Meet the Members & Trustees

Pen Portraits of Members:

Ian White

By profession Ian is a Solicitor having practiced locally for over 30 years including managing the largest regional firm for 10 years. He is a proud founder pupil at Excalibur’s Ivy Lane site and now a regular visitor to support music, assemblies and other work. For over 24 years he was governor at the local High School with over ten years as Chair.

Ray Jeffrey -

Ray was a former director of Trust House Forte and Sodexho until 1999 when he formed RPJ3 Group. He has over 25 years’ experience in contracts and facilities management – from chef to main board director.

In business he works alongside many schools, housing associations and care homes that operate their own in-house services or use a private contractor and assist these clients to get the very best from their non-core contracts.

Ray’s passion and respect for the difference schools can make to the lives of children and indeed the community, lies at the heart of his approach to business and also his governance commitments.

As Chair of Governors in a Christian school in a large Trust, he understands the crucial part good support services play in helping schools concentrate on their core activities of developing and nurturing the talents of children and regards himself as extremely lucky to be working in and supporting a sector that he loves so much.

Gail Tindall - B.Ed., M.Ed.

Teaching experience of 30 years; of which she was a serving headteacher for 12 years. Most recently, Gail was headteacher of one form entry primary school. Formerly headteacher of a large infant and nursery school, Gail has led the schools through three inspections. The most recent inspection resulted in an “Outstanding” overall judgement including Leadership and Management which was also judged to be “Outstanding”. Gail was seconded 2010 – 2011 as 1-1 Lead Officer for Primary Schools working for Cheshire East local authority. During this time, she undertook additional work supporting the Monitoring and Interventions Team, supporting primary Headteachers with EYFS, tracking and assessment. In addition, Gail supported governors in the selection and appointments of Headteachers and deputy Headteachers.

Ros Caulfield -

Ros has extensive experience of classroom teaching and senior leadership roles in five schools of contrasting catchments and size across the country. During her twelve years as headteacher she successfully raised the standards of a good school to outstanding in every category in two consecutive Ofsted inspections.  Ros has worked alongside schools in the Shrewsbury Diocese sharing good practice and supporting new Headteachers. Through these roles she has assisted many schools on their journey to Good and Outstanding.

Raymond Palin -

Raymond is a semi – retired commercial and residential lawyer of over 40 years standing.  Raymond is an independent consultant to a firm of solicitors in Lancashire on compliance issues but not involved in legal work as such these days.  Ray has been a Chair of Trustees with a Single Academy Trust for 3 years.  His educational and Governor skills have improved substantially over the years and next year he will be taking the National Leader of Governance course to try and improve his status in education.

Pen Portrait of Directors:

Liz Martindale -

B.Ed NPQH. Liz has worked in education for over thirty five years. More than twenty five of these were spent in primary education. Liz was a classroom teacher for many years with responsibility for a broad range of curriculum areas and leadership roles. For the last five years of her time in primary education, Liz was the head teacher of a local junior school, taking the school through a successful Ofsted. Liz subsequently moved to higher education, working as a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at Manchester Metropolitan University. Through her role of working with the teachers of tomorrow, she continued to develop partnerships between the University and clusters of schools. It was through this leading partnership role that she became a school governor in November 2013. Liz took on the role of Chair of Governors in February 2016, but relinquished this role in September 2019 in order to fulfill her Director’s role. Liz’s varied roles have given her a clear insight into the challenges of leadership and management in primary education and of the implications of the changing face of education. She remains passionate about providing children with the best primary education experience and this drives her commitment to Chancery MAT and its future development.

Nikki Ratcliffe -

Nikki has 25 years’ experience in business. She has held leadership roles across a range of organisations from private equity backed businesses to global manufacturers. She also developed the public information programme for the XVII Commonwealth Games. Nikki has a demonstrable track record of generating sustainable business growth through clearly defined strategy and effective marketing. Her skills include business planning, strategy development, marketing, PR, communications and change management. Her experience in high growth businesses means she can support the MAT through changes as it grows. Moreover, she can support with a communications strategy that will ensure that our vision and values are shared effectively across the MAT.

Nikki has also been a governor and vice-chair at a local primary school for the past years and therefore has a broad level of experience in school governance.

Joanna Longman -

Joanna Longman is a director of a family business, Longman Tax Recruitment which specialises in the recruitment of tax professionals across the north of England. Joanna previously worked as a senior VAT specialist at Deloitte.

Joanna has been a school governor for over 10 years with experience of governing at both secondary and primary schools. As a National Leader of Governance since 2014, Joanna has worked with many governing boards to ensure governance is effective in helping to drive strategic school development. Joanna is currently also a director at the Fallibroome Trust.

Louise Gohr –

B Ed (Hons), NPQH, Level 7 Executive Coaching Certificate. Louise has been a teacher for nineteen years, Deputy Headteacher for two years and Headteacher for ten years. During her career, she has worked for the Local Authority as a Primary Strategy Literacy Consultant supporting and developing teaching and learning. She has worked as an STA moderator for the last four years. Louise is currently working with the Local Authority on a number of initiatives related to improving the quality of education for young people.

Steven Coles -

Steven is a solicitor and Senior partner at Hall Smith Whittingham Solicitors. His work in the legal sector over the last 20 years lends itself well to the strategic and regulatory aspects of being a director of a MAT. Steven has also been a governor at local primary and secondary schools for the past 5 years and therefore has a broad level of experience in school governance. He truly believes in the importance of a good education for every child and that the early years serve as a benchmark for a child’s future academic success. Steven has seen first-hand the warm and encouraging environment provided by the staff within the Chancery MAT and is proud to support them in striving for the best for the children.

Alison Hattersley -

In her current role of Global Talent Lead for Ornua Foods, Alison is responsible for Leading the development and execution of a Talent strategy for the continued attraction, engagement, retention, development and deployment of high calibre and fit-for-purpose people. She provides thought-leadership, advice, challenge and support to HR and Business Leaders to ensure ‘people risks’ and ‘people opportunities’ are understood and factored into business decision making. In previous roles Alison has worked with individuals and teams in both the public and private sector to maximize their potential and ensure much higher level of success.

Mark Whitfield -

Finance and Operations Director, Interim Finance Support and Director of Transformation and Change Management. With international experience in organisational turnaround, digital transformation, and growing businesses from blue chip corporations to SME’s. Functional skill set straddles finance, operations, and supply chain.

Highly experienced Finance Professional with the ability to manage small and large teams, operating at Board level within large commercial organisations along with a Charity and Academic Trust.

Have led digital transformation, managed complex transitional projects, systems implementations, process improvement and BPO project leadership.

Jenny Whiston -

An experienced School Business Manager who has worked across all school phases in both maintained and academy settings, incorporating roles of Chief Financial Officer, Company Secretary and Clerk to the Board.

Responsibilities have comprised budget setting and monitoring, HR and premises management and she has been successful in securing a number of high value capital grants. She has strong knowledge of governance in a Multi Academy Trust and ensures compliance with all relevant statutory and regulatory obligations.

She holds diplomas in School Business Management and Human Resources and is currently enrolled on the Chair’s Development Programme.

Anna Russell -

Anna is Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Director for Bupa Global & UK and Director of the Bupa Foundation. Anna leads the Bupa Foundation’s Wellbeing for Educators programme which works with hundreds of schools and thousands of educators to help improve school staff wellbeing. She also leads the Bupa Foundation’s partnership with the mental health charity, Mind, to help 2.5m young people to take care of their mental wellbeing.

Before joining Bupa in 2014, Anna worked in telecoms at Vodafone for ten years, holding roles as Global Head of Internal Communications and Global Head of Brand and at O2. Prior to that Anna co-founded the IT news and recruitment service,, where she was Content & Marketing Director.

Continuing professional development for all staff