Board of Trustees

2Wendy Hemmingsley

Chief Executive Officer


  • 25+ years English teacher (11-18)
  • 14+ years Strategic Leadership Teams in three different schools (East Midlands and Oxfordshire)
  • Leadership experience in a range of school contexts (multicultural, areas of high deprivation, city)
  • MA Educational Leadership (Univ. of Nottm), NPQH

Dame pat collarboneDame Pat Collarbone

Special Advisor to the Board  

Pat taught for 28 years in inner London and established a reputation for innovation and achievement during her headship of a secondary school in Hackney. In 1996 she established the London Leadership Centre at the Institute of Education, University of London. She has been Director of Leadership Development Programmes at the National College for School Leadership (NC) and the Executive Director of the National Remodelling Team (NRT) and the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA).

In 2009 she founded Creating Tomorrow Ltd a consultancy dedicated to the leadership of change in the public sector

As an Educational Adviser she works with leaders who wish to bring about change at a system, sector and organisational level. 

Pat received a DBE in 1997 in recognition of her services to education.

John west burnham







Prof. John West-Burnham

Chair of the Board


John West-Burnham works as an independent teacher, writer and consultant in leadership development. John worked in schools, further and adult education for fifteen years before moving into higher education. He has held professorships in five universities and is currently Honorary Professor of Education at the University of Worcester and Visiting Professor in Educational Leadership, University of Suffolk.

He has worked with Schools, local authorities and MATs on leadership development, school improvement, and the leadership of teaching and learning. He has been actively involved in the setting up of four academy trusts. He has also been actively involved in the creation of two educational charities – GR8ASUR and the Laurel Trust

He is author of Managing Quality in Schools; Rethinking Educational Leadership; co-author of Understanding Leadership, Leadership Dialogues1 and 2; Leading and Managing Schools; Education for Social Justice; Systems Leadership; Spiritual and moral development in schools; Schools and Communities; Personalizing Learning: Making Every Child Matter, Effective Learning in Schools, Leadership and Professional Development in Schools and co-editor of Performance Management in Schools, Educational Leadership and the Community, The Handbook of Educational Leadership and Management and 12 other books and over 30 articles and chapters.

His work has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Malay, Slovenian, and Spanish

John has worked in Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, The Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, the Republic of Ireland, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE and the USA. He was a coordinator of the European School Leadership Project.

His current research and writing interests include securing equity in education, leadership for high performance; ‘Closing the gap’ - leading teaching and learning; transformational leadership, leadership learning and development; collaborative leadership and educational leadership in the community.

John is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Member REAch2 Academy Trust 2014 - 2016

Trustee ( Vice Chair) Astrea Academy Trust 2016 - 2018

Chair of the trustees of the Southern Educational Leadership Trust 2012 - 2018

Trustee (Chair) Olive Academy Trust ( Alternative Provision) 2015 - continuing

Trustee (Chair) Asset MAT Ipswich 2016 - continuing

Leadership Development Adviser, National School for Educational Leadership, Slovenia

Leadership consultant to NPDL in Amsterdam

Senior Adviser, Centre for Relational Learning, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Consultant to the Leadership Development Schools project, Ministry of Education, Republic of Ireland

Consultant, Innovative Schools Project, Microsoft

Adviser, BI Norwegian Business School

Gillian manthorpe







Gillian Manthorpe

Vice Chair of the Board


  • Recently retired from the post of Vice Principal at a city centre Further Education college in the West Midlands. Responsibilities included cross college teaching and learning; Human Resources; student services and welfare; and being the designated senior manager for safeguarding.
  • Previously responsible for training teachers of students who are over the age of 16; worked in collaboration with Warwick University to deliver the Certificate of Education for teachers of post- compulsory aged learners.
  • Head of Sixth Form (academic and residential) at an Oxfordshire Independent School.
  • Worked as an Associate Inspector for Ofsted and as an external verifier for vocational courses.
  • Holds a Masters Degree in Education with a research interest in vocational, further and higher education.
  • Experience as a governor at an independent, residential special school.

Colin Mitchell







Colin Mitchell


  • Over 30 years’ experience in corporate mergers and acquisitions work across UK and EU including successfully completing management buy-outs and buy-ins.
  • Former business governor of large sixth-form college in Berkshire and chairman of educational charitable trust.
  • Experienced CEO, group finance director (FCCA) and non-executive director of various commercial companies and in the arts.
  • Experienced in strategic business planning, business transformation and projects involving executive mentoring.
  • 16 years as a magistrate in Berkshire.
  • Experienced business development director including responsibility for global sales
  • Joined The Mill Academy as a trustee in December 2017.

Gordon Joyner







Gordon Joyner


  • Governor experience over the last 9 nine year including Chair & Chair of various committees at various schools.
  • Been involved in the education sector within Oxfordshire for the last 32 years.
  • Experience of school building planning & construction.
  • Been involved with the development of academy trusts for the last 10 years.
  • Experience of financial planning/monitoring, property services, project management, admissions & appeals and various school legal matters.
  • Joined The Mill Academy as a Diocese appointed trustee in June 2017.