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Brickfields Academy Trust - Trustees

On 1st February 2017 Great Wakering Primary school became a Primary Academy, the lead school in the Brickfields Academy Trust. Currently there are just two schools in the Brickfields Trust, Great Wakering Primary Academy and Barling Magna Primary Academy. As an Academy Trust, governance of the two schools is now undertaken by a board of eight trustees. Their role is similar to that of governors in that they have three core functions:

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.

Trustees from September 2017

Judith Puddick                  Dan Smith          

Hayley O'Dea                    Anna Stokes

Maz Norman                     Jo Dabbs

Moira Al-Shaar                 Andy Knight                                           

Trustees hold termly meetings together with an AGM in September. In addition there are currently three committees: Finance and Audit that meets half termly; Standards and Performance that meets termly and a Pay Review committee that meets in the autumn and spring term. The committees look at their focus areas in considerable detail and findings are fed back to the Board of Trustees.

Meet our Trustees


Judith Puddick, Chair of Trustees

As an experienced chair of governors who has completed the National College Chairs Development Programme and an accredited National Leader of Governance (NLG) since February 2016, I feel privileged to be the first Chair of Trustees of the Brickfields Trust.

Education is my passion and I have worked within the sector for 40+ years. I am an MA Ed qualified teacher with 20 years teaching experience spanning Early Years Foundation Stage to Training College Lecturer followed by 20+ years as a Schools Adviser across Essex and Southend Authorities. Even though I am now officially ‘retired’ I continue to support a number of schools across several boroughs.

During my working life I have been an accredited School Improvement Partner, Early Years Foundation Stage Moderator and Ofsted Inspector with extensive experience in data analysis and my roles have included Local Authority Assessment Lead, National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE) and Basic Skills Assessor, Literacy Strategy Consultant and National Strategies Lead Officer. I also worked for ten years as an Education Consultant for the BBC contributing to programmes such as Words and Pictures and Let’s Write a Story and many articles I have written have featured in Educational publications.

The Brickfields Trust is at an exciting stage in its development and I am fully committed to ensuring that the educational opportunities provided by each school within the Trust enables every child to develop a lifelong love of learning and achieve excellence in all they do.

Dan Smith, Vice Chair of Trustees

I joined Great Wakering Primary School as a governor in October 2015. I am now the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and a Founding Member of The Brickfields Trust.

I am a Great Wakering resident, having moved to the village from Southend in 2011 and I am really passionate about ensuring the schools within our Trust provide the best education possible to the children of the communities in which we operate.

I am from a financial services background. I've worked in banking for over 11 years and have held a number of roles, from working in high street branches through to my current role in the commercial banking space managing a portfolio of clients in the Essex area.


Hayley O'Dea

I am the Executive Headteacher of the Brickfields Trust which currently incorporates Great Wakering Primary Academy and Barling Magna Primary Academy.

I was appointed as Headteacher to Great Wakering Primary in September 2010 and since then we have all worked together to move the school forwards. Our school was judged as Good by Ofsted in September 2014, however our aim is for the school to move to Outstanding and we are continually looking for ways to improve.

We became a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) in February 2017 to ensure that our school and staff continued to develop and we were asked by the DfE to become the sponsor school to support Barling Magna Primary on their journey to Good. Our two schools now work very closely together and this has created lots of opportunities for shared professional development.

Before starting my role as Headteacher at Great Wakering I worked as a teaching and learning consultant for Southend Borough Council’s School Improvement Team. This gave me valuable insight into how different schools work and what makes schools most successful. I started my teaching career 19 years ago as a Newly Qualified Teacher in Barking and Dagenham. I worked there for 11 years and I hold many happy memories from that time.

I thoroughly enjoy working at both Great Wakering and Barling Magna Primary Schools. We have a very dedicated team of staff across our MAT who all work hard to do their best for our children and we have fantastic, enthusiastic children to work with. Being an Executive Headteacher isn’t an easy role as there are times you have to take difficult decisions which can be unpopular, however I always try to make every decision with the best interests of our children at heart.

Anna Stokes

I joined the governing body at Great Wakering Primary School in 2005 and became a trustee upon conversion to academy status.

I have 2 children, one who has completed her primary education and moved on to secondary school and another who is currently a pupil at Great Wakering Primary Academy.  I have been a resident of Great Wakering for 22 years.

I became a governor (and later a trustee) because I want all children to receive the best education possible.

Andy Knight

Andy Knight

I have lived locally for the last 8 years and have two children that attend Great Wakering Primary Academy.

I have worked in the leisure industry for more than 16 years. During this time, I have worked in both the public and private sector which has included working for a number of the largest leisure management operators in the UK as well as both unitary and borough councils. I have a strong facility management background and have managed a multitude of facilities at a senior level in and around the East Midlands and more recently in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Recent successes include overseeing a £23million development and operation of Becontree Heath Leisure Centre in Dagenham. The centre opened in May 2011 and now has approximately 90,000 visits per month and one of the largest learn to swim programmes in the UK. More recently I have worked closely with Public Health in developing targeted physical activity and healthy lifestyle programmes and intervention to support people to lead a healthier life.

I am delighted to be able to support the schools, staff and all the pupils in the role of a Trustee and to positively contribute to their education and future.

Jo Dabbs

I am the Finance Manager at the Trust.  I started work at Great Wakering Primary School in 2011 when my youngest daughter started in reception.  My employment history includes 17 years working for Lookers Southend and five years working for Southend Borough Council.

I was approached by the governors to help with the transition to academy status and that was when I was appointed as a Trustee.

I have lived in Great Wakering for over twenty years and love being a part of the community and being involved in the local primary schools.

Moira Al-Shaar

Moira Al Shaar

I have lived in Great Wakering as an adult for over 30 years. As an ‘army child’ I attended Great Wakering Primary School in the late 1960s and moved from the old building to the new. I also taught there in the early 1990s. My son is now an adult and he also attended Great Wakering Primary.

I have recently retired but my whole working life has been in Education, including as a class teacher, mathematics specialist teacher, teacher trainer and senior leader and I have worked both in England and abroad. I have been a cub leader in the village for over 20 years and volunteer at several other community activities.

On hearing about the Academy Trust I felt it was an amazing opportunity to become involved in Education once again, and use my skills alongside the team who are working hard to move the schools in the Trust forward, so that each child can achieve to their full potential. A school is an important part of a local community and as a member of that community I will work hard alongside all the other dedicated Trust staff to ensure the best for every child.     

Maz Norman

I have over 25 years of experience in education, including 12 years as a Headteacher in Essex . I am Vice Chair of the governing body of the primary school my daughter attended and enjoy supporting schools in ensuring that the education the children have is the best it can be.

In my current job as an education officer for the local authority, I  support and challenge school standards and look for excellent practice that schools can share with each other. I use my knowledge of local schools and experience in supporting schools to help drive the aims and ambitions of the Brickfields Trust. 


Sarah Threadgold, Clerk

I am the Clerk to the Board  of Trustees. I became Clerk to the Governing Body of Great Wakering Primary School in January 2015 and transferred across to the Academy Trust at its inception in February 2017. I am also the Office Manager at Barling Magna Primary Academy.

My role as Clerk  involves advising the Board on governance, constitutional and procedural matters, as well as providing effective administrative support.  I am pleased to contribute to the success of the school by supporting the Trustees in their vital role.

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