Our Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees comprises people that have been chosen for their extensive skills and experience in areas such as education, finance and asset management, some of whom may also be a member of a Local Advisory Board of one of our family of schools.

Barry Nolan

Chair of Board of Trustees & a Member

Barry has over 30 years’ experience in Retail and Corporate Banking and has been involved in mainstream and special school governance for the past 10 years. (Read more)

Karen Deacon

Deputy Chair of Board of Trustees

Karen is the Chief Executive of Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People and as such provides strategic and operational leadership to the organisation. She is safeguarding lead for the Trust.  (Read more)

Hardip Begol CBE

Chair of the Board of Members & a Trustee

Hardip is the Director for Integration and Communities at the Department for Communities and Local Government. He is the chair of Board of Members for the Eden Academy Trust. (Read more)

Susan Douglas

Trustee and CEO of the Eden Academy Trust

Susan Douglas is CEO of the Eden Academy and was instrumental in its founding and development.

Susan has spent over 25 years working in the educational arena including 15 years as a teacher and headteacher in West London. In 2006, she left headship and has since held key roles with a wide variety of national and international organisations including the British Council, Teaching Leaders and the National College of Teaching and Leadership.  (Read more)

Victoria Collis


Vicky is the Managing Director of River Path Associates, a strategic consulting firm that works across the spectrum of international relations. She specialises in working with governments in developing countries to transform their ability to deliver a range of public services more effectively, Vicky is currently supporting the free school projects in the southern hub. Victoria is also Trustee for standards accross the Southern Hub. Read more

Jamie Clarke


Jamie is a Chartered Director and Chartered Management Accountant; his past career of senior finance positions spanned various industry sectors, both here and overseas.  Jamie has specific responsibility for Finance within the Trust. (Read more)

Helen Milner MBE


Helen has been acting for disabled people for over 30 years, having founded and run two charities supporting parent carers and serving as a governor of Hexham Priory School since 2001.
Helen will link with our Director for Schools, Michael Thompson, and will be responsible for overseeing standards across the Trust's schools in the North. 

Helen received an MBE in the 2019 New Year's Honours list in recognition of her services to education and to the community in North East England.

Angela St.John


Angela is a former Assistant Director of Children’s Services in a London Borough. She also sits on the Local Advisory Board at Pentland Field School. Angela is on the Trust’s IT strategy group and the asset management group. (Read more)

Collette Stone


Collette works as a senior civil servant in The Home Office where she is the lead manager for Leadership Development and is a strategic consultant on Organisation Development. She is also a long-standing senior volunteer for Girlguiding and is currently National Deputy Lead Volunteer for Trainers and Training for the organisation. 

Brian Eaton


Brian Eaton is Associate lecturer in cultural tourism and events at Edinburgh Napier University and at Hong Kong University. His stepson was a pupil at James Rennie Special School, Carlisle and Brian was previously Chair of Governors there. He has also been a member of Children's Services Scrutiny Board of Cumbria County Council for the past four year where he has contributed to policy formulation and has been an expert witness relating to special needs on more than one occasion.