The Directors of South Essex Academy Trust are responsible for the Strategic development and oversight of each of the Academies in the Trust.

The key foci of the Board of Trustees/Directors includes:

  • Governance of each Academy
  • School Improvement
  • Drawing up and implementation of Trust Policies
  • Compliance with DFE Regulations, Statutory Compliance/Financial Regulations
  • Performance Management of Executive Head and Heads of School
  • To appoint or reappoint the auditors of the Trust
  • Process of sponsoring additional schools
  • Fulfilling all statutory responsibilities as Directors/Trustees
  • Day to day governance of each academy

The Board meets at least five times a year for a whole day and at each meeting the governance of each Academy are substantive agenda items.

Mike Simmonds – Chair of Trust

Governance consultant for Dioceses of St Albans and Chelmsford, Liverpool Hope University and Vine Schools Trust.  30 years’ experience as Chair of Governors at various primaries. Former Chair of teaching & learning committee at a secondary school for four years. Chair of two IEB ‘s and an LGB. Provider of training and keynote input on governance.

Simon Harbrow – Executive Principal and CEO.

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. Current Lead OFSTED Inspector.

Tosca Boothman SEN and Safeguarding Director

Independent Governance Consultant, working across schools in Southend, Essex and Hertfordshire.  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. Ofsted inspector. 20 years’ governance experience.

Vanessa Van BlerkHealth & Safety and Premises Director

Recently Chair of Westwood Academy LGB, Property and facilities management for the past 20 years. Working for high street retailers and corporate investment landlords. Working knowledge of Health and safety. Member of Westwood Academy local governing body for the last 4 years becoming Chair in 2015.

Julie Denham – HR Director

Julie joined the Trust as a Director in January 2018, taking responsibility for HR.  Julie has over 20 years commercial HR experience, and has also gained a MSc in Coaching and Behavioural Change.  She takes an active role in her local community by volunteering for Essex Libraries, and participates in charity work for Cancer Research.  Julie’s extensive experience in HR is an invaluable asset to the Trust’s Board.

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 Business Interests 2017-18

Directors DBS Information

Minutes from Directors meetings 

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