Members & Trustees

RWBAT Trustees Business & Pecuniary Interests Register

Name Role Start – End Date Pecuniary Interests Personal Interests
Marion Sweet Chair of RWBAT Board and Trustee May 2017 –
April 2021
Rion Association None
George Croxford Chief Executive Officer
Ex-officio Board Member
May 2017 None None
Tristan Foot Vice Chair and Trustee May 2017 –
April 2021
University of East London Employee None
Johnathan Bourne Chair of Finance and Trustee May 2017 –
April 2021
None None
Jane Hext Chair of Standard and Trustee
Chair of Lawn Manor LBG
May 2017 –
April 2021
None None
David Clarke Trustee May 2017 –
April 2021
None None

Marion Sweet – Chair of Board of Trustees

Cllr Mrs Marion Sweet, M.A. (HRM), B.A.(Hons), FCIPD, M.Inst. L&M

Leadership through commitment and development of self and others is not just a mantle, but exactly what Marion has practised throughout her career in education. Marion strongly believes this ethos underpins any effective role in Governance.

Being educationally and professionally highly qualified with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management and a B.A. (Hons) in Business, led to opportunities to hold senior managerial roles over many years in both private and public sector education organisations.

Marion’s most recent employment with the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) involved creating and leading high value, £40m+ projects, to deliver regional and national leadership and management initiatives. Critical to the success of these projects was Marion’s ability to lead and achieve people and performance targets for multi-discipline and remote teams through proactive defined strategies of consultation and coaching, with vital influencing and negotiating skills to address challenging and changing environments. Since 2012, Marion has led her own consultancy, working with organisations across the South West region in addressing leadership and management development and people management areas.

Marion’s experience has proved vital in the variety of governing roles undertaken over the past 12 years at RWBA, including the role as Chair of Governors for the past four years. Experience has allowed Marion to offer clear insight into strategic developments, whilst positioning the governing body in making measurable decisions and actions, which contribute, advise, support and challenge the Academy leadership, ultimately providing excellence in education for every pupil.

Personally, Marion holds a number of roles in the local community, an elected RWB Town Councillor for more than 15 years, Mayor of RWB 2003-04, Governor at RWBA since 2005, as well as experience of governorship in Early Years settings and a local primary school.

Tristan Foot – Vice Chair of Board of Trustees

Tristan is a qualified solicitor with a professional interest within the education sector. He has previously worked for the DfE and Veale Wasbrough Vizards, the legal team at Bath Spa University and currently leads the compliance team within the University of London.

Tristan had held Governor roles for 8 years prior to becoming a Trustee in May 2017.   Tristan is the Vice-Chair of the Trust.

Jane Hext – Trustee

Jane has over 30 years’ experience working in Board level roles including; Chief Executive, Managing Director, Customer Services Director and Marketing Director. Jane has operated in a range of sectors which include, the mobile telecoms industry, the retail sector and risk management consultancy. This has given her a breadth and depth of experience which is very relevant to supporting school leadership teams to be successful.

Johnathan Bourne – Trustee

Johnathan has in excess of 30 years’ experience working in Local Council’s and has held the position of Town Clerk in Royal Wootton Bassett since 1987. 

During this time, he has served for 15 years on his professional body, the Society of Local Council Clerks, rising to the position of Chairman where he represented that organisation not only at national level but, internationally on three continents.  He is now widely regarded as one of the sectors leading practitioners, being a member of the core teaching team delivering the Societies degree qualification.

He was elected as a Community Governor towards the end of 2015 and hopes to support the work of the academy with his knowledge of finance and community governance.

Married with two children, both of whom have attended the Academy, Johnathan enjoys competitive chess, which he plays to national club standard and the piano which he plays badly. 


Nathan Coombs – Trustee

Longstanding service to patients within the NHS and over a decade as a senior surgical consultant at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon.

Clinical management of patient services, with responsibility for the breast department, and latterly as the medical director of the Private Patient Unit ensuring the provision of quality service that patients deserve and expect.

Chair of the Advisory Group where the board’s strategy is relayed to consultant staff and to discuss with colleague’s new ideas and treatments to present to the board.

Close liaison with the financial team to ensure that forecasts of activity and projected growth are accurate and reflect the current demand and trends in patient services.

Clinical academic who likes to challenge established ideas if he believes that there is a better outcome possible for patients. Through this he is Principle Investigator to a number of national research projects.

Royal College of Surgeons Surgical Tutor, with responsibility for ensuring standards of training for local junior doctors. More recently, clinical and educational supervisor to a number of young doctors in Swindon

Regular teaching and training of UK undergraduate medical students and nursing staff.

Regular charity work with Mercy Ships in Cameroon, Guinea and Senegal with teaching and training West African Doctors in Surgical techniques.

David Clarke – Trustee

Education and school improvement through working in various roles including Deputy Director for Education Oxfordshire, Head of School Effectiveness for Wiltshire and Headteacher.

Roles and responsibilities have included leading school improvement with an oversight on student outcomes through monitoring, support and challenge for schools.

High calibre expertise in policies and strategies, with emphasis on vulnerable groups.  Understanding of school improvement in schools.

Previous roles have included Head teacher of two primary schools and Governor in local Primary schools.

Mark Hopkins – Trustee

A highly-experienced change, operations and transformation director, and qualified portfolio, programme and project manager, with extensive experience in transformation, cultural and organisational change, programme and project delivery, in private and public sectors including local government, Ministry of Defence, health and social care, business outsourcing, consultancy, financial services and utilities sectors.

Mark is Director of Strategy and Transformation at Wyvern Health Partnership, leading a merger programme to deliver a resilient, sustainable and efficient primary care service, and to improve the way they work and use resources, enabling investment in patient services and care.

Mark started his career in financial services, where he spent 18 years before joining an NHS hospital as Assistant Director of HR, leading multiple change projects. Since then he has worked in a number of roles in the public and private sectors, delivering transformation programmes, as well as capital programmes and high-profile projects and events, including Radio 1 Big Weekend in Swindon and the Queens Diamond Jubilee Event for Wiltshire.

Mark’s experience includes being responsible for the successful delivery of a £300m+ major capital programme, including technology, property rationalisation, school and housing development and cultural change programme. He was also the professional lead for programme/project management, helping to improve successful delivery, as well as improving capability across project and programme community; including coaching, mentoring and quality assurance.

Previously, Mark has delivered a multi-million-pound digital transformation programme including new customer platform, website, mobile working for social care staff, e-payments and digital office systems, and was responsible for the delivery of customer service to 14.8m utility customers through three strategic partners in the UK and India.

Mark was previously a School Governor at RWB School for over 10 years, and was a School Governor and then Chair of Governors at Longleaze School for 8 years.

Mark lives in Royal Wootton Bassett with his wife Kate and their twins.

He is a volunteer ASA qualified swimming coach at a local swimming club, running the masters section, and competes at local and county level. He also enjoys Tae Kwan Do and playing golf.

Sonyia Woolnough – Member

Sonyia is a solicitor originally from the North of England and a Graduate in Law from Durham University. She has been settled and working in Royal Wootton Bassett at Bevirs Solicitors for the last 35 years, the last 28 years as a Partner.

She has been a Member of Bevirs Executive Board for 21 years and has played a major role in the running of the business (35 staff and 3 offices) including during the considerable challenges of the recession.

Sonyia is also Head of the Commercial Team (3 lawyers) which has a varied workload including land promotion agreements, land development, land acquisition and sales, new plot sales, commercial landlord and tenant work and business sales and purchases. The department has a particular specialism in Pension Property work.

Andy Bacon – Member

Andy Bacon is a serving senior Royal Air Force officer with a broad range of operational, leadership, programme management, applied strategic thought and change management experience.

Starting his career as a Hercules pilot at RAF Lyneham, he has amassed over 4000 flying hours on the Hercules, Boeing C-17 and HS125 on operations. Additionally, he has commanded at each level of his career including command of 24 Squadron at RAF Lyneham and as Station Commander of RAF Northolt. Overseas deployments include his role as Senior Advisor to the Chief of the Iraqi Air Force in Baghdad within the Coalition Headquarters responsible for organising, training and equipping the Iraqi Security Forces and for developing the institutional capacity of their Defence Ministry and command of both the Afghan National Army Training Centre and Afghan National Defence University Training Advisory Groups in Kabul. Other appointments include the Ministry of Defence and the Joint Services Command and Staff College at Shrivenham. He has recently completed the Royal College of Defence Studies course.

Andy has previously served as a Governor at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, which both of his children attended.

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