Trust Members & Directors


The ACE MAT Trust was founded in 2015 and accredited as a DfE Sponsor in 2015

ACE MAT was originally founded under the control of the Kernow Collaborative Trust with two sponsored academies.

Members (6) Mark Smith (Chair), Amarjit Basi, Steve Dunn, Daniella Glynn, Phil Mason and Elaine Williams

Directors (10): Phil Mason (Chair), Tanya Ovenden-Hope (Vice Chair), Chris Boarland, Dan Corbett (Elected LAB Chair), Daniella Glynn, Jennie Walker (Executive Principal), Antus Phillips (Elected Headteacher - employee), Derek Rushton (Elected LAB Chair), Gordon Seabright, 2 Elected Chairs of LABs

Phil Mason

Chair of Directors (Member & Director)

Director and Chair of Atlantic Centre of Excellence
Chair of Governors, St Columb Minor Academy
Director of Newquay Education Trust
Head Planning & Regeneration, Cornwall Local Authority

Daniella Glynn

Member & Director

Human Resources Consultant at Brown Jacobson Solicitors
Specialises in consultancy, advice and support to schools and academies on all HR management issues across Somerset, Devon & Cornwall
Previously  Head of HR, University of Chester Academies Trust
Previously Head of HR for a national organisation offering numerous services to young people, including 15 independent schools across the UK.  

Mr Steve Dunn


Chairman Newquay Sports Centre 1993-2003-led successful bid to Sport England £3.2 million
Member of ACE, Director of TLAT and Trenance Cottages.
Member of Newquay Rotary Club-President 2011-12
Business manager Newquay Junior Academy 2011- to date
Teacher 35 years -1976-2011-Leicestershire and Cornwall
Head of year 1983-1990-student progress
Deputy Head and SLT 1994-2011 -Newquay Tretherras
Key responsibilities £8 million budget, primary liaison and building/sites.
Led successful lottery bids New Opportunities fund, Sport England, FA, RFC -value £1.1 million

Amarjit Basi


Formerly CEO and Principal of Cornwall College
Formerly Principal and Chief Executive of New College Nottingham
Founding member of the 157 Group of Colleges
Formerly Principal and Chief Executive of Walsall College
Lead role in creating Gazelle, a movement of UK colleges committed to transforming FE through a focus of Entrepreneurship.
Inspector, chief moderator and consultant on curriculum and quality matters for key national development and quality agencies over the past 20 years
Board member at Cogent, the sector skills council for Chemicals, Nuclear, Oil and Gas, Petroleum and Polymers
Board member Pearson, the largest learning company in the world
City & Guilds Fellowship, for services to vocational education and training.

Elaine Williams


Owner and director of First Steps Pre-school
Owner and manager of Porthleven First Steps Nursery
Owner and manager of Out of School Club Archbishop Bensons School in Truro
25 years of experience in Early Years

Mark Smith

Chair of Members

Director of Enterprise Birmingham City University
Extensive knowledge of UK public sector environment and strong commercial acumen
Personal specialties: Marketing, Relationship Management, Government Liaison, Business Process Re-engineering, Programme and Project Management. Shared Service Architecture
Formerly Executive Director ‘Unlocking Potential’ Plymouth University
Formerly (Interim) Director of the Cornwall Enterprise Institute Plymouth University
Formerly Director of Business Development CPR Regeneration Limited
Formerly Chief Operating Officer AIDC UK Limited
Formerly Head of Business Development Renaissance South Yorkshire
Formerly Deputy Director (Strategy) UK Government, London

Jennie Walker

Executive Principal and Accounting Officer

Principal of St Columb Minor International Academy (11 Years)
Director of Atlantic Centre of Excellence (3 years)
Director of Kernow Collaborative Trust (4 years) – An umbrella Trust that is now dissolved
Ofsted Good with Outstanding Features (x 3)
Academy converter July 2011
545 pupils on roll Largest 7-11 Primary in Cornwall
3rd Headship, 22 years of Headship
Previously LA School Improvement Officer & Ofsted Inspector (now undergoing reaccreditation)
Local Leader of Education (6 years)
School Improvement Partner (6 years)
Featured in the recent Ofsted Music report: Music in Schools – Sound Partnerships
NPQH Leadership Development School
National Ashden Award winner for Sustainable Education 2010

Dr Tanya Ovenden Hope


Director of ACE and Vice Chair
Director of Education Research & Development (The Cornwall College Group - 36,000 students with 8 college campuses across Cornwall and Devon))
Senior leader with innovative and scholarly engagement in teaching and learning at a national and international level.
Co-winner of Enterprise Educator of the Year 2014 for embedding Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise (ICE) in Teacher Education for transferable skills in learning
Visiting Research Fellow with Plymouth University
Director for two Multi Academy Trusts
Lead Editor for Teacher Education and Further Education MESH Guides
Associate Analyst for Department for Education
Formerly Head of School, Associate Dean (innovation), Associate Professor and member of the University Senior Leadership Team with Plymouth University
Formerly Head of Higher Education and Programme Team Lead for Education at Truro College
Additional Inspector (AI) for OFSTED
Reviewer for QAA
HE External Examiner
Author of academic texts, research reports and papers and media articles
25 years of cross sector education expertise through teaching, teacher education and educational leadership roles
Current research in school improvement, with a focus on socio-economically deprived coastal regions in England.

Dan Corbett


Partner Tor Mark, Publishers and Books Distributors for the South West (25 Years)
Governor/Lab Member – St Agnes ACE Academy – 9 years
President Elect Cornwall County Amateur Swimming Association
Member Cornwall County Amateur Swimming Association Management Committee
Technical Official Referee Swim England
Trustee and Committee Member Goonown Playing Field Association

Mr Seabright


Gordon is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of The Eden Project in Cornwall.
Before joining The Eden Project, Gordon was the Chief Executive Officer of The National Cycling Charity, Acting Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society, Managing Director of the Company of Cooks and Commercial Director of English Heritage
He has non-executive or trustee experience at Newquay Community Orchard, Five Talents, Visit Cornwall and Project Urbivore and undertakes voluntary work at Newquay Community Orchard and Art8 Newquay.

Derek Rushton


Taught in primary schools in three local education authorities, from Lancashire to Cornwall, including two Headteacher posts in the Bodmin area
Launched the Childrens Fund/Sure Start in 2002
Retired in 2008
Trustee, CN4C, Redruth
Trustee, Berryfields Community Association, Bodmin
Chair of Governors, Beacon Infant and Nursery School, Bodmin

Antus Phillips


Headteacher of St Columb Major Academy (11 Years)
Director of KCT (4 Years)
Ofsted Outstanding
Academy converter July 2011
356 pupils on roll 7-11 Primary
3rd Headship, 17 Years of Headship

Chris Boarland


Member of the Chief Officer Group of the Devon and Cornwall Police until retirement in 2013
Chair of Governors at Upton Cross Primary School
Chair of the Childrens Centre Advisory Board for the East Cornwall area (Cluster 6)

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