairs and governing bodies across East Anglia. He recently supported a Suffolk school that joined a MAT as a sponsored academy. James delivers training for school governors for Primary East teaching schools alliance.
James is heavily involved in the local community in Stradbroke and is Vice-Chairman and Secretary of the Stradbroke Courthouse and Library Trust. He is also involved with a local community radio station Radio Stradbroke, and is Chair of Stradbroke Parish Council.
Nancy Ford (Vice-Chair of Trustees)
Nancy has a degree in law and following obtaining that qualification went on to work as both a solicitor, where she prepared and reviewed extensive documentation and pleadings, and as a barrister specialising in the fields of domestic abuse and child protection. Following on from that work, she went on to do tribunal representation and appeals.
She has extensive experience in board level representation and chairing. She has sat on boards at local, area and national levels and has been both a member and chair of NHS complaints panels. She also spent a number of years on the board of a not for profit Housing Association spending a lot of that time working in the area of strategic planning.
Nancy is actively involved in the family business and has also supported her local community by serving on the Eye Town Council where she spent a number of years as Chair of the Finance and Governance committee. She is a past mayor of the town, a trustee of the Grammar School Trust and very involved in a number of other local organisations and charities.
She has been a governor at St. Peter and St. Paul CEVAP School in Eye for 9 years and has been Chair of Governors for the past 2 1/2 years.
Thomas Jarrett (Chair of Finance and Audit Committee)
Thomas is currently the Business Manager at Thomas Mills High School (TMHS); an oversubscribed, Ofsted outstanding and high achieving 11-18 converter academy. As a member of the Senior Management Team, he is the academies Chief Financial Officer, overseeing all financial matters as well as premises, capital projects, management of support staff and income generation.
Prior to joining TMHS in 2012 Thomas primarily worked in industry within business development and marketing roles. He has managed sales teams, factories and even a winery.
At board level, past experience includes as a trustee of the Suffolk Education Business Partnership, trustee of the Framlingham & District Development Trust and as a member representative on the Suffolk Tourism Partnership.
Thomas holds a BA (Hons) in Politics, an MBA with distinction and a Diploma in Management Consultancy. Since 2010, he has been a foundation governor at Ss. Peter & Paul Primary School in Eye.
Isobel Hunter (Chair of HR Committee)
Isobel has over 30 years’ experience in operational and strategic Human Resource Management. She held senior roles in the British Council and was Human Resources Director for Plan (formerly Plan International) and English Heritage. Latterly, she worked as an independent consultant specialising in organisational design and development and governance. This independent work also included chairing assessment panels to recruit judges on behalf of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). Isobel retired from consultancy work in 2014 and from the JAC in March 2017.
Isobel was a trustee of ODI (Overseas Development Institute) for 12 years reaching the end of her term in December 2016. She is currently a trustee of RedR (since 2007) continuing her interest and belief in the importance of international development.
She has been a governor of Wortham Primary School since 2009 and has held the position of Vice Chair, is currently Chair of the Personnel Committee, is a member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee and of the HT Performance Review group. She believes strongly that the best possible individual progress for every child is an essential key goal.
Isobel also has a strong interest in the local community – she was a leading member of the group that produced the Village Design Statement, is currently secretary of, and an active player in, Wortham Tennis Club, and is a member of the Open Gardens committee.
Melanie Barrow (CEO)
Melanie started teaching in 2002 after completing a degree in English Literature and Philosophy, and her PGCE. She became a Headteacher in 2007 and has a sustained, highly successful track record of school improvement. As a National Leader of Education she has worked with vulnerable schools supporting system leadership.
She has a long held interest in special Educational Needs and has a Masters Degree in Special Needs/ Inclusive Education. Her research focuses included researching effective strategies to cater for Autistic pupils.
Melanie has acted as an Ambassador for Headship for the National College of School Leadership and has a particular interest in Initial Teacher Training, leading in this area and establishing links with various local providers.
She often acts in the Executive Headteacher role across several schools including to support schools in Special Measures. She was the leader of Stradbroke Primary when it received NTCL Designated Support school status. She lead several schools to Outstanding judgements.
Jill has an extensive experience of education, from training as a teacher in the 1960s at Bishop Lonsdale College of Education to 23 years as headteacher of three very different primary schools.Her work on post graduate diplomas in education at the Cambridge Institute and the UEA led to a secondment across primary schools in Suffolk developing Records of Achievement, training future senior leaders and chairing a group to produce a curriculum document for teachers in early years settings across the County.
Upon retirement in 2006 her interest in school improvement continued through providing support to acting head teachers and as a governor at three primary schools with six years as Chair of Governors at All Saints CEVAP Laxfield.
Apart from educational interests Jill has a lifelong love of boating on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads and has served on the Broads Local Access Forum. She enjoys researching the history of Broadland and has an ever growing collection of books relating to this.
As a trustee Jill's experience would enable her to have total commitment to help develop outstanding and ground breaking education in the school communities.
As a ‘Suffolk boy’, he has enjoyed his entire working life in village schools, 27 years a headteacher. He is five years retired and working enthusiastically in a family based self-sufficiency horticultural project.
At present he is active in his village community as vice-chair of the parish council, tree warden , a school Governor, coordinator of Fressingfield Community Gardeners and at present, president of the Suffolk Division of the NUT. He is a Charity Trustee for Glemsford United Charities, recently promoting affordable housing.
As a grandparent he is aware of the changing and challenging circumstance that education in our part of Suffolk finds itself. Thereby the opportunity to join with some enlightened others to form a sustainable, ethical and sensitive support structure for pupils’ learning, teachers’ teaching and communities’ educational provision is most attractive. He would hope to offer some experience in the area as well as a readiness to seek fresh solutions to challenges encountered. Through being an active governor and school volunteer as well as an NUT contributor, he has kept in touch with education’s challenges and potentials both locally and across Suffolk.
The community of Fressingfield will very much benefit from the cooperative approach embodied in the Trust and he looks forward to making a contribution, at least in these early stages.
Peter is currently a Relationship Director, Real Estate for Barclays Bank in the Eastern region. He has worked in financial services for over 20 years across East Anglia. During this time, he has supported clients starting up in business, acquisition, growth and succession planning. Providing finance and other services across a variety of industries with the last seven years in the real estate sector.
Out of work, Peter has a keen interest in cycling, keeping fit and exploring the Suffolk countryside where he has grown up with his family.
As a trustee, he hopes his business and financial experience will contribute to the trust being successful and forward thinking for the benefit of all pupils across all of the schools.