About us


Olive Academies (OA) is led by a group of trustees who bring a wealth of experience from different professional backgrounds, such as business, finance and education.

OA trustees have strategic responsibility for the development of Olive Academies’ vision and values and the implementation of these in our academies.

More information about OA’s trust board can be found on the main Olive Academies multi-academy trust website.

Strong partnership working with local schools, parents, families and communities, the local authority and other partners is vital to our success and to educational outcomes of children and young people who attend our academy.

In each of its academies, the board of trustees puts in place an academy advisory board (AAB). This acts in an advisory capacity reporting to the trustees and is encouraged to offer advice, support and challenge to the headteacher to manage the academy and ensure that its performance is of a high standard. The trust approves the appointments of AAB members.

Olive Academies’ AABs are crucial to the smooth running of our academies, as they provide fundamental input and guidance on the local context and on leading the academy.

A4 Governance Diagram Sept 2021 Web

AAB members

  • Kevin McDonnell, Independent Chair, Headteacher, Stormont House School, and National Leader of Education
  • Jeanette Lowe, OA MAT Board Trustee
  • Vanessa Whitcombe, Headteacher, Castle Manor Academy
  • Louise Clark, Chief Improvement Officer, Tilian Partnership
  • Karen Grimes, CEO, John Milton Academy Trust
  • Claire Elliott, Headteacher, Old Buckingham High School

The AAB is also attended by Leigh Foster, Lead Standards & Excellence Officer, Suffolk Local Authority.

AAB members will meet with pupils and parents and carers to ensure they are involved in helping shape provision at the academy.

The funding agreement made with the Department for Education, our accounts and other key governance documents are available on the main Olive Academies website.

Attendance records and latest declarations of interest are available to view below. To view minutes of meetings or to contact the chair of the AAB and MAT Board, please email info@oliveacademies.org.uk

OA-Sf AAB attendance and declarations of interest Oct 23 Download
OA Sf IPB members summary of experience Download