Our Team

All schools within SAST are equal partners. The Headteachers, senior staff, middle leaders, teachers and non-teaching staff all make a significant contribution to their own schools and more widely. SAST has Members and Trustees who have been appointed on the basis of their skills, expertise and experience.



Colin Sinclair, CEO

Colin joined SAST as CEO in September 2021, and brings with him a wealth of experience of working in multi-academy trusts across the country.



Steve Smith, Director of School Improvement and Deputy CEO

Prior to joining the trust, Steve was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors. He inspected different types of school across the primary and secondary age ranges, including independent schools. He also inspected teacher-training institutions. Before joining Ofsted, Steve was a senior leader for 14 years, five of which were as a headteacher. Steve continues to inspect for Ofsted.


Peter Knell, Finance Director

Peter joined SAST in March 2022, and leads our Finance team, working closely with both the CEO and Trustees in developing, implementing and evaluating our financial strategy, ensuring it is both sustainable and effective.

Peter previously worked at Wells Cathedral School, where he was Director of Finance & Resources. He is also Vice Chair of Challenger multi-academy trust, and chair of governors at Broadmayne First School in Dorchester. He started his career in the Army, and led a number of strategic change programmes, before qualifying as an accountant. After studying for an MSc, MA and MBA, Peter is now working towards a PhD in Leadership.


Catherine Watson, HR Director

Catherine Watson is an HR practitioner and has enjoyed a varied career. She has 20 years’ experience in business-related roles in the private and charitable sectors, before a move into education in 2014 as HR Manager for The Gryphon School. She was appointed as Head of HR upon conversion to a MAT in June 2017. Catherine is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and an experienced school governor.

“Working in education really matters to me. The brilliant staff here in the trust make a real difference to the outcomes of children in our local communities. I’m proud to be part of that work.”


Bob Stacey, Business Director

Bob Stacey joined SAST in February 2022, coming from 13 years working in Multi-Academy Trusts and the NHS. Bob has a wealth of knowledge of leading business operations across the public sector and much of his experience draws from negotiating and managing large contracts across a wide variety of service areas to improve efficiencies.

His role is to strategically lead on operations across the Trust and ensure that SAST has the capacity to offer our schools the support they need, whilst also preparing and planning for future growth.


Bella Byrne, Head of Governance & DPO

Bella Byrne joined the SAST Central team in 2018. Prior to this she worked for ten years in technical litigation support and data management within the commercial sector. Bella has worked within education for 13 years in teaching and business support roles. A qualified Data Protection Practitioner, experienced governance trainer and Clerk, Bella advises SAST schools on academy governance, information management and policy compliance matters. Outside of the Trust, Bella is a Co-Opted Governor in a mainstream school and enjoys running and interior design.


Neil Burroughs, Head of IT

Neil heads up the SAST IT team, which provides technical support to staff

and students. Development of the Trust’s IT infrastructure is a priority to maximise the benefits of technology for teaching and learning and using creative technical solutions to support how we work.


Holly George, Head of Marketing & Communications

Holly joined The Gryphon School in 2016 before moving to work across the Trust after it was formed. With 14 years marketing and communications experience, having previously worked in IT services across Europe, and then the UK social housing sector, Holly brings a broad skill set to SAST. Her remit covers external  and internal communication, marketing campaigns, PR, photography, branding, websites and social media, as well as providing advice and support to our SAST schools.

Holly is CIM qualified with a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing, as well as a Masters Degree in International Business.


Chris Vigar, Head of Finance

Following a 10 year career in NHS finance, Chris Vigar joined the Trust in November 2012 as Deputy Bursar for The Gryphon School.  Chris subsequently became Bursar for the

school in September 2015.

On formation of Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust in June 2017, Chris was appointed as Head of Finance for the Trust.

Chris is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and has completed a Diploma in School Business Management.


Mike Bradley, Head of Estates

Mike manages the Estates team with his focus on site compliance, CSA funding and projects. He has a wealth of knowledge and is  responsible for developing the estates function of the Trust moving forward.



Contact Us

For more information or to get in touch:

01935 811066
By Email