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 is currently Chair of the SEAX Trust. She has been a Local Academy Committee member at Thriftwood for over 15 years and Chair of the Local Academy Committee until September 2017, during which time Thriftwood has had three ‘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 Vice Chair of governors at Mayflower School in Billericay. He is Chair of Basildon Borough Citizens Advice Bureau, a director of Essex Citizens Advice and Chair of Rotary's International Committee at County level
Andy was appointed Vice-Chair of the SEAX Trust in December 2017.
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.
Angela has been Chair of the Langham Oaks Local Academy Committee since September 2016. Angela joined the Board of Trustees in January 2017 and is a member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee. She runs her own counselling psychology practice in Colchester and prior to this has had many years’ experience working in the educational sector.
Sally is a former fast-track teacher and has worked in a number of secondary schools in the area. She has designed and implemented curriculum plans in her subject area from Key Stage 3 to A level and IB, as well as running extra-curricular activities in music. More recently she has gained deep and direct experience of implementing programmes of speech and language therapy, sensory integration therapy and physiotherapy. Sally has served as Chair of a local school’s Parent and Friends’ Association, leading a large committee of volunteers in significant fund-raising activities. Sally’s in-depth knowledge of the complex educational requirements of the SLCN child and the local availability of appropriate aspirational educational opportunities, led her to initiate and steer the Grove House School project. She now brings this wealth of experience and commitment to the school’s Local Academy Committee and the SEAX Board of Trustees.
Tony’s professional background is in housing, health and social care. He’s a Chartered Secretary with a background in organisational governance, a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and a member of the Chartered Institute of Management.
Tony has worked across central and local government in a variety of policy and strategic roles, he has commissioned services for Councils and Health Trusts, been a Non Executive Director at a care and support provider and a NHS Primary Care Trust. He is currently a Lay Member and Deputy Chair of an NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and previously ran his own consultancy business.
Tony really likes the way that the SEAX Trust is able to use the knowledge and expertise of the Local Academies to develop innovative new projects whilst delivering excellent services that enhance and develop young people. He is particularly interested in how young people are supported as they move towards an independent life.
In his spare time Tony loves cycling and motorbiking.
Stephen has gained extensive experience working with some of the UK's largest companies like Dixons Carphone, Regus, Barclaycard, Virgin Atlantic and BA. He has also established more than a dozen successful new-to-market businesses including Velocity Virtual, meetingrooms.com and &Meetings. With over 20 years in senior board level marketing and business development roles, Stephen has taken businesses through IPO's and expansion in to global markets. Since 2013 Stephen has been an independent part-time marketing director working to take businesses forward with robust marketing strategy, he also speaks at a number of events helping businesses with marketing tips.
Stephen is a Non-executive director of one of the UK's most successful parent forums (WFPF), working with parents and carers of disabled children and young people, providing much needed support in the London Borough of Waltham Forest and working to influence local government outcomes in a number of other London boroughs.
Sally has been a governor at Kingswode Hoe School since 2009 and was elected as Chair in July 2017. Recently retired, Sally enjoyed a long and varied career involving a range of different industries, including broadcasting and publishing, oil exploration, farming and in the latter stages, the London insurance market. Over the course of her career Sally gained experience in PR and marketing, media relations and journalism; editing a weekly newsletter on the London insurance market for a number of years. Finally, her involvement with schools began in 2008 when she assumed responsibility for the community relations programme of a major London insurance market. This involved setting up and running the firm's charitable foundation and developing a staff volunteering programme which included providing business mentors and reading and numbers partners for secondary and primary schools in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, as well as staff volunteers to work with pupils at a local special school. Sally's role also included recruiting school governors from among the firm's staff to work with schools UK-wide.