Trustees

David Wootton

David Wootton

Chair of Trustees, Governance Committee Member and Education Standards & Performance Committee Membe

Term of Office 16/10/2021 - 15/10/2025

David Wootton has over forty years experience in the field of education. David has had a varied career in a variety of settings across the UK. He has been Chief Executive of one of the highest performing academy groups in the country, executive principal within a trust, academy principal, headteacher and started his career as a music teacher in inner city Salford. David was also an adviser to the Department for Education (working on academy improvement and free schools), served on ministerial working groups and advisory panels, gave evidence to the Education Select Committee and was a member of the ESFA Board. He was also Chair of the Independent Academies Association and a long standing member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Leadership and Governance. He has intervened in governance roles at a number of schools and trusts at the request of the DfE and ministers. David is presently a consultant adviser working across the educational landscape with a focus on governance, strategy and leadership, with a number of trusts, schools, academies and chairing and speaking at events and conferences.

Andrew Pear

Andrew Pear

Vice Chair of Trustees and Chair of Governance Committee

Term of Office 21/02/2022 - 20/02/2026

Andrew (Andy) Pear is a Cheshire based entrepreneur, running businesses in the hospitality, property and medical manufacturing sectors, in the UK and China. He has a broad business involvement, specialising in marketing and finance and he gained an MBA in 2001. Andy has extensive experience with acquisitions and mergers. Andy’s journey with school governance began as a parent governor over twenty years ago. He has been involved with Cmat since its formation, holding numerous roles, mainly focusing in the areas of governance, recruitment, Finance and safeguarding. Andy also holds board positions with Ruby’s Trust, a children’s charity providing support to families of children with challenging needs; The William Dean Countryside and Wildlife Trust, and East Cheshire Chamber of Commerce. He is also heavily involved with The British Healthcare Trades Association and the British Standards Institute.

Bob Armstrong

Bob Armstrong

Trustee and Chair of Finance and Staffing Committee

Term of Office 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2024

Bob Armstrong has been a trustee for many years. He was originally asked to join the governors because of his very senior roles in industry and his background in human resources. He has previously been Chair of Trustees. Elsewhere, Bob is Chair of the trustee boards and investment committees of large pension schemes and is a non-executive director of Southern Water. He received the OBE for services to the water industry in 2006.

Dr Martin Ashcroft

Dr Martin Ashcroft

Trustee and Audit and Risk Committee Member

Term of Office 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2024

Dr Martin Ashcroft is Managing Director of Tata Chemicals Europe. He was appointed on 1 April 2010 having been Operations Director since 1 January 2007.Holding a Chemistry degree from Oxford University and a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from Manchester University, he held several technical and operating roles in Brunner Mond between 1994 and 2007 including Site Director of the company’s Netherlands site for two years. In January 2011 Martin led the company in completing the successful £93m acquisition of British Salt and then followed up in April 2011 by heading the re-branding of the enlarged company as Tata Chemicals Europe at the same time as each of the Tata Chemicals overseas entities. He is an Executive Board Member of Tata Chemicals Europe Group Limited and several subsidiary companies. He is a member of the Tata Global Chemicals Board (GCB) and where he leads on Tata Chemicals’ interests in Europe. Until March 2017 he was a member of the Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board and is a current council member of the Chemical Industries Association. In 2016, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). With a keen interest in rugby, he was a fully qualified referee until 2005 operating at a professional level. He is qualified to Grade 8 standard on violin, piano and organ and plays regularly at choral services and occasional recitals.

Robin McCluney

Robin McCluney

Trustee and Audit and Risk Committee Member

Term of Office 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2024

Robin McCluney became a parent governor for Egerton Primary School in 2013 and later became the Chair of Finance. He became a Trustee when Egerton joined the Trust. He has a keen interest in community issues and helped to establish the Netherward Community Group during the development of the Cheshire East local plan. Robin has worked in IT for the last 20 years and is currently a senior IT consultant. As part of that role he travels frequently, working with a wide range of private and public sector organisations. He hopes that this career experience can provide valuable input into the future development of the Trust. Robin is married with 2 children who currently attend Egerton Primary School.

John D Clough FCA

John D Clough FCA

Trustee and Governance Committee Member and Finance and Staffing Committee Member

Term of Office 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2027

John, previously the Chair of The Learning for Life Partnership (LFLLP Trust), is a retired chartered accountant with many years’ experience in the provision of audit, accountancy and business advisory services to a wide range of clients. Up to his retirement John was a partner in a ‘top ten’ firm of chartered accountants, based in Stoke-on-Trent. John has also been involved throughout his career on a voluntary basis with a number of public and charitable bodies. He was a director of the UK national management company of his firm, and was also the treasurer and past president of the North Staffs Society of Chartered Accountants. Since retirement he has served as a Lay member and Vice Chair of the Governing body of an NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and a trustee of a support charity based in Crewe. In his NHS role he was also Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee and has considerable experience in governance both within this position and in previous roles in the public sector. Born and educated in Blackpool, John moved to West Yorkshire after qualifying and became a partner in a Leeds based firm which then merged with a national practice. He also spent some time in the North East before moving to Cheshire in 1993.

Alison Greatbanks

Alison Greatbanks

Trustee and Chair of Audit and Risk Committee

Term of Office 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2027

Alison is a Solicitor and partner in the firm of Hall Smith Whittingham Solicitors based in Crewe. Qualified since February 2002 and has experience in dealing with commercial contracts, commercial litigation, domestic conveyancing prior to specialising in private client work which, covers dealing with: Wills, Probates, Trusts, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection Application, Challenging Care fees, Inheritance Tax Planning and General Elderly client issues. Alison has been a member of the Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) since 2007 and has achieved the Older Client Care in Practice Accreditation and has vast experience in dealing with vulnerable clients. She is also a committee member of the Staffordshire and Cheshire Branch of SFE. As part of her management role within the firm she is responsible for dealing with the money laundering rules and regulations and ensuring firm compliance, the Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration, involvement in the training of trainee solicitors and dealing with the other partners with regulatory issues affecting the operation of the firm. Alison has, also been involved other local charitable trusts relating to the promotion of public health initiatives and involved in community events and has run workshops and seminars in for the community to promote the importance of later life planning. The workshops give help and advice in regard to wills, LPA’s and Care Issues.

Simon Kidwell

Simon Kidwell

Trustee and Chair of Education Standards and Performance Committee

Term of Office 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2027

Simon has worked as a Head Teacher and School Principal for 17 years. He has led three successful Primary schools to achieve rapid and sustained improvement. In addition to his role as Principal, Simon is an Associate School Improvement Advisor for Cheshire West and Chester LA and has worked with a number of schools to help them achieve strong outcomes for children. He has experience working as a School Governor in two Secondary Schools and served as a Trustee of the Learning for Life Partnership. Simon represents the North West of England for the NAHT, The School Leaders Union, and is the current Vice President. Simon uses his position to champion children, teachers and school leaders and makes regular contributions to national media.

Dame Kathy August

Dame Kathy August

Trustee and Education and Standards Committee Member

Term of Office 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2027

Kathy has spent 45 years working in and for public education. She began her teaching career in Inner city Manchester and went on to have three secondary headships. The last headship was as the Principal in one of the first of a new type of schools introduced in the early 2000s. This was a city academy in Moss Side Manchester. Lord Andrew Adonis in his book ‘Education, Education, Education’ described its predecessor school as one of the most gang infested comprehensive schools in the country. Just over five years later it was judged to be outstanding. After this she worked as Deputy CEO in one of the largest MATs in the country. She has also been a Director of Education in two LEAs, worked as a senior adviser in the DFE, been a visiting professor at Salford Business School and is currently working as an interim CEO of a small MAT in the North of England. She became a Dame in the 2014 New Years honours list.

Helen Ranson

Trustee and Finance and Staffing Commitee Member.

Term of Office 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2027

Helen is an Author, Coach & Mental Health Facilitator. With over 25 years’ experience working in Mental Health, dealing with emotional issues, phobias & traumas, PTSD & Bereavement. She coaches for performance in elite sport, working with Olympians & Teams, & in schools with underperforming students. An Executive coach, looking at performance enhancement with Senior Executives, a qualified Commercial Mediator & Mental Health Facilitator in the workplace. In 2017, partnering Aviva Plc she wrote ‘Surviving Me’ – a guide helping individuals with life limiting and changing illnesses to live fully each day & to self-manage their emotional and mental health. Helen is also a Magistrate, an LA appointed primary school Governor, a Non Exec Director for Whitegate Station Café Community Group & a Member on the IPMAT Board in West Yorkshire. She also works alongside the Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Team at St Luke’s Hospice, Cheshire in delivering Community Mental Health & Wellbeing Care.

Historic Trustees

Sharon Dempsey

Historic Trustee

Term of Office 06/10/2021 - Resigned 31/08/2023

Claire Thomson

Historic Trustee

Resigned 21/07/2023