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Essa Foundation Academies Trust is a multi-academy trust – that means that a single trust is responsible for running a number of academies, in our case currently two.  The trust itself is made up of a group of members and trustees who take joint responsibility for making sure things run smoothly across all the academies.


The ‘members’ of Essa Foundation Academies Trust are a bit like the shareholders of any big company. They have the ultimate say over what the trust does, they can make changes to the trust’s constitution, which is known as the ‘Articles of Association’, and they have the power to appoint trustees.

The members of Essa Foundation Academies Trust are :


Yakub is a founding member of the Essa Foundation Trust.  Yakub is a qualified accountant and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton for services to the community.


Adam is the Managing Director of General Traffic, a motor vehicle parts, and accessories company.  He has considerable commercial, community, public services, and governance experience.


Ibrahim is a founding member of the Trust.  He has worked for a major pharmaceutical company for over 25 years.


While the members are like the shareholders of a company, the ‘trustees’ are more like Directors. They are responsible for three main areas of running the trust:

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Like the Board of Directors of any big organisation, the trustees of Essa Foundation Academies Trust pay particular attention to:

  • Setting the strategic direction for the Trust, alongside the Chief Executive
  • Making sure there is consistency in things like HR policy across the trust
  • Ensuring that the trust complies with all relevant laws, including charity law requirements and the same company law requirements that apply to all Directors.
  • Keeping a close eye on the executive team and the individual academy principals and holding them to account at all times through the Chief Executive.

While the members are like the shareholders of a company, the ‘trustees’ are more like Directors. They are responsible for three main areas of running the trust:

  • Setting the direction of the trust in terms of what it wants to achieve
  • Holding the Principals to account for the educational performance of each Academy
  • Making sure the finances are all in order and everything we do offers the best possible value for money.

The Trustees of Essa Foundation Academies Trust are :


Chair of the Board
Matthew Hackett

Matthew Hackett is an experienced Chartered Management Accountant who has over 8 years of experience in financial management and leadership, and has worked in various sectors of the economy including Property Development, Investment Management and Retail Pharmacy. Matthew is the Chair of the Board for the Essa Foundation Academies Trust.


Nigel John Whittle is a chartered accountant. He is the finance director of two large companies and runs his own chartered accountancy practice providing services to the private sector and to public bodies, including local government. Nigel is also the Chair of Essa Primary Academy LGB. He has been a primary school governor for over 10 years.

laura Williams has over 15 years leadership experience in the education sector, Laura is a school leadership coach and trainer working with SBLs, Headteachers and CEOs. She also hosts the School Business Leadership podcast. A former COO, CFO and School Business Manager with CIPD and specialist CIPFA qualifications, she is a school business leadership expert and champion.


Kate Longworth is a qualified solicitor specialising in the commercial property sector. Kate has also been a volunteer mentor for young people.


To view Trustee Register of Interests for 2023- 24  please click here.

To view Members Register of Interests for 2023-24 please click here.

To view Trustee attendance – Trust Board meetings please click here.

If you require any further information, please contact Stephanie Smith, Chief Financial Officer at

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