MAT Structure

Our Members

The Members of the Multi Academy Trust are the conscience of the organisation. They appoint the board of directors and ensure that the aims of the trust are upheld. They include:

  • The Diocesan Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, Rt Revd Martin Seeley
  • The Chair of the Board of Education, Ven Dr David Jenkins 
  • Mr Neil Watts BA (Hons)  MA (Cantab)  PGCE

Our Board of Directors

We bring together a core group of people with a proven track record of school improvement and experience that is relevant to making the trust a success. They are responsible for its strategic direction and are accountable for the academies to the Secretary of State and therefore determine the level of delegation to local governing bodies so that these can be as effective as possible.

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Jane Sheat


Jane has been Diocesan Director of Education since August 2010.

Jane has an important strategic role in relation to academies, school place planning and small schools.

She regularly brokers school to school support, supports underperforming schools and works with governors on the appointment of headteachers in church schools. She has 23 years of HR experience in local government, 17 of which working directly with schools.

Jane is Chair of the Association of Anglican Directors of Education and Chair of Governors at Northgate High School in Ipswich. Jane is the CEO of the MAT initially.

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Tom Brooke

Tom joined Stone King Solicitors in October 2012.

From 2003 to 2012 Tom was Head of Law for The Learning Trust, the not-for-profit company which took over all of Hackney’s education functions and led the transformation of education standards in the Borough.

From 1990 - 2003 he was Principal Solicitor for education and employment for Wandsworth Council and Chair of Governors at a primary school in Hackney from 2000 to 2003. Tom has been an LA governor, additional governor and Chair of an Interim Executive Board at several schools in Suffolk.


Alister Gourlay

Alister held Headships in Church schools for 30 years until 2008, leading a school rated as Outstanding, in both its OfSted and SIAMS inspections, in the year he retired.

In semi-retirement Alister took up the post of Deputy Diocesan Director of Education until August 2017, in which his experience was shared across all Church schools in the Diocese, to assist Governors in the appointment of new Headteachers and to support schools pre and post OfSTED and SIAMS.  Alister played a key role in co-ordinating Aided Schools and Academy admission policies and appeals, working also at a regional and national level with particular reference to Admissions, Succession Planning and Governance.

Alister remains an active member of the Diocesan MAT Board of Directors.


The Revd Robert Hinsley

Robert is Team Rector in the South West Ipswich Ministry Team, serving three parishes. He is Chair of Governors at Langer Academy in Felixstowe, Tudor C of E Academy in Sudbury and a governor at Chantry Academy in Ipswich. Robert has also been involved with supporting RE and the delivering of personal, social and health education in a variety of schools. Robert worked with the lay chaplain to establish a permanent presence in Felixstowe Academy.

Prior to his ordination in 2005 Robert worked as a civil servant with an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions and prior to this with the Anglican Church in Jerusalem.

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Caroline Robinson

Cert Ed M.A. FRSA

The Board of MAT Directors is chaired by Caroline Robinson who has many years experience in education.  She trained as a teacher in the early 1960s at the Froebel Institute Roehampton and the University of London.

In the 1990s Caroline completed a Masters Degree in Educational Studies at the University of Surrey and during this period she was also awarded a Fellowship of the RSA.

Professional experience has been primarily in the London Boroughs of Merton, Croydon, Camden and Greenwich.

Caroline's experience includes teaching from Nursery to Further Education, with Headships of two primary schools. She trained as an Ofsted Inspector in 1996 and subsequently became a Local Authority School Inspector in 1998. She joined Suffolk County Council as a General Adviser in January 2003.

Since retiring Caroline has taken an interest in school governance and has been a Governor in a number of Suffolk Schools. Most recently Chair of Governors at Crawford’s CEVC Primary School in Haughley and Trinity CEVA Primary School in Combs Stowmarket.

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Andrew Blit

Andrew Blit

Andrew has a wealth of experience in accounting and finance.  He left the private sector in 2008 to join Suffolk County Council’s Customer Services Direct Team; initially as a Finance Business Partner, before becoming Project Accountant for the Children and Young People’s service, followed by Schools Finance Specialist.

In January 2011, Andrew joined the newly opened Suffolk One Sixth Form College and was involved in the creation of strategic financial plans, setting budgets at both college and faculty level and the creation of the financial framework to ensure outstanding student success.

Andrew joined King Edward VI CEVC Upper School as School Business Manager in 2015 and alongside budgetary control and planning, and the management of HR, Facilities, ICT, administration and finance, he also worked with Senior Leaders, the Local Authority and Contractors to deliver buildings and premises adaptions necessary for expansion owing to the Schools Organisation Review.  He similarly worked with senior leaders to deliver staffing for the Review.

In addition, Andrew was a member of the Working Party which developed a  proposal for the new sixth Form provision, in partnership with Suffolk Academy Trust and also a member of the school Working Party to explore the development of a new Multi-Academy Trust.

In his retirement we are delighted that Andrew has joined the MAT Board of Directors and when not involved in finance and education he is heavily involved with Sudbury Rowing Club having taken, at various times, the roles of Captain, Coach and Chair.

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Stephen Cole MA; MA (Ed)

Stephen Cole MA; MA (Ed).

Stephen’s career in teaching and education spans nearly 40 years in both the independent and maintained sector, 20 of which were as Headmaster of Woodbridge School.  Alongside this role, Stephen was and continues to be, a Reporting (lead) Inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate, serving for a time as interim chief inspector and chief executive.  He has led over 100 inspections across England, China, south America, Europe and the Caribbean, and trained the government inspectorate in Brunei.

He has been an active member of a lengthy list of organisations; including as Chairman of the Independent Schools Exam Board Mathematics and Science Committee from 1999 to 2005 and Chairman of the ISCis National Committee from 2004 to 2006. He is a governor of a local prep school.  Before joining the MAT, Stephen was a trustee of three Suffolk Free Schools, and is a member of the Ministerial Development Review Group for the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

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