Milestone School Performance

Our team

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.

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Scott Harvey

Member and Trustee - Resources Committee

Scott had a long and varied main career with the civil service, with a range of jobs including operational management, HR strategy, skills and workforce management, along with programme, project and change management in a number of challenging scenarios.  Scott has a wide range of qualifications from MBA to NLP practitioner.  He is a Chartered Manager, Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Fellow of  the Royal Society for the Arts. Scott is Vice Chair of a large secondary academy and a co-opted member of an FE College Board.

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Janice Banks

Independent Member

Janice is Chief Executive of GRCC (Gloucestershire Rural Community Council) a charity that supports community action in Gloucestershire.  She has 10 years’ experience working as an independent consultant providing CEO services and transformational change in the charitable sector.

She has previously worked as an Investment Manager in the City, Senior Executive positions at Nationwide Building Society (Communications, Compliance, HR, Member Service, Retail and Secretariat), and as Group Resources Director at Sovereign Housing Group, one of the largest housing associations in the UK.

Janice is also a Non-Executive Director of Cirencester Friendly Society.

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Our Trustees

Lyn Dance

CEO, Executive Head Teacher and Member of all SAND AT Boards/Committees

Lyn Dance has extensive experience of special education over 37 years.  Lyn has been a class teacher, head of department, deputy head and, latterly, the head teacher at The Milestone School for 16 years.  Lyn is Ofsted trained and a School Improvement Partner and new Head teacher mentor for several schools locally and in other Local Authorities.  She has proven experience of supporting schools to improve and has led The Milestone School through 3 consecutive Ofsteds with a grading of outstanding and a successful application to form The Coney Hill and Milestone Teaching School.

Lyn’s leadership style encourages innovative working and developing leaders for the future. Lyn is outward looking in her quest for continuous school improvement and is part of several collaborative working groups with both special and mainstream schools including GSP, G15, GASSH and SWALSSs.

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David Ellis

Chair of the Trust Board & Member of Finance and Risk Audit Committee

David has worked in the voluntary sector for over 35 years, both overseas and in the UK. This has involved Director level appointments with a number of national charities, including disability charities such as Leonard Cheshire and Guide Dogs for the Blind, during which time he has led a number of large change management projects.
David is currently Chief Executive at National Star, a national charity working with and for young people with complex disabilities. He has been in post since 2010, during which time he has increased the scale of the charity’s service delivery from £14million p.a. to £30million p.a. in 2020.
David also has a number of non-executive roles including as a Trustee of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, (VODG), the umbrella group for disability charities across the UK.

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Martin Hughes

Chair - Finance and Risk Audit Committee

Chief Executive of Lilian Faithfull Care, a leading Charity in the Care Home 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.  Driven-up care standards in the Group to good in all homes in all areas.  Caring for 300 residents and looking after 450 members of staff. Previously Director of Finance and an Accountant by profession.

Experience of managing the financial and legal due diligence of acquiring another Charity.

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Antonia Noble

Quality of Education and Resources Committees

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.

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Chris Haslam

Chair - Resources Committee

Chris is a recently retired chartered surveyor with over 40 years experience encompassing the whole development process on a range of projects. He has also have experience in asset management and making strategic property decisions .Chris was Commercial Property Director of Robert Hitchens Homes for 30 years, directing a wide variety of major projects.

Chris has been instrumental in the design and delivery of the Chamwell Centre at the Milestone School.

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Jane Bee

Quality of Education Committee

Jane has worked in Safeguarding and Child Protection for 17 years and was the manager for Safeguarding in Education for Gloucestershire as well as the senior LADO. Prior to this, Jane worked in Special Educational Needs for the Local Authority and has a long history with special schools in the county.

Jane is currently the Director of Jane Bee Safeguarding Ltd, delivering training on all kinds of safeguarding subjects including Safer Recruitment and DSL training. She chairs the South West Safeguarding in Education Group.

Jane is an accredited Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) lead reviewer for Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (previously Serious Case Reviews), undertaking these across the country. Jane is also an experienced safeguarding auditor, carrying out various audits for schools, charities, health trusts and religious groups.

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Our Executive Assistant & Clerk

Kate Shepherd

Executive Assistant & Clerk to the Trust

Kate took on her first clerking role in 2012, today she clerks for 9 Cheltenham schools, the Cheltenham Learning Partnership (CLP) and the Gloucestershire Association of Primary Heads (GAPH). Kate’s schools are a mix of academies, maintained and special schools.

Since 2016 Kate has been a Regional Clerk Expert for a large national Multi Academy Trust offering clerk support and reviewing best practice. Kate brings a wealth of experience in all clerking and governance matters, as well as being Chair of Governors in a primary school. Kate is an expert on GovernorHub. She sets this system up for schools as well as using it for her schools.

Our Senior Leadership Team

Lyn Dance

CEO & Executive Head Teacher

Lyn Dance has extensive experience of special education over 37 years. Lyn has been a class teacher, head of department, deputy head and, latterly, the head teacher at The Milestone School for 16 years. Lyn is Ofsted trained and a School Improvement Partner and new Head teacher mentor for several schools locally and in other Local Authorities.

Angel Lai

Finance Director

Angel Lai joint SAND Academies Trust in November 2019. Angel is responsible for overall financial strategy and sound financial governance and risk management of the Academy.

Prior to joining SAND Academies Trust, Angel worked as a fully qualified accountant in Financial Services, manufacturing and Higher Education sector; gained a wealth of knowledge in accounting, financial management, treasury, statutory reporting and project financing. Angel has established a reputation for building high-performing teams and for aligning finance services and business requirements to innovate and enable sustainable growth through optimising resources utilisation.

Chris Davies

Operational Director

Chris has almost 40 years of experience working in mainstream and special schools.
Chris is originally from Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.
He trained at Cardiff College of Education as a Physical Education Teacher and undertook his degree in Special Education at Nottingham University.
Whilst teaching he worked in a variety of local authorities including Lincolnshire and Gloucestershire.
In 1992 Chris took up his first Headship at Penrose School in Bridgwater, Somerset.
In 1995 he moved to Shropshire to open a new special school as part of the authorities reorganisation of its provision.
Under his guidance the school grew from a 120 place provision to a 430 place academy when he left in August 2015.
Whilst working in Somerset and Shropshire, Chris worked with other schools and local authorities on strategy and finance, he also worked with the DfE.
Since retiring from Severndale Academy, Chris has set up his own consultancy working with schools and local authorities.
Chris is a former chair and committee member of The South and West Leaders of Special Schools, an organisation which supports schools mainly in the special sector.
Chris currently works for the SAND Academies Trust and a number of other organisations/schools across the country.

Our Previous Trustees

Richard Levinge

Trustee - resigned June 2020

Chair of Governors at The Milestone School  (2014 – April 2019). Last inspection 2017 Outstanding. Richard has stepped down from the Milestone School on establishment of SAND Academy Trust. Director and Founder of Ease Training – Governance consultancy and training. Previously Chair of Charity – Cruse (Gloucestershire) 2008 -2013 and currently Chair of Advisory Board at Independent Special School.

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Janine Smith

Trustee - resigned May 2020

Assistant Head teacher – Milestone School (phase lead secondary)  (Retired July 2018) Extensive knowledge of SEND, parent partnerships and multi-agency collaboration.

Developed ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ reviews to ensure young people and their families participate as fully as possible and are provided with support necessary to enable participation in Post 16 decisions. Both Post 16 transition work and curriculum development, including external accreditation, has supported Milestone school achieve 0% NEET (Not in Education, Employment, Training) in their annual destination data, which was praised by OFSTED in their last three inspections.

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