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.

Jenny Whiston -

In 2013, Jenny led on the conversion of an LA maintained Special School to a MAT.  As Chief Financial Officer she was responsible for setting budgets, undertaking all financial processes and ensuring that all statutory requirements for audits and accounts reporting were fulfilled.  She oversaw the staffing and premises functions of the Trust and has been successful in securing a number of capital bids. As Clerk to the Board and Company Secretary of another MAT, she has strong knowledge of MAT governance and ensures conformance to all relevant statutory and regulatory obligations. She has worked across all school phases in a number of different Local Authority areas.  She challenges current ways of working in order to maximise efficiencies and achieve Best Value, whilst aiming to provide excellent service. She holds the DSBM and CSBM qualifications, has completed the National Clerks’ Development Programme, is trained in Safer Recruitment and is currently working towards the CIPD diploma in HR.

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:

Justine Twiss -

Justine has a background in HR. She has worked for a LA as a schools HR consultant supporting schools, academies and education services. Justine currently works as a HR officer in a FE college. In addition to her skills and experience with HR policies and procedures, she is also knowledgeable in safeguarding and the Prevent duty.

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 has 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. Liz has recently stepped back from her Senior Lecturer role at Manchester Met but continues to work with the University and local schools as an Associate Lecturer on a part time basis. 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.

Nikki Ratcliffe -

Nikki has over 20 years’ experience in business. She has held leadership roles across a range of organisations from private equity backed businesses, PLCs to global manufacturers.  In addition, she developed and implemented 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, PR, communications and marketing.  Also – change management, market analysis, web development, social media, technology (particularly Apple), and integration of companies post acquisition. Her experience in high growth businesses means she can support the MAT through changes as it grows. Nikki can also help with ensuring we have a clearly defined vision and strategy with measurable KPIs that are reviewed on a regular basis. Moreover, she can support with a communications plan that will ensure that the vision and strategy are shared and executed effectively across the MAT. Finally, the importance of having the right team structure and culture in place is paramount; Nikki’s leadership skills can help to guide the MAT on this as it develops, particularly as new schools join the organisation.

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 a partner at Hall Smith Whittingham Solicitors. His eldest daughter recently left the school moving on to high school and his youngest daughter is in year 3. 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. Having served as a governor for nearly three years now, Steven has seen first-hand the warm and encouraging environment provided by teaching staff. The school is constantly striving to be the best it can be.

Alison Hattersley -

In her current role of Talent and Leadership Leader for Ornua Foods UK, 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.  

Continuing professional development for all staff