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Board of Trustees

The Trustees


The Board of Trustees have responsibility under the trust’s articles of association for controlling its management and administration. They have responsibility for directing its affairs, and for ensuring that it is solvent, well-run and delivering the trust’s charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public.

Thrive - Ken Battye

Ken Battye - Chair of Board of Trustees

Term of Office: 16/11/22 – 16/11/26 (Chair with effect from 06/12/23)
Area of special interest: Education
Business Interests: None (Declaration received 12/09/23)

Ken Battye has worked in education and teaching for forty-nine years. For twenty-six of these years, he was a very successful Headteacher of three UK schools, of which two were in Hull. The other schools were two international schools, one in the United Arab Emirates and one in Saudi Arabia.

Since 2012 he has been appointed to undertake numerous lead and team inspector roles for the Abu Dhabi Government and for the Dubai Government, and supports an outstanding school in Qatar.

He also enthusiastically serves as a Magistrate and on governing bodies and Academy Trustee Boards.

Thrive - Helen Cooper

Helen Cooper – Vice Chair of Board of Trustees

Term of Office: 06/07/21 – 06/07/25
Area of Special Interest: HR
Business Interests: None (Declaration received 12/09/23)

Following an early career as a teacher Helen moved into Local Government HR eventually becoming the Director of HR - Children’s Services, for a local authority. She then ran a successful HR consultancy business specialising in Education HR for 21 years (HC Associates Ltd). During this time, she worked as an Interim HR Director in various Local Authorities and an HR Consultant to schools and academies across the UK. Her business expanded and her team worked with academies and academy trusts as well as special schools. She brings a wealth of HR experience specialising in employment law in the Education sector and HR.

In 2016 Helen was honoured to be asked to become a trustee of NASEN (National Association of Special Educational Needs) and when, in 2019, HC Associates was bought by North Yorkshire Council this set Helen free to enjoy retirement and take on voluntary roles. Becoming a trustee of Thrive in 2021 is fulfilling an ambition Helen has held for a while but which was difficult during her working life due to frequent long distance travel.


Martin Lennon

Terms of office: 19/10/23 to 19/10/27
Area of special interest: Education
Business Interests: Employee at FloodRe (Declaration received 16/01/24)

Martin was born in Hull and attended Kelvin Hall and then Wyke College. His career has all been in UK public policy, starting as a policy advisor in Parliament, working on home affairs, including child protection. He then worked for the Children’s Commissioner for England, most recently as Deputy Director for Innovation and Children’s Services where he worked on improving the public services for children. In particular, Martin has worked with and behalf of ‘vulnerable children’, including those who often fall between different services (e.g. school, children’s services and mental health services) and children in the care of the state (children in care, detention or hospital).

Martin now works for a public-private partnership providing flood reinsurance, working on how households, Government and financial services can work together to reduce flood risk.

Martin’s particular interest is outcomes for children in care and with additional needs.

Thrive - Paul Britton

Paul Britton - Trustee

Term of Office: 16/10/18 - 15/10/26
Area of special interest: Education
Business Interests: Principal at Wyke Sixth Form College (Declaration received 11/10/23)

An experienced leader in education currently working as Principal and CEO at Wyke Sixth Form College, Hull. Paul’s previous experience includes roles in a range of large Sixth Form and Further Education colleges across the country, all of which are currently graded Ofsted Outstanding. As a Trustee with Thrive, Paul is excited to contribute to collaborative working in education with the aim of transforming life chances for young people in the Hull and the Humber region.

Thrive - Zoe Green

Zoe Green - Trustee

Term of Office: 06/07/21 – 06/07/25
Area of special interest: Business
Business Interests: Sale or donation of goods to Brodie and Bertie Bakehouse (Declaration received 13/09/23)

Zoe was born in Beverley and has lived in the local area most of her life apart from 5 years spent in London after leaving catering college. Having worked in the food service sector since the age of 13, and most recently as a Commercial Director for a national business, Zoe recently retired from this position after the business was sold. Zoe took on the role of a Trustee as she wants to assist The Board in making a difference to the children in the surrounding area with the various skills she has learned over the years in marketing, finance, training and business strategy. Zoe enjoys entertaining, road cycling, walking and jogging.

Thrive - Andy Smith

Andy Smith - Trustee

Term of Office: 16/10/18 - 15/10/26
Area of special interest: None
Business Interests: None (Declaration received 13/09/23)

Andy was born in Leicester and is an English Graduate of the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. His 35 years in corporate life were predominantly as an HR Director at Britvic Soft Drinks, Bass Brewers and Wedgwood. Since retiring from the private sector Andy spent 10 years as a Magistrate in Hull and 6 years on the Police Authority where he chaired the HR Committee and Business Development Committee. Andy is currently a member of the Governance Audit and Scrutiny Committee of the Fire Authority and the Joint Independent Audit Committee of the PCC/Police. He is  also a Board Member of the Alcohol and Drugs Service in Hull. Andy was a Governor at Newland School for Girls for 3 years and was then appointed to the Trust Board in 2018. Having a background of high level experiences in both the public and private sectors, he is able to work constructively in developing strategy, analysing data, challenging performance and driving change. Andy is an avid sports fan especially rugby union and cricket, as well as following the political and commercial fortunes of the country closely.

Thrive - Sam Woolhouse

Sam Woolhouse - Trustee

Term of Office: 31/01/22 – 31/01/26
Area of special interest: Education
Business Interests: Headteacher - Driffield Northfield Infant School, Teacher Training - Yorkshire Wolds Teacher Training (Declaration received 15/09/23)

Sam is a qualified teacher, and for the last 20 years she has worked in schools across both Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. This has included teaching in Early Years, Key Stages 1 and 2, with a variety of leadership roles, and also three years as a School Improvement Officer for Hull City Council Early Years Team. Her current role is Headteacher of an East Riding two form entry infant school; a role she has held for the last 7 years. Sam is passionate about ensuring all children receive the very best education which equips them for a happy, fulfilled future. Sam believes her past professional experiences can support the Trust in fulfilling its aims and ethos.

Ovidiu Staicu

Ovidiu Staicu - Trustee

Term of Office: 06/09/23 – 06/09/27
Area of special interest: Business and Finance
Business Interests: None (Declaration received 14/09/23)

Born in Romania, Ovidiu has lived and worked in Romania and in the UK, and he moved to the local area in 2015.
Having earned two University degrees (Mechanical Engineering and Economics), also a Master of Business Administration from the University of Birmingham, Ovidiu has built a career in business, working both at leadership levels in large multinational corporations and as entrepreneur. After working as a Trustee for a local secondary school since 2018, he joined The Board to bring his diverse background and skills to help The Trust ensure schools have all the support needed to help children achieve their full potential.


Lee Phillips - Trustee

Term of Office: 08/04/24 - 08/04/28
Area of special interest: Education
Business Interests: None (Declaration received 08/04/24)

Lee trained at Goldsmiths College as a secondary English teacher, working in London and East Anglia. After school leadership, he began work as a school improvement specialist in British and American schools. Led by values and principles, Lee joined Coop Schools as National Director in December 2020. He is committed to building the voice of cooperation across the education sector, and securing inclusion, equity and success across all member schools.



Ralph Alcock - Trustee - Resigned (01/07/24)

Steve Jones - Chair of Trustees - Resigned (07/09/23)

Mark Johnson - Trustee - Resigned (04/07/23)

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