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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 of 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.


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

  • Finance, Operations and Audit (Committee Chair - Trevor Hains)
  • People and Performance, Pay and Recruitment (Committee Chair - Chris Burghes)
  • Ethos (Committee Chair - Rolling chair at each meeting)
  • Boarding (Committee Chair - Anna Hammond)

If you would like copies of Trustee or Committee meeting agendas, minutes or reports, please email your request to

Chrysta Garnett - CEO 

Chrysta is a leader with 25 years of experience in education, senior and strategic leadership and management in UK and international Schools, as well as working in strategic school improvement roles with the Teaching Schools Council, the Dept of Education and Bristol Local Authority. Chrysta passionately believes that excellence can be achieved in a values-led and caring environment.


Rob Brown - Chair of Trustees

Rob took early retirement in 2020 after 38 years in Financial Services, culminating in being Director of Change Development at Nationwide Building Society.  He is a change professional with extensive experience of leading large-scale complex change programmes.  Throughout his career, Rob always had a passion for developing people and nurturing talent. 

He has 12 years’ experience as a School Governor when his children were young. Complimenting this with the skills gained throughout his career, Rob sees being a Trustee as a great way to give back to the community. 

Rob is also a professionally certified coach and mentor. He and his wife moved to Bridgwater from Bristol following his retirement and are both very happy with their new life - as is their little Maltese dog Mikey!

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 a range of commercial organisations.   He is currently Global Operations Manager for Lockheed Martin International IT Servies, leading multi-disciplined teams to provide resilient and consistent services to a large geographically dispersed community.

He was a long-term governor at Haygrove School prior to transitioning to the Quantock Education Trust Board of Trustees on formation of the Trust.  He is Vice Chair of Trustees and a regular chair of various sub-committees.

Jenny Ashworth

​Jenny has over 15 years of experience in the education sector covering the breadth of primary, secondary and Further Education – most recently working as Assistant Principal at one of the largest Further Education Colleges in the country. Jenny is a highly motivated and experienced leader with excellent communication skills.

During her career, Jenny’s driven approach to projects and proven people-management skills have yielded excellent results, always ensuring that children and young people are at the heart of every decision.

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.


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 Quantock Education Trust.

Anna Hammond

Anna has come to the Trustee board bringing 12 years experience as a parent Governor and at Stogursey CE School. Her daughters have attended Stogursey and Haygrove Schools. She has extensive experience as a school governor, leading Governors as co-chair through joining the MAT in 2019 and Ofsted and SIAMs inspections, with a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities our schools have.

Anna works in adult education, with a particular interest in family wellbeing and mental health. She is committed to ensuring that education is inclusive and that we address all the barriers to effective learning within our communities, so that every family can have opportunities to flourish.

Anna is a Foundation Trustee which means she has a particular responsibility for ensuring that the Church of England vision for education is upheld within the MAT’s Christian schools and that this is reflected in the Trust’s vision.

Marian Curran

Marian is the Principal of a large Sixth form college in the SouthWest. She has over 25 years of experience in education ranging from Primary through to Post 16 education. She has held senior leadership roles for more than two decades in different educational settings, most of these leadership roles have focused on Curriculum and Standards. Marian is passionate about the transformative power that education has, especially with regard to its role in securing social mobility and supporting economic and personal wellbeing. She is a strong advocate for system leadership and works with a number of educational institutions which have an aspirational culture at the heart of what they do.

Marian brings a wealth of experience ranging from curriculum, educational improvement and celebration, equality and diversity as well as funding.

Chris Burghes

Chris is currently the CEO of Blue Cross, where he oversees the operation of one of the largest pet charities in the country, with 12 rehoming centres and advice units nationwide, four award winning pet hospitals, and services which span nation-wide food banks, animal behaviour support and education in schools.

Chris joined Blue Cross in June 2020 and was previously chief executive of the Royal Free Charity, the charitable arm of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. At the Royal Free he fundraised and constructed a new £60million medical research facility, The Pears Building, the UK’s most advanced research into the human immune system.

He is also currently a Trustee of NHS Charities Together, which raised £160million through appeals across the height of the Covid pandemic, and was used to support hospitals across the UK . Chris was awarded an MBE in the 2023 King’s honours list for his work for the NHS.