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Welcome to ACT Governance Section.

Everyone within our governance structure is a committed volunteer who gives freely of their time, knowledge and expertise to raise standards in education and improve outcomes for pupils. These are vital roles that impact significantly on the overall success of our individual schools as well as the wider trust and we are extremely grateful to have them within our ACT family.

Governance within the Trust 

Local Governing Body 

Governors would be representative of the schools within the trust and follow a structured programme of visits so they can effectively review and monitor the School Improvement Plan. There will be opportunities for governors from the different schools to work together to compare practice adding value to their findings and outcomes.


The Members of the Trust are the guardians of the governance of the Trust. They are responsible for ensuring the Trust complies with all aspects of law and regulation to it, and operates within the requirements set out in the Trust’s Articles of Association, the Academies Financial Handbook and current policy of the Department for Education and Charity Commission.  Functions

  • Members will hold the Directors accountable for ensuring that the trust’s charitable objects (as set out its Articles of Association) are met and that the income and property of the Trust shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects.
  • Members will be responsible for appointing new Members and for appointing Directors as set out in the Trust’s in the Articles of Association.  
  • Members are responsible for the appointment of the Trust’s auditors.  Accountability Accountable to the Secretary of State for Education.  

The Board of Trustees three core functions are as follows:  

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.  
  • Holding the Chief Executive and the Executive Team to account for the educational performance of academies and pupils, and the performance and management of staff.  
  • Overseeing the financial performance of each academy and making sure money is well spent  


The Board Trustees main responsibilities include:  
  • Assessing and managing the principle risks to the Trust  
  • Appointing the CEO and holding them to account for the Trust’s overall performance, and for discharging the role of the Accounting Officer  
  • Ensuring that the Trust operates with prudent financial planning and remains solvent  
  • Monitoring the work of the Local Governing Board
Trustees’ duties, under the Companies Act 2006, include the following:  
  • Acting within their powers  
  • Promoting the success of the company   Exercising independent judgement  
  • Exercising reasonable care, skill and diligence  
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest  
  • Declaring an interest in proposed transactions or arrangements 


  • Set and champion the vision, ethos and strategy across the trust.
  • Ensure robust leadership of our schools, driving educational standards and holding executive leaders to account for the performance of the organisation, its pupils and staff.
  • Oversee the financial performance of the trust ensuring money is well spent and any risks are managed robustly.
  • Ensure the voices of stakeholders are heard.
  • Each trustee also has a specific area of focus and they consult regularly with strategic leads across the trust to gather information, develop understanding and generate recommendations to the board of trustees.
Meet our Trustees

Chair of Trustees - Andrew Waring 

Andrew Waring has been a primary school Governor for 9 years and a chair of Governors for 4. His background is in Quality Assurance and Management Consultancy. His career has spanned across multiple sectors with a leaning towards technology but has always focused on best practise and improvement of process through people from large multi-national businesses to early life start-ups. Andrew has been a member of the Institute of Quality Assurance and a qualified Lead Auditor. He is a married father of 2 children, an enthusiastic traveller and has a passion for live music.

Vice Chair of Trustees - Gary Moss

Gary is a Chartered Surveyor with 25 years' experience of leadership positions in the built environment.  He is currently Director of Estates & Facilities at the University of Nottingham where he is responsible for an estate of 400 buildings across five UK campuses, and an operational team of 1200 staff.  Prior to this, Gary was Director of Estates Operations at the University of Cambridge, and held director positions in a number of consultancy and service provider organisations in the UK and Dubai.  Gary has 10 years of school governor experience at Buckden Primary Academy Trust, and is also a governor of Hinchingbrooke High School in Huntingdon.

Chair of Finance Audit and Risk - David Riley 


A Cambridge economics graduate with almost thirty years’ experience in retail and commercial banking, David then successfully changed career and has spent the last six years at a senior level in social housing. During this time, David completed a postgraduate diploma in Management Science at Durham University

For the last eighteen years, David has specialised in customer service and customer experience and firmly believes these are transferable skills with relevance to schools.

A keen volunteer, David takes an active part in his local community, having been a Churchwarden, pre-school treasurer and volunteer driver. Currently a PCC member (9+ years), Foundation Governor (c.13 years), treasurer of a large secondary school’s PTA (7+ years) and the two thousand member Great Ouse Boating Association.

Married, a family man with teenage daughters at university and studying for GCSE’s, and with a keen enjoyment of boating on the local river, David also spends time looking after elderly relatives.

Chair of Standards - Dr Simon Hughes 

Dr Simon Hughes has been involved in education for close to 40 years. He began as a RE teacher in Bedfordshire. He has been a university lecturer in initial teacher training, a self-employed consultant, one of Her Majesty's Inspectors, a director of education in a Diocese, and now acts as an advisor to schools and multi-academy trusts. He specialises in supporting schools with section 48 (SIAMS) inspections. He has worked in all phases of education from the early years through to supporting doctoral students. Simon is a lifelong supporter of Crystal Palace Football Club, is a very amateur gardener and music enthusiast.

Safeguarding Trustee - Sarah Conant


Sarah has been in education for 28 years.  She has had 4 headships in large Primary schools, one of those being in Saudi Arabia. Sarah has a MSc in educational leadership in addition to the National Professional Qualification for Headship.  Sarah had 4 years’ experience as the COO of a large Multi Academy Trust- DEMAT, which she helped to grow from 2 to 34 schools.  She then became the CEO of Campfire Education Trust, a MAT with responsibility for 6 Primary schools. In this role she also provided support to  schools outside the MAT. 

After 3 years with Campfire, in April 2022 Sarah became the Deputy Director of Education for the Diocese of Ely. She is also currently the Chair of Members for Consortium Trust a MAT which is based in Suffolk. 

SEND Trustee - Caroline Underwood 


A law graduate who decided to qualify as a Primary school teacher.  Caroline worked as a teacher in both Essex and Suffolk.  In 1987 she was appointed as Headteacher of Lawshall Primary School in Suffolk, where she oversaw major renovations to and extension of the school building and the amalgamation with a neighbouring school.  Her focus was to draw together the parents and pupils of both schools.

She was appointed Headteacher Abbots Hall Primary School Stowmarket in Suffolk 1994.  During that time she trained as an Ofsted inspector and worked on a number of inspections across the country. 

Whilst working as a Headteacher she had two secondments.   The first as Teacher Recruitment Officer coordinating a team to help Suffolk attract the best graduates to the county.  Later she was seconded as a Primary Schools Adviser working with schools on school improvement and preparation for inspection.

In 2001 she was appointed Senior Education Officer for Special Educational Needs Suffolk.    She then moved in to the voluntary sector in 2003 when she was appointed Head of Children’s and Young People’s Services for Scope, her responsibilities were to line manage  the charity’s schools and colleges across the country, working with them to improve outcomes for pupils and students. 

In 2011 she was appointed Education Adviser Special Educational Needs Cambridgeshire and then became Senior Education Adviser Special Educational Needs Cambridgeshire in 2014

She retired January 2017.  She is an active member of the community and has been both Chair and Vice Chair of the Parish Council as well as a Governor of Buckden School. 

Wellbeing Trustee - Rev Jes Salt 

Jes was Priest in Charge of St Mary’s Buckden and a Foundation Governor of Buckden Academy from 2015-2021, having previously enjoyed a career in the insurance claims industry, latterly handling major claims involving corporations and professional service firms. As a governor he assisted Senior Management of Buckden Academy in the development of the vision that guides the curriculum of the Academy, and with the work that led to the award of an outstanding grade by SIAMS in 2017.

Currently he is the Priest in Charge of 3 villages in north Bedfordshire and a Governor of a Federation of two small village schools (one of which is a church school). He therefore has insight into working with staff and governors in dealing with the particular issues that arise in running small schools.