• Trustees
  • Tammy Mitchell CEO EKC Schools Trust
    Tammy Mitchell – CEO

    Joined EKC Schools Trust as Chief Executive Officer in March 2020 when the Trust opened.

    Tammy began her career in teaching after training in Hertfordshire. Following a few years working as a classroom practitioner in different schools in Northamptonshire she joined the local authority to work as a Strategies Consultant and Teaching and Learning Adviser. This saw Tammy working with schools across county to develop and enhance the quality of teaching while also strengthening the curriculum.

    In 2006 Tammy took up her first headship at a school in Northampton. She stayed in the role for four years before moving to Kent to take on her second headship. In both of these roles she managed to improve the two schools performance, seeing them rise from two ‘schools causing concern’ grades to securely good ones.

    In 2015 Tammy left her role as a headteacher to work across a range of school improvement roles. This saw her facilitating the cross phase NPQ programmes,  and leading the training and development of middle leaders across a network of schools in East Kent. She also worked as a Local Authority Improvement Advisor, providing counsel to ensure the improvement of provision in schools.

    Her most recent role, before joining East Kent Colleges Group, saw her act as the East Kent Senior Improvement Advisor, leading a team of Improvement Advisors and delivering a wide range of training and development programmes across the county. She also led the Pupil Premium Strategy for Kent.

    Tammy’s role within East Kent Colleges Group as Chief Education Officer, led on to the formation of the EKC Schools Trust.

    An East Kent resident, in her spare time Tammy enjoys kayaking, paddle boarding and horse riding.

  • Graham Razey OBE – Chair of Trustees

    As Group Principal and Chief Executive, Graham leads the East Kent Colleges Group at a strategic level. Acting as the senior leader in the organisation, Graham is accountable for all elements of the Group’s performance and services across East Kent.

  • Bernadette Lax – Vice Chair of Trustees

    Joined EKC Schools Trust as Trustee in September 2020.

    Following a long career in various Headteacher roles in the youth service and primary education Bernadette now works as a leadership coach as well as  developing and delivering training.

    Bernadette also volunteers as a Trustee at the Farskate Foundation.

  • Emma Wilkinson

    Emma joined EKC Schools Trust as a Trustee in July 2023.

    As Senior Deputy Principal at EKC Canterbury College Emma’s creativity and previous senior leadership and management knowledge and experience supported her as founding Director of EKC Sixth Form College.

    With senior responsibility for several technical / vocational departments and international provision, high expectations and encouraging high aspirations are at the heart of Emma’s approach, grounded in the belief in the potential of all young people to achieve.

  • Peter Troke

    Joined EKC Schools Trust as a Trustee March 2020 and serves on the Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee.

    Dr Troke joins the Board of Trustees with considerable educational Governance experience. A former Pfizer microbiologist he has been a Governor or Chair of Governors in primary and secondary schools for over 35 years but still retains a passion for education.He first experienced governance in 1982, helping to guide a Ramsgate primary school. Since then he has served on a range of school governing bodies, developing a wide skillset and undertaking training as a Local Leader of Governance during 2015/16.

  • Paul Sayers

    Paul is East Kent Colleges Group’s Chief Information and Strategy Officer. His role sees him lead on the Group’s strategic work, its MIF function and planning for future growth and projects.

    He also takes the lead on key stakeholder engagement, developing partnerships which support the Group’s strategic objectives across its provision. This involves him investigating how the Group can explore and exploit strategic initiatives with our key partners, while building new networks and consolidating existing partnerships. His role also sees him take responsibility for Group services.

    Paul led on the merger of East Kent College and Canterbury College which has delivered the East Kent Colleges Group. His expertise in stakeholder management ensured that this complex transaction was negotiated at a pace, and resulted in exceptional outcomes for all partners.

    Holding a degree in Human and Computer Sciences, Paul began his career in the executive search sector, developing his talent for building relationships. He then moved to the Learning and Skills Council (the Skills Funding Agency’s predecessor), leading project teams responsible for implementing organisational change and performance management systems.

    Paul progressed through a number of roles before becoming a Partnership Director where he developed relationships with FE Colleges and strategic partners across Kent, ensuring the delivery of key government policies and programmes including Apprenticeships, capital investment programmes and vocational education reform.

    Before leaving the SFA, Paul worked as Head of Area Relationships with responsibility for £150m of public and private sector education and training contracts, as well as for strategic stakeholder partnerships.

    Paul is married and lives in Tenterden with his wife Frances and their two children. Frances is a musician who works at the Royal Opera House accompanying ballet dancers and she also teaches piano. Paul is involved in music production but also enjoys hiking and running.

  • Ollie Laughton

    Ollie has been at Burgess Hodgson since 2012, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW) and Chartered Tax Advisor (CIOT). Ollie’s success in his studies and development in the firm led to a promotion to Associate in 2022.

    Whilst managing a diverse portfolio of clients and a busy team of trainee accountants, Ollie assists with annual compliance, management accounts and forecast preparation, providing diligent tax advice to owner managed businesses along the way.

    Ollie feels that building strong relationships with his clients is key to advising.

    Ollie also has a special interest in inheritance tax and estate planning and advice, including the administration of estates. During his Chartered Tax Advisor qualification, Ollie was one of only three successful candidates in Kent to pass the “Inheritance Tax, Trusts & Estates: Advanced Technical” exam.

    Ollie sits on the firm’s internal charity committee and has arranged fundraising events such as Tough Mudder, raising thousands of pounds for the firm’s nominated charities.

    Ollie is a keen networker in the Canterbury area with a strong financial and non-financial network.

    Outside of the office, Ollie lives in Aylesham with his wife and two children, is a keen gym goer and enjoys live music. Ollie also has an interest in education and is a Governor for his local primary school.

  • Alan Horton

    Alan is a retired police officer having served with Kent Police for 30 years. Since retiring he has been a ward Councillor on Swale Borough Council and a Parish Councillor on Upchurch Parish Council. He has been a school Governor for 18 years and Chair at Holywell for six years. Alan is married and has three children with his wife Ruth.

  • Peter Goldsack

    Joined EKC Schools Trust as Trustee in September 2020 and serves on the Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee.

    Peter worked for Lloyds Banking Group and retired in June 2019 after 41 years of service. The majority of Peter’s career was spent as a manager within Internal Audit or other risk management related roles.

    Peter volunteers as a Governor at Briary Primary School and is Chair of the Finance Committee.

  • Barbara Conroy

    Barbara is a retired Headteacher having served for over 17 years at Queenborough School and Nursery and during that time lead the school to be an outstanding provision. Barbara joined the Trust in September 2022 and is keen to continue to use her skills, expertise, and experience to support the Trust as a Trustee and to see the MAT continue to thrive and grow over the next few years.

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