Our Directors

Tim Drakes – Director

Tim has a background in the financial sector, holding numerous finance qualifications, including currently studying in his final year for a Law and Business with Accounting degree. His qualifications combined with his many years of experience in the legal field, bring a wealth of knowledge to Catalyst Academies Trust. Tim has a passion for voluntary work, with almost 10 years of practice in different communities, as well as being a Dilkes Academy Governor.

Lea Tyler – Director

Lea is currently Deputy Head in an Essex based school, with many years of experience in education. With a background of 24 years’ experience as a Local Authority Governor, including Chair Governor of an outstanding school and Chair of a Shadow Governing Body. Lea is particularly interested in the development and aims of Catalyst Academies Trust.

Keith Williams- Director

Keith has been a school governor for over 17 years, serving on various committees, including chair of finance committee and vice chair of the governing body of an outstanding school, dedicating his time and expertise to ensuring that staff receive the training and coaching they require. Keith brings many years of knowledge in project management and strategy planning to the Catalyst Board.

Darren Walters – Director

Darren has extensive experience in business planning and strategy organisation and, in addition, has served as a school governor for over 8 years including the role of Chair of Governors of an outstanding school. Darren has gained a Master’s degree in Automotive Systems Engineering, and used his experience and knowledge to assist with the creation of Multi Academy Trust. Darren has a close eye for detail, and is passionate about the role of professional development in maintaining outstanding leadership across the Trust.

Tony Parfett - Chief Executive Officer

Tony recently assumed his role as CEO of the Trust, after 2 years as Headteacher at Quarry Hill Academy. During his time as Headteacher Quarry Hill Academy made great leaps in terms of pupil attainment and teaching quality, under his leadership the school has moved from Requires Improvement to Outstanding in just 2 years. He started his teaching career in 1999 specialising in EYFS and KS1. Tony recently focused his attention on the quality teaching in KS2, where he has over 14 years of experience to draw from. Tony gained the NPQH qualification which helped him develop knowledge around whole school leadership. He delivers courses for the National College including NPQML and NPQSL. He is currently working on the improvement of teaching through action research to raise attainment and progress. This approach was applied to rapidly improve standards in his own school and the outstanding practices developed are being shared throughout the Trust by mentoring and supporting of others to achieve the same successes.  His recent appointment as a National Leader for Education further acknowledges the impact he has had not only in our Trust schools but also in schools and academies outside the partnership. 

Donna Dalrymple - Director

Dan Foxwell-Jones - Director

Dan has been a school governor for 8 years and has been Chair of Governors for 5 years within Thurrock, recently joining the governing body of an outstanding school within Essex. Professionally Dan manages a successful national team of people within the retail construction industry, requiring strong communication skills, excellent time management and robust performance management - strengths he brings to the Board of Catalyst Academies Trust.

Mark Pettican - Director

Mark has worked across a number of industries including IT, Technology, Agriculture and Education. He has held numerous senior HR roles covering the UK, Europe and Globally. He specialises in Strategic HR and business, across all HR areas of operational HR and specialist areas such as Learning and Development, Talent and Organisational Development. In addition, Mark has also worked across Facilities management in a number of organisations.


Kevin Imbush - Director

Kevin has been in teaching since 1986 and has taught at a wide variety of schools in Inner London, Outer London, Essex, Southend and Thurrock. These have been a mixture of Roman Catholic, Church of England and community schools. Kevin has experience as a class teacher in all year groups from Y1 to Y6 and held responsibilities for most subjects at one time or another.

Kevin has been at Somers Heath Primary School as Headteacher since 2010 during which time it has doubled in size. Kevin is passionate about raising aspirations in Thurrock and believes that the best education is one which enriches the whole child.


Our Director appointment details can be found by clicking here.

Business and Pecuniary Interests of Directors

The Directors of the Catalyst Academies Trust are required to complete an annual Declaration of Business Interests. Copies of these declarations are withheld by the Clerk to the Directors and are inspected annually by the appointed Auditors. If there were any relevant Business and Pecuniary Interests these would be declared here on the website of the Catalyst Academies Trust.