Our Team

The Sovereign Trust

Our Team

Our team approach, led by our Board of Directors, combines the best educational and therapeutic practices together with a strong belief in involving families in supporting their children to develop independence, confidence and love of learning.

Our Boards of Members & Directors

The structure of governance at the Sovereign Trust starts with a Board of Members who are the ‘custodians’ of the Trust. The Board of Directors (sometimes referred to as Trustees) make decisions about the ‘business side’ of the Trust, the Academy Advisory Committees at each academy focus upon the day to day provision for the children making decisions , for example, about curriculum, standards and teaching and learning. The people on the Boards and Committees have been selected for their extensive skills and experience in specific areas, as well as representing parents.

It is the Boards’ role to ensure that the collective eye of all our schools is firmly focused on the vision of providing outstanding education for all our pupils and to hold the schools accountable for delivering this vision.

Our Senior Leadership of the Trust

Our senior leadership team comprises our CEO, Directors and Heads.

Our Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The CEO of The Sovereign Trust is Beverley Owens, she plays a leading role in supporting the Board of Directors by directing strategy and creating and shaping the development of the Trust.

Beverley has been in education for over 40 years as teacher, deputy head and as headteacher; Pictor Academy was her second headship. She has been a headteacher for over 14 years. The majority of her time in education has been spent in Special Education.

Company Secretary

The company secretary of The Sovereign Trust is Mark Johnson, he is an experienced commercial solicitor and company secretary working with clients to manage risk, assure compliance and protect their legal position.

Our Members

Each have their own areas of expertise and experience.

  • John Lomas
    John has been in education for over 40 years. He spent the majority of those years in Special Education as teacher, deputy headteacher and as Headteacher at a residential/ day special school in Kent. He was Senior Adviser for SEN and Head of SEN Support Services in Trafford Council for 7 years until 2011.
    He is now an SEN Consultant (self-employed) 2011-date. Roles have included Acting Head of SEN (Rochdale) and Acting SEN Assessment Manager (Kirklees).
    He was also the LA representative at SEN Tribunals 2001-2014.
  • Jean Spruce
    Jean has worked in education for over 40 years and was formerly the Headteacher of Pictor School before it became an academy. She has vast expertise and experience of working with children with Special Educational and Developmental needs.
  • Rik Waddon
    Rik is a multi-medallist Paralympian.  Rik is a patron of two other Children’s charities; broadcaster and sports ambassador. Rik says that he understands the challenges for our children and is keen to support them in any way he can. He is an accomplished motivational speaker.
  • Caroline Oxley
    Caroline is an HR specialist currently working for a large company who have  Early Years settings and After School / Holiday clubs (12 locations), employing circa 200 staff.  She provides HR leadership and coaching to all managers and staff across the company. Caroline has proven ability to develop and motivate others.She has expertise and experience in the implementation of new integrated HR & Payroll systems.
    She advises on disciplinary/grievance and capability processes ensuring that these are conducted and recorded in accordance with Statutory and company procedures.  She also leads on TUPE consultation processes, dealing with all aspects of consultation and confirmation of measures.
  • David Rowntree
    David is a senior P&C insurance professional with international experience in developed and emerging markets. He is highly experienced in portfolio management, product development across personal, commercial and corporate segments, turning around unprofitable portfolios, corporate finance and strategy.
    His skills include Management and leadership; Developing competitive strategy; Product development and portfolio management; Internal controlling & governance; Technical training and developing people; Leading change.

Our Directors

  • Paul Nolan
    Paul’s work history has been quite varied: RAF, Hospitality and catering; then after University as a mature student worked in banking as a credit risk analysis, then progressed his career as a senior manager of a FTSE 100 organisation, during this time he was a director of an International Anti-Fraud organisation, providing consultancy to UK telecommunication companies and various government departments.
    After developing his expertise he became the Managing Director of three companies: 1. a construction accreditation scheme and worked on several Health and Safety Executive committees 2. a vocational training organisation, providing adult learning 3. The Principle of an Ofqual Awarding Organisation, designing and managing NVQ and VRQ qualifications.  For the last 9 years he has nurtured a business providing ePortfolio solutions to Colleges and Vocational Training organisations.
  • Ian McGrath
    Ian is  the founder and MD of an Autism charity called Hearts And Minds Challenge which was set up in 2010.They have supported many families who have children with autism through various difficulties through the Hearts And Minds Challenge. Their mission is to raise the quality of life of individuals and their families affected by autism by ensuring the highest standards in education, care and support leading to employment and equality of living opportunities.
    Ian’s son currently attends Pictor Academy
    Ian also works in the construction industry and manages plant hire companies with annual turnovers in excess of 3 million per year and employing over 40 staff.
    He has experience of negotiating contracts with major companies in the construction industry both in the UK and Ireland.
  • Dilys Morgan
    Dilys has worked in education for over 40 years. She was the Deputy Headteacher at Pictor School before it became an academy. She has vast experience and expertise working with children with special educational and developmental needs.
  • Nick Gill
    Nick is an experienced Senior Manager, Risk Manager and Head of Safety, Health and Environment improving performance, reducing risks, increasing operational efficiencies and driving behavioural change across complex technical environments, using strong strategic planning, enterprise risk management and relationship building skills.
    He is a Chartered Electrical Engineer, evaluating risk, defining best practice, establishing standards and creating robust frameworks enabling the design and integration of business focussed processes to meet customer needs.
    He is an inclusive leader, building motivated teams and consulting with internal and external stakeholders to encourage knowledge transfer and information sharing to deliver best practice, cost effective solutions for the company, whilst influencing standard practices across industry bodies and regulators.
  • Maurice French
    Maurice has been a senior manager in the industrial sector and has the ability to analyse situations, identify problems, create and evaluate proposed solutions and implement plans.
    Early in his career much of this was hands-on. In later years much more was in an analysis, supervision and a monitoring role. Although generally within a commercial environment he feels that many of his skills are transportable into a non-commercial environment.
  • Shirley Jones
    Shirley is an experienced finance professional who has built a strong reputation in providing exceptional support to operational management through incisive analysis of operational concepts and their associated financial impacts.
    She has vast experience of financial risk management and testing controls are effective. Also has implemented the GDPR legislation with finance.
  • David Rowntree
    David is a senior P&C insurance professional with international experience in developed and emerging markets. He is highly experienced in portfolio management, product development across personal, commercial and corporate segments, turning around unprofitable portfolios, corporate finance and strategy.His skills include Management and leadership; Developing competitive strategy; Product development and portfolio management; Internal controlling & governance; Technical training and developing people; Leading change.

Our Heads

The role of the Heads of School and Headteachers is to be responsible for the operational day-to-day running of the schools and to be the first point of contact for pupils, staff and parents.

Academy Advisory Committees

Our Academy Advisory Committees are responsible for ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of each of our schools, to oversee the individual schools’ development in areas such as curriculum, pupil progress and standards.

Executive Team

Our Executive Team consists of Trust wide staff who provide:

  • CEO support
  • Finance
  • HR
  • Estates

Our Staff

We are very proud of our professional staff.  Everyone from teachers, assistants, therapists, administrative and support staff to pastoral carers, are all dedicated to the development of the children and young people that they educate and care for.

Our Education Principles

Although the curriculum and teaching styles vary to meet the individual needs of each learner, all of The Sovereign Trust schools follow the same guiding principles:

  • Our curriculum is designed to ensure a breadth and balance of learning takes place
  • All staff have high expectations of pupils’ abilities
  • Our parents & carers are integral partners in education
  • All pupils require a personalised education plan
  • Lesson plans are developed to suit pupils’ learning ability, their age, and the session’s content
  • Teaching styles vary to meet pupils’ preferred way of learning (incl. play, structured sessions, practical tasks)
  • Therapy programmes are integrated into our classrooms
  • Careful monitoring of achievement encourages pupils to achieve their personal best

We will provide an environment in which everyone is encouraged and supported to develop leadership and management competencies. This will enable The Sovereign Trust to maximise the talent within the trust and plan for succession. We will review the progress made by the Trust against the organisation’s overall investment. We will challenge any under-performance.

The Sovereign Trust

Leadership

The Sovereign Trust

We are three exceptional academies meeting the educational and development needs of some very special Children and Young people with a range of learning difficulties including those who may have autism and physical or sensory needs.

Our Aim

Working together to increase the opportunities we offer to our pupils and staff; and able to extend our SEND expertise to other schools and academies through professional training and support.

Family of Schools

We are a family of schools that places children at the core of all we do.

Manor Academy

New Park Academy

Pictor Academy