Skip to content ↓

Biographies - Trustees

John Kingston OBE (Chair)

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 included 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 Chair of the Board of Trustees (formerly Vice-Chair) and sits on the Growth Committee.

Peter Breckwoldt

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.

John Dickson (Vice-Chair) 

John’s business life has mostly been in Real Estate investment and development initially working for an International organisation before establishing in 1980 a group of companies with offices in UK, Holland & Switzerland.
John has been in leadership and pastoral roles within churches wherever he resided also he has served as a Chair of school Governors and more recently again in a voluntary capacity as finance director at Inter Continental Church Society an Anglican mission agency active throughout Europe, North Africa and beyond.
Originating from Northern Ireland where his three sons were born, he came with his wife to live in Winchester in 1972 and they then had the added joy of a daughter. Now a grandfather many times over and more recently a great grandfather, John and his wife enjoyed living in Hampshire, The Netherlands and en Suisse prior to settling back into Wimborne where three of his grandchildren are benefitting from being schooled within Wimborne Academy Trust, so he is delighted to serve as a Trustee.
John served as Chair of the Trust Board from September 2017 until July 2021 and is currently Vice-Chair of the Trust Board and sits on the Growth Committee.

Hilary Evans

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 Harrison


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. 

Noel currently sits on the Finance, Audit and Assets Committee and the Staffing and Remuneration Committee.

Peter Taylor

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 is a Trustee and the first Chief Executive of Wimborne Academy Trust.

The Trust operates 13 schools across the East Dorset area providing an all through education from two to eighteen years.

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.

Liz was Headteacher at St John’s First School (Ofsted Outstanding July 2009, SIAMS Outstanding June 2014), a school within the Trust prior to becoming CEO and before that holding a number of senior positions within the County.

Liz has worked in the education sector in a variety of roles.  She is a National Leader of Education (NLE), with schools in challenging circumstances across the country benefiting from her knowledge and experience. Liz sat on a number of Interim Executive Boards supporting schools on their improvement journey.  Liz was strategic lead for Wimborne Teaching School.

She has been invited to sit on the Dorset Education Board, using local, regional and national evidence and research to inform its work to set a clear direction and a positive culture to support partners to deliver ambitious educational outcomes for all children and young people into adulthood.