Our Chair of Trustees Kate Hellard and the Clerk to the Trustees Ms Suzanne Cristinacce can be contacted through the Academy on 01373 462539.

Members are responsible for overseeing the Board of Trustees.

Trustees are equivalent of governors in maintained schools, responsible for the academy’s clarity of vision, holding leader to account and overseeing financial performance.


William de Bolla

Vice Chair - appointed 11.7.2017-resigned as Vice Chair Sept 2020- resigned as a Trustee 10.7.2021
Appointed as a member 15.7.21

Will became a trustee at Oakfield Academy in 2017, as part of a personal desire to use his skills to help the local community. With a Maths degree and a professional career covering Management Consultancy and now Data Science, he is approachable, analytical, and likes using data to drive decision making. He is a big believer in opportunity for everyone, and that every child is capable of achievement with the right support. Outside of work he loves playing and watching sport, and enjoys explaining maths, science and programming to anyone who’ll listen.

Sarah Hynds

Vice Chair & Community Trustee- appointed pre 2000, resigned as a Trustee 21.1.2020
Member from 21.1.2020

I have been honoured and proud to be associated with Oakfield Academy since 1993, first as a parent and then as a Trustee. I have held the office of Vice Chair and also Chair. I live and work in Frome as a Child-minder and also as a Family Support worker for Somerset getset services. I am passionate about ensuring that at Oakfield Academy we provide opportunities and support for all our young people in the community, to enable them to flourish and be the best that they can be.

Tim Cutting

appointed 1.1.09, resigned as a Trustee 21.1.2020
Member from 21.1.2020

Tim Cutting is 66 years old, retired and lives in Frome. In 2001 he sold his share in a manufacturing business that he started with his wife and which grew to become a thriving commercial success. Since coming to Frome in 2006 he has studied for and gained an MSc in Architecture (Advanced Energy and Environmental Studies) at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT). He was a trustee and Board member of ECOS Trust and ECOS Homes, and is currently a director of Frome Renewable Energy Cooperative (FRECO), Frome Cohousing CIC and the Carley Development Trust CIC. Stepped down as Chair of Governors July 2018.

Gary Smart

Staff, Pupils and Wellbeing & Finance Committee
Member & Trustee

Gary is a member of the Wellbeing & Finance Committee & enjoys all the challenges being a trustee brings. I have been in business for 30 years and own two garages in Bath. I joined Oakfield as a parent governor in late 1998, initially to ask about and challenge parts of my eldest son’s education. I soon became aware how difficult it is to be a teacher/TA/administrator/cleaner/supervisor in a school. I enjoy being involved in the committees and taking an active part in decision-making. Now I have a granddaughter at Oakfield and still feel as passionate about the need to provide a safe and welcoming school where all children, no matter their ability or background, get an equal opportunity to succeed.

Chris James

Appointed 5.5.22
Member from June 22

Chris is a Frome resident, and a former Professor of Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Bath having retired in January 2020. As an academic, his research and teaching centered on how schools are organised and governed. He has four children and seven grandchildren. Chris has been a school governor and the chair of the board of a Multi-academy Trust in Bath. He is passionate about education and its significance for individuals and society generally.


Kate Hellard

Chair/ SEND Link Trustee appointed 11.9.18 - member appointed
Staff, Pupils & Wellbeing, Business & Finance and Quality of Education Committee

Kate Hellard comes into her governing role with over 20 years’ experience of working with children and young people; in schools, for a local authority as a development worker for disabled children and their families, and with national and local charities. She has worked across B&NES, Somerset and Dorset with disabled children and young people, travellers and more recently ran a large play organisation delivering play ranger sessions and other play services. Kate now works for Frome Town Council, where she is a Community Project Officer; supporting local organisations to become resilient to changes in funding and meet the challenges of rising demand for their services. She is also building participative projects across the town together with local organisations and residents. She is passionate about inclusion and participation and believes that experience is the key to enable children and adults to making informed choices; enabling everyone to affect positive change in their immediate and wider communities. Kate has four children at various stages of their education journey in Frome and has been a parent at Oakfield for 10 years with many more to come.

Claire Hopkins

LA Trustee appointed 1.9.2007. Member appointed.
Staff, Pupils and Wellbeing Committee

Claire Hopkins runs her own consultancy business providing expertise in stakeholder engagement and change management, business development and customer success, project management and marketing. She has over 25 years’ experience and currently works with several software-as-a-service growth-stage businesses. She is currently a Director of RIVIAM Digital Care. Claire has previously held senior roles in both the private and public sector including as Head of Internal and Executive Communications for Dell EMEA, a Director at international marketing agency Hill and Knowlton and Marketing Director at business consultancy Ctrl-Shift. Claire has an MBA with distinction from the Bath School of Management and is a certified Project Manager. She has a great interest in digital and tech, privacy and trust, and how to help children build the skills they need to thrive in our increasingly digital and connected world. She is Chair of the Pay and Personnel Committee at Oakfield Academy, link governor for Quality of Education, and is delighted to be have been part of the governing body for the last 10 years.

Gary Smart

Co-opted Trustee & member- appointed pre 2000
Staff, Pupils and Wellbeing & Finance Committee

Gary is a member of the Pupil, Staff and Wellbeing and Finance Committees and enjoys all the challenges being a trustee brings. He has been in business for 30 years and owns two garages in Bath. He joined Oakfield as a parent governor in late 1998, initially to ask about and challenge parts of his eldest son’s education. He soon became aware how difficult it is to be a teacher/TA/administrator/cleaner/supervisor in a school. Gary enjoys being involved in the committees and taking an active part in decision-making. Now he has a granddaughter at Oakfield and still feels as passionate about the need to provide a safe and welcoming school where all children, no matter their ability or background, get an equal opportunity to succeed.

Christopher Salmon

Parent Trustee appointed - 18.12.2020

With a background in the media, Chris hopes to use his experience to help Oakfield Academy build closer relationships with parents. These are tough times for schools, but he aims to be a passionate and committed supporter of Oakfield, and one who works hard to make a difference.

Emma Wilkes

Headteacher - appointed 1.1.2014
Staff, Pupils and Wellbeing, Finance Committee & Quality of Education Committee

Emma Wilkes was appointed as Headteacher of Oakfield Academy in January 2014. She has previously been the Acting Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and Assistant Headteacher at King Arthur's School in Wincanton, responsible for the whole school curriculum, timetables, staffing, options, examinations and results in particular. Prior to that she held the position of Head of Maths at Kingdown School in Warminster and Head of Year at Hengrove School in Bristol. She lives in the centre of Frome with her son Alex.

Neil Corcoran

Parent Trustee appointed - 18.12.2020
Staff, Pupils and Wellbeing committee

As a parent of Oakfield children and a volunteer in the education sector Neil understands the need for help and support from the community and as a Parent Trustee he intends to assist with the continuing development and improvement of standards within a school close to his heart. In his career as an R&D scientist he has gained valuable skills in project and personnel management as well as problem solving and safety/risk assessment. He plans to use his time to help towards the continued effective running of the school.

Susannah Hill

Safeguarding Link Trustee appointed 21.1.20. Member appointed
Staff, pupils and wellbeing committee

Susannah's youngest daughter attended Oakfield Academy for years 7 and 8 after the family moved to Frome in 2019. She has worked in education for over 20 years in both classroom and pastoral roles. Susannah's professional development in the last decade has focussed on pupil wellbeing, safeguarding and child development. Most recently she retrained as an Education Mental Health Practitioner. Susannah brings a breadth of professional experience, an understanding of the needs of children, young people and their families as well as the importance of successful interdisciplinary working that meets the needs of all stakeholders. She is concerned with the wellbeing and safety of every pupil at Oakfield and understands that a safe and happy child will be free to grow and thrive in the Oakfield environment. “

Kathy Pinches

Staff Trustee Appointed 26.4.21

Kathy has been a member of staff at Oakfield since 2013. This followed a significant career change after many years in Finance (she is a Chartered Accountant) – a change she is very pleased to have made. She is committed to Oakfield’s aim to enable EVERY pupil at the Academy to achieve their full potential and to encourage a lifelong love of learning. As a staff trustee, Kathy hopes to use her skills in both education and finance to support the Academy in achieving these aims in whatever way she can. On a personal note, Kathy enjoys music of all genres. She sings in a community choir and her Covid lockdown project has been to learn the oboe – lifelong learning in action!

Shonogh Pilgrim

Co-opted Trustee - joined 14.1.22. member appointed.
Co-opted Trustee

Shonogh has over 25 years of experience in the education sector. She started her career as a teaching assistant, going on to teach Psychology and Science in several secondary schools in the counties around her home city of Bristol. Shonogh secured her first leadership position after 4 years of teaching and was appointed to the role of Principal in 2014. Shonogh has worked relentlessly over her career to ensure that every student, regardless of ability or background is given the opportunity to be the best they can be. Her work was highly praised by OFSTED in their publication ‘Key Stage 3: The Wasted Years?’ which highlighted the strength of her commitment to work with partner schools to provide the best possible experience for all students in the area. Shonogh is a passionate supporter of comprehensive education and believes that every child has the right to have a creative and enlightening education that prepares them well to take their place in society. Shonogh is hopeful by nature and believes that a seed of brilliance lies in everyone. Having led her school for over 7 years Shonogh took the difficult decision to leave the teaching profession for a role with Whole Education as Director of Secondary networks. This privileged role allows her to work with school leaders to transform their schools for the greater good of their children, staff and communities. She is excited to be joining the board of Oakfield Academy.

David McGrath

Deputy Head Teacher –Staff Trustee
Resigned 5.10.21

Marc Higgins

Vice Chair -appointed 15.10.2020. Parent Trustee appointed - 21.1.2020
Resigned 24.9.21

Matthew Hill

Co-opted Trustee- appointed 11.2.21
Resigned 5.5.21

Barry Edwards

LA Trustee- appointed 1.5.2015
Resigned 11.2.2021



Oakfield Trustees

Committees - Attendance and Business Interests

Trustee/member Name


Date of Appointment

Date of Renewal


No of Meetings Attended 2019-2020

No of Meetings

Attended 2020-2021

No of meetings attended


Pecuniary Interests

Mr Tim Cutting


1/1/09, resigned as a Trustee 21.1.2020. Now a member






Frome Co Housing CIC

Mrs Kate Hellard

Chair of Board



Staff, Pupils and Wellbeing, Finance and Quality of Education Committee




Frome Town Council (Employee)

Mr Barry Edwards


1/5/15- resigned 11.02.21


Staff, Pupils and Wellbeing Committee




Trustee of Frome Museum

Mrs Claire Hopkins




Staff, Pupils and Wellbeing Committee




Claire Hopkins Ltd. Business and Marketing Consultancy

Mrs S Hynds


Pre 2000, resigned as a Trustee 21.1.2020- now a member






Son teaches music

Mr D McGrath





Quality of Education Committee





Mr G Smart

Parent Trustee

Pre 2000


Staff, Pupils and Wellbeing & Finance Committee





Mrs E Wilkes

Head Teacher



Staff, Pupils and Wellbeing, Finance and Quality of Education Committee




Senior Independent Director at Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership.

Mr William de Bolla


11/7/17- resigned as a trusstee 10.7.21 now a member


Finance and Quality of Education Committee





Mrs Susannah Hill

Safeguarding Link Trustee



Pupils, Staff and Wellbeing, Finance and Quality of Education Committee



5 None

Mr Marc Higgins

Vice Chair/Parent Trustee


resigned Sept 21





0 Wife is SENDCo at Oakfield Academy
Mr Matthew Hill Co-opted Trustee


resigned April 21

      1 0 Deputy Head at Tor School (PRU)
Mr Neil Corcoron Parent Trustee 18.12.2020   Finance Committee   8 8 None
Mr Christopher Salmon Parent Trustee 18.12.2020       5 6  
Mrs Kathi Pinches School Trustee 26.4.21   Finance Committee   4 5 None
Shongh Pilgrim 
Co-opted Trustee 14.1.22   Pupils, Staff and Wellbeing, Finance and Quality of Education Committee     3