Sally Davies began her leadership career as Head of Thriftwood School in 2000. She is now the Executive Principal and CEO of the SEAX Trust, having recently retired from her position of Executive Headteacher at Thriftwood School & College, a thriving Special Needs Academy based in Chelmsford. Thriftwood expanded further in April 2015, when it sponsored Langham Oaks Special Needs School in Colchester, forming the SEAX Multi-Academy Trust. Grove House School in Brentwood joined the Trust in October 2017.
She is an active member of several local Heads’ Groups and, until recently, was a Board Member of the IAA. She received an OBE in 2014 for Services to Special Education.
Thriftwood School & College caters for 216 pupils, aged from 5-19 years with learning difficulties and additional complex needs. It employs 91 staff. The last two Ofsted Inspections at Thriftwood have been, ‘Outstanding’.
David is a retired Chartered Accountant (FCA), working initially in a City-based firm of Chartered Accountants. Subsequently left after qualifying, to work with Ford Motor Company in a variety of different roles, including accounting, forecasting, budgeting and systems launches.
He is a Director of a small property management company with involvement in strategic direction, following outsourcing of day-to-day control to an external agent. David has been involved with Thriftwood as a Governor for many years, with a focus primarily on Finance.
Ann-Marie Briggs has been a Governor at Thriftwood for over 15 years and Chair for 10 years, during which time Thriftwood has had two ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted inspections. She has worked closely with all the staff through the projects of academy conversion, 16-19 college provision and recently the successful establishment of the MAT.
Originally teacher trained, with an adult son on the autistic spectrum, Ann-Marie has a background in working for and with voluntary organisations, setting up an active family support group when her son was a pupil at Thriftwood. All these activities involved liaison with LA officers, elected members and community groups and parents and Ann-Marie continues to have a keen interest in all provision for young people with special and additional needs and their families.
Andy has a long connection with Thriftwood School and is the father of an adult daughter with learning difficulties. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Leeds University, is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and an Associate of the Institute of Financial Services.
Andy is an experienced leader with a strong track record in managing multi-million pound businesses at MD level and currently runs his own management consultancy practice. Past roles include Head of Marketing in NatWest’s corporate bank, Head of Online Strategy for Royal Bank of Scotland, and Transaction Banking MD at VocaLink with responsibility for the Bacs and Faster Payments services. He was formerly a director of Bacs Ltd and a member of many banking industry committees.
Andy is also a governor at Mayflower School in Billericay and at Bromfords School in Wickford. He is a trustee of Basildon Borough Citizens Advice Bureau, a director of Essex Citizens Advice and an active member of Rotary at local and County level.
Michael has worked in a variety of significant roles within special and mainstream education over a 26-year career. Until recently he has been the Head of a local special school (MLD/Complex needs) and consequently he has extensive experience of all aspects of running a special school. Part of his role was to support the development of a team charged with establishing appropriate areas and processes for outreach work with an aim to enabling mainstream settings to become more inclusive. He also has enormous insight into and practical experience of significant building and planning projects.
From 2010-2013 Michael was the Chair of the Essex Special Schools Heads’ Association, which led many County-wide initiatives including training, new curriculum developments, outreach work and the development of new provision. Between 2009 and 2012 Michael was OFSTED trained and accredited to carry out inspections as an Additional Inspector.
Steven Hile has been a Governor at Thriftwood since July 2013, taking an active part in school activities where possible, Governor Visits and shadowing the Chair of Finance. He has taken an active interest in the future development of the School, both physically in terms of the building projects and in terms of becoming a Multi-Academy Trust and how Thriftwood, in partnership with ESSET, can support special needs education in Essex.
Before coming to Thriftwood, Steven was Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of Finances at Chancellor Park Primary School for 6 years, seeing them through a number of physical and financial changes. His professional background was a Chartered Surveyor of some 22 years, specialising in UK property tax, based in London.
John has worked in Post 16 education for over 22 years, teaching a range of subjects and levels mainly within the Sciences and Information Communication Technology fields.
He is currently employed within the FE sector in the post of Vice Principal with key responsibilities for; Funding, Apprenticeships, Adult Community Learning, Information Systems, Information Communication Technology and Contracts Management.
He is the proud father of three children with his eldest two studying at College/Secondary School and his youngest son, who has autism and Learning Difficulties, studying at a Special Educational Needs School. John is also on the Governing body of two other schools within Essex and in his spare time, he is a Cub Scout Leader.
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