'Come as you are and leave as a champion'

Meet the Team

Executive Officer and Accounting Officer
Mrs Lynne Bennett
Chief Operating Officer
Mr Sam Compton
Chief Financial Officer
Mrs Amanda Wilkinson
Teaching School Representative
Mrs Lynn Thorley

Member (Chair) - HHJ David Fletcher CBE

I am a Circuit Judge since 2004, prior to my judicial appointment I was a solicitor working in North Staffordshire. I am the diversity and community relations judge for Stoke on Trent and Stafford. I have been a Governor serving as a chair during the last 12 years.


Member - Mr Tim Blackhurst

I am a successful business-man who runs both a local and national businesses. I am the MD of Ladymoor Foods LTD and have been since 1996. I am also the Executive Director of Hyland Crown LTD and NCB Food Service LTD. I employ over 80 people across Staffordshire and the surrounding area.


Member - Mr Eric Barbour CFIOSH, FInstLM, FIIRSM RSP, GCGI

I am a local business owner of EBB Limited, a Health, Safety and Fire Management Support consultancy. I have served as the Chairman of Newcastle under Lyme Homestart Borough. Also I served in the Royal Marines for 23 years, seeing active service around the world, while also having the honour to serve on the Royal Yacht Britannia. 




Member, Trustee and Chair of Audit Committee -
Mr Alan Davies (FCCA)

I am a qualified accountant, with over 20 years of finance experience, having initially trained in one of the "Big 4" accounting firms. I have leadership experience gained from senior finance roles which also cover HR, IT and project management. I am a Governor with responsibility for finance.


Trustee (Chair) Mrs Laura Austen

I graduated from University with a BA(hons) Law and Business in 1997 and have worked at senior manager level within marketing in several blue chip FCA regulated companies where I completed my Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification. I have worked within the education sector as a Company Secretary and Governance Manager and am a Director of our local family run bakery. In 2015, I attended and passed, the National Governor Leadership Programme with Edge Hill university.



Trustee and Chair of Finance Committee -
Mr Robert (Bob) Owen MBE

I am a Chartered Engineer and until retirement was a General Manager in Siemens, responsible for a number of Large Project Engineering Businesses mainly operating in the international market place.
A former Vice-Chair of UMIST and a Board Member of The University of Manchester I have recently been a member of an IEB helping restore a failed school on its journey to recovery.



Trustee - Dr Lee Crofts

I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Organisational Psychology and Human Resource Management. I graduated with a B.Sc (Hons) in psychology in 1997 and completed my Doctorate from Keele University in 2012. I have been a University Lecturer for 20 years and have a wealth of experience in the education sector. I have been involved in school governance now for the past 12 years in many roles, including LEA Governor, Chair and Behaviour Governor. I’m currently the Transnational Education Manager (Middle East Portfolio) with responsibility for education partners in Dubai, Oman, Cyprus and Prague.


Trustee - Mrs Jill Cheadle

I am a retired Headteacher with a vast experience of working in challenging schools. In addition I was a LA Consultant in Staffordshire LA and Stoke LA. I retired from Headship at Brookhouse Green Primary School, Wellfield Road Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent December 1989 and joined Staffordshire LA as a District Inspector January 1990.


Trustee - Mr Steve Gibbons

I was a Police Officer for 30 years before retiring in 2009. I have owned and operated a number of small businesses including kitchen refurbishment and a Cafe. As a result, I have experience in a number of areas such as finance, HR, marketing. I have been a company director of two UK limited Companies and as such was responsible for ensuring all of the legal requirements were adhered to. I have been a Governor for over 20 years within a Primary and High School. I am currently a Chair of Governors and have been for a number of years.


Trustee - Mrs Lynne Bennett (CEO and AO)

I am a National Leader of Education with extensive experience of School to School Support and School Improvement; with over 12 years of Headship experience in challenging schools. I am also the Head of Hempstalls Teaching School Alliance, which is the only Primary teaching school in Staffordshire.


 Trustee - Mrs Victoria Dalgarno

Pen portrait to follow shortly.



Trustee - Dr Peter Ford

I am an experienced business leader who has built, led and transformed international information technology, consulting & digital organisations of up to 1,000+ people. I have a strong background in project delivery including managing multi-million pound programmes and have led senior teams creating change programmes that have included restructuring, growth and systems, process & culture change. I have a BSc (Chemistry) and PhD from the University of Manchester and an MBA from the Open University.