Meet the Trustees

As a charitable company limited by guarantee ELAN is governed by a board of trustees who have overall responsibility and ultimate decision-making authority for all the work of the trust,  delegating some matters to the local governing body through the scheme of delegation. The trustees will oversee the educational standards, performance and finances of all the academies in the trust and meet the government guidelines on safeguarding, equality and diversity.

The trustees are accountable to the Department of Education (DfE) and ensure the standard and quality of education remains high and that any associated academy funding is used effectively. The trustees will focus on the three core functions of governance:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • overseeing and ensuring effective financial performance.

Iain Kilpatrick (Chair) - Headmaster Sidcot School

Education and Business Specialist

Iain began his career in branch banking before transferring to the corporate finance division of a major clearing bank. He has been a head for fourteen years and led two contrasting schools: a day school in Scotland and a boarding and day school in England. In each he has implemented considerable change and been successful in raising the number of pupils, academic achievement and profile of both as well as improving their financial performance. He has considerable experience of all aspects of school leadership – including marketing, branding and stakeholder relations and in developing strategic initiatives that support continuing development in dynamic and challenging markets.  Iain was one of the founding members of ELAN having previously been Chair of the Weston-super-Mare Education Trust.

Adam Matthews (CEO)

Education Specialist

Adam qualified to teach in 1995, after spending 11 years working as a logistician for several companies in the UK and USA. He is now a National Leader of Education and has, over the past 14 years, in the capacity of NLE, LLE and Advisory Headteacher worked with many schools across the country to improve outcomes for children through effective school improvement. As Headteacher of Bournville Primary he has overseen the amalgamation of two schools, the design and construction of a new school building, the award of National Teaching School Status and Gaining AFA Quality lead school. Adam is a trustee of XTND charity and Sidcot School. Adam has chaired the North Somerset Learning Exchange school improvement board for 4 years, has been a member of the Strategic Schools Forum and serves on the Formula Review and Future Schools boards.

Justin Harvey Bennett -Engineer and Environmentalist

Governance & Asset Management Specialist

Justin has worked in the construction industry since 1990 and is a Chartered Engineer, Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building and a Chartered Environmentalist. He has worked in all areas of the built environment both at a technical and managerial capacity. More recently he has been working in North Somerset Council leading on the design and construction of schools and commercial building projects. As the Chair of Governors of an outstanding school, Justin has been skilled at managing situations and enabling the school Senior Management Team (SMT) to be empowered to effectively and confidently manage the school

John Boughton

Construction Management Business & Finance Specialist

John is the Deputy Managing Director Willmott Dixon Construction, Wales and the South West With full responsibility for all operational delivery within the Wales and South West business unit who have a current turnover of £160m. Johns experience within the local market extends to 20 years, working directly with Employers, Consultants and the Supply Chain. During that time strong and key relationships have been developed.

Julian Baldwin

Education Specialist

Julian has had a lifelong passionate commitment to education, starting as a Foreign Languages Teacher in 1981 to completing 10 years as Headteacher of Backwell School in 2016, during which time the school was twice judged by Ofsted to be outstanding. Julian has been a National Leader in Education (NLE) and led the North Somerset Teaching Alliance through the Backwell Teaching School. Since 2015 he has been employed on a consultative basis by the Department for Education as an Education Specialist. Having retired from headship, he now specialises in supporting schools in leadership and teaching and learning.

Simon Wade


Simon started his career as an apprentice upholsterer at a sofa manufacturer and retail company based in the North West. After completing his apprenticeship, he further developed his skillset in the Design and general management sectors, at a large bedding manufacturer, Airsprung Beds, based in Wiltshire. The Company wanted to move into the sofa & sofa beds sector. Simon helped set up the Design department and manufacturing plant, and was managing a team of 25 at the age of 21. Head hunted into the Christie Tyler furniture group (largest in Europe at the time with 20 companies) and appointed to their main board as Design Director at the age of 25, to transform and turnaround 2 distressed subsidiary companies. Head hunted at the age of 33, by a UK Private Equity company, Orchard furniture, specialising in mergers and acquisitions and appointed to their main board as Managing Director. The strategy was to set up and run an International Design Studio and to turn-around one of their distressed sofa manufacturing companies, increasing their portfolio and shareholder value. Head hunted at the age of 40, by an American Private Equity company, Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, and appointed to their main board to transform and turnaround one of their companies, G Plan furniture. Up to April 2018 was Managing Director of 3 distressed sofa manufacturing companies at the Privately owned JDP furniture group, responsible for transformation and turn-around of the brands. More recently, Simon has been working as a Non Executive and Interim Director helping companies in various sectors transform and turn-around. 

Isobel Binks


Isobel trained in English and Law before starting a Career in Quality Assurance Management. With over 20 year experience in the Electronics and more recently in the Logistics industry. She has a wide experience of working with Business Systems design, audit and certification,  and improvement projects and teams.

Claire Williams


Claire is a qualified accountant of 10 years, having trained private practice she has experience in Audit, Corporate Finance and Restructure and Recovery. She transferred into Banking in 2010, currently working for Lloyds Banking Group leading a large operational finance team. Claire has a strong track record of delivering to a high standard and is experienced in delivering continuous improvement and motivating large teams in a continually changing and challenging environment.

Kaye Palmer-Green

Education Specialist

Kaye has had over 20 years teaching experience in primary and secondary predominantly in areas with recognised social deprivation and has relevant expertise in working with children with complex social and academic needs. Kaye is the Executive Head throughout the Woodway Federation and has led the schools out of special measures to Good (April 2015). Kaye has been the lead in setting up a new PRU provision and has gained valuable experience working throughout the County at leadership level advising and devising strategies to deal with pupils that are excluded from school. Kaye is also a National Leader of Education (NLE).

Charlotte Resuggan


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