Trust Newsletter

Summer 2022

We are now entering the final few days of term, and what a term it has been. Covid hasn’t gone away and just to keep us all on our toes we have been faced with the hottest temperatures ever recorded to end the year!   

Our family of schools have once again worked together and supported each other in many different ways, to ensure our schools have been able to run as successfully as possible. At one point this term The Mead had no cook. Castle Mead supported by enabling their assistant cook to run The Mead kitchen for the week. Both school kitchens worked together to ensure menus were manageable and achievable. This is just one of the many examples of how you all pull together in times of need.   

I am proud to lead a team of staff who demonstrate such resilience and commitment, who despite the challenges ensure our children receive such a range of amazing learning experiences. The school Twitter accounts are always full of wonderful classroom learning, visits and visitors, extra-curricular activities and residentials.   

I would like to extend a very heartfelt thank you for all that you do, every day. What an amazing team of professionals you are! 

Please accept my good wishes for a very happy and restful summer. Please all ensure you make time for family and friends and take the time to rest, relax and recharge. 

CEO, The Mead Trust


Our Governance Community continue to work tirelessly on a voluntary basis to support the Trust. The Trust board have recently ratified the revised Scheme of Delegation. This is the key document that defines the lines of responsibility and accountability in our Academy Trust to ensure that the Members, Trustees, Academy Advisors, Executive Leadership and schools understand their role and responsibilities. 

Members of the Resources Committee have worked closely with our School Business Managers to ensure the indexation of teachers’ pensions, to ensure that the pay freeze in 2021/22 does not have a detrimental impact on teachers’ pension benefits. 

We have secured funds from the Local Authority to support remodelling works at Castle Mead and River Mead, to enable us to accommodate a group of early years children with high needs at both schools.  

The Chairs of the AAGs and members of the Standards & Effectiveness Group (SEG) have joined a number of our School Effectiveness Reviews and other monitoring activity. We have welcomed their observations and insight.   

The Mead have welcomed a new Chair of their Academy Advisor Group. Rachel Watts now leads the group, supported by Sophie Amstell in role as Vice-Chair.  Thank you to Sophie who took on the role as Acting Chair whilst we appointed a substantive Chair Person. Thanks go to Graham Mallard (Academy Adviser at The Mead) and Mel Jacob (latterly Academy Adviser at The Mead, formerly Chair of the Trust before she was recruited as a Business Manager at Castle Mead) who both ‘retire’ from their roles in our Governance Community this summer. We are grateful for their voluntary commitment and service to our schools. 

We currently have vacancies on all of our Academy Advisory Groups. AAGs are our local tier of governance and are closest to the front line in supporting and challenging our schools. Advisors scrutinise educational performance by linking closely with leaders in the schools to ensure progress is being made against the school’s key priorities.  

We are also looking for Trustees to sit on the Board, with professional qualifications, experience and expertise in the following areas:

  • HR 
  • Estates  
  • Education 

Perhaps you know of someone who you think may have skills to offer and might be interested in supporting our schools by joining our Governance community? Please let us know on Lyssy or Lindsay will contact them to discuss opportunities further. 

Thank you from the Board of Trustees

We are nearly at the end of yet another challenging year. Thank you for all you have done both individually and as part of a team within your school and across the Trust. We know you have dug deep, deeper than you probably ever thought possible, to meet the challenges and overcome the hurdles that have been put in your way. Your commitment and determination to do the very best for our children is recognised and valued.  

Thank you. 

Anne Millin

Trustee and Chair of Standards & Effectiveness Group

Underpinning Principles

We have spent time this year refining and collating our Trust Underpinning Principles, which you can read in their entirety on our website . The principles act as touchstones for the work of everybody in The Trust, detailing the professional values and expectations we hold. Working as a team to this common set of expectations is what underpins our delivery of inspirational learning for all of our children. As you prepare for your new class in September, and start to think about setting up your classroom for those children, it is a good time to consider the principle of ‘An Enabling Environment’, which sets out:  

Children are entitled to an irresistible, warm, welcoming, and well organised environment (both indoors and outdoors) that provides for independence, choice, a wealth of sensory experiences; reflecting the children’s interests and celebrating their achievements. 

September TD Days

The detailed plans for the TD days in September are now on the Staff Hub:

1 September: We are on different sites depending on roles and focus. Please make sure you go to the right place!

2 September: Everyone is on their own school site 

New Starters

Castle Mead
Rebecca Matcham (Teacher)
Mili James (Teacher)
Emily Jefferis (Teacher)
Arran Connor (Teacher)
Kirstyn Vines (Teacher)
Sarah Emery (Specialist PE Teacher)
Paige Sheppard (Teaching Assistant – Resource Base)
Noah Heard (Teaching Assistant – Resource Base)
Viviana Ros (Teaching Assistant)
Kerry Hodge (Teaching Assistant – Resource Base)
Lucybeth (Lou) Daniels (Nursery Playleader) 

River Mead
Tyler McGee (Teacher)
Kelly Bailey (Teaching Assistant)
Samantha Parker (Teaching Assistant)
Zoe Tuck (Nursery Teaching Assistant)
Susanna Wing (Teaching Assistant)
Jodie Hunt (Teaching Assistant – Resource Base)

The Mead
Chris Browne (Teacher)
Holly Miles (Teacher)
Rebecca Usherwood (Teacher)
Emily Gresswell (Teacher)
Beckie Mumford (Teacher)
Ollie Smith (Specialist PE Teacher)
Paula Davison (Catering Team – School Cook)
Nikola Kerdikova (Catering Team – Assistant Cook)
Helen Betreen (Teaching Assistant)
Sara Thatcher (Teaching Assistant)
Laura Gadsby  (Teaching Assistant)
Kauthar Karmouni (Teaching Assistant)
Sammie Johnson (Teaching Assistant)
Livia Bassett (Play Leader)
Hugo Bowman (Peripatetic music teacher)

Movers and Shakers!

It has been yet another busy term for recruitment. As I am sure you all know we have found recruiting to some posts very challenging. This is a national issue, with all schools struggling to recruit across all job roles.  We are very nearly there! We will be continuing to carry out some interviews during the summer break, to ensure we have a full team in each school for September. 

New staff appointed this term have all met remotely with Lindsay to welcome them to the Trust but I am sure many of you will not yet have met all of our new colleagues. Please join me us in welcoming all new team members across our schools.  

A number of staff have been appointed to a new role within the Trust, starting on 1 September 2022. Congratulations to all of you. 

Stuart Tate – Estates Manager 

Castle Mead
Heather Elliot – Assistant Headteacher/Inclusion Lead
Leanne Cunningham – Assistant Headteacher
Theo Gaines – We will be welcoming to the Castle Mead team (from The Mead). Theo is Trust Quality Champion for Early Years and she will lead on the development of the Nursery. 

River Mead
Leala Purdie – Assistant Headteacher/Inclusion Lead
Kate Miller – Assistant Headteacher
Emma Lewis – Assistant Headteacher
Tilly Coates – will be joining the Graduate Teacher programme (School Direct training) and will be placed initially at The Mead 

The Mead
Kate Seviour – Assistant Headteacher/Inclusion Lead
Emma Baber – Senior teacher
Sophie East – Senior teacher
Lucie O’Leary – Senior teacher
Laura Fairfield – Housekeeping Supervisor 
Anna Glover – Music teacher

We would also like to welcome our new cohort of Graduate Teachers who begin our school direct programme in September.  You can see them all here 

We are also sad to be saying goodbye to a number of staff this term. We would like to extend our thanks to them all for their commitment during their time with us and wish them luck in their future roles.