Mr John Kirkman – Co-Chair

Mr John Kirkman is retired having worked as a Senior Weather forecaster with the Royal Air Force. Prior to retirement he had long service as a Councillor on Bourne Town, South Kesteven and Lincolnshire County Councils.  He served twice as Mayor of Bourne and was Chairman of SKDC in 2005.

John was involved in fund raising for the local Branch of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research until it closure in 2015.

He now is a Trustee / Governor on Abbey Academies Trust and South Lincolnshire Academies Trust and is a Trustee on Bourne United Charities and the Willoughby Memorial Trust.


Mr Duncan Pickering – Co-Chair

Duncan is a solicitor specialising in Corporate and Property law, Education Law, Charity Law and governance.

Duncan has been qualified as a solicitor for over 27 years and runs his own niche legal practice specialising in education, charity and business and property law. He has acted for over 70 converter schools, ranging from small infant schools with less than 100 on roll to large federations converting as a Multi Academy Trust.

Duncan is vice chair of a secondary MAT and co-chair at a primary C of E MAT. He is a member of Learn AT MAT in Market Harborough.

Duncan has experience of going into failing schools to help governing bodies drive standards, as well as experience of submitting free school applications and assisting schools wanting to become DfE approved sponsor academies. He has undertaken a Church of England Chairs’ development programme and is a National Leader of Governance.

Away from work and education Duncan enjoys regular holidays now his children are all at university. He is a particular fan of Turkey where he has a family villa. His golf is not as good as his 14 handicap suggests!


Fr Chris Atkinson

The Revd Father Chris Atkinson is vicar of Bourne and Rural Dean.  Fr Chris is a Trustee of Abbey Academies Trust and sits on the Local Governing Board of Bourne Elsea Park C of E Primary Academy.

Fr Chris regularly visits Bourne Abbey and Bourne Elsea Park schools to lead Collective Worship and Confirmation classes. He actively nurtures a positive and meaningful relationship between the two schools and Bourne Abbey Church.

Fr Chris is also a governor at Bourne Grammar School and holds charity trusteeships with Bourne United Charities; Bourne Education Trust; Bourne Old National School Trust and Bourne PCC.


Mr Stephen Haigh

Stephen Haigh is a Training Manager working for the Volkswagen Group Apprenticeship Programme.  He has been involved with education across the primary, secondary and Post 16 sectors for the last 18 years in a variety of roles.

Stephen is a Foundation Trustee for Abbey Academies Trust and Vice-Chair of the Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy Local Governing Board. Capitalising on Stephen’s strengths and experience from his job in Post 16 learning, his link roles at Bourne Abbey include Health and Safety, SEND, Safeguarding and LAC.

Stephen is also a governor on a secondary school Local Advisory Board.


Fr Peter Lister

Father Peter is married to Pauline and is Associate Priest at Bourne Abbey Church.

Before his ordination he spent thirty years working in agriculture as a farmer and in the grain trade.

A former pupil of Bourne Abbey Primary and Bourne Grammar Schools he has been a school governor since 2011 and is currently a Trustee of the Abbey Academies Trust and local governor at Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy.

Fr Peter regularly visits Bourne Abbey and Bourne Elsea Park schools to lead Collective Worship and Confirmation classes.

Fr Peter is a life-long supporter of Nottingham Forest FC and enjoys cricket, birdwatching, all things Italian, and the poetry of John Clare.

Mrs Sarah Moore – Executive Head Teacher/CEO

Sarah is a National Leader of Education and has been Executive Head Teacher of Bourne Abbey and Bourne Elsea Park Church of England Primary Academies (Abbey Academies Trust) since January 2016. She led Bourne Elsea Park to a ’good’ Ofsted judgement in its first inspection as a new school in April 2017 and to ‘outstanding’ in its first SIAMs inspection in June 2017.

Sarah was previously Head Teacher at Orston Primary School in Rushcliffe, leading it from ‘good’ in 2007 to ‘outstanding’ in 2010. She was also Head Teacher at Oak Tree Primary, a school serving a large area with high levels of deprivation in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, which secured a judgement of ‘good’ in February 2014.

Sarah is developing a Trust-wide approach to securing high achievement and working closely with both Heads of School. She has a vast experience in governance and working collaboratively with other schools. In her role as National Leader of Education since 2012 she has a proven track record in successful school-to-school support in Nottinghamshire, Derby City and Lincolnshire. After two years as Executive Head Teacher, she is now focusing on leading Abbey Academies Trust’s development of infrastructure and educational vision.

Mr Nick Page

In addition to his responsibilities as a trustee, Nick values the more hands-on involvement of local governor to Bourne Elsea Park, where he is currently linked to the Reception class.

Now retired, Nick’s professional background was in social work, firstly as a childcare practitioner and later as a senior manager responsible for children and family services, including for ‘Looked After’ children, children with disabilities, child protection (safeguarding) and other services. Outside of social work, he was an experienced assessor within the public sector, having a particular focus on the quality of customer service, whether in education, health or in local government services.

As a worshipping member of Bourne Abbey Church and on the Parochial Church Council, Nick supports the strengthening ties between church and academies.