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.
Mrs Moira Dorey
Moira Dorey is a project manager for an environmental consultancy based at Oxford Brookes University. Alongside her expertise in sustainability and premises, she has considerable experience working on community engagement projects in Oxfordshire, both through her work and volunteering and also having been a parent governor for 11 years.
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.
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 a Director of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, leading CIPFA’s learning delivery and partnership teams including overseeing their national training centres, international training programmes, examinations and member services. He first joined CIPFA in 2010 following a number of senior roles in the education sector, is CIPFA qualified, and also holds an MSc in information systems and a BA degree in hotel and catering business. He is passionate about good financial management in education, consistently making the case that good stewardship of public funds improves front-line resources.
Dr Adam Parr
Adam Parr has lived and worked in Japan, Australia, Africa and Europe. He moved to Oxford in 2006 when he became chief executive and chairman of the Williams Formula One Team, a position he held until 2012. He is a qualified barrister, a graduate of Cambridge University and holds a PhD from University College London. Apart from sitting on the River Learning Trust board, he is a director of the high-performance engineering group, Cosworth; and chairs Mind Foundry, a spin-out of the University of Oxford’s machine learning group.
Ms Deborah Stanbury
Deborah Stanbury combines her business skills with her passion for education in her role as a director of a network of preschool music schools that specialise in the wider educational benefits of music. She has considerable experience in successfully recruiting and integrating new music schools into the network, believing that success is only achieved if everyone ultimately benefits. Her day to day responsibilities include being a coach and mentor to each music school head, as well as overseeing central operations and finance. Her previous career roles include running her own business, being finance and operations director of Universal Music, Island Music, Polygram Music Publishing and prior to that a period at Ernst & Young with whom she qualified as a chartered accountant.
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.