The Role of the Trustee

As a MAT is a charitable company limited by guarantee, the trustees have duties as directors under company law, and trustees under charity law. All Trustees are expected to attend the board meetings as well as any committee meetings they are linked to .

Our Articles of Association and Scheme of Delegation set the role of the Trustees and define the boundaries between the role of the Trustees and the role of the Local Governing Bodies.

The Role of the Local Governing Body

At the Dunstone Education Trust, the Local Governing Body provides support and challenge to the Principal in ensuring every child makes good or better progress and that the Academy is achieving targets and continually improving.

To maximise the ability of the local governors to focus on this key area the Local Governing Body is not required to set strategy or policy, manage financial resources, staff performance and pay, Health and Safety or many of the other areas traditionally associated with a maintained school governing body as these issues are dealt with at Trust level. This means that governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – pupil progress, school outcomes and aspiration.


Meet the Trustees

Joan Dean, a trustee at Dunstone Education Trust

Mrs J Dean

Joan Dean has a long career in education. After attending Manchester University Joan started her career as a teacher in Oldham. Joan then became a deputy headteacher in Moss Side Manchester followed by her next role as the headteacher of a large primary school in central Manchester. Joan was appointed to Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools (HMI). In addition to inspecting schools in England – both primary and secondary – Joan led many inspections of British Forces schools in Cyprus and Germany. From Ofsted Joan was seconded to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister where she pursued her interest in schools in disadvantaged areas. As a result of this work Joan was appointed as a Director at the National College for School Leadership. More recently, Joan established a consultancy supporting local authorities and schools with school improvement strategies and leadership development. She has worked extensively in Manchester schools and has successfully run Manchester’s aspiring leaders programme.

Mike Snelson, a trustee at Dunstone Education Trust

Mr M Snelson

Mike Snelson recently retired following more than 40 years as a professional working in education. His career included spells as a primary headteacher of two schools in the north-west; a School Improvement Adviser in Redcar and Cleveland; Ofsted team inspector; and Principal Adviser for Lancashire School Effectiveness Service. Most recently he has worked as an independent education consultant. Mike is married and lives in Lancashire. He has two sons (both teachers!) and four grandchildren.

Hugh Ross, a trustee at Dunstone Education Trust

Mrs R Smith

Becki Smith is the Commercial Sales Director for the direct business focused on Consumer. Becki leads the trading, channel sales and loyalty functions and digital marketing and experience teams.

Becki joined TalkTalk in January 2020 from N Brown Group Plc where she was Marketing and eCommerce Director, and previously led eCommerce and digital marketing for Boohoo Group.

Becki is an experienced mentor and coach; is currently a mentor on the 30% club, which is a global campaign led by Chairs and CEOs taking action to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels.

Jane Garnsey, a trustee at Dunstone Education Trust

Mrs J Garnsey

Jane Garnsey is an experienced HR professional, fully CIPD qualified and has extensive employment law experience having enjoyed career in HR for the past 15 years. She has worked at TalkTalk for the past 10 years and whilst there, Jane has held a number of senior positions on the People Leadership Team. She is passionate about bringing her varied experience and network at TalkTalk into the role of Trustee at Fulwood Academy. Her current role is People Operations Director, with a large remit covering HR, property and internal communications. She is responsible for the budget management of all these functions which equates to £16m. Jane is dedicated to ensuring colleagues at TalkTalk have a great place to work through all the things that her teams are accountable for. Jane lives in Bolton and is married with two young children and very much enjoys making a difference in her role as Trustee for the Fulwood Academy Trust.

Jon Norwell, a trustee at Dunstone Education Trust

Mr J Nowell

Jon Nowell has extensive experience gained from a number of leadership roles and is Operations Director at TalkTalk Business. Throughout Jon’s career he has worked on a number of initiatives in the education sector including leadership of an Education ISP and Building Schools for the Future. Jon previously spent five years as a school governor for a Primary in Cheshire, and has significant financial leadership experience. As part of his remit at the Dunstone Education Trust he chairs the Resources committee. Jon lives in Cheshire and is married with two Children and in his spare time manages an U15 Football team.

Chris Hylton, a trustee at Dunstone Education Trust

Dr P Smith MBE 


Dr Smith, a qualified accountant, now retired from executive work, is a former senior executive of multi-national businesses, including major food retailer Asda Group Plc and National Power Plc, the UK electricity generating company.

Dr Smith is a Higher Education specialist with over twenty years experience at governing board level. He is also chair of governors of the Milton Keynes Academy.

He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration by De Montfort University in 2010 for his outstanding contribution to the development of the university and an MBE in 2016 for his services to business and the community of Milton Keynes.

A former chairman of Leicester City Football Club Plc, Dr Smith has held various positions in the sporting arena including chairmanship of youth and senior men’s and ladies football clubs. He is a former member of LEAP, the Bucks County Sports Partnership and former chair of SEMLEP’s Sport and Leisure Group.

In Milton Keynes he was chair of MK Business Leaders Partnership and the MK Business Council.

He was a non-executive director of Destination MK and MK City Orchestra, a former trustee of The Stables music theatre and is currently President Elect of the Rotary Club of Lytham.

Chris Hylton, a trustee at Dunstone Education Trust

Mr T Griffiths

Tudor Griffiths has over 20 years of secondary headship experience. His first post was in an inner city Leeds school that faced challenging circumstances. Since 2006, he has been headteacher of Kettlethorpe High School in Wakefield. A truly comprehensive school with over 1600 pupils. Since 2012, he has undertaken over 100 inspections in secondary schools and SEN/PRU provisions both as a team member and as a lead inspector. He has obtained the Professional Qualification for School Inspection as well an MSc in Education Management. In 2018, Tudor acted as an executive headteacher in supporting a pyramid infant/primary school that had been placed in special measures that subsequently received a ‘good’ Ofsted judgement in 2020 and was removed from measures. Tudor regularly undertakes school improvement work and headteacher performance management reviews both locally and nationally. In his spare time Tudor is a national panel official for the Rugby Football Union and a keen climber.