RAF is constituted under the Department for Education’s Academies Act 2010.  Academy Trusts are charitable companies limited by guarantee.  They are established in order to operate independent, state funded schools and as such are free from Local Authority control. While subject to charity law, they are exempt charities whose Executive Headteacher Regulator is the Secretary of State for Education.  S/he provides oversight and regulation through a range of statutory frameworks and provisions.

Academy Trusts are required to adopt a set of Articles of Association specifically tailored to the operation of Academies and to sign a Funding Agreement, setting out the conditions under which a Trust must operate its schools.  In addition to this, the DfE and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) provide a range of statutory guidance to Trusts that they must comply with. These include (but are not limited to):

  1. The Academies Financial
  2. The Governance Handbook and Competency Framework
  3. The SEND Code of Practice:
  4. School Admissions Code:

The DfE’s publication Statutory Polices for Schools lists the polices and procedures Academy Trusts must have in place as a condition of their Funding Agreement.

Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) are Academy Trusts that are able to operate two or more academies.  The structure of Single Academy Trusts and Multi-Academy Trusts are broadly similar, save for in MATs additional provisions allow the Trust to delegate roles and responsibilities to local bodies overseeing the individual academies within the Trust.

The Trust (inline with other MATs) is governed by a number of constituent groups.  These ensure effective and transparent oversight and consist of:

  • Members – these are the “guardians” of Reach Academy Trust.   They establish and oversee the effectiveness of the Trust Board.  As such DfE describes their role as “eyes on, hand off” and are akin to shareholders within a Company limited by Guarantee.  
  • Trustees – who are appointed by Members to oversee the business of Reach Academy Trust, agreeing the overarching strategic direction and ensuring robust governance.
  • Executive Team – who manage the day-to-day business of the Trust in line with policies approved by Trustees.
  • Local Governing Bodies – these provide challenge and support to each academy’s leadership team as they implement policies and priorities.
  • Academy Leadership Teams – these manage the day-to-day business of individual academies under the oversight of the Executive Team.


Trustees and Members

Jude Tacon - Chair of the MAT Board                                                                                                                                                      

Jude is an equity partner at Deloitte LLP, working with large multi-national listed businesses in the real estate, business services and media sectors.  Jude is keen to share her experience of working in finance and governance to benefit Reach as it develops and grows.  Jude studied History and Classics at Cambridge University and lives in Chiswick with her husband Adam.

Jude has been a trustee since July 2012 (reelected in July 2016), and appointed Chair of the Trust in June 2018.  Jude's term of office is 4 years. Jude has attended 4 out of 4 Trustee meetings in 2019/20. 

Jon McGoh - Trustee, Member and Chair of the Reach Foundation                                                                                         

Jon has been involved with Reach Academy since its inception in the summer of 2010 and has chaired the team through the application process, the pre-opening process and the opening process. Jon founded and directs Reach Cambridge Ltd, an organisation that specialises in running residential study courses. He is also a Director of Mercurial Pictures Ltd, a member of the RSA, and Chair of The Reach Foundation. Jon studied Classics at Cambridge University and his passion for education stems from being involved with University Access programmes.

Jon has been a trustee since May 2011 (reelected in May 2015 and May 2019). Jon has been a Mmeber since June 2018. Jon's term of office is 4 years. Jon has attended 4 out of 4 Trustee meetings in 2019/20 and 1 out of 1 member meetings.. 

Tom Sawbridge - Trustee and                                                                                                                                                            
Chair of the Local Governing Body at Reach Academy Feltham

Tom is a teacher by profession and he is currently Vice Principal at Ark Academy, Wembley. He is the Chair of the LGB and a trustee. Tom is passionate about Reach Academy’s goal to provide all pupils with the opportunity to go to university if they wish and to live happy, healthy and productive lives. He studied History at Brasenose College, Oxford, and has Masters degrees in Comparative Politics from LSE and Educational Leadership from the Institute of Education. He lives in Harrow with his wife Mona.

Tom has been a trustee since October 2014 (reelected in October 2014). Tom's term of office is 4 years.  Tom has attended 4 out of 4 Trustee meetings in 2019/20. 

Emma Luxton - Trustee and Governor of Reach Academy Feltham                                                                                      

Emma is a mother of two, the eldest in Year 7 and the youngest in Year 5 at RAF. Emma works for the Serious Fraud Office and is a solicitor. Emma is a trustee of the MAT also sits on the LGB and is the governor for safeguarding and looked after children.

Emma has been a trustee since December 2012 originally as a Parent Governor (and was co-opted in December 2016). Emma has attended 4 out of 4 Trustee meetings in 2019/20.  Emma's term has been extended until October 2021. 

Jen Baxter - Trustee                                                                                                                                                                                

Jen has a broad range of experience in the education sector. She is currently Chief Operation Officer of the Chartered College of Teaching. Previously she was Associate Director of Strategy at Teach First and was  the Head of Education Strategy at CfBT’s public research programme. She has also worked as a Senior Consultant at Deloitte, where she delivered pre- and post- 16 education projects. She also worked at a west London secondary school for four years, and was Head of Modern Foreign Languages and English as an Additional Language. Jen performed the role of Senior Project Manager in the set up phase of Reach Academy Feltham. Jen brings knowledge of education strategy and policy, programme design and delivery, and international education systems to Reach Academy Feltham. She lives in north London with her husband.

Jen has been a trustee since October 2011 (reelected in October 2015).Jen's term of office is 4 years. Jen has attended 4 out of 4 Trustee meetings in 2019/20. 

Jen is also Chair of the Finance & Audit committee.

David Dowding - Trustee  and Member                                                                                                                                    

David is a senior associate practising corporate law at Stephenson Harwood LLP, an international law firm. Having grown up on the South Oxhey council estate (made famous in 2009 by Gareth Malone in the BBC programme, “The Choir”) he was the first in his family to go on to higher education, studying law at Cambridge University. Drawing on his own experiences, he became an active member of a University scheme aimed at improving and promoting access to top education for all. David advises the school on ad hoc legal matters and sits as a governor on the board. He lives near Epping with his wife and son, Theo.

David has been a trustee since May 2011 (reelected in May 2015 and May 2019). David's term of office is 4 years. David has attended 4 out of 4 Trustee meetings in 2019/20 and 1 out of 1 member meetings.. 

Ed Vainker - Trustee                                                                                                                                                                                      

Ed is one of the co-founders of Reach Academy Feltham and now CEO of the Reach Foundation. He previously taught in Peckham and White City and for four years before the school opened in 2012 he worked for an international education charity in Washington DC.  He is heavily involved in the foundation of the Reach Children's Hub and has sat on a number of panels and groups, recently on the Teach First National Forum, the Education Commission and Royal Foundation Steering Group on Early Life. Ed sits on the governing body of Hampton Court House school, is a Trustee of the Hounslow Education Partnership and Teach For All. Ed studied History at Cambridge University, has a Masters in Comparative Education and lives in Hampton with his wife, son, Max and daughter, Madigan.

Ed has been co-opted as a Trustee in August 2020. Ed's term of office is 4 years. Ed has attended 4 out of 4 Trustee meetings in 2019/20. 

Rebecca Cramer - Trustee, Executive Headteacher and Accounting Officer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Rebecca worked in three London schools prior to founding Reach Academy Feltham with Ed Vainker and Jon McGoh. She is passionate about ensuring that all children have the life opportunities they deserve and works relentlessly to achieve this goal. Rebecca has been influenced by visits to schools around the world. She studied Geography at the University of Bristol and trained to teach through the Teach First programme. In 2018 Rebecca was named a top-50 finalist in the $1million Global Teacher Prize. She currently co-chairs Heads Forward, the network of Teach First Ambassador Headteachers. Rebecca also sits on the DfE Mental Health RCTs (Education for Well-being) Advisory Group and is a Trustee of First Give, a charity inspiring young people to engage with social action. Rebecca lives in Richmond with her husband Max and two young sons, Rafe and Finn.   

Rebecca has been an ex-officio trustee since August 2012 Rebecca has attended 4 out of 4 Trustee meetings in 2019/20. 

Iain Gravestock - Trustee

Iain Gravestock has a broad set of experience in the public sector. He is currently a Partner at KPMG LLP with over 25 years’ business experience working with Government Departments. He is a qualified accountant with the Institute Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW). Iain’s skills and experience include organisational performance improvement, project management, commercial negotiation, finance and accounting, business management and technology. Iain’s holds a degree in Mathematics, a subject and passion that has shaped and provided his employment and career opportunities.  Iain lives in South-West London with his spouse and three children and is a keen cyclist and allotment gardner.

Iain has been a Trustee since 1st July 2020. Iain's term of office is 4 years.

Julie Laughton - Member                                                                                                                                                                            

Julie worked as a teacher and Head of Year at Longford Community School in Feltham before joining the Department for Education in 2003. Since then, Julie has worked in a wide variety of policy and delivery roles and is currently a Deputy Director.  Julie is Vice Chair of Uckfield College's governing body. Her most recent roles include (i) leading the delivery of a new initiative to provide working parents with 30 hours of free childcare and (ii) responsibility for all policies relating to residential care, foster care and adoption.

Julie has been a Member of the Trust since it was newly formed in June 2018. The Members have met once in the 2019-29 academic year.

Tom Collins - Member                                                                                                                                                                                   

Tom has been a Member of the Trust since it was newly formed in  June 2018. The Members have met once in the 2019-29 academic year.

The Reach Foundation - Member

TRF has been a Member of the Trust since it was newly formed in June 2018. The Members have met once in the 2019-29 academic year.