The Symphony Learning Trust - established 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                 The Symphony Learning Trust - established 2016                                                                      

Our Members

Bill Gilmour


Bill has had a career in the airline industry for over 40 years starting as a co-pilot on Dakota aircraft with British Midland Airways at the East Midlands Airport in 1965, rising to the positions of Chief Pilot and Operations Director in the airline.  In 1999 Bill joined GB Airways Ltd as Director of Flight Operations, an airline operating as British Airways at Gatwick and Heathrow airports where he was responsible for the safe and efficient operation of aircraft on British Airways flights.

Bill was a Civil Aviation Authority approved Training Captain for Boeing and Airbus aircraft, involved in the recruitment, classroom, flight simulator and airborne training for pilots. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a Member of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, a City of London Livery Company.  After retirement from flying, Bill continued to teach pilots in the classroom and flight simulator and is still involved in encouraging aspiring young people to join the aviation industry.

Bill was an elected member of Shepshed Town Council and has been a school governor since 2010. He has the determination to improve education standards and is looking forward to a successful Symphony Learning Trust partnership.


Nigel Harrison


Since leaving university in 1998, Nigel has been working within the Hospitality sector with a strong focus on Learning and Development & Technology. At the start, this was purely for new employees but Nigel’s enthusiasm for personal development led to him becoming the Training Manager with learning responsibility for over 1600 employees at a local Leicestershire Brewery.

Nigel moved company 13 years ago and has been working since for the UKs leading Epos supplier. During his time in the company, he has held several roles, including Business Development Manager, Training & Implementation Manager, Technical Manager, and his current role as Project Delivery Manager. Throughout his career, Nigel has been passionate with regards to continuous personal improvement being key to achieving an individual’s full potential; this has been for both himself and those he has been privileged to provide leadership for.  Nigel’s experience has led to strengths within recruitment and personnel management, technical and data analysis, leadership and strategic development and project management.

Nigel is a strong believer in local community and opportunities for all. His current roles include Chair of Governors at Ashby Willesley Primary School, Secretary for Ashby Mini, Junior & Girls’ Rugby Club, Adult touch & Children’s under 10 Rugby Coach. Nigel embraces this variety of roles fully whilst continually identifying, assisting, emphasising and praising individual successes.

Nigel is enthusiastic to bring his passion and experience to the new ‘Symphony Learning Trust’ and to ensure the ethos and aspirations ascertained at the foundation continue into the future.


Sally Cox


Sally has been teaching since 1977. Initially, she taught in two comprehensive schools in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire where she taught Geography and was a Second in Faculty.

Since 1983, Sally has held senior roles and responsibilities in Leicestershire. She was Director of Sixth Form at King Edward VII in Melton Mowbray for three years and more recently, Sally has been the Deputy Principal and Principal at Wigston College (formerly Guthlaxton College). Sally has always been committed to making a difference for young people. She has been involved in the development of the Wigston Academies Trust to secure this commitment and ensure that secondary education provision meets the needs of all young people.

Sally has enjoyed a range of responsibilities including teaching and learning; post 16; attendance; behaviour and safety; early years provision; student outcomes and leadership and governance. This has brought great challenge and a broad

understanding of educational issues.  Sally effectively led the development of the Arts in the community and Extended Schools which has secured a wealth of experience of working with a broad range of stakeholders.

As a Principal, Sally has embraced the role of lead professional, securing the support of students, parents/carers, colleagues, governors and other external partners.

Sally feels privileged to be a part of the exciting development offered by the Symphony Learning Trust and will endeavour to utilise the experiences, skills and qualities she has gained during her 39 years at the chalk face of schools.


Jon Sutcliffe


Jon began teaching in 1966 at Braunstone Hall Junior School and soon developed an interest in primary science, environmental work and school sports. He became deputy head teacher at Scraptoft Valley four years later.  Both of these schools gave Jon good experience of council estates and varying levels of social deprivation.

Jon then moved to Glen Hills Primary School as deputy head teacher to broaden his skills base with a different social group of children and in 1986, he became head teacher of The Meadow Primary School in Wigston where he remained until 2005.

Jon then took up a new challenge of becoming the interim head teacher of Richard Hill Primary School in Thurcaston.  Ofsted had deemed the school to have serious weaknesses and the head teacher had resigned. Within a year the school was re-inspected and came out of special measures. Jon then left the school under new management.

During his teaching career, Jon gained further educational qualifications from Leicester University. In 1975, he successfully completed a Diploma of Education (DipEd) and in 1985, gained a Masters degree in Education (MEd). Jon also lectured for Leicester University with primary science and led an accredited DfE Primary Science course for teachers.

Jon also worked for both Leicester City LA and Leicestershire LA as a Standards Inspector and from 2007 until 2011, he worked for Coventry LA and Gloucestershire LA as a School Improvement Partner.

Jon qualified as an OfSTED inspector in 1996 and continued inspecting until summer 2015.  During this time, he acted both as a Team Inspector and Lead Inspector.  His areas of expertise have been in Leadership and Management and Teaching and Learning and he has further qualifications to inspect Early Years and in depth SEN provision. Jon has inspected over one hundred schools nationwide and witnessed the most deprived to the most fortunate of all schools and settings.

Currently, Jon continues to work with governors advising on head teacher performance management in Leicestershire schools. He also works as an external adviser for Old Mill Primary School in Broughton Astley in Leicestershire. 

Jon is excited to be part of a new dynamic primary academy trust and hopes his experience can add to the future success of the SLT.


Sue Davis


Sue Davis has been the Head of the Primary PGCE course at the University of Leicester for five years and prior to that was Head of undergraduate and post graduate Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses at the University of Warwick. Her experiences prior to this as a primary school teacher include being a SENCO and introducing the Numeracy Strategy into school in her capacity as a maths specialist. From September 2016 Sue will be the Director of Teacher Education at the University, a role which involves strategic responsibility for all University of Leicester ITE courses: Primary, Secondary and SCITT PGCEs.

During her leadership of the Primary PGCE Sue has developed strong links with many schools across Leicester, Leicestershire and beyond. She has reacted swiftly to new government initiatives, creating a suite of options available for schools to engage with School Direct at whatever level they choose. She has been an active member of the Management Board of a Teaching School Alliance since its formation in 2011 and has supported this Alliance to develop into a SCITT, where students still attend some University sessions and are awarded their PGCE through the University of Leicester. Sue firmly believes that strong partnerships between schools and the University are at the heart of outstanding Initial Teacher Education and results in the provision of high quality teachers for the local area.

In November 2015 the Primary PGCE was judged by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ in all areas. This reflects the quality of the University team and all partnership schools but Sue was delighted with a quote in the report which stated, ‘The course leader is ambitious and focused on ensuring the university provides the best trainees possible to join the teaching workforce. Her leadership has been inspirational to other members of the primary team and they work together cohesively to improve outcomes for trainees’.

As with the other External members, Sue is really looking forward to being part of a forward thinking educational Multi-Academy Trust.

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