Directors and Trustees


The ‘members’ of Essa Foundation Academies Trust are a bit like the shareholders of any big company. They have the ultimate say over what the trust does, they can make changes to the trust’s constitution, which is known as the ‘Articles of Association’, and they have the power to appoint trustees.




Anne Casey

CEO of Essa Foundation Academies Trust


I am honoured to be Chief Executive for ESSA Academy Trust.


Having worked in education for 35 years in roles including Principal, Civil Servant, Education Adviser I know how the best schools ensure children’s’ life chances are protected.


ESSA academies have done this with distinction through the trusting relationships that exist between staff, pupils, parents, governors and our local communities.

Pupils always come first in ESSA Academies and we ensure that they have a strong foundation on which to build the rest of their lives.

Our mission is to ‘‘All will succeed ‘ is heartfelt by all who work in and for our great academies.

Central to our success is the ESSA Workforce. We attract and keep great staff, invest in professional development, identify and promote talent and use the skills of individuals to make us stronger.

I am proud to be able to play a role in the Trust.


As Chief Executive my job is to support the academies leadership to ensure we do the very best we can for our pupils.

The members of Essa Foundation Academies Trust are :


Yakub is a founding member of the Essa Foundation Trust.  Yakub is a qualified accountant and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton for services to the community.


Adam is the Managing Director of General Traffic, a motor vehicle parts, and accessories company.  He has considerable commercial, community, public services, and governance experience.


Ibrahim is a founding member of the Trust.  He has worked for a major pharmaceutical company for over 25 years.


While the members are like the shareholders of a company, the ‘trustees’ are more like Directors. They are responsible for three main areas of running the trust:

Setting the direction of the trust in terms of what it wants to achieve

Holding the Principals to account for the educational performance of each Academy

Making sure the finances are all in order and everything we do offers the best possible value for money.

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Like the Board of Directors of any big organisation, the trustees of Essa Foundation Academies Trust pay particular attention to :

  • Setting the strategic direction for the Trust, alongside the Chief Executive

  • Making sure there is consistency in things like HR policy across the trust

  • Ensuring that the trust complies with all relevant laws, including charity law requirements and the same company law requirements that apply to all Directors.

  • Keeping a close eye on the executive team and the individual academy principals and holding them to account at all times through the Chief Executive.


The Trustees of Essa Foundation Academies Trust are :

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Matthew Hackett

 Matthew Hackett is an experienced Chartered Management Accountant who has worked in various sectors of the economy. He is also the Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee.


Nigel John Whittle is a chartered accountant. He is the finance director of two large companies and runs his own chartered accountancy practice providing services to the private sector and to public bodies, including local government. Nigel is also the Chair of Essa Primary Academy LGB. He has been a primary school governor for over 10 years.


Nicholas Ford is the academic deputy head at Bolton School, an independent school in Bolton.  He has over 20 years teaching and senior leadership experience in state schools and proven track record of school improvement in inner city schools in London and Blackburn.  Nic is also the Chair of the Local Governing Body for Essa Academy.


Kate Longworth is a qualified solicitor specialising in the commercial property sector. Kate has also been a volunteer mentor for young people.



Iain Ross is the headteacher at Ellesmere Park High School in Eccles, which is part of the Consilium Academies Trust. He has over 20 years’ experience and has held a wide range of posts in Education, both within schools and in Local Authorities.

To view Trustee Register of Interests for 21-22 please click here.

To view Members Register of Interests for 21-22 please click here.

To view Trustee attendance – Audit and risk committee meetings please click here.

To view Trustee attendance – Trust Board meetings please click here.


If you require any further information, please contact Stephanie Smith (