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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 heads of school to account for the educational performance of each academy, and

Making sure the finances are all in order and everything we do offers the best possible value for money.

Like the Board of Directors of any big organisation, the trustees of The Shared Learning 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, includimg 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.

The Shared Learning Trust Trustees are:

Jennese Alozie

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Jennese Alozie is the CEO of the University of Chichester Academy Trust. The Trust consists of 15 schools, secondary and primary, over 3 geographical areas: Portsmouth, Hampshire and West Sussex. Jennese was appointed as CEO in April 2022 and prior to this she was part of a strong Executive team within STEP Academy Trust for 6 years. Until recently, she was a Lead Inspector for Ofsted and has over 25 years of education sector experience. Jennese is passionate about curriculum, pedagogy, strong and effective partnerships and leadership. Her drive is seated within a deep understanding of social justice: financial and educational. Empowering learners to realise the power of the education they receive and the society they help shape are what keep her smiling and centred.

Cathy Barr - CEO


Cathy is CEO of The Shared Learning Trust (TSLT), a multi-academy trust currently comprising five schools with collectively over 4,000 pupils across Luton and Central Bedfordshire. She has been a qualified teacher for 29 years, and has been a senior leader in education since 2003. Although her first year of teaching was in Brisbane, Australia, most subsequent posts have been in and around London. Prior to becoming CEO, Cathy was Principal of The Stockwood Park Academy for 5 years (2011-2016) winning Partners in Excellence (PiXL) and Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) awards for pupil achievement and progress in 2013. In that year, the academy was also named the third most improved school in the country. Trust CEO since 2016, Cathy has established strong links with local authorities and local partners resulting in excellent opportunities for staff and pupils alike. The Shared Learning Trust gained sponsor status in March 2021.

Cathy is health and safety trustee for TSLT, a member of Central Bedfordshire College's standards committee and a trustee of HertsCam - a teacher-led organisation providing non-positional CPD opportunities for staff.

Julia Blackman

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Julia is an entrepreneur, business manager and qualified solicitor who has founded and grown a successful structured finance business within the film industry and has mentored and invested in a variety of other businesses. Julia has many years of experience of strategy, risk management and innovation.

For five years Julia was Chair of Governors of a secondary stand-alone academy trust in London with a diverse ethnic mix, a wide range of abilities and a large proportion of under-privileged students. Julia planned and implemented a strategy, and oversaw the recruitment of a new board and a significant change in governance style and school culture and attitude, that produced rapid improvements in all areas of the school including outstanding student progress. Julia has a particular interest in mathematics and recently completed a post-graduate course in Mathematics Education.

Julia has a huge drive and motivation to ensure that people are treated fairly, discrimination is reduced and to providing genuinely equal opportunities so that everyone has similar life chances.

Julia lives in London with her family and dog.

Ash Danga

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Ash is a leader in the digital and technology domain, having worked over the last 20 years in the financial services and health industries. He has worked in a number of different countries, leading huge scale global programmes accountable for significant budgets and large global teams. He is passionate about digital design and the positive impact technology can have on society. An active member in his community supporting causes to help young people through various initiatives. He lives in London with his wife and two young children and is a keen runner and cyclist training to do triathlon.

Deborah Harris-Ugbomah

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Deborah is a chartered accountant and a senior executive with significant experience in strategy and change management, strategic development and delivery. Having trained as an auditor with PwC, her career has been in corporate finance, investment banking and financial services. Deborah is a director of consultancy, DHUA Ltd and a director of venture capital service, MEH Ventures LLP. Deborah is also the Audit Committee Chairman and a Non-Executive Director with Moorfields Eye Hospital, a specialist NHS ophthalmology hospital with world-leading education, research and commercial services and is a non-executive member of the Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai .

Deborah also chairs the Association of Audit and Financial Non-Executive Directors (AFNED), holds several non-executive roles at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and is the first female elected as chairperson of its non-executive directors’ group. Deborah was recently appointed to the main committee of the London Society of Chartered Accountants. With an interest in the third sector, Deborah became the Treasurer and Audit Committee Chair for Action for Blind People, one of the charities within the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) group. Deborah is also a member of both the audit committee and treasury committee of Notting Hill Housing Trust.

Anu Jagota

Coming soon...

Ayaz Malik


Ayaz Malik is a Financial Analyst at Bedford Borough Council with over six years’ experience in Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). He holds a BA Honours degree in Economics and is a qualified chartered accountant with Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). Ayaz grew up in Luton and as such has a very strong attachment to the area and brings to the role, significant experience of working with academies and local authorities.

Ayaz personal aim is to assist the Trust in continuing to achieve its objectives in the most efficient and effective manner.

Sarah Mortimer - Vice Chair


Sarah is the Vice Principal of Central Bedfordshire College, a Further Education College serving Central Bedfordshire and Luton. Sarah has held senior management positions across the education sector for over 16 years; she is also a qualified Teacher. Sarah has lived in the area for over 30 years and her two daughters went to school here, grew up here and now work in the area to in education and children’s social care. Prior to the education sector, Sarah worked in senior management posts within the private sector, where she undertook responsibility for business growth, for sales, for marketing and for staff development. Sarah is committed to helping and enabling people to get the best out of themselves and she is passionate about learning and entrepreneurial skills development.

Sarah comes to the board as the Local Safeguarding Lead for the College as well as particular skills in partnerships development and strategic growth

Anees Razzak

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Anees is a banking professional, managing a portfolio of financial institutions across the EMEA region. He is an experienced credit & sovereign risk analyst, with a good understanding of financial regulation and enterprise risk management, across a variety of jurisdictions. 

Anees has completed a Master's in Finance (IE Business School Madrid), MSc Islamic Finance (Aston Business School), and BSc Economics (Brunel University). He was born and raised in the UK, and has recently returned, after having spent two years working in the Middle East. 

Outside work, Anees is a keen sportsman, and is an ECB qualified coach - currently working with Cricket East in this capacity. He has an attachment to the area and has previously worked as a governor at a local high school. Having spent his entire career within financial services, Anees will look to bring a different set of skills and experience to the Board. 

David Sheridan – Chair

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David is Chairman of Luton based Europa Components plc (2015-present, MD 1990-2015). Europa is a significant supplier of electrical control components within the UK. David is also Chairman of Veruth Holdings Ltd, a long term equity investor in scale-up SMEs. In addition, David is on several boards including the main board of SEMLEP (South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership) and also on their Growth Hub Committee particularly to further scale-ups. David is a BSc(Eng) followed by becoming a Chartered Accountant in 1978. He spent 20+ years on national and local committees of ICAEW and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Chartered Accountants in Business for 3 years on the Council. David has been Chair of TSLT since 2015.