Leading the way...

Wellsway Multi Academy Trust is a partnership of schools which span the Bristol - Keynsham - Bath area that are now working together to provide a high quality educational experience for all students in their care.

Vision + Values

Vision + Values

Core Purpose

Wellsway Multi Academy Trust’s purpose is to ensure that each academy within the trust achieves outstanding outcomes and high standards in all aspects of its work, so that children and young people receive a first class education that enables them to realise their potential and leave school as confident, caring and well-rounded individuals.

We will achieve this through excellent teaching that challenges and inspires and through providing enrichment opportunities that support each child’s development. We want children and young people to enjoy school and to have positive experiences they will remember for the rest of their lives.

We will build a strong and cohesive identity for our trust whilst recognising that each academy within the Trust has its own unique characteristics. Through collaboration and joint working, we will ensure that all our academies share in, and benefit from, each other’s strengths

Values –


The Trust requires each academy to expect and uphold the highest professional standards in all aspects of its work.


The Trust’s primary purpose is education and priority will be given to allocating resources into the classroom and learning activities.


The Trust places inclusion at the heart of all its provision and seeks to develop a range of inclusive services to support learners with specific needs.


Gaining value for money is central to the Trust’s operation and directors actively seek opportunities to develop joint educational provision and shared services across schools.


The directors seek to develop a multi academy trust of optimum size, with economies of scale that create the capacity for the Trust to provide excellent support to all its schools, whilst retaining its local nature.


Schools within the trust will be located within a reasonable driving distance of the hub school, Wellsway, so that school-to-school support is possible.


Wellsway Multi Academy Trust has been established to support education within the wider local area.

Leadership Team

Leadership Team

The Executive Leadership Team has corporate responsibility for the overall formulation and implementation of strategies and policies approved by the Board of Trustees. It comprises of the Chief Executive Officer, Director of Primary, Strategic Business Director and the Principals/Headteachers from each academy.

Andrea Arlidge – Chief Executive Officer

With 15 year’s headship experience at two schools, having joined Wellsway School in 2005 from St Katherine’s School in Pill. Has significant experience of school improvement and raising achievement.  Chair and founding member of the Keynsham Area Family of Schools, a partnership between nine primary and secondary schools. Director of the Bath Education Trust, Trustee of the local County Sports Partnership (WESPORT) and a governor at Bristol Grammar School.

Dr Matthew Cottrell – Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director of Primary

With twenty years of experience of both teaching and senior leadership roles in the early years and primary phases. A PhD graduate in the field of education leadership and management, he has conducted nationally and internationally recognised education research and has presented papers at leading academic and education conferences, both at home and abroad. As a National Leader of Education he has worked alongside colleagues as their schools journeyed out of special measures and from Ofsted judgements of requires improvement, to judgements of good and outstanding. Matthew is also currently working in school inspection.

Tim Howes – Strategic Business Director

Joined the Trust in August 2014 following a twenty year career in the hospitality industry. Formerly General Manager at Accor Hotels for 10 years and previously at Disney and Marriott Hotels. Significant experience in financial strategy, estates management, human resources and marketing.

Tim Howes leads the Trust’s Business Services Team, responsible for delivering shared services to all academies.



The governance structure at Wellsway Multi Academy Trust.

Diagram showing the structure of the WMAT governance.

The board of trustees – the board is responsible for setting high standards and levels of student achievement and for monitoring performance and ensuring accountability. It is tasked with driving continuous improvement through regular review planning and evaluation activities. It also manages corporate communication and stakeholder engagement.   Once strategies have been agreed, the board delegates most operational activity to the executive leadership team.

There are four trust standing committees which have duties to support the board of trustees in these responsibilities, to focus on the delivery of the vision against the trust’s standards and engage with stakeholders internally and externally to ensure that their needs are being met, as follows:

Finance and estates committee:

The committee’s core functions cover all financial services and estates management. It has a critical role in overseeing budget formulation, monitoring, and treasury management. Its financial functions extend into value for money and procurement. It also has a wider brief covering asset and facilities management.

Audit and risk committee:

This committee has a number of core functions that include internal controls, external and internal audit, fraud, risk management and health and safety. The committee also receives and considers in detail the statutory accounts for the trust and recommends them to the board of trustees for approval prior to presentation to trust members at the AGM. It also recommends the appointment of the external auditors to the board of trustees for subsequent approval by the trust members at the AGM.

HR committee:

This committee’s role is to oversee all matters relating to strategies and policies for human resources and organisational development. It also has a wider brief in monitoring key performance indicators such as staff turnover and absence and promoting and monitoring staff wellbeing. The committee has a remuneration sub committee to review a framework for the remuneration, benefits and incentives of the executive team.

Education and standards committee:

This committee's core functions are in relation to the overall performance, attainment and achievement of the Trust's academies. It has a wider brief to include curriculum, governance effectiveness and monitoring of high performing and disadvantaged groups.

Academy governance committees (AGC):

The Board has also established committees known as Academy Governance Committees for each academy within the Trust.  Their role is to oversee all matters relating to students’ learning and well­being. The core functions of an AGC cover all factors which relate to, and underpin, good teaching and learning. It has a critical role in monitoring the progress and impact of personalised learning interventions to ensure high standards and student outcomes in line with the Trust’s vision and strategy. 

The members

Chair of the trust board to be appointed in October 2019
Diocese of Bath and Wells logo, blue cross on a white backgroundDiocese of Bath and Wells, has been a member since 1st September 2015
Nigel HutchingsNigel Hutchings, has been a member since 26th March 2019.

Nigel transferred to Lloyds Bank, Keynsham as sub manager in the late 1980s to 1998. He was seconded to Business Link West and offered a position as regional affairs director to Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative. Whilst there, he helped to form the SW Chambers of Commerce representing 10 000 businesses on the Regional Assembly and SWERDA.

During this time Nigel became a co-founder of Ablaze, a Bristol based education/business charity, and remains its chair of the board of trustees. In June 2015, Ablaze was honoured with the Queens Award for voluntary service.

Nigel retired from full-time employment in June 2013.

He is a member of Keynsham Rotary and a past president, a past member of Keynsham Round Table, and a current Trustee of Keynsham Charities.

Peter Rilett, member of the WMAT TrustPeter Rilett, has been a member since 26th March 2019.

Peter was the senior partner of KPMG’s Bristol office prior to his retirement. As a qualified chartered accountant he has significant experience in the property, construction, printing and leisure sectors. He also held a number of national internal responsibilities including tasks for the firm’s pension schemes and property portfolio, combined with national leadership roles for specialist units serving passenger transport (rail and bus) and real estate advisory.

Peter’s expertise lies in the commercial analysis of a business situation and the development of a strategy to extract maximum value. He is an experienced commercial negotiator with strong project management skills.

Since retiring in 2005 Peter has held a number of board and chair positions including non-executive director of: Centaur Services Ltd (chair until sale in August 2008 now board adviser), Cotswold Homes Ltd, Watts of Lydney Group Ltd, Advanced Transport Systems Ltd (2005 - 2012).  Also Chair of North Bristol NHS Trust (2009 - 2017), Chair City of Bristol College (from 2016), trustee of St Monica’s Trust (chair of finance and development) (2009-2018), chair of governors of Bristol Grammar School (2009 - 2013), BusinessWest (2005), member Society of Merchant Venturers (2004, master in 2012)


The board of trustees (directors)

Malcolm BroadMalcolm Broad MBE - interim chair of the trust board.
Andrea ArlidgeAndrea Arlidge - chief executive officer and trustee since 1st April 2014.

With 15 years headship experience at two schools, having joined Wellsway School in 2005 from St Katherine’s School in Pill. Has significant experience of school improvementand raising achievement. Chair and founding member of the Keynsham Area Family of Schools, a partnership between nine primary and secondary schools. Trustee of the local county sports partnership - WESPORT and a governor at Bristol Grammar School and City of Bristol College.

Connor RyanConor Ryan - chair of the education and standards committee. Trustee since 1st April 2014.

An educational policy and communications specialist and writer, currently working for the Office for Students as director of external relations. He is also a National Foundation for Educational Research trustee. Previously worked extensively for other national education organisations including the Sutton Trust. He was David Blunkett’s special adviser while he was secretary of state for education and he worked in 10 Downing Street as Tony Blair’s special adviser on education.

Marlene MorleyMarlene Morley CBE - governor at The Bath Studio School and chair of the audit and risk committee. Trustee since 1st July 2014.

Marlene brings to the role her wide experience at the MOD where she led major projects specialising in people and organisational change. She was awarded the CBE in 2010 and retired from the MOD in 2012. Marlene has also worked for several years to enhance the skills of young people in the West of England, most recently on the skills group of the Local Enterprise Partnership. Marlene is currently chair of the working group that designed and is delivering the Employablity Chartermark, aimed at improving the work readiness of young people leaving school.

Graham Shaw - member of the audit and risk committee. Trustee since 1st September 2015.

Graham was a partner in a national law firm TLT Solicitors, specialising in employment and professional conduct law before retiring in 2015. Before studying law, he was a teacher, latterly as head of faculty and head of resources in a Northamptonshire comprehensive school. He holds an advanced diploma in education management and was formerly a parent governor at his daughter's school in Northampton.

Neil SimpsonNeil Simpson - member of the finance and estates committee. Trustee since 1st April 2014.

Consultant paediatrician and medical director, Sirona Care and Health, an independent non-profit distributing organisation providing publicly-funded health and social care services. Member of the board with particular responsibilities as responsible officer and quality and safety of service.

Malcolm BroadMalcolm Broad MBE - Trustee since 1 September 2015 and interim chair of the trust board. Chair of the trust finance and estates committee and chair of the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust Trading Company.

Malcolm has been involved in the education sector since 2000 when he chaired the Bristol Education Action Zone (23 schools in the most deprived areas of Bristol) for five years. He has experience as a governor of primaries, secondaries, academies and eight years as a governor of an independent school in Bristol. He is currently a governor at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Bristol.

He has chaired a secondary academy and two primary academies as well as chairing an interim executive board.

For the past 19 years he has been training trustees in their responsibilities and accountabilities in schools and a wide range of charities.

Malcolm became a National Leader of Governance (NLG)  in 2016.

Away from the education sector, Malcolm is a trustee of Bristol Zoo and chair of its audit and risk committee, treasurer of Keynsham Baptist Church, treasurer of the Bristol Baptist College and a non-executive director of the Baptist Insurance Company Plc.

His strengths are in providing leadership, conflict resolution, mentoring support, investigation work, employment relations casework and finance.

Malcolm is a retired HSBC senior commercial manager and former chair of the Banking, Insurance and Finance Union manager’s committee and former chair of the HSBC job evaluation committee.

Susan RobbinsSusan Robbins - Chair of IEB at The Meadows Primary School and Chair of the HR committee.

A teacher for 16 years, left the profession in 1990 to become education officer in local government, including a posting as head of education planning and Lifelong Learning for Gloucestershire Council. An independent education consultant since 2007 with six local authorities, with specialisms including school organisation, admission and transport.

Tim Spratt - trustee since 21st March 2017.

For some 25 years, Tim worked in financial and corporate PR, spanning three leading consultancies and in the last, Financial Dynamics (FD. Now FTI), was COO of the London division (at its height employing some 220 people) and an equity partner. Following a MBO and subsequent sale of FD, Tim became a senior consultant at Kingstree in 2012, focusing on presentation coaching within the financial and corporate sectors. Tim now works freelance. Outside of his commercial work Tim is a magistrate on the Somerset bench. 

Anne Burrell, WMAT TrusteeAnne Burrell - Trustee since 26th March 2019

Through posts in six schools in five different local authorities, as SW region senior school improvement adviser (SSIA) and senior director: National Challenge with National Strategies, Anne has gained breadth and depth of experience working both directly with students and in system change. She is also an experienced headteacher and principal having led and worked with secondary, primary and special schools.

Anne is currently working for the DfE as an external expert undertaking reviews of academy trusts as well as assessing free school applications and working with them to their first Ofsted inspection. In addition she works with local authorities and directly with schools.

Anne is also a governor at Trinity Academy and Colston’s School.

National leaders of governance (NLG) and local leaders of governance (LLG)

NLG are highly experienced individuals who give their knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to a range of different schools. They are designated by the Department for Education. Malcolm Broad, vice-chair of the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust (WMAT) is a NLG and is able to offer support to schools across the west country. In addition the WMAT has three LLG: they are Graham Shaw, Tim Spratt and Chris Trout. Graham and Tim are also trustees of the WMAT and Chris is the chair of governors at IKB. All three can be deployed to support schools in the local area, both within the WMAT and beyond.