Cedars Learning Trust

Trustees

Tony Wilde, Chair of Trust

Professional background

I have worked in education since I graduated from Leeds in 1973. I stated my career teaching history in Leeds, moving on to various roles within schools until we moved as a family to London in 1980. I subsequently became a headteacher at a secondary school in Hemel Hempstead before becoming head of Southgate School in Enfield in 2000.

At Southgate we worked as a team to make the school outstanding. This allowed us to become a teaching school and I became a National Leader of Education supporting schools across the country. I also had the role of chair of Enfield Secondary Heads and subsequently its secretary.

Interest/experience in education

I have now retired from all my employed roles in education and concentrate on supporting schools voluntarily. Over the past few years I have become a trustee of a multi-academy trust in Enfield and a founder member of another.
A little over a year ago I become a governor at Lea Valley School.  This has led onto being the chair of the newly founded Cedars Learning Trust. A privilege.

Aspirations for Cedars Learning Trust

I am very excited to be at the start of a new phase in the education of students in North Enfield. 
It fits perfectly with my desire to continue to support the education and life chances of young people in Enfield.

The values of the trust are ones that I have held dear over the course of my career.

TWilde@cedarslearningtrust.org.uk

George Reeve, Vice Chair of Trust

Professional background

Birkbeck College, University of London - I am as a Life Member of the College and Students’ Union. Starting at Birkbeck in 1967, I took up the post of Cartographic draftsman/designer but later took over the role of Senior Manager in the Geography Department, with eight staff and a one million pound budget. Latterly a researcher into soil mechanics with Professor Jim Rose, Queen Mary College.

I also served for six years on the NNC - National Negotiating Committee - as an official of ASTMS.
In 1979-84 I wrote several books for a variety of publishers including McMillan, Orbis, Haynes, Wild Swan and the Oxford Publishing Company. In 1988 I took a career move to establish my own publishing company and have been MD since 1990.
In my research I have published over 50 titles and numerous articles in the National Press and was an historical advisor to RAILTRACK identifying and cataloguing 19th and 20th century railway maps, plans, diagrams and negatives. Recently I have been part of a team of historical advisor’s identifying, scanning and cataloguing 19th century negatives from the former Eastleigh Works for the National Railway Museum.

Interest/experience in education

I have over forty years of experience in public service particularly in educational governance, both at Lea Valley Academy (some 20 years, three years as Vice Chair and the last four as Chair – Governor at
Kingsmead School (two years), Albany School (two years) and Capel Manor School (seventeen years, fifteen as Chair) and Birkbeck College, University of London, where I was a governor for eight years involved in many senior staff appointments and serving on a range of university committees and on national negotiating committees. I was Returning Officer to the Birkbeck College Students’ Union for fifteen years.

Aspirations for Cedars Learning Trust

Having seen the political climate change over decades in local Government, with the inevitable effect on community schools, I wanted to see some stability and a self-determination. I want to provide a positive and supportive environment where young people achieve their full potential. An education system for the many local students, not the few. Having been a driving force at the school towards the Cedars Learning Trust, I welcome this new age. We should aspire to provide outstanding education for our young people and aim to ensure that not only our students but the whole community become proud of the Lea Valley Academy, the Cedars Learning Trust and its successes.

Alastair Craig

Professional background

I spent 33 years teaching English and French up to A-level in secondary schools across London, Herts and Essex. I held every post from classroom teacher, through Head of House and Head of Faculty, to Assistant Head, Vice Principal and Headteacher.
In several of my roles, I both timetabled and taught timetabling to others, and in every job I held financial roles, including working on several Governors' Finance Committees. As Headteacher I reviewed new school design across the UK, conducted the stakeholder consultation, led the design and engagement process for the sample school for Hertfordshire & when the global programme was cancelled, successfully secured the funding to rebuild The Nobel School (Stevenage), creating a school fit to serve its community for decades to come while inspiring its students and families.

Interest/experience in education

Aside from spending a lifetime in secondary education, I maintain a keen interest in teaching, learning and education in general from the moment children enter school, to the time they leave university. I sometimes return to school, or to teaching for short periods when there is a need for me to do so, such as 2017 when a Hertfordshire Head urgently needed someone to teach A-level English, GCSE grammar and GCSE French at the same time as sorting out a few timetabling issues. Happily, I was able to cover that for six months, until the students were all ready for their most immediate
examinations. During my teaching career, I reviewed and redefined curriculum and staffing in several schools, delivering & enabling others to create highly effective timetables that ensure the full use of human and physical resources, often whilst effecting significant savings. I have extensive experience of working with school governors as a staff governor, parent governor and school leader, and have enjoyed leadership roles in a number of consortia and school partnerships.

Aspirations for Cedars Learning Trust

My aspirations for Cedars Learning Trust are the same as my aspirations for every school, teacher, child, parent and community both now and when I was working full time in education: to enable every child to thrive, to learn to believe in themselves and to achieve the very highest levels of which they are capable whilst developing the life skills and social skills to
become a valued and engaged member of the community. 

Angela Byrne

Professional background

My background is in finance. I previously worked for a bank for 30 years. I now work for a charity providing advice to clients on matters including benefits, debts finance and consumer rights.

Interest/experience in education

I have been a school governor, both primary and secondary, for the last 25 years. I elected to become 
a governor because I wanted to give something back to the community. As a governor, I can help ensure all pupils receive the best education available to them to and make a positive difference to 
the life chances of all students.

Aspirations for Cedars Learning Trust

To become an outstanding academy trust and ensure all members provide an exceptional education 
to all students through teaching of the highest standard. 

Deborah Thompson

Professional background

I taught for 25 years and worked across the age range from Reception to A Level. I was a senior leader in school before moving to the School Improvement Service in Enfield. In my 16 years working for Enfield I was variously the English Advisor, Secondary Sector Manager and finally Head of School
Improvement. I qualified as an Ofsted inspector in 2002 and inspected both primary and secondary schools. I also qualified as a School Improvement Partner for both the primary and secondary sectors.
Currently I work as an independent consultant providing school improvement support to senior leadership teams and governors, again across the sectors, including special schools.

Interest/experience in education

My entire career has been spent in education. I am currently the Chair of Trustees at a local primary MAT- the Ivy Learning Trustand a governor at St Ignatius College. I believe in the value of collaboration and school to school support at a time when financial constraints are a challenge for all schools. As a trustee and governor, I actively promote strong, mutually beneficial partnerships

Aspirations for Cedars Learning Trust

I hope that Cedars Learning Trust will grow into a successful multi academy trust in which the partners share expertise and resources for the benefit of all the young people they serve.

Dennis Wilson

Professional background

I am a chartered Construction professional with 36 years of experience across the Consulting, Property and Construction Industry.
I currently hold the position as Operations Director for external clients with Lendlease, a global property development and Construction company.
Throughout my career I have worked on and delivered highly technical, complex and challenging building projects. In 2015 I was awarded CIOB Construction Manager of the year for the refurbishment of the Royal National Theatre.

Interest/experience in education

I have I have spent a significant portion of my career in further education and continual professional development. As a Father of three sons, two of which have graduated from University and the other undertaking an apprenticeship, I continue to take an active part in their educational development. I am also a Mentor for the Stephen Lawrence Foundation.

Aspirations for Cedars Learning Trust

As a Parent you wish every opportunity is afforded to your Children. To allow them to flourish and achieve their full potential.
I share those same views and aspirations for every Student that attends Cedars Learning Trust and believe I can play a part in, creating the right environment to enable that to happen.

Michael Sprosson

Professional background

I am the Head of Procurement & Contracting for Adult Social Care in two London Boroughs. I am responsible for the strategic sourcing, purchasing and monitoring of high quality care services for older people & adults with learning & physical disabilities and mental ill health.
I am also a Non-Executive Director of an Enfield Based homecare provider, acting on a consultancy basis to advise the board of directors on strategic planning and efficient management and operation to provide high quality, cost effective home support services to local people.

Interest/experience in education

I have been a Chair of Governors at an Enfield Primary School and currently Vice-Chair of Governors at Lea Valley Academy.
I have been involved in school governance for approximately 13 years, supporting colleagues with providing strategic leadership, performance monitoring and ensuring financial probity.

Aspirations for Cedars Learning Trust

My ambition is to support the achievement of the Cedars Learning Trust Vision and objectives and to ensure that outstanding education is provided for all students, to maximise their life chances and that their full potential is achieved. 

Ralph McBaiden

Professional background

I am a qualified CIMA accountant (ACMA, CGMA) with 7 years’ experience in industry since graduation from the University of Kent with an Accounting & Finance BA(Hons) degree.
I have held various Finance Management roles across different industries. My first role was at the privately held international fashion brand Chanel where I was responsible for the UK Watches & Fine Jewellery division.
I later moved onto working for the FTSE listed global Tobacco business British American Tobacco where I held a commercial planning and analysis position looking after the Global Supply Chain.
I currently work for Charles Stanley a wealth management business within Financial Services sector, where I hold a Finance Business Partner position responsible for advising the Asset Management side of the business along with group internal reporting. In all my positions, my role has always been focused on providing financial support and insights to business leaders in order to make sound strategic decisions.

Interest/experience in education

Although I am relatively early on in my professional career, I am eager to give back to society with the skills I’ve gained to date in order to make a real change in the community.
Schools play such a pivotal role in shaping individuals and through conversations with younger family members and having a brother and sister-in-law who are both teachers it further emphasises the importance to me.
I work with the charity Urban Synergy as a role model, going into primary and secondary schools to give kids some first-hand insight into my career path, what my job entails, how I got to where I am, and any general questions they have about work. The charity also provides role model seminars, work experience and mentoring for pupils primarily in Lewisham schools which have the highest exclusion rates in London.

Aspirations for Cedars Learning Trust

I hope for the trust to establish itself as a leading educational body making a positive change to the lives and aspirations of the students within it. I hope that the groundwork put in by the trust will allow it to grow and expand its reach and ability to serve the community.