The purpose of governance is to provide confident and strong strategic leadership which leads to robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance. All governance boards have three core functions: 

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction 
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff 
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent 

(Governance Handbook, DFE, March 2019) 

Our Members

Achievement for All Education Trust has four members who have a similar role to the shareholders of a company limited by shares. They have ultimate control over the academy trust, with the ability to appoint some of the trustees and the right to amend the Trusts articles of association. They meet once a year, and their function is eyes on and hands off (DfE Academies Financial handbook, 2019).  

Their responsibilities are that they: 

  • Are subscribers to the memorandum of association (where they are founding members) 
  • May amend the articles of association subject to restrictions created by the funding agreement or charity law 
  • May in certain circumstances, appoint new members or remove existing members 
  • Have the powers to appoint and remove Directors in certain circumstances 
  • May, by special resolution, issue direction to the Directors to take a specific action 
  • Appoint the Trusts auditors and receive the audited accounts (subject to the Companies Act) 
  • Have the power to change the companys name and, ultimately, wind it up 

The Members for Achievement for All Education Trust provide a wide range of perspectives, coming from a wide variety of International business and education backgrounds. (See pen portraits). 

Helen Springett

As Head of School Improvement, Helen has been instrumental in implementing standards and quality of provision for all schools in a MAT.

For the last 12 years, Helen has been a Headteacher and Executive Headteacher for three church schools. Most recently, she led Winchcombe Abbey C of E Primary School on its journey to being graded Outstanding for both Ofsted and SIAM’s in 2016/17.  Helen has also held a number of additional roles, an Ofsted inspector, mentor for new headteachers and Educational consultant.


– First Degree GMUS from Colchester Institute of Higher Education
– PGCE Ruskin University

Date of appointment to board:  1st September 2018

David Stephens

A chartered accountant and business psychologist. David has 25 years’​ commercial CFO/COO/NED experience advising on change management and performance improvement in a diverse range of board roles across commercial and social enterprises.

– Trinity College, Cambridge, BA in Classics
– ACA at Arthur Andersen, London

Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope

Tanya is a senior academic leader with innovative scholarly engagement in educational improvement and effectiveness at a national and international level. 

Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and National Enterprise Educator of the Year 2014, Tanya is effective at both generating and managing large income streams and research projects, while ensuring strategic engagement with educational effectiveness and improvement at both a national and international level.

– University of York, B.A. Hons in Sociology
– University of Plymouth – Certificate in Education
– Oxford Brookes University, Master of Arts (Education)
– Oxford Brookes University, Doctor of Education

Dr Nasser Siabi

CEO at Microlink PC, Nasser is passionate about disability and working towards empowerment of disabled people and helping their educational development. His work includes helping charities to become more business savvy and providing a better service to their user groups. 

– BSc (Hon) Electrical & Electronics Engineering, London
– MSc Microelectronics Systems Design, Southampton
– PhD Microelectronics, Southampton

Our team of Directors

The Directors of Achievement for All Education Trust are both company directors and charity trustees. They need to comply with company law requirements and charity law requirements. At AfA ET they are called Directors to reflect this responsibility, and to differentiate their roles from the trustees of AfA 3As Charity. The Chair of the Board of Directors is a co-opted is invited to attend the Members meetings to ensure that there is a link between the two layers, whilst maintaining the appropriate separation to ensure that Members hold Directors to account. The CEO and Deputy CEO attend all Directors meetingsas observers. The Directors meet six times a year, and their core responsibilities include: 

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction 
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff 
  • Overseeing and ensuring effective financial performance to achieve economy, efficiency and effectiveness (value for money). 

Dr Coleen Jackson (Chair Directors)

An experienced senior leader, Coleen has an education background in schools, and an interest in education reform, leadership standards and designing leadership programmes. Coleen has worked with central and local government as well as leadership teams at all levels in a consultancy capacity. Alongside her own consultancy Coleen has been a consultant with the National College for Teaching and Leadership, DFE, and is a Director of two Education Companies in the UK.

Coleen’s expertise in education includes financial management, governance and school improvement.

– University of Sheffield – Cert Ed
– Open University – Arts and Education
– University of London – Dip Ed, Theory of Education
– University of London MA, Curriculum Studies and Management
– Diploma Theological Studies
– Lincoln and Humberside University – EdD, International Educational Leadership

Date of appointment to board:  1st September 2018

Mark Larby

A highly effective and versatile senior manager with substantial business acumen across multiple sectors, Mark has a successful track record leading transformation into both public and private organisations in line with business objectives.

Mark is also an elected Chair of Governors at a Secondary School in Newbury.

– University of Winchester, MBA

Date of appointment to board:  1st September 2018

David Marson

David has 25 years of experience as a senior manager, director and consultant to SME technology-based companies. He specialises in value creation, business strategy and financial management.

David is a current Director and Investor in Baked In Ltd, involved with fundraising, guiding the commercial growth, and setting up of appropriate company systems.

– University of Oxford, Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Date of appointment to board:  1st September 2018

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