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 safe-guarding lead trustee. She sits on the Performance Standards and Staffing Committee and has three children who attend Trust schools.
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).
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 currently 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.
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.
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.
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 the Finance, Audit and Assets Committee.
Liz West (CEO)
Liz is CEO of Wimborne Academy Trust. She was previously Headteacher at St John’s First School from 2008 (Ofsted Outstanding July 2009, SIAMS Outstanding June 2014).
Liz was until recently 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 sits on the Dorset School Improvement Board consisting of local Teaching Schools, Dorset Local Authority, RSC, the Diocese, phase association representatives and MAT CEOs with a focus on leading on outcome based work around school improvement within Dorset. Linked to this is the key role she plays in collaborative working with colleagues within the South West teaching school arena focusing on increasing standards across the region in the medium term via the Department for Education’s Strategic School Improvement Fund.
Liz is also a member of the Regional Education Partnership Board (previously SRIB) as a sub region MAT CEO Representative. The main role of this group is to oversee, shape and inform the Team South West Regional Delivery Plan. The Team South West Regional Delivery Plan seeks to provide strategic coherence, through a single South West improvement plan that enables 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 registered on the Department for Education's Register of External Experts, one of only 200 across the country in the intial phase. Those on the list have expertise and experience at a senior level in the education sector to provide advice to the DfE when the DfE’s need for advice arises (External Experts). This register of individuals has superseded the Contract of External Advisers of which Wimborne Academy Trust was registered.
Liz is a National Leader of Education (NLE) supporting schools in challenging circumstances.