Who We Are
David Bowles (ACMA CGMA)
Director of Finance & Operations
David is an experienced fully qualified Chartered Management Accountant with over 18 years experience working at a senior level within education. He started his accounting career in a commercial setting working for Jigsaw clothing in London. Relocating to Kent, David took on his first finance education role at the University of Kent. In 2011, David started working for a trust which included Spires Academy, Marlowe Academy (now Royal Harbour) and Folkestone Academy. Initially employed to provide systems accountancy services, David progressed to standardising all budgeting, financial reporting and statutory accounts reporting across the group before moving permanently to Folkestone Academy as the Finance Manager.
In December 2017, David was promoted to Director of Finance. Drawing on years of experience, David consolidated all of the schools' accounts functions, vastly improving the finance service provided and created a financial foundation for the Trust to fund school improvement projects through intelligent budgeting. David is an expert in curriculum lead financial planning. In 2020, David was promoted to Director of Finance and Operations where he is now driving rapid improvements in IT, Facilities, Catering and Marketing Services across the Trust.
Director of HR, Governance & Compliance
Rachel has over 13 years experience of HR in the education sector, working across both the Independent and public sector. Rachel’s career developed in the independent sector, delivering key HR support in an advisory capacity to a group of schools. Qualifying for her MCIPD in 2013, Rachel moved into a more strategic HR role to deliver key strategic HR priorities for divisions in both the UK and US. Rachel supported the delivery of a number of acquisitions for the Group, playing an integral part in the due diligence process, employee communication, engagement and TUPE.
With a passion for working in HR in education, Rachel moved to Turner Schools as the Head of HR, bringing valuable commercial experience, and extensive knowledge of centralised services models. Rachel moved into the role of Director of HR, Governance and Compliance shortly afterwards and is shaping the strategic development of the Trusts people strategy and key staffing initiatives, with an ambitious vision to ensure Turner Schools is an employer of choice for education in the Kent region.
Trust Principal & CEO
Seamus is an experienced leader of schools in challenging circumstances. He started his career in inner city London as Head of History before taking up a number of senior leadership roles in challenging schools. He worked as a London Challenge partner in two schools prior to getting his first headship in Kent.
Seamus led the school from Special Measures to a Good judgement in just 13 months. As a result, Seamus was recruited by Ofsted as one of Her Majesty’s inspectors to work with schools in challenging circumstances.
After two years, Seamus joined Swale Academies Trust as an Executive Headteacher where he led five secondaries through successful Ofsteds and raised standards for all. He joined Turner Schools in April 2019 and became CEO in March 2020.
Seamus’s areas of expertise include school improvement, raising standards especially for disadvantaged pupils, provision for SEND pupils and leadership development. He is passionate about the arts, music and the sea.