The board is responsible for the operation of the trust and governs in the interests of the trust as a whole.  The board sets vision and strategy and is the accountable body for finances and the performance of the three academies.  


Stephen Ward

Chair of Trustees

Stephen Ward is a management consultant, executive coach and non- executive director, with a sound track record of leadership, performance and experience gained in a number of service environments, in the public, private and voluntary sectors. These include education, housing, care and the prison/immigration service. He has previous experience as a chair, deputy chair, school governor and trustee. He believes that for organisations providing local services to consistently succeed, a very high level of service user involvement, care, quality of service and value for money, with an emphasis on continuous and sustainable improvement of services is critical, to meet the ever changing needs of the people and families that these organisations support in their local area.

Philippa Gasson


Philippa is recently retired from 35 years in education, mainly in the secondary sector. Having trained as a science teacher, Philippa taught in Buckinghamshire and the London Borough of Merton before returning to East Sussex. Here she held posts as head of faculty, head of year, deputy head, acting head and vice principal, the latter post at The Hastings Academy before retiring in 2013. Philippa then held interim head teacher roles on a part-time basis in 2 local primary schools. Philippa is committed to working with the Rye Academy Trust and you, our parents and carers, to ensure that all our learners are able to make their best possible progress, in a happy, vibrant and safe environment.

Tim Hulme

Chief Executive

Tim joined the Trust in September 2016 and his career to date has included Executive roles in a range of industries including pharmaceutical, construction and hospitality. With a strong track record in leading transformational change and business recovery, Tim has operated in the charitable environment, as well as both the public and private sectors and has a strong belief in the power of education and the impact it has in changing communities and peoples lives. In accepting the role as the Trust Chief Executive, Tim is particularly focused on establishing a sound business platform from which the Trust, in all its dimensions, can grow.

Howard Brown

Howard is a former senior officer in the Armed Forces, with operational and commercial experience spanning the private and defence sectors in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Howard has demonstrable leadership experience, shaping strategy, leading successful business negotiations and engaging Board members, coupled with an ability to constructively challenge senior executives in order to strengthen organisational performance. With Board-level executive coaching and a champion for businesses adopting holistic cyber security, Howard seeks to offer a challenging perspective and share experience in order to optimise organisational performance and deliver growth in a secure operating environment.

Andrew Ferguson

Sally King

Sally is a teacher and has been teaching for almost thirty years: in London, Eastbourne and Hastings. She has held a variety of roles including those in leadership. Sally has also lived and worked abroad, in both China and France. Sally is particularly interested in democracy in schools and is keen to see a more prominent role given to the opinions of both parents and students across the Trust.


Details on how to contact any board member are below:

Sally Welch Governance and Communications Manager 



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