Turner Schools is an academy trust led by local people, to deliver a quality education for all in the community.

Our mission is to raise standards, breaking the cycle of disadvantage through brilliant schools, giving the young the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in education and in life.

Our ethos: We are schools with HEART

H -
High Expectations (our teachers are brilliant and help pupils reach the highest standards)
E -
Engagement (our lessons engage all learners)
A -
Academics (our curriculum is academically rigorous, founded on tried and tested subjects)
R -
Reading (everyone a reader in Turner Schools - it’s our job to teach and share the joy of reading)
T -
Trust (We are good people that the community can trust, and we exhibit professional standards and respect in all our relationships)

To submit an expression of interest in the Turner School bid for a new secondary school in Folkestone, please click here.

Our principles:

We are established according to best practice principles of governance, with 5 independent Members
overseeing the work of our 7 Directors.

We are committed to the 7 Principles of Public Life

  • Selflessness

  • Integrity

  • Objectivity

  • Accountability

  • Openness

  • Honesty

  • Leadership

Click here for more information

Who we are:

Turner Schools is led by experienced school leaders and educators, bringing national experience in running Outstanding schools to local communities in East Kent.

CEO and founder: Dr Jo Saxton

Jo has always loved schools and brings a wealth of experience leading and improving schools to her native East Kent.

Until recently Jo was CEO of Future Academies, a group of 4 schools (2 Outstanding primary schools, 1 Good primary school, and 1 Outstanding secondary school) in London. Find out more about Future Academies

Jo has been involved with the reform of the National Curriculum under the Labour, Coalition and Conservative governments. Jo's great passions are the arts, history and classics, having begun her career as a university academic. Jo's art book for children, 'Snail Trail', has been translated in to several languages.

The teacher training institution founded by Jo was recently ranked no.3 in England.

Welcome from The Chief Executive

Our goal is providing a brilliant education, working in partnership with you, our local community.

We know that calm, happy pupils learn and so a welcoming environment and positive relationships underpin everything we do.

We will work with you, our community, to develop the extended day offer you and your children need.

We insist on the highest teaching standards in our growing family of local schools, and we are already working with national partners to train great teachers.

Turner Schools is named after my grandmother, Juliette Turner. She lived in Kent, and as well as being an English Teacher, she was one of the first women in the country to achieve a university degree. She also spent many years in India, Nepal, Malta and France. Her life-long love of learning - especially reading, her interest in all the world’s people, and her pioneering spirit serve to inspire our work here at Turner Schools.

Our directors:

Professor Carl Lygo, Chair

  • Carl was founding VC and CEO of BPP, the private university group for the professional services, a board member of HEFCE and Carl is an experienced leader of educational improvement and expansion

  • Carl is a qualified Barrister, and in addition to private practice

  • Carl is a former lecturer on law at Warwick and London universities

  • Carl led the accreditation of BPP as the UK’s first new university in decades

  • Carl has contributed to policy advising David Willetts, as well as governments in other jurisdictions on their education standards and offer

  • Carl has contributed evidence on standards and accountability in education at university level to the parliamentary Education Select Committee

  • Carl has been a school Governor at Highworth Girls’ Grammar School in Ashford, Kent

  • He has experience of leading Post 16 education having served as a Director of Mander Portman Woodward (MPW), independent sixth form college group based in London, Birmingham and Cambridge

  • Carl is passionate about transforming outcomes for children growing up in deprivation through doing things differently, inspired by the motto of his own school in Doncaster

  • Carl is a regular commentator on Radio 4

  • Carl lives in East Kent and has five children

  • Carl will lead Turner Schools by serving as its founding Chair

Dame Sue John NLE

  • As long-term Headteacher of Lampton School, a National Teaching School judged Outstanding at three consecutive inspections under Sue’s leadership, Sue brings decades of school leadership expertise to Turner Schools

  • Sue’s ability to provide strategic and pragmatic educational governance at a very senior level is evidenced by her effective tenure as Non Executive Director of the DfE while Michael Gove was Secretary of State

  • Sue has shared her experience of improving outcomes for multi-ethnic children, many of whom are in deprivation, by going on to advise the Sutton Trust, the Royal Society, and Chair the Brilliant Club and RiS, all of which are organisations dedicated to achieving excellence for pupils in deprivation at non-selective schools; her insights will inform practice at Turner Schools at all levels

  • Sue is currently Executive Director of Challenge Partners, the school-to-school improvement engine and also involved with London Leadership Strategy. The school improvement power of both organisations will be support Turner Schools and its staff in their work to level the playing field for pupils growing up on the coast.

Geoffrey Davies

  • Geoffrey is a practising solicitor, and is a consultant to education and charity specialist Stone King LLP (London, Cambridge, Bath and Leeds)

  • Geoffrey is an expert on Academies, and has been involved in establishing well over 100 Academies, MATs and Free Schools

  • Geoffrey acts for key high-profile large MATs, including Ark Schools, Harris Federation and United Learning (which he has also served as a Trustee), Future Academies and Oasis Community Learning

  • Geoffrey is passionate about improving educational standards in East Kent, having grown up in Hythe and received early education in Folkestone

  • Geoffrey is a Trustee of the New Schools Network (NSN)

  • Geoffrey brings a wealth of Academy experience, as well as a deep and moral appreciation of good governance, to Turner Schools

James Booth-Clibborn

  • As Managing Director of Phaidon Books James understands the power of books to transform lives. He also brings strategic clarity to operations having served Phaidon company through recession, changed ownership and expansion working globally in an increasingly challenging market

  • Consistent with the Arts focus of Phaidon books James brings creative approaches to problem solving that will ensure the Trust’s board always considers differing view perspectives

  • James’s Art Press, Manifold Editions, brings links to contemporary artists, some of whom are active in East Kent, that will enable meaningful relationships to develop with Turner Schools

  • James is a native of Kent

Ray Johnson

  • Ray is a pillar of the community in Folkestone. In addition to operating his business Independent Insurance Services, he chairs the local economic development group on behalf of the chamber.

  • Ray leads many charitable initiatives including the Gurkha Memorial Fund, organises two popular races in Folkestone which supports local good causes, chairs the Folkestone Town Team, chairs an insurance sector conference and is a member of the Rotary club.

  • In Ray's spare time he enjoys running and is training for his 17th London Marathon.

  • In addition to being a Director of Turner Schools, Ray is a member of the Trust's joint Local Governing Body.

Manjinder Johal

  • Manjinder is a chartered accountant and qualified Maths teacher.

  • In addition to commercial roles as a Financial Director at DTZ UK and at Gaucho Grill, Manjinder was latterly Financial Director at Future Academies, a Trust with five non-selective schools in Westminster chaired by Lord Nash.

  • Manjinder Chairs the Trust's Audit and Risk Committee.

Sarah Richardson

  • As Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Westminster Council Sarah was closely involved in the academisation of Westminster’s secondary schools with Sir Simon Milton

  • Sarah continues to provide strategic direction to Pimlico Academy in Westminster, continually challenging the school’s Directors and senior leaders to strive for more for pupils in deprivation, through her role on its Local Governing Body, and she will contribute this kind of aspirational challenge to the Board at Turner Schools

  • Sarah is a public affairs specialist whose current projects include advising Westminster Kingsway College and City and Islington College on their proposed merger plans

  • Sarah is a former Lord Mayor of Westminster, and a Trustee of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation which is supporting the establishment of a University Technical College in Pimlico

  • Sarah served on the governing body at Aylwin Girls’ School, working on its 2006 conversion to Harris Bermondsey

  • Sarah is a former education and employment journalist, writing for the Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times and The Independent, as well as sitting on The Centre for Social Justice’s review on raising academic attainment for children in care and care leavers

  • Sarah is a policy expert and will advise the Trust on policy matters, including chairing the operational policy review

  • Sarah is a Trustee of Mousetrap Theatre Projects which ensures schools in areas of deprivation have access to high quality theatre and related workshops

  • Sarah lives in East Kent

Our Members, who hold Directors to account, are:

  • Christopher Kirker

  • Jane Mackenzie

  • Victor Stock

  • Dan Perrett

  • and Member/Director link: Geoffrey Davies

Our Culture:

We have a 100% Culture
No Excuses

We give 100 percent every day so our pupils can reach their fullest potential.

Trust Governance:

To view our governance structure click here:

To view Turner Schools Board Declarations of Interest click here:

Further information:

For further information please contact: enquiries@turnerschools.com

To read our Articles of Association click here

To read Turner Schools Master Funding Agreement click here

Turner Schools is a charity regulated by the Department for Education, and a company limited by guarantee 10084743

Turner Schools is based in Canterbury and its registered address: c/o Martello Primary, Warren Way, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 6DT.