The Members of South Essex Academy Trust

Mike Simmonds - (Chair of Trust):

Speaker, trainer and author on governance. Governance consultant for Dioceses of St Albans and Chelmsford and their Multi Academy Trusts, as well as Liverpool Hope University.  30 years’ experience as CoG at various primaries. Former Chair of teaching & learning committee at a secondary school for four years. Experienced IEB chair and member.

Darren Stoner – (Independent Member):

Former banker with RBS for 25 years and currently employed by a locally based medical company leading on finance and compliance matters was also Finance Governor of Westwood Academy for six years.

Keith Pullen - (Independent Member):

School improvement adviser and managing director of KIS (Education). Works with 4 LAs and provides support for Ofsted category schools and RI schools. 8yrs experience of leading LA reviews. Current OFSTED Inspector.

Howard Sellick - (Independent Member):

Founder/ Owner of Action for Living Ltd. Founder/ Managing Director of Staffing Solutions (UK) Ltd. 7yrs experience as Parent Governor then CoG at a primary school. 5yrs experience as a Director for the BATIC Trust.


The Directors (trustees) of South Essex Academy Trust

Chris Jones 7a

Mike Simmonds - Chair of Trust & temporary HR Director:

Speaker, trainer and author on governance. He is Governance Lead for the Vine Schools Trust as well as Governance consultant for Diocese of Chelmsford and Liverpool Hope University.   30 years’ experience as CoG at various primaries. Former Chair of teaching & learning committee at a secondary school for four years. Experienced IEB chair and member.


Simon Harbrow - CEO and Executive Headteacher.

Served in three primary school headships since 2002, taking all to a Good Ofsted rating. Governor for 20 years. Previously seconded to Essex CC at 0.5 FTE to support schools causing concern. Currently Lead OFSTED Inspector. National Leader of Education.

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Tosca Boothman – Vice-Chair, SEN and Safeguarding Director

Independent Governance Consultant, working across schools in Southend and Essex.  Has been a Governor for 12 years at an Infants School (academy convertor), four of which as COG.  Wealth of experience serving on numerous IEB’s across Essex.  Vice Chair of Essex School Governors’ Association and member of the South Essex Children’s Partnership Board.



Dominic Carver - Education and Standards Director

Headteacher of South Benfleet Primary Academy. 20 years' governance experience. Governor of a local secondary academy. Former Ofsted Inspector.




Chris Jones - Finance Director

Founder and Chief Executive of CJ Learning Ltd and CJ Learning Technologies Ltd, supporting schools for over 10 years in curriculum development, staffing, budgeting and timetabling and is a DFE approved provider of Integrated Curriculum and Finance planning methodology. Before that he was a teacher and senior school leader for 24 years. Chris brings his education and business expertise as a Governor and Director to a number of school and charity boards, having served as a CoG, Parent and Teacher Governor and also Trustee, CEO and Board Chair in a number of charitable organisations.


Catherine Burnside (Appointment being processed)

Catherine is an experienced governance professional, being Director of Governance & Compliance at SEAX Multi-Academy Trust of special schools based in Chelmsford. Catherine had previously been a clerk to governors for Essex County Council and is also a governor of a maintained primary school. Catherine is  a fully qualified teacher who has taught across all Key Stages.

Governance Documents

Use the links on the left to locate information regarding governance of the Trust academies.  Specific key documents can be found quickly by clicking the links below: 

SEAT Members and Directors Register of Business Interests 2019-20

SEAT Attendance Register 2018-2019

Directors DBS Information

Minutes from Directors meetings 

Finance & Statutory Documents including: Funding Agreements; Articles of Association; Annual Reports & Financial Statements (containing information of the Governance Board roles & responsibilities

Our Academies

South Essex Academy Trust
Beresford Close, Hadleigh, Essex SS7 2SU
TEL: 01702 559467
FAX: 01702 552048

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