Leadership and Staff

Members 

Claire Shaw :

Claire Shaw

Claire has twenty years teaching experience. This includes two headships and twelve years’ experience as SENCO. She has worked in both inner city and rural schools. Claire was a Consultant Leader for Bristol City Council and has extensive experience of coaching in a range of school settings. Claire is completing her training as a SIAMS inspector this year and is the SIAMS manager and critical reader for the diocese.

Mrs Susan Hannam : BA PGCE (Birmingham), MA (Gloucestershire)

Mrs Susan Hannam

BA PGCE (Birmingham), MA (Gloucestershire)

Headteacher, Lichfield Cathedral School (independent, fee paying)
Qualified Solicitor
Member, Society of Heads’ National Committee (for independent school Heads)
Member of the Cathedral Foundation

The Venerable Matthew Parker : BA (Cambridge), BA (Manchester)

The Venerable Matthew Parker

BA (Cambridge), BA (Manchester)

Archdeacon of Stoke-upon-Trent
Member, Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education
Member, Bishop’s Council & Diocesan Board of Finance
Member of the Diocese of Lichfield’s Risk & Audit Committee
Substantial experience of school governance, including previously as Chair of St Edward’s CE(A) Junior High
School, Leek and currently as a member of the LGB/IEB of St Peter’s Academy, Stoke.

Dr Alison Primrose : Director – Chair of St Chad’s Academies Trust Board

Dr Alison Primrose

Director – Chair of St Chad’s Academies Trust Board

Former head of a co-educational day school with previous posts including senior leadership roles in a co-educational day and boarding preparatory school, a Church of England maintained primary school and a British Overseas School. Subject specialisms include primary and secondary science, mathematics, Religious Education, music and collective worship. Research work relating to worship in Church schools and a doctorate in educational assessment. Publications include a wide range of educational assessment materials.

Trustees

Jean Jackson : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Jean Jackson

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Programme Manager, The Digital Academy, Rolls-Royce
A Chartered Digital Marketer and former IT salesperson, I’ve worked in technology – specifically, IT – and marketing and communications for many years. I began my career as a grammar-school teacher of English, taught computing, moved into the IT industry but always maintained a strong interest in education; I left IBM to become Director of Development for Oldham Business School, post-riots. Later I became Group Head of Marketing for Promethean, who sell technology for schools.

I moved to the Midlands from Manchester about 10 years ago and took a range of interim roles, e.g. interim head of marketing & comms for a charity, and was part of the National College for School Leadership’s first cohort of School Business Directors: I worked with a network of primary and secondary schools in Dudley for 2 years while also studying for a Masters in School Business Administration. After this I followed my interest in green energy and ran marketing for Carillion’s short-lived Energy division before joining Rolls-Royce, initially in Communications within global IT. I’m now working for the Rolls-Royce Digital Academy, promoting digital culture and competency inside and outside the company: we are developing programmes with schools and the community.

I was formerly a Trustee of the Methodist Church and briefly for the Family Justice Centre in Lichfield. I’m keen to contribute to widening children’s aspirations and helping schools to work together so that they can concentrate on what they do best, i.e. educating children.

Robert Heath :

Robert Heath

Robert is a career educationalist having taught science in secondary schools and been a class teacher and a senior manager in primary schools, he spent the latter part of his full time employment training new entrants to the teaching profession as a senior lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton.

Robert has a wide ranging experience in the management of schools as a teacher, a governor, a chair of governors.  He is now retired from full time teaching and lecturing but still keeps contact with education through working as an external examiner at Edge Hill University and through the links made as a trustee of the St Chads Academy Trust and a member of the Diocesan Board of Education.

Robert has a BEd (Hons) and a BA in Education from Worcester University.  Research into the use of hand held technology led to the award of a MA in education from the University of Wolverhampton. He has presented research papers at a number of conferences and has contributed to publications with a chapter on Pastoral Care in schools being the most recent publication.

As an ordained minister Robert has a keen interest in church schools and making links between schools and local churches.

Simon Griffiths :

Simon Griffiths

I am an extremely passionate educator and have a track record of outstanding leadership. During the past thirty years in Education, I have been extremely fortunate in developing and gaining valuable experience of working in a variety of schools; driving standards forward and ensuring every child within my care receives the very best education they deserve.
Having a first class record of successful leadership and recognised by OFSTED as being an outstanding Head Teacher I bring to the table an understanding of the current demands, challenges, changes and expectations faced by our schools.

With the ability to lead by example and the understanding of its importance, combined with my effective interpersonal skills and commitment to developing relationships with the Trust, the children, the staff, parents, and the wider community, I would be able to move forward with St Chads Academy Trust and become part of the Christian Trust family.
I have been a National Leader of Education for the past ten years; supporting and improving many schools within this role. I have also been part of Lord Nash’ free schools team for the past three years interviewing and assessing Free school applications.

I have been a Governor for the past twenty years, in the role of Head Teacher and a staff representative. I have worked with four governing bodies during this time. I was also a Governor at a local Secondary School in Walsall for three years whilst the school converted to become an Academy.
I feel that I have a great deal to offer the board in terms of the knowledge I have gained and an understanding of the challenges facing our schools, leaders, teachers, Governors, Trustees and wider community.

Professor Bob Anderson : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust and Chair of Risk and Audit Committee

Professor Bob Anderson

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust and Chair of Risk and Audit Committee

After an early career in academia, Bob joined the Xerox European Research Laboratory in Cambridge as a Research Manager and eventually became Director of the Laboratory, a post he held for 9 years.

Following Xerox, Bob moved back into academia as Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at Sheffield Hallam University where he led the re-organisation of the research organisation and infrastructure. Following Sheffield Hallam, as its CEO, Bob led the creation of the new University of Suffolk, a multi-million pound initiative which created a new model of university provision in East Anglia.

During his career, Bob has served on numerous public and private Boards. Since retirement, Bob has served as a member and then Chair of Governors of St. Bartholomew’s School, Longnor, the Primary School in the village where he lives.

Julie Jones : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust, Chair of Operations Committee

Julie Jones

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust, Chair of Operations Committee

I have been the CEO of the Diocese since 2009 and was active in the setting up of the original trust. Before that I was I have been an HR professional all my life, working at British Aerospace, KPMG and latterly as the HR Director of MAF, a large Christian charity. I am married to a clergyman.

We have three adult children and now a new granddaughter. I have previously served as a school governor of a large comprehensive school in Bristol, (chairing the Personnel committee) as well as actively participating in all aspects of my own children’s education.

I believe passionately in the importance of quality education for all children in our Diocese and believe the Trust is ideally placed to focus on maximising both individual and corporate potential as well as proclaiming a distinct Christian message.

Professor Michelle Shaw : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Professor Michelle Shaw

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Michelle is the Director of Education for the University of Wolverhampton. Within this role she is also the CEO of Education Central Multi Academy Trust, leading a group of 13 schools sponsored by the University.

Michelle has 28 years experience in education, working across all sectors. This includes extensive experience of senior leadership and management. She has a track record in primary education including school leadership.

Her teaching subject specialism is the development of pupil literacy and consequently she also has substantive experience of special educational needs and the needs of learners for whom English is an additional language.

She has worked in a Local Authority as an Advisor supporting school improvement. Unusually, Michelle has also worked in Further Education having chosen to utilise her specialism in a different field. She has extensive experience of developing University provision.

Michelle has experience of external inspection, leading on QAA and OfSTED preparation and inspection and has been part of several successful OfSTED Inspection outcomes in schools, FE, Local Authority and HE. She is a published author of texts on research methodology and the econometrics of education and contributes to the leading textbook series for trainee teacher.

She acts as an External Examiner and a reviewer for education journals. Michelle is also a visiting Professor at Glyndwr University.

The Revd Alison Morris : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

The Revd Alison Morris

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

I have always had a life- long passion for education and working with children. For nearly 30 years I worked in a range of senior management roles covering all aspects of school leadership and management including work with a Federation.

Outside of school I have worked with examination Boards and was Chair of Governors in a local Church school. In 1998 I was registered as a Section 13 Church School Inspector. I am educated to MA standard and obtained my NPQH in 2002. During 2003 I was seconded to SERCO as an adviser for CPD, Workforce Reform ITT and Capacity Building Facilitator. In 2008 I became an Independent Education Consultant with Ormiston Academies Trust specifically for School Improvement work and adviser for the Quality Mark of Every Child Matters.

In 2012 I retrained and was registered as a Section 48 SIAS Inspector. At present, I am a member the Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education and Chair the Schools and Standards Effectiveness Working Party whilst also representing SSEWP on the Raising Achievement Board for the Church of England Central Education Trust.

In 2013 I was made a Director and Trustee of the St. Chad’s Academy Trust and in 2016 I was elected a Director and Trustee of CECET. I am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching where I also operate as one of their Regional Advocates. In 2017 I became a leadership coach for ‘Women Leading in Education’ organised through the National College for Teaching and Learning.

I am an Anglican Ordained Priest (NSM) in Lichfield Diocese.

Dr Alison Primrose : Director – Chair of St Chad’s Academies Trust Board

Dr Alison Primrose

Director – Chair of St Chad’s Academies Trust Board

Former head of a co-educational day school with previous posts including senior leadership roles in a co-educational day and boarding preparatory school, a Church of England maintained primary school and a British Overseas School. Subject specialisms include primary and secondary science, mathematics, Religious Education, music and collective worship. Research work relating to worship in Church schools and a doctorate in educational assessment. Publications include a wide range of educational assessment materials.

Cyril Randles : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Cyril Randles

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Degree in mathematics, taught in a grammar school and in colleges of education, then worked for IBM in the computer industry. Governor of both a primary and a secondary school when my children were at school. Now a churchwarden and member of the Lichfield Board of Education.

Sue Wedgwood MSc : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust / CEO

Sue Wedgwood MSc

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust / CEO

Sue was appointed Chief Executive Officer in September 2016. She has been a Headteacher in three schools in the West Midlands. Sue was also an external assessor for Derby University, Associate lecturer for Manchester Metropolitan University, delivering MSc modules and a provider of PGCE modules for Keele University.

She served as a Senior Adviser for Stoke LA, responsible for CPD and community development, Assistant Managing Director for Walsall Children’s Services, Serco, responsible for school improvement 3-19, governance and ICT and then Director of School Improvement for Academy Transformation Trust. Sue is currently a school governor and Chair of Governors.

Chair of Raising Achievement Board

The Team

Joanna Austin : Director of Learning

Joanna Austin

Director of Learning

Jo was appointed as Head of School Performance in 2017. Over the years Jo has effectively supported many schools across the UK as an Advanced Skills Teacher, a National Leader of Education, a Diocesan Improvement Adviser and as an Ofsted inspector.

Jo has also been a key speaker at conferences and has worked with NQTs, teachers, and teaching assistants to develop their practice. Jo was the lead headteacher in the development of teaching communities in Zambia as part of the overseas school to school support programme, working with leaders and staff from Tanzania.

Jo has been a highly successful head teacher and, as an executive head teacher, she has led the amalgamation of three primary schools into one large new build which went on to be judged as outstanding by Ofsted.

Stuart Dawson : Financial Accounting Officer

Stuart Dawson

Financial Accounting Officer

Stuart has over 20 years in finance and is nearing completion of ACCA, already being Part Qualified. For the last 2 years Stuart has worked exclusively in the education setting, mainly supporting and advising academies. This has included onsite support and training to school business managers, principals and governors.

Reena Farmah : HR and Governance Officer

Reena Farmah

HR and Governance Officer

Reena joined the team in June 2017 as HR and Governance Officer. Reena has 7 years’ experience in supporting schools and academies in all aspects of Governance including procedures, policies and Governance compliance. She has co-ordinated clerking provision and supported Headteachers/Principals and Chairs of Governors in all aspects of governance management. Reena is fully qualified CIPD level 5 Diploma in HR Management.

Anna Gordon : Financial Accounting Officer

Anna Gordon

Financial Accounting Officer

Anna Gordon joined us in June 2017 to take up the role of Financial Accounting Officer. She will be working within the team providing additional financial management support to academies. She has worked as a NHS accountant for the last 16 years, with experience of financial management and financial accounting, within provider and commissioning organisations. She is a fully qualified CIMA accountant.

Zoe Heath : Director of Operations

Zoe Heath

Director of Operations

For 5 ½  years Zoe worked in HR for Local Authorities in a transitional role, embedding experience in the many areas of Human Resource and traded service; advertising, recruitment, safeguarding, payroll and pensions, both corporately and in the education sector (working alongside Lichfield Diocese CE schools). For the last 5 years she has gained further extensive experience of academy conversions (pre and post academisation) and developed project management practices. Zoe is an Associate Member of the CIPD in Human Resource Management providing HR consultancy for all academies within the Trust and other MATs, schools and academies within the Diocese.

Jon Mannion : HR Officer

Jon Mannion

HR Officer

Jon joined the trust in November 2019, He is level 3 CIPD qualified and has 9 years of HR operational experience and before that educational pastoral experience. Jon has worked within the 3rd (Charity) Sector, Health Sector and Education Sector bringing a wealth of experience to the trust. Jon’s most recent place of work was at a large FE College across multiple sites dealing with all operational challenges that brought. Jon Is also a senior volunteer with a national charity and has been awarded for his charity work by Her Majesty the Queen. Jon’s key objective is to ensure we are an organisation of compassionate Leaders focusing on “Children First”.

Chloe Norton : Office Administrator

Chloe Norton

Office Administrator

Chloe joined us in December 2016 she is qualified in Level 3 Business and Administration. She is often the first welcoming voice from the office. Chloe assists in general office work and offers help in other departments.

Koffy Patel : Finance officer

Koffy Patel

Finance officer

Koffy joined the team in November 2019, she has 12 years’ experience in finance, and has worked as a Trust Payroll Manager for 8 years within a Multi Academy Trust which consisted of six schools within Walsall.  She will be working closely with other academies to provide financial support, monitoring, and reporting across the Trust. She is part CIMA qualified

Helen Steel : Director of Finance

Helen Steel

Director of Finance

Helen joined the team in 2014; having previously worked for two large national Multi Academy Trusts she has extensive experience of academy conversion, project management, budget setting, financial operations and reporting, statutory and regulatory compliance frameworks, contracts management, internal and external audit and financial policies and procedures.

Since commencing her role in 2014 Helen has been intrinsic in growing the Trust’s central team to provide an effective support network for the Trust’s family of academies.  Helen has devised, developed and established financial planning systems, monitoring and control procedures and risk management processes to ensure effective financial management and control with the aim to safeguard academy resources to best support children’s learning and development in both the short and the longer term.  Helen’s key objective is to ensure that all financial decision making is based on what is best for the outcomes of the children, supporting the St Chad’s ‘children first’ ethos.

Sue Wedgwood MSc : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust / CEO

Sue Wedgwood MSc

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust / CEO

Sue was appointed Chief Executive Officer in September 2016. She has been a Headteacher in three schools in the West Midlands. Sue was also an external assessor for Derby University, Associate lecturer for Manchester Metropolitan University, delivering MSc modules and a provider of PGCE modules for Keele University.

She served as a Senior Adviser for Stoke LA, responsible for CPD and community development, Assistant Managing Director for Walsall Children’s Services, Serco, responsible for school improvement 3-19, governance and ICT and then Director of School Improvement for Academy Transformation Trust. Sue is currently a school governor and Chair of Governors.