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Trustees & Members

Paul Elliott CEO

CEO and Trustee

Executive Headteacher for 11 years

The previous 23 years have been spent in five main stream schools having experience of Head of Faculty, Head of Year, SENCO and Deputy Head responsible for teaching and learning. I have also been an active staff governor in two of my schools and am now a governor of a school in Wolverhampton. 

Ofsted Inspector

Chair of District Inclusion panel

Lead project coodinator for the South Staffordshire SEND Prototype.

Chair of Wightwick Vocational Partnership

Member of SSAT national SEND committee.

Trustee of a WorktoWork Charity for students who have difficulty in seeking employment.

Tony Dooley

Education Development Officer/Data Protection Officer

Educated at Lancaster University and Bristol University, I have worked in the field of SEND since 1984. My early teaching roles were at schools offering provision for children with SEMH difficulties and complex/communication difficulties and ASD. I undertook further study at Birmingham University concentrating on curriculum design and school governance.

I became the Deputy Headteacher of a large special school in Blackburn in 1994 and in 1996 was appointed as headteacher of Rocklands School in Lichfield. Since 2012 I have been the Executive Headteacher of Two Rivers School in Tamworth. This role involves the strategic oversight of two very successful special schools with additional  nursery provision supporting highly effective leadership teams across the federation. I have taken on the role of DPO for the schools since the introduction of new data protection regulations.

I am a member of a rock and roll/soul band and I am a lifelong Manchester City supporter.

Simon Kibble

Chair of Trustees

Worked in the education sector since 1995 after qualifying as a teacher through Warwick University, following training prior to that as an accountant with Coopers and Lybrand (now PwC). School based career culminated in an Assistant Headship at a school in Staffordshire, followed by a Lead Practitioner role with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, as Regional Enterprise Coordinator, managing the East and West Midlands element of the national Enterprise Education programme (a DfE contract held by SSAT). Worked in the FE sector since 2012 as the Director of Quality and Development at a college in Leicestershire. Wide range of skills including curriculum development, quality improvement (particularly around teaching and learning) and data analysis. Strategic leadership experience includes the development of corporate vision, strategy, organisational level quality improvement plans and line management of a wide range of colleagues in teaching and non-teaching roles. Additionally I am a Governor of Stephenson Studio School in Leicestershire and a founding Trustee and Treasurer of WELCOME St Georges, a small UK charity that runs summer camps in Egypt for children from the ‘garbage villages’ of Cairo, giving me an overview of a range of governance structures relevant to the not for profit sector.

Denis Cody

Trustee and Chair of Local Governors at Cherry Trees and Wightwick

My background is in education, having spent over thirty years as a primary school teacher, during the last ten years of which I was a headteacher. Therefore I have direct experience of leading and managing a school which I bring to the role of school governor. I also have considerable experience of teaching and learning which supports my role as chair of the Teaching and Learning committee. During the last four years I have carried out Religious Education inspections for the Archdiocese of Birmingham, gaining up-to-date experience of the inspection process and of monitoring and promoting school improvement.

Since becoming a governor I have attended Level 1 Safeguarding training at both Cherry Trees and Wightwick Hall schools and local authority training for SEND and for Safe Recruitment of staff. This training supports my role as governor with responsibility for Safeguarding.

Steve Crane

Chair of Trustee Finance Committee

I have a background in telecommunications and ICT – computers, data networks and phones – having been a Computer Techy and Analyst-Programmer for a national heating and pump hire company; a Data-Centre Operations Manager for an international waste management company; a Sales Support Engineer, Business Development, Marketing and Strategy Consultant for a multinational telecommunications company; and a Telecommunications Consultant for my own business.  I also had a detour as a luxury watch and pen distributor (having an early online retail presence).  

Due to my background in running my own business and helping in the marketing and business development of others, it has been decided my skills are best-placed to help oversee the improvement of the school(s)’ finances.  This will be an interesting and challenging role moving forward, against the near-constant flux in education funding and the role our school(s) will play in the ever-changing education landscape.

Tracey Evans

Trustee with responsibility to oversee HR

Currently employed as a Senior HR Consultant for Services 4 Schools, I have over 22 years’ experience within HR, and the public sector, effectively managing customer relationships and providing a supportive, customer-focused and problem-solving approach.  This is achieved by providing comprehensive advice through highlighting the range of options that are available and the associated risks, in accordance to statue policy and best practice. 

In my role, I facilitate, guide and lead with sensitivity on complex and sometimes contentious employment issues, proving myself to be an extremely reliable and approachable HR specialist, with the flexibility to take on new strategies whilst still remaining focused on the Schools’ or Academies goals and vision. 

Shared values, understanding and an acceptance of differences are all key components of achieving a successful relationship.  My effective engagement with Headteacher’ and Governing Bodies has contributed towards building excellent rapports, partnerships and a common vision.  I fully understand that people are any Schools’ or Academies’ strongest asset therefore I am committed to providing an outstanding service through maintaining a high professional and ethical standard at all times.

Louise Blackburn

Chair of Audit & RIsk Committee

"As a qualified and experienced teacher and senior leader Louise has a proven track record of improving outcomes for young people. Louise has most recently worked cross-phase for a large Local Authority as a key member of the school improvement team, challenging school leaders to improve provision and raise aspirations. The impact of this work can be seen in improved outcomes and inspection grades.  Since starting to work independently two years ago, Louise has worked with well over a hundred schools across all phases to support effective school improvement that makes a difference to young people; headteachers speak highly of her forensic analysis of a situation and ability to identify key steps to bring about positive changes.  Her biggest passion is as an advocate for disadvantaged youngsters and her most rewarding days of work are helping school leaders to effectively support the most vulnerable learners. " 

Chris Leach

Trustee Responsible For School Improvement

Retired Headteacher having previously held two headships spanning fifteen years at high schools in Staffordshire and Worcestershire. Prior to this I had worked in Senior Leadership since 1996 at a school in Dudley where I was the curriculum deputy leading on timetable, staffing, initial teacher education partnerships and continuing professional development.  During my time as a Headteacher I was heavily involved with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and was the Chair of both the West Midlands and National Steering Groups for Specialist Performing Arts Colleges. Whilst in Staffordshire I also chaired the Secondary Headteacher Forum for a number of years.

As a Middle Leader I was the Head of Modern Foreign Languages in two schools in Warwickshire and Walsall where I worked with the University of Birmingham in developing partnerships and mentoring schemes for PGCE students.

Throughout my professional career I have been fortunate to benefit from and, hopefully contribute to, collaborative professional learning networks that have focused on enhancing learning for all those involved.


Kathryn Griffiths

Vice Chair of Audit and Risk Committee

My background is within the finance industry specialising in pensions for both the public and private sectors. After 15 years, I made a complete change and became a Project Manager within the University of Wolverhampton,  working to provide Black Country schools with computer-aided design technology and later introducing modern foreign languages into primary schools. 

 Due to my quite varied work history, being the Governor responsible for Finance seemed appropriate. I am committed to holding the Headteachers to account and ensuring that the schools money is well spent whilst following the ethos and vision of the Trust. 


Bari Vaughan-Hughes


I have worked in the Banking sector for over 25 years. My roles have ranged from working on the cashier tills, back office duties and then moving into the Debt Recovery Department especially working with the Debt Collecting Agencies. More recently I have been involved in projects delivering new systems for the Department to use. I am the Treasurer of a local Youth Club which I have been involved with leading and now helping for over 30 years.

Rachel Bradley


My name is Rachel Bradley. I came into the world of SEND when I became a music teacher in 1998. At the same time as this, I was performing with some of the best musicians in the world (my opinion), and I used my grounding there in the classroom creating cover versions of some of the pupils’ favourite songs. Why is this relevant? Well, I found that the students with the most profound behavioural and learning needs had an outlet in my classroom. They were no longer defined by the groups they had been put in (I insisted that my classes remained mixed ability), they were as much a part of the class as everyone else (one of the best drummers I worked with had ADHD, Autism and severe learning difficulties). This piqued my interest. I wanted to find out more. In 2014, I was promoted to the role of SEND manager in a school. I used creativity in my classroom to get students with SEND to engage in the curriculum. I ran after school clubs focussed around developing their skills in English and Maths – with a bit of band playing thrown in. I now manage the SEND curriculum in a mainstream setting and absolutely love it. Supported by my line manager, my colleagues and I are creating a unique curriculum based around Independent Living and Employability. I am passionate about the world of SEND, particularly in Post 16 but also more widely. I really want to make a valuable contribution to the MAT. .

Ricarda Norris

Project Work & PR

Ricarda has been working for Staffordshire County Council for 9 years, and has been with the Transformation Support Unit for the last 4 years.  Currently working as a Business Change Analyst working to provide improvements through transformation projects.  Proficient in System’s Thinking methodology which provides an approach that ensures a person centred approach to understand the needs prior to undertaking change management.  Most relevant and recent experience would be working on the SEND Transformation and collaboratively modelling the ‘new ways of working’ to translate strategic vision into practical deliverables and solutions to ensure positive impact for children and families of Staffordshire.  In June, Ricarda will be leaving Staffordshire County Council to work at Cheshire East council as a Quality and Contract Monitoring Manager to gain further experience of the commissioning arena in the hopes of gaining a better perspective all round. 

Natasha Moody

Trustee responsible for Commissioned Services

I have worked in Children’s Services for 18 years, working both locally within Staffordshire and in a regional capacity supporting local authorities in the North West region as such I have a breadth of experience both geographically and across a range of different subject areas having worked within early years, education, youth services, children’s public health and most recently commissioning services.

I have a background in business management and work closely with a range of partners to collaborate, support and challenge improvements to support particularly with children who may be more vulnerable or less likely to achieve positive outcomes and as such has worked closely with both education and other partners to improve their outcomes.

Narinder Reehal

Trustee responsible for Commercial Services

I have worked for Staffordshire County Council for 10 years in a district commissioning role.  I cover Stafford and South Staffordshire.  I have worked closely with schools to understand the needs of children, young people and their families.  I understand the importance of addressing parental/carer issues to have an impact on wellbeing and education of children.  I have commissioned family support service, emotional wellbeing services, debt services, speech and language service; to name a few.  This also included the performance management of the services to ensure safe, high quality and cost-effective delivery and managing a budget.

I understand the need to work collaboratively within a partnership setting, but I can also challenge where there is a need to change thinking and practice.

My previous roles have been in HR in the private sector and the Civil Service; I have a Masters in Human Resource Management and was a member of the CIPD until 2017 – main achievement was to develop a training plan in line with the changing needs of the business.

I realised at that stage that I had really enjoyed developing people in line with their aspirations and took up a job as a community learning coordinator.  I supported people of any age/background to learn basic ICT skills and was also responsible for supporting unemployed people with ICT skills, CV writing and Interviewing skills a

I have managed two voluntary sector organisations.  The Front Door in Wolverhampton supported drug users and homeless people.  The Women’s Centre in Dudley supported mainly Asian women.  This involved complete responsibility of the service (HR, Training and Development, Finance, family support, community support).  I was accountable to a board of trustees. 

Roger Bartlett



Roger James Bartlett. PgDip        

Occupation. Retired company director. (2013)

Employed for the last 43 years in a local fluid power manufacturing company.

Progressed from engineering draughtsman to Engineering Director/Site Leader with responsibility for P&L. During which time the company changed from private ownership into U.S global corporate ownership.
Recommended and lead the acquisition of two companies to broaden product portfolio.
Increased turnover from £6 million to £14 million.
Experianced in. Strategic management, product development, sales, H.R, and customer relations.

Currently serving on a voluntary basis as Chair and Treasurer of the charity WorktoWork  (1157585)


Chris Rogers


Headteacher at Kinver High School and Sixth Form.  As such I hold responsibility for the leadership and management of the school in line with the National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers. I have been Head at Kinver for 8 years.  In the past two years I have overseen the school’s conversion to academy status within a Multi Academy Trust, Invictus Education Trust.  Kinver is a founder member of the trust and I attend all trust board meetings.  The team of headteachers within the trust meet on a weekly basis.

I am an experienced school leader having been in senior leadership teams for 14 years. My experience began in 2002 as an Assistant Headteacher Learning Manager for Key Stage 4 and 6th Form at Ounsdale High School. During my time in post I was also a part time Local Authority Adviser for 14-19 developments within the Staffordshire LA.  I was then appointed as Deputy Headteacher for Standards and Achievement at Carisbrooke High School on the Isle of Wight.  I held this post for 3 years which included a 2 term temporary appointment as acting headteacher.  I left Carisbrooke to become headteacher at Kinver High School in 2008 (when the school was known as Edgecliff High).

My middle leadership experience was as a Head of Sixth Form firstly at Highfields school in Wolverhampton.  This was a one year temporary post which led to my appointment as Head of Sixth Form at Ounsdale High School.  I held that post for 6 years.

I am a great advocate of collaborative and partnership working. I am South Staffordshire’s representative on the Staffordshire Secondary Heads Forum, I play an active role on the South Staffordshire District Inclusion Panel and the Wightwick Partnership which manages vocational provision for South Staffordshire secondary schools.

Chris Curtis


I have worked in education for 33 years until August 2017. I am an experienced school leader having been on leadership teams for twelve years as Assistant Headteacher at Wolgarston High School.  I held responsibility for the day to day management of the school, attendance and behaviour, and for the development of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of students.  As part of wider collaborative work with schools in South Staffordshire I chaired the South Staffordshire Inclusion Network from 2011 - 2017.

I hold qualifications in the National Programme for Headteacher’s  (NPQH) and in addition the Specialist Leaders in Attendance and Behaviour (NPSLBA).  I am a registered member of the British Psychological Society and currently conduct Access Testing Arrangements for Schools in Staffordshire.

I believe passionately in collaboration and the mutual benefits of schools working to raise standards and to set high expectations. I will support the Endeavour Trust unstintingly in its aims to achieve excellence.

Finally, since 2017 I am now working for Birmingham City Football Club as a member of their Academy Recruitment Department and also as their under 23 loans manager.

Jane Spensley


I started teaching in 1978 in Staffordshire and worked in mainstream schools for 6 years teaching modern foreign languages. After this time I moved to Denmark because of my husband’s job.  Living in Arhus I had 2 children and also worked part-time teaching English to Danish people at a local college of adult education.  When we moved back to England I did some supply teaching in Sussex and then back in Staffordshire.  In 1990 I started working at the Stafford School Support Unit where I stayed for 10 years during which it went through a variety of changes eventually becoming the Stafford Pupil Referral Unit. I then moved to work for Staffordshire Local Authority as a Behaviour Support Co-ordinator, advising schools about behaviour and working with pupils to resolve emotional and behavioural issues. In 2006 I became head teacher of Stafford Pupil Referral Unit and oversaw its expansion to include South Staffordshire district.  I “semi-retired” in August 2015 and then opened The Haven School, an independent school for young people from 11 – 19 years with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties.

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