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Board of Trustees Profiles


Richard Sloan  - Chair of the Board of Trustees

Richard has worked in education for over thirty years. He was appointed to his first senior leadership post in 1996 as assistant head teacher. Two years later, he was appointed as vice-principal before moving on to become the senior secondary school improvement adviser for Gloucestershire. Richard qualified as an Ofsted inspector in 2001 and acted as school improvement adviser for 18 secondary schools. In 2004, Richard was appointed as Principal of a failing school. He led the school to successful re-inspection and was appointed as a School    Improvement Partner (SIP).  Following this, Richard was appointed as a Senior School Improvement Adviser with the National Strategies. He quality assured the work of SIPs and lead the National Challenge in the East Midlands. Since 2011, Richard has worked as a consultant to the Department for Education on the academies programme and as a school improvement adviser. Richard retired from full-time work in July 2014 but still works occasionally for the DfE.

Dave Baker  - Chief Executive Officer

Dave Baker

Dave is the Chief Executive Officer and Accounting Officer for The Olympus Academy Trust, having previously been Headteacher of Bradley Stoke Community School since 2004 i.e. a year before it opened.  Dave is passionate about empowering young people through education.  He has led national leadership programmes for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, regional headship training programmes and chairs the 14-19 Concorde Partnership.  Dave is also an accredited Local and National Leader of Education, providing support for other schools and Headteachers.

Dave brings wide-ranging experience of leadership, partnership and school improvement to his role as well as strong regional knowledge and positive working relationships with other school leaders and the local community. 

Diane Ault - Winterbourne Academy Governor

Diane is a governor at Winterbourne Academy and also sits on the Finance and Resources Committee.

Diane lives in Winterbourne with her husband and 2 sons. She is a Senior Finance Manager at Lloyds Banking Group specialising in Commercial management information (MI) and Analysis and has worked in Financial Services for 16 years. Prior to this Diane worked in Accounting and Audit practice. She has been a qualified Chartered Accountant for over 20 years and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Mike Fry - Chair of Governors, Filton Hill Primary School

Mike Fry

Mike has been a governor for 20 years initially as a parent governor and then as a Local Authority governor and Chair of Governors for the last 8 years. His professional expertise centres on engineering, having worked in the NHS for 32 years before moving to a private consultancy specialising in providing support to NHS Estates and Facilities Departments.
Mike believes that it is a great privilege to help and guide young people in the classroom. It is very rewarding to belong to the governing body responding to the responsibilities and challenges involved in steering the strategic direction of the school, working in partnership with the head teacher, Senior Leadership team and other governors to ensure that the pupils have a happy and secure environment in which to develop and achieve their potential.

Isabel Marsden - Chair of Governors, Abbeywood Community School

Isabel is a Parent Governor at Abbeywood Community School and now chairs its Local Governing Body, having previously been Parent Governor and Chair of Governors at St Michael’s Primary, Stoke Gifford.  Isabel was also a Local Authority Governor at another South Gloucestershire Primary School in the late nineties.

Issy Marsden

Isabel has over 25 years experience within education, having been a maths teacher, Head of Maths and an LA maths adviser. More recently Isabel has worked as a consultant for her own company but has continued to spend some of her time teaching maths in a number of secondary schools in the Bristol area.

Isabel is passionate about education and sees it as the key that unlocks an individual’s potential and improves their life-chances. She views effective governance as vital in securing the highest quality leadership and management within OAT and she is totally committed to working collaboratively with staff and other governors to ensure that all learners in OAT schools receive an outstanding educational experience.

Paul Davies- Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, Chair of Charborough Road Governing Committee

Paul is the Chair of Governors at Charborough Road Primary School. He is also a Trustee at the Olympus Academy Trust, Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee and a governor at Winterbourne Academy.
Paul is a qualified internal auditor, and currently manages the risk & governance framework and control environment for the audit function of a large financial services organisation. He also has previous experience of project & change management and recruitment, and is a past member of a local Youth Centre management committee.
Paul is passionate about ensuring that all children get the best possible education, and uses his experience to bring relevant knowledge and understanding to benefit all learners in the Trust.

Paul Roberts - Chair of Remuneration and Nominations Committee

 Paul served as a community governor at North Road Primary for 4 years before becoming a parent governor at Stoke Lodge Primary and in turn a Director of Cosmos Academy Trust.

Holding a degree in accounting & finance, his career has been within the HR profession where he is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and the Association of

Paul Roberts

Graduate Recruiters.  He has held a number of different roles within HR over the last 18 years.  His current role is to lead AXA UK’s Graduate & Early Careers proposition where he is part of an industry group that has helped design new apprenticeship standards for the insurance industry.  Within this role he gets great reward from regularly supporting young people to gain the skills and experience required to start and develop a successful career. 

Sarah Williams  - Chair of the School Improvement Committee, Vice-Chair of the Board

Sarah's professional career was within the Financial Services sector, working for global companies

Sarah Williams

such as AXA Sun Life, Zurich and The Royal Bank of Scotland. During this time, she obtained several industry recognised professional qualifications and a vast range of experience in leadership, management and HR practices.

Since beginning a family, Sarah left employment to become a full time mummy, using her skills gained in the workplace to help her local community. She was the Chairperson of her local pre-school for 2 years, before becoming a Governor for Charborough Road Primary School.
Sarah lives in Filton Park and is passionate about ensuring that the education our children receive is of the highest standard.

 Bob Smyth 

Bob Smyth

Bob served as a parent governor at BSCS for several years and is now an OAT trustee. His two sons attended BSCS and have both now continued into higher education. Bob is retired, following a career as a senior manager in a large utility company. He is a qualified accountant.

Bob brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of financial reporting, audit and governance, and is Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee. He has been involved locally in Scouts as a leader and in support roles.


Kate Sheldon- Chair of Governors, Meadowbrook Primary School

Kate previously worked for 14 years within education, as a teacher in the state sector and then as a manager in the private sector, and is currently working part-time, supporting the Kumon Study Centre in Bradley Stoke with communications and PR.

Kate served as a community governor at BSCS for seven years and was elected as parent governor at Meadowbrook in 2015.  She has two children at the school.

Kate is currently Chair of the Local Governing Committee at Meadowbrook Primary School, as well as being the link governor for English. Kate is passionate about developing a life-long love of reading for all children.


Katie Stobbart  - Clerk to the Board of Trustees and Governance Coordinator

Katie Stobbart

Katie completed a French Degree at Exeter University, followed by a 10 year career in banking.

Katie left banking to follow a career in the education sector after her children were born. They now attend a local primary school where she also served as a governor for several years.

She splits her time between dual roles for the Trust ; Governance Coordinator and Marketing Lead.