The Seckford Education Trust is a not-for-profit charity. We are required to have members as stated in the Companies Act 2006. The current members of the Trust are Mr Philip Norton, Mr Peter Rout (Chair of the Trust Board) and Ms Sandra Dinneen. The members have due regard of the Trust’s Articles of Assocation, which include the Trust’s charitable objects and describes how the Trust will be governed.

While members hold the Trust Board to account for the effective Governance of the Trust, the members themselves have a minimal role in the actual running of the Trust. It is the Trust Board, not the members, who are the organisation’s key decision makers. One of the members’ key responsibilities is the appointment of trustees.

The main documents that set out how we operate are our Articles of Association, which set our internal structure, and the Master Funding Agreement, which is the legal contract with the Secretary of State under which we run our schools. In addition, there are separate supplemental funding agreements for each individual school.

We are also governed by the Department for Education’s Academies Financial Handbook and various pieces of legislation relating to both schools and charities.

Trustees of Seckford Education Trust

Our board of trustees has a wide range of experience in the voluntary, public and private sectors in fields including education, commerce, leadership, and governance.

Mr Peter Rout

Chair of the Trust Board

Peter is a long standing school Governor and experienced Chair of a successful Multi Academy Trust. He has experience of Chairing one of the regions most successful state Schools and is keen to contribute this experience and expertise to the benefit of the Seckford Education Trust.

Mr Roger Margand


Roger is a Solicitor by profession with substantial experience of Governance across a range of public sector organisations. His expertise includes safeguarding, finance, project management and SEND.

Mr Ian Baker


Ian has many years experience as a Trustee and Governor of successful state Schools including one of the highest achieving Schools in the region. Ian’s areas of expertise include overseeing finance, risk and audit committees.

Mr Jonathan Taylor

Chief Executive Officer

Jonathan Taylor is the founding CEO of Sapientia Education Trust and in addition was recently appointed CEO of the Seckford Education Trust.

Previously he served as Principal and Executive Principal of Wymondham College, delivering record breaking ‘A’ level and GCSE outcomes, significantly improving both attainment and progress measures at GCSE and ‘A’ level.  In both 2015 and 2016 Wymondham College under his leadership was the highest performing non selective state school in the eastern region.  In 2017 he led the College to an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted Social care inspection, with every area evaluated as ‘outstanding.’  During his career he has worked as Vice CEO of a high performing MAT in the East Midlands; Deputy Head of an ‘outstanding’ comprehensive school; Assistant Head at a high performing state boarding school and held pastoral and departmental leadership positions. He has also worked as an Ofsted Inspector.

Jonathan was appointed a National Leader of Education (NLE) in 2016.  The Good Schools Guide described his career as ‘a swift progress, leaving outstanding Ofsted reports in his wake’ and his approach as ‘thoughtful and immensely hard working – yet he hasn’t disappeared in a cloud of management initiatives, preferring lots of contact with pupils and staff.’

Mr Steven Dewing

Chief Financial Officer

Steven joined Sapientia Education Trust in September 2021. Having trained at Larking Gowen as an AAT and ACA audit and accounts junior, he subsequently moved into private healthcare and then the NHS. Steven has over 18 years’ experience in Finance including financial planning, business partnering, statutory reporting, service transformation and process improvement.  

He leads the Finance Team and is supporting the development of the team and the Trust’s financial processes to ensure a high quality of support to schools.

Trustees Focus On Three Core Functions of Governance:

• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
• Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of SET schools and their students and pupils, and the performance management of staff;
• Overseeing and ensuring effective financial performance.

Trustees meet as a Board of Trustees and also through a number of sub committees that focus on Finance, Audit, Compliance, HR and Education.

All Members and Trustees complete an annual declaration of Business Interests and declare any pecuniary interests within meetings.
Our Scheme of Delegation identifies the key decision making roles for establishments within SET schools. It determines the functions undertaken by the Board of Trustees and which have been delegated to its committees, the Trust Leadership Team, and Heads of School.

The Chairs of the Trust Board and its Committees are as follows:

  • Chair of Trust Board – Mr Peter Rout
  • Chair of Finance Audit and Resources Committee – Mr Ian Baker
  • Chair of the Education Committee – Mr Peter Rout

If you wish to contact the Trustees please call 01953 609000, email or write to Chair of Trustees, Seckford Education Trust, Walsham Road, Ixworth, Bury St Edmunds, IP31 2HS.

Articles Of Association

Memorandum Of Association

Scheme Of Delegation

Governance Statutory Information

Funding agreements:

  • Trust Master Funding Agreement – view
  • Beccles Free School’s Supplementary Funding Agreement – view
  • Ixworth Free School’s Supplementary Funding Agreement – view
  • Saxmundham Free School’s Supplementary Funding Agreement – view

We are also required to disclose information about members, trustees and local governors who have served in the last twelve months, including chairs of committees, date of appointment, term of office, who appointed them and attendance at Board and Committee meetings over the last academic year. This information can be found here.