Directors and Trustees of EFAT

You can find out more about the Essa Foundation Academies Trust and how it operates at

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Like the Board of Directors of any big organisation, the trustees of Essa Foundation Academies Trust pay particular attention to :

  • Setting the strategic direction for the Trust, alongside the Chief Executive

  • Making sure there is consistency in things like HR policy across the trust

  • Ensuring that the trust complies with all relevant laws, including charity law requirements and the same company law requirements that apply to all Directors.

  • Keeping a close eye on the executive team and the individual academy principals and holding them to account at all times through the Chief Executive.

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The Trustees of Essa Foundation Academies Trust are :


"Chris is Head of Professional Development for Consilium Academies, a group of eight secondary schools across the north of England. In previous roles he designed and delivered professional development for teachers and school leaders at Ambition Institute, advised groups setting up new schools at the New Schools Network, and was a secondary school English teacher. 


He's interested in teacher development, education policy, curriculum design and school governance. Chris is Chair of the Board at EFAT."


Nigel John Whittle is a chartered accountant. He is the finance director of two large companies and runs his own chartered accountancy practice providing services to the private sector and to public bodies, including local government. Nigel is also the Chair of Essa Primary Academy LGB. He has been a primary school governor for over 10 years.


Nicholas Ford is the academic deputy head at Bolton School, an independent school in Bolton.  He has over 20 years teaching and senior leadership experience in state schools and proven track record of school improvement in inner city schools in London and Blackburn.  Nic is also the Chair of the Local Governing Body for Essa Academy.


Kate Longworth is a qualified solicitor specialising in the commercial property sector. Kate has also been a volunteer mentor for young people.


 Matthew Hackett is an experienced Chartered Management Accountant who has worked in various sectors of the economy. He is also the Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee

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Andrew has 30 years’ teaching and leadership experience in a wide variety of schools.


He has a strong track record of sustained success and raising standards across organisations of varying size and complexity: as a Headteacher, he successfully led three schools, and, for the past seven years he has led groups of schools, with provision ranging from nursery to sixth form. Until recently he was an Ofsted inspector.


Andrew joined Essa Foundation Academies Trust as Chief Executive Officer in 2016.

The Composition of the Board of Directors/Trustees is:

  • ​​Sponsor Directors - up to eight appointed by the Essa Foundation Trust

  • Academy Directors - up to four appointed by the Board of Directors 

  • The Chief Executive Officer/Management Team Director - ex officio 

​What are the Roles of the Members and the Board of Directors/Trustees?

The Trust’s Members and Directors/Trustees are responsible for ensuring that the Trust is solvent, well run and meets the needs for which it has been set up.

The Trust must comply with company and charity law and with a range of legislation including that related to equality, employment, health and safety, education, and the protection of children.


The Trust is the employer of all staff, has responsibility for, and control of, all revenue and capital funding and is the admissions authority for all academies in the Trust.

Members and non executive Directors/Trustees of the Board serve as volunteers and receive no payment for their work.

The Remit and Terms of Reference for the Board of Directors and its Committees (Scheme of Delegation) can be downloaded from the webpage on Corporate Information.


You can download copies of the agendas, reports, and minutes of meetings (except confidential items) of the Board and its Committees from the webpage on Corporate Information.

You can download a copy of the Trust’s most recent annual report and statement of accounts from the webpage on Corporate Information.

The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall governance of the Trust. Much of the day-to-day governance of each academy in the Trust is delegated by the Board to each Local Governing Body.