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Home / About Shaw Trust / Senior Leadership Team

Senior Leadership Team

Senior Leadership Team Members

Senior Leadership Team

The senior leadership team is responsible for the day to day running of Shaw Trust.

Chris Luck CB MBE MA MPhil

Group CEO, Shaw Trust

Chris joined the Trust after a distinguished career in the armed forces. He brings lived experience, expertise and clear sense of purpose, along with a deep understanding of the human condition. Prior to joining Shaw Trust Chris was CEO of the Defence Academy of the UK and the Commandant of the Joint Services Command and Staff College, with responsibility for the education of the future commanders and staff officers of all the armed services from the UK and many countries around the world.

Chris Luck MBE MA MPhil, Group CEO, Shaw Trust

Jacqui Oughton

Chief Operating Officer &
Operational Managing Director of Learning and Skills

Jacqui joined Ixion Holdings in 2014 where she is currently Managing Director Learning and Skills for Shaw Trust. She is a highly experienced and strategic leader within the Learning and Skills sector with significant experience in the contribution to and development of policy and growth across apprenticeships, traineeships and wider skills and learning sectors including higher level qualifications. Jacqui is a highly experienced Ofsted nominee having led and managed 21 inspections and led Ixion, as their nominee, to achieve their Overall Outstanding Grade I inspection result in 2017.

Jacqui Oughton - Operational Managing Director of Learning and Skills

Stephen King

Chief Financial Officer

Stephen’s career began with Price Waterhouse, and subsequently he joined Total UK before moving into private equity. Following this Stephen worked in senior finance roles within Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, one of the UK's largest Housing Associations. Stephen brings experience of leading people through significant change and improving business performance and efficiencies, working nationally with teams across the country to instil stronger working practices at scale.
Steven King

Mark Earl

Chief People Officer

Mark joined Careers Development Group in 2008 leading their Human Resources function. Mark now leads the Group HR, Organisational Development and Resources functions at Shaw Trust.


Mark Earl - Chief Talent Officer

Richard Clifton

Chief Commercial Officer

Richard is responsible for growth of new business across Shaw Trust and leads the business development, partnerships and research and development teams. He has over 20 years experience of business development within both charitable and commercial sectors. Richard is the current chair of the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), the memebership body for the employment support sector. Established in 2005, ERSA campaign's for and supports the delivery of even better services for the nation's jobseekers and learners. 

Richard Clifton - Chief Commercial Officer

Austin Hardie

Operational Managing Director of Employability

Austin joined Shaw Trust in in 2012 from Remploy and now leads Shaw Trust’s Charitable and Enterprise activities. Austin’s primary background has been spent in Social Enterprise, National Employment Programmes and Local Economic Development. Austin also has responsibility across Shaw Trust for our Health and Wellbeing activity which includes our Community Health and Wellbeing services, the development of our national IPS programme and our Wellbeing Practitioner activity.

Austin Hardie - Operational Managing Director – Charitable Services and Enterprise and Operational Managing Director of Community Health and Wellbeing

Paul Cook

Managing Director Of Children’s Services

Paul Cook is a qualified Social Worker who has worked in children’s services for over 30 years. Prior to moving to the private sector he was responsible for the management of residential childcare including secure accommodation in a Local Authority Children’s Services Department.

Paul Cook picture

Victoria Blakeman

Operational Managing Director of Justice, Community Health and Wellbeing, Charitable Services and Enterprise

Former prison governor Victoria Blakeman, joined Prospects as Director of Offender Management in June 2013. She previously advised the UK Government and UN on counter-terrorism measures in the rehabilitation of offenders. Victoria served as the Head of UK Corrections and Detentions in Afghanistan and was involved in the construction of and restructure of management at Lashkar Gar prison.


Victoria Blakeman - Operational Managing Director of Justice

Vanessa Miner

Managing Director of Gabbitas Education

Vanessa has extensive government and commercial experience in education and media industries as an advisor to the Department for Education in the development of the academies programme. With a substantive career in marketing in the communication industry including BT and Vodafone she led on commercial partnerships at Endemol Shine, one of the UK's largest media producers, before joining independent educational charity Edge, as Marketing Director. Vanessa was previously a Shaw Trust trustee and is a trustee of The Galileo Foundation and Director of Edspace, the co-working space for education start-ups.

Vanessa Miner - Managing Director of Gabbitas Education

Andrew Thraves

Managing Director of Optimus Education

Andrew joined Prospects in April 2015. He has supplied services and solutions to the education industry for over 30 years, at commercial organisations demanding significant company growth and high profit expectations. Previously chair of several of the main trade associations representing companies supplying commercial services to education, Andrew is also a Trustee of the largest multi-academy chain in the country.


Andrew Thraves - Managing Director of Optimus Education

Jo Morgan

Chief Executive Officer, Shaw Education Trust

Jo joined the Trust in 2015 from Ofsted where she worked as the Regional Director for the North West, and National Director for Initial Teacher Education. Prior to that, Jo held several secondary headships; was a National Leader of Education; led a National Support School, and Teaching School. Jo has also worked extensively in education strategy locally and nationally.


Jo Morgan - Chief Executive Officer, Shaw Education Trust

Alona De Havilland

Employee Voice Chair and Head of Marketing and Communications

Alona joined Prospects in 2007 working in the events team before working in the events team before transferring to the corporate marketing and communications team, a team she now leads for Shaw Trust. In addition to this role, Alona is seconded to the Employee Voice representative body, which she chairs. Employee Voice represents the interests of colleagues working across Shaw Trust, building employee engagement and two way communications.


Alona De Havilland - Employee Voice Chair

Sejal Patel

Director of Assurance and Intelligence

With over 20 years’ experience of working in the industry and a proven track record in people, quality, performance, risk assurance and compliance leadership and effective management strategies.  Sejal worked for the Department for Work and Pensions for 13 years and at Shaw Trust in various compliance related roles, from Head of Commercial Assurance to Director of Assurance and Intelligence for the Group. She has established and spearheaded a high quality assurance strategy and regime, endorsed by external internal audit providers and commissioners. Sejal truly cares about making a difference, and doing things in the right way. Continuing to build upon a high performing and responsive assurance and intelligence function which supports a culture where a quality assurance environment is understood, is acknowledged as an exemplar and overall has a greater impact across the Group to help the organisation transform lives.
Sejal Patel