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Learn@ MAT

Learn@ MAT

Learn@ MAT Central Team

Peter Evans

Chief Executive Officer 

Experienced Leader in Education with over 22 years as a Head Teacher of a range of Special Schools covering specialisms in Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), Social and Emotional Mental Health (SEMH), Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) and Deaf children.

Peter represents local Special Schools on the Bristol Schools Forum and is a member of the South West network of CEOs representing a voice for SEND. Included within his many professional achievements is the realisation of Knowle DGE Academy as an inspirational provision for young people with SEMH or SLCN in Bristol, and the ongoing partnership with a Primary and Special School in Nakuru, Kenya with whom he has lead and supported professional visits and exchanges of staff and students.

He is committed to ensure specialist education has a strong voice locally, regionally and nationally, especially vulnerable young people who experience social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.


Rebecca Watkin

Chief Financial Officer

Becky is a Chartered Accountant and before joining Learn@ MAT in April 2018 was an audit manager with Bishop Fleming. She has over 10 years of experience of working with Academies and Charities. Becky runs a Brownie unit in north Bristol and loves nothing more than dreaming up activities to run. She also undertakes a couple of voluntary Treasurer roles for Girlguiding organisations.


Clare Perrett

Finance Manager

Clare has been the Finance Manager for Learn@ MAT since November 2017, prior to this started work at Knowle DGE as the Finance Assistant in Sept 2012. Clare is married with 2 children and 3 cats, she has lived locally in Bristol all her life.  Hobbies are a very large collection of Lego Models, she enjoys winter weather and loves it when it snows.


Louise Shepherd

Clerk to the Governing Body, Company Secretary & Senior Administrator

Louise is married with two children.  Previously she has worked in a mainstream secondary school with her administration post mainly focussed on behaviour management. 

Before joining the Learn@ Central Team she was a Business Support Administrator for a pupil referral unit based in North Somerset.

Louise and her family share their home with Tornjaks, one of which, Rupert, who qualified as a therapy dog to work with students within the MAT.

Mike Povey

Management Accountant

Mike is thrilled to have joined the Learn@ MAT team and looks forward to working to provide the very best financial support for each Academy. Mike is a Bristol boy, born and bred (Rovers, not City).  His interests are football, films and space science.  Mike is treasurer of Hanham Athletic FC, a football club local to east Bristol.  He’s spent the last 9 years working for Hamptons International and is excited to share the skills he’s learnt with such a worthwhile organisation as Learn@ MAT.

Jo Smoldon

HR Business Manager and Caseworker

[Bio to follow]


Maisey Shepherd

Finance Assistant

Maisey was awarded her BTEC Advanced Level 3 Diploma in Engineering on leaving College. This is her first role since leaving full time education. 

She is a keen horse rider, and was a gymnast, competing regularly within the South West.

Maisey will also visit Academies with Rupert, the therapy dog.


Susan Bamford

Administration Assistant

Sue joined as Administration Assistant after a short spell of sitting on the tills at ASDA.  She was made redundant after 20 years at AXA/Capita as Secretary/Project Support Admin.  She brings with her over 25 years secretarial/administration experience.  Sue is married to Jon and Mum to an 18 year old daughter called Amy and a 2 year old Cockapoo called Bobby.