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WSAT Leadership Team

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Paul Rushforth is the Chief Executive Officer of the Trust.

He has been a Headteacher of four schools over the last 21 years and is currently a National Leader of Education as his leadership was judged outstanding by Ofsted. Paul has worked as an additional inspector and lead inspector for 11 years and been based in West Somerset for the past 15 years. He works with a number of partner Trusts to review primary and secondary provision across the South West

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Barbara O'Keefe is the Chief Operations Officer for the Trust.

Barbara has worked in school business management for over thirty years, working in schools and running her own management consultancy. Barbara and the Trust Central Services Team are keen to ensure that our children and staff work in the best possible learning environment and have the resources they require to maximise learning opportunities and raise educational standards across all of our schools and nurseries.


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Kim Hartley is the Executive SENDCo for the West Somerset Academies Trust and West Somerset Opportunity Area.

Kim's career in education began 15 years ago and she has taught children from Key Stage 2 through to Key Stage 5. Kim is both an experienced teacher and leader, particularly within Secondary English departments and has a real passion for ensuring all children are given opportunities to thrive. In her current role, Kim will be responsible for training the area's teaching assistants, ensuring that the needs of our SEND children are being met as well as working closely with the SENDCo managers within each setting.

Judy Shore is the WSAT HR and Payroll Manager.

Judy has worked in schools for the last 27 years, primarily at a Junior School in Highbridge and then for Minehead Middle and now for WSAT. She previously trained as a Nurse and qualified as an SRN and also worked as a Manager of a large distribution depot.  Judy loves her  job and is extremely experienced in all aspects of HR management, and associated practices. Currently she is running the payroll system for the WSAT.  She is married with 4 children and 8 grand children.



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Janine Donovan is the Director of Early Years and Head of St Michael's C of E First School

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Nigel Johnson is Director of Professional Development and Head of St Peter's C of E First School

Nigel himself has developed his own skills through professional development such as completing NPQH and the NASENCo Award. He has responsibility within the Trust to develop the professional development opportunities available to teachers including new staff to the trust.