Tapton School Academy Trust



Tapton School Academy Trust is a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), a charitable company limited by guarantee and an exempt charity. 

The Memorandum and Articles of Association are the primary governing documents.

Resolution to Adopt the Articles of Association.


Our key layers of governance are detailed below.

The Scheme of Delegation sets out the accountabilities and responsibilities for each level of governance.


Members oversee the Trust by:

1. Holding Trustees to account for effective governance
2. Ensuring that the Trust is fulfilling its purpose and charitable objectives. 

Members meet three times a year. They are not involved in the practical running of the Trust. 

Members appoint Trustees and can amend the Articles of Association

Meet the Members 

Elizabeth Smart - Chair of Members 

Liz is an experienced Head of Law School with a demonstrated history of working at institutional level in the higher education industry and legal professional education. 

Liz is a TEF Business and Law Panel Member and Institutional Lead for Sheffield Hallam University, a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Liz is skilled in public speaking, leadership, team leadership and quality assurance. She is a strong legal professional with an Executive MBA focussed in Law; National Police Consultant and Assessor.

Caroline Bagley 

Caroline was a founder member of the Tapton School Academy Trust when it converted in 2012.

Stephen Lumb 

Stephen joined the Trust as a Member in 2020.

Board of Directors (Trustees) 

Trustees are responsible for the strategic direction, governance, financial and educational performance of the Trust, and directing how it is managed and run. They determine the mission, vision and MAT improvement strategy. 

Trustees ensure that the Trust complies with all legal and statutory requirements, and hold the Executive Team to account. 

Meet the Trustees 

Sarah Draper - Chair 

Sarah joined the Trust Board in 2019, and was previously Local Governing Body Chair at Chaucer School. She has been involved in school governance for the last 10 years.

Born and brought up in Birmingham, Sarah entered teaching in 1978, progressing to Headship in 1997. After 10 years as Headteacher in a North East Sheffield school, Sarah spent 6 years working in the Local Authority's Children and Young People's Service, ultimately as Assistant Director for Inclusion and Special Educational Needs. 

Now 'retired' Sarah spends her time looking after grandchildren, horse riding, gardening at home and on an allotment. Ensuring all children and young people experience the best possible education has been her passion during her working life and continues to be so as a Trustee of TSAT.

Tom Ashford - Vice Chair & Chair of Risk & Governance Committee 

Tom has over 20 years' experience working in the Financial Services sector, occupying both technical and leadership positions within IT departments. Tom holds numerous professional IT qualifications and certifications, and is a graduate in Computer Science from the University of Sheffield. 

Tom lives locally and has two children who attend schools in the area. He has held various voluntary and governance roles for a number of years, working to improve outcomes for young people across Sheffield.

Colin Beardmore - Interim Chair of Finance & Resources Committee 

Colin is an Independent Business Consultant but previously held positions in American Express. He is experienced in business change and transformation, and has operational experience of working at Board level and also in contract negotiations and business growth.

Colin has worked in the financial services (SVP), retail and business development in consultancy for over 30 years and is currently the Managing Director of Albert Chantry Consultants. He brings expertise in IT services, business risk management, financial regulatory standards, board level governance and business strategy/planning.

Born in Staffordshire in the 50's, Colin has lived in Boston MA USA, Winchester Hampshire and currently lives with his family in Newcastle Staffs. Married with three children he has interests in Football (Stoke City corporate member), hiking, tennis and reading.

David Beaumont - Chair of Learner Experience (Inclusion) Committee 

David works as a Senior Educational Psychologist in Derbyshire. Previously he has worked in teaching in special and mainstream schools. He is on the National Committee of the Educational Psychologists Body. He is also an experienced governor.

Jane Acklam OBE - Chair of Learner Experience (Quality of Education) Committee 

Jane is the CEO of South Penine Academies. She has considerable experience as a highly successful Headteacher and Principal. Jane has led a range of sponsored academies to improve and opened two free schools. She has been a National Leader of Education since 2009, and effectively supported and built capacity in a wide range of schools, locally and regionally.

Jane is a qualified Executive Coach, having a strong commitment to individual coaching, supporting others to determine and identify goals, ensuring they have achievable actions and the tactics to ensure they can sustain success. Values are at the heart of Jane's coaching style. 

Jane has been awarded a Teaching Award, as Headteacher of the Year, in the national annual awards. She has a wealth of experience working for the Department for Education, on the Headteacher Board for West Yorkshire and Lancashire and as a Teaching and Leadership Adviser for the then National College for Teaching and Leadership. 

Jane was awarded an OBE for services to education in the 2017 New Year's Honours List.

Caroline Bagley

Caroline Bagley was Chair of Tapton School Academy Trust until September 2021. Caroline is a retired secondary school teacher who is passionate about changing the life chances and dreams of young people. 

In her spare time, Caroline is a keen supporter of Guide Dogs and has puppy walked 12 guide dog puppies, each one from 6 weeks old until they are a year old.

Much of Caroline's time is now spent looking after her two young granddaughters.  

Derren Sanders 

Derren is an experienced executive across a number of business areas. Since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, he has advised, led and helped reshape businesses to achieve their potential. 

Latterly, he moved to Abu Dhabi to lead HSBCs business in the Emirate, before subsequently moving to a local UAE bank. He undertook the role of Chief Operating Office in their wholesale banking division, helping redefine the business strategy and operations, leading its digital and operational improvement and customer service programmes, as well as leading the banks simultaneous merger with two other local banks.

Derren recently relocated back to Sheffield with his wife and two children and is currently the Operations and Finance Director of an African bank, working from London and home. 

Derren has worked with charities, youth development and educational institutions variously throughout his career, and the Trustee role at TSAT continues this. He is a keen sportsman, with cycling, cricket and golf being his current passions alongside continuing his decade long support for junior rugby through coaching and refereeing.

Duncan Marrison 

Duncan has over 15 years of experience as a finance professional across a range of sectors but with particular focus on those driven by technology, data, analytics and direct to consumer business models. He has experience of refinancing large PLCs, restructuring businesses and working closely with regulators to achieve improved outcomes for consumers, both as a CFO and as a consultant. He currently works as a Finance Director for a Telecommunications business. 

He is married with two young boys and outside of work is passionate about music and sport.

John Cullen 

John joined the Trust Board in 2021. More information to follow.

Liz Winders 

Liz joined the Trust Board in 2021. More information to follow.

Committees of the Board

The Trust Board manages its work through the following committees:

Risk and Governance Committee - Chair Tom Ashford

The role of the Risk and Governance committee is to maintain an oversight of the governance, risk management and internal control of the Trust. 

Finance and Resources Committee - Interim Chair Colin Beardmore

The Finance and Resources Committee is authorised to consider, advise on, or determine the strategies and policies for the effective and efficient use of financial, physical and human resources and be responsible for ensuring the solvency of the Trust and the safeguarding of its assets. 

Learner Experience Committee
Inclusion - Chair David Beaumont
Quality of Education - Chair Jane Acklam

The role of the Learner Experience Committee is to maintain excellent standards in each of the schools, including any due diligence of new schools wishing to join the Trust. It scrutinises Quality Assurance Documents, data reports and school reviews.

Advisory Council - Chair Caroline Bagley

The Advisory Council is made up of Chairs of each of the Local Governing Bodies. It advises the Trust Board on key issues and strategic priorities relating to TSAT and its schools, and ensures community feedback and local context plays a key role in the development of the TSAT strategy. 

The Advisory Council also contribute to ensuring that governance at individual school level is aligned effectively with the overall governance of TSAT.

Executive Team 

The Executive Team have delegated strategic responsibility and operational management responsibility for the Trust. The CEO is also the Accounting Officer and is personally responsible to parliament and to the Education and Skills Funding Agency for the financial resources under the Trusts control.

Meet the Executive Team 

David Dennis - CEO  

As CEO David leads the overall strategic direction for the Trust, including its vision and values, through the identification of its key priorities. He provides leadership and an accountability structure for the Trust to ensure continuing success, high quality education, standards of achievement and progress for all students within the Trust. David also takes on the key role of Accounting Officer.

David is an experienced Science teacher who has spent over 25 years at the forefront of developments in Science Education. He has been part of the leadership of Tapton since 2004, joining the school as Director of the Science College. David has developed deep experience and expertise in the key areas of Leadership development, curriculum design and assessment.

In his role leading Tapton School he re designated the school as a National Teaching school allowing Tapton’s commitment to the development of the system to continue through Fields of Learning Teaching School.

David is an experienced system leader and believes that the Trust must contribute to the development of education locally, regionally and nationally. This external focus is clear in his role as National Leader of Education and in his participation in the Building Educational Bridges programme with Singapore focussed on Mathematics education.

David is passionate that TSAT is here to make a difference. Everything that the Trust does must improve life chances, raise aspirations and allow all our learners to realise their dreams. Education has the power to transform lives. He is committed to ensuring development of everyone within our community by always being mindful of the health and well being of each individual.

David believes that our Trust is uniquely placed to make a difference. The diversity within TSAT is a real strength that encourages a rich culture of growth through innovation.

Julia Delaney - Deputy CEO 

Julia is Deputy CEO for the Trust with responsible for the strategic, governance, financial and operational management. 

Julia is also Chief Finance Officer and Company Secretary.

Julia has over 10 years experience in education and over 30 years’ experience of developing Trusts to improve governance and financial controls. Her roles have included Chief Executive of an Independent Trustee company, Chair of Finance for Hospice UK and a Trustee at Weston Park Cancer Care. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered accountants England and Wales (ICAEW) and has worked at PwC and BDO.

She is passionate about making a difference to ensure each student realises their life chances and dreams.

Martin Finch - Director of Primary Education 

Martin in an experienced leader in education, having been a substantive headteacher of three schools and a local authority school improvement advisory and accredited school improvement partner for a wide range of schools. 

Martin was one of Her Majesty's Inspector (HMI) for over four years in the East Midlands where he led inspections of primary, secondary, special and independent schools. He was a regional trainer, leading training for HMI and Ofsted Inspectors (OIs). He also led on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) for the region. This involved leading Area SEND inspections in the East Midlands. 

Martin was promoted to Senior HMI in London where he quality assured inspections. Martin was seconded to work for six local authorities in London to develop their strategy for remote education during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Martin is passionate about ensuring that every child reaches their full potential. He wants schools to be nurturing and provide a safe and secure environment for every child to flourish. Martin is determined to help every child become a fluent reader. He also believes that schools should deliver a broad curriculum which enables children to gain a deep knowledge in a wide range of subjects.

Scott Burnside - Director of Secondary Education 

Scott currently works as the Director of Secondary Education for TSAT, alongside leading the vital aspect of inclusion across the Trust. Previously Executive Headteacher at Chaucer School, he led the school through academisation, out of 'Special Measures' and to the forefront of inclusive practice in Sheffield.

Before working within TSAT Scott led in a school within the city of Nottingham, bringing together two schools and their communities as one united, highly aspirational, thriving and performing academy.

Scott has a real desire to see every student succeed by unlocking their drive and passion for achievement through quality support leading to multiple pathways for success; where young people are happy and experience a sense of enjoyment. As a result, Scott is currently working, alongside Learn Sheffield and Sheffield City Council, on a strategy to ensure further highly inclusive practice citywide leads to the fulfilment of life chances and dreams.

Ben Purvis - HR and Compliance Manager

Ben manages the function for the Trust's schools by providing efficient, effective and high quality HR services. This involves ensuring that HR meets all statutory, regulatory and corporate requirements. Ben also provides HR guidance to the Executive Team, School Business Managers and Headteachers, whilst ensuring all advice is aligned with the Trusts aims and objectives. 

Ben joined TSAT in March 2020 and is a Chartered member of the CIPD with HR experience across the public and private sector. Ben strongly believes that the role of education is to improve the life chances and dreams of every child and he has previously led and delivered graduate, early careers and leadership talent programmes. 

Ben is passionate about ensuring everyone gets the opportunity to realise their potential and that work can and should be a force for good that benefits everyone, including their wellbeing. 

John Dean - Premises and Operations Director 

John has worked in education for the past 13 years, starting his career in IT, in which his degree is based. He is currently responsible for the Business Management of the 5 Primary Schools within the Trust and in addition is the Trust lead on Facilities management, including capital projects and Catering. He is passionate about education and has worked at both Secondary and Primary level. His goal is to achieve the expectations to ensure that each setting’s support services and infrastructure operate at the highest possible standards.

Lewis Askin - IT Director 

Lewis is responsible for the management of IT across TSAT, including support, maintenance and procurement. He has over 15 years' experience in the IT industry and has been with TSAT for over 7 years. 

Lewis has worked across Sheffield at a large number of schools offering support and guidance.

Local Governors

Local Governors provide the Trust Board with local context and community feedback in order to shape the mission, vision and MAT improvement strategy. They work closely with the Headteacher and Senior Leaders in schools to monitor the delivery of the Trust strategy at a local level.

Local Governors are accountable to the Trust Board in the delivery of their delegated responsibilities.

Details of Local Governing Board membership is available on school websites.

Board Calendars

The Trust Board and Local Governing Boards follow an annual calendar to ensure that they are discharging their duties as per the schemes of delegation: 

Professional Conduct - Members, Trustees, Local Governors and Staff

Tapton School Academy Trust has a framework in place to ensure governance is ethical, effective and accountable, and underpins our culture and ethos. 

Code of Conduct 

Members, Trustees and Local Governors sign up to Code of Conduct that outlines the culture and ways of working, including behaviour and professional standards required.

Register of Interests

Members, Trustees and Local Governors declare any business and pecuniary interests on an annual basis, or as circumstances change. 

The register of interests is updated annually in September.

Attendance at Meetings

Trustees and Local Governors are expected to attend a certain number of meetings each academic year, and to prepare in advance for these meetings in order to ask relevant, challenging questions. 

Skills Audit and Governance Effectiveness Survey

Trustees and Local Governors undertake an annual skills audit and effectiveness survey. This enables the Trust to provide a structured and relevant training programme and ensures that our governance structures are fit for purpose.