MATs Summit 2022 logo neg

12, 13, 14 October 2022



Laura McInerney is a columnist for the Guardian and the former editor of Schools Week. She co-founded Teacher Tapp, the successful daily survey app answered by 8,000 teachers’ lives. She was also once taken to court by Michael Gove for asking difficult questions!


Steve Chalke founded, and continues to lead, the Oasis Trust in 1985 with a vision to build inclusive local communities. Oasis is now one of the largest charities in the UK, as well as working in seven other countries. It provides housing, education – Oasis Community Learning is a MAT with 52 academy schools - healthcare, various community-building initiatives and works with the Ministry of Justice, creating the UK’s first Secure School. Steve is also an author, speaker, former UN Special Advisor on Human Trafficking and a Baptist minister. He holds an MBE and various honorary fellowships, all awarded for work in social inclusion and justice.

Tommy began his career in 2009 as a Finance Assistant whilst studying accountancy. By 2016, he was acting as Finance and Business Manager for a nine school MAT. In 2017, Tommy was appointed Chief Operating Officer at The Stour Academy Trust (a top performing Multi Academy Trust based in Kent). He has an extensive track record in academy conversion and rebrokerages, as well as taking part in pilot schemes such as SAT to MAT suitability inspections. Tommy has been commissioned to provide additional support and mentoring for failing multi-academy trusts and is an active member of the ESFA School Commercial Team User group.

Hugh has led the Elliot Foundation, which is a thriving family of 12,500 children in 29 primary schools, since its inception in 2011. Over the same period he has supported many other school trusts with their organisational design. Before Elliot he ran education businesses across Europe for the IIR Group and Reed Global, forging partnerships with Google, chartered sector bodies and leading universities. He serves on both the British Council’s and EPI’s education advisory boards and is a council member of the Federation for Education Development.

View session

Toni is the Digital Teaching and Learning lead at The Stour Academy Trust. As a teacher, Toni has spent most of her teaching career driving the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. She is passionate about inclusion and accessibility for all children in the classroom and throughout education and how technology can enhance this, to achieve best outcomes for educators and students. Toni is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Microsoft Master trainer and ambassador for many technology communities, including Book Creator and is happy to share ideas and ideas for teaching and learning on her Twitter @ToniHammy

Phil joined Shaw Education Trust (SET) in 2016 from Ofsted where he was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors. Phil has been part of the senior team that has seen the expansion of the trust from three schools to 30 schools. Prior to working for Ofsted, Phil gained extensive senior management experience as a headteacher and executive headteacher of day schools, residential schools and colleges. He has worked as a local authority school improvement partner and as a leadership trainer for the National College. During his time as a National Leader of Education, he led and managed a National Support School and Teaching School.

Rachael has been a leader of The Stour Academy Trust since its inception in 2012 and was appointed the CEO in 2020.  Leading the Trust through the pandemic, Rachael has embarked on journey to change the direction of education for the schools within the Trust to better meet the needs of the 21st century learner.  Rachael is driven to level the playing field for all learners and is particularly passionate about creating schools where children with additional needs and vulnerable learners can thrive by providing enabling environments for all children. 

As an executive headteacher and CEO of the Lion Academy Trust, Justin's trust specialises in supporting primary schools in need – and where standards have been permitted to fall below the required levels. By taking the design of the services Lion schools receive to create a consistently high quality of provision in all settings, they have transformed the quality of education across the communities they serve – validated by five Ofsted inspections since September 2021 and the continued upward trajectory of how well all pupils and staff are performing.

John has been the Finance Director of Robin Hood Multi Academy Trust (a six school multi-academy trust) since September 2017. With a rich financial background in schools, he has worked across the West Midlands region in local authority schools, faith schools and academies including several other multi-academy trusts. John oversees MAT operations as well as leading on academy conversions. His experience means he has a wide overview of the educational landscape and finances and has spoken nationally on issues related to academy finances. He is a member of Solihull Schools’ Forum, sits on the Board of Members of another MAT and is also a governor at two schools including the post of Chair of Finance.

View session

Dan has worked as a Senior Leader in Education for 15 years, in secondary and primary settings as well as acting as a trustee for a number of other charitable organisations and third sector bodies. His is currently completing an MBA to facilitate a strategic focus on national policy and he advises widely at the Department for Education. Dan’s favoured metaphor for talking about the children in his care involves ‘invisible backpacks’. Inside those backpacks are all the negative experiences and difficulties children have faced which need to be unpacked; no child leaves their bag at the door when they come into school under Dan’s leadership. Dan recognises the most valuable and valued resource under his leadership: his staff. Listening to what staff teams needed ensured Dan created a framework that would allow children to believe and achieve and for staff to grow and develop. This supports a climate and culture based on excellence for all.

With 20 years' experience leading secondary education, including six years as a successful head teacher in a London secondary school, Diana works at the cutting edge of leadership development. Known as a resilient school leader, she is skilled in urban leadership under challenging circumstances. Diana has substantial success in developing school wide models that strategically enhance the quality of teaching and learning across the curriculum and can couple sound strategic vision whilst giving clear operational direction. A programme director on a masters degree in Educational Leadership, Diana is also a school inspector with developed expertise in scrutinising school wide systems.

Following a teaching career spanning five decades, including 18 successful years as a Principal and Executive Principal in secondary, primary and special schools, Patrick continues to share his expertise, experience & enthusiasm to support the education system. An impactful leadership development coach for many aspiring, new and experienced headteachers, CEOs and other MAT leaders, particularly those facing significant challenge, Patrick also leads and facilitates a variety of executive leadership programmes. He actively uses his allyship and advocacy to champion diversity, equity and inclusion within education leadership. To date, he has coached 59 women into headship. Patrick is a board member for three multi-academy trusts and is on several advisory boards supporting mental health in schools.

Shonagh is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant working primarily in the fields of education at the arts. Shonagh has an extensive background in leadership in education, specialising in Performing Arts and Pastoral Senior Leadership and has worked as a DEI Leader in the East Midlands for five years. She works with many education organisations across the UK in a range of ways, including strategic Inclusion planning, creation of and embedding of robust and effective DEI networks, mentoring, and training. Shonagh has recently conducted extensive research into the experiences of Black and Global Majority female leaders and will be publishing this in late spring 2022.

Nav became the CEO of The Woodland Academy Trust, which is a small primary multi-academy trust in Kent, in January 2021. Having begun her career as a teaching assistant and eventually become a Headteacher in 2012, Nav has experience of school leadership in a range of contexts. Throughout her career she has been driven to serve school communities with ambition, equity and excellence. She is passionate about high-quality professional development and building inclusive, learning communities that are underpinned by relationships and connection. Nav is a member of The Headteachers’ Roundtable - a non-party political headteachers’ group operating as a think-tank and providing a vehicle for the profession to influence national education policy. Nav is also a trustee for STEP Academy Trust. She is always happy to share her thoughts and ideas on education and you can connect with her on Twitter @NavSanghara.

As a consultant specialising in supporting MATs continue to meet their strategic ambitions, Christopher has worked alongside Justin and the Lion Academy Trust to help grow the organisation from three to ten schools and to take a commercial and quality-driven approach to the provision of all products and services into the trust and schools. The primary focus remains on the delivery of impactful and value additive programmes of investment to ensure every setting meets the Trust’s standards – through active contract and vendor management.

Steve is the CEO of Robin Hood Multi Academy Trust (a six school MAT). With a strong leadership background in education, he has worked at a national and international level on a number of initiatives as well as being an National Leader of Education. During the Coronavirus shutdown of schools, under Steve's leadership, Robin Hood MAT created #TheLearningProjects - a national editable set of resources for any school in the country to build upon and improve. Steve and the Robin Hood MAT team are interested in open, transparent leadership and collaboration within the education sector and have committed to sharing EVERYTHING the MAT does for others to use as a base to build from.

View session

Our speaking team also includes:

Justine Berkeley ACCA MAAT FISBL, Managing Director, SBM Services