The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees are responsible for the strategic oversight, administration and management of the Trust and all its schools and entities to develop and achieve the Trust’s vision, and to ensure compliance with government and ESFA requirements, company law and charity law.

Other than the Chief Executive, our Trustees are volunteers. Trustees are appointed on the basis of the qualities, skills and experience which will support the development and performance of the Trust.

Further details can be found in the Trust Constitution here.

Ms Kirsten Robinson - Chair of Trustees

Kirsten Robinson is a qualified CPFA accountant with over 20 years of experience and is a member of the Institute of Management. She is currently a bursar of a college at the University of Oxford and has had a career in national audit and local government finance, procurement, performance management and governance, university finance, management and governance. She has experience of chairing governing bodies at both primary and secondary schools, and of being a non-executive board member on a Housing Association board, a small charity trustee and company secretary. In June 2016 she became a National Leader of Governance for the NCTL, a role that provides support to school Chairs of Governors to improve school performance

Mrs Ruth Bennie

Ruth is a school link adviser with Oxford Diocesan Board of Education and has working in schools for 30 years. She taught in a variety of schools in Northampton, Tower Hamlets, Leicester, Wokingham and Oxfordshire before taking up headship of a community primary school in Oxfordshire. Ruth has continued to enjoy learning, completing an MSc in educational leadership in 2006 and currently studying for a professional doctorate in education which has helped to develop her knowledge and understanding around various educational issues including safeguarding, pupil premium, therapeutic creativity and practice based research.

Prof. Deborah Eyre

Professor Deborah Eyre is a global education leader, researcher, writer and influencer. Her career has included a variety of senior education roles in the UK and globally as well as advising governments and educational foundations in the UK, Hong Kong, South Africa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, USA and Singapore. She was Global Education Director at Nord Anglia Education (2010-2014) and prior to that served as Director of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY), based at the University of Warwick.

Dr Felix Leach

Felix is an Associate Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, and tutorial fellow of Keble College. His day job involves teaching and researching engineering, specifically emissions from combustion and air quality. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Felix is a member of the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education where he serves on the finance committee. In his spare time Felix has a passion for music, not only singing himself, but also delivering music education courses with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.

Ms Julie McCulloch

Julie McCulloch has worked in education policy for several years. Her current role, as Primary and Governance Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, involves supporting school leaders with all aspects of primary education, advising groups of schools on forming effective and sustainable multi-academy trusts, and working with the Department for Education on issues relating to primary education and school governance. She is also a board member of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust, a not-for-profit company dedicated to advancing the cause of high quality, research-informed primary education. Previously she worked for the education company Pearson, initially publishing teaching and learning resources for primary schools, and more recently leading their work on UK policy. She wrote two research papers for Pearson, one on the role of subjects in primary education, and one on the benefits of social media in teacher professional development. She is also a long-standing primary school governor.

Mr Giles Orr

Giles Orr is Head of Business & External Engagement at the Oxford Brookes Business School. Previously he was Director of Education at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) following a number of senior roles in the education sector. Giles is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant, holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Leadership, an MSc in information systems and a BA degree in hotel and catering business. He is currently engaged in the development of Oxfordshire’s future economic and skills plans.

Ms Lydiah Igweh

Lydiah is the founder and host of the Race Forward Pod, a podcast sharing global DE&I insights to foster inclusive leadership and organisations. She is Head of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Kaplan International Pathways, a Higher Education division of Kaplan Inc. She has worked in both the public and private sectors with over 17 years of C-level Business Development and Strategic Marketing experience. Igweh specialises in DE&I, Innovation and Organisational Change. She was recognised as an inspiring and inclusive leader in the Higher Education sector by Universities UK in March 2021 to celebrate International Women's Day. In her spare time, Lydiah volunteers as a member of Advance HE’s EDI Strategic Advisory Group, and a member of the Leadership Steering Group for Race Equality Matters UK, committed to driving the diversity and inclusion agenda, particularly with Race Equality in the Workplace. She is the EDI Columnist for High Profile Magazine, an international business and branding magazine where she writes about advancing Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace.

Ms Deborah Stanbury

Deborah Stanbury is an Ernst and Young trained business and finance professional, specialising in strategy execution and leadership development. She has a demonstrated history of leading teams to achieve their vision through her executive role on the board of Monkey Music, and prior to that, as Finance Director at Universal Music. More recently she supports senior leaders, globally, to accelerate performance improvement in her role as a consultant and coach with FranklinCovey UK, one of the world’s top 20 leadership training companies. She believes that every decision that the RLT Trustees make must always to have a line of site to the educational outcomes for the pupils within the trust, whether that be through robust financial management or empowering the school leaders to maximise the potential of both teachers and pupils. She is also a volunteer business mentor for Young Enterprise.

Mr Jeremy Price - Co-opted Trustee

Jeremy Price has over 15 years of experience as school governor having served in both primary and secondary schools in and close to Oxford; he has chaired Finance and Resources committees at both stages. He studied architecture and architectural history and a founding director of PDA Group Architects, specialising in design and contract management.

Mr Paul James - Chief Executive, Co-opted Trustee

Paul James is a qualified teacher with over 20 years of experience in schools, including in senior leadership roles in a range of secondary education settings, and as a primary school governor and IEB member. Until 2016 he was a Headteacher of a comprehensive school of over 1800 students, which is a National Teaching School. He is currently a National Leader of Education alongside being Chief Executive of the River Learning Trust.

The Rt Revd Colin Fletcher OBE

For 20 years prior to his retirement, Colin was the Bishop of Dorchester, having responsibility, under the Bishop of Oxford, for the Church of England parishes across Oxfordshire, with the exception of the City of Oxford itself. Prior to that he was the Archbishop of Canterbury's Chaplain, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Margate, a tutor and curate in Oxford and a curate in Bradford. His time as a bishop gave him the privilege of knowing some 325 churches, varying greatly in their sizes and communities, but all to a large extent self-governing, together with many of their church schools. He has also been a governor of a 'first wave' secondary academy (the North Oxford Academy in Banbury) and, more recently, a trustee of the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust. Currently he is a governor of Cokethorpe School (Independent) near Witney, a trustee of Creation Theatre, Chair of BRF (with its 2000 Messy Churches and dozens of Anna Chaplains) and Chairman designate of the Retired Clergy Association. He also loves walking and bird watching and spending time with his family which includes eight grandchildren.