Board Of Trustees

Mr Mark Wilkes – Chair of Trustees

A Border Force Officer with team leader experience. An extensive knowledge of safeguarding and security. Experience of working within and making recommendations for amendments to, risk assessments in all Border Force control areas. A school governor with extensive experience as chair of a finance committee.  7 years as chair of governors of the most improved school in the country and through Ofsted and SIAMs inspections that saw the school move from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’; a proven track record in leading quality challenge for Headteachers and senior leaders. 

Mrs Janet Taylor – Chief Executive Officer

Whilst a teacher, recognised as an Outstanding classroom practitioner, an Advance Skills Teacher, seconded to the teacher training programme at Canterbury Christ Church University. 13 years as a school leader; part of a team setting up a new school from two closing ones, establishing Ofsted grades of ‘Good’; leading school improvement that led to inspections graded improving from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’. As a Headteacher, recognised for leading the most improved school in the country in 2010. A proven track record in school improvement by leading outreach programmes and providing support for 4 local schools that improved grades from R.I. to Good. Setting up and leading a Multi Academy Trust that is focused on school improvement and successfully bidding for a new Free School.

Mr Michael Smith – Trustee

A Self-employed Educational Consultant working as a school improvement partner with two local authorities and a trained Ofsted team inspector. An experienced leader for Governor Training in all areas with a particular focus and strength on finance and budget preparation and monitoring. Prior to consultancy work, extensive Headship experience of large junior schools in Kent with a proven track record in school improvement - rapidly improving two under-performing schools so that results exceeded National averages.

Reverend Anne Bennett - Trustee

Currently incumbent of the Church of the Ascension in Blackheath and also Holy Trinity Centre in Deptford. This involves inner-city ministry to areas of significant deprivation as well as the middle-class areas of Blackheath. Previous Trustee experience of the Key Project, a young people’s homelessness charity in Tyneside and as a foundation governor providing challenge that led to Outstanding judgements in both Ofsted and SIAMs inspections. Previous employment working for Sony UK Ltd as a senior manager provides business and finance experience to the Board of Trustees. Training includes a MBA (Masters of Business Administration); where Risk Assessment formed part of the PRINCE2 certified project and programme management work.

Dr Katharine Bradley - Trustee

A senior lecturer who held a permanent, full-time faculty post in the School of Social Policy, Sociology & Social Research at the University of Kent from October 2007 before being promoted to Senior Lecturer in October 2013.  In addition to teaching and research, has undertaken considerable administration/managerial roles including running annual admissions processes for two undergraduate programmes and programme management.  Currently Deputy Head of School (Medway campus) and Medway Academic Lead, which involves line management of School academic colleagues, strategic development of programmes, and resource management.

Mrs Brenda Wood - Trustee

A senior lecturer in mathematics and teacher training at The University of Greenwich with previous experience of teaching at secondary and primary level; senior leadership at primary level and acting Headteacher for 4 years leading through Ofsted inspections where leadership was praised and school improvement identified as a strength. Mrs Wood brings significant experience of learning beyond the primary school sector and provides a depth of knowledge of mentorship for succession planning.

Ms Harriet Thorneloe - Trustee

A partner in Thorneloe & Co firm of solicitors since 2007. The firm conducts all non-litigious work including residential and commercial conveyancing and "private client" work such as wills, trusts, estate administration (probate) and Court Protection applications and Lasting Powers of Attorney. A member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Ms Thorneloe has current experience of the role of trustee of the Honywood and Douglas Charity who own and manage the alms-houses in Lenham, Kent.

Mr Edward Gardiner - Trustee

As Finance Director at Gap Europe, Mr Gardiner is a highly- commercial, result-focused finance professional with a solid understanding of global fashion retail markets. He will be able to play a key role in formulating and implementing the Trust's strategic agenda with a track record of implementing strong financial controls and sound decision making. Mr Gardiner is a strong leader who develops high performing teams.

Mrs Janette Perry – Clerk

An experienced clerk with two local schools. Janette keeps up to date with all requirements and legislation around governance at local and academy levels offering points of reference and guidance at all meetings that she is involved with. Minutes are always of the highest standards showing the high levels of challenge required to support both schools and the Trust. 


Term of Office


Appointed by


Declaration of Interest

Dr Kate Bradley (Vice-Chair)

19.09.20 - 18.09.24



Mr Edward Gardiner

01.09.18 - 31.08.22


Amazon - Head of Finance; 01.07.20 -
GAP UK Ltd - Finance Director until 1.7.20

Mr Michael Smith

06.12.16 – 05.12.20


KCC SFS - Consultant; 01.09.2010 - 01.09.2020
Four Marks CE Primary - Governor; 01.01.2019 -
Winchester DBE - Member; 01.12.2018 -
Medstead Parish Council - Member; 01.05.2019 -

Mrs Sarah Swain

01.10.20 - 30.09.24



Mrs Jan Taylor (CEO)

01.12.16 -



Ms Harriet Thorneloe

22.09.17 – 21.09.21


 Hallett & Co Solicitors -Partner; 01.05.2018 -

Mr Mark Wilkes (Chair)

19.09.20 – 18.09.24



Mrs Brenda Wood

01.06.17 – 31.05.21



Mrs Janette Perry (Clerk)

 01.12.16 -


Business Manager - Pilgrim Trust
Clerk - Pilgrim CE Primary School
Clerk - SMATT CE Primary School
Clerk - St Marks CE Primary School 

Rev'd Anne Bennett

19.09.16 - 18.09.20




Committees - 2020-21                                                                                                          

Finance  Standards  The Pilgrim School LGB
Dr Kate Bradley (Chair) Mr Michael Smith (Chair)
Ms Harriet Thorneloe (Vice) Mrs Jan Taylor
Mr Edward Gardiner Mr Mark Wilkes St Margaret's at Troy Town LGB
Mrs Jan Taylor Mrs Brenda Wood
+ Representation from LGBs
St Mark's School LGB