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WSAT Leadership Team

WSAT Leadership Team 2020-21

Robert Lakin - Chief Executive Officer

Robert is a successful and motivated leader, he has considerable leadership experience working in arrange of schools across the full age spectrum of 0 – 18 both within the UK and internationally.  


Robert has a comprehensive understanding of how to improve teaching and learning outcomes and firmly believes that pupils come first; the needs of pupils should be at the heart of all school improvement and as a result has high expectations to ensure rapid improvement.


Robert has also worked as a contracted Ofsted Inspector and has previously worked as an additional inspector for Tribal.



Trudy Danby - Chief Operations Officer


Trudy has been in school leadership for 15 years. Coming from a commercial background she has worked as a school business manager and finance manager before taking up her role. 



Barbara O'Keefe - Head of HR 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.




Mr Sebastien Crossley Director of SEND


Mr Crossley is our Director of  SEND. His role is to support the provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities across our Trust. He works closely with our team of school based SEND managers, SENDCOs and headteachers to ensure that our Teachers and Teaching Assistants have the right training to meet the needs of the children in our care. 



Mrs Emma Murch - Director of Early Years

Emma Murch  joined West Somerset Academies Trust in September 2019 as Director of Early Years. Emma was an early Years Teacher and Advisor before having her own family. In her role as Director of Early Years, Emma works with the Head Teachers and Early Years Teachers across West Somerset Academy Trust to create an outstanding curriculum that inspires children and meets their learning needs, to ensure they achieve their potential. In September 2021 she became Interim Headteacher of Old Cleeve C of E First School.