Skip to content ↓

Thomas Deacon Education Trust

Academy Trust boards are the accountable bodies in law and as such must act collectively in the best interests of the children, ensuring the good conduct of the school and promoting high standards of educational achievement. The three core functions of a governing boards:

  1. ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  3. overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.



Julie Taylor - Chief Executive Officer

I became the CEO and Principal of Thomas Deacon Academy in 2013.

I take up this post having spent my entire career as a teacher in various parts of the country including Manchester, Rochdale, Oldham, my native South Wales, the Isle of Wight and Bury St Edmunds. Most recently, I have been Headteacher at a community school and then at an academy in Hampshire.

In January 2016, I became the Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Deacon Academy Education Trust (TDET) which is a multi-academy Trust encompassing both primary and secondary schools.

My main task is simple: to raise the educational standards at the schools within the Trust in order to ensure that every child and young person leaves us having made the best possible progress. I will be relentless in ensuring that the highest standards are achieved and maintained.

Richard Barnes - Chairman of the Board

Richard was brought up on a council estate in Cambridge and educated under the old direct grant system at the Perse School. 

He studied natural sciences for medicine at Cambridge and then, by a series of serendipitous events, ended up as a University Lecturer in Physiology at Cambridge.  

His main research interests are in heart, circulation and early human development.  

In Cambridge his main educational interest, apart from lecturing, has been in facilitating access and outreach work, both through his college (Emmanuel) and the university.  

He has participated in master classes, particularly in South Yorkshire, which is one of his college’s link areas, and has run many summer schools for the university.  

Richard is also Chair of the Villiers Park Educational Trust which seeks to create social mobility by providing education opportunities for gifted children from underprivileged backgrounds. 


Kelly Peck

I am a commercial property lawyer at Greenwoods GRM and have 17 years’ experience covering an array of property projects. I am based in Cambridge and Peterborough and more recently have found myself involved in the property side of schools converting to Academy status. As with all things property related - it doesn’t just stop at the bricks and mortar and I have a keen interest in how Multi Academy Trusts and the education sector are evolving and taking on the many challenges they face, particularly improving education for all children.

As well as a professional interest in the education sector, I have a personal interest too as I have a daughter in primary education and my son has just set foot into year 7. I am also a parent governor at my daughter’s primary school and have been since 2014.

Mark Potter

Mark is currently the Headmaster of the The British School of Paris Junior School, having previously been Headmaster at Laxton Junior School, Oundle.


His first teaching post was at St Mark’s RCVAP School in Ipswich and, after a fulfilling four years, his sense of adventure took over and he joined the Shell Schools’ Network, to work at a School in Nigeria. Following a very successful two years in Africa, Mark moved to China to work at The CSPC International School, Shell’s new school in Daya Bay.

Eric Winstone


Eric is the former Principal of Ormiston Bushfield Academy in Peterborough, where he led the school from possible closure in 2001 to a new £26 million purpose built accommodation in 2009. Working with architects and constructers, Eric developed a state of the art educational facility, which impacted on the regeneration of the whole community. The development of community opportunities both in resources and in people engagement is close to Eric’s heart.

Prior to this, he was Deputy Head at Bushfield College and Sir Harry Smith Community College in Whittlesey and has 43 years’ service in education. Eric taught PE and Geography and undertook a range of coaching awards including athletics, he is a current Level 3 coach, tennis and football in which he holds the UEFA B award.

Eric was Youth Development Coach at Peterborough United from 1985-90 and also coached the Huntingdon U18 Youth Team to two FA County Youth Cup Finals. He continues to be an active sportsman having run 12 London Marathons (PB 3.04.20) and over 70 half marathons. Eric is the only person to have completed every Great Eastern Run Half marathon in Peterborough and currently represents his age group in Team GB in the Duathlon at the European and World Championships and is keen to reach the highest level in both duathlon and road running whilst his legs and heart continue to function!

Eric is also a keen mountaineer having trekked to Everest Base Camp and in 2015 climbed two 4000m peaks in the Alps.

In 2014 he was awarded both the Pride in Peterborough ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for services to education and the ‘Secondary Head Teacher of the Year’ award.

Currently Eric is Chair of Governors at Ormiston Meadows Primary Academy and a partnership consultant for The Youth Sports Trust. He also was until recently Chair of the Peterborough School `improvement Board.

Saqib Rehman

Saqib is the proprietor/governor at Iqra Academy. He is a father of 3 children and was born and raised in Peterborough. Saqib has been involved in strategic leadership and management within the health and social care section since 2004. Having established a domiciliary care agency working with the local authority in Peterborough, Saqib quickly developed the service and brand into an integral part of the care services sector in Peterborough. Saqib’s day to day management responsibilities oversee the delivery of over 1200 hours of care to 3 regional authorities, over 50 front line staff and 7 supervisors and managers. Saqib’s managing director responsibilities are based on 5 key lines of delivery to ensure service delivery is not only meeting regulatory requirements but surpassing the expectations of commissioners and most importantly the service user.

With the Health and Social care service firm established Saqib turned some of his time to community needs within Peterborough. Having worked as a volunteer and director of a Community House project, a community project set up to help support and empower youngsters and under achieving adults, Saqib, along with three colleagues set up the charity Children of Adam.

Children of Adam is a fully registered charity that works with local issues in Peterborough as well as national and international delivery. From inception, Saqib was voted Chair for the group and took responsibility on behalf of the strategic planning team of the charity. At the end of the first accounted year, Children of Adam raised £170,011. In the second year under the same leadership team Children of Adam spent £249,090 on all projects and in year 3 £511,586.

Saqib was invited onto the Peterborough Muslim Education Trust Board and quickly became a core member of the team, In March 2016 the board was revamped and Saqib was nominated for and accepted the role of Proprietor. The new board quickly took steps to not only ensure the very existence of the school, but to secure a new senior management team at the school, to push for Iqra Academy to become a vital part of the education infrastructure in the City. They want to provide the resource to help people, especially women from all backgrounds, achieve their potential and become confident, active role models in our community.

Mohammed Mavani

After completing a BA (Hons) degree in Accounting and Finance from Nottingham Trent University, Mohamed qualified as a Chartered Accountant in September 2001, completing his training with PKF in Nottingham before moving to KPMG. Mohamed joined Moore Stephens as Audit Manager in April 2005.

Mohamed became an Associate in July 2010 and was promoted to partner in April 2015.

Mohamed leads on audit activity for the Moore Stephens office, looking after a wide range of clients. He is responsible for the control of audit assignments, ensuring they are delivered efficiently and on time. He undertakes various audit, due diligence and consultancy assignments and regularly advises clients on internal control systems and their effectiveness.

Mohamed is the Education Sector specialist for the East Midlands, acting as Audit Partner for all the firm’s Academy and MAT clients. His sector experience also includes charities, manufacturing and construction.

Simon Smith - Director of Resources

Simon qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 2004, is Director of Resources for TDET and also the Company Secretary.

Prior to joining the Trust, Simon has held various senior roles across the public and private sector including Children’s Services, Economic Development and Probation Services. He has worked in or around schools for over 7 years and has led on changes to school funding, managed commercial teams that provide services to schools and been an active member of Governing Bodies, particularly for schools in financial difficulty.

Being the first person in his family to attend university, Simon is passionate about all children getting a good education regardless of their background.

Simon Marsh

Simon is the Managing Director of a local Global Sourcing and Consultancy Company.  He specialises in globally sourcing furniture for national retailers. 

Prior to starting his own business Simon Worked as Global Sourcing Manager for 17 years for number of well-known retailers including Argos, Homebase, B&Q, Travis Perkins, Woolworths and Wolseley.   

Simon has been married to his wife Kerry for 17 years and they live together in Warboys Cambridgeshire with their son, daughter and Labradoodle. 

When not travelling for work Simon likes to travel with his family, enjoys good food and playing football and darts. 

Simon joins us from Warboys Primary Academy where he sat on the Resources Committee. 

Kate Hall


Kate is a freelance Creative Producer and has worked in the creative sector, mainly theatre, for all of her career.  Her focus is to create new opportunities for artists to work with communities to support social cohesion, well-being and aspiration .  She delivers this work through Jumped Up Theatre, a small charity, now based in Peterborough, which she founded over 20 years ago.  She has also worked locally for Vivacity and Eastern Angles, and nationally for organisations such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, English Touring Theatre and Manchester Royal Exchange

Kate lives in Peterborough with her husband and daughter, and enjoys yoga, swimming and live events, from sport to music.

Kate was a governor and chair of local infant school for a number of years.  She is passionate about all children being given the equality of opportunity from a strong and well-rounded education, and creating a lifelong interest in learning to equip them for the challenges that life may hold.