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OHCAT Trustees & Members

TRUSTEES

Jay Mercer
Chair

Jay is an experienced public sector Corporate and Executive Director who has proved himself an effective change leader and manager by successfully setting up two new-start organisations and turning around two failing ones. He led for the LSC in London on 14-19 development and partnership work. As a consultant, he has delivered successful assignments for public and voluntary sector clients at local, regional and national level.. He successfully intervened and turned around Thurrock’s poor JAR outcomes on 14-19 and Youth. In Barnet, he integrated Early Intervention work into the leading edge Troubled Families programme and steered very significant restructuring of children’s centres and youth support services to achieve efficiencies. He started off Bristol’s Learning City and Passport to Employment initiatives and reworked Dorset’s Challenge and Improvement Strategy and Special Educational Needs and Disability Strategy, making sure resources could go to children rather than transport. He is a skilled partnership worker with good contacts and networks, and an experienced Chair, school governor, trustee and non-executive director of charitable and not-for-profit organisations, including this Academy Trust.

John Prior 
CEO 

John became CEO for OHC&AT in September 2019 having previously been the Deputy CEO/Executive Principal through a period of significant organisational growth and development. Before joining OHC&AT in 2013, initially as Principal of Carew Academy, John spent many years as a teacher and senior leader in both the special and mainstream sectors, including leading two other special schools.  John has spent his career championing the abilities of, and advocating for, the best possible provision for children, young people and adults with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families.

Barbara McIntosh
Trustee 

Barbara has been in the field of learning disability, mental health and children with special needs for 25 years. She is currently a Director at Healthwatch Sutton and a Board member for three organisations that provide learning disability and mental health services. Barbara has worked as a Local Authority Commissioner of Adult Learning Disability Services, as National Head of Children and Young People’s Programmes at the Mental Health Foundation and at the Kings Fund where she led a five year programme to develop education, employment, leisure and social opportunities for people with learning disabilities. She is committed to improving the life chances of children and adults with learning disabilities and is keen to work with families and other partners to achieve this. Barbara is also Chair of the Unified Academy Local Governing Body.

Stephen Lawes
Trustee

Stephen Lawes is an experienced Chartered Accountant who has directed financial management and control in a range of public services, including transport, local government, and education. He lives in Wimbledon is keen to bring his professional expertise to support the very best educational provision for the communities served by the Trust.

Yolande Burgess 
Trustee

Yolande works for London Councils as Strategy Director, Young People’s Education and Skills. She is responsible for the development of the strategic vision for 14 to 19 provision in London. She started her professional career as a Photographic Technician and then worked for the Employment Service as the New Deal District Manager for North London which involved the development of Neighbourhood Renewal strategies in Enfield and Haringey.  Prior to London Councils, Yolande was Partnership Director at the Learning and Skills Council where she was responsible for the planning and commissioning of learning provision locally and regionally and had budget responsibility and accountability of £300m annually.  She was previously a governor of Barking and Dagenham College and is currently a governor of Ambitious College.

Helen Norris 
Trustee

Helen retired in April 2019 after a long and successful career in education as a Headteacher and leader in specialist provision, special schools and in local authority services for children and young people with SEND.  This included headship of special and mainstream schools and as Head of Joint Disability and Specialist Support and Disability Services for a London borough.

From 2011 to 2019, Helen was seconded as the the SEND Regional Lead for London with responsibility for leading the London Regional workforce development and training programme across 33 London boroughs, which included the delivery of training and moderation and co-ordination of the annual programme on all key SEND themes, working with a range of partners, including Ofsted, NHS and the DfE.  Helen also chaired the London Regional SEND Steering Group.

MEMBERS

Jay Mercer
Trust Member

Simon Vines
Trust Member

Ivan Pryce
Trust Member

Mark Malcomson
Trust Member

Julie Avis
Trust Member (Orchard Hill College named representative).

 

 

 

As a community of learners, families and colleagues OHC&AT believes that by working collaboratively, with energy and ambition we can always effect positive change. No limit is placed on what is possible and everyone has the ability to be the very best they can be.

Latest News

And the winner is…..

After much deliberation and hours of independent judging, artist, Louise Pasquill, has chosen the winners of this year’s OHC&AT Christmas card competition. First place for Primary entries went to William, age 7 at Dysart School and first place for Secondary …

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OHC&AT Christmas Card Competition 2022

Pupils and students across the Trust have done it again! We were inundated with festive designs that have filled the entire reception area in Quadrant House. Thank you to everyone who took part in our competition to design the official …

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Transition Events

We have had a busy week of Transition Events across Orchard Hill College. The aim of these events is to provide information and advice on what provisions students can access in the local area and information on next steps after …

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John Reilly presents at the Schools and Academies Show 2022

John Reilly, Principal of Addington Valley Academy delivered an inspirational session at The Schools and Academies Show 2022. He shared his extensive knowledge and expertise of the needs of young people with SEND and how moving to a purpose-designed school …

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