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.


Scott Harvey

Independent Member

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.


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.

Sarah McGurk


Appointed – 7th December 2022

Sarah is a Partner with St James’s Place Wealth Management, having gained her Diploma in Financial Planning in 2018. She has over 30 years’ experience in the Transport and Haulage Industries and has built up a wealth of knowledge, not just as a Business owner but as a trusted Financial Advisor to deliver exceptional outcomes for people.

Having worked within a family haulage and construction business for over 20 years, as well as gaining more than 10 years’ experience with truck manufacturers Volvo, DAF and Iveco, Sarah understands how important building relationships are. She is known for ‘doing the right thing’ by her clients, going beyond the transaction of the business and doing whatever it takes to maintain and exceed clients’ expectations. Sarah has always loved helping people, whether that is family, friends, colleagues, clients, associates and has always been reliable, loyal, a confidante, the one that people trust to get things done.

She is also accredited through St James’s Place Wealth Management to deliver financial education, something she is passionate about and believes everyone should have access to financial advice.

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.

Our Governance Professional


Governance Professional & Executive Assistant to the Trust


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 Previous Trustees / Members

Kerry Brimfield

Chair of Trustees - resigned 31st August 2023

Appointed – 20th October 2020

Kerry has 21 years of experience within education, 10 years in the academy sector.  She has extensive experience in school, academy and multi academy trust business services and educational leadership.  Kerry played a key role in improving educational standards by transforming the monitoring, evaluation, review and collection and use of data to drive forward school improvement. Kerry is a strategist with highly developed skills in coaching, negotiation, change and project management.

Kerry held the role of COO (and interim CEO) of a newly formed MAT where she was responsible for creating and implementing the funding model and all other business aspects of the growing Trust including managing numerous academy conversions. She has worked with and advised local governing bodies on the process of conversion, what should be considered whilst undertaking due diligence and led the TUPE process.

Kerry was the lead SBM Advocate for the National College of School Leadership, was a member of an education practitioners group advising the DfE in the implementation of policy and has delivered key note speeches both nationally and internationally.

Chloe Sellick

Trustee - resigned 23rd May 2023

Appointed – 3rd October 2022

Awaiting further details

Beverley Williams

Trustee - resigned 25th March 2023

Bev has worked in eduction since 1992, starting as a Teaching Assistant and then qualifying to teach in 1996. Her degree was in Special Education and she then completed a PGCE. Bev has worked as a SENCO/Inclusion Manager in several schools and has also worked for four Local Authorities supporting their SEND teams. In between these roles, Bev has worked as a tutor for children in care and for adults with additional needs.

Bev currently works as an SEND consultant for a LA in the north of England as well as providing educational testing for both adults and children in and around Gloucester. She has postgraduate qualifications in Autism, Educational Testing and Educational Leadership as well as being TEFL qualified and a member of the British Psychological Society.

Bev has lifelong experience of additional needs as she has family members with learning disabilities, ADHD and specific learning difficulties. Supporting children, young people and adults with additional needs is something which she is passionate about but also feels strongly that wider families including siblings and parents/carers need to be valued, supported and understood.

Lyn Dance

CEO and Trustee - resigned 31st December 2022

Appointed – 4th July 2019

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.

David Young

Trustee - resigned 19th October 2022

Born and educated in Edinburgh, David attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and spent 8 years as a Commissioned Officer in the Royal Military Police.
He has a Law Degree from Bristol University.
Following a serious leg injury David left the Army and built a career in the Security Industry.
He has over 30 Years Senior Management experience within the G4S Group

Retiring in December 2014 David’s final role was as Senior Vice President within G4STechnology, responsible for all technical sales at P & L level in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

David has extensive experience in Strategic planning & implementation, Financial management and budgeting, Organisational development, service & process improvement, Change management and Business restructuring,

David is currently a Parish Councillor for Up Hatherley and Chair of Governors at Lakeside Primary School in Cheltenham.

Bob Pattenden

Trustee - resigned 9th October 2022

After a musical training at Trinity College of Music, London, Bob trained as a Primary school teacher and was soon bitten by the bug. Following teaching posts in East Sussex, Hampshire and Wiltshire he was a Headteacher and Executive Headteacher for 27 years in a number of schools. In various posts he held responsibility for two Children’s Centres and a special unit for pupils within a mainstream school.

Bob has wide experience as a Primary Strategy Consultant Leader and a Consultant Head, supporting schools on a wide range of leadership and management issues. For three years he was a member of Gloucester Diocesan Board of Education. He was also seconded for two years to the National College as Regional Leader, working with schools, Local Authorities and Trusts across the South.

Bob currently works as a School Improvement Adviser, principally for the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust.

Chris Haslam

Trustee - resigned 11th August 2022

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.

Benjamin Burch

Trustee - resigned 20th June 2022

Ben is an Audit Manager who has worked in the accountancy sector for the past 9 years.

He qualified initially as an Accounting Technician with the AAT and soon after gained Chartered status with the ICAEW.

His sizeable and varied audit portfolio includes a number of academies schools and MATs, many of which he has audited and advised since their inception.

Outside of work, Ben enjoys travelling when possible with his fiancée, and keeps busy on the weekends as a keen, albeit amateur, cricketer and golfer.

Russell Bevan

Trustee - resigned 3rd May 2022

Appointed – 29th March 2022

Awaiting information.

Jane Bee

Trustee - resigned 5th April 2022

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.

Wendy Gray

Trustee - resigned October 2021

Wendy has recently joined the Trust bringing with her a wealth of experience as a business consultant across a range of industry and business fields from property development, project management, motor industry, manufacturing, sales training and management and latterly owner of a successful estate agency.  Her strong work ethic, enthusiasm and positivity has been her most valuable tool in her business life, and was clearly demonstrated when in her last corporate role, she took a failing estate agency region to top position within one of the largest estate agency groups in the UK.

In 2009 Wendy decided to put her strong business attributes to good use by purchasing the liquidated assets of a failed business and turned it around within 12 months and is now proud of its achievement to have secured industry awards and operate in profit year on year with a high market share and excellent reputation for professionalism.  The business is now family owned with both her sons involved.

In the past Wendy has been a volunteer at Milestone School with Young Enterprise and is delighted that she can once again offer some support and time to this sector of education which is very close to her heart.

When time allows and the weather is fairer, Wendy can be found on the golf course or at the local park with her adorable grand-daughter.