Our Trustees and Executive Staff

Our Origins

Temple Grove Academy Trust was created in 2012 and was invited by the Department of Education to sponsor an Academy in the Sherwood Park area of Tunbridge Wells. Temple Grove Academy opened in 2013 on the site of the poorly performing Sherwood Park Community Primary School.

Under the new leadership, the school, which is located within one of the most deprived areas of Tunbridge Wells, has been thriving. The school, which had been placed under special measures by Ofsted before TGAT’s involvement, achieved a Good rating at its latest inspection in 2019.

Within Temple Grove Academy Trust and that of our sponsor Temple Grove Schools Trust there is a defined structure to ensure a strong and diverse board of Members and Trustees.

This includes a clear network of both educationists and business professionals, to maintain strong representation of business/education on the boards, which we believe contributes to success. The Trustees are committed to ensuring that the recruitment and succession of senior leaders is of upmost importance as the Trust grows.

Temple Grove Academy Trust is the employer of all the staff within the academies. TGAT has a board of directors which establishes a Local Governing Board (LGB) for each of its academies, with delegated powers as set out in the Scheme of Delegation.

Our Trustees are all volunteers and their responsibilities include to:

  • Set the strategic direction of the Trust
  • Hold senior school and Trust leadership to account

Oversee the Trust’s financial performance.

Isabel Ramsay (Chief Executive Officer)

Isabel Ramsay was the Executive Head Teacher of Bandon Hill Primary, until August 2017, when she retired. Bandon Hill is a 6-form entry school across two sites, there is also a specialist Autistic department. Under her leadership, Bandon Hill maintained “Outstanding” for the past 18 years, 2015, 2008, 2003 and 1998. In 2010 she was awarded National Leader in Education status and Bandon Hill became a National Support School.

In April 2018 she became the Consultant Head Teacher at Temple Grove Academy a primary school in Kent, which was 14 years in Requires Improvement and in September 2019 gained “Good” in all Ofsted areas.  In September 2021 she became the CEO of Temple Grove Academy Trust.

Over the past years, Isabel has been a Primary Consultant with the Guildford Diocese, Southwark Diocese, The Good Shepherd Trust and worked for London Challenge advising schools on school improvement and working with schools needing Intensifying Support.

She also undertook Head Teacher Performance Management training with Cambridge Education Associates who initially were responsible for Head Teachers PM. She also completed the Improvement Partner (SIP) training and worked as a consultant in Surrey schools.

Isabel was seconded to manage and lead underachieving schools in 1999 and 2009 as the substantive Head Teacher.

Over the past years she has also served as a Governor at various Secondary and Primary Schools along with a school for hospital tuition and pupil re-integration. She was a Chair of Governors for a secondary school in May 2017 where it gained outstanding.

Kathie Child-Villiers (Chair)

Kathie Child-Villiers, MBA, is Chair of Temple Grove Academy Trust and a member of its Finance Committee. Kathie has over 25 years of experience in Corporate Finance advisory, primarily with HSBC and Merrill Lynch.

She is currently a non-Executive Director of Bank of Montreal Capital Markets and Constantine Group. Kathie has a BS in Economics from Dartmouth College, an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and a Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma.

Kathie was identified as one of the “100 Women to Watch” as part of the Female FTSE report supplement, conducted by Cranfield University.

Kathie is married with two children. She is devoted to empowering children through excellent education.

Nicola Denoon Duncan (Vice Chair)

Nicola is an experienced Chair of Governors and a Local Lead Governor for Kent.

In this role, Nicola has worked closely with the education, governance and personnel departments at local and national level and undertaken crucial training in all areas of governance including child protection and safeguarding. She has recently retired as CEO of TGAT.

Nicola lives in Kent, is married with three children. She worked in finance in London, and on moving to Kent she retrained to teach IT skills, before devoting her energies to supporting primary schools in Kent for the past 15 years.

Philip Lough (Trust Board)

Philip Lough has had a career in education. His father was Headmaster of the original Temple Grove School from 1957 to 1975, and he himself was Head of three independent schools between 1996 and 2016.

He is a Trustee of the Temple Grove Schools Trust, and has been a Governor of a number of maintained and independent schools since 1998.

He currently works part-time as an Educational Consultant, specialising in school leadership issues. He joined TGAT as a co-opted Trustee in January 2018. His wife is also a former Head, and he has three children and nine grandchildren.

Fiona Carr (Trust Board)

Fiona Carr has over 25 years experience in Human Resources, primarily in the Oil and Gas sector but also with the NHS and she will bring her knowledge to support and advise the Trust on all HR related matters.

She is passionate about Learning and Development and wants to contribute to ensuring young people have the best possible start in life through education. She has 2 sons of her own who have now left school and one of them is now training to be a teacher.

Kathryn de Freitas (Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary)

Kathryn has been part of the Trust since 2021, starting in the position of School Business Manager before moving to the CFO role.  She has a strong background in business administration and corporate training for a large IT company.  After the birth of her son, she retrained to work as a Music Teacher in Primary Schools, and then as Head of Department for Business and IT in a Secondary School.

Her wealth of experience in both Primary and Secondary schools as a Teacher and Middle Leader supports her passion for education, in providing children with the best start in life. As CFO, she is able to support the educational work of the Trust by guiding the financial stability needed for the Trust's vision to become a reality.

Kathryn is married and has a son at university. She is also a Trustee, along with her husband, for the Cherry Brierly Children's Home in Kisumu, Kenya which supports between 100 and 150 orphaned children.