The Members are the guardians of the Trust's constitution, determining the principles of the Trust's governance structure and providing oversight and challenge of the Trustees to ensure the charitable object of the Trust is being fulfilled.

The Members are distinct from the Trustees and are appointed in accordance with the Trust's Articles of Association.

Flourish Learning Trust’s Executive Team is accountable to the Board of Trustees.  Our Trust Board, which comprises individuals representing the education, business and charitable sectors and a parent from each of our schools, is responsible for setting the overall vision and strategic direction of the Trust and ensuring it meets its statutory and financial responsibilities.

The Trustees work closely with the Chief Executive Officer acting as a critical friend in order to raise levels of performance and ensure the Trust’s schools and services properly meet the needs of all those they serve.

The Board of Trustees has established two committees and has given these committees the authority to carry out some of its functions, the details of which can be found in the scheme of delegation and the terms of reference for each committee.

•             Finance, Audit and Risk (minimum of 6 meetings per year)

•             Pay (meets as required)

The membership of any committee may include persons who are not Trustees, provided that a majority of members of any committee are Trustees.

All current Trustees may be selected to form an ad-hoc committee if and when required to deal with matters relating to a specific incident or individual, such as considering a complaint or a personnel matter.

Please find details below on the appointment, roles, declaration of interests and attendance of current Members and Trustees at Flourish Learning Trust, including persons serving at any time during the current or previous financial year. 

The Board of Trustees delegates to the Chief Executive Officer responsibility for delivery of the Trust’s strategy and for the implementation of the policies of the Trust, and for the day-to-day running, internal organisation, management and control of shared Trust services.

The Board of Trustees delegates to the Principals of each school in the Trust the responsibility for the day-to-day running of the school, including the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the direction of teaching and the curriculum, and for the implementation of the policies of the Trust.

Key information about the Trust, including the register of interest, Articles of Association and our scheme of delegation can be found in the Key Information section of this website by clicking here

The Trust’s Accounting Officer is Kirstie Fulthorpe

The Trust’s Governance Professional is Maria Gabrielczyk

You can contact our Trustees or Members or request copies of the minutes of meetings by contacting

Flourish Learning Trust is committed to providing fair access to our information for everyone. This information can be made available in alternative formats, by contacting


Current Members


Appointed by

Appointment date

End of term

Angela Barry


25 October 2021


Neil Swift

Trust Board

03 May 2022


Hayley Porter-Aslett


20 July 2022


Thomas Shrivell


03 May 2022


Former Members (resigned in the past 12 months)

Ken Lloyd Member 28 March 2023 10 April 2024

Current Trustees




Appointed by

Appointed from

Appointed to

Attendance 2022/23*

Kirstie Fulthorpe

CEO & Trustee



01 September 2020



Thomas Shrivell Interim Chair TBC Members 12 April 2024 11 April 2028 N/A
Rupert Gather Trustee TBC Members 22 April 2024 21 April 2028 N/A
Shaun Jarvis Trustee TBC Members 22 April 2024 21 April 2028 N/A
Cathy Harvey Trustee TBC Members 07 May 2024 06 May 2028 N/A
Rachael Howell Trustee TBC Members 07 May 2024 06 May 2028 N/A

Former Trustees (resigned in the past 12 months)

Sara Rusling Trustee Safeguarding Trustees 15 November 2021 10 July 2023 3/4
Sophie Hope Parent Trustee N/A Parents 21 April 2023 16 October 2023 1/1
Robert Turner Trustee

Quality of Education

People, Pay and Culture

Trustees 06 May 2022 19 March 2024 3/4
Daniel Steel Trustee Safeguarding Members 13 December 2022 28 March 2024 1/2
Zak Karim Trustee Safeguarding Trustees 25 November 2021 11 April 2024 3/4
Rachel Bilson Trustee Finance, Audit and Risk Trustees 13 December 2021 12 April 2024 4/4
Julian Wood Trustee Finance, audit and risk
People, Pay and Culture
Trustees 06 May 2022 11 April 2024 4/4
George Scott Trustee Finance, audit and risk Trustees 13 May 2022 12 April 2024 3/4
Frances Jesse Trustee Safeguarding Trustees 1 November 2023 24 April 2024 N/A
Sarah Burnage Parent Trustee TBC Parents 29 March 2023 26 April 2024 1/1
Laura Shanks Parent Trustee TBC Parents 15 April 2024 1 May 2024 N/A
* Attendance at full board meetings

Biographies of Members and Trustees

Angela Barry OBE

Prior to retiring from her full time, permanent role in August 2017, Angela was the founding Executive Head Teacher/CEO of a Multi-Academy Trust in South East London and Kent.  She has been part of the teaching profession for 36 years; twenty five of which have been as either a Head Teacher or as an Executive Leader in a wide variety of diverse schools.  She feels extremely honoured to have been a school leader; a role that she undertook with integrity alongside an incredible sense of being a ‘servant leader’, operating through a moral imperative to improve life chances for young people. 

Angela was awarded an OBE for her services to education in January 2022.

Kirstie Fulthorpe BEd (Hons), NPQH, FCCT, FRSA

Kirstie Fulthorpe joined Flourish Learning Trust as its Chief Executive in September 2020.  In that capacity she also serves as a Director on our Board.  Kirstie has extensive teaching and leadership experience, having worked in education for over 30 years.

Before joining Flourish Learning Trust, Kirstie was the Director of Education and Children’s Services for the National Autistic Society. Previously, Kirstie was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors for Ofsted, a Regional Director for Oasis Community Learning and a Principal for the Harris Federation. She has contributed to national and international training and development and has particular expertise in early years education, primary and Special Educational Needs. 

Rupert Gather

Rupert is the founder and Executive Chair of InvestUK, a specialist advisory firm facilitating inward investment into the United Kingdom enterprise economy. International clients come from 34 countries and have completed over 500 investments, creating 10,000 jobs across the UK.

His charitable interest relate to culture and education. Rupert has been involved in education for 15 years, having chaired and/or been a trustee of 6 different Multi Academy Trusts, specialising in turnaround and improvement in challenging situations. He is also Chair of the Marco Polo 700 foundation, whose mission is to harness Marco Polo’s legacy of connectivity along the Silk Road through cultural exchange to promote unity and understanding between the Western World, the Islamic World and China.

He lives in London and is a regular speaker and panelist at international conferences on investment and global entrepreneurship. His TEDx speech on Patriotism and Globalization has received over one million views.

Cathy Harvey

Cathy’s professional background is in IT and political organisation. More recently she has spent 10 years as an adviser with Citizens Advice. She developed a passion for school governance as a parent governor in her children’s primary school and since then has had many roles at both primary and secondary level, before becoming a member and inaugural trustee of an academy trust in south London. This trust is now a growing multi-academy trust and Cathy is vice-chair of the board and chairs the Finance and Assurance Committee.

Shaun Jarvis

Shaun’s career in education spans twenty years. He has devoted much of this time to working with children and young people facing significant disadvantage and vulnerabilities. He has particular expertise in safeguarding, inclusion, SEND and AP. Shaun holds the National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership. He has held several leadership roles in mainstream and specialist settings, and has worked with governors and trustees, providing challenge and support and helping to strengthen governance. He has been a governor and chaired a learning and standards committee. Following a successful career as a teacher and school leader, Shaun was privileged to become one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors at Ofsted. He led high-quality, often complex, inspections of primary and secondary mainstream schools, special and independent non-maintained special schools, as well as alternative provision settings. Shaun’s exceptional contribution was praised by the then HMCI. He is now director and principal consultant of a successful education consultancy, supporting schools and local authorities. He continues to lead inspections on behalf of Ofsted.  

Rachael Howell

Rachael is a founding member and CEO of The Stour Academy Trust. Rachael began her career in education in 2005 and remains passionate about, and committed to, improving outcomes and removing barriers for all children.

As a founding member of The Stour Academy Trust, Rachael has been instrumental in driving forward educational policies and practices that have been highly commended and led to sustainable changes for schools joining the Trust.

Rachael’s role evolved as the Trust grew and developed. As Deputy CEO her focus was on system leadership whilst leading school development as Director of Education for the Trust.

To further develop her skills in system leadership, Rachael worked with Ambition School Leadership, successfully completing the Executive Educators training for CEOs in 2017. 

Following her long career as a school governor, Rachael joined the Board of Directors in 2012 and has a strong knowledge and understanding of MAT governance structures.

Rachael’s strength lies in her ability to form strong relationships with school leaders and work with them to create positive changes for children. 

Her current focus for the Trust is the further development of outstanding teams of professionals that add value to all schools within the Trust. 

Hayley Porter-Aslet

Hayley graduated from Manchester University in 2002 with a Degree in English Literature before going on to became a qualified CIMA Accountant.  She then worked with Bell UK before making the move in to the public sector, more specifically in Education in 2007 progressing to Trust Director of Finance & Operations.

Thomas Shrivell

Beginning his career in an educational setting in 2009 as a Finance Assistant whilst studying accountancy, by 2016, Thomas was acting as Finance and Business Manager for a Multi Academy Trust comprising of 9 schools. 

In 2017, Thomas joined a Multi Academy Trust comprising of 8 schools in Kent of which he took up post as COO. In addition Thomas acts as the Chief Finance Officer of the Trust and is responsible for overseeing the operational departments of the Trust. With a passion for strong governance.

Thomas has worked closely with the DFE and ESFA on a number of projects, peer to peer mentoring programmes and continues to support them on a number of pilot schemes. Currently, he is an active member of the ESFA user group supporting a wider network of MATs across the country.

Neil Swift

Neil is currently the Chief Executive at the Single Source Regulations Office (SSRO), an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, which plays a key role in the regulation of single source, or non-competitive defence contracts. Neil joined the SSRO in 2015 and was appointed Chief Executive in May 2018 having previously been the Chief Operating Officer.

Neil started his career as an engineer with British Aerospace before changing direction to train as an accountant with KPMG. After a move to the public sector, Neil worked in several frontline operational finance roles including as Deputy Director of Finance at a large NHS Trust in London.  Neil joined the Audit Commission in 2003, initially as a Senior Manager and Health Policy Lead, where he worked on a range of national studies and publications before becoming Head of Technical Support for the Commission’s Audit Practice in 2007. He was appointed Associate Controller Corporate Resources in 2012 and was responsible for the delivery of all support services during the transition to and eventual closure of the Commission.