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Meet the team

Strategic direction for the Trust is shaped by a productive partnership between those in governance (members, trustees, and local advisory board members) and senior leaders.

Clive Zimmerman
Clive Zimmerman

Clive Zimmerman - Chief Executive and Executive Principal of Lydiard Park Academy and Abbey Park School

A career teacher who has senior experience in two schools. As Headteacher of Greendown Community School he oversaw the conversion to Lydiard Park Academy and the complete overhaul of every aspect of the school. Has led the change from an undersubscribed and underperforming 11-16 community school to a high performing 11-18 academy that is now considerably oversubscribed.

As Principal of Lydiard Park Academy, he oversaw the MAT sponsor application and became Executive Principal of Isambard Community School (later Abbey Park School) leading the team through the educational and financial improvement required and on to Academy conversion.

Rachel Surch
Rachel Surch

Rachel Surch - Primary Executive Principal and Principal - Red Oaks Primary School

An experienced Primary School leader and Red Oaks Head teacher since 2012, I am very proud to be the head of such an inclusive school that is committed to raising standards and delivering an exciting curriculum.

I love my job and consider myself privileged to have the opportunity to shape the future of Swindon children.  Red Oaks is a creative and dynamic school often found to be leading new initiatives and encouraging fresh opportunities whilst optimising fun and challenge. 

I am fortunate to work with a wonderful primary team who are keen to share ideas and be at the forefront of education.  We joined The Park Academies Trust because we discovered our secondary colleagues were like-minded in realising the potential of primary and secondary collaboration in developing a seamless transition for pupils. 

I look forward to welcoming a working with new primary partners with whom to continue this exciting journey towards excellence.

Alastair Dixon-Patterson
Alastair Dixon-Patterson

Alastair Dixon-Patterson - Director of Finance and Operations

Experienced in Support Services with a background of operational management, facilities management (previous member of BIFM), sales and contract management both in and out of the Education environment.

Developed the MAT central structure and leads a team of ICT, HR, Premises and Finance specialists.

Identified the financial improvements required and led the restructure of the business support team at Abbey Park school and the necessary cost saving programme to eliminate a projected £1.2 million deficit. This included a PFI market testing exercise that has delivered material savings (6 figure) and a transition to a new FM provider.

Took the joining school through challenging academy conversion which included land/PFI issues.

Jon Young
Jon Young

Jon Young - Operational Principal – Abbey Park School

Senior Leadership experience in two schools.  Deputy headship of 10 years with an emphasis leading on Teaching and Learning, contributing to the success of Lydiard Park Academy.  This experience provided Jon with the educational understanding and skills to support and improve the outcomes for young people. 

Currently, into his fourth year as Operational Principal with the Park Academies Trust, leading on the changes and improvements at Abbey Park School delivering much improved outcomes.  Jon is very passionate about an educational experience of high quality for the young people of North Swindon.  Outcomes for pupils are now the highest they have ever been and public confidence in the school is reflected in the school being over-subscribed.

Gary Pearson
Gary Pearson

Gary Pearson - Operational Principal – Lydiard Park Academy

An experienced secondary school leader whose background in Senior Leadership prior to headship focused upon the Pastoral side of education. He is the Principal of Lydiard Park Academy, the founding school in The Park Academies Trust. During the MAT transition period restructured the Senior Leadership Team and guided the academy to its highest progress levels at both GCSE and A-level.

Oversaw the transition from LPA Sixth Form to The Park Academies Trust Sixth Form that is dedicated to promoting the highest educational outcomes for the pupils of both West and North Swindon. The success of the Sixth Form is reflected by the increased numbers of pupils from the area going to University.

Ruth Lee
Ruth Lee

Ruth Lee - Head Teacher - Orchid Vale Primary School

Since 1997, I have gained great satisfaction and fulfilment from teaching and leading in three very different Swindon primary schools.  My previous role was as Head of School for seven years before joining the team as Head Teacher of Orchid Vale Primary School in September 2019.  I am passionate about school improvement and creating a broad and challenging curriculum that improves outcomes for all pupils.

I am extremely fortunate to work with a committed team and together, we are looking forward to developing practices and knowledge that benefit our pupils both now and as they move into secondary education and beyond.

Being part of the Park Academies Trust brings further strength and opportunity to all members of our school community in providing the very best education for the children of Orchid Vale.

Executive Team Structure (120KB)

Organisation chart showing TPAT executive team structure