Trust Members & Directors


The ACE MAT Trust was founded in 2015 and accredited as a DfE Sponsor in 2015

ACE MAT was originally founded under the control of the Kernow Collaborative Trust with two sponsored academies.

Members (6): Amarjit Basi, Steve Dunn, Daniella Glynn, Tarn Lamb, Phil Mason and Elaine Williams

Directors (10): Phil Mason (Chair), Tanya Ovenden-Hope (Vice Chair), Chris Boarland, Daniella Glynn, Jennie Walker (Executive Principal), Antus Phillips (Elected Headteacher - employee), Derek Rushton (Elected LAB Chair), Gordon Seabright, Mark Smith, 2 Elected Chairs of LABs

Phil Mason

Chair of Directors (Member & Director)

Director and Chair of Atlantic Centre of Excellence
Chair of Governors, St Columb Minor Academy
Director of Newquay Education Trust
Head Planning & Regeneration, Cornwall Local Authority

Daniella Glynn

Member & Director

Human Resources Consultant at Brown Jacobson Solicitors
Specialises in consultancy, advice and support to schools and academies on all HR management issues across Somerset, Devon & Cornwall
Previously  Head of HR, University of Chester Academies Trust
Previously Head of HR for a national organisation offering numerous services to young people, including 15 independent schools across the UK.  



A principled, strategic and respected leader in the learning and third sector able to drive national, regional and local networks to deliver quality assured services with strong outcomes for people and planet. A change innovator with a passion and track record of finding solutions to the complexities of multiple deprivation. An effective and persuasive communicator with a broad range of audiences. Strong financial and business development acumen.

Currently Chief Executive Officer at Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change and a Member of the BIG Lottery England Committee.

Mr Steve Dunn


Currently Vice Chair of Newquay Educational Trust.
BEd University of Sheffield
MEd University of Exeter
35 years teaching experience in secondary schools
Member of SLT for 15 years, Deputy Head for 10 years
Experience as chair of a local IEB
Director of two other local trusts
Wide experience of project management and fund raising eg Newquay Sports Centre £3.5 million, All-weather pitch Newquay Tretherras £350,000, Drama building Newquay Tretherras £800,000, All-weather pitch Newquay Junior £300,000
In the past have been chair and secretary of Newquay Hornets RFC, President Newquay Sports Centre, President Newquay Rotary Club

Amarjit Basi


Formerly CEO and Principal of Cornwall College
Formerly Principal and Chief Executive of New College Nottingham
Founding member of the 157 Group of Colleges
Formerly Principal and Chief Executive of Walsall College
Lead role in creating Gazelle, a movement of UK colleges committed to transforming FE through a focus of Entrepreneurship.
Inspector, chief moderator and consultant on curriculum and quality matters for key national development and quality agencies over the past 20 years
Board member at Cogent, the sector skills council for Chemicals, Nuclear, Oil and Gas, Petroleum and Polymers
Board member Pearson, the largest learning company in the world
City & Guilds Fellowship, for services to vocational education and training.

Elaine Williams


Owner and director of First Steps Pre-school
Owner and manager of Porthleven First Steps Nursery
Owner and manager of Out of School Club Archbishop Bensons School in Truro
25 years of experience in Early Years

Jennie Walker

Executive Principal and Accounting Officer

Principal of St Columb Minor International Academy (11 Years)
Director of Atlantic Centre of Excellence (3 years)
Director of Kernow Collaborative Trust (4 years) – An umbrella Trust that is now dissolved
Ofsted Good with Outstanding Features (x 3)
Academy converter July 2011
545 pupils on roll Largest 7-11 Primary in Cornwall
3rd Headship, 22 years of Headship
Previously LA School Improvement Officer & Ofsted Inspector (now undergoing reaccreditation)
Local Leader of Education (6 years)
School Improvement Partner (6 years)
Featured in the recent Ofsted Music report: Music in Schools – Sound Partnerships
NPQH Leadership Development School
National Ashden Award winner for Sustainable Education 2010

Dr Tanya Ovenden Hope


Tanya is Professor of Education at Marjon (the University of St Mark and St John in Plymouth). A senior academic leader with innovative scholarly engagement in educational improvement and effectiveness at a national and international level, she has 27 years of cross-sector educational experience and was awarded Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2014 and Enterprise Educator of the Year in 2014. She is a published author of academic texts and research and holds an associate role with the Department for Education, is a Visiting Research Fellow at Plymouth University, an Adjunct Professor in Education at Cape Breton University, a Director for two Multi Academy Trusts, a co-opted executive committee member of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) and Special Interest Group (SIG) Convenor for the British Educational Research Association (BERA). Tanya is committed to education for transforming lives and has held roles as Head of Sociology (Wheatley Park School, Oxford), Programme Team Lead for Education and Higher Education (Truro College), Additional Inspector for Ofsted, Head of the School of Secondary and Further Education Studies (Plymouth University), Director of Education (Cornwall College). Tanya’s current research is in school improvement, with a focus on socio-economically deprived coastal regions in England and educational isolation.

Mr Smith


Executive Director of Business Engagement at Aston University
Formerly Director of Enterprise and Employability Birmingham City University
Extensive knowledge of UK public sector environment and strong commercial acumen
Personal specialties: Marketing, Relationship Management, Government Liaison, Business Process Re-engineering, Programme and Project Management. Shared Service Architecture
Formerly Executive Director ‘Unlocking Potential’ Plymouth University
Formerly (Interim) Director of the Cornwall Enterprise Institute Plymouth University
Formerly Director of Business Development CPR Regeneration Limited
Formerly Chief Operating Officer AIDC UK Limited
Formerly Head of Business Development Renaissance South Yorkshire
Formerly Deputy Director (Strategy) Small Business Service (DTI London) , London

Mr Seabright


Gordon is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of The Eden Project in Cornwall.
Before joining The Eden Project, Gordon was the Chief Executive Officer of The National Cycling Charity, Acting Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society, Managing Director of the Company of Cooks and Commercial Director of English Heritage
He has non-executive or trustee experience at Newquay Community Orchard, Five Talents, Visit Cornwall and Project Urbivore and undertakes voluntary work at Newquay Community Orchard and Art8 Newquay.

Derek Rushton


Taught in primary schools in three local education authorities, from Lancashire to Cornwall, including two Headteacher posts in the Bodmin area
Launched the Childrens Fund/Sure Start in 2002
Retired in 2008
Trustee, CN4C, Redruth
Trustee, Berryfields Community Association, Bodmin
Chair of Governors, Beacon Infant and Nursery School, Bodmin

Antus Phillips


Deputy Executive Principal ACE Trust
Headteacher of St Columb Major Academy (11 Years)
Director of KCT (4 Years)
Ofsted Outstanding
Academy converter July 2011
356 pupils on roll 7-11 Primary
3rd Headship, 17 Years of Headship

Chris Boarland


Member of the Chief Officer Group of the Devon and Cornwall Police until retirement in 2013
Chair of Governors at Upton Cross Primary School
Chair of the Childrens Centre Advisory Board for the East Cornwall area (Cluster 6)

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