Meet our Trustees

Chair of Trustees

Professor Andrew Hunter is Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computing and a PhD in Computer Graphics, both from the University of Bath. Andrew worked for several years in the software industry before returning to academia, teaching Computer Science at Sunderland and Durham Universities.

He joined the University of Lincoln in 2004, previously holding roles as Head of Department of Computing, Dean of Research, and Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Science. Professor Hunter specialises in computer vision and machine learning, with a particular interest in retinal imaging and behavioural analysis. He has published over 100 academic papers, and has developed freeware and commercial artificial intelligence software packages.

Dean of the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing and the Holbeach Campus. Val has over 30 years’ experience of teaching and senior level leadership in Further and Higher Education. She has spent many years working and living in South Lincolnshire where she has worked with employers in the Agri-food sector to develop educational opportunities for employees. In addition to her role as a Trustee, Val is a Governor of the University Academy Holbeach overseeing Safeguarding in addition to her wider responsibilities as a Trustee and Governor.

A highly experienced education professional and business leader, Keith is passionate about raising aspirations, maximising achievement and bridging the gap between the world of education and the world of work. He has twelve years of success in the strategic management and delivery of improvement and support services to early years, special, primary, secondary and tertiary education providers and initial teacher training. Keith has worked as a highly regarded regional director in an international educational charity and has also served as an Assistant Director in a large and successful local authority children’s services. He has extensive knowledge of the school and college sectors as an educator, service provider and as a governor and trustee. His specialist areas include school improvement; governor support and 14-19 education and training. He is an experienced and skilled negotiator and public speaker with well-developed political and commercial acumen. With a further twenty years as a successful leader in secondary education, he now uses his experience to support young people to make the very best of their future opportunities and live fulfilling lives. Keith holds a Master’s Degree in Education; a First Class Honours Degree in International Relations and Politics and a second Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. Keith is also a Trustee with the Linkage Community Trust which provides educational and residential services for people with learning difficulties from the age of 16 upwards.

Edward grew up in King’s Lynn and after graduating from Cambridge University with both a BA and PhD in Chemistry started a business career in BP.  He managed large and complex refining, supply and distribution and commercial trading activities across the USA and Europe.  Subsequently he ran the North American activities of the small high-tech company Whatman, based in Boston, Massachusetts.  Whilst there he helped set up and chaired World Energy Solutions, an on-line auction platform providing award-winning procurement capabilities for large gas and electricity contracts.  He remains active in his consulting activities in the energy sector.  On his return to the UK he developed a diverse portfolio career including the Chair of Norfolk Learning and Skills Council, and latterly the Chair of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.  He has had a long-term commitment to the improvement of education and skills especially in more disadvantaged areas and is familiar with the challenges in South Lincolnshire.  He has lived and worked abroad in the USA and Canada as well as in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Will Naylor (Trustee)is a Senior HR Business Partner with Bakkavor, the leading fresh-prepared food provider in the UK.  Will has over 20 years of experience of working within HR in the chilled-food sector, the last 15 years with Bakkavor working across a number of business units in South Lincolnshire.  Whilst being a recognised HR professional, Will has built a strong commercial and operational knowledge that supports effective HR business partnering.  As both a former pupil of Holbeach County Junior School, now part of the LET as Holbeach Primary Academy, and also having graduated from the University of Lincoln with a master’s degree (MSc HRM) in 2002, he is also proud of his ‘alumni’ status and educational links to the organisation.  Will is a  member of the Food Committee of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and is always keen to promote the significant career opportunities that lie within the agri-food sector right on our doorstep in Lincolnshire.

Michelle has over 30 years’ experience in public service during which time she has undertaken a number of senior leadership roles within the education, skills and employment sectors, working in both national and local government, in public and private sector agencies and within charitable and third sector bodies. Previous job roles include Head of SEND and Lead High Need Commissioner for North Yorkshire County Council,  Director of SEND Services & Commissioning for a National Children’s Trust Charity, Senior Development Adviser for the Training & Enterprise Council and Partnership Manager for the Learning & Skills Council.  More recently Michelle has taken up the role of Chief Executive of the Lincolnshire & Rutland Education Business Partnership (The EBP).  Michelle is passionate about supporting all young people to thrive and succeed and make a successful transition to adult life.  Her work has involved all aspects of strategic planning for children and young people including working on a range of local, regional and national initiatives.

Professor Duncan French is Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of College of Social Science, University of Lincoln. Duncan is a Professor of International Law, and is a leading academic on international environmental law and the international legal implications of sustainable development. He has written extensively in these areas, as well as writing generally on both broader questions of treaty law, international economic and investment law, and international dispute settlement. He has secondary research interests in international law of the sea and Antarctica.  Recent books include: D. French and L. Kotzé (eds.), Sustainable Development Goals: Law, Theory and Implementation (Edward Elgar, 2018) and V. Ruiz Abou-Nigm, K. McCall-Smith and D. French (eds.), Linkages and Boundaries in Private and Public International Law (Hart, 2018). He is currently working on international law’s response to “planetary boundaries”. Previously Duncan was Head of Lincoln Law School, and before that worked at the Universities of Sheffield and Reading. Duncan has four teenage children.

Andy has vast experience in education. He was Director of School Improvement at CfBT, and Assistant Director of Education in Lincolnshire for 11 years, leaving when awarded School Improvement Service of the Year 2012.

CEO of an Educational Charity for 8 years, Ofsted inspector and Chief Examiner at A’Level for 21 years. Chair of a successful IEB for 5 years and Chair of the Improvement Board for Leicester. He has published 8 books and 25 research papers.

In his role as CEO, Andy leads UOLAT and advises the Trustees and Members with regard to the strategic direction of the Trust.


The Trustees form the Board of Trustees of UOLAT and are Directors of the Trust. They set the strategic direction for the UOLAT and are accountable to the Secretary of State for the performance of the academies within it. Trustees cannot be members of Academy Governing Committees (AGCs). The Chair of the Trust is also a member. The trust has two subcommittees: Audit and Risk Committee and a Nominations and Renumerations Committee. The Audit and Risk Committee has 3 trustee members and two independent members. The Nominations and Renumerations Committee has the Chair, Vice Chair and one other Trustee.

The members believe their Board of Trustees must have the following skills: Expertise in strategic leadership; school improvement; financial skills; legal expertise; human resources; business development; educational research skills and experience as a governor.  The Board of Trustees will normally have 7 to 11 members who serve for initially for a 4-year period, with the opportunity to serve for a second 4-year period at the discretion of the Members. The sponsors have three seats on the Board of Trustees who are employees of the University; the remainder are independent of the University of Lincoln. Members have decided that the CEO, DCEO, CFO and Executive Principals are expected to attend Board meetings. The CEO is the Accounting Officer for the Trust.

  • Strategic leadership that sets and champions vision, ethos and strategy
  • Accountability that drives up educational standards and financial performance
  • People with the right skills, experience, qualities and capacity
  • Structures that reinforce clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  • Compliance with statutory and contractual requirements
  • Evaluation of governance to monitor and improve its quality and impact.
  • Act within their powers
  • Promote the success of the company
  • Exercise independent judgement
  • Exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence
  • Avoid conflicts of interest
  • Do not accept benefits from third parties
  • Declare interest in proposed transactions or arrangements.

The trustees must ensure regularity and propriety in use of the trust’s funds, and achieve economy, efficiency and effectiveness – the three elements of value for money.

The Board of Trustees has established the Scheme of Delegated Authority (SoDA) for Executive staff and for AGCs. The Trust will apply an approach of earned autonomy for AGCs, to reflect the success or otherwise of the academy. The SoDA is reviewed annually.