Board of Trustees

Dean Ashton

Dean was part of the small team that established REAch2 Academy Trust along with its founder, Sir Steve Lancashire in 2012. Dean also established the business model for the launch of Reach4 Academy in 2015. Dean began his career as a secondary science teacher before taking roles in school management and leadership. He then moved into Local Education Authority leadership as Deputy Director of Education before becoming a Corporate Director of Children’s Services. Dean has held several Trusteeships and Directorships including: Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Youth Justice Board; Chair of the South West Grid for Learning; Chair of the Cornwall Children and Young People’s Partnership; and Chair of the Cornwall Local Safeguarding Children Board. Dean has also led an educational consultancy. Dean has been the Director of Operations for REAch2 and Reach4 Academy Trusts.

Marcus Agius

Marcus has significant corporate governance experience in the private and public sectors. He is currently Chairman of PA Consulting and Chairman of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He was previously Chairman of Barclays, BAA and Lazard in London. He was the first Senior Independent Director on the Executive Board of the BBC and was Chairman of the British Bankers Association.

Lady Penny Marland

Lady Penny Marland is a former High Sheriff of Wiltshire. Lady Marland is a practicing Probation Officer. She is also a trustee of the Chalke Valley History Trust and has been a governor of three schools.

Gabby Beaver

Gabby is a senior executive with more than 30 years of experience across a multitude of disciplines including strategic transformation, programme delivery, governance and control, risk and technology. Gabby was the Chief Administrative Officer for Barclay Bank PLC reporting directly to the Group Chief Operating Officer. Gabby role at Barclays was to support the Group COO in the implementation of structural reform and formulation of group strategy. Gabby’s previous roles have included Chief of Staff, Chief Internal Auditor and Global Head of IT, Change and Third Parties Audit at Barclays. Gabby was also Global Audit Manager Asset Management with JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Adrian Gunn

Adrian is the former CEO for Matchtech Group plc. which he led from 2009 to 2015, including AIM listing in 2006. Adrian is: a Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals; a Council Member of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC); a CBI Regional Council Member for the South East; and sat on the CBI's Employment & Skills board.

Anne Stevens

Anne is an award winning, commercial MBA who has operated in leading multi-national companies. Recognised for outstanding leadership in delivering the people agenda in line with business strategy and the nurturing and developing of talent with a passion for the progression and advancement of women. Anne is now building a portfolio career using her strong business, consulting and governance skills. Experienced as a chair and a director at board level. She is a recent winner of a 'Global Inspirational Woman' award at the Women’s International Networking Conference in Rome. Anne has held global, international and national HR executive roles within IBM, CSC, NCH, CMC Markets & Rio Tinto.


Mark Papworth

Mark is currently Co-Founder and Non-Executive Director of PrOXisense, an Oxford University technology spinout company. He is an experienced executive who has worked as a CEO on both PLC and Private boards operating in the Energy Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Aerospace and Defence markets. During his career he has worked for a number of companies including Rolls-Royce, Wood Group, Alstom and Chemring.

Sue Inglish

Sue was Head of Political Programmes at the BBC and a Member of the BBC News Board. An award winning national journalist, Sue chaired the negotiations between the broadcasters and political parties which resulted in the first Prime Ministerial election debates. Sue is also chair of the International News Safety Institute.

Dr. Chris Gentle

Chris established and led the Research and Policy Team for Europe, Middle East and Africa’ as a Managing Partner at Deloitte. He also led the Deloitte relationship with Bank of America Merrill Lynch through the financial crisis. In addition he has held senior positions at KPMG, WPP and the European Commission. Chris is an advisor at the highest levels of Business and Government. In Government he has advised the UK Prime Minister and the EU President on fashioning strategies to secure stakeholder engagement and secure lasting impact. Chris has also advised the United Nations and World Trade Organisation on jobs and growth. He was a board director at a national financial services organisation before his career in Big 4 firms. He is an author of two books he has written for the Financial Times, the Guardian and the Wall Street Journal. He teaches at Hult International Business School.

Bronwen Lacey

Bronwen has forty years of experience in education leadership and governance. She has experience as a Board executive and non-executive. Bronwen was the founding Director of Education for Plymouth City Council and later its Director of Children’s Services. A former Director and Chair of the South West Grid for Learning and the lead for the Sector Led Improvement Programme for the South West. She currently acts as a coach and mentor for education Chief Officers around the country, commissioned by the DfE and ‘Virtual Staff College’.

Alan Newton

Alan Newton has over 35 years experience with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. His roles within the firm included leadership of the London and Global Finance Practices, membership of the Practice Committee, the global executive responsible for key investment decisions in the business worldwide and elected membership of the Partnership Council, the global supervisory body having overall strategic responsibility for the firm. His practice involved advising a wide range of public and private sector institutions, banks and companies both in the UK and internationally, including the Bank of England, which he advised on various funding operations for the UK Government and on a number of bank rescues and restructurings during the financial crisis. He is a Governor of the University for the Creative Arts and also sits on its Audit and Risk Committee and a non-executive director of Belmont Green Finance Limited a private equity backed start-up mortgage lender.

01752 987 060

Reach South Academy Trust

c/o UTC Plymouth

Park Avenue




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Reach South Academy Trust is an exempt charity in England and Wales. Company number: 10151730