Horncastle Education Trust welcomes new chief executive

The start of the new year has seen a change of leadership at the Horncastle Educational Trust (HET) following the retirement of co-founder and CEO Heather Payne.

HET Former Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO Sandra James (right) has taken over the role from Heather Payne. EMN-220117-110543001
HET Former Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO Sandra James (right) has taken over the role from Heather Payne. EMN-220117-110543001

The trust’s former chief financial officer and deputy CEO Sandra James has taken over the role from Heather, who is stepping down following a long and successful career in education, spanning 38 years.

Speaking about Heather’s retirement, Sandra said: “Heather has given tirelessly during her time within education, making a real difference to so many young people and staff along the way in addition to supporting several other schools in her role as a national leader of education (NLE).

“Heather and I worked closely with the headteachers and governors at QEGS, Banovallum School, Frithville Primary and New York Primary School to create the Horncastle Education Trust and I’m pleased to say Heather has agreed to remain as a trustee of the board.”

Heather said: “From the moment I set foot in QEGS in July 1992, I fell in love with the school.

“ It was a joy to teach young people and to work with so many inspirational colleagues.

“I will be forever grateful to Tim Peacock who appointed me. From field trips and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions to running club and music, I have amassed a hatful of happy memories. Throughout my time in Horncastle, I have benefited from the support offered by governors, trustees and members, staff, parents and the local community.

“I am delighted that Sandra James is the new CEO.

“I cannot think of anyone better to further HET’s ambition to improve the life chances of our young people through schools working together.

“As I look back over nearly 40 years in education, we achieve the best for our children when we pool our resources and share our expertise.”

As the first female headteacher in the school’s history, Heather was responsible for many achievements, including gaining the status of Specialist Science College, being judged Outstanding by Ofsted for the first time, and creating the vision for a multi-academy trust.