The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees has a membership of 10, all of whom are appointed by the Members and five of whom must have foundation status. The CEO is a Trustee. Trustees are appointed according to the range of skills and expertise that they can bring to the operation of the board. The Trustees do not represent individual academies, but champion the best interests for all pupils and staff in the Trust community.


The Trustees have responsibility for:

  • Establishing and maintaining the vision and values of the Quantock Education Trust.

  • Operating the Trust in accordance with the objects of the Trust as set out in the Articles of Association and safeguarding its assets.

  • Holding the CEO to account for educational performance of the schools in the Trust against established targets and in the context of local and national benchmarks.

  • The overview and scrutiny of financial capability and management systems to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and to deliver best value for money.

  • Ensuring sound management and administration of the Trust by the Executive Team and ensuring that the Executive Team is equipped with the relevant skills and guidance. 

  • Establishing and maintaining the governance and operational structures for the Trust, ensuring that the Scheme of Delegation is clear efficient and effective. 

  • Risk management, that is identifying, quantifying and devising systems to minimise the major risks affecting the Trust. 

  • Ensuring the Trust and academies are conducted in compliance with the general law.

The Board of Trustees delegates management of the Trust to the Chief Executive Officer and the Executive and Strategic teams.

See the QET Scheme of Delegation and Trust meeting schedule for more details.


There are five committees of the Board of Trustees with delegated powers:

  • Finance, Operations and Infrastructure (FOI)

  • Audit and Risk Committee (AI)

  • Standards and Performance (S and P)

  • Welfare Committee

  • Pay and Renumeration (P and R)​​


Karen Canham (CEO) 

Jenny Ashworth (Chair of Trustees)

Trevor Haines (Vice Chair of Trustees) 

Cath Macadam

Graham Pow

Martyn Giles

Mark Cooke

Stacey Hatch

Rebecca Hemsley

Karen Canham - CEO (MA, NPQH, PGCE, NLE)

Karen has been the Headteacher of Haygrove School since 2008, and has held senior positions in Magna Carta School (Staines), Churchill Academy and Sixth Form, and King Arthur’s School (Wincanton).  During over 30 years in education, she has taught French, German and PE, and led 3 highly successful Modern Language Departments, being graded by Ofsted in two schools as an outstanding teacher, pioneering several new initiatives and working closely with local specialist advisors. 


Karen also spent 3 years in North Somerset leading a team of consultants for the Key Stage 3 National Strategy, developing networks for professional development and effective teaching programmes. She also worked with a range of senior leadership teams in the authority as a School Improvement Advisor.


Karen’s senior experience has shown particular success in raising standards in three secondary schools – Magna Carta, King Arthur’s and Haygrove. Karen’s main achievements have been focused in the areas of Modern Languages and internationalism, but as a senior leader, in the development of a culture for on-going school improvement and academic success, developing partnerships and opportunities for professional development. Through her role as Vice Chair of the Somerset Association of Secondary Headteachers she has played a strategic role in setting up the Somerset Challenge and securing the engagement of colleague Headteachers.


Karen has retained throughout her career her passion for teaching, a belief in the importance of a strong work ethic and care for the individual.  Karen has undertaken the Future Leaders Executive Educators Programme (September 2015 cohort).  She is also a coach for the ‘Women in Leading Education’ programme and is currently establishing the Quantock Teaching Alliance, for which approval was received earlier this year. She is currently a member of the MAT School Improvement Framework group and CEO induction programme.

Jenny Ashworth - Chair of Trustees

Jenny works as an Assistant Principal in a large local tertiary College and has over 15 years of experience in the education sector covering the breadth of primary, secondary and Further Education. Jenny is a highly motivated and experienced Senior Manager with excellent communication skills. During her career, Jenny’s driven approach to projects and proven people-management skills have yielded excellent results. A friendly, professional manner have supported Jenny’s vast experience as an educator and a manager.  Jenny has held Governor roles at Brymore Academy, Cannington Primary and Bridgwater College Trust, all of which have given her an insight to all aspects of governance within various educational settings.  

Trevor Hains - Vice Chair of Trustees (BSC Hons)

Trevor is an IT professional with extensive  project management, people management, budget management, and operations service management experience acquired in leading consultancies, a software house, a manufacturing organisation, and a start-up. Since April 2008, he has been an Engineering Manager with Lockheed Martin UK. He has led multi-disciplined teams to provide various solutions for the UK Ministry of Defence plus infrastructure and software solutions to support postal services in the UK and overseas. He has been a long-term active governor at Haygrove School in Somerset. He is Vice Chair of the Haygrove Board of Trustees (current / interim), and a regular chair of various sub-committees.

Cath Macadam

A teacher of modern languages by profession, Cath has over 30 years’ experience in the education sector in various capacities. Cath also has a strong understanding of both primary and secondary governance having supported local schools since 1992, including Chair and Vice Chair roles.  Cath currently practices as a Magistrate on the Somerset Bench in Criminal and Family Courts.

Graham Pow

Graham has extensive knowledge and skills in Building and Estates management and has retired status membership of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.  Graham previously worked for Haygrove School as Premises Manager.  He also has experience of practising as a Building Surveyor/Architectural Technologist managing all aspects of various refurbishment and new build projects. 

Mark Cooke

Mark has been a senior NHS manager for over 30 years, with more than 20 years’ experience at board level. He is a qualified accountant (CIPFA), and has been a Finance Director of a number of Health Service organisations, managing a number of significant projects including multi-million pound capital development schemes and IT implementation projects. Mark has been responsible for the management of disability and special educational need services in Dudley and Guernsey, and Vice-Chair of the Dudley Children’s Trust, which has given him a good understanding of Special Educational Needs and Disability.


Having been a chief executive of public sector organisations employing in excess of 2000 staff, Mark also has wide experience in managing HR issues, and a sound working knowledge of all aspects of HR policies and legislation. His voluntary roles include Parish Council Chair, Charitable Trustee / Director, Executive Chairman and Treasurer, and he served as a Parent Governor of Haygrove School before joining the Board of Trustees of Haygrove Academy Trust.

Martyn Giles

Martyn has a wealth of experience in regards to Buildings and Estates management, people management and budget management. Martyn is employed as a Chief Estimator for a local construction company.This role encapsulates the attributes of selflessness, integrity, objectively, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership matching those of the Nolan Principles.  Martyn is also involved in local community sporting projects and coaches a local under twelve football team and assists with the junior badminton team. He currently has two children who attend Haygrove School. 

Stacey Hatch (MSc MNucl)

Stacey currently holds a strategic position in the world’s largest decommissioning organisation, Magnox. Stacey has vast experience in learning and development as well as all aspects of leadership. She is also highly experienced in evaluation and won the global Return on Investment award from the ROI Institute in 2015. Stacey has a strong maths and science background, holding a Master’s Degree in Nuclear Technology from the University of Manchester.

Stacey has a passion for education and has supported many STEM events in Somerset. She is a member of the Nuclear Institute and has partaken in initiatives that encourage girls to consider STEM subjects from an early age.

Rebecca Hemsley (Chartered MCIPD)

Rebecca is a strong and inspirational HR leader with a successful track record of designing and delivering transformational change, organisational development and TUPE delivered in both private and public sectors.  Rebecca is a strategic business partner to the Executive Board and operational leadership teams whose core expertise is building high-performing teams, systems, managing change and driving successful culture change.  A portfolio that enables critical thought leadership to align HR and leadership strategies to business objectives. 


Rebecca’s style of leadership offers energy and pace along the ability to connect with people, and provide challenge to executive peers when required.  She is committed to acting with integrity: doing the right thing by both the business and its people.  Rebecca is a CIPD Post Graduate, has undertaken training with ACAS and holds NEBOSH (level 3) accreditation, demonstrating her commitment to continuous professional development.


Rebecca has experience of working at a senior level within the social care sector, following a commercial career in food manufacturing and health.

Quantock Education Trust

Durleigh Road, Bridgwater  TA6 7HW

t: 01278 455 531


© 2019 by QET. Proudly created with