South Orpington Learning Alliance Multi Academy Trust

Life at South Orpington Learning Alliance Multi Academy Trust
sola - a brighter future


Trustee Profiles

Rob Summers – Chair of Trustees


I have spent more than twenty-five years as a senior business leader in some of the UK's largest and most notable organisations across the retail, financial services and not for profit sectors.  With extensive experience in operational leadership, project management, finance and business transformation I support the SOLA leadership team with strategic planning by providing rigour and challenge to the decisions that are made.  Formerly Chair of Governors at Green Street Green Primary School, I have been involved with SOLA since before it was founded playing a part in the working group that was set up to establish the trust.  As Chair of Trustees I am committed to leading the Board and ensuring that the children and staff of SOLA are well looked after, that educational standards continue to improve and that the trust is financially robust.


I have many strong links to education with several current and former teachers in my immediate family, a school aged daughter and my wife who was also a trustee for an academy trust.  Away from work you will find me either on the touchline and sometimes on the pitch of my rugby club, with a camera in hand indulging my love of nature and photography or making a horrible noise as I continue to learn to play the saxophone.


June Riley

June Riley


I first became a school parent governor in 1995 when my children were attending Pratts Bottom Primary School. After they left I became a co-opted governor. At the time, I was working in the Finance Office at Kelsey Park School in Beckenham. I then took the post of Bursar at Newstead Wood School, where I saw the school through the change to academy status. I now work as the Chief Operating Officer for Impact Multi Academy Trust (Hayes School & Ravens Wood School). I am a member of the SOLA Trust Board and chair the Finance & Audit Committee. I hold the Diploma in School Business Administration.


Robert Sampson - Vice Chair of Trustees


I am one of the two Vice Chairs of the Trustee Board with a responsibility for encouraging Governor training.


I have extensive Governor experience including at The Highway Primary School and at Tubbenden Primary School.


During the years my main focus has been on the Finances/Resources as I have brought my knowledge of analysing Accounts, Management information and Forecasts that I use on a daily basis in my Coaching & Training role at Barclays Bank.


I am a true advocate of ensuring the best education for all of the children within the Trust and encouraging continual improvement within the schools and ensuring that the annual budgets are aligned to these two.


In my personal life I am married with three daughters, my youngest daughter is a NQT now teaching in a Local Primary School. My wife works at Aquinas Multi Academy Trust in the Finance team.


As for hobbies I have regularly run park runs (free weekly 5 kilometre runs) and have run 10K races and a half marathon. I am currently training for an ultra-marathon (50 kilometres) at the end of March. I also regularly play badminton. I am interested in most sports particularly Cricket (a happy Kent supporter) and football. I have also co-written and acted in a number of Pantomimes as a Dame.



Clive Howse


Clive Howse was co-opted to the SOLAMAT board of Trustees in 2017 and became a Member Appointed Trustee in May 2020. He has lived most of his life in the Bromley area and both he and his two sons were educated in the borough. 


Clive believes all children should experience a stimulating, rewarding and happy time at school. He is committed to doing what he can to make this a reality for any child attending a trust academy. 


Outside of the trust, Clive is the MD of a media buying and marketing agency that works closely with a number of UK charities amongst other clients. 

Lauren Court


I’ve been very fortunate to have a really varied career in the Civil Service fulfilling various roles in operational leadership, policy and strategy.

I am very passionate about the public sector and being able to make a difference, even completing a degree in Social Policy. Securing a good education is crucial for all and so I’m delighted to be working with the SOLA team to this end.

I enjoy travelling so am constantly planning for my next holiday. I also enjoy cooking and entertaining for friends and have a large collection of cookery books that I will often pour over for inspiration, sometimes with good results and sometimes not!​

Katharine Soole 


At home I am a mum to three boys who all attend Tubbenden. At work I am an accomplished Senior Workforce Planning Leader, with a background in delivering data driven HR. As a Trustee I hope to bring the best of both of these to help create an environment where the pupils across SOLA develop a growth mindset, constantly evolving their skills and experiences to enhance their future lives and possess the agility to keep moving forward in an ever changing world.

Ceri Howells


Ceri is a CIMA qualified accountant and has over 25 years accounting experience across Mining, Media and Logistics with over 18 years at Anglo American PLC. Ceri’s roles have primarily focused on forecasting and analysing results to provide decision supportive information to senior Executives and the Board as well as Finance Transformation and Savings Projects. Ceri has a degree in Mathematical Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Karen Bowden-Brown

In addition to my Trustee role I am employed full time as the Head of People and Culture for a Bank.

For the previous two decades I have held various HR roles in Financial Services, Aviation, the High Tech Sector and Education. I have been a key contributor to large scale change projects involving culture transformation - most recently involving a governance review. I have extensive HR experience from working with unions negotiating pay deals and workforce changes in my earlier career to resolving complex employee relations problems and working strategically with the senior team in my current leadership role.

I believe that governance and decision making are essential to creating a great culture that will benefit children and their education.  I am passionate about the importance of creating a culture that is inclusive, celebrates differences and embraces diversity of thought, as I believe this leads to better decisions.

I hold a Masters in Human Resources with MCIPD membership and I recently obtained a distinction in a post graduate Coaching qualification. Now all that study is out of the way I am delighted to have more time to spend with my family and friends.

I live locally and I have two boys - one at primary school in Chislehurst and the other at a local grammar school.

My favourite way to relax is walking in the local woodlands with our other family member, Belle, a black Labrador.

 Executive Team Profiles

James Turvey – Chief Executive Officer/Executive Headteacher


I was born and grew up in Orpington - believe it or not my educational journey began as a pupil at one of our SOLA schools. At eighteen I spent a short period working in banking, and then pursued a career in teaching after attending University in Wales. My education experience has been gained in various schools in East London where I lived for ten years, in Kent and latterly in Bromley, as Headteacher at Darrick Wood Junior School for eleven years, and most recently at Tubbenden Primary.


I am passionate about education, and wholly committed to the moral purpose of SOLA, and its success. I want to ensure that children in our schools receive the very best education we can give them. That means that as well as achieving academic success every child should be introduced to strong values, have access to a broad curriculum and enjoy a wide range of experiences.


I am a committed family man, with two adult sons who also attended local schools. I love music, modern westerns and Arsenal.  


Nicola Diamond – Chief Operating Officer


Prior to the Trust establishing in April 2016, I worked as the School Business Manager for Tubbenden Primary School and since then, have greatly enjoyed my role as the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). Before joining Tubbenden 5 years ago, I worked for a large American investment bank for 19 years in a similar role, and for a support group for bereaved children.  


As COO, I’m responsible for overseeing the ‘back office’ of the Trust - the finances, ICT, premises and administrative support. I’m keenly focused on operating the Trust to ensure that we make the very best use of all we have to ensure best outcomes for children.