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Who We Are ▾

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Tom Attwood

Chair

Tom was, for many years, CEO of Intermediate Capital Group PLC, a director of IPC Media, Gala Coral, the Private Equity Foundation, Wightlink and other companies. He is now Chairman of T4, the Attwood Academies Trust, Attwood Education Foundation, and until recently, Chair of DfE Academies and Free Schools Board, and Hg Capital.

He continues to sit on the Boards of Hg Capital and A-Plan and as a non-executive at the DfE. His experience in private equity and in growing ICG into a substantial public company is proving most helpful in monitoring and growing multi academy trusts.

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Stephen Gough

Trustee

Stephen leads the schools and academies team at KPMG. He is a qualified accountant and expert in finance and financial management. He has worked with a wide range of Academy trusts, supporting them across a range of areas in their development, including strategy, financial management, due diligence, turnaround support and re-structuring.

He is also the Chairman of the Challenger Trust, which is a member of the Challenger Multi-academy Trust. He is passionate about improving social mobility through learning outside the classroom.

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Sara Attwood

Trustee

Sara was a head hunter in London for twenty years, specializing in consumer and finance Board Director appointments. She worked for Whitehead Mann and the Miles Partnership. Sara is now a JP in Kent, working with Magistrates in the Community presenting to schools. She was also a mentor for Kids Company, and is currently a Director of the Attwood Education Foundation.

Working within the Youth Justice system highlights the crucial role education plays in crime prevention; Sara firmly believes that our society and young people will be better supported if we place higher value on education.

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Frank Good

Trustee

Frank’s career in education spans forty-four years. He has a considerable reputation as a leading educational innovator, which was recognised in 2013 when he was appointed Commander of the British Empire for his services to education. He was National Schools Commissioner between 2013-2016, overseeing all Academies and FreeSchools. Frank established the Regional School Commissioners structure as part of the mechanism to co-ordinate and oversee the development of the academies programme.

He is currently Chairman of Shoreline Enterprises , Vice Chairman of Leigh Academies Trust, Chairman of George Salter Academy and a Director of Challenger Trust.

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Chris Weavers

Trustee

Chris Weavers works for the national teachers’ union (NASUWT), where he leads the union’s political engagement as well as relationships with a wide range of external organisations, both domestically and internationally. He previously worked for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, advising and supporting the local authority’s majority group on policy and political matters. Outside work, Chris is very active in the governance of public bodies, addressing issues including education, crime and housing. He is also a trustee of a number of local and national charities.
Chris has been a member of the Ian Mikardo Local Governing Body (LGB) for many years prior to its conversion to an academy in 2018, and he now chairs the LGB

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Justina Ilochi

Trustee

Justina Ilochi is the CEO of Gender and Child Advancement (GCA), a company that provides high quality education solutions in the UK and internationally. She is also a leader at Genistar, a financial education company that teaches families to be debt free and financially independent.

Justina has significant experience leading mainstream and independent school inspections on behalf of Ofsted in primary and special schools. She is also school progress adviser and consultant for Inner London Borough schools. She is involved in innovative school improvement work particularly to do with the quality of teaching and the management of special education needs.

Justina has 40 years of experience as a secondary school mathematics teacher, SENCO and member of senior leadership in large inner-city London mainstream schools. She is a researcher with a specific interest in special education needs and inclusion, and has co-produced a pastoral care curriculum (PCC).

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Claire Lillis

CEO

Claire is a visionary, experienced leader of education in mainstream, custodial and special schools. She began her career as a history teacher in mainstream education, where she also gained eight years of experience specialising in Pastoral Education. Between 1998 – 2002 she worked in Custodial Education. This experience inspired her to work in an environment dedicated to prevention, using education as a means of steering young people away from destructive paths.

Claire was head teacher of Ian Mikardo school, which, under her guidance, has been utterly transformed into the remarkable school it is today. Claire passionately believes that there is a different, more inclusive way to educate our children.

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Lucy Bowman

COO

Lucy qualified as an accountant at Deloitte. During her six years there, she mostly worked with the Education and Skills Funding Agency which is responsible for overseeing Academy Trusts. This engagement introduced her to the unique work of special schools, including Ian Mikardo.

Lucy firmly believes that we have a duty to support the hardest to reach in society, and thinks inclusive education is invaluable for vulnerable young people. She joined the Trust in April 2018 as COO, and is responsible for Finance, HR, IT and Premises.

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Julie Pierzchniack

Director Of Safeguarding

Julie has a wealth of experience supporting the welfare of children and families as a social worker and director of safeguarding. She was head of care in a Custodial facility, the Medway Secure Centre. It was here that she met Claire Lillis, an encounter which led to her consulting at Ian Mikardo school. Here, she set up a welfare department, recognising that working closely with parents and supporting them was crucial to the welfare of the boys at the school.

As Director of Safeguarding in the trust, Julie believes that addressing social and emotional needs are key to academic progress.

Meet The Leadership

Trust
Board

Tom Attwood

Chair

Stephen Gough

Trustee

Sara Attwood

Trustee

Chris Weavers

Trustee

Frank Green

Trustee

Executive Team

Jesse White

CEO

Having trained with Deloitte, Jesse completed his chartered accountancy qualifications before transitioning to the education sector where, amongst other successes, he led the financial turnaround of a Trust with a £1.5m deficit back in to surplus (whilst ensuring that the financial changes did not come at the detriment to students education).

Jesse is driven to ensure that the organisational functions of academy trusts are run successfully and efficiently, in order to maximise the resources available to our students and support our fantastic education team, led by Aaron and Julie. Jesse is eager for the Trust to build on its previous achievements and deliver further progress and strong outcomes for all our students.

Jesse joined T4 in September 2021 as the Interim CEO and Accounting Officer and he splits his time as CEO of T4 Trust with being the Finance Director of the Attwood Academies, a successful single academy trust in East Sussex.

Aaron Mulhern

Head Teacher - Ian Mikardo

Aaron was educated at St Joseph's Secondary School in Derry City, Ireland. His experience there gave him a meaningful, positive grounding in the value of others, a sense of always working towards being a better person and contributing whatever talent he had to the benefit of the community and society. His hope is to live up to that aspiration. In Derry, Aaron learned that the value of education isn't about 'being the best' but being 'your best'. He feels lucky to have experienced some wonderfully committed teachers working in difficult circumstances, setting him on the path of emulating their example.

In 2003, after studying at St. Mary's College in Strawberry Hill, Aaron had the opportunity to work at IMHS and did so for three years, as the Numeracy & Literacy coordinator. He then left to train as a Physiotherapist. Aaron has always been captivated by the ethos, spirit and practices of IMHS school and so he jumped at the chance to return in 2012. He accepted the position as Teacher of Maths and has had roles as leader of the 'My Passport' Dept.; Deputy Head Teacher; and now leader of the school.

Aaron's aspirations for the school mirror the aspirations of his own teachers in his formative years and those of IMHS, hitherto lead by Claire Lillis since 2002. Aaron believes in the importance of recognising the value and talents of the students and staff in our community and helping them grow through their challenges, in pursuit of a meaningful and purposeful future. He is committed to supporting our students who come with a past, to leave with a future.

Lisa Tharpe

Deputy Head - Head of Welfare & Inclusion | Designated Safeguarding Lead

Lisa Tharpe has had a fruitful career in both Education and Social Care, with an educational background in both Informal Education and Social Work, initially graduating at the YMCA George Williams College in East London in; Informal Education, Youth Work and Community Learning and then going on to studying a degree in Social Work at The Open University and specialising in SEND and Children with Complex Needs.

Additionally, Lisa has over 20 years’ hands-on experience working across London with a diverse range of children and young people with extremely varied and highly challenging needs. This falls in line with her inherent passion to help transform the lives of young people in a positive way.

Lisa has a passion for supporting young people with SEMH and SEND needs and has extensive knowledge in policy writing, setting up processes and new initiatives and motivating and empowering young people to reach positive outcomes for themselves and has worked as a youth worker and social worker progressing to several positions of responsibility including, Senior Social Worker, Day Service Manager, Manager Youth Services - SEND, Consultant Social Worker CWD, before joining T4 Trust in January 2020.

Since joining T4 Trust she has accepted the position of Head of Welfare, DSL, Assistant Head, Deputy Head; and now Operational Safeguarding Lead for T4 Trust.

The knowledge she has gained through training and her practice as a registered social worker has given her the skills and attributes to identify risk or concerns and act swiftly to safeguard children. These skills have also helped her to make positive changes to work culture and give staff a fresh new outlook to their role and position whilst supporting them to fully understanding the importance of reflecting on their own practice for growth, monitoring and recording information effectively in order to help support and safeguard children and young people, themselves, and others.

Julie Pierzchniack

Director of Operations

Julie has a wealth of experience supporting the welfare of children and families as a social worker and director of safeguarding. She was head of care in a Custodial facility, the Medway Secure Centre. It was here that she met Claire Lillis, an encounter which led to her consulting at Ian Mikardo school. Here, she set up a welfare department, recognising that working closely with parents and supporting them was crucial to the welfare of the boys at the school.

As Director of Safeguarding in the trust, Julie believes that addressing social and emotional needs are key to academic progress.

Ricky Barton

Interim CFO.

BA (Hons) Accounting ∧ Finance, BTEC LEVEL 7 – Advanced Professional Certificate in School Financial and Operational Leadership (CIPFA) and currently working towards ACCA. Over 14 years’ experience in finance, including banking, corporate finance, and, most recently, consulting on school finance and training on PS Financials and SBS Online Budget Software. Ricky is also the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Lime Trust.

Jesse White

Interim AO

Members

Tom Attwood

William Casement

Belinda Hayes

Jo Zendel

Katie Lancaster

Meet The Leadership

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Tom Attwood

Chair

Tom was, for many years, CEO of Intermediate Capital Group PLC, a director of IPC Media, Gala Coral, the Private Equity Foundation, Wightlink and other companies. He is now Chairman of T4, the Attwood Academies Trust, Attwood Education Foundation, and until recently, Chair of DfE Academies and Free Schools Board, and Hg Capital.

He continues to sit on the Boards of Hg Capital and A-Plan and as a non-executive at the DfE. His experience in private equity and in growing ICG into a substantial public company is proving most helpful in monitoring and growing multi academy trusts.

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Stephen Gough

Trustee

Steven leads the schools and academies team at KPMG. He is a qualified accountant and expert in finance and financial management. He has worked with a wide range of Academy trusts, supporting them across a range of areas in their development, including strategy, financial management, due diligence, turnaround support and re-structuring.

He is also the Chairman of the Challenger Trust, which is a member of the Challenger Multi-academy Trust. He is passionate about improving social mobility through learning outside the classroom.

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Sara Attwood

Trustee

Sara was a head hunter in London for twenty years, specializing in consumer and finance Board Director appointments. She worked for Whitehead Mann and the Miles Partnership. Sara is now a JP in Kent, working with Magistrates in the Community presenting to schools. She was also a mentor for Kids Company, and is currently a Director of the Attwood Education Foundation.

Working within the Youth Justice system highlights the crucial role education plays in crime prevention; Sara firmly believes that our society and young people will be better supported if we place higher value on education.

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Frank Green

Trustee

Frank’s career in education spans forty-four years. He has a considerable reputation as a leading educational innovator, which was recognised in 2013 when he was appointed Commander of the British Empire for his services to education. He was National Schools Commissioner between 2013-2016, overseeing all Academies and FreeSchools. Frank established the Regional School Commissioners structure as part of the mechanism to co-ordinate and oversee the development of the academies programme.

He is currently Chairman of Shoreline Enterprises , Vice Chairman of Leigh Academies Trust, Chairman of George Salter Academy and a Director of Challenger Trust.

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Chris Weavers

Trustee

Chris Weavers works for the national teachers’ union (NASUWT), where he leads the union’s political engagement as well as relationships with a wide range of external organisations, both domestically and internationally. He previously worked for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, advising and supporting the local authority’s majority group on policy and political matters. Outside work, Chris is very active in the governance of public bodies, addressing issues including education, crime and housing. He is also a trustee of a number of local and national charities.

T4 trust, board members, the team, school, board, group

Julie Pierzchniack

Director Of Safeguarding

Julie has a wealth of experience supporting the welfare of children and families as a social worker and director of safeguarding. She was head of care in a Custodial facility, the Medway Secure Centre. It was here that she met Claire Lillis, an encounter which led to her consulting at Ian Mikardo school. Here, she set up a welfare department, recognising that working closely with parents and supporting them was crucial to the welfare of the boys at the school.

As Director of Safeguarding in the trust, Julie believes that addressing social and emotional needs are key to academic progress.

Ricky Barton

Interim CFO.

BA (Hons) Accounting ∧ Finance, BTEC LEVEL 7 – Advanced Professional Certificate in School Financial and Operational Leadership (CIPFA) and currently working towards ACCA. Over 14 years’ experience in finance, including banking, corporate finance, and, most recently, consulting on school finance and training on PS Financials and SBS Online Budget Software. Ricky is also the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Lime Trust.

Jesse White

Interim AO.

Having trained with Deloitte, Jesse completed his chartered accountancy qualifications before transitioning to the education sector where, amongst other successes, he led the financial turnaround of a Trust with a £1.5m deficit back in to surplus (whilst ensuring that the financial changes did not come at the detriment to students education).

Jesse is driven to ensure that the organisational functions of academy trusts are run successfully and efficiently, in order to maximise the resources available to our students and support our fantastic education team, led by Aaron and Julie. Jesse is eager for the Trust to build on its previous achievements and deliver further progress and strong outcomes for all our students.

Jesse joined T4 in September 2021 as the Interim CEO and Accounting Officer and he splits his time as CEO of T4 Trust with being the Finance Director of the Attwood Academies, a successful single academy trust in East Sussex.

Trustee Members


Tom Attwood

William Casement

Belinda Hayes

Jo Zendel

Katie Lancaster

What We Do

T4 is a trust committed to supporting the developmental and specialist needs of young people who have struggled to fit into the mould of mainstream education. We believe that every young person should have access to an education that respects their unique circumstance and individual needs. Our educators inspire using refreshingly innovative, creative, and unconventional approaches towards teaching. We embrace difference, build skills, and empower vulnerable young people to shape their own futures. ▾

Our Core Principles
Creative, relevant curriculum

Our specialist staff engage students by discovering what it is that motivates each individual. We are able to offer a higher teacher to student ratio than the mainstream, facilitating a more flexible and bespoke method of teaching. Education can and should be playful, fun, and unfettered. We champion creativity and imagination, whilst ensuring students are learning skills and exploring ideas that will equip them for building their futures.

Teaching mutual respect

The welfare of our students depends upon collective understanding, compassion, tolerance and inclusion. We believe that conflict and inappropriate behaviour ought to be resolved via positive verbal means rather than coercion. We do not restrain, we mediate. By facilitating impartial open discussions, our members of staff teach mutual respect by example, helping students learn the importance of communication and self-control.

Supporting staff

The young people who stand to benefit the most from our unconventional methods are often the hardest to reach. Our staff achieve outstanding results in this complicated landscape. We are committed to supporting them in the remarkable work that they do by providing a dedicated staff psychotherapist and reflective space.

Our community

We believe that learning is a life long process and this is reflected in our management style. As a trust, we are cultivating a community of educators, students, and academies. We share the same core principles and objectives as one another, whilst respecting the different approaches of educators and academies. We aim to support and learn from one another in working to achieve our common vision.

What We Want To Do

We want to build a network of academies that are exceptional educators of hard to reach young people. We will support those who join our community, drawing on a wealth of experience from the private and public sector. We will work under a shared belief that no student is too tough to teach. ▾

Our Vision
Champion creativity, entrepreneurial skills and employability
Reinvigorate, evolve, and share methods of education
Actively engage and support parents and care givers
Take a holistic approach to meeting the needs of young people
Grow an exceptional community of 20+ academies
Draw on a wealth of experience from the private and public sector

What They Say:

“I can’t remember when I was last in such a creative and dynamic learning environment.”

Grahame Price, Head Teacher, St Pauls’ Way Trust School

"It’s a brilliant school. They’ve got the right staff, they get to know the kids really well and they get to know us as families. They know us as people. I feel supported as a parent."

Donna, parent

"The ethos is life-enchancing instead of punitive."

Penny Woolcock, film maker