Chair of the Board
Vice Chair of the Board
Chair of the Board
Following an early career in health research and research management at the University of Bristol, Rachel joined the NHS where she has worked for more than 18 years.
During this time Rachel has supported and enabled research, innovation and improvement, and enterprise development working in acute and mental health care. Rachel has held two executive Director positions in Organisational Development and Strategy and a non-executive director position for an innovation company. Rachel’s passion is enabling people and organisations to achieve their potential.
Rachel lives in Bristol, is married to Graham, an experienced teacher, and has two teenage children. She is actively involved in her local church and committed to expressing her faith values in all areas of personal and professional life.
Vice Chair of the Board
Ann Holt has recently retired as Diocesan Director of Education for Chichester Diocese from where she has moved back to Malmesbury. As DDE she was also a director of the Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust and the Tenax Academy Trust. She continues as a Trustee of the Oasis Academy Trust and has now returned to the Diocese of Bristol Academy Trust which she helped to establish as a former Chair of the DBE. Ann has spent over 40 years working in Education and received an OBE for services to Education in 2004. She has recently contributed to the creation of the Church of England Vision for Education and was also a member of the working party that produced the Church of England Report on the future of small schools. She has been a governor of several schools in the maintained and independent sectors and has written extensively on the governance of schools.
Tanya has been a Civil Servant for 29 years. She started her career as a microbiologist but moved to a policy role to advise and support a number of Central European countries apply to be members of the EU. She then had a short spell in China assisting UK companies establish export opportunities. She worked in a number of Government Departments before joining the Senior Civil Service in 2008.
She currently works in the Education and Skills Funding Agency as Territorial Deputy Director (South) and has responsibility for Academy funding in the South West and South East.
Tanya is a strong champion of improving diversity within the Civil Service. She lives in Bath and has two boys who keep her very busy. She enjoys hearing her eldest boy sing in the Senior Chapel Choir and watching her youngest play rugby.
Iain is an accountant by profession, and a Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He spent over 30 years of his career working in various financial management roles for Vodafone plc both in the UK and abroad. Recently retired, he has become more active in his village and church communities, serving as churchwarden at All Saints Church, Sutton Benger in Wiltshire. Although not previously involved in education, he brings a wide range of financial experience (specifically around company start ups and transformation) to the Board of Directors.
Chris retired in December 2016, having worked in a variety of primary schools in North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire as a class teacher, Deputy Head and Head Teacher.
As a Local Leader of Education, Chris served 2 terms of office as a Consultant Head Teacher developing and promoting the work of the Local Authority’s Leadership Academy and then between 2013 and 2015 she was seconded part time, to support a school in challenging circumstances.
A committed Christian, Chris has always played an active part in the life of the church, leading Bible Study groups and Discipleship courses. She is a member of the PCC and Churchwarden of her local church and is also Lay Chair of South Bristol Deanery. Since 2015, Chris has also been a member of the Diocesan Board of Education.
Norma spent 35 years teaching in the secondary sector in Swindon – Religious Studies and Philosophy being her two primary subjects – and loved it. She was ordained 11 years ago and spends a good deal of her time working as an associate minister at Christ Church, Swindon. Education remains a field that Norma has a passion for. She serves as Vice-Chair of Governors for a local maintained school and has been part of the Swindon SACRE for many years.
John is passionate about ensuring children and young people have the opportunity to grow and flourish, about nurturing creativity, making schools exciting places to learn and work and an integral part of their local communities. John is an Organisational Change Consultant, he works for a global consultancy and helps organisations and people successfully adopt new behaviours and ways of working.
He is married to Diedre and lives in Bristol. They worship at Bristol Cathedral and are active in environmental and charitable causes.
Bradley has been working in schools as a teacher and leader for 25 years. His career has taken him through a variety of academic, pastoral and management positions in state and independent schools in the South West. He is currently serving as Headmaster of Dean Close School in Cheltenham, a school he has worked at since 2009. Working as part of the Dean Close Foundation, Bradley has responsibility for the strategic direction of the school, the overall education provision, the wellbeing of staff and pupils and the financial growth and stability of the school. As a residential boarding school, the role also involves significant engagement with parents from both the UK and overseas. Dean Close is an active member of the Cheltenham Education Partnership, which seeks to provide opportunities for pupils and teachers from across all of the secondary schools in Cheltenham to learn and benefit from new programmes and events.
Outside of school, Bradley is married to Clare, who is a Head of Religious Studies, and together they have three teenage daughters. Bradley has been a member of St Matthew's church Cheltenham since 2009 where he contributes to the teaching team, the visuals and the music.
Rachael worked as a journalist for 20 years in regional media, in roles ranging from crime and court reporter to magazine and newspaper Editor. Currently a Head of Communications for a MAT, Rachael has extensive experience at board level in communications strategies, people management and development and devising and delivering successful change programmes. Rachael has focused on EDI policies and projects during her career, working within companies and supporting stakeholders to raise awareness and tackle social mobility and community disadvantage, through campaigns, sponsored events and mentoring. Rachael lives in North Wiltshire and has one daughter. She is passionate about supporting all children, no matter their abilities or start in life, to achieve their full potential.
Following 17 years working in Local Government, Sharon moved to the private sector and for the past 15 years has worked as Head of Client Services or as an Account Manager for two of the largest insurance brokers in the UK.
Sharon has been an Academy Council Member for 14 years and has served on the Local Board of several DBAT schools and has recently completed her term as Co-Chair of Tadpole Farm C of E Academy. She is passionate about diversity in the teaching staff in schools, the staff representing the diverse community it serves.
A devoted Christian, Sharon is a member of All Saints Church, Lydiard Millicent, Swindon. She is married to an experienced teacher and has one son, an avid cricketer. She loves nothing more than sitting in the sunshine watching him play.
Committed to ensuring the best learning opportunities for all, Jez has been developing pedagogical innovation for over 20 years. As a SENCo, senior school leader, Headteacher, Inspector and School Improvement Officer, Jez has led on the development of curriculum and assessment change, inclusion and the creative curriculum at local and regional levels. He's passionate about ensuring the system meets the needs of all learners – and will always look for approaches outside of the ‘norm’ that will inspire school communities and learners in a lifelong love of learning.
He is a husband, the father of two amazing daughters, a committed Christian, a worship leader, and a musician who loves nothing more than to sing and learn new instruments.
He sees being the CEO of DBAT as both an honour and greatly humbling – the opportunity to enable an amazing community of highly professional educators and staff to lead and develop the very best environment and opportunities for learning, in an organisation committed to values and the development of the individual is an incredible privilege.
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