University of Portsmouth Academy Trustees

Our Academy Trust will be led by a board of Members and a Trust Board to ensure its success.

Our Members and Trustees will work collaboratively with the Trust's schools and the University to ensure high standards of achievement for all children and young people involved in the Trust. Read below to find out more about the experience of our members and trustees and their roles in developing the Academy Trust.

During the initial 8 months of this academic year, the Academy Trust Board is meeting monthly to support the CEO and Senior staff. From September 2022, the Trust Board will operate a committee structure which can be found in the document listing below along with other associated documentation.


Professor Paul Hayes

Chair of the UPAT Project Board and UPAT Member

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Hayes has responsibility for all of the academic business of the university through oversight of the Faculties and by leading the achievement of our academic and educational ambitions. His work helps us give our students an excellent education and experience.

Paul, who previously served as Dean of the University's Faculty of Science, also has responsibility for the management of our Executive Deans and Dean of Learning and Teaching.


Emma Woollard

Member of the UPAT Project Board and Trustee for UPAT

Emma Woollard is a CIMA qualified accountant. She joined us as a management accountant in 1989 and became Director of Finance in 2004.

Emma provides strategic financial leadership for the University, supporting the Vice-Chancellor, Executive Board and Board of Governors in the development and implementation of the University’s strategy, including responsibility for the financial aspects of its implementation.

She is also responsible for ensuring there are robust and effective systems for financial control to enable the management of financial risks.


Mark Cooper

Member of the UPAT Project Board and Member and Chair for UPAT Trust Board

Mark Cooper is responsible for the strategic development of UK education partnerships. He works with schools, further education and sixth form colleges to establish meaningful, deep relationships that are mutually beneficial.

Mark's knowledge of the college sector, where he previously worked as a senior leader, means he is very well placed to support the University's strategic UK partnerships’ vision. He also has oversight of the strategic direction of the University's apprenticeship provision. Mark is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Fellow of the Royal; Society of Arts. He is currently in the final phase of achieving his doctorate in education (EdD).

Mark Cooper is the Whistleblowing link trustee who can be contacted via the clerk using the contact form found here



Catherine Carroll-Meehan

Member of the UPAT Project Board and Member of UPAT

Catherine Carroll-Meehan is Head of School of Education and Sociology. Catherine has led teams of academic colleagues to develop the curriculum and teaching portfolio for programmes at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level.

Catherine supervises doctoral students in a range of subjects and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Catherine’s areas of interest are within the field of early childhood, with specific interest in working with parents and families, pedagogical leadership and drawing on knowledge and research from other fields to inform leadership and management roles for those people working with children, families and in communities.



Dai Thomas

Trustee on the UPAT Trust Board

Dai Thomas has extensive experience of governance in Maintained, VA, Academies, MATs, Free Schools and Independent schools. He has previously been the Chair of Governors at a secondary school with 1200 pupils on the roll as well as a governor of an Independent school.

Dai is currently Chair of Governors at Milton Park Primary School who will be joining UPAT in phase one. Dai was designated as a National Leader of Governance (NLG) in January 2014. As an NLG Dai supports Governing Bodies on a consultancy basis to improve the quality of their Governance.

During his time as a Chair of Governors Dai has led the restructuring of a Board, Academisation and Headteacher recruitment.


Jane Grimshaw

Trustee on the UPAT Trust Board

Jane Grimshaw is a corporate and reward governance specialist who works as a consultant advising companies on corporate and reward governance. Jane has worked in the financial, consulting and legal sectors also gaining expertise in employment tax and strategic HR.

Jane was formerly a Governor at Cottage Grove Primary School who are joining UPAT in phase one. Jane has been the Lead Governor on the school’s improvement plan as well as the schools governance link on the development of UPAT. Jane is passionate about learning and development and is keen to support the Trust in key areas.




Joy Squibb

Trustee on the UPAT Trust Board

Joy has worked in education her whole working life, initially as a Primary class teacher in Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth, then as a Deputy Head in Leigh Park followed by Headships in Portsmouth and Gosport at Charles Dickens Junior School and St John’s C of E Primary School. As a headteacher she valued the opportunity to expand roles and also worked as a Teacher Training Tutor for Reading University, a School Improvement Partner for Hampshire Education Authority and an Ofsted Inspector.

Joy now works as an education consultant and offers leadership coaching to school leaders, helping schools and Governing Bodies prepare for Ofsted, support Governors in leading Headteacher performance management, and facilitate the meetings for Gosport Headteachers through GEIP (Gosport Education Improvement Partnership). Joy also has a strong will to improve headteacher and teacher well- being and runs sessions for individual schools and groups.

Her motivation in education has been to support communities struggling with deprivation, to give children rich experiences and an excitement for learning and to foster high aspirations and high achievements for all and the Trust’s vision of Being Belonging Becoming fits perfectly with Joy’s values.