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 as an Inspector responsible for the regulation of NHS services. Prior to that she worked as a project manager and 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. Emma also holds a BSc (Hons) in Health and Social care and an MSc in Health and Rehabilitation.
Emma has a creative, analytical, practical and thorough approach to problem solving and is able and confident at presenting complex information to different audiences.
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.
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 at St John’s First School, Wimborne since 2011. 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).
Sharon is currently working as a leader, doctor referral liaison, and leader mentor for WeightWatchers UK.
Her previous roles include Finance & Resource Manager for a local building company McConnel Properties Ltd (2000-2007) and for a short time Finance Manager for fitness centres Curves Wimborne & Curves Ferndown (1999-2000).
Sharon took a career break to support her family and during that time qualified in British Sign Language Level 1 & 2. She also worked at Reading University and Poole College as an interpreter for deaf students (1995-99).
She set up her own company Quintos Ltd which offered services to schools as a financial consultant (1991-94) after leaving the Education Department of Berkshire County Council.
Sharon was employed by Berkshire County Council from 1984 to 1991 working in the Education Department preparing Berkshire’s Scheme for Delegation, training and recruiting Finance Officers/Bursars in schools, financial software training and supporting schools in SIMS LMS.
Sharon was Chair of Governors 2007-09 & Chair of Finance 2005-09 at Sturminster Marshall First School; and Chair of Governors of Allenbourn Middle School 2012–15. During the formation of Wimborne Academy Trust, Sharon acted as work stream lead for Operations, Staffing & TUPE and has subsequently chaired the Performance, Standards and Staffing 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 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.
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.
Nigel trained and worked in the Hotel and Catering Industry from 1967 until 1972, gaining experience in all aspects of management, including Personnel, Payroll, and Project Management. He was already working with young people prior to Teacher Training and following graduation in 1976, Nigel worked within education across all phases and held various posts of responsibility. Early Leadership posts included Head of R.E. Department (Ashley Cross Secondary School, Poole 1976 – 78 and similarly at Brentside High School, Ealing 1978–9).
During a career break from teaching Nigel held a Commission in the RAF (1979–82), working as part of a team working on the formulation of training programmes at RAF College, Cranwell at a time when various establishments were being re-located to a central location.
After leaving the RAF he continued his teaching career and soon moved into Senior Leadership Posts as Deputy Head and Acting Head (St Andrew & St Mark's CE VA Junior School, Surbiton, Kingston on Thames 1984-90) and Headship of St John's CE VA Primary School, Gosport 1990-94).
Nigel has been involved in school governance since 1977, and recently stepped down after 15 years as Chair of Governors at Merley First School where he had served as a governor for over 17 years. He was actively involved in moving the school towards Academy Status and served on the Interim Board prior to conversion in March 2014. During that time he was also fully involved with Poole Local Authority, serving on the Governors’ Forum and the Local Management of Schools Committee as well as being a member of the Schools Forum for 10 years during which time he served as Chair & Vice-Chair on a number of occasions.
As a School Leader Nigel has taken an active role within his professional association (NAHT) for over 30 years and has continued this interest since retirement from Headship, both at a local, regional and national level. As Local Secretary for 7 years this meant close involvement with the Local Authority and all school leaders working within it. He was the South West Regional Secretary until 2015 and still serves as the Regional Treasurer and also sits on the National Life Members’ Committee.
Peter is co-founder and Managing Partner of Duke Street, a leading private equity firm. As part of his role at Duke Street he serves as a non-executive director of wagamama, a global restaurant brand with over 170 restaurants, and TOFS, a national chain of value department stores with over 200 shops. Peter was Finance Director of Sea Life Centres, based in Dorset, before co-founding Duke Street in the late 1990s - most of his career has been spent in private equity working on the boards of fast growing companies.
Peter was appointed to the board of UK Athletics in 2016, where he is the Senior Independent Director. He is an active investor and mentor in social enterprise, and a regular speaker in schools on business and careers. Having personally benefitted from free school meals and strong local schools as a child, he is passionate about the importance of providing great schools for all. Peter and his family have lived in Wimborne for many years.
Liz West (CEO)
Liz is CEO of Wimborne Academy Trust. She was previously Headteacher at St John’s First School (Ofsted Outstanding July 2009, SIAMS Outstanding June 2014) from 2008 and Lead School for Wimborne Teaching School). Liz is a National Leader of Education (NLE) and until recently a Local Authority School Evaluation Partner.
Liz is also Strategic Lead for Wimborne Teaching School currently supporting schools requiring improvement through a successful School to School Support bid. The Teaching School also supports NQT’s across Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth through its annual programme ensuring newly qualified teachers are given an effective needs driven mentoring programme. Liz has been involved in ITT for several years and taking the lead role in developing the School Direct programme within the Teaching School.
Liz sits on the Wessex School Improvement Partnership Board consisting of local Teaching Schools, Dorset Local Authority and the Diocese, with a focus on leading on outcome based work around school improvement within Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth.
She also sits on the South West School Improvement Partnership Board as an NLE Specialist. The Board has a strategic oversight of key areas essential to increase standards across the region in the medium term including: monitoring the performance of academies, free schools, studio schools and UTCs, and making recommendations to the Regional Schools Commissioner where there are challenges and concerns.
As an NLE, Liz plays an essential part in ensuring the success of young people in the South West. As a member of the Board, she is able to play a dynamic role in system leadership, collaborating with other experts in the region and sharing knowledge in order to improve standards. The role is of particular importance in assessing the impact of teaching schools and NLEs on school improvement in the region - extremely beneficial for the future development of Wimborne Academy Trust.
Most recently, Liz has been appointed as an educational specialist advisor to support the Regional Schools Commissioner in delivering school improvement across the region.