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Governance and Directors

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Giles Freathy


Giles was a Specialist Leader of Education at Sir Robert Geffery’s VA C of E Primary School, Cornwall and is currently working as a consultant and lecturer at the Learning Institute. He is also East Cornwall Hub leader and steering committee member for the Learn, Teach, Lead RE (LTLRE) project. He has collaborated for five years with academics at Exeter University on two projects for ‘RE-flect: A program to foster metacognition in the RE classroom’ (Funder: The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation) at the University of Exeter ( and the RE-searchers project (a research-led curriculum development project funded by Culham St. Gabriel’s Trust). As the co-creator of the RE-searchers approach he is interested in promoting critical, dialogic Religious Education which re-conceives pupils and teachers as co-researchers into the nature of religion/s.


Sam Jones

Vice Chair

Sam grew up in Bristol but studied Law at Plymouth University. After graduation he returned to Bristol and worked as a Marketing Manager for NatWest. He retrained as a teacher in 2000 and trained, and subsequently worked at, Thornbury for 6 years. He then worked as a Business Analyst at the Land Registry for 5 years and is now the Managing Director and owner of a small photography company.




Claire Hardisty

Claire has been Headteacher of Thornbury Primary School since 2007. She is an LLE for Plymouth Teaching School (PTSA) and Leader of Middle Leader training for the Trust schools. She has been Co-leader of New Headteacher programme for Plymouth. Previously she worked for Sheffield LA with responsibility for: devising and implementing the improving teachers programme, Associate Deputy and Associate Head for Schools Requiring Additional Support (SRAS) carrying out placements in schools for a half term upwards to build improvement from within. She works within Plymouth LA as a Teaching and Learning Consultant, and undertakes school improvement advisory work.


Dr Michael Young

Having obtained a doctorate studying chemistry, Michael re-directed his career toward finance, qualifying as a chartered accountant. His initial roles were in the professional sector culminating in an equity partnership in Grant Thornton. From there he joined a publicly-listed industrial minerals company to become their Group Finance Director. Following take-over of that company, Michael joined Westminster School, to develop the new role of Finance Bursar, from which he retired. Throughout, Michael has held a passion for the potency of education and its benefits to the individual and society and looks to employ his skills in support, most recently with Connect MAT. He was for some time on the Council of Plymouth Marjon University and is currently a member of the Institute of Cancer Research (University of London), serving on their Audit Committee. Michael is also a Governor of a Community College in South Devon. Michael is an Honorary Life Member of the Institute of Directors, having served two terms on the Institute Council. Michael’s other interests include art, music and period homes as well as the great outdoors, which finds him gardening or walking to appreciate the beauty of South Devon where he has made his home.


Lee LeMarquand

Lee has worked in the education finance sector for the last 8 years, having previously worked in other local authority finance teams for 3 years including the Children's social care accountancy team. His specific education knowledge began when he became a Plymouth City Council Schools Finance Officer, supporting Plymouth schools with their finances, a role which he had for 4 years. This role gave him a vast knowledge of education finance and school budgeting and monitoring. He left Plymouth City Council for Plymouth CAST, a multi-academy trust of 35 Catholic schools from Penzance to Bournemouth, where he undertook the role of Finance Manager and was heavily involved in the transfer of 35 schools to academy status - the biggest one-off transfer in the country. In June 2015 he took up the role of Business Manager for Sir John Hunt Community College. He sits on the Senior Leadership team for Sir John Hunt where he oversees most of the non-educational running of the school and ensures the educational needs of pupils and well resourced.


Nigel Lyons

Nigel is a solicitor for Browne Jacobson and specialises in all types of contentious regulatory advocacy. He has a particular emphasis on the agricultural sector, together with expertise in health and safety and environmental cases. Nigel advises in all areas where fatal and non-fatal accidents result in criminal investigations, including farms, factory sites, government and local authority properties, maritime incidents (both on and off shore) and all types of private and commercial premises. Nigel has advised and represented government and public bodies in successfully prosecuting cases in the Magistrates and Crown Courts, working closely with government inspectors and officials in evidence preparation including advising interviews under caution and statement preparation.


Andrew Young

My background brings with it a high degree of customer service and support skills gained over years of working in service based industries. Other roles included the management and interpretation of legal documents (land registration) requiring attention to detail and a high regard for data protection. Facilities, Health, Safety, Environmental and Team Management skills are backed up by relevant qualifications including NEBOSH General Certificates in Occupational Health & Safety (NGC1, 2 and 3 all with distinction), NEBOSH National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management (FC1 and FC2 with distinction). I currently hold a Technical Membership in the Institute of Safety & Health (Tech IOSH) which will be upgraded to Graduate membership as I am working towards a Diploma in Occupational Safety & Health. This in turn will meet the academic requirements of Chartered status (CMIOSH).