Trust Newsletter

Summer 2023

The last terms seem to have flown by and what busy terms they have been!

We are very proud of the great Ofsted outcome at Castle Mead School – a  job well done to everyone from across the Trust. The support you all offered was very much appreciated and evidences the real strength of our Trust.

Thank you to all of you who completed the Proposed Merger Consultation Form, and to those who came to the staff meetings. It was really beneficial to spend time at each school, hearing the concerns and answering questions from you all. The information we gained from these conversations is being looked at really carefully and will support us over the coming months in making any decisions towards our future as a Trust. In order to support ongoing conversations between the two organisations, Mel Jacob (currently SBM at Castle Mead), from 1st September will be spending some more of her time working across the Central teams.

We bid a fond farewell to one of our Headteachers, Karen Austin, as she embarks on an exciting new adventure. Karen has inspired so many of us to strive to do better and work towards achieving the impossible. We wish her the very best for the future. It just won’t be the same without her!

We are pleased that the Department for Education has confirmed that a teacher pay award has been agreed. The new salary will come into effect from 1st September 2023. You can calculate what they expect your new salary to be here.

As always your continued hard work and commitment is very much valued. Please take the opportunity over the summer holidays to rest and enjoy time with friends and family.  I look forward to seeing you all in September.

CEO, The Mead Trust

Highlights of the year

There are many things we could share here, but we have chosen a single stand-out achievement from each school to celebrate with you… 

River Mead finished the year with a splendid whole school performance of The Lion King. The children’s faces glowed with pride and enjoyment. Feedback on the performance was “Some shining stars who acted with lots of passion… and so special to hear some solos too. To the adults who supported, a massive well done.”

The Local Authority visited Castle Mead to look at the equalities work being done there. As a result, leaders were invited to present at the Southern EMTAS conference in Hampshire. Feedback shared after the event said: “I wanted to mention how grateful I am to Emily and Emma for giving me some time and also for the input they made on Monday to colleagues from a number of LAs. You are building something really impressive and they were surrounded after their input by colleagues from LA EAL and diversity teams wanted to congratulate them on what they’ve done and pick their brains.”

The Mead was re-accreditated with Arts Mark Gold, but we’re especially excited that the feedback signposted how to become a Platinum school – which would mean being a regional leader of art within the South West. A particular and very well-deserved thanks to Sarah Penny for all of her work on this. 

Governance Community vacancies

Do you know someone who would like to make a difference to our children, but doesn’t have the time to commit to a full time role? We are looking for Academy Advisors, Trustees, and Members to join our Governance Community and would love to hear from you if there is someone you could recommend. The roles are all very different, but they all have achieving the best for our children at their core. Please get in touch with Kyra ( if you’d like to know more about the vacancies, or have a name to put forward.

From the Board of Trustees

This has been a busy year for our Governance Community, with much happening at all levels of governance within our schools and across the Trust. We have refined how we talk about our vision, values, and aims, have discussed how we can best involve all of our stakeholders in school life, and most recently have been thinking with great care about the proposed merger with Equa Multi Academy Trust. These conversations will continue into the new academic year, and we will – of course – share more updates with you as we have them.

We have sadly said farewell to two Trustees this year, Christine Folker and Christian Checkley. Both have worked with the Trust for many years in a variety of roles, and we thank them very much for their time and commitment. We are continuing to recruit to our Academy Advisory Groups, and if you have anyone you would like to recommend please contact your Headteacher.

I hope you are all able to enjoy a well-earned relaxing summer break, and look forward to working with and for you all again in September.

Anne Millin

Chair of Trustees, The Mead Trust

The Friends

We are lucky enough to have a number of parents and volunteers from each school who go above and beyond to hold exciting events that enrich the children’s lives and engage the community. With the support from Friends of The Mead, the Friends of Castle Mead and the Friends of River Mead we have been able to fund some exciting and fun activities and resources for the children within the Trust.

We would like to say a BIG well done in particular to the Friends of The Mead who have, over the course of the year raised an astonishing £11,331. Here’s a snapshot of what they have achieved…Friends of the Mead

New Starters

Castle Mead
Becky Humphreys (Assistant Head Teacher – Inclusion & SEMH Provision)
Laura Selway  (Teacher)
Eleanor Baker (Teacher)
Alex Willmott (Teacher)
Lauren Emery (Early Years TA)
Bethany Keyse (TA)
Alex Harris (Resource Base TA)
Sarah Jones (TA)
Imogen Riley (Admin Assistant)

River Mead
Tilly Coates (Teacher)
Chelsy Murden (Teacher)
Emma Mellor (Teacher)
Natalie Warburton (Teacher)
Sean Delaney (Teacher)

The Mead
Isobel Thornton-Berry (Teacher)
Victoria Boughton (Teacher)
Felicity Frayling (Teacher)
Nina Llarinas (Teacher)
Katie Woodford (Teacher)
Amy Franklin (TA)

Molly Harris (Teacher)

Changes to the Central Team

Trina Carey, our Central Administrator, will be moving back to River Mead to support the office team while we are working on the potential merger. We are currently working on a structure for the Central Team going forward, and will share this with you all when it is finalised.

In the meantime, we are delighted to welcome Jennifer Nicholls to the Central Team, Jennifer is joining as the Admin Assistant, working 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday, and will work alongside Kyra to support the work of the Trust. You can reach Jennifer at

Gina Shanahan (currently SBM at River Mead) working centrally in a Finance capacity, across all the schools within the Trust.

Finally, Jayne Bullock, who has worked closely with us as CSL Manager, will be working more closely with us going forwards. Her focus will be the co-ordination of school improvement and CPD opportunities, as well as working with our Inclusion Leads on targeted services and The Harbour Nurtured Learning Programme.