Our formal structures are designed to give robust oversight and management of our school without unnecessarily restricting innovation.

We have five Members who are responsible for appointing our Trustees, also known as Directors. Our Members meet once each year.

At present we have five Directors provide strategic oversight and ensure the Trust meets its legal obligations. Our Directors meet five times each year.

Formulation of strategy and day-to-day operations are delegated to the chief executive, Mr Juan Hernandez .

Members Directors
Dr Stephen Pierpoint Dr Stephen Pierpoint (Chair)
Chris Sheen Chris Sheen (Vice Chair)
Cheryl Williams Juan Hernandez (CEO)
Jo Tanner Dr Andrew Stone 
Dr Andrew Stone Gwyneth Hammand 
  Graham Smith 


The Exceptional Education Trust, is an exempt charity and is a not-for-profit charity. We are formally constituted as a limited company, which requires us to have Members. This is primarily a formal, rather than an active role, although we have two of the Members who currently serve as Directors

Dr Andrew Stone – Member

Current headteacher of Holy Family Catholic School

An experienced headteacher for almost ten years, Dr Stone has worked in both secondary schools and the sixth form college sector.

He is co-chair of the Waltham Forest Secondary Challenge and Chair of the Aquinas Trust Federation of Catholic Schools in Waltham Forest. He is a strong advocate of partnership work in school improvement and is an effective networker across Waltham Forest and beyond.

Dr Stone’s PhD, completed while he was working full time, was a study of the lack of parity of esteem between academic and vocational education in England. He is a passionate believer in lifelong learning and enhancing the life chances of disadvantaged communities.

Cheryl Williams – Member

Experienced School Governor and active member of the local community working as a Church Elder in the local Seventh Day Adventist Church. Cheryl has relevant education experience through her role as a Teacher at Heron Hall Academy, Cuckoo Hall Academies Trust.

Chris Sheen – Member and Director

Currently Vice Chair of Governing body with 4 years of governor experience.

Wide experience of general management and personnel in the construction and education sectors. Initially in the construction Industry which included 5 years as General Manager for a company with responsibility for overseeing over 100 staff including all aspects of human resources, personal development and training. Subsequently a Project Manager working on BSF projects in direct control of primary and secondary school construction and refurbishment projects from the post design to completion stages.

Currently the Owner and Director of a small chain of successful children’s nurseries and oversees all aspects of operations, regulatory compliance and personnel.

Jo Tanner – Member

Jo has been Chair of governors at Meridian High School (formerly Addington High School) since 2012, having joined the governing body in 2010. Relevant educational experience of overseeing a school moving from special measures to an expected Good judgement at the next inspection and academy conversion process.

Jo is also a Director and vice chair of the governing multi-academy trust. This has included taking responsibility for the rebrand of the trust (from Ravens Wood Learning Trust to Apollo Learning Trust) and the oversight of both schools.

Jo has extensive experience in the Charitable sector as a trustee for two national charities with budgets exceeding £10 million each for over 12 years.

Jo has significant senior and board level experience in communications and advocacy, gained across a number of sectors including health, transport and politics including devising and leading national and regional campaigns, changing legislation, challenging public perceptions and successfully securing legislative changes at Government level.

Dr Stephen Pierpoint – Member & Director

School Governor for 30 years at 3 different establishments, Chair at Norlington for 22 years, Local councillor member of Education committee (1986-90). Current Governance responsibilities include the overview of Safeguarding, Child protection and Health and Safety lead.

Tax Manager at Shell International Petroleum and tax accountant 1989-2009, Qualified Tax inspector 1986-1989. Currently completing a PHD at Cambridge University.


Our directors oversee the strategy and direction of the Trust and ensure that the professional staff work in the best interests of the Academy Trust. In addition to their scheduled meetings the Directors regularly meet on special projects and to provide advice and guidance to the Chief Executive and senior staff.

Graham Smith

Graham’s career covers teaching, training, inspection, consultancy and senior management and both primary and secondary schools. From 2009-2011 he was Project Director of London Challenge’s Pan London EAL Strategy, a programme delivering 2,000 days of training in 200 schools in 31 local authorities that was a key factor in providing the highest level of attainment in the country for pupils with EAL. His extensive senior management experience includes deputy head and assistant director roles. Graham has also been a senior elected member of two London councils. In addition, he specialises in turnaround and has chaired two Interim Executive Boards in Peterborough schools.

Gwyneth Hammand

Experienced school governor and educational professional and with experience drawn from teaching and managing in the sixth form sector and project management in a number of settings including universities, primary schools and secondary schools. I currently work as a school improvement advisor and Science advisor for a local authority and have a particular interest in STEM subjects and post 16 education