Felmore Primary School "Believe it to achieve it!"
Whitmore Primary School and Nursery "Working Together, Achieving Together, Growing Together"
Merrylands Primary School and Nursery "Growth Through Learning"
Willows Primary School and Nursery "Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Responsible"
Crays Hill Primary School "Learning, Safety and Respect For All"
Fairhouse Primary School "Respect and Success for All"
Cherry Tree Primary School and Nursery "Caring, Thriving, Preparing, Succeeding"

Directors Board – including Chief Executive Officer

The Board is responsible for setting high standards and levels of student achievement and for monitoring performance and ensuring accountability.  It is tasked with driving continuous improvement through regular review planning and evaluation activities.  It also manages corporate communication and stakeholder engagement.  Once strategies have been agreed, the Board delegates most operational activity to the Executive Leadership Team.  There are also Trust standing committee’s which have duties to support the Board in these responsibilities, to focus on the delivery of the vision against the Trust’s standards and engage with stakeholders internally and externally to ensure that the needs are being met.

Eileen Patching (Chair of Board)

Eileen is passionate and committed to the provision of and continuous improvement in good quality education and takes an active role in primary education in Basildon. She is a founding governor member on the Basildon‎ Excellence Panel and is now a Trustee of the new Basildon Excellence Partnership. Eileen has been a school governor of Merrylands Primary School for over 15 years and Chair of Governors for the past eight years. As a senior civil servant she leads a division of 120 staff in a range of policy and technical professional roles, risk management and customer service roles. ‎ Eileen has extensive experience of governance in challenging and assuring performance/interventions/development/handling of issues or cases involving millions of pounds. Her work involves analysis of complex data and financial information in order to make informed

Sean Tobin (Executive Headteacher)

Sean Tobin is currently Executive Headteacher and CEO of Berlesduna Trust. He has been a primary school headteacher for the last 13 years of three different primary schools. All schools under his leadership have improved outcomes for pupils. After starting a teaching career and an early headship in challenging schools in Barking and Dagenham and Newham Sean relocated with his family to Basildon after securing a second Headship at Merrylands Primary School. After achieving NPQH he qualified as a School Improvement Partner and also further developed his skills through training others. The role as a SIP in Mid Essex West gave him a taste of the impact that supporting challenging schools can have. In 2013 he was seconded for 2 days a week as a Standards and Excellence Commissioner for Essex. Sean led The Willows through its first ever Good OFSTED grading in December 2015. He is a founding member of the Basildon Excellence Panel and is currently the Executive Trustee of the Basildon Education Partnership. As Executive Headteacher his intention is to support the substantive Headteachers in their role, assist in the development of staff across the schools and identify ways in which the Trust can facilitate, provide and develop school improvement. He is responsible for the day to day operation of the Trust and is accountable to the Directors.

Steve West

For the past 30 years Steve has worked in, one capacity or another, with business rates. He has progressed from a clerical position to Associate Partner in a West End property firm. His roles have been varied but during his career he has:

  • managed a team at Basildon Council dealing with the collection and recovery of rates and any staffing issues
  • represented Basildon Council in the Magistrates Court often presenting complex legal arguments
  • responsible for budgets and ensuring that these were adhered to
  • currently he is responsible for analysing complex data which he then presents to the client in a clear and concise manner

Since July 2010 Steve has been a Governor at Merrylands and he has taken an active interest in the education of the children, either by challenging the school in relation to the targets they are setting or by observing lessons and looking at the children’s books.

Robin Taverner

Robin has worked as a teacher and leader in schools in England, Germany and Hong Kong. He has been a Deputy Headteacher in two schools and a successful Headteacher in three schools. In recent years, Robin has worked in a large number of schools in Essex, supporting them with all aspects of school improvement and helping them to prepare for successful inspections. Robin runs training courses for middle and senior leaders, including the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders and the Leadership Programme for Deputy Headteachers. Robin has also worked as a school inspector, on behalf of the Office for Standards in Education. Recently, Robin has supported EES for schools with the introduction of a major school improvement programme called School Effectiveness Plus. This has involved working with schools to pilot this initiative and also writing a development programme called, ‘From Data to Action’.

Sue Segger

Sue gave up work in March 1976 for the arrival of her first child, with her second child arriving 3 years later. She was a stay at home Mum for 10 years but always took an interest in the children’s schooling and was active on the parents association at their school. She went back to work part time when her youngest daughter was 7. She worked for a local insurance broker, in the role of general clerk, working there for 7 years. She then went to a local household insurance company in a full time role, as an insurance clerk working for them for 4 years before moving on to another company, which was taken over by Norwich Union. Her role under the umbrella of Norwich Union (now Aviva) was an Insurance Underwriter responsible for a Motorcycle scheme and a farm scheme. She has a long history of working in the voluntary sector in Girl Guiding UK, being a brownie leader on and off since the age of 18 having completed nearly 35 years of service. Although no longer a leader she is still involved in Girl Guiding UK. Approximately one year ago she took her second term of office as Basildon Division Treasurer. She is also a member of the Trefoil Guild branch of Guiding. She feels she can bring these skills to her role as a Governor of Admin and Finance. She is also passionate about the welfare, education and wellbeing of children who are the future generation.

John Hunter

I have been a governor for over 20 years. I am currently Chair of Governors at Felmore Primary School (a Trust school) and have been a governor at Glenwood Special School, in Benfleet, since 2000. 

I am an Executive Member and Treasurer of the Essex School Governance Association and sit on a number of boards at county level representing governors.
I sit on the Schools Forum representing academies and also sit on the SEN and finance sub-committees.

I worked in local government for most of my working life in recreation, leisure and theatre: for my last eight years as a Business Manager/Bursar at Furtherwick Park Secondary School, a Grant Maintained School, on Canvey Island, before retiring. My main duties covered finance/budgets/audits, capital works, HR, maintenance and all non teaching activities.

Since my retirement I have undertaken clerking of governing bodies and IEB’s in the primary sector. I have also tutored in governance for Essex Education Services.

Gerry Glover

I am currently the Chair of Governors at Fairhouse Primary School (a Trust School).

I am currently employed as a Business Analyst in which my brief is to review the adequacy of the processes and systems currently in place to manage, both financially and practically, the borough’s temporary accommodation portfolio.

Previously I was employed by Basildon Borough Council as a Housing Accountant in which my role was to manage the Housing Finance Team with responsibility for the Housing and Community budgets including the HRA and Housing General Fund revenue and capital accounts.

In previous posts I have led and managed LEA finance & resources teams that included formula funding of schools, provision of financial and resources advice and guidance to boards of governors and headteachers. I have also worked with school improvement advisors to make necessary changes across the whole school spectrum. I, therefore, have a full understanding of both curriculum, finance and administration within a school.

Rebecca Walsh

Becky started off her career working in London for Securicor (now G4S); she worked for their Guarding, European Parcels and Cash Services divisions. Becky held a variety of roles whilst working for them including, PA/Office Manager, Customer Services and Finance Officer. Becky then decided to look for a job closer to home and worked for GEC Marconi as a PA/Office Manager until she took a career break to have her 2 children. During her career break, she did continue to do some small part time jobs, as well as setting up a Baby & Toddler Group at the Church she is a member of. It was during this time that Becky became a member of the PTA at Cherry Tree Primary and was approached by the then Chair of Governors about becoming a Parent Governor. Becky has now been a governor for 14 years and has been Chair for the last 4 years.

Becky returned to work in 2005 and worked for Basildon, Billericay and Wickford Council for Voluntary Services for 9 years. BBWCVS’ role is an infrastructure organisation to support the voluntary sector within Basildon Borough. During her time there Becky had various roles including PA/Administrator and Finance Officer. In 2014 Becky started work at Home-Start Basildon District as an Administrator, as she felt it was time for a change and wanted to work more directly with families in Basildon Borough. In January 2017, 7 local Home-Start Schemes covering South, Mid & West Essex merged to form Home-Start Essex. In April of that year, there was an organisational restructure and Becky was successfully promoted to Administration Manager. Becky jointly manages the Administration team and is part of the Senior Management Team.

Home-Start Essex is a leading family support charity working across Essex to build the confidence and skills of parents/carers to achieve healthy and positive outcomes for children. Our work comprises a long-established volunteer home visiting service, offering emotional and practical help to families experiencing difficulties, alongside a range of family groups, well-being programmes, courses and events. We work with families with at least one child under the age of eight, and offer some events for families with children up the age of 11yrs. We are early years specialists, and work closely with the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service. What makes our charity special, is that all our volunteers have a lived experience as parents/carers themselves.

Becky has also been a member of her local Church for the past 31 years, she was appointed as a Trustee 8 years ago and has held the role of Treasurer for 4 years.

In September 2015 Becky has been appointed as a Governor at NCB Studio School. Due to personnel changes not long after her appointment to the board Becky was nominated as Chair and took on this role, seeing it as a new challenge as the school provides specialist 14 to 19 year old education for children who have found it harder to access mainstream secondary education and have high levels of social, emotional and educational needs. Becky continued this until her daughter left in 2017 and the school became part of a Multi Academy Trust

Becky’s own two children, now aged 18 & 22 both have SEN and are on the Autism spectrum and this has made her passionate about all children receiving a good educational start in life, including social and emotional skills, despite the barriers to learning that may be present in their lives.

Rosemary Lovatt

Rosemary is a National Leader of Governance (NLG) and the Advocate for NLGs for the East of England and NE London. Her work involves her in supporting governance in all types of settings across the region. She is also an experienced governance consultant and tutor, developing and running the DfE Governance Leadership Programme across England for four years. Prior to becoming dedicated to school governance Rosemary had a successful career in international corporate leadership.

Lisa Perry - Executive Assistant and GDPR Officer


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Berlesduna Academy Trust
School House, Church Road
Basildon Essex
SS14 2EX

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