Leora Cruddas CEO
Leora Cruddas is the CEO of the Confederation of School Trusts – the national organisation and sector body for school trusts in England. She has advised successive governments and sits on several Department for Education Advisory Bodies. She is the vice chair of the Head Teacher Standards Review Group.

Prior to establishing CST, she was Director of Policy and Public Relations for the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL). Just before leaving ASCL, Leora established the Commission for Ethical Leadership, on which she served as a commissioner. She now sits on the Ethics Committee. She believes education is for the common good. Leora has six years of experience as a Director of Education in two London Local Authorities. She has extensive experience at senior executive level of working with schools and trusts to improve the effectiveness and quality of education.
Rob McDonough Chair and Board Member
Rob is the CEO of the East Midlands Education Trust which contains a number of secondary and primary schools, along with one alternative education provider, all in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire area.

Prior to becoming a full time CEO, Rob was the Principal of the West Bridgford School in Nottinghamshire for fourteen years during which it was deemed Outstanding by OfSTED in 2011.

Rob has been a member of CST (formally FASNA) since 2005 and a board member since 2008. Presently Rob represents CST on the DfE school admissions group.
Roy Blackwell Vice Chair and Board Member
Roy started his working life as a teacher, after which he became Education Officer for a Local Authority before spending ten years in the civil service which led to him travelling around Europe negotiating bi-lateral and multi-lateral treaties for HM Government.

Between 1999 and 2019, Roy was Clerk to the United Westminster Schools/Grey Coat Hospital Foundation, an ancient (1594) charity which has strong links with Westminster Abbey. He is also Clerk to the governing bodies of the schools which make up the Foundation, an unusual mixture of independent and state schools, the latter being inner city academies.

He is currently Chair of VOCES8 Foundation, a charity dedicated to music education; Upper Warden of the Worshipful Company of Educators and is Chair of its Education Committee; is a Director of the City Of London’s Academy Trust; Vice Chair of the City Of London Academy Trust; Chair of Governors of Highgate Hill Academy. He was also an inaugural member of the City of London’s Education Board; chaired the Independent Schools Pension Scheme and was a member of the Teachers Pension Scheme Board; he also represented CST on the Independent and State School Partnership group.

More recently, he joined the board of BrainCanDo, which is looking at the development of children’s brains and how neurological research can influence teaching and learning. In January 2020, he was appointed CEO of The Challenger Multi Academy Trust which has primary and secondary schools in Bedford and Essex.

Jayne Harrison Board Member
Jayne Harrison is the Business Manager of a Multi Academy Trust in Staffordshire. In 2012 she led the conversion of Violet Way Infant School through academy conversion.  Only the third school in Staffordshire to undertake the process at that time. The Trust now consists of 3 schools. The Trust ethos is very much about collaboration and school to school support. Jayne has 20 years’ experience in education and has previously trained school business managers as part of the National College development program delivering CSBM, DSBM and ADSBM. She has also been involved in mentoring on the MBA school management for Lincoln University. Within the Trust Jayne works alongside an inspirational team including an NLG and LLE to ensure that children are inspired and transformed by having access to high quality teaching and learning opportunities that add breadth, passion and excitement to their lives.
Lorrayne Hughes Board Member
Lorrayne is the successful and outward facing CEO of Cumbria Education Trust.  Cumbria Education Trust is one of the first school based MATs in North Cumbria.

Lorrayne passionately believes in inclusion and that all children deserve a high quality education – children are firmly at the heart of all her strategic decision making.

Lorrayne took up her first Headship at William Howard School in Cumbria in 2007. In January 2014 she was commissioned by the Local Authority to bring about rapid improvement in two special measures schools in Workington, Cumbria. One of the schools was removed from Special Measures within 20 weeks.  Ofsted commented on Lorrayne’s success in December 2014 "Your vision is clear: to build sustainable improvement across the schools for the long-term benefit of students and the Workington community”. Following this secondment Lorrayne took up the role as CEO of the Trust.

Lorrayne believes in a school led system for school improvement based around autonomy and accountability. She was Chair of CASL (Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders) for many years and is passionate about system leadership and what that can bring to the school improvement agenda.  She strongly believes that schools are better working together and that collaboration can make a difference to all involved.
Confederation of School Trusts - Martyn Oliver
Martyn Oliver Board Member
Martyn Oliver is the Chief Executive Officer and Accounting Officer of Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT).

Martyn joined OGAT in 2009, when the trust was first developed, having been an experienced senior leader prior to this for many years in both County Durham and Lincolnshire. Upon joining OGAT, Martyn quickly became the Principal of Outwood Grange Academy and led the school to an Ofsted Outstanding judgement. Latterly, as a National Leader of Education (NLE), Martyn has worked across all of the Trust’s academies but in particular led Outwood Academy Adwick in Doncaster from Ofsted Special Measures to Outstanding and both Outwood Academy Foxhills and Outwood Academy Brumby in North Lincolnshire from Special Measures to Good with Outstanding leadership as an Executive Principal/Regional CEO for the Trust. Martyn was appointed as CEO of OGAT in 2016.

Martyn leads one of the country’s highest performing multi-academy trusts which currently has 31 academies – 21 secondaries and 10 primaries – in the Tees Valley, Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire regions. OGAT is a System Trust, working directly to the National Schools Commissioner and is part of the Northern Alliance of Trusts. Martyn is committed to supporting not only all of the academies within OGAT but also the wider system and his team of Executives have delivered, for many years, professional development on executive leadership and multi-academy trust development for system leaders both across the country and as part of the Outwood Institute of Education.

Outwood is a family of inclusive academies in the heart of their communities where all children are cared for and where standards are raised and lives transformed.
Confederation of School Trusts - Steve Snelson
Steve Snelson Board Member
Steve Snelson is the headteacher of Red Hill Field Primary School - a larger than average sized primary academy.  He was highly celebrated in the school's recent OFSTED inspection for his impact in leading the school from 'requires improvement' to 'good' in a short time.  Prior to this, Steve led Farndon Fields Primary School, a Primary Academy in Market Harborough.  His experience in primary education is diverse and includes working with a large multi academy trust in the early stages of setting up a free school.  He is a valued member of the Department for Education's Primary Headteacher Reference Group, which is made up of leading headteachers from a wide range of schools across England who bring their knowledge and ideas from the frontline of education to assist in the development of strategic policy and direction.
Pamela Wright OBE Board Member
Pamela Wright is a member of the Wade Deacon Trust Board in North West England. She has extensive and highly successful experience in senior leadership, including headship in both secondary and primary education. Until 2014 she was Executive Principal of Wade Deacon High School leading it to its current Ofsted judgement of outstanding. The school was the Times Educational Supplement Outstanding Secondary School of the Year in 2012.

As its first CEO Pamela was instrumental in setting up Wade Deacon Trust. The Trust has three secondary schools, a four primary schools and an all-through 3 -16 age-range school, with more schools interested in joining the Trust.

In 2008 Pamela was appointed a National Leader of Education and has worked to bring about the rapid improvement of schools in special measures. She has led both primary and secondary schools out of Ofsted categories. Her experience in system leadership is extensive, working to support many different types of school across the UK, particularly in Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire.

Pamela has first-hand experience of setting up a hard federation between two large secondary schools and developing multi academy trusts in areas of high deprivation or with schools in challenging circumstances. She currently advises multi academy trusts on their senior appointments.

Pamela is passionate about ensuring that every child has the opportunity to gain the skills to compete for employment in a global economy. She is in her eighth year as an International Leadership Consultant with the British Council and has facilitated training across the world. Her area of particular expertise is leadership in education. Pamela has delivered leadership training in China, South Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Sudan and Nigeria. In addition, she has delivered many keynote speeches on leadership, effective training practices, school improvement and collaborative working at national and international conferences. She has spoken at conferences in Argentina, China and Sri Lanka.

Pamela places great emphasis upon developing leaders at every level and is totally committed in her conviction that young people come first and deserve the very best education in their one chance at school.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours list.
Ian Bauckham CBE Board Member
Ian has worked in education since graduating Cambridge University in modern languages. He has taught in comprehensive schools, led a modern languages department in inner London, and worked as a head of sixth form. He was head teacher of a large 11-18 Church of England comprehensive in Kent from 2004. The school was rated as outstanding in every category by Ofsted in 2012 and is a Teaching School and National Support School. As a NLE Ian works with many other schools in the region and more widely. Ian was president of ASCL 2013-14.

Ian is now CEO of the Tenax Schools Trust which now consists of eight schools and is growing. The Trust sponsors two free schools. He is an Ofsted inspector and was a member of the Head Teacher Board for the South London and South East region from 2014-2017. He is a trustee of NFER, and sits on the Board of Ofqual. He is the DfE’s education advisor for RSE and PSHE, and also advises the Department extensively on MFL education. He chaired for many years the board of Sabre Education, a charity which promotes early years education in Ghana. He was awarded the CBE in 2017 for services to education.
Mufti Hamid Patel CBE Board Member
Hamid is the Chief Executive of Star Academies. He has led the Trust since its inception. Hamid is passionate about the highest of ambition for children and young people from the most disadvantaged communities across the country, and this vision has guided the philosophy of the Trust and his work in particular. Hamid, as a National Leader of Education, is a member of several national and international strategic educational and policy forums. In this role, he has contributed to the development of strategies and programmes as diverse as teacher training, leadership development, community cohesion, curriculum reform and social mobility. Hamid is committed to the development of a strong and world-class academy sector, and actively works to improve its reputation. In recognition of his service to education, Hamid was awarded a CBE in 2015.
Luke Sparkes Board Member
Throughout his career, moving from inner city Leeds to Manchester and finally to Bradford, Luke has been consistently committed to challenging educational disadvantage in complex urban settings in the North.

His reputation was forged as Founding Principal of Dixons Trinity Academy in Bradford which became, in January 2014, the first secondary free school to be judged Outstanding by Ofsted. Nationally, Dixons Trinity’s student progress is amongst the very best. Luke has advised the DfE - writing and speaking widely on education.

Luke’s influential expertise in school culture is shared through his work as a Board Member with CST, Teach First’s National School Forum and Ambition Institute’s Schools Advisory Group. Now working as an Executive Director across Dixons Academies, one of the highest performing Trusts nationally, Luke is shaping the future strategic development of the organisation.