Strong and robust governance is key to securing high standards of educational achievement.

Strong and robust governance is a key asset in securing high standards of educational achievement.

EKCST delegate as much responsibility as allowed within the Academies Handbook to local boards. It is our belief that local community Governors who hold deep-rooted allegiance to their community will have the most impact on the school’s strategic direction and vision. Essential to our localised model, is localised Governance that reflects the unique context of each school. We believe local governance plays an important role in encouraging and shaping the wider learning opportunities and experiences available to children, adding value as we work towards our strategic vision and improvement priorities.

The Local Governing Body reports to the Trust’s Board, which provides overarching strategic guidance for the whole of the Trust.

EKC Schools Trust Board Members and Trustees

  • amend the articles of association and memorandum of understanding
  • ensure trustees are fulfilling their statutory duties
  • sign any special resolutions regarding the constitutional set up of the Trust
  • appointing additional members
  • Charles Buchanan – Chair of Members

    Charles Buchanan is an independent management consultant and business mentor, having previously been Chief Executive Officer of London Ashford Airport and CEO of Manston Airport in Kent over five years. Prior to this he spent more than 10 years at London City Airport, ultimately as Strategy and Communications Director. Throughout his career in airport management, he has been responsible for commercial development and infrastructure investment programmes, combined with governmental and public relations.

    Charles trained originally as a civil engineer at Oxford University and joined the developing Channel Tunnel Group in 1985. He was part of the team that submitted the successful bid to build and operate Eurotunnel and latterly was responsible for sales and marketing, both in the UK and on the Continent, through the opening in 1994 and the first years of operation, leaving as Group Sales Manager.

  • Jonathan Clarke

    As former Managing Director of Morgan Jones, Jonathan has significant experience in leadership, business, and HR.

    Jonathan joined EKC Schools Trust as a Trustee in March 2020 serving as Chair of Trustees until he stepped down in July 2022. Jonathan took up the role of being a Member of EKC Schools Trust on 1 August 2022.

    Jonathan has been a Governor of East Kent Colleges Group from 2013-2022 and served as Chair of Search and Governance Committee and Chair of Remuneration Committee.

  • Semih Ozyurt

    Sem has been actively involved with East Kent Colleges Group since he was a student at EKC Broadstairs College from 2009 – 2014 as student governor and students’ union president. He is business-minded and has a keen interest in start-ups and business in the local area.

  • Louisa Coppins

    Having started out as an NQT in 1989, I took early retirement from teaching in 2021 and am currently working as Attendance Consultant for a trust of schools in Folkestone. During my teaching career, I held a variety of senior roles in large and challenging schools. Early on, I spent over a decade at Harris Academy Bermondsey working as a Head of Year and Raising Standards Leade. I then worked as a senior leader in three large secondary schools and, most recently, was Vice Principal for Inclusion at Folkestone Academy. Growing up in north London, and with the majority of my career in inner London, I relocated to Kent in 2014 and now live in a 15th century farmhouse in the outskirts of Whitstable. To relax I enjoy walking my five dogs, working in the garden and listening to Test Match Special.

  • Kristina Yates

    Krissy was raised and educated in Folkestone, Kent. She completed her single honours degree in English at Canterbury Christ Church University before attending the University of East Anglia to undertake her PGCE in Secondary English.

    Krissy began her teaching career at Southlands Community Comprehensive (now Marsh Academy) in New Romney, teaching English and Media Studies, before becoming the Director of Learning for this department, leading her team to more than double the percentage of pupils achieving a good pass at GCSE. Krissy was then promoted to the role of Lead Teacher at the Marsh Academy before becoming the Assistant Principal responsible for Key Stage 4. During her time at the Marsh Academy, Krissy completed the ‘Tomorrow’s Heads’ course, a fast-track programme to headship, successfully studied for her Masters in English Literature, and became a mother.

    To develop her experience in a selective context, Krissy moved to The Folkestone School for Girls in 2014, taking on the role of Assistant Principal for Pastoral Care before moving on to the role of Vice Principal for Teaching and Learning. These roles enabled Krissy to gain experience in a wide range of areas, including the Leadership of SEND and Safeguarding. Krissy has also supported a number of schools in challenging circumstances, engaging in a range of school improvement work in Kent schools.

    In 2018, Krissy founded the Turner Free School, an oversubscribed, non-selective school with a mission to provide an exceptional education to all pupils in its care, irrespective of their starting points. TFS offers a traditional, academic curriculum within a fully inclusive environment and has recently moved to its brand new building. Krissy also works across Turner Schools, leading the strategic development of the Trust with a particular focus on Leadership and Community and Stakeholder Engagement.

    Krissy is an avid reader and continues to bring her love of reading and its transformative potential to the core values of TFS and to her teaching as an English specialist.   

The board of trustees is responsible for setting standards and levels of achievement, monitoring performance, and ensuring accountability.

  • 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.

  • Set the vision of the individual academy within the vision, ethos and values of the EKC Schools Trust and the unique context of the school
  • Work with the Executive Team to hold the Senior Leaders to account, manage the performance of the Headteacher and recruit new Senior Leaders
  • Monitor the school budget and ensure best practice and value for money
  • Monitor and evaluate the performance of the quality of education within the academy & ensure effective delivery of the School Improvement Plan

The Local Governing Body reports to the Trust’s Board, which provides overarching strategic guidance for the whole of the Trust.

EKC Schools Trust Board Minutes

AGM minutes 06.12.22
AGM minutes 07.12.21


Trust Board Minutes 05.12.23
Trust Board Minutes 09.10.23
Trust Board Minutes 19.09.23


Trust Board Minutes 12.07.23
Trustees Board Meeting Minutes 07.03.23
Trustees Board Meeting Minutes 6.12.22
Trustees Board Minutes 20.09.22


Trustees Board Meeting Minutes 13.07.22
Trustees Board Meeting Minutes 08.03.22
Trustees Board Minutes 07.12.21
Trustees Board Minutes 21.09.21


Trustees Board Meeting Minutes 15.07.21
Trust Board Meeting Mintues 02.03.21
Trustees Board Minutes 22.09.20




Trust Finance Committee Minutes 30.11.23
Finance Committee Minutes 23.01.24


Trust Finance Committee minutes 22.06.23
Finance Committee minutes 29.03.23
Finance Committee Minutes 25.01.23
Finance Committee minutes 29.11.22


Finance Committee Minutes 05.07.22
Finance Committee Minutes 30.03.22
Finance Committee Minutes 26.01.22
Finance Committee Minutes 06.12.21


Finance Committee Minutes 07.07.21
Finance Committee Minutes 30.03.21
Finance Committee Minutes 02.11.20


Finance Committee Minutes 20.08.20
Finance Committee Minutes 08.07.20
Finance Committee Minutes 13.05.20


RAC Committee Minutes 12.07.23
RAC Committee Minutes 25.05.23
RAC Committee Minutes 21.03.23
RAC Committee Minutes 29.11.22


RAC Committee minutes 22.03.22
RAC Committee Minutes 06.12.21


RAC Committee Minutes 14.06.21
RAC Committee Minutes 26.03.21
RAC Committee Minutes 11.01.21
RAC Committee Minutes 17.11.20
RAC Committee Minutes 30.09.20