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Sarah Cockshott - Chair 

Sarah was appointed CEO of St. Chad’s Academies Trust in September 2022. She has over 25 years working experience in education, 19 years as a senior leader at all levels. For the past 12 years this work has been in Church of England schools. Prior to training as a teacher, Sarah worked in finance where she had responsibility for contracts, sales, purchase and nominal ledgers. Sarah has been a successful Executive Principal for St. Chad’s Academies Trust, working across several local authorities.
Sarah has been a school/ academy improvement advisor and has supported many schools/ academies over her time working in education. More recently, Sarah has enjoyed being a teacher fellow delivering the NPQ programmes to aspiring leaders, something she is passionate about.

Helen Steel

Helen joined the team in 2014; having previously worked for two large national Multi Academy Trusts she has extensive experience of academy conversion, project management, budget setting, financial operations and reporting, statutory and regulatory compliance frameworks, contracts management, internal and external audit and financial policies and procedures.

Since commencing her role in 2014 Helen has been intrinsic in growing the Trust’s central team to provide an effective support network for the Trust’s family of academies.  Helen has devised, developed and established financial planning systems, monitoring and control procedures and risk management processes to ensure effective financial management and control with the aim to safeguard academy resources to best support children’s learning and development in both the short and the longer term.  Helen’s key objective is to ensure that all financial decision making is based on what is best for the outcomes of the children, supporting the St Chad’s ‘children first’ ethos.

Zoe Heath

Joining St Chad’s Academies Trust in 2015; I bring several years extensive experience in the multi-dimensional discipline of Human Resource both transactional and strategic (payroll, pensions, safeguarding, recruitment, consultancy, job evaluation and Single Status) as well as traded services and academisation through project management principles whilst employed in the public sector at local authority level, incorporating practice to support the organisation both corporately and more latterly within the education sector.

Since joining the Trust I have progressed into management of the Human Resource team through natural growth as the team has expanded before promotion to the Director of Operations post in 2019. Working strategically and operationally during this time to successfully convert 15 academies (having worked collaboratively with the original 4 academy conversions), to develop operational systems to support senior leaders in all academies through policy and procedure writing in line with employment law practice and report writing, develop working relationships with external partners at local Authority, DfE and through MAT leadership programme, project management from scope to implementation of a new Trust wide HRMS and been instrumental in developing Union relations through JNC.

Zoe is an Associate Member of the CIPD in Human Resource Management and has successfully completed the Optimus MAT Leadership programme, encompassing all elements of Trust sustainability (efficiencies, effectiveness and economies of scale), growth and stabilisation, financial management and cultural change.

Zoe has gained extensive experience in governance through representation as both a Trust representative and Chair since joining the Trust; striving to achieve the best for the pupils and communities we serve through accountability frameworks and challenging conversations to ensure we offer quality first teaching and affective governance scrutiny and assurances.


Zoe Hilton

(Info to follow)

Isobel Taylor

(Info to follow)

The IAB regularly check the impact of finances, teaching/learning and examination results.

The IAB's responsibilities include:

  • academy standards;

  • staff appointments;

  • care and maintenance of the academy building;

  • the academy budget;

  • conduct;

  • the curriculum of the school.​ 


We cannot give out the committee's personal contact information, but would be happy to pass on any letters for you. Please mark your sealed envelope, "FAO Chair of the IAB" and hand it into the office.

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