Mr Gary Gentle - Chair of Trustees

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Gary has been working in Primary education for the past 30 years. Having taught in three Local Authorities as well as four primary schools, Gary has built up an extensive background of experience both as a serving teacher and as a school leader. Gary has experience of working as a school governor in both Primary and Nursery Schools as well as serving on cross phase committees linked to School Sport and school leadership. Gary is a Director of ConnectEd, a Wolverhampton organisation with over 100 Schools, which serves to support school improvement. Alongside this, Gary is a Trustee of a local outdoor education centre and of a Bilston Church Charity organisation. Gary currently works in a local Wolverhampton Primary School where he has served as Head Teacher for the past 10 years. 

Appointed: 3rd May 2017

Mrs Gill Morris - Trustee (Chief Executive Officer)

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Gill started her career as an NQT in 1982 at Villiers Primary School, progressing to Deputy Head Teacher, achieving Outstanding Ofsted ratings during her tenure. Gill achieve NPQH in 2004 and progressed to Headship at Northwood Park Primary School later that year which at the time, was one of the poorest performing schools in Wolverhampton. The School quickly gained recognition as a ‘Good’ school and has remained so since. During this time, the School secured an excellent reputation within the City and has been oversubscribed for many years. Gill led the school through academisation in 2015 in order to gain more strategic direction and gained sponsor school status establishing a Multi Academy Trust in April 2015. Gill become a National Leader in Education (NLE) in 2017.

Appointed: 1st April 2016

Mrs Annette Wilkinson - Trustee

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Annette has over 20 years business management experience within primary and secondary schools, leading on a number of major renovation and new build projects as well as specific responsibilities of  finance, health and safety, human resources and facilities management. Annette is IOSH qualified and as a result, took on a new challenge in April 2018, working for Concept Education Services as the Business Development Manager. This new role consolidates Annette’s experience and involves supporting schools and MAT’s with their statutory compliance relating to buildings and site and visiting prospective schools/trusts to talk through and showcase our current service offer. She has a wealth of governance experience and is currently Health and Safety Governor for a Primary School in Walsall.

Appointed: 13th February 2019

Mr Keith Marshall - Trustee

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Keith currently works for a Fortune 500, global management consultancy and professional services firm as a Senior Finance Manager. Keith has a wealth of experience in managing large scale projects, both in the UK and Overseas. Keith has an abundance of skills and experience from business, finance and project management, governance and leadership, through to strategic planning, critical thinking, facilitation and stakeholder engagement. He is able to effectively provide challenge and is committed to the outcomes of pupils and the wider communities.

Appointed: 8th June 2018

Mrs Caroline Nightingale - Member & Trustee

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Caroline has over 30years experience in the NHS having started her career as a Biomedical Scientist, progressing through to managing Education and Training for the non-medical workforce at local level, to her current role in Leadership and OD at a regional level. Caroline brings with her a wealth of skills and experience from business, finance and project management, governance and education training delivery and management, through to strategic planning, critical thinking, facilitation and stakeholder engagement. Caroline is an experienced Governor, having been a Governor, Vice-Chair and Chair in schools in Wolverhampton for nearly 20 years. Caroline is passionate about education and supporting the children across our academy to SHINE and ensure that they receive high quality education throughout their primary years.

Appointed: Member - 16th September 2019

                 Trustee - 10th June 2020

Mr David Hassell - Trustee

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David is experienced in various aspects of advertising, marketing and communications gained working both in-house and in agencies, covering print buying and production management, the development and delivery of marketing strategies, social media, PR, exhibition organization and video animation. Having worked across many sectors within both the public and private sectors, he is highly experienced in the development of design briefs and specification outlines to third party suppliers ensuring cost effective solutions are provided whatever the requirement. As an Account Manager/Director, David has worked with large retail organizations, business to business, training and education based clients.


Voluntary experience includes sitting on the boards of Walsall Education Business Partnership, Walsall Education Challenge, the Special Educational Needs & Disability Board and Voluntary Centre Sandwell.

Appointed: 23rd January 2020

Ms Sunita Yardley-Patel - Trustee

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Sunita has worked in governance since 2012, starting in the HE sector and moving into primary and secondary education in 2015. Sunita is currently Head of Governance for Ormiston Academies Trust and in this role, holds Company Secretary responsibility and drives improvement through the continuous development of the Trust’s governance structures and training and management of key stakeholders. Further to school governance, Sunita has experience in admissions, exclusions, safeguarding and complaints. Sunita is a governor at Ormiston SWB Academy has joined SHINE Academies Trust Board as a member of the Wolverhampton community to support local schools and enhance the education of our young people.

Sunita is also still involved in HE and is currently Vice-Chair of Aston Students’ Union Trust Board and is a governance peer reviewer for the NUS.

Appointed: 4th February 2021

Ms Jenny Jackson - Trustee

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Jenny is an experienced HR professional with over 15 years’ experience working within the Education Sector supporting Schools and Academies. 


This time has been challenging yet a rewarding experience and Jenny thoroughly enjoys working in Education. She derives immense job satisfaction from knowing the difference her work makes to not only school improvement, but also to the lives of children and young people. Jenny has now extended this contribution to support SHINE Academies in the capacity of Trustee.

Appointed: 9th March 2022

Mrs Rebecca Lafford - Trustee

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Rebecca is a HR Professional with 14 years’ experience specialising in Talent Acquisition in corporate organisations, most recently in high growth start-ups. She is very passionate about creating and providing the ultimate candidate experience and creating an environment where people can bring their whole self to work, whilst partnering with the business to attract and select talent. Rebecca prides herself on integrity, determination, building strong relationships, and providing a first rate experience for everyone involved, along with the ability to challenge the status quo. Rebecca has worked in a number of different sectors including Charity, Construction, Energy and now in Financial Services, this demonstrates her ability to be adaptable and grasp new things quickly, whilst being resilient. Rebecca has a passion for Diversity and Inclusion as diverse teams bring a collection of experiences together to ensure the very best outcome.

Appointed: 14th March 2022