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Meet our Chief Executive (CEO)

Jeannie Haigh 










Jeannie had been the headteacher of two schools prior to taking up the post of Chief Executive Officer of Willows Academy Trust. She has also worked for the local authority as an Associate School Improvement advisor and conducts inspections of schools for Ofsted.

Jeannie has worked closely with other schools as a Local Leader in Education, coaching and mentoring and supporting school improvement within the local area. She has also worked with the education authority in Cape Town in South Africa as part of the International Leadership programme, supporting school leaders to develop a creative and innovative curriculum and assessment procedures.

Meet our Board of Directors (Trustees)


Willows Academy Trust is governed by a Board of Directors (the trustees) who are accountable to the Department for Education (DfE) and have overall responsibility and ultimate decision making authority for all the work of the trust, including the establishing and running of the academies operated by the trust.

Samantha Dennis - Chair of Board of Directors and Member

Samantha has worked in schools since 2000 as a teacher, deputy head teacher and head teacher and currently works in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham as Deputy DDE. She has a sound understanding of schools and academies, including analysing data, leading teams and academy finance. Samantha has been part of a steering group for two new Multi Academy Trusts, including Willows Academy Trust, and currently liaises with DfE, Church of England and Nottingham Church led MAT as part of the conversion process. She has a good track record of school improvement, moving her own school from satisfactory to good in one inspection cycle, and now provides support, quality assurance and accountability for primary and secondary schools in the diocese. Samantha is fully conversant in safeguarding and child protection in schools and up to date with all developments in the education sector. She is an officer on the Southwell and Nottingham Board of Education and the Southwell and Nottingham Multi Academy Trust. Until joining Willows' Trustees she had been a governor for 15 years.



Kathryn Moran

Kathryn works as a Barrister specialising in Family Law at a set in Nottingham. She specialises in financial work and private children law but has a particular passion for care work. Along with a qualifying law degree, Kathryn has a Masters (LLM) in Human Rights Law from the University of Nottingham before undertaking the bar course and being called to the bar in 2015. Kathryn has lived in the Long Eaton and Sawley area for most of her life and being a member of All Saint’s Sawley saw being a director of the Willows Academy Trust as a way to give back and serve her community.


Andy Page

Andy is a Principal Engineer and Technical Specialist at Rolls-Royce and a director at Willows Academy Trust. He is a Chartered Electronics Engineer who has had many different roles in his 20+ years with Rolls-Royce, ranging from design, project management, leadership, research, front line customer support, subcontractor management and process improvement to his current role in governance. He has broad technical and practical knowledge and skills. Andy is also a parent governor at Shardlow Primary Academy.


Georgina Arnett

Georgina has been a Willows Academy Trust Director since December 2016 and was a Sawley Junior School Community Governor from May 2015 to spring 2018.

Georgina is a Chartered Accountant with 13 years’ experience including the audit of academy schools. She currently works as a Financial Controller for a small company based in Nottingham. She is also an ex-pupil of Sawley Junior School and chose to join the Academy to give something back to a place she cares about using the skills she has acquired in her professional career.


Janine Prince 

Janine is a Human Resources Manager who works for SME based in Ilkeston, where she is a member of the executive management team. She has worked in the capacity of an HR Generalist for over 12 years, covering all aspects of HR including employment law, performance management and TUPE. As a parent of two children, one of whom is SEN, she is keen to utilise her skills and experience within the education system. To her it is important to ensure that all pupils are fully supported in order to achieve their maximum potential, whilst a pupil of the Trust.

Andy Taylor



Andy has lived in the area since graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2003. He has worked in Financial Services since then in a variety of roles across analytics, project delivery, business development and a range of marketing disciplines.

He is currently a senior manager within a marketing department, responsible for data analysis and market research. He lives in Sawley with his wife and two boys who attend schools within the trust. He joined the board in May 2019 as he was keen to find way to contribute to the success of the academy trust. 

Meet our Members

Our members are the guardians of the governance of the trust and have the role of ensuring that the trust's charitable object is carried out. They are responsible for agreeing the trust's articles of association and ensuring that the directors are fulfilling their governance role.

Samantha Dennis - Chair of Board of Directors and Trust Member


Graeme Blair

Graeme is a technical project manager at Rolls Royce and is experienced in working to deadlines, budgets and analysing and interpreting data. Graeme’s children attended Shardlow Primary School and he has previously been a governor at Shardlow school.


Dr Pip Dean

Pip has worked for the NHS for over twenty years and is an efficiency project manager. She is experienced in handling large budgets, analysing data and delivering efficiency standards. Pip has previous experience of being a governor at a school in Toton.


Josephine Yates

Jo works as a lecturer and student support advisor at Nottingham University.  She has previously been a company director and owner of a training college.  Jo has an extensive understanding of company’s law, is experienced in setting and delivering projects to a budget, and analysing and interpreting data to meet targets.



Meet our Chief Finance Officer

Jake Richardson

Jake has been working in the Academy sector since 2013 and has worked in the accounts environment since 2008.  Jake started as a consultant working with the Willows Academy Trust part-time in 2015 and joined the team full-time as the Chief Financial Officer in November 2017.  He has worked with a number of Academy Trusts ranging from stand-alone academies to large 32 school Multi-Academy Trusts.  He became a fully qualified member of CIMA in 2015 and received his AAT qualification in 2012.

On a personal level Jake enjoys watching and playing football and travelling.

Find our attendance record and register of business interests here: