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The Island Learning TrustGrow, Achieve, Succeed

Welcome toThe Island Learning Trust Grow, Achieve, Succeed

Who's Who

Chief Executive Officer: Debbie Wheeler

Deputy Chief Executive Officer: Ryan Driver

Chief Finance Officer: Jeanette Read

Chair of the Trust Board: Ken Ingleton  Email:

Governance Structure of The Island Learning Trust



Mr Gary Jeffery

My full name is Gary Raymond Jeffery, 55 years of age and a real local, having lived on the Isle of Sheppey for all of those years, progressing through the then Primary (Rose Street), Middle (St Georges C E) and the Sheppey Comprehensive educational structure.

I currently have a Sole Trader Business involved in Garden Maintenance, which has been in operation for four years, mainly servicing and transforming domestic and commercial areas in the Sheppey and Sittingbourne area.

Prior to this I have 20 plus years in operational management at D S Smith, including seven years of General Manager role reporting to Group CEO, driving a direct report operational team of 6 to success on a variety of fronts – Finance, Health and Safety, Operations, Service and Team Performance. This role was National, culminating in an annual budget of £40m and staff number accountability of over 400.

I am of analytical nature, like attention to detail and am of a non-personalised direct nature, striving and demanding of success, good performance and standards.

Whilst truth is in the eye of the receiver, I am of the belief that I am also of approachable, understanding and supporting nature, and believe the above mix of business exposure, personal attributes and local interest will support TILT well.

Skills: Performance Management and Business Process Improvement, Leadership, People Management, Communication. Good understanding of Finance/Accounts and Management Performance Information.

Mr Matthew Cheesbrough

Time served engineer mainly within the Pharmaceutical industry, working at technician and engineer levels. Currently working on new product integration and process improvement projects meaning that I have to use skills, knowledge and experience to get existing equipment to run differently or design new processes to manufacture new products. Involved in meetings with all members of the Senior Leadership Team and project managing all parts of the project, including contractors, team members and financial aspects.

I have mentored, worked alongside and trained new apprentices and employees, right through from interviewing through to completion of induction and apprentice qualifications.

Sheppey Rugby club player for various teams and a youth coach for U7 and U8's, as well as a "guest" specialist coach for the older groups based on playing history and experiences.

Skills: Creative problem solving in an engineering and business process context, Business Process Improvement, Leadership, People Management, Communication. Good understanding of Finance/Accounts and Management Performance Information.

Mr Lee Havill

Lee is the managing director of his own thriving and growing Funeral Services business operating on the Isle of Sheppey. Lee is a passionate and driven business man with a wide variety of skills all transferable although cultivated in a specialist industry.

Lee is community minded and sponsors a range of sports teams on the Island: Sheppey Rugby Club, Sheppey United Football club.

Skills: financial, marketing and PR, people management, business growth and development, health and safety, operations management, communication, leadership, succession planning

Mrs Heidi Pye

Currently Learning Support Manager at a local secondary school, I have worked in administration in schools for nearly 20 years. I line manage a team of 15 Teaching Assistants and coordinate Access Arrangements for public examinations.

I am a musician (though I only play my trombone occasionally nowadays). In the past I have been in bands, choirs and also led the children’s / junior choir at church for 13 years.

In my spare time I enjoy making soft furnishings, quilting, knitting, crochet and a bit of baking. 2 young grandchildren also keep me busy!

Skills: Leadership, people management, time management, communication.

Good understanding of finance/accounts and school performance data

Mr Nick Pye

38 years working in the Automotive Industry. Initially in distribution but for the last 20 years as a Regional Sales Manager. My experiences are in Sales Management, Team Building and latterly in Training and Presentations.

Although work takes up much of my time, my other interests are all sports and most importantly my family which includes 2 grandchildren with a 3rd on its way.

Skills: Leadership, sales, PR and marketing, people management, time management, communication. Good understanding of finance/accounts.




Mr Kenneth Ingleton (CHAIR)

Retired Company Director and Manager, 30+ years’ experience. School Governor since 1984: 18 years as COG and 20 years as Chair of Finance. Current COG Minster Primary School. Interests include: Local Government, past member and Mayor of Swale Borough Council, now a Parish Councillor with Minster on Sea Parish Council.

Community Facilities as Trustee of Friendship House and of Thistle Hill Community Centre, Member of Minster on Sea Rotary Club and President of Minster WM Club. Education in Local History as Trustee of Minster Gatehouse Museum.

Skills: Performance Management and Business Process Improvement, Leadership, People Management, Communication. Good understanding of Finance/Accounts and Management Performance Information.

Lee Glover

An ambitious and enthusiastic professional that established a HR consultancy as of 1 May 2017 and has former employer DS Smith Plc as a client. He worked for DS Smith for almost 35 years and has had success in pressure situations and managing the difficult. He have extensive experience within a large European multisite company with in-depth expertise in business turnaround through people change and the management of large capital projects. He developed people strategy to manage change and reduce cost and is Human Resource Professional with a wide range of experience in the continuous manufacturing, logistics and leisure environments. Lee has outstanding general management skills including the ability to

manage, develop and motivate people to achieve their objectives. He can also set, manage and control budgets.

Lee’s main responsibilities were to manage employee relations to avoid issue with local and external employee representatives, provide customer service to line management, to assist them in achieving objectives through people who are working to set targets, budgets and deadlines. Beyond manufacturing and logistics he gained ten years’ experience of the leisure industry through being chairman of a successful sports and leisure club. The club won a number of prestigious awards. He also worked in Hyde Park in the Summer 2017 as a member of the Festaff Team.

Debbie Wheeler

(CEO of The Island Learning Trust & HT of Minster in Sheppey Primary School)


Debbie Wheeler qualified as a teacher 25 years ago, has 16 years’ experience as a highly successful HT across 2 schools, moving both from satisfactory judgements to strongly good judgements. The data at her current school demonstrates pupils achieve outstanding outcomes at the end of each KS.

Debbie is passionate about creating a nurturing, yet ambitious learning environment that enables and challenges our young learners to become the very best they can become: raising aspirations and expectations for young people, families and communities.

Debbie is an active member of the Growth Community of Island Schools, sitting on the Steering Group, the Attendance Steering Group and the Behaviour Strategy Group. For the past 4 years Debbie has lead T&L across a 10 school collaboration.

Debbie has worked as a consultant HT for the local Teaching School Alliance and has also provided mentor support for newly appointed headteachers.

Skills: Leadership, coaching, talent spotting and development, people management, time management, communication, research based T & L, assessment, curriculum innovation, providing high quality CPD
Good understanding of finance/accounts and school performance, data analysis.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts is a chartered certified accountant by trade with over a decade’s experience working for a number of top 10 accounting and business advisory firms. During his time in practice he gained wide experience across multiple sectors including social housing, education, local government and health. He is an experienced risk management and senior internal audit specialist with a number of years working in the energy industry and more recently for a top medical indemnifier at Canary Wharf in London. In addition to this, Chris owns and manages C. D. Roberts Limited, a small local firm of bookkeepers, aimed at supporting local businesses and helping them survive and grow. Chris has a young family and is keen on helping to strengthen the delivery of high quality education both on and off the Isle of Sheppey.

Skills: Accounting, risk management, internal audit, compliance, general understanding of business, development of control and risk mitigation frameworks.

Hannah Truelove

Hannah Truelove is a qualified barrister, currently working as an in-house lawyer for HMG, where she advises on various issues of public law. Hannah's background is at the self-employed bar where she practiced in general common law, acting for both prosecution and the defence in the criminal courts (with significant experience in working with defendants in the Youth Court), handling cases in tribunals (including education tribunals) and with a specialism in extradition. Hannah has experience of appearing in front of courts of all levels, from magistrates’ courts to the Supreme Court.

Skills: Leadership, people management, communicating and influencing, coaching, strategic thinking, performance management, planning and delivery.

Howard Fisher

Educated at Anglia Ruskin University; Howard completed his four year BEd (Hons) in maths before entering the teaching profession in Harlow, Essex. His first school was a tough council school in the heart of Harlow, a deprived area with high social needs. Rising quickly to be key stage manager for the infant department, he went on to teach in a private school in Hertfordshire catering from nursery to eighteen. Here he studied for his first post graduate qualification in Special Educational Needs with a focus on children’s literature and a study of ‘why do boys fail?’ Moving here to the East end of London he worked in a multicultural school in Walthamstow; the school at the time having been just failed by an inspection team, he quickly worked with the Head Teacher to bring about change. From here he accepted a deputy headship to Sheerness in Kent; a very deprived school with severe social challenge; completing here his national qualification for headship. His four year tenure prepared him well for his first Headship on the Romney Marsh in a new school with severe problems. Here he studied for his second post graduate qualification in Faith in Education. Moving this school to good with outstanding features; he then decided to take the challenge of building and opening a new school on Sheppey in Kent. Restructuring the school and working with an architect within a time frame of just eight months; the school has grown from strength to strength receiving an Outstanding inspection from the Diocese recently. Howard is now studying for a Theology degree and has taken the school into an Academy with the Diocese, he is in his fourteenth year of headship.

Judith Schultz

A Salvation Army Officer since 1985 serving in Northern Ireland, Bangladesh, Ghana and England primarily as a Church Minister but also roles have included Project Officer, Research & Development Officer and Industrial Chaplain. Alongside my husband, I am currently the Minister for Sittingbourne Salvation Army. Within the Borough of Barking & Dagenham I served as a Governor in an Infant School and worked within an Ecumenical Team as Chaplain/Governor in order to establish a new Church of England Primary School. Education: BA in Pastoral Care & Psychology and an MA in Emerging Church & Fresh Expressions.

Jeremy Bede-Cox

I am an enthusiastic and experienced manager with 25 years management experience within the education sector in leadership roles. Currently I have worked closely with the Vice Chancellor on issue of professional services restructure and creating a service culture to enhance the academic endeavour. I chair a number of university and faculty committee to improve services and manage change in the organisation. At Kingston University I am Chief Operating Officer at one of the best arts schools in the country and have in my time there improved my understanding of how and arts and humanities faculty runs alongside my experience of running a social science and science faculty. As a senior manager I influenced strategy and manage change.

Interested in specific governance roles

Faith/Willingness to uphold the religious character of the school

Practising Catholic