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Board of Trustees

As a charitable company limited by guarantee ELAN is governed by a board of trustees who have overall responsibility and ultimate decision-making authority for all the work of the trust,  delegating some matters to the local governing body through the scheme of delegation. The trustees will oversee the educational standards, performance and finances of all the academies in the trust and meet the government guidelines on safeguarding, equality and diversity.


The trustees are accountable to the Department of Education (DfE) and ensure the standard and quality of education remains high and that any associated academy funding is used effectively. The trustees will focus on the three core functions of governance:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • overseeing and ensuring effective financial performance.


Our story


We are a group of individuals with a diverse range of backgrounds, experience and expertise who dedicate our time to supporting the trust and improving children’s lives and life chances.  We do so as we all feel it is the right thing and that we can make a difference together.  We believe collectively we are adding value to the trust, its colleagues, the children and the communities that our schools support.


We are there to support and challenge the Chief Executive and the Central Team, helping to set clear direction by approving and monitoring what they do and plans that they put forward for the future. As Directors of the Trust we are legally accountable to provide effective and ethical governance.  We often have to make tough decisions, and we do so based on information provided to us by the central team and other agencies such as the Department for Education. We always act with careful consideration. We make judgements but we are never judgemental.

Julian Baldwin  - Education Specialist

Julian has had a lifelong passionate commitment to education, starting as a Foreign Languages Teacher in 1981 to completing 10 years as Headteacher of Backwell School in 2016, during which time the school was twice judged by Ofsted to be outstanding. Julian has been a National Leader in Education (NLE) and led the North Somerset Teaching Alliance through the Backwell Teaching School. Since 2015 he has been employed on a consultative basis by the Department for Education as an Education Specialist. Having retired from headship, he now specialises in supporting schools in leadership and teaching and learning.

Rosemary Carr  - Marketing Specialist


Rosemary has over 30 years of experience in strategic planning, brand development and marketing. From 1995 – 2010 she was Brand and Marketing Director of Clarks, helping to transform the business into a profitable global brand leader. As an independent consultant she has developed transformational brand and marketing strategies, and supported their implementation, for large and small organisations across a wide range of sectors.

Rosemary’s governance experience includes serving as Trustee and Vice Chair of both WaterAid UK and WaterAid International, and as Governor and Chair of Sidcot School.

Tara Featherstone - HR specialist 

Tara is the head of HR for one of the largest food wholesalers in the UK. Managing and leading the HR Business partnering across support functions for a nationwide food wholesaler. Tara has worked within the industry for sixteen years and has a wealth of experience across business support functions from Buying, Finance, IT, Supply Chain, Technical Services, Audit, Fleet, Customer Marketing to overseeing the development and delivery of people plans. 


Justin Harvey-Bennett - Engineer and environmentalist. Governance and Asset Management Specialist


Justin has worked in the construction industry since 1990 and is a Chartered Engineer, Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building and a Chartered Environmentalist. He has worked in all areas of the built environment both at a technical and managerial capacity. 


Justin has worked for North Somerset Council for a number of years, leading on the design and construction of schools and commercial building projects. Justin gained extensive governance experience dealing with many different situations as Chair of Governors at an outstanding school in Weston-super-Mare. Within this role, he worked very closely with the schools Senior Management Team (SMT) working with them to effectively and confidently manage the school and its environment. Justin was also an integral founder member of the Weston-super-Mare Co-operative Education Trust. 

Iain Kilpatrick (Chair) - Headmaster Sidcot School. Education and Business Specialist

Iain began his career in branch banking before transferring to the corporate finance division of a major clearing bank. He has been a head for fourteen years and led two contrasting schools: a day school in Scotland and a boarding and day school in England. In each he has implemented considerable change and been successful in raising the number of pupils, academic achievement and profile of both as well as improving their financial performance. He has considerable experience of all aspects of school leadership – including marketing, branding and stakeholder relations and in developing strategic initiatives that support continuing development in dynamic and challenging markets.  Iain was one of the founding members of ELAN having previously been Chair of the Weston-super-Mare Education Trust.

Adam Matthews (CEO) - Education Specialist


Adam qualified to teach in 1995, after spending 11 years working as a logistician for several companies in the UK and USA. He is now a National Leader of Education (NLE)  and has, over the past 14 years, in the capacity of NLE, Local Leader of Education (LLE) and Advisory Headteacher worked with many schools across the country to improve outcomes for children through effective school improvement.


As Headteacher of Bournville Primary School he has overseen the amalgamation of two schools, the design and construction of a new school building, the award of National Teaching School Status and Gaining AFA Quality lead school. Adam is a trustee of XTND charity and Sidcot School. Adam chaired the North Somerset Learning Exchange school improvement board for four years, has been a member of the Strategic Schools Forum and serves on the Formula Review and Future Schools boards.

Joe Nicholls – Employment Law Specialist

Joe has specialised exclusively in employment law since 2011. He has a successful track record in employment disputes, representing both individuals and businesses in all types of Employment Tribunal litigation. 

Charlotte Resuggan – Assistant Headteacher, Teaching & Learning, Sidcot School - Education Specialist

Claire Williams  -  Financial Specialist

Claire is a qualified accountant of 10 years, having trained private practice she has experience in Audit, Corporate Finance and Restructure and Recovery. She transferred into Banking in 2010, currently working for Lloyds Banking Group leading a large operational finance team. Claire has a strong track record of delivering to a high standard and is experienced in delivering continuous improvement and motivating large teams in a continually changing and challenging environment.