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Meet the Directors & Members

David Whitehead, CEO

As CEO, David is thoroughly committed to ensuring that every pupil accesses a first-class education through a highly motivating and well taught curriculum that also regularly exploits a wide range of the very best life enhancing opportunities.

Helen Stewart (Chair)

Helen has been involved with schools since 2013, holding many different governor roles during the last nine years.  Helen's background is in Local Government supporting Schools, Health and Social Care and Housing in the community.  Helen believes that the children in our care deserve the best that we can provide in respect of education and life experiences and is delighted to hold the role of chair in Our Community Multi Academy Trust.

Christine Wilson, Director (Vice Chair)

Christine is a solicitor and chartered corporate governance professional with a track record of leading change in both the private and public sector.  She has an MBA from Durham University and a BA (Hons) from University of Kent at Canterbury.  She also studied in Switzerland and Germany and taught English to university students abroad.  Christine has been involved with academy schools since 2007 and became a Director of OCMAT to help children in Kent reach their potential through education.

Claire Harris, Director

I am a Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University within the School of Teacher Education and hold the role of Course Director for the PGCE Primary programmes.  I began working in primary education in 1999 in a range of roles including classroom teacher, Local Authority Consultant and in school leadership within a number of primary schools before taking up the role at Canterbury Christ Church University. School leadership is an area that has always interested me and I have held roles in Governance for different schools/trusts across my career; I am delighted to hold the role of Director within Our Academy Multi-Academy Trust. 

Simmone Haywood, Director

Simmone is a highly motivated results orientated HR professional with a track record of delivering people solutions in a multi-site and International environment.  Simmone has over 30 years’ experience with Marks and Spencer PLC, covering a range of strategic leadership roles.  Simmone is now, Co-Founder of the Millwood Partnership, an HR Consultancy, working with businesses across sectors to optimise value through people.  She is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and works as an Enterprise Advisor with Kent Secondary Schools.  Simmone is delighted to hold the role of Director in Our Community Multi Academy Trust.

Ian Chappell, Director

I have been involved in education over 28 years as a governor trustee and director over schools in Medway and Kent holding many roles from committee members to chair of a trust

My career has mainly been within the motor trade ending up in owning my own business.

I am married and have a daughter who is a SENCO in a special needs school and a granddaughter who I dotes on. OCMAT is a great trust of which I am proud to be linked to.

Mike O'Connell, Director

I am a retired Social Worker and have worked in both child protection and Youth Justice sectors.  For many years I worked within the Kent Education Safeguarding Service as Safeguarding Training and Development Lead for Education services including early years, schools and colleges.  I have also been  a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) advising on safer practice and allegations management for within education.  My areas of interest include safeguarding children and staff and supporting vulnerable children to achieve their potential.

Ian Hamilton, Director

Ian is a Finance professional with many years experienced in schools in Kent in managing their budgets and financial positions.  Being a Director in a Multi Academy trust has given Ian the opportunity to share his skills and knowledge, ensuring that best value services are always delivered to our children and staff in the Trusts schools.

Quentin Roper, Member

Quentin is Director of Education for the Diocese of Canterbury and leads its work in relation ministry with children, schools and young people. Quentin is responsible for developing and articulating vision and strategy, managing a team that supports and resources schools, deaneries, and parishes.

Niki Paterson, Member

Niki is Deputy Director of Education in the Diocese of Canterbury. Niki leads on school effectiveness, which encompasses improvement in the context of a distinctively Christian approach, strategic governance, and developing and recruiting distinctive school leadership.

Rev. Steve Lillicrap, Member

Steve is the Rector of the Parish of Kingsdown and Creekside, which includes the villages of Lynsted and Norton. Steve has been involved with Governance in Schools at many level over a number of year.

Martin Swainson, Member

Martin is a retied stockbroker, and has spent many years involved with Governance in schools at all levels. Martin has a range of skills which supports the Trust in meeting its objectives.

Bruce McGlashan, Member

Bruce is a Head of Technical& Sustainability at the Orchard Fruit Company. Bruce has been involved with the Trust for many years as a Member, offering a rnage of skills to support the Trusts' Objectives.