The Empower Learning Academy Trust is a company limited by guarantee and a charitable trust. The Board of Trustees has the responsibility for the smooth running of the three academies that currently make up the trust.

These Trustees are also the Directors of the company. Much of the work of the Trustees is delegated to committees – in particular there is a separate committee for each of the academies which works as a Local Governance Committee.

How the structure works

  • Members – the role is similar to that of shareholders of a limited company
  • Trustees – appointed by Members to oversee Empower, agreeing the overarching strategic direction and ensuring robust governance
  • Executive Team – the CEO of ELAT – Simon London – leads this team to ensure the smooth running of the Trust and the schools that belong to it
  • Local Governance Committee or Board – provide challenge and support to each Academy’s Leadership team


NameDate of AppointmentTerm of OfficeBusiness & Pecuniary Interests
David Harries
27 Sept 20165Sowena Taverns Ltd (06055700), Director
Holiday rental business in Cornwall.
VPDH Associates Ltd (10780429), Director
Consultancy services
Jihold LLP (OC381197), Limited Partner
Business Services.
Burning Bright Productions Ltd (07596302), Director
Television Production.
Heart 4 Sport Coaching Ltd, Daughter is a Director
Coaching in schools.
Coopers Coburn & Co Academy, Wife an employee
Secondary school in Upminster.
National Governance Association, Trustee
Trust advocating for better governance in schools.
Simon London
27 Sept 2016None
Keith Butcher27 March 20175None
James Brooks27 Sept 20165None
Anthony Farrow27 March 20175None
Keith Stewart27 Sept 20165Business: Hall Mead School
Parent Governor March 2012 – March 2016; Community Governor March 2016 – Sept 2020
Mark Walton23 Sept 20185None
Debbie Godwin21 Jan 20194Business: Debbie Godwin Consultancy
Consultancy offering CEIAG, PSHE, SMSC
Andrew Frater
(Company Secretary)
Josephine Asante


NameDate of AppointmentTerm of OfficeBusiness & Pecuniary Interests
Malcolm Evans1 Sept 2016None
John McKernan1 Sept 2016None
Elaine Ward27 March 2017None
Tina Parsons7 Nov 2018None
David Forster