Members and Trustees

Members of the Trust

Lars Dyrelund

Lars Dyrelund holds a BSc in Data Science and MSc in Economics – both from Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. In his day job, Lars is the Head of Product for Firefly Learning whose software is used by more than half a million students worldwide. Firefly Learning is an educational technology company based in London, England with offices in Sydney, Australia that provides parent engagement and learning continuity platforms to hundreds of schools around the world. Lars spends his time working with his team to identify the core challenges facing schools around teaching, learning and parental engagement, and builds solutions to help every student reach their full potential.

In his spare time Lars volunteers as a Special Constable, which he has done since he started in the Met in 2013. He is currently the Special Inspector for Thames Valley Police in Reading supervising 35 Special Constables, and enjoys helping his team make a difference in the community it serves.

Lars lives in Berkshire and is married with one daughter and one son. His daughter is currently a Year 9 student at Reading Girls' School.

Robert Milne

Bob gained a B Ed degree from Oxford University.  He was a teacher at Cippenham Middle School and Deputy Headteacher at Wexham Court Middle School and Lynch Hill Combined School in Slough before becoming Headteacher of Tylers Green Middle School in Buckinghamshire for eighteen years. 

Bob became a governor of Lynch Hill Combined School in 1992.  He has served as Vice-Chair of Governors, Chaired the Curriculum, Personnel and Pay Review Committees and was a member of the Finance Committee. He continued as a trustee when the School became a Primary Academy in 2011 and chaired the Trust Board for two years after it became a Multi Academy Trust in 2014.

In retirement Bob continues as a parish councillor.  He is Vice-Chair of Farnham Royal Parish Council, a volunteer librarian at the local community library and a fairly frequent traveller to California and Australia where he has family.

Jo Welch

Jo joined TLT in 2021, and is currently a trustee at another MAT for children with special educational needs. Jo is delighted to be part of The Thames Learning Trust as she is a Baylis Court Alumni. Leaving in 1982, she trained as a Nurse for people with a Learning Disability and worked in the NHS, Prison Service, Private Voluntary and Independent sectors. Jo moved into Higher Education and is now based at The University of Winchester, presenting the Nursing Programme. Jo is also an External Examiner at other universities around the country and is an associate lecturer role for The Open University.  Jo is involved in working with and advocating for people who live with a learning disability and promotes inclusion though National Networks. Jo has been involved in the Guide and Scout movements for many years and loves nothing more than treading the boards in Amateur theatre productions, having played Jack in Puss in Boots most recently.


The Board of Trustees

Deborah Ajose

After serving as the Chief Executive Officer [CEO] for Baylis Court Trust for five years,  I moved to working part-time as a freelance educational leadership consultant.   Prior to my role as CEO, I was head teacher of Baylis Court School for two years.  This was my second headship as I served for seven years as headteacher at a large comprehensive school in Reading, where we moved the school from inadequate to good.  I became a National Leader of Education in 2015, and have worked with many schools since then, offering support with their journey to raise standards for disadvantaged learners.  In 2015, I worked as part of the DFE Data Management Review Group, which was part of the DFE review of teacher workload, that was set up in response to the evidence collected by The Workload Challenge.  In 2019, I became a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching.

Lindsey Bowden

Lindsey is an experienced governor and trustee.  She was Vice Chair of a Wokingham Primary school for six years before moving on to govern at a secondary school in Earley for 10 years.  She is currently a Trustee at another MAT and Chair of Governors at a Bracknell Primary school.    Lindsey was delighted to join The Thames Learning Trust in September 2019.  

Lindsey’s background is in accounts working for Combined Lease Finance PLC in the city then working locally while her children were young.  She is currently a host family for Reading Football club offering a safe ‘home from home’ for their young players on both a long and short term basis.

Theodore Damale-Day

Joining the trust in 2023 I have a background in the Education charity sector working with schools across the South-East to ensure that all children regardless of background had the best access to Education possible.

More recently, I work in High Tech, specifically in Research and Advisory. I advise clients on the latest market, technology, and industry insights to help them achieve their top priorities.

Personally, I moved to Reading in 2022 with my wife and dog (Toast). Moving into a new area I wanted to ensure that I was involving myself in the local community. With a background in Education and having previously governed at a local school in the South East I wanted to utilise my professional skills to help schools in the local area.

In my spare time you will find me going on dog walks in the lovely Berkshire countryside, trying out all of Reading's wonderful restaurants, and upsetting my wife and dog with my piano and guitar skills.

Richard Kearsey- Chief Executive Officer

Richard Kearsey is the Chief Executive Officer of The Thames Learning Trust having held a number of senior management positions in secondary schools. He holds the National Professional Qualification Headship and the Professional Qualification for School Inspectors. Richard is an Ofsted Lead Inspector.

Victoria Kelley

Victoria joined TLT in Autumn 2023. She graduated in 2009 with a BSc in Computer Science and has over 15 years’ experience of managing projects and programmes in the IT industry, across mainly the government and telecommunications sectors. In her current role as Senior IT Programme Manager, she is overseeing the implementation of new Cyber Security legislation into her organisation’s IT systems.

Victoria has many transferable skills from her professional career which she can bring to the Trust, including financial management and setting and monitoring of an organisation’s strategy.

Bob Kenwrick

Bob spent 38 years in the Police Force and prior to retiring was Chief Inspector with British Transport Police.  On retiring, he returned to British Transport police for 7 years as their well-being manager with responsibility for health and safety and occupational health.  He has been a governor for 17 years and has held the following positions: -

  • Previously Chair of Governors at a primary school in Earley
  • Currently Chair of Governors at 2 schools in Reading. He was a Governor for Reading Girls School from 2016 - 2019, before the school joined The Thames Learning Trust.
  • Currently Chair of Governors at a school in Earley
  • Currently Governor at a primary school in Bracknell
  • Trustee of 2 Multi Academy trusts one of which is The Thames Learning Trust.

Jon Reekie

Jon Reekie retired from a long career in banking in the late 1970’s. He has been a Governor of Baylis Court School and Herschel Grammar School since 1989 where he chaired the Finance Committee and was Vice-Chair. He worked for the Medical Research Council in London in 1993. In 1995 he was appointed Business Manager at Herschel Grammar School until retiring from the post in 2009. During all of this time, he remained a Governor and Chair at Baylis Court School and in recent years took the school to Academy status and, in 2015, to Multi Academy status and chairs the Trust Board. After his retirement, he has been asked to be a member of governing bodies in Slough where there has been a need to strengthen governance. Among those have been Willow Primary School and James Elliman Academy, both of which he is no longer a governor of. Jon is also a member of the Board of Slough and East Berkshire Multi Academy Trust where he chairs the Trust Finance Committee. He also chairs the governing body at Wexham Court Primary School. Jon is a member of the Slough School’s Forum which is a body that deals with school finance for all schools in Slough.  Outside of education, Jon is a Trustee of Maidenhead Waterways Regeneration Group. He now has three grandsons and a step granddaughter and enjoys relaxing holidays in his caravan and cruises to various oversea countries.