Our Trust Members
Claire Barnard, Paul Webster, Lesley Ainsworth, Dame Helen Hyde
Our Trust Board of Directors
Claire Barnard - strategic/leadership
Chair of Board of Directors - Finance, Premises & Operations Appointed: 22nd May 2001 Term of Office: 1st July 2018 - 30th June 2022 Service: Parent Governor, Community Governor, Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of Governors
I graduated from Homerton College, Cambridge in 1983 and I am a qualified teacher. I taught in both the private and state sector, full and part time. Both of my daughters went to STAGS. More recently, I have focussed on governance and school management, both as a Governor at STAGS and on appeals panels for county school admissions. I led the governing body through an OFSTED inspection, managed the successful appointment of the current Head Teacher and I bring a wealth of relevant experience as well as a vision for excellence. I am also involved in a local church with leading Sunday school work and group discussions, have established a local art group, am a member of a book club, enjoy playing instruments in a band, gardening and keeping fit!
Paul Webster - finance/primary
Board Director - Finance, Premises and Operations (Chair), Personnel & Student Wellbeing Appointed: 7th October 1996 Term of Office: 1st March 2019 - 28th February 2023
My name is Paul Webster and I have been a Governor since 1996. During the whole of my term of office I have also chaired the Finance and Marketing Committee. My experience as a School Governor started some five years prior to this date when I became a Governor of my children’s primary school, Oakwood School in St Albans, a position I still hold. My motivation for putting myself forward for the position of Board Director was to bring a more commercial view, which was required with the advent of Local Management of Schools.
By profession I am a Chartered Accountant and recently retired as a partner with Mercer & Hole a local firm based in St Albans. My responsibilities within the practice not only includes normal professional work dealing with clients but also that of being one of the Managing Partners of the practice responsible for managing 150 members of staff over three separate locations.
My connection with STAGS goes back many years initially with my sister attending the school in the days when it was a grammar school. Subsequent to this my three daughters have all attended STAGS and as a parent I have always valued the contribution of the school made to their development.
As an employer of graduates and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Education and Training committee I have a vested interest in ensuring that the students coming out of schools and universities are the right quality and aptitude to take their place in the business world and society generally.
In addition to the above I am also a keen golfer, ornithologist and aviculturist. I am also a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London.
Paul Snook - safeguarding/HR/standards
Board Director - Curriculum, Assessment & Standards (Chair), Personnel & Student Wellbeing. Safeguarding Governor Appointed: 9th September 2008 Term of Office: 1st May 2018 - 30th April 2022
Paul is a former teacher and education consultant now retired. For the past 25 years he worked on projects in the education sector supporting a number of Department for Education initiatives ranging from developing effective use of ICT in schools, supporting initiatives to promote post 16 education and to building leadership capacity.
He has been a Governor at STAGS for 12 years.
Robert Foster - curriculum/employment
Board Director - Curriculum, Assessment & Standards Appointed: 14th June 2016 Term of Office: 1st July 2018 - 30th June 2022 Service: Estates Committee. Chaired and served on the Curriculum, Assessments and Standards Committee
I have spent my entire working life as a teacher in secondary education. I became an Assistant Headteacher in 1989 and worked in a large multi ethnic mixed comprehensive school in Ealing. In recent years I have taken the opportunity to work more locally specialising in short term contracts and supply.
Margaret Chapman - Executive Headteacher
I began my teaching career in 1988 in north London, becoming Head of Geography and leading assessment in two schools, introducing a range of measures to track student performance and raise standards, prior to my appointment as Deputy Head of The Priory School in Hitchin.
We introduced the raising boys’ achievement programme and having successfully written Specialism bids in 2003, the school profile and outcomes gained considerable strength, culminating in an Ofsted Good Rating. During this time I began school improvement work with the London Challenge and within the Local Authority which I continue to do today.
I have been Headteacher at St Albans Girls’ School since 2010 and following an Outstanding judgement in January 2013, I led the team to further raise standards and challenge underperformance. Appointed as a National Leader in Education and National Pupil Premium Assessor, myself and my team have supported a number of schools to raise standards. SEND provision is devolved within Hertfordshire and I lead the Higher Needs allocation for the St Albans and Harpenden areas for all young people aged 0-25. In addition, I am Governor at a Local PRU Academy as well as being a Board Member of the local Teaching School’s Alliance and Education Advisor with the DFE. Most recently, I have become Executive Headteacher of ATLAS MAT.
Rachael Kenningham - Chair of Directors, standards
Board Director - Curriculum, Assessment & Standards, Personnel & Student Wellbeing and STAGS LGB lead for Modern Foreign Languages, Government & Politics and Mental Health Appointed: 1st November 2016 Term of Office: 1st November 2016 - 31st October 2020
ATLAS schools are deeply rooted in the communities they serve and work tirelessly to prepare students to thrive in an increasingly complex world. As Chair of the Board of Trustees, I feel incredibly proud to be supporting our schools and families in this important work.
I am the daughter of two teachers, one who later became Head, and watching them work over the years always gave me an enormous respect for the teaching profession. As a parent Governor at STAGS, I learned more about what it takes to build and sustain an outstanding school. I have always felt incredibly lucky that my own daughter was able to benefit from such a thorough education and want all ATLAS families to benefit as we have.
As well as my passion for making world class education, I bring 20 years professional experience in public policy related roles, where I have helped a wide range of organisations understand and navigate Governments, working both at Westminster and Brussels at a senior level.
I graduated with an Honours Degree in French from the University of Birmingham in 1993.
I will be the Governing Body’s representative for Modern Foreign Languages and Government and Politics and will serve on two committees - Curriculum, Assessment and Standards and Personnel and Student Wellbeing.
Paul Lerwill - land/estates
I was born and brought up just outside St. Albans. I am a qualified teacher and worked for many years teaching students with learning difficulties, eventually becoming deputy head and then acting head of a special school. During this time I completed a MEd. in Special Education.
For many years I was a member of the St. Albans Community Health Council and was Chairman for three years.
I then worked as a senior manager in the Health Service and at an FE college with responsibility for a wide range of support and premises staff. During this time I completed a MA in Educational Management.
I finished my career working at St. Albans Girls’ School for 18 years as Business Manager and was acting deputy head for three years. During this time I completed an Advanced Diploma in School Business Management.
I retired from full time work in 2017 and now live in Hemel Hempstead where I have more time to spend with my wife, grandchildren and dog.
Claire Robins - standards/staffing
Claire taught at a number of schools in Hertfordshire before becoming head of Sir John Lawes in 2006. In 2008, Sir John Lawes became a National Support School and Claire was made a National Leader of Education, since when she has led on school to school support work with several local schools, leading to the setting up of the Scholars Education Trust, of which she is CEO, in 2011.
Claire has sat on the Regional Schools’ Commissioner’s Head Teacher Board for the NWLSC region since its inception and is also on the board of the Harpenden Secondary Education Trust, which is setting up a new secondary free school (Katherine Warington School) in Harpenden. She is a founding trustee of HertsCam Network, a group which aims to improve teaching through teacher leadership and also a member of the Executive Committee of UCET (The Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers). Claire was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June 2018 for Services to Education.
Mary Newman - safeguarding/standards
I have lived in Wheathampstead with my family for the last thirty years and am keen to give back to the community that has provided so much support and friendship during that time. I graduated from Birmingham University with a Mathematics degree and gained my MSc in Operational Research and Management shortly afterwards. I spent eight years working for Cadburys at Bournville in Operational Research, Marketing and Data Analysis. We then moved south and I spent eight years as Assistant Director Management Services for ManuLife Insurance. We had our two wonderful sons and I became a teacher at St Albans Girls’ School. I had a fulfilling twenty years at the school, becoming Deputy Head Teacher before taking early retirement in 2017. It was here that I developed my real passion for outstanding quality education for every pupil. I am now a Director of the Atlas Multi Academy Trust and am delighted to become a Governor of Beech Hyde School.
Oyekemi (Kemi) Bolarin
My name is Kemi Bolarin.
I am a chartered accountant (ACA) and a qualified corporate treasurer (AMCT) with over 25 years’ experience in the banking and corporate sectors, in various treasury and finance roles.
In addition to my corporate experience, I served as a Governor at the Shenley Primary School until my resignation in 2016. During my time as a school governor, a time I thoroughly enjoyed & found rewarding, I chaired the Resources committee which gave me an insight into the inner workings of school finances & budgeting.
I’ve been around education all my life - my father was a university professor and my mother was a primary school teacher. My family background ignited my passion for education and the transformation that a good education can make to a person’s life.
My desire to serve has grown over the years and I look forward to contributing as a Director of the Atlas Multi Academy Trust.
I will also be serving on the Resources, Audit and Risk Committee.