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.
Rosemary Lovatt (Vice Chair)
Rosemary is a National Leader of Governance and delivers external reviews and support for schools and academy trusts through the National Leaders for Governance programme, on behalf of the NGA.
Rosemary is a highly experienced governance consultant who ran the DfE Governance Leadership Programme across the country for 3 years and within Essex for another 3 years. She is well respected governance tutor designing, developing, and delivering public and bespoke training for governors and trustees across England. When she is not training, she provides External Reviews of Governance for schools, academies, and trusts. She was the regional leader for National Leaders of Governance for the East of England and NE London for five years.
Rosemary has experience chairing boards in many settings, including a large secondary academy, a maintained primary school, a primary school within a MAT and a large junior school within a diocesan MAT. She has served on four MAT trust boards to date and is currently Vice Chair of trustees at Berlesduna. Rosemary has supporting governance in most settings, including all sizes of MATs (up to 26 schools), UTCs, church schools/MATs and special schools/MATs. Rosemary has 20 years experience as a senior global leader in the corporate sector. She has a BA(Hons) in Accountancy and Business Studies.
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.
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 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 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.
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.