Meet the People

WAT Executive Team

Mr Keith Sorrell

Chief Executive

Keith is CEO of Windsor Academy Trust which was formed in 2011. He fulfilled the dual role of Headteacher and CEO from then until January 2016 when he became the full time Chief Executive of WAT. The Trust consists of two Secondary and five primary Academies, located in three different learning communities across the West Midlands. A third Secondary Academy (a purpose built free School) is due to open in 2018/2019. There are several schools actively in the process of joining with the strategic vision to grow into around 20 Academies in four hubs by 2020.

Having taught in Staffordshire and Birmingham Keith was appointed to the post of Headteacher at Windsor High School in January 1999. An 11-16 school of 1400, the school was in an OFSTED category swiftly moving to good and then outstanding. In 2010 it became an 11-19 school where it now has 300 in the Sixth Form. Keith is an NLE and worked as Secondary Headteacher consultant for the DFE part time from 2002-05 supporting the workforce reform agenda and Every Child Matters in particular. Windsor High School was also one the first 9 Trust schools that emerged in 2007 and he spoke widely on National platforms about the benefits of collaboration as well as helping the DfE to further define and improve the process. He served on ASCL Council for over 10 years and in particular on the Public and Parliamentary Committee.

Keith gained a BEd from Loughborough University in Physical Education and an MA from University of Warwick in research policy and methodology. Alongside a teaching career Keith was an International hockey coach, taking the England Men team to the World Cup in 1994 and the European Championships, Wales Ladies 1986-91 and GB Olympic selector 1994-96. He also coached Cannock HC National titles and European finals from 1999 -2002.

Ms Dawn Haywood

Deputy CEO and Education Director

Dawn is Deputy CEO and Education Director of the Windsor Academy Trust, with five primary and two secondary academies in three learning communities across the West Midlands, plus a third Secondary Academy (a purpose built free School) due to open in 2018/2019.

Previously, Dawn was a Founder and Director of Aspirations Learning and Innovations at the Aspirations Academies Trust - a Multi-Academy Trust with twelve schools, consisting of six primary academies, three secondary academies, two Studio Schools and a Free School within three learning communities spanning three regions of England. Dawn was the Founder and Chief Executive of the Student Engagement Trust (SET) dedicated to the advancement of student engagement, voice and leadership to drive educational improvement.

Through her leadership of SET, Dawn provided support and guidance for adults and students in schools, Multi-Academy Trusts and corporate educational organisations in England and the USA. Dawn has served on a number of national student voice and leadership advisory groups, including My Education in partnership with Teach First and Pearson. Dawn spent ten years at the Youth Sport Trust where she nationally led the coaching and leadership and volunteering strands of the governments Physical Education and School Sport Strategy for Young People, working closely with the Department for Education and Department for Culture Media and Sport. During this time Dawn also worked closely with government departments in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, India and Malaysia to support policy and national strategy development for the advancement of student leadership. Dawn advised the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on their legacy strategy for young people as well as leading the establishment of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Youth Board.

Dawn’s early career was as a PE Teacher, Head of PE and Director of Sport. Dawn wrote a successful bid for her school to become one of the first few Specialist Sports Colleges in the country where she became Assistant Head Teacher. Dawn has obtained a Masters degree in Educational Leadership and Management and is a published author in the field of student engagement, voice and leadership. Dawn has presented at numerous conferences in the UK and oversees as well as speaking with the Education Select Committee in the Houses of Parliament and at Conservative and Labour Party conferences.

Mr Rob Dunn

Chief Operations Officer

Rob is currently COO within Windsor Academy Trust, after having joined in July 2016 in the role of Operations Director. Rob has worked extensively in the education field within the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally.

Early in his teaching career Rob gained rapid, successive promotions working within a number of schools in the Midlands. He moved in to local government for a decade, and at Northamptonshire County Council he led the review, reorganisation and transformation of a 3-2 tier school system, managed a £1bn Public-Private Partnership school infrastructure programme and helped transform the Extended and e-Learning Services through new commissioning arrangements. Rob was then promoted to a national post as an Education Director for a government agency and advised on educational transformation through capital investment. Given the extensive experience of working within the UK education sector, Rob was invited to advise on the future vision and strategy for the development of the general education system in Saudi Arabia. In this role he built and developed sustainable partnerships and cooperation with the international education community from the public, private and third sectors to support the capacity building of the Saudi education system. He latterly worked with AECOM, global provider of professional technical and management support services, as its Regional Education Sector Lead on developing the strategic growth of its education market sector in the Middle East. Rob obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Warwick University Business School.

Mrs Rachel Chahal

Director of Primary

Rachel is Director of Primary for Windsor Academy Trust, working with 5 primary academies across the West Midlands.

Previously Rachel was the Headteacher of a three form entry Primary School in Birmingham. She was responsible for the schools rapid and consistent improvement, taking the school from its initial Ofsted grade of ‘serious weakness’ to ‘Outstanding’ over the course of her leadership.  Further success was achieved when her school was awarded Gold ‘Food for Life’ status, involving  improving pupils cooking and growing skills as well as good food procurement and the lunch time environment. As part of the Food for Life project the school pioneered its own allotment, and dedicated cooking room.

This flagship school improvement led to Rachel being invited to Clarence House to speak to HRH Prince Charles, regarding the successes of the programme and its National continuation.  The resulting invitation of a return visit with pupils from year 6 was an inspirational experience.

Rachel now sits on the national awarding body of  the Food For Life award scheme, in a voluntary role. She has also chaired one of the sixteen local Birmingham Consortia of schools, for 2 years as well as chairing Birmingham’s Primary Forum, working with senior council officers to improve the city as a whole for Children, young people and their families.

During her time as Headteacher Rachel joined her school to a Multi academy Trust with another 6 primaries; joining with a group of like- minded professionals, to further develop high standards within disadvantaged communities.

Rachel has also been a Governor of a large Special school for Autistic pupils, supporting the school during its successful transition from one site to a new build without issue. Rachel’s secondment to work for Birmingham Education Partnership, saw her supporting the venture from inception and leading school improvement across two areas of Birmingham, supporting a wide range of schools in all aspects of school improvement. Rachel has a BEd Honours degree in Environmental Studies and the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers.

WAT Central Team

Simon Bentley Head of Finance
Sally-Anne Chidwick Administrative Assistant and Data Protection Officer
Lesley Darby Business Centre Administrative Assistant
Alison Halford Strategic Leader: Professional Learning
Nadine Head Executive Assistant
Sonya Lanckham Strategic Leader: Teaching and Learning
Helen Milanes Tidmarsh PA to the CEO and Company Secretary
Anila Patel Head of HR
Jill Snow Payroll Officer

WAT Members and Board of Directors

Sir M Griffiths

WAT Member

 

 

 

 

Sir Michael Griffiths was Headteacher of Northampton School for Boys from 2001-13. The school was the first converter academy - a large state comprehensive that admits girls to the sixth form. The school is a Teaching School and has an outstanding record, not only for academic performance, but also the breadth and quality of its extra-curricular provision. Sir Michael was Head of Science in two Wolverhampton comprehensive schools. He was an examiner for GCE O-level and A-level Biology. After a period as Senior Lecturer in Science Education at Sheffield Hallam University, he was appointed as Science Adviser and Ofsted Inspector in Sefton LEA before returning to the school sector. Sir Michael is a National Leader of Education and a Fellow of the RSA. He served as President of the Association for School and College Leaders in 2012-13. Awarded a knighthood in the 2014 New Year's Honours List, Sir Michael has also been a member of UCAS Council, represented ASCL on the HMC Universities committee, and is Chair of the National Science Learning Centres' steering group. In 2014 he was elected by his peers to be a member of the Head Teacher Board for North West London and South Central - a region covering nearly 30 Local Authorities - advising the Regional Schools Commissioner. He acts as an educational consultant to an academy group.

Involved with a range of educational organisations, including: DfE Headteacher Board, AQA, STEM Learning, NMPAT and a range of schools, both state and independent

Dr C White

WAT Member

 

 

 

 

Colin recently retired from post of Head of Business Engagement HSBC bank. Colin has a BSc in General Chemistry and a PhD in Organic Chemistry and has previously worked for British Steel (as was), and most recently HSBC for 27 years, in an IT capacity, before taking voluntary retirement in January 16. His employment experience covered all IT/Business Engagement related issues resulting from banking activity in UK, Europe and the Middle East. He was elected as Chair of Governors for Windsor High School in 2005 and became a Member of Windsor Academy Trust on 6 February 2011 upon its incorporation. Colin has recently stepped down as Chair of the Board of Directors. He is also Chair of Halesowen Athletics and Cycling Club.

Mr A Middleton

WAT Member
Chair of the Board of Directors
Chair of the Personnel Committee.

 

 
Andrew is a Chartered Civil Engineer by profession and has spent most of working life in local government managing transportation projects, much of it at a senior level. He was elected as Governor of Windsor High School and Sixth Form in 2005 and became a Member of the Trust on 14 October 2013. He became Chair of the Board of Directors in March 2018.

His main areas of expertise are strategic management/thinking, business planning and organisational change.

Mr E Hunt

WAT Member
Director of the WAT Board
Vice Chair of the Personnel Committee.

 

 

Eamonn recently retired, he was previously a Senior Programme Manager and managed major projects delivered to Birmingham Authority. These included major business transformation projects, People Solutions (Transition of HR services) and Working for the Future (Property rationalisation and new ways of working).

Eamonn is also Chair of Windsor High School and Sixth Form Local Advisory Board and Chair of Goldsmith Local Advisory Board.

Miss A Haigh

Vice Chair of the Board of Directors
Member of the Performance and Standards Committee.

 

 

After gaining a HND in Computer Studies from North Staffordshire Polytechnic Anne has spent over 30 years working for BT PLC in a variety of roles including IT, Service Management and People Management, developing a reputation for adapting her skills within new areas of the organisation. Recent roles have enabled her to move into more business improvement roles and currently her role focuses on processes and systems within the security sector.
She studied for an MBA from the Open University graduating in 2001 and more recently, for personal development and satisfaction, achieved City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate and Diploma in Creative Embroidery.

Mr K Sorrell

Director of the WAT Board
WAT CEO.

 

 

 

 

Keith is currently the CEO of the Windsor Academy Trust which was formed in 2011. He fulfilled the dual role of Headteacher and CEO from then until January 2016 when he became the full time Chief Executive of WAT. The Trust consists of two Secondary and five primary Academies, located in three different learning communities across the West Midlands. A third Secondary Academy (a purpose built free School) is due to open in 2018/2019. There are several schools actively in the process of joining with the strategic vision to grow into around 20 Academies in four hubs by 2020.

Having taught in Staffordshire and Birmingham Keith was appointed to the post of Headteacher at Windsor High School in January 1999. An 11-16 school of 1400, the school was in an OFSTED category swiftly moving to good and then outstanding. In 2010 it became an 11-19 school where it now has 300 in the Sixth Form. Keith is an NLE and worked as Secondary Headteacher consultant for the DFE part time from 2002-05 supporting the workforce reform agenda and Every Child Matters in particular.

Mr N Ashman

Director of the Board
Chair of the Finance Committee.

 

 

 

Nick has spent 30 years in banking, starting out as a clerk at NatWest in Halesowen before working his way through all aspects of personal, back-office, small business and corporate roles. He currently works in Birmingham as Large Corporate Group Director for Santander UK, acting as the primary point of contact for a portfolio of the largest businesses in the region. The role requires an inquisitive mind, the ability to source / develop new business and strong knowledge of current market conditions along with a thorough understanding of financial, non-financial and operational risks.
Nick began his association with Windsor Academy Trust through serving as a parent governor of Windsor High School and Sixth Form in 2011.

Heath Monk

Director of the WAT Board
Member of the Performance and Standards Committee.

 

 

Heath is an inspirational and dedicated Chief Executive, with experience in leadership development and education policy in both the public and not-for-profit sectors. He is currently Executive Director of King Edward VI Foundation in Birmingham and more recently, the King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham, where he oversees nine secondary schools (two independent and seven Academies). Previously Heath was Chief Executive of The Future Leaders Trust for 9 years and Deputy Schools Commissioner for the Department of Education for 7 years. He also taught English and Drama for several years after graduating from Oxford University.

Heath is also an advisor to Place2Be (a children's mental health charity) and a member of the Government's School Partnerships Oversight Board (designed to improve independent / state school partnership working).

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