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Castle Trust

Castle Trust

Please select one of our schools below to learn more. 

Meet our Directors

The profiles below set out the knowledge, skills and experience that our Directors bring to the Trust

Sam calvert

Sam joined the Trust Board in 2014 and is Chair of our Audit & Resources Committee.  Sam Calvert is a qualified accountant, with a broad range of financial experience covering, audit, business partnering, planning and policy. Sam trained at PwC, before moving on to the retail and charity sectors. Currently, Sam works in the public sector, at HM Treasury. He brings financial knowledge and an understanding of public sector processes and policy to the Board, while having developed an expertise on education over his years with the Trust.

Toby crayden


Toby joined the Trust Board in 2018 and sits on our Audit & Resources Committee and the Delce Academy Local Advisory Committee.  Toby has served almost 30 years in the Construction Industry, many of those in private Consultancy as well as with the local Highways and Water Authority and is an active member of the Institute of Directors.
Overseeing a team of 50 engineers Toby has personally led many construction projects from start to finish, often leading a team of multi-disciplinary engineers on complex engineering tasks and projects.  These include education projects on new and refurbished schools and colleges, many in the Kent and Medway area.
Toby has been a Board Director at his current employer for over 10 years and has overseen the establishment and growth of the South East business.
Toby's experience at Board level, and specifically with education projects, assists with the efficient running of the Trust as Toby is able to proactively contribute and question Board decisions and strategies.  Toby is also on the CASTLE Trust Audit & Resources Committee and is able to use his experience with company and project accounts to good effect.
Toby is also a past pupil as Delce Junior School, giving him a personal connection with the CASTLE Trust's continued success.

carey du gray


Carey joined the Trust Board in 2018 and sits on our Audit & Resources Committee and on the Greenway Academy Local Advisory Committee.  Carey is a professional fundraising consultant who specialises in helping charities and other not-for-profit organisations build strategies to secure funding from trusts, foundations and statutory bodies.  He has worked with organisations ranging in size from small start-ups to major national and international charities.  In a previous career, he worked as a computer game director, overseeing creative teams and working with publishing partners to create commercially successful products.  In these roles he gained experience with planning, budgets and scheduling; strategic thinking; research and writing; team building; mentorship; continuous professional development; relationship management; and business development

 John McDonald


John is the recently retired CEO of the Family Holiday Association (FHA). He has completed a
work career in the charity sector, working closely with other charities, the Charity Commission and a
number of government agencies and policy makers. He has an extensive understanding of the issues
families face in challenging social contexts and is a subject on which he has spoken nationally and
internationally. He has considerable fundraising experience. He has had links with our schools through use of his organisation to provide holidays and educational family visit programmes over the past nine years.
He has developed the FHA from a small local charity to an influential force in its field within the UK and
Europe by developing effective communications strategies and developing and delivering clear strategic direction.

chris purchase


Chris joined the Trust in 2015 and is currently Chair of the Trust Board.  He also sits on our Audit & Resources Committee.
With a substantial experience in general management in hi-tech manufacturing and service industries, in recent years, following early retirement, Chris has turned his hand to tutoring, with a particular interest in school exclusions.

lisa roper 


Lisa joined the Trust Board in 2018 and chairs the Chairs' Working Party. An English specialist with over 23 years' experience in further education, Lisa has taught and subsequently managed English and maths provision for much of this time before taking up her current post as Head of Foundation Education and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programmes.  She has extensive experience and professional knowledge of English and maths in the post 16 curriculum and is a passionate educator.  Her main professional interests are behaviour management and student engagement with a particular emphasis on SEND.
Lisa is a parent of twins, one of whom has Asperger Syndrome and so has a personal affiliation with the education of those with additional needs.
She brings to the Board her educational knowledge and experience, including participation in 6 Ofsted inspections, a passion for learning and a relentless belief in the power of education.

karen white 


Karen is Chief Executive Officer of the Trust and has led the Trust since its incorporation in 2014.  Karen has been a teacher and school leader for over 20 years across a range of authorities.  She has a business degree, which helps support her to run a MAT as a CEO.  She is passionate about children's learning ensuring they have the best possible start to life and believes that school should be a safe place where learning is fun and children lead their own progression. Karen enjoys managing change, which is very appropriate in the 21st Century educational world.