Welcome from the Chair of SGS Academy Trust Board, Valerie Bragg

Valerie Bragg Valerie Bragg
Chair of SGS Academy Trust Board

On behalf of the Board of SGS Academy Trust welcome to our website.

Students within our trust are our number one priority and all staff, governors and trustees work together with a common aim of providing a safe and vibrant learning environment in which all learners can reach their potential and have an enjoyable and positive time at school.

We are committed to improving access to education in the communities we serve at primary, secondary and special school level. We are committed to the aim of delivering a high quality and broad educational experience across the Trust; the continued improvement of schools within our Trust is absolutely fundamental.

Trustees are volunteers and the Board of Trustees has a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Holding the Executive Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff and
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of each school in the Trust and of the Trust overall and assuring value for money.

As we are a Trust, we can provide support and challenge to our schools, help with staff development and succession planning and, because of the economies of scale, pool our resources. All this helps to improve our schools and provide a better education for the young people in our care.

The Board of Trustees encourages the recruitment of trustees from all sections of the community and applications are always welcomed from people of all cultural backgrounds with a range of skills and experience. The Trustee Role Description and Person Specification can be found below. Should you wish to find out more about becoming a Trustee please contact the Clerk to SGSAT Board:

Baroness Royall of Blaisden

Baroness Royall of BlaisdonPatron
Janet Royall was born in Hucclecote and grew up in Newnham on Severn in Gloucestershire. She was educated in Coleford. Janet was special advisor to Neil Kinnock as Leader of the Labour Party in the 1980's and became Head of the European Commission office in Wales in 2003. In 2004, she was created Baroness Royall of Blaisdon and became the Labour Government's spokesperson for Health, International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. In 2008, the Baroness was appointed Government Chief Whip before being made Leader of the House of Lords in October 2008 by Gordon Brown.

About SGS Academy Trust

South Gloucestershire and Stroud Academy Trust (SGSAT) was incorporated on 12 December 2014 as a company limited by guarantee and is constituted as a non-profit charitable trust. SGSAT is sponsored by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College. As SGSAT has been established as a multi-academy trust it is capable of having more than one academy within the trust.

Academy Schools are state funded schools in England which are directly funded by central government (specifically the Department for Education) and independent of direct control by the local authority. The majority of academies are secondary schools, but some primary schools also have academy status.

Academies are self-governing, however, they must meet the same National Curriculum core subject requirements as other state schools and are subject to inspection by Ofsted.

Our Trustees

Valerie Bragg

Valerie BraggTrustees and Chair of SGSAT Board of Trustees
After a successful career as a science Teacher and Head Teacher, Valerie became Principal of the first ever City Technology College (the precursor to Academies) in Kingshurst, Birmingham, in 1988. Whilst she was principal, the CTC won the Midlands Excellence Award, the Government's Modernising Government Partnership Award, and were finalists in the European Business Quality Award and the UK Business Excellence Award. Valerie was Midland Business Woman of the Year in 2000.

As an experienced educationalist, she has been responsible for developing the educational vision, acting as Project Manager in the setting up of academies and University Technical Colleges and providing educational design advice to architects ensuring that establishment buildings are 'fit for purpose'.

Philip Eames

Philip EamesTrustee
Phil now works in internal audit governance and risk management at Bristol City Council, having previously been a freelance assurance and audit consultant after taking early retirement from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) where he was Head of Assurance. He worked for the EFA and its predecessor funding bodies for more than 20 years in assurance and audit roles, dealing with colleges and academies and other education providers. Prior to that he worked for Ernst & Young and the Audit Commission. He was a student at the former Filton College and prior to that at the Royal Forest of Dean Grammar School.

Kevin Hamblin

Kevin HamblinTrustee and Chief Executive
Kevin was appointed as Trustee and Chief Executive of SGSAT from 12 December 2014. Kevin was also appointed Principal and Chief Executive of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College from 1 February 2012 and prior to that he was the Principal and Chief Executive of Filton College since December 2001.

On completion of his degree, he worked as commercial manager then commercial director of a private training company, before becoming Head of Open Learning at Swindon College in 1997. This led to a role as Head of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering at Swindon before becoming Vice Principal at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire in 1999.

Kate East

Kate EastVice Chair of Trustees
Kate has over 25 years' experience of delivering education, social care and public health programmes both in the public and private sector. Kate has a track record of delivering positive impact through setting strategy, implementing change and robust project management. Kate has not only delivered successful programmes at a national level, e.g. the National Healthy Schools Programme but also worked with a number of local authorities. Kate has worked as an Assistant Director of children's services in the South West responsible for school improvement, early years, SEN, behaviour and attendance. She is an experienced educational psychologist and skilled in the area of SEN. Kate is a Director of Wireless Information Solutions Ltd which provides consultancy.

Nigel Johnson

Nigel JohnsonTrustee
Nigel Johnson, a retired executive director, has experience of developing and managing strategic change in national organisations in the public, commercial and charity sectors. In addition to his broad ranging business experience he was also a practising corporate lawyer. He has lived to the north of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire since the early 1980's and as Chair of Governors to Forest High School provides a strong link between the work of the Forest High School Local Governing Body and the Board of Trustees

Jeannie Cohen-Brand

Jeannie Cohen-BrandTrustee
Jeannie is the Head of Enterprise and New Ventures at the University of Gloucestershire. She has extensive experience in FE and HE. Jeannie’s previous roles included three years as Commercial Manager at the University of Gloucestershire Growth Hub; a Director at Harrow College; and a Business and Learning Advisor for the Chartered Institute of Managers.

Jeannie Cohen-Brand

Steve ShepherdTrustee
Steve has worked in the IT, Web and Data industry for the last 20 years. Starting in the financial banking sector and moving through software development to be Chief Technical Officer of a global data aggregation company with executive level responsibility.

Steve is keenly interested in all forms of technology and innovation and sees the UTC as an incredible opportunity for learners and employers to be more closely aligned going into the future.

Jeannie Cohen-Brand

Stephen WinstoneTrustee
Stephen is a Principal Lecturer and the Strategic Lead for Partnerships within the School of Education at the University of Gloucestershire. He leads the Partnership team that covers the Early Years, Primary and Secondary phases. With nearly thirty years in Education, he has extensive experience of teaching Mathematics in four large comprehensive schools and working in Initial Teacher Education (ITE). His previous roles with the University of Gloucestershire include the Mathematics ITE Subject Leader and the Secondary PGCE Course Leader. He has been an associate governor at a local secondary school and worked as an external examiner for Mathematics ITE programmes.

Jeannie Cohen-Brand

Christopher Stark

Christopher Stark is a consultant and strategic advisor to multi-academy trusts, academies, local and central government agencies and works nationally to support organisations to deliver the best possible educational outcomes for young people. Having started his career as a journalist and having worked in the civil service, the IT service industry as well as large international consultancies, he now runs his own business - based in the Stroud region. With extensive experience in supporting and leading boards in matters of growth, risk and strategy, Christopher is passionate about ensuring that educators are free to deliver teaching and learning and avoid getting distracted from this core function by estates, IT, legal, commercial or operational issues. Having delivered two new SEND Free Schools and over 25 academy conversions to date, Christopher brings a wealth of current sector expertise to the Trust.

Jeannie Cohen-Brand

Andrew Morris-Wyatt

Andrew was born and raised in the Stroud valleys and attended the local village primary and Marling schools. He lived and worked in London for many years and has now returned to live in the Stroud area. He had a career of over 30 years in banking and his latter role was as Managing Director of HSBC Private Bank leading its high net worth business in the UK and Ireland and as a member of its Executive Committee. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment and of the Chartered Institute of Financial Services. He now works as a consultant. As father, by adoption, to a son with complex issues including Asperger’s, Andrew is well-experienced in dealing with the challenges of engaging with schools and colleges, local authorities, NHS and private sector mental health services and Commissioners from a parent’s perspective.


The following documents can be downloaded in keeping with our policy of allowing open access to the work of SGS Academy Trust.

Terms of References
SGS Academy Trust SGS Berkeley Green UTC SGS Pegasus School The Forest High School

Privacy Statement Academy Intranet Access

South Gloucestershire and Stroud Academy Trust (SGSAT) is a company,
limited by guarantee, and an exempt charity.

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