Our team

Our Senior Leadership Team

Martin Hughes


I am privileged to be Chief Executive of the SAND Academies Trust.  This is an incredible organisation, providing exceptional education for young people in Gloucestershire.  Working in the Charitable sector for over twelve years I have extensive experience of delivering tangible outcomes in challenging circumstances, ensuring our beneficiaries and teams are at the heart of everything we do.

Previously Chief Executive of a leading Charity in the Care sector, with a thorough understanding of strategic planning, developing fundraising  programmes and bringing in new sources of income, charity accounting and liaising with Public and Government funding sources.

Annette Fidderman

Director of School Improvement

I am currently the School Improvement Director for SAND Academies Trust. I have 30 years’ experience of teaching and learning in special schools and through this have gained a wide understanding of educational practice. I have also led on school improvement in different specialist settings, and qualified as an Ofsted trained inspector.

Prior to my role as SI Director, I was HT of a special school, committed to ensuring the best learning and life outcomes for all pupils, and supported and worked with staff to effectively develop their teaching practice and pedagogy.

Louise Morgan

Finance Director

Louise Morgan MAAT started her Finance career in 2010, as an accounts assistant in the commercial world and progressed to accounts manager before leaving in 2014. During this period of time Louise undertook professional studies with the association of accounting technician’s, gaining her full qualification status, which also enables her to hold her own Practice License.
From 2014 to 2018 she was the Finance Manager of Berkhampstead Independent Prep School in Cheltenham, where she developed her knowledge and understanding of school business management. Due to family involvement with special educational needs in 2018 Louise was drawn to an opportunity at The Milestone Special School and became the Finance Officer for the School. Louise was instrumental in developing Financial processes and systems for the development of SAND Academies Trust and,after a short maternity break, Louise returned as Trust Lead Finance Officer. She was subsequently promoted to Trust Accountant in the Summer Term of 2021.

Lynn Campbell-Davies

Operations Director

Lynn joined in 2014, after a successful career in the private sector, working for the world’s largest Logistics provider.

After graduating with a MSc Operations Management (Distinction) degree from Glasgow University in 1998, Lynn relocated to London where she moved from a theoretical appreciation of operations management to the fast-paced world of Fast Moving Consumer Goods, where her skills in operations management were developed. Examples of Lynn’s roles within the commercial sector include; Regional Operations Manager for Ikea and M&S Home Delivery and being part of the Senior Leadership Team responsible for long term planning and day to day running of a distribution centre. Project delivery, People and resolution management, P&L ownership, along with a passion for people were the key areas of focus for Lynn over a period of 12 years.

Lynn took a break from her career in 2007 to look after her young family and was appointed to an administration role at the Milestone School in 2014. Lynn has been promoted within the Trust and, by applying the principles which Lynn had learned in her previous roles in the private sector, she has been able to support the growth of the MAT, delivering not only against critical tasks to develop and standardise processes, but to also focus on personal development. Lynn also gained a Level 4 Diploma for School Business Managers.

In 2022, Lynn was promoted to the position of Operations Director.

Our Members

Matthew Wolton

Independent Member

Matthew is a partner within the Education Team at Veale Wasbrough Vizards. An education specialist lawyer recognised nationally for his Academies expertise, Matthew has advised academy trusts and school governors through numerous government education schemes since 2008, supporting them to embrace change. His particular speciality is working with multi-academy trusts, helping them grow and improve, and he has a number of high-profile clients throughout the country. He speaks frequently at local and national events and is a regular contributor to the Times Educational Supplement.


Scott Harvey

Independent Member

Scott is a chartered manager and has a long and varied career of UK and international experiences in both the public and private sectors.  These roles included policy establishment, HR, strategy, change, project and programme management, cyber and a wide set of operational roles.  Commercially, he ran his own management consultancy, in addition to working with other companies and consultants, sitting alongside several board roles leading to Chief Executive of a commercial company.  He has been involved in governance for over 20 years from primary to University levels.


Neil Spurrier

Independent Member

After university, Neil completed a PGCE and taught for a couple of years before embarking on a 32 year IT career. This encompassed many roles over the years,  including a strong emphasis on data and change management.

Neil has for many years coached sport to children; initially this was at a local rugby club, but since retirement in school voluntarily; more recently he has also coached for Hockey Fever on a professional basis.

Neil became a governor at a large local secondary school in 2003 and then in 2006 Chair of the board for 12 years, during which time the school converted to an Academy. Last year Neil stood down as a Trustee there but remains a Corporate Member

Jo Bewley

Independent Member

Jo is an Owner, Deputy Managing Partner and Head of Property Services at BPE Solicitors LLP.

Jo has the day to day management of the largest division in the firm as well as being Training Principle in charge of the training programme of the Trainees with the firm in addition to her wider duties which are firm-wide.

Jo’s legal specialisms over and above the standard commercial property work is within the healthcare sector and in particular GP super surgery developments and the finance for such schemes.

Jo works for a number of the firms biggest clients and has been involved in several Gloucestershire based super surgery developments.

Dame Janet Trotter

Independent Member

Dame Janet Trotter OBE DBE CVO

Janet began her working life as a teacher and then lectured in a range of higher education colleges.  She was founding Vice Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire.  Dame Janet has held a number of posts within the NHS, including Regional Chair (1996-2000) and Chair of the Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust (2002-2010).

She was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire by The Queen in 2010, a role she relinquished in 2018.  She is now Chair of the Nelson Trust and a Governor of the Barnwood Trust.  Dame Janet received an OBE in 1991, a DBE ten years later and a CVO in 2018.

Our Trustees

Martin Hughes

CEO and Trustee

Appointed – 1st January 2023

I am privileged to be Chief Executive of the SAND Academies Trust.  This is an incredible organisation, providing exceptional education for young people in Gloucestershire. Working in the Charitable sector for over twelve years I have extensive experience of delivering tangible outcomes in challenging circumstances, ensuring our beneficiaries and teams are at the heart of everything we do.

Previously Chief Executive of a leading Charity in the Care sector, with a thorough understanding of strategic planning, developing fundraising  programmes and bringing in new sources of income, charity accounting and liaising with Public and Government funding sources.

David Ellis

Trustee & Chair of Audit & Risk Committee

Appointed – 22nd April 2019

Appointed for a further term – 21st April 2023

David has worked in the voluntary sector for over 35 years, both overseas and in the UK. This has involved Director level and Chief Executive appointments with a number of national disability charities.

David has recently retired as the Chief Executive at National Star, a national charity working with and for young people with complex disabilities. He had held this position since 2010, during which time the charity gained ‘Outstanding’ awards from both Ofsted and CQC for the services offered. He also oversaw an increase in the scale of the charity’s service delivery from £14million p.a. to £35million p.a.

David has held a number of non-executive roles during his career in the voluntary sector, including most recently as a Trustee of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), the umbrella group for disability charities across the UK.

Antonia Noble

Chair of Trustees, Quality of Education and Audit & Risk committee member

Appointed – 22nd April 2019

Appointed for a further term – 21st April 2023

Antonia has been a barrister for over 22 years, practising for a number of years in London at criminal bar and undertaking civil litigation and immigration tribunal work before joining the Criminal Cases Review Commission to review suspected miscarriages of justice.

Antonia founded Carter Noble Independent Safeguarding in 2013 is to make expert knowledge and experience more user-friendly and available to everyone. Carter Noble protects organisations and people with support, advice and training including and in particular, data privacy and GDPR.

Melanie Henry

Trustee & Chair of People Committee

Appointed – 8th August 2022

After graduating in Law from the University of East Anglia, Mel pursued a couple of different career options before deciding on the field of HR. She is a fully qualified Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has more than 30 years generalist HR experience. This has been gained in large corporate organisations, most recently in Marsh Commercial a large commercial insurance brokers and a subsidiary of the global professional services firm Marsh McLennan.
As a strategic Senior HR Business Partner, Mel was part of a senior leadership team, working closely with Board members of Marsh Commercial.  Specific areas of her experience include talent management and development; succession planning; development of resourcing strategy, business transformation and restructuring, and provision of advice on complex Employee Relations issues. She also has experience of leading teams and developing the potential of other professional staff.

Coral Peutrill


Appointed – 2nd November 2022

Coral graduated in Law in 2013 and has since gone on to a career as a qualified solicitor at Harrison Clark Rickerbys. She specialises in Education law, and helps to support schools through academy conversions, MAT expansions and academy transfers.

She also has experience in managing the issues and concerns which academy trusts face on a daily basis, from behaviour issues to parental complaints and exclusions, and the particular challenges which special schools face.

Coral also has experience and understanding of key trust documents, such as the Funding Agreement and Articles of Association.

Lewis Grainger

Trustee & Chair of Finance & Resources Committee

Appointed – 7th December 2022

Lewis is a highly experienced ITIL 4 and Microsoft Certified, IT, digital governance and compliance professional. With over 11 years of experience working at operational and strategic leadership levels, he has worked with a number of both public sector and non-profit organisations to develop, deliver and drive a clear, concise and successful strategy and vision for digital, data and technology and understands how critical technology and cyber-security are to the success of our trust. Lewis currently works as the Head of IT for midsized non-profit organisation and also offers consultancy services freelance through his limited company.

Lewis has held a number of different governance roles during his career to date. Starting as a governor at Bettridge School between 2015 and 2017, he then went on to be the vice-chair of governors at Belmont School between 2019 and 2020, during which time he led the school through it’s due-diligence process as it worked towards joining SAND Academies Trust. Upon joining the trust in 2020, Lewis returned to Belmont as the Chair of the Local Advisory Board until becoming a trustee of the SAND Academies Trust in late 2022.

When he’s not working in IT, Lewis enjoys property development and is currently working through his first project. Music is also a huge part of his life, as an accomplished musician he plays the guitar and piano, and can be occasionally found playing live within the local community.

Alan Winwood

Trustee & Chair of Quality of Education Committee

Appointed – 7th December 2022

Alan trained as a music teacher and was then Head of Department at two different schools before being appointed Deputy Head and subsequently Headteacher at first Dunston Comprehensive in Gateshead for 5 years and then Chosen Hill School in Churchdown for 14 years.

On retirement, Alan worked as an area leader for a government initiative called Fast Track whose emphasis was on developing the skills and confidence in young teachers to assume leadership positions early in their careers.

During his tenure at Chosen Hill there was a steady improvement in both GCSE and A level results, a successful application to achieve Technology College status, two outstanding OFSTED reports and a thriving and vibrant cultural and sporting life.

Alan was also Chair of the Gloucestershire Association of Secondary Headteachers for 5 years. He is particularly interested in developing models of leadership and the use of IT to improve learning opportunities for all students and encouraging the Arts in schools.

For the last 20 years Alan has sung with the prestigious City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He is also an ardent fan of Sunderland AFC.

Debbie Sleep


Appointed – 16th January 2023

Debbie has worked in the education sector for over 30 years, always working in the primary sector. Since 2007 she has been the Headteacher of a Stroud primary school which serves a diverse population including many with additional needs.

Working in partnership with external agencies with children’s needs and development is at the core of her purpose and drive. Debbie is the strategic lead for all Stroud primary schools which allows her a voice into the development of education for all young people in Gloucestershire.

Life outside of schools and children is dominated by her spoilt dog!

Carly Wild


Appointed – 16th January 2023

After studying Law and Criminology at Cardiff University, Carly qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2009, having completed her training with Hazlewoods LLP. She specialised in business advisory services to the Health and Social Care industry, which includes a range of clients from elderly care providers to Early Years childcare services.

Carly became self employed when she started her family, to allow for a more flexible approach to work whilst raising young children. However, she returned to the Healthcare team at Hazlewoods in 2020 where she has a particular focus on nursery school clients, helping them with all their accounting and tax compliance needs.

Lisa Austin


Appointed December 2023

Lisa has a passion for rapid school improvement and for embedding effective leadership and management through the development of people. She is an experienced leader who has worked in a number of primary school settings of differing size and context. Lisa has 14 years of Headship experience, 7 of which were as Executive Headteacher of two schools. Lisa has a keen interest in developing new models of leadership. Prior to her role leading school improvement across the trust, Lisa has held leadership roles in three ODST schools. She also coaches senior leaders in ODST and other schools as part of the NPQ programme. Lisa has significant experience of supporting schools identified as requiring extra support, and as a headteacher she has provided school to school support and has been commissioned by Local Authorities to conduct school improvement reviews.

Scott Harvey

Trustee & Chair of Governance and Senior Staff Committees

Appointed January 2024

Scott is also a Member, and his biography can be found above. In his additional role as a SAND Trustee he brings a wealth of experience as the appointed Chair of the Governance and Senior Staff Committees. This role is instrumental in advising the Board on matters relating to membership, structure and organisation of the Board, and its effectiveness in line with the principles of outstanding governance.

Lyn Dance


Appointed June 2024

Lyn has worked in special education for over 40 years. Her experience spans teaching and leadership as deputy and head teacher in special schools in Gloucestershire, Surrey, and Hounslow. Lyn’s last headship was at The Milestone School, part of SAND Academies Trust. Lyn’s leadership style encouraged innovative working and developing future leaders.

Lyn was the founding CEO of SAND Academies Trust and continues to have an active role in supporting local special and mainstream schools and colleges as Governor for various establishments.

Lyn is a School Improvement Partner providing consultancy as requested. Outward looking in her quest for continuous school improvement, she contributes to several collaborative working groups with both special and mainstream schools. Lyn is passionate about special education and supporting the whole family. She has met with various MPs to campaign for additional funding for special education and support for families. In October

2021, she was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to special education.

Our Clerk to the Board

Caroline Sexton

Clerk to the Board

Our Previous Trustees / Members

Kerry Brimfield
Chair of Trustees – resigned 31st August 2023

Beverley Williams
Trustee – resigned 25th March 2023

Chloe Sellick
Trustee – resigned 23rd May 2023

Sarah McGurk
Trustee – resigned 10th June 2024