Biographies - Trustees
John Dickson (Chair)
Emma has been a registered nurse since 1999 with clinical experience in various settings, including working in schools. Since September 2015, Emma has worked in health and social care regulation for the Care Quality Commission and currently is the national Head of Registration for Primary Medical Services and Hospitals. Prior to that she worked as a senior research fellow at The University of Southampton.
Emma has a PhD in Health Sciences. Her strengths lie in her objectivity, strategic and critical thinking and with analysing and interpreting data (both quantitative and qualitative) and statistics plus evaluating the impact of interventions and governance. Emma holds a BSc (Hons) in Health and Social care and an MSc in Health and Rehabilitation.
Emma stepped down from her positions as Chair of Governors at St Johns’ First School and Member of Wimborne Academy Trust to take up the role of Trustee from July 2017 and is the safeguarding lead trustee. She has three children who attend Trust schools.
Emma currently sits on the Performance and Standards Committee.
Peter is Vicar of St John’s Church, Wimborne in the Salisbury Diocese since 2011, with a budget of over £300,000 and a staff of eight. He is a Trustee and Director of the Latimer Trust (a theological publishing house). Peter has been a Governor and Academy Committee member at St John’s First School, Wimborne from 2011 to 2018. He sat on the Steering and Interim Board of Wimborne Academy Trust since the beginning of 2014.
Peter was financially trained prior to ordination by the Civil Service as an internal auditor. He has previously been a Governor at Moulton School, a large secondary school and Science College (2006-11), Moulton Primary School in Northamptonshire (1992-2000) and Bexton Infant School (now Primary), Knutsford Cheshire (1988-91).
Peter currently sits on the Finance, Audit and Assets Committee and the Staffing and Remuneration Committee.
Hilary is an Education Adviser providing support, challenge, advice and professional development opportunities to headteachers, governors and other school and academy leaders across the region and beyond. Following successful school leadership experience as a SENCo, deputy headteacher and headteacher she moved into a senior officer role with Bournemouth Local Authority as a Quality Assurance and Development Inspector with responsibility for special educational needs and provision for gifted and talented learners across all schools. Following some time as a Senior Inspector she became the Strategic Lead for Education Improvement for Vulnerable Learners aged 0-25 providing school improvement advice to schools and academies across the age range and acting as School Improvement Partner and External Adviser to governing bodies. She also provided strategic leadership for the Educational Psychology Service, the Statutory SEN Team and the Virtual School for Looked After Children and led much of the work to implement the government’s reforms to the SEN Framework across the Pan-Dorset region.
Since leaving Bournemouth Local Authority in 2015 her successful track record of working with a wide range of schools and learners, including those in more challenging circumstances, has led to Hilary’s skills and expertise in school improvement and system leadership being sought by a range of schools, academies, teaching schools, local authorities and other organisations across the country. Her drive to improve outcomes for all learners, with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable to underachievement, underpins all her work with school leaders, classroom practitioners, pupils and their families. Hilary is actively involved at a national level in the development of policy and practice in respect of children and young people with special educational needs.
She holds an MA in Education, BA in Education, PGCE, NPQH, and Advanced Diploma in Special Education. Hilary is also a trained coach and facilitator and assessor for the NPQH and NPQSL. She contributes to the Master’s level SENCo Accreditation course in partnership with the University of Exeter as both a lecturer and member of the management group on behalf of Linwood Teaching School Alliance.
Hilary is the School Improvement Partner for Linwood School, a member of the Tregonwell Academy Advisory Committee, and joined Wimborne Academy Trust as a Trustee in August 2017.
Hilary currently Chairs the Performance and Standards Committee and sits on the Staffing and Remuneration Committee and Growth Committee.
Noel has spent the majority of his career in senior finance & commercial roles in global companies ranging from Cleaning to Technology to Drinks, starting in the City of London and living in Russia, the USA and Italy along the way.
He came with his family to Wimborne in 2008 to work as CFO & Executive Director at Condor Ferries, and to invest more time in the education of his 4 children who between them attended 3 WAT schools.
Since 2016 Noel has worked as a Director of SIL, a US-based Language Development non-profit organisation that works with minority language communities worldwide, in Bible Translation and Literacy & Education, helping those communities flourish through their own languages.
In addition to SIL Noel has since 2016 been able to invest time in supporting Education in Dorset, he is a Director of the Salisbury Diocese Board of Education, Chair of Governors at Beaucroft Foundation School.
Fiona joined the board as a Foundation Trustee, in March 2020, having been a Governor of Queen Elizabeth’s School, with a special interest in learning and achievement. She is an active member of the Northern Villages group of Churches and has served on a Parochial Church Council.
Following a successful career in industry, Fiona qualified to teach Science, specialising in Chemistry to A level. She frequently applies her real life experiences to the classroom and continues to teach part time. Fiona is actively involved in two Dorset based charities.
Born in Ireland, Fiona holds a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry with Microbiology, an MSc in Brewing Science, and is a qualified Master Brewer.
Fiona currently Chairs the Staffing and Remuneration Committee and sits on the Performance and Standards Committee.
John Kingston OBE
John worked in the financial sector for 3i Group plc before joining Save the Children in 1990 as Director of Fundraising. In 2001, he founded CAF Venturesome, a pioneer in social investment, offering small charities and social enterprise access to loans and investment capital. He has chaired the Institute of Fundraising and the Association of Charitable Foundations.
After retiring from full time work in 2011, he developed a non-executive portfolio which now includes Chair of the Access Foundation and Trustee of HelpAge international. Moving to Wimborne in 2015, to be closer to twin grandchildren, he was pleased to be invited to join the Academy Trust in May 2017.
John is currently the Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees and sits on the Finance, Audit and Assets Committee and Growth Committee.
Peter is co-founder and now Senior Adviser of Duke Street, a leading private equity firm. Most of his career has been spent in private equity working on the boards of fast growing companies. Peter led Duke Street’s presence on the board of wagamama from 2012-2018, culminating in a successful sale of the business.
Peter is Chair of United World Schools, a charity which operates over 200 primary schools in developing countries, providing an education to children in remote areas who would otherwise be working on the land. Having personally benefitted from free school meals and strong local schools as a child, Peter is passionate about the importance of providing great schools for all. He and his family have lived in Wimborne for many years.
Peter currently Chairs both the Finance, Audit and Assets Committee and Growth Committee.
Liz West (CEO)
Liz was appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer of Wimborne Academy Trust in 2015.
As CEO, Liz is primarily responsible for raising standards across the trust and playing a key role in contributing to the development of the education system as a whole.
Additional key responsibilities include developing partnerships with the wider community and collaborating with others to raise standards locally, establishing a culture promoting respect, excellence and collaboration and identifying priorities for continuous improvement.
Before taking on the CEO role, Liz was Headteacher at St John's First School from 2008 (Ofsted Outstanding July 2009, SIAMS Outstanding June 2014), a school within the Trust.
She was Strategic Lead for Wimborne Teaching School (WTS) which supports schools requiring improvement, NQTs, those on initial teacher training and teachers requiring specific professional development support across Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth.
Liz is a member of the Regional Education Partnership Board (previously SRIB) as sub region MAT CEO Representative. The main role of this group is to oversee, shape and inform the Team South West Regional Delivery Plan providing strategic coherence through a single South West improvement plan, enabling system leaders to collaborate effectively in a self-improving system. The core goal being that of improving outcomes at regional, school and classroom level.
Liz is a National Leader of Education (NLE) supporting schools in challenging circumstances.