Trust Directors and Members

Toby Watson - Community director - Chair

Toby was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs International for 17 years where he was a partner until 2017. At Goldman Sachs he focused on structured finance globally and worked in the New York, Hong Kong and London offices at various times. Prior to that Toby worked at Deutsche Bank in New York and London. He read Physics at Oxford University.

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Susan Clarke - Co-opted director - Vice-chair; Founding Member

Sue is currently Company Secretary and Business Manager of Flora Locale, a registered UK Charity. Sue has extensive experience of local government, being the Assistant Director Environment & Development at West Sussex County Council (1990-2003) and a Senior Manager at London Borough of Merton (1983-1990). Sue’s particular expertise is in democratic services, governance, planning, and economic development. Sue has widespread experience of governance in education as a primary school governor for seven years, and a governor at St John’s Marlborough 2010-2014. Sue chairs Excalibur Academies Trust's Staffing committee.

Nicky Edmondson, Principal of St. John's

Nicky Edmondson - Chief Executive Officer

Nicky was previously Principal of St John’s Marlborough, her third headship. With over 18 years of senior leadership experience across five comprehensive schools in different contexts, Nicky started her career as an English teacher, consistently judged outstanding. She is an experienced coach and mentor, working with Bath Spa University and as a School Improvement Partner. Nicky significantly raised achievement during both her first headship in Oxfordshire and her second in Cornwall. As Principal of St John’s she raised both attainment and progress in addition to significantly reducing the gap in achievement for disadvantaged students. Nicky has extensive experience of successfully leading change, developing and delivering strategy at local and national level, and inspiring and developing future leaders. As CEO Nicky provides challenge and support to headteachers, leadership coaching and a wide range of professional development for senior and middle leaders. Her commitment to collaborative working is evidenced by the lead role she taken in a wide range of educational organisations.

Emma Butler - Community director

Emma is self-employed PR Consultant specialising in the charity sector, including crisis management, celebrity and fundraising events. Emma managed the Press Office for the international charity, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (2004 - 2010) and was part of the Communications and Fundraising team at the National Osteoporosis Society (2001 - 2004). She is member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Previously a governor of Burbage Primary School where she was Chair for a number of years, Emma also sits on the Excalibur Academies Trust Staffing and Education Scrutiny committees.

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Jane Butler - Foundation director

Graduating from Cambridge, Jane was originally a Systems Engineer with IBM. Since 2000, she has worked in the voluntary sector as a funding and governance advisor and currently is Grants Manager at Wiltshire Community Foundation. Jane has extensive experience of primary and secondary school governance having been a governor at Kennet Valley Primary School for 10 years, including Chair for six years. Since 2006 she has been a governor at St John’s Marlborough and Chair of Governors and a Director of Excalibur Academies Trust since 2013, she is a member of the Education Scrutiny committee. Jane's three children attended St John's Marlborough.

Rev Richard Curtis - Corporate Member

Richard moved to Wiltshire from Leicestershire in 2017 to become the Team Rector of the Cannings and Redhorn Team. His previous 24 years of ministry were in the Diocese of Leicester; whilst there he served in four different benefices and on the governing boards of five different schools being governor of one of them 20 years. He also served on the Leicester Diocesan Board of Education for many years. Prior to reading Theology Richard worked in residential social work for Barnardo’s having previously taught physics and science in a Leicester secondary school.

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Warwick Dufour - Founding Member

A local governor at Easton Royal Academy for six years, Warwick was a director of Excalibur Academies Trust from its inception in September 2012 until May 2018. He has worked in the IT industry for over 30 years in a highly technical capacity providing IT solutions and consultancy in medical imaging, 3D simulators, aviation, telecommunications, oil exploration and defence. Warwick runs his own consultancy company and has provided services to Toshiba, Hutchinson 3G, Vodafone and the UK Ministry of Defence.

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Alan Gould - Community director

Alan has lived and worked in Bristol for nearly 30 years. As a Chartered Engineer and Project Professional he held a variety of technical and managerial roles in British Aerospace and then BAE Systems in the fields of technology, R&D and IT. He now works as a freelance consultant helping engineering and technology companies address their product development, project delivery and business improvement challenges. Alan has extensive experience in overseeing governance and compliance of complex project portfolios, and has been a member of advisory panels and steering groups for government agencies, universities and EU-sponsored research programmes; Alan has been a Governor at Fairfield High School since 2012 and chairs Excalibur Academies Trust's Audit committee.

Kieran Kelly

Dr Kieran Kelly - Co-opted director

Kieran is a Parent Governor of Fairfield High School and is Chair of the Local Governing Body. He has been a member of the academic staff of the University of the West of England since 1995 and has a PhD in Business and Economic History. He has taught and researched across a number of areas of business and economics including Media and Computing industries. In addition to supporting learning and teaching (to include those colleagues in leadership roles), Kieran is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Chair of the Advisory Board for Facts4Life - an innovative health education project based in Gloucestershire.

Lucy Lee - Foundation director

Graduating from Bristol University with a first class degree in Politics, Lucy began her career as a consultant with Accenture. Since 2005 she has held various posts as a policy adviser, latterly as Head of Education for Policy Exchange, a Westminster Think Tank. Lucy has many years experience in secondary governance, most recently as a community governor of John O'Gaunt School and also as Vice-Chair of Governors of an academy in Hackney, London. Lucy has a Masters in Social Policy from the London School of Economics, is a mother to two young children and helps to run a family farm in West Berkshire. She has been a Director of Excalibur Academies Trust since July 2017 and sits on the Education Scrutiny committee.

Jeanette Longhurst

Jeanette Longhurst - Community director

Jeanette has been Chair of Governors at Oare CofE Primary School for four years, having been a Parent Governor before this time. During her time as a Governor, the school has seen a number of positive events including a good Ofsted inspection; a new extension to the school; its own minibus transport, and becoming an academy within Excalibur Academies Trust. Jeanette is an experienced health and social care professional and a qualified social worker. She has over 30 years’ experience in social care and has commissioned and delivered services at all levels and to all client groups. She now works as an independent consultant. Jeanette is Excalibur Academies Trust's nominated director for Safeguarding and Chair of the Education Scrutiny committee.

Ann Parry - Foundation director

Ann was the School Business Manager from 1993 to 2010 of a large secondary school in Swindon. She was instrumental in securing £21m for a new school and managing the build project. Ann was a Trustee of the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) from its inception as the Grant Maintained Bursars Association in 1994, and as Chair from 2006 to 2010. She continues as a lifetime member of the organisation which is now the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL). A governor at Easton Royal Academy for eight years and Chair of Governors for three years Ann is Chair of Excalibur Academies Trust's Finance, Premises and ICT committee.

Nick Swan - Co opted director

Nick studied Engineering at Cambridge University and went on to qualify as a Chartered Engineer. He worked for 35 years in International Oil Trading. Initially working for Shell, he then joined Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, where he was also a trustee of their UK pension fund. He was a Corporate Member for Kuwait of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Nick is also a trustee of a local charity, the U3A in Kennet (University of the Third Age). Nick was appointed to the board in October 2018 and sits on the board’s Education Scrutiny and Finance, Premises and ICT committees.

Chris Waldon - Parent director

A professional engineer with over 25 years experience spanning industrial and now government funded research sectors both in the UK and abroad Chris leads a large engineering team delivering high tech projects and supporting operations proving the viability of a new clean energy source. He is a parent governor of John O’Gaunt School and member of Excalibur’s Audit committee.

David Wilson

David Wilson - Member

David is a solicitor and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs responsible for the firm wide legal department in EMEA. He is also a trustee of their UK pension fund. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, David was a partner in the law firm Simmons & Simmons, working in London, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi, specialising in civil and criminal litigation. David is admitted as a solicitor in England and Hong Kong, and earned his LLB and College of Law Finals from the University of Southampton. He is a Freeman of the City of London. A governor at St John’s for many years he became a director of Excalibur Academies Trust and was Chair of the Board until February 2018.