Academy Trusts are constituted as charitable companies limited by guarantee and are registered with Companies House. Because the Academy Trust is both a company and a charity, the Trustees are also Directors, and they therefore need to comply with obligations under company and charity law.

The Trustees are responsible for the three core governance functions: setting the direction of the Trust, holding the Executive team to account, and ensuring financial probity

Board of Trustees

All trustees have declared that they have no other trusteeships or Directorships or other relevant shareholdings or other remuneration, with the exception of Patricia Davies  and Chris Rayner, who are staff trustees. The Trust is just about to update its Articles of Association, replacing its current document with the DfE's Model Articles. We plan to have this in place by the end of October.

The 2015/16 financial statements for the Trust note that there were no related party transactions, and these statements are now published on the SBA website.

Our governance structure is described below, including Trustee attendance records.   The documents below describe our Scheme of Governance, our Scheme of Delegation, and our Code of Conduct

SBAT Governance Charter June 217

SBAT Scheme of Delegation June 2017

SBAT Scheme of Governance June 2017


All Multi-Academy Trusts are required to have at least three Members. The majority of the Members should be independent of the Trustees, and no Member can be an employee of the Trust. Members provide an extra layer of accountability. Their role is set out in detail in the Scheme of Governance above, and in particular, they have powers to appoint and remove Trustees and to agree changes to the Articles of Association.

The members of the Trust are:

Nicholas Watkiss

(described above)

Adam Hall

(described above)


Maeve Cantwell-Hope

Maeve has two children, and is also a Parent Governor at Whittingham Primary Academy. As a solicitor, Maeve provides in-depth understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Members, and uses these to discharge her responsibilities.

Reverend Lesley Goldsmith

Lesley is the vicar at St Edmund's Church in Chingford. She is also a governor at Chingford Hall Primary School.  Before Lesley became a vicar several years ago, she was a senior officer in the Housing Department of a local authority. This gave her a deep understanding of transparency, responsibility and accountability, which she uses in her role as a Member.

Sarah Parsons

Sarah has two children, and is a Parent Governor at Whittingham Primary Academy.

Sarah says that it is a privilege for her to represent other parents, and to work with the Trust to both support the great work they are already doing and to challenge them to keep on improving. As a governor, she has excellent awareness of the Trust's performance, and uses this when she is required to take decisions.

All members have declared that they have no pecuniary interests for the academic year 2016/2017. We are currently asking all Trustees, governors and members to refresh their Declarations of Interest for the Trust's accounts and Annual Report. They will be published here as soon as they are complete. We aim for this to be done by the end of November.

Pat Davies is a visionary CEO, who has transformed schools across the Trust both educationally and financially. As well as being a National Leader of Education, in June 2011 Pat was named the 'Head Teacher of the Year' for London and in October 2011 she was also named the 'National Head Teacher of the Year'. She is the Executive Headteacher of two of the Trust's schools.

Pat has created a leadership environment recognised and lauded by Ofsted, the Regional Schools Commissioner and the Mayor of London, whose praise includes the following:

"The executive headteacher is inspirational and has demonstrated determination and highly skilled leadership in addressing previous inadequacies in the quality of provision. She has successfully gained the support and trust of the whole school and developed a culture of high expectations. Both leaders and teachers unswervingly focus on securing the very best for all pupils, irrespective of their background, ethnicity or ability."

"Leaders have the very highest expectations for mathematics in the school. The mathematics subject leader is an outstanding practitioner who leads the way by example. "

"These results come about through back-breaking work"

"Your school is exceptional for helping low-achieving students do better"

Patricia Davies

Trustee, Executive Head Teacher & SBAT CEO

Adam is an education consultant who works to improve educational outcomes and widen access to education in a number of developing countries, including Ethiopia and Pakistan. Learning how to operate in these very different cultures has developed Adam's ability to challenge constructively - a key Board skill.

Before taking up his current role, Adam spent four years in primary and secondary schools in both teaching and leadership roles as part of the prestigious Teach First programme. Previously, he worked for a large management consultancy, focusing on clients in the financial services industry. This has provided him with the skills to be the leading Board member for Finance. Adam holds an MA in Education and Leadership.

Adam Hall

Member & Vice-Chair of Trustees

Chris has worked in various schools in several London boroughs for over 20 years. She is passionate about Early Years education, and children reaching their full potential. She has huge experience of how schools operate on the ground, and has been part of the Silver Birch Trust from the beginning. She brings wisdom from her many years in the classroom, and invaluable knowledge of Trust schools.

Chris Rayner


After senior leadership roles in academy schools, Nick became a Director of a MAT before becoming the Principal of an academy in East London that had been judged inadequate by Ofsted in every category. The school was removed from Special Measures after a record 30 school weeks under Nick's leadership.

Nick is currently the Headteacher of an 'Outstanding' Grammar school in Kent and serves as an Ofsted inspector. He is also a Youth Advisor to the Mayor of London's office at City Hall.

Nick Watkiss

Chair of Trustees

Anna is a retired barrister and solicitor, who has deep experience of working with local authorities. She was an employed barrister with the London Borough of Camden, supporting the Social Services, Housing and Policy teams.

She has an LLB from the London School of Economics, and is a Member of Middle Temple.  She has given a lifetime of volunteer contributions, as a school governor at Lordship Lane Primary School and White Hart Lane Comprehensive and a volunteer advisor (and company secretary) at the Tottenham Neighbourhood Law Centre and the Women's Legal Advice Centre.  Anna understands both affluent communities, and those where aspiration is in short supply. She is dedicated to filling that gap.

Anna Layman


Novak brings substantial educational expertise from across the spectrum of deprivation: he has been a deputy Headteacher in a Silver Birch Trust school and is now the Headteacher of Faraday Primary School in East London. The Faraday Primary School is part of the New Model School group, based on a not for profit ethos and a model for running schools to make them affordable as possible. The combination of Novak's experience in the Trust's schools and his fresh perspective brings challenge to the Board.

Novak Ivanovich


Silver Birch Academy Trust

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