The key responsibilities of the board are:

Establishing the strategic direction, by:

  • Setting and ensuring clarity of vision, values, and objectives for the school(s)/trust
  • Agreeing the school improvement strategies with priorities and targets
  • Meeting statutory duties

Ensuring accountability, by:

  • Appointing the lead executive and headteachers
  • Monitoring the educational performance of the school/s and progress towards agreed targets
  • Performance managing the lead executive
  • Engaging with stakeholders
  • Contributing to school self-evaluation.

Overseeing financial performance, by:

  • Setting the budgets for Open Thinking Partnership (Trust)
  • Setting the budgets for each school
  • Monitoring spending against the budget
  • Ensuring money is well spent and value for money is obtained
  • Ensuring risks to the organisation are managed.

Ensure that other key players with a stake in the organisation get their voices heard by:

  • Gathering the views of pupils, parents and staff and reporting on the results
  • Reaching out to the school’s wider community and inviting them to play their part
  • Using the views of stakeholders to shape the school’s culture and the underpinning strategy, policies and procedures.

The board employs a governance professional and company secretary, to provide expert advice and guidance and to ensure the efficient and compliant operation of the board. The board ensures significant separation between Members and Academy trustees to enable Members to exercise their powers objectively.

The board has established processes to monitor and review progress against agreed strategic goals. It has also put in place mechanisms for enabling the board to listen, understand and respond to the voices of parents/carers, pupils, staff, local communities and employers.

There are also procedures in place for the board to set and manage risk and tolerance, ensuring that risks are aligned with strategic priorities and improvement plans.

The board has established a Finance and HR Committee, an Audit Committee and a Quality of Education Committee. Each school has a Local Governing Committee, to help it fulfil its responsibilities more effectively and efficiently.

Open Thinking Partnership Members

Mr Tim Green

Mr Jonathan Lees

Mrs Claire Shardlow

Ms Diane Rochford

Key responsibilities of the Members of Open Thinking Partnership include appointing the trustees and holding them to account for the successful governance of the trust. This includes receiving and adopting the annual report and accounts from the board of trustees.

Open Thinking Partnership Trustees


Christopher White, Chair

Appointed – November 2016

Reappointed – August 2020

I became a governor at Dorothy Goodman School in 2016 offering the skills that I have to benefit the school. I was the Chair of Governors and the chair of Finance & Staffing Committee for the school and have been fully involved in the transformation to Open Thinking Partnership which is a Multi Academy Trust. I am now Chair of the OTP Trustees and Chair of the Finance & HR Committee.

My background is mainly in finance and business. I joined the Hinckley & Rugby Building Society in 1989 and was appointed to the Board as Finance Director in 1993 before becoming Chief Executive in 2007. After gaining a degree in Economics I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1981 and worked at a number of companies in the Rover Group before joining Hinckley & Rugby. I retired from the building society in December 2018 after 29 years service.

Simon Love, Co Vice Chair

Appointed – March 2015

Reappointed – August 2020

I became a Governor of Dorothy Goodman School in March 2015. I have been fully involved in the transformation to Open Thinking Partnership (OTP) which is a Multi Academy Trust. I am delighted to be Co Vice Chair of the Trustees at OTP and the Chair of the Audit Committee.

I have had a varied careers to date, working in management roles in both the private and public sector. I have a background in law and regulation and felt this would be a good mix of experience and skills to inform my role of Trustee. I currently work as a Senior Manager in the Civil Service. Having heard about the work of the school and now extending this to OTP I’m proud to be part of its Board of Trustees.

Laura Jeffs, Safeguarding

Appointed – January 2020

Reappointed – August 2020

My association with Dorothy Goodman began in 1997 when I worked at the school as a Learning Support Assistant. The role gave me the passion and motivation to undertake a teacher training qualification and lead to a career supporting children with SEND. I now have the privilege of being the Headteacher of two specialist nursery schools in Leicestershire. I am also connected to the school from a personal perspective as my younger sister attended Dorothy Goodman School from the age of 5 to 19. As a family we will always be thankful for the education and dedicated support she was able to access at the school. Over the years I have seen huge progress and positive change at the school and am really excited to be a part of the school community as it enters the next phase of its journey.  I am also Chair of the Quality of Education Committee.

Peter Thomas

Appointed – November 2020

Peter is chief executive of The Future Trust. NLE, Ofsted Additional Inspector, Pupil Premium Reviewer, former Head Teacher of 7 years of President Kennedy School which in that time improved from RTI to Outstanding in all categories. The school has been in top 3% of all schools for progress between 2012-2015, and twice in the top 100 state performing secondary schools. Peter worked with the National Schools Commissioner on a project focused on identifying the key school improvement factors that tackle traditional underperformance and lead to sustained improvement. Peter is also Chair of a West Midlands MAT with 25 years governance experience.

Lisa Bengi 

Appointed – January 2021

My career has been in human resources and learning and development, I joined Hinckley & Rugby Building Society in 2002, and I am currently Head of HR. I am a parent of 2 children who attend schools locally, and believe that every child should have every opportunity to learn and succeed.

Having heard about the work of the schools, I am looking forward to offering my skills and knowledge to benefit the Open Thinking Partnership.

Lauren Birmingham 

Appointed – April 2022

My career started and continues in Financial Services, specifically in Compliance. I currently work for a local Building Society as Compliance Manager & Money Laundering Reporting Officer. I have a number of transferrable skills I can bring to the role of Trustee, and add value to the Open Thinking Partnership Trust. I am passionate about learning and development and believe everyone should be provided with an environment where they can thrive.

Dean Waddingham 

Appointed – February 2023

I became a Trustee of the Open Thinking Partnership in February 2023, as I wished to utilise the knowledge and skills developed over a 40+ year career in financial services for the benefit of my local community, and in particular our young people.

I have worked within many different types of Organisation across the UK, and bring significant Board level experience. Most recently, I enjoyed five years, to May 2022, as Executive Director/ Chief Customer Officer at Hinckley & Rugby Building Society, leading all areas of the Society’s customer and product proposition, including the Digital Transformation programme. I am committed to Continuous Professional Development, critical within an environment of rapid technological change. I am also a Trustee Director of TPT Retirement Solutions.

I have a love of sport, particularly Rugby Union. I played for Leicester Tigers, amongst other teams, before becoming involved in coaching and administration for many years at both junior and senior level.

Dr Glenys Jones 

Appointed – September 2023

Dr. Glenys Jones is a Chartered Psychologist and an Honorary Lecturer within the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) at the University of Birmingham. She has worked as an educational psychologist and worked on many research projects evaluating the education of autistic children and young people. Glenys has also run workshops and developed materials for teaching staff, parents and carers. She has been the Editor of the Good Autism Practice Journal since 2000 and was a member of the Autism Education Trust Programme Board for 14 years.  Together with colleagues in 2013, she set up an assessment service for adults who thought they might be autistic and worked within that service for 10 years.  She is also a Trustee of Autism West Midlands based in Birmingham.


Anthony Carr  

Appointed – January 2018.  Resigned – June 2022.

I have had the honour of being a parent governor at Dorothy Goodman School since January 2018. My daughter attends the secondary site and I am passionate about the children at all our school and giving them the best opportunities in life. I have been fully involved in the transformation to Open Thinking Partnership (OTP) which is a a Multi Academy Trust. I am delighted to be the link Trustee between OTP and Dorothy Goodman School.

I have served as an officer in the Royal Navy, am a Chartered Engineering and i have worked at Caterpillar for 21 years. I am currently the Plant Manager at Desford and Stockton with responsibility for day to day operations across the two sites. I manage budgets and resources and operate as part of a Global Multinational organisation.

I am a trustee of Steps Conductive Education Centre in Shepshed and I believe my skills and abilities can help the team at OTP and all the associated schools.

Huw Williams

Appointed – May 2020

Resigned – August 2022

I am an experienced retail professional having worked in various management positions for blue chip companies over the past 40 years. I currently hold the position of Managing director of the largest independent flooring and furniture store in the Midlands. We relocated to Barwell 25 years ago where my family now live, I have two children and five grandchildren. I am a Borough Councillor for Hinckley and Bosworth representing Barwell, and treasurer for the Royal British Legion. Previously I have held positions on the Charnwood Forest Park executive board and as a trustee for the Alderman Newton Charity. I enjoy walking, reading, gardening, and am currently restoring a 1976 Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Caroline Henton, Co vice chair

Appointed – January 2014

Reappointed – August 2020

Resigned – December 2022

My career has always been based around regulatory law enforcement and compliance, previously this was in Local Government and now as a senior manager within the Civil Service. I have been able to bring a number of my professional work skills to the role as a Trustee within Open Thinking Partnership (OTP) Multi Academy Trust. I have been a parent governor since January 2014, my daughter is currently at Dorothy Goodman School in the Key Stage 4 HAJC base, having previously been in the Redmoor and Richmond Units after transferring in from a mainstream school.