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Who's Who in OLT


Ocean Learning Trust: Who's Who        
Trustees       OLT Central Team and Headteachers
Dave Cheeseman Signatory   Stephen  Orman OLT Executive Headteacher (CEO)
Peter Rouch, Ven Dr Signatory   Paul Knight OLT Chief Operating Officer (CCO)
Jeff Williams Signatory   Nicola Gay OLT HR Manager
        Sue  Grey OLT Operations Manager
Directors   (Date of Appointment)   Rebecca Holmes OLT Finance Manager
Dave Cheeseman Founding        
Ralph Batten 07/12/2015   Lawrence  Woodward Bethany Headteacher 
Dominic Biles 23/11/2017   Naomi Shrimpton Heathlands Headteacher 
Stuart Clark 11/10/2017   Christian Malone Heatherlands Headteacher 
Simon  Cox 07/12/2015   Tracey Edwards Queen's Park Infant Academy 
Tim Matthews 11/07/2018   Andy Poole St Clement's & St John's Headteacher 
Stephen Orman 24/11/2016   Mark  Saxby St Luke's Headteacher 
Michael Thomas 24/11/2016        
Sonia Lomax Clerk to Board        

Meet our Directors

David Cheeseman: Chair of Directors and Trustee


Dave Cheeseman is a retired Actuary, having held a number of senior financial and strategic roles in the insurance industry.

He has been a Governor since 1994, and was Chair of Governors at Heathlands for 10 years.

He is a member of the Bournemouth Schools Forum and the Bournemouth School Improvement Board.


Ralph Batten: Director

Ralph is currently operating as The Best Practice Network’s (Bristol) Director of Inspections and Accountability. In this role he is responsible for developing a range of strategic support programmes and products for school leaders and governors as well as creating new materials to enable schools and colleges to confidently undertake self reviews and be accountable to a range of organisations.


From 2009 until October 2014 Ralph was Assistant Director of Inspections for Serco Inspections and key to the successful delivery of Ofsted Inspections throughout the Serco Ofsted Inspection region. During this time had responsibility for the Inspection Workforce ensuring new inspectors were trained and accredited as well as the overall responsibility for some 1200 Ofsted inspectors professional development. Prior to this (1974 – 1996) Ralph had a very successful career as a Primary teacher and Headteacher in the London Borough of Lewisham before being trained as an Ofsted Inspector and being appointed a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at Christchurch College Canterbury. During his time there he was seconded to work with the TTA and Hay McBer to write and develop the Leadership Programme for Serving Headteachers. This involved both piloting the programmes as well as then training facilitators and evaluating the impact and effectiveness of programmes. Ralph then helped develop a very successful Inspection and Consultancy business in Dorset before joining Serco in 2000 as Director of Training. During this time he led and managed the Serco NCSL leadership programmes in the South of England as well as becoming the Director of the Leadership Programmes for Serving Headteachers in Wales. This involved both programme design as well as training the facilitators and evaluating programmes. His consultancy work expanded into being asked to join the School and Colleges Team in the States of Jersey where for five years he had responsibility for strategic leadership development and leading on the creation of the Jersey Accountability Framework for Schools.


Ralph still lives in rural Dorset and has recently returned to writing children’s books in his spare time.


Michael Thomas: Director

Michael is currently chairman of the UK Board for International Nepal Fellowship, a long established NGO helping the poor and marginalised in that country.  He has a strong desire to work with those needing help whatever their status and situation.


Over 25 years until 2013 were spent working in international cross cultural NGO’s particularly those focused on work to Arabic speaking countries. Also in charities working in senior leadership roles bringing education, relief, skill training, medical care, compassion and many other needs to those without. This has given a good understanding of charity work and structure and the benefit of enthusing young and old. Naturally all this should be focused to see excellent outcomes and careful use of the available, and always limited, resources. In addition, many years have been spent working in the business community in this country both as an employee and in establishing and running two successful business, one in print and the other in plastic manufacturing.


Additionally, Michael is involved with a church, local to home in Wimborne, as treasurer and in other capacities.


Being a father of three daughters and grandfather to five who live across the world there is always an opportunity for travel, exploration and the discovery of new ways and opportunities.


Dominic Biles: Director

Dominic has been a Human Resources professional for 20 years, holding senior leadership roles with a number of large organisations across a variety of industries. These roles have allowed a specific focus on learning and development, talent management and succession planning.


Dominic has been a school governor since 2013 and is Chair of Governors at Heatherlands Primary School, a National Support School within the Ocean Learning Trust.


Tim Matthews: Director

I am currently Priest In Charge at St Clement’s Boscombe and Pioneer Minister at St Swithun’s Bournemouth. We moved to Bournemouth in 2014. The project at St Clement’s has involved a deep partnership with its two local OLT schools (St Clement’s and Bethany), where I currently serve as Foundation Governor.


Previously I was Curate at Holy Trinity Bournemouth (HTB) for 6 years. I completed my theological training at Oxford University. Prior to that I was a Chartered Accountant with KPMG. I also hold a PhD in Marketing and Social Psychology and a Diploma in Social Science Research Methodology.


I am married to Debi, previously a secondary school teacher, and have three young children - all of whom are currently educated by OLT at St Clements and Bethany schools. To relax I enjoy water sports and outdoor adventure.


John Child: Director (effective September 2019)

John Child is an ex-headteacher, who spent 35 years working in schools. Originally a history teacher at Bournemouth School for Boys, he worked in both selective and comprehensive schools as well as boys’, girls’ and co-educational schools. His final post was as Headteacher of Queen Elizabeth’s High School, in Lincolnshire, when it was judged an Outstanding school by Ofsted.

John achieved a degree at Cambridge University in 1973 and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education at Southampton University in 1974. He also trained as a School Improvement Partner.

In the wider world of education, John also served on the Education Committee of Buckinghamshire County Council and the National Council of the Secondary Headteachers’ Association (now ASCL).

Alongside his working career, John also served as a governor in three secondary schools and four primary schools, the final one a junior school in a multi-academy trust in Doncaster.

John is married to Marian; they have two grown-up children and five grandchildren; they now live in Bournemouth.


Meet our Central Team

Nicola Gay

Nicola has been in management for over 20 years in a variety of roles in service industry, precision manufacturing

and school business management. A member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development Nicola provides support in regard to

  • strategic HR, recruitment, appraisals, capability, training, well being
  • Sickness absence, grievance, disciplinary procedures
  • Employment law, TUPE, Apprenticeships
  • Policies and procedures

Outside work, Nicola enjoys watching MotoGP, a passion she shares with her family.


Sue Grey

A Civil Servant for 28 years, Sue moved to the education sector in 2014. 

As a Civil Servant Sue undertook a wide variety of roles and gained experience of government legislation, managing people, project delivery, compliance, stakeholder engagement and partnership working.  

Outside work, Sue is a member of Bournemouth Rugby Club and Southbourne Surf Life Saving Club where she is Club Secretary and the vice Chair of Wessex Surf Life Saving Region.  Sue is mum to 2 boys and enjoys time with them and friends. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rebecca Holmes

Rebecca has worked in education finance since September 2007 and has both primary and secondary school experience. Prior to this she was Finance Director of a government funded training and development company, assisting the long term unemployed back into work, she also worked as Assistant Accountant for an international publishing corporation.

Rebecca qualified as a certified accountant in June 2004 and has more recently obtained the Advanced Diploma in Accounting for Academies.

Rebecca has two teenage children, and in her spare time, enjoys being an active member of a local gym.  


Paul Knight

Paul’s first career was in the Royal Navy for 24 years as an engineering officer in the Fleet Air Arm, serving at sea and ashore, in the UK and abroad. He still gets excited by ships and helicopters! After becoming a dad he decided a lifestyle change was in order and joined the NHS as a hospital general manager, managing very large teams in a variety of clinical and support directorates for six years. He then took advantage of redundancy to spend 2 years concentrating on being a full time dad, until a job at the University of Southampton tempted him back into paid employment, much to his wife’s relief. He started as the OLT Chief Operating Officer in July 2018 and loves it, not least because of the excellent people he works with. Outside work, he enjoys anything that helps him to keep fit, particularly cycling, although in practice he spends far more free time enabling his children to indulge their own fondness for sport.