Trust Membership

Trustees and Members 2021/22


 Sharon Carlyon, CFO and COO

Sharon has extensive experience in School Business Leadership having worked in education since 2006.  Previously, she had a career in banking and finance.
She is a fellow of the Institute of School Business Leaders. Being recognised as an ISBL Fellow demonstrates leadership within the profession, having achieved a high level of professional expertise and shows commitment to developing knowledge and skills to meet the ever-changing demands of the education sector. In 2015 Sharon was the winner of a National Award. 
In 2010, Sharon was instrumental in setting up the Hertfordshire Association of School Business Managers which, until 2017 she chaired. This association provides regional networking opportunities and support to its school business management members in Hertfordshire.
Sharon works as a business consultant for Herts for Learning where she is part of a team supporting primary schools across Hertfordshire. She is also an accredited School Resources Management Advisor for the Department for Education supporting schools on strategic financial planning and financial efficiency. 
Sharon is a passionate advocate of the profession. She works closely with other school leaders to drive business excellence in the running of efficient schools to ultimately improve educational experiences and outcomes for all children.

 James Roach, CEO

James has extensive experience in education, working in Watford schools since 2001. His previous roles include two primary headships in Hertfordshire where he demonstrated a track record of rapid school improvement. He led the academisation of Laurance Haines in November 2016 and set up the Inclusive Multi Academy Trust, which includes a further two schools – Beechfield  and Cherry Tree.  James is a keen advocate for disadvantaged children and established the Trust in order to ensure children in the most disadvantaged areas of Watford are given the same life chances as their peers throughout Hertfordshire. James’ passion for curriculum development with a family centred, nurturing approach to learning is central to the Trust ethos. James currently works as a Hertfordshire Improvement Partner where he is part of a team monitoring and supporting primary schools across Hertfordshire.

Elizabeth Leeman, Trustee and Chair, 15/12/20 - 14/12/24 

Liz has worked in leadership roles including Legal & HR Director of a sport and leisure business,  Company Secretary of retail businesses and a commercial property negotiator for a large firm of Chartered Surveyors. As an HR consultant she advised clients including well known retailers, broadcasters and government agencies.  More recently she was the Business Manager in a local school and headed the business management team at a leading education service provider.  Liz has an MBA (Cranfield), she is a qualified Chartered Secretary and Governance Professional, HR professional and School Business Leader.
Supporting disadvantaged young people to improve their life chances is important to Liz who previously volunteered as a Community Youth Offender Panel Member and is now a Trustee and Chair of Inclusive Multi Academy Trust, a partnership of local schools determined to provide the best opportunities for all our pupils to do and be their best.

Claire Edwards, Trustee, 18/05/21 - 17/05/25

Following 12 years at KPMG, lastly as a senior manager in Public Sector Audit and Consulting, I became a school business leader in 2007. I have worked in primary, special and secondary schools and as a senior consultant for Herts for Learning.  I am currently the Business Manager of a community High School in North West London.  I am passionate about giving all pupils the best opportunities and am delighted to support the Inclusive Multi Academy Trust community, as a Trustee.

Andrew Chappell, Trustee and Vice Chair, 11/09/2021 - 10/09/2025 

Andrew is Watford born and bred, and grew up in the Callowland and Leggatts locality where he still lives today. His daughter attended Cherry Tree School where he was Chair of Governors for 12 years and worked with the school to achieve and maintain a good OFSTED rating. The move to the Trustee Board is a continuation in that journey of how best to help local children get the education they deserve. A Fellow of the ICAEW Andrew has thirty years experience of public sector auditing (external, internal and Value for Money Arrangements)  in the local government, health and education sectors with both the Audit Commission and KPMG.  As well as a financial background he brings extensive experience of corporate governance and related procedures to the Trust Board. His current day job involves managing the provision of external audit to local authorities. Despite this background his interest is in the provision of a curriculum that is exciting, challenging and meets the differing needs of our children. Andrew is committed to the local community and is involved with a number of projects through local churches as well as the Watford Talking Newspaper.

 Daniel Finill, Trustee, 04/07/19 - 03/07/23

Dan is a local education professional who has spent the majority of his career working in the Watford area. He has spent the last 12 years working in mainstream and specialist education and has experience of managing the successful transition of primary school pupils into secondary school. Dan also has experience of managing a pastoral support team in a large secondary school and has been a Designated Senior Person for Safeguarding for 6 years. In his current role, Dan teaches at a local pupil referral unit (PRU) and is responsible for managing Alternative Provision for South West Herts. As well as an education background, Dan has served as a Special Constable within Hertfordshire Constabulary and is a lifelong Watford supporter. 

 Efuru Obua, Trustee, 04/07/19 - 03/07/23

Efuru is a dually qualified Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales and the Supreme Court of Nigeria, with 31 years combined post qualification experience. She offers a broad skill set in the areas of Contracts, Residential Property, Litigation, Compliance and Risk Management, Legal Research and Analysis.

Efuru has been in private practice all through her career and worked in various law firms, before she started her own practice in the UK in 2003 to become the managing partner. As a partner and business owner, she made strategic decisions to drive growth and development, dealing with regulatory bodies, various government agencies and the Courts, adopting best practice and achieving the best possible outcomes for all her clients, who continue to return. In 2010, Efuru resigned from the partnership to pursue a second Masters degree in Petroleum Law and Policy from the University of Dundee in Scotland and is currently a Consultant Solicitor at a North London Firm. She also covers work as a locum solicitor at associate and partner level dealing with various aspects of residential property transactions.

Efuru is passionate about community work and was part of the team that organised the first ever South East and South South of Nigeria Investment Forum in the UK in June 2018, which created a platform for potential investors and businesses in Nigeria seeking partnerships. The project translated into a UK based company known as SSENIL UK, where Efuru is an Executive Director, helping to set the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the company and participating in the day to day running of the company.

Efuru is also the Company Secretary of another UK community company, where she ensures compliance with legal, regulatory and statutory compliance, dealing with Companies House and HMRC as well as providing guidance and advice.

Efuru is passionate about young people and seeks to give back, by helping the next generation on their way up to improve their life’s chances and attain their full potential. She would like to help raise the calibre of school leavers, especially young people from deprived backgrounds. Efuru is keen to see an enhanced partnership between parents and the school, where parents play a greater role in the social, academic and mental development of children and are supported on parenting skills, to enable them to give children the framework to believe in themselves, be high achievers and be the best they can be.

Efuru’s hobbies include reading, walking, dancing, cooking and gardening.


Elizabeth Redman, Trustee and Chair of Resources Committee , 04/07/19 - 03/07/23

Liz has worked in the education sector since 1991.  Previous to that she worked for one of the large high street banks. She qualified as a school business manager in 2012 and was a member of the senior leadership team at a school that moved from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘outstanding in all areas’.  The experience of working within a team that demonstrated rapid improvement across the whole school has impacted on her approach to school business leadership and the commitment needed to improve outcomes for all children.
Liz has also worked as a school business management consultant at Herts for Learning (HfL).  The consultancy support involved induction support to new business managers, recruitment services to schools and several long term roles working at primary, special and secondary level. Her role within HfL also involved organising communications within the school business profession and supporting networking groups.  She also served on the committee of Herts Association of School Business Managers. She has working experience of schools that have recently federated and the challenges and benefits that this type of collaboration can bring.  Liz is a strong believer that sharing skills, collaboration and ensuring a consistent approach to both learning and teaching is hugely beneficial  in providing the best experience for pupils. Liz is passionate that all children have the best opportunities provided to them during their time in school.  She believes strongly that  everyone involved in the education process has a part to play in providing the best environment for children to achieve feel happy and safe.

Natalie Dalvarez, Member, 01/09/20 - 31/08/2025

Natalie has worked as a Business Leader in the Education sector for over 10 years and is currently the Deputy CEO of a Diocesan Multi Academy Trust based in Bedfordshire.  She is a Fellow of the Institute of School Business Leaders and has previously worked for both the Council of British International Schools, as their Director of Operations, and Herts for Learning (the UK’s largest Schools’ Company), as the Deputy Director for Business Services.  Natalie has significant experience of school governance and has acted as both the Chair of the Curriculum Committee and the Chair of Governors for schools within Hertfordshire.

 Jonathan Hartley, Member, 05/10/16 - 04/10/24


 Nick Martin, Member, 10/12/18 - 09/12/22


 Jill Steward, Member, 05/10/16 - 4/10/24


 Emma Lad, Trust Clerk