Tony Gelsthorpe

Term of office 01/09/2016 - Present

Tony is one of four Members of Success Academy Trust. Previously he was the Chair of the Governing Board of Hallbrook Primary School. 

Tony served as a teacher in state schools for thirty years. A Community College Principal in Leicestershire for twenty years, he also worked in local authority administration and advisory services. He has undertaken university tutoring, international consultancies and worked for the Department for Education and the Cabinet Office, individual and groups of schools, local authorities and non-profit organisations. He is a published author on school leadership, pupil assessment and community education. He is an elected member of the Governing Board of a Leicestershire Special School that holds the leadership of a national Teaching School. He chairs a co-operative and friendly society promoting performing arts by and for young people.


Bruce Perrett

Term of office 09/07/2012 - Present

I currently lead a small team of IT specialists for a large media company.  This role requires me to work with people from different disciplines and analyse and balance many different needs.  Recent and ongoing massive technical change in the industry, along with company mergers, acquisitions and reorganisations, man I am used to leading and delivering organisational change.

During my time as chair of governors at Thomas Estley the College has been through considerable change, including academy conversion and rapid development of the teaching school and now age-range change and appointment of a new principal, whilst maintaining high quality provision, progress and attainment for the students.  I’ve lead the governors through changes to be more engaged, more active and more effective.  Governance was highlighted as accurate and effective in a peer review in the autumn term.

I participated in an early cohort of National College Chairs of Governors Leadership Development programme and have since used principles from the programme to lead training and discussion groups for local governors.

I have a passionate belief in inclusive and comprehensive education.  The formation and development of the multi-academy trust offers opportunities t improve outcomes for young people, increase the rate and sustainability of those improvements and provide a strong organisation to ensure those improvements are sustained.


Diane Vernon

Term of office 16/11/2017 - Present


After eight years working in the third sector, Di created EmployabilityUK – a new education charity.  In her previous role, Di was responsible for developing Career Academies UK’s regional strategy and delivering the national programme. Having built a team of regional managers and taken the programme to all parts of the UK she then went on to become Director of Business Development.

Di has more than 25 years of corporate business experience from BT and O2, including delivering BT’s education and community programme in the Midlands. Di has held a number of volunteering roles including 6 years as a Special Constable with West Midlands Police.


Sue Lamprell

Term of office 01/09/2016 - 18/05/2020


Sue was a teacher for 30 years and headteacher of three large primary schools in two different LAs for 20 of them. During this time, she managed the implementation of the National Curriculum and LMS as well as a number of other major changes to the Educational system and related legislation including the introduction of Ofsted inspections.  While in post, she studied for and gained a Diploma in Management Studies and a Master’s degree in Education. She also trained and worked as an Ofsted Inspector working within 3 teams. She was involved in the appointment of a number of high-level officers within the LA (Buckinghamshire County Council).  She chaired the local NAHT for a period of time.

Sue became a governor at Richmond Primary school in January 2012 – August 2017 and was elected Chair of Governors from February 2014 – August 2016 when she stepped down to become a Member of Success Academy Trust as it formed.  Since this time Sue has also served as a Trustee and acting Chair of a Local Governing Board within the Trust. 

Prior to training to be a teacher Sue worked for a Local Authority in Finance and as an officer for the Department of Health and Social Security assessing claimant’s entitlement to benefits.  Since retiring from headship, she has worked for her son’s business assisting with Finance, HR and managing the Worldwide Customer Service Department which has included travelling to the USA for meetings and to China to assist in the improvement of production. 

Sue currently works part time for a publishing company as a proof-reader. 


John Hemes

Term of office 01/09/2016 - Present


John is an engineer and has worked in the NHS for 30 years during which time he was responsible for the control of major communication infrastructure projects both from engineering and finance aspects. He has been the pastor of Cosby Baptist Church (now Cosby Community Church) for the past 27 years and this brought him into contact with the Primary school which he served as a governor for 20 years including time as Chair and Vice Chair.

John is a Chair for the East Midlands Baptist Trust company and a Trustee of the Baptist Union organisation.



Melvyn Booley - Chair of Trustees

Term of office 24/09/2016 - 23/09/2020


As Managing Director of Ace Cleaning Company, for over 30 years I am responsible for the employment of over 200 staff. During this time, I have developed skills that range from Business Development, Health & Safety, Human Resources and Finance. In addition, I have also developed a property management and development concern along with associated skills.

I joined the Governing Body of Cosby Primary School in 2002 as a Parent Governor, becoming Chair of Governors in 2007. Being re-elected on several occasions I became a co-opted Governor in 2014. During my time as a Governor I have been involved in all areas of Governance. Been responsible for a number of subject areas as well as specific roles such as Safeguarding Governor, Health and Safety and Chair of Finance.

Working closely with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership team I have been instrumental in taking Cosby Primary School from “special Measures” to the position of strength we currently enjoy, producing some really exciting results.

A prime concern over the years has been developing a proactive and involved Governing Body. Ensuring that Governors take an active role helps to secure their understanding of our schools position and really know what is going on within the school first hand and not just relying on reports and data analysis. The whole of the Governing Body as well as staff at Cosby can take ownership for our successes in all areas. Undertaking regular review of our own governance and carrying out a full SWOT analysis during the current year has helped to develop knowledge and provide useful input to the school development plan.

During the years as a Governor I have accessed numerous training opportunities that have helped me to develop my knowledge base to the benefit of the school. These include a number of courses on Safeguarding, Safer Recruitment, Head Teacher Performance Management, E Safety, several Ofsted courses, British Values and many more.

Other personal qualification includes a Business Studies degree and AAT diploma in accountancy. 


Mandi Collins - Trust Principal & Accounting Officer

Term of office 25/08/2016 - Present

I have spent 27 years in the education sector, from Teacher of French to College Principal, in Leicestershire, Leicester City and Warwickshire, including working for two years in the School Improvement Sector as a school improvement consultant.

Although substantive posts have mainly been within the secondary phase, since 2013 I have also worked within the area of primary school improvement, often through Teaching School related opportunities within Leicestershire and surrounding counties.

I am currently Trust Principal, Head of Teaching School (Thomas Estley Learning Alliance, with over 40 primary and secondary member schools) and Principal of Thomas Estley Community College and Preschool.

Additional current system leadership roles include Teaching Schools representative for the Leicestershire Education and Excellence Partnership, member of the Leicestershire Secondary Heads steering group, lead for TELA National Professional Qualifications delivery (we are a nationally accredited provider) and programme/oversight lead for Leicestershire Leaders, which offers training and support for headteachers in Leicestershire and Leicester City . 

I am absolutely passionate about Building Leadership and Character Together while continuing to raise outcomes and improve provision within our Success Academy Trust schools.


Gemma Crofts

Term of office 11/07/2018 - 10/07/2022

A pragmatic, strategic and commercially minded Chartered MCIPD Senior HR professional with a breadth of experience in HR and Learning & Development spanning 15 years, having worked across numerous industries and internationally.  Areas of expertise include organisational / talent & leadership development, coaching, mentoring, engagement & recognition, complex change management and project management.    

Born in Leicester, one of four children with an older son and eight nephews and nieces.  Interests include travel, learning, reading, live music, salsa dancing and spontaneous days out / weekends away.

Keen interest in supporting charities and giving back, i.e. right to read, interview techniques, graduate recruitment & programmes and National Citizen Service.


John Horan

Term of office 11/07/2018 - 10/07-2022


John Horan has worked within the commercial property arena for twenty years; primary focus has been within facilities management, other roles and experience cover real estate management, property acquisition and disposal, construction and project management. During his career John has worked within client (end-user) companies and held senior positions within global service provider organisations, experienced with clients and services across the UK, Europe and Middle East. John is a Chartered member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and represents the International Facility Management Association at Board level within the UK.  

John lives in Leicestershire and is keen to apply his specific and wide-ranging business and commercial skills to support and progress the Success Academy Trust.


Sue Lamprell

Term of office 01/09/2016 - 18/05/2020

Sue also served as a member. Please find her biography above.


Bhavesh Shah

Term of office 11/04/2019 - 10/04/2023

I am a fully qualified ACCA Accountant of 10 years+. I am born and bred in Leicester, and still live in the family home that I was born in.

I have been married nearly 2 years and have beautiful daughter. I enjoy spending as much time as possible with my family. In addition to this I enjoy watching and participating in a variety of sports. I am an avid Liverpool fan, and have supported them since I was 8 years old.

I have over 15 years’ experience in developing and managing finance functions for a wide range of industries.  I am able to add value both at a Strategic and Operational level, and have a successful track record of increasing cashflow, identifying partnering opportunities, challenging the status quo  and providing high quality management information. I have recently set up my own Accountancy Practice with my Business Partner in the summer of 2018. Our main focus for the business is to build relationships and offer a different level of service to our clients. 


Christine Stansfield

Term of office 07/12/2018 - 06/12/2022


Chris has taught secondary English for over twenty years in a variety of settings. She has been a senior leader for over eight years and is Executive Headteacher of John Ferneley College: a very successful 11-16 school. Additionally, she is currently CEO of Mowbray Education Trust: a vibrant and very high performing trust in Melton Mowbray. 

She has successfully led her school through age range change, taking it from 11-14 to 11-16 and has supported other schools through this process. In her role as an LLE, she has experience of high impact school improvement and has undertaken a range of school to school support roles in recent years. 

In her current role, she has restructured her trust to focus on school improvement and has gained significant experience in successfully leading Headteacher teams in the primary sector.

Chris is passionate about school improvement and has very high expectations of what young people can achieve, both as a classroom teacher and in her leadership roles. 


Stephen Tomlinson

Term of office 23/09/2019 - 22/09/2023


Born in West London and attended the local Comprehensive School where I achieved 5 grade A ‘Levels and A Levels in Pure Maths Chemistry and Physics before going to Reading University where I obtained B.Sc. Hons (First Class); Food Technology and later an MBA (With Distinction) from Warwick Business School ; I maintain my Chartered Scientist (C.Sci) and am a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (FIFST)

After graduating I have worked in the food industry for 40 years first in food technical roles then process and product development / innovation and latterly in business development and commercial roles. Institute of Food Science and Technology, Board Member And Hon Secretary 2002 – 2012.s

After growing up in London my jobs have taken me to Ashby, Warwick / Stratford upon Avon, Oxfordshire, South Yorkshire and final Northampton. Married for almost 40 years with 2 Children, a daughter 32 and a son 28.

I am a member of the Rotary Club of Northampton and sit on West Hunsbury Parish Council

In business terms I would describe myself as 

A creative and innovative leader with deep strategic and operational insight and a track record of driving margins and turnover, effective customer interface management and business development with key strengths in:

Strategy • Business Development • Commercial & Customer Management • Process Improvement • Change

A passionate food industry expert with analytical and project management skills and proven aptitude in delivering turnarounds for challenged teams and organisations.  An open, approachable and flexible manager, who drives outcomes through team and individual development, building consensus, constructive challenge, analysis and creative solutions. 

Central Team


Ann-Marie Willett

 Trust Operations and Finance Officer (CFO) 

 I have worked as a School Business Manager for over 20 years and since 2016 have also worked as the Trust’s Operations and Finance Officer (CFO) working to develop the Trust’s central finance and operations team.

I hold various professional qualifications including BA(Hons) Business; MCICM; MCIPD; CIPFA Certificate for Financial Reporting for Academies and Level 7 Certificate in School Financial and Operational Leadership. 

I am a great supporter of lifelong learning and systems leadership and hold a number of roles including working as an SLE within the TELA Alliance co-chairing the SBM TELA network meetings; a Fellow of the Institute of School Business Leaders (FISBL) sitting on the ISBL Fellowship Assessment Panel; Work as a coach for SERCO supporting peers undertaking apprenticeships in School Business Management; an Executive member for the Leicestershire Academies Group and a Trustee/Member at another Secondary Academy within Leicestershire.


Julie Wilkins

Clerk to the Board

Mother of two grown up children, I have worked in schools in various positions for 15yrs, gaining qualifications as I went. Starting as a volunteer, then in the classroom as Teaching Assistant, moving to the office of various schools and now as Clerk to the Governors.  I enjoy travelling, baking and gardening.


Rich Fegan

Trust Information Officer / DPO

Qualified (BA) in Management and HR, with experience in both private and public sectors. I have been a teacher since 2005; working in a Senior Leadership role in my last three schools, with responsibility for data, systems and IT strategy in two of these as well as working across two MATs. Currently Vice Principal (Curriculum and Assessment) at Thomas Estley Community College.


Colleen Butler

Trust HR Manager


Sally Allen

Trust Schools Business Manager