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 five committees 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)

•             Quality of Education (minimum of 3 meetings per year)

•             Safeguarding (minimum of 3 meetings per year)

•             People, Pay and Culture  (minimum of 3 meetings per year)

•             Nominations (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


Tommy Cullen


03 May 2022


Ken Lloyd


28 March 2023


Former Members (resigned in the past 12 months)


Current Trustees




Appointed by

Appointed from

Appointed to

Attendance 2022/23*

Kirstie Fulthorpe

CEO & Trustee



01 September 2020



Zakir Karim




25 November 2021

24 November 2025


Rachel Bilson


Finance, audit and risk


13 December 2021

12 December 2025


Julian Wood Vice Chair Finance, audit and risk
People, Pay and Culture
Trustees 06 May 2022 05 May 2026 4/4
George Scott Chair of Finance, audit and risk Finance, audit and risk Trustees 13 May 2022 12 May 2026 3/4
Sarah Burnage Parent Trustee TBC Parents 29 March 2023 28 March 2027 1/1
Frances Jessie Trustee Quality of Education 
People, Pay and Culture
Trustees 01 November 2023 31 October 2027 N/A

Former Trustees (resigned in the past 12 months)

Vicki-Ann Washington Parent Trustee TBC Parents 17 December 2021 10 January 2023 2/2
Melissa Green Parent Trustee Quality of Education Parents 11 November 2021 15 January 2023 1/2
Jasvinder Paik Trustee Quality of Education Trustees 18 March 2019 17 March 2023 1/2
Ken Lloyd Trustee Quality of Education; Finance, audit & risk; Safeguarding Trustees 29 September 2021 24 March 2023 1/2
Cathy Stygal Trustee TBC Trustees 09 January 2023 26 March 2023 0/0
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
* 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.

Rachel Bilson

Rachel is currently a senior manager at the University of the Arts London (UAL), where she oversees the strategy and operations for student recruitment to London College of Communication. Her previous roles at UAL include overseeing surplus generating courses, with the surplus used to enhance the learning experience and environment for all students. 

Rachel has over 20 years' experience in a wide range of education settings from teaching English in Asia to coordinating teacher recruitment campaigns for the Department for Education and managing placements for social work students. Rachel intends to apply her expertise in educational management to support Flourish Learning Trust's visions, values, and ethos. 

Sarah Burnage

Sarah joined the Trust Board as a Parent Trustee in October 2023.

Sarah has two children and a step-son.  Her son Kyron, who is a pupil at Whitefield School, was diagnosed at birth with bilateral hearing loss after contracting Cytomegalovirus (CMV) in the womb.  He also has Autism.  In order to support Kyron, Sarah has been learning British Sign Language (BSL) and has completed BSL Levels, 1,2 and 3.

Using her own experience of supporting her own child, Sarah seeks to provide a parent’s perspective at Board level and ensure that the needs of families are considered at all stages.

Tommy Cullen

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

In 2017, Tommy joined a Multi Academy Trust comprising of 8 schools in Kent of which he took up post as COO. In addition Tommy 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.

Tommy 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.

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. 

Frances Jessie 

Biography to follow

Zakir Karim

Zakir is the Managing Director at Karim Consultancy, a boutique management consultancy practice. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in the financial services sector. Prior to starting his own practice, he worked in large organisations including EY, KPMG and UBS. His areas of expertise are in compliance, culture & governance, and risks & controls.

Zakir is currently a school governor at a school in Waltham Forest. He was previously the Vice-chair of the governing body and Chair of the Resources Committee at a school in Enfield.

Ken Lloyd

Ken is an experienced governance consultant with extensive experience in educational governance and in organisational assessment and improvement. He’s a well-established advisor to trusts and an experienced chair for maintained and academy secondary schools. He is an active National Leader of Governance (NLG) supporting trusts and their chairs.

Ken was previously a local authority chief officer and strategic director and understands in depth the corporate governance and management of public, professional, and educational organisations.

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.

George Scott

George is a legal and risk management professional with expertise in the financial services sector. His particular areas of expertise include risk management, financial regulation, governance and compliance.  His current roles include executive coach, Non-executive Director and risk consultant.

For 17 years George was General Counsel, CRO and an executive Director of Pacific Life Re, the global life reinsurance Division of US mutual insurance company, Pacific Life.  George was instrumental in the growth of the Division into a leading participant in the life reinsurance market across 4 continents and in building its respected legal and risk function.  George qualified as a solicitor in 1995 and previously held roles specialising in M&A and corporate finance transactions at Ashurst, Nomura International and RSA. 

George also serves as a Trustee at Wickersley Partnership Trust, a multi-academy trust operating 14 primary and secondary schools in South Yorkshire.  He volunteers at his local Citizens Advice and Foodbank in Wokingham, Berkshire.

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.

Julian Wood

During the past 25 years Julian has advised on, structured, and led numerous economic & social infrastructure investments – variously, as corporate executive, sponsor-side principal, and development / corporate & investment banker. In addition to strong commercial, business development and financial analysis credentials, his experience includes the identification and mitigation of core project and transaction risks. Currently an independent consultant, Julian has held recent interim executive roles as: Commercial Head to a UK energy giant’s business-solutions arm; and prior to that, Investment Funding Head to Europe’s leading rail asset lessor. A recurring mandate, he serves as Independent Evaluator to a multilateral institution’s Innovation Fund for low-carbon technologies, helping select the recipients of this public-sector capital.

Julian’s motivation to support the Trust is influenced by family experience with the social and educational difficulties faced by children and teenagers with special needs. Having also spent two terms teaching two Sixth Form year-groups Economics at an inner-city London school and preparing the students for external exams, he has a clear understanding of how specialised intervention can help improve future adulthood life-chances.