Tree Watermark

Trustees and Directors Information

Karen Graham

Karen has been a Headteacher for 13 years at two schools, demonstrating a sustained and excellent track record of school improvement. In addition she is designated as an LLE and has supported various schools in raising attainment and delivering pupil premium reviews.

As Headteacher she is highly experienced in budget management, school development and raising attainment. She has demonstrated a consistent trend of rising attainment throughout her time as a Headteacher. Karen is rooted in teaching and learning and is determined to provide the best possible education and school experience for all pupils. Karen believes that primary schools are at their most effective when there is a clear vision for teaching and learning which is well led and communicated by leaders at all levels.

She is chair of the Horwich and Blackrod Learning Collaborative as well as Chair of Prestolee Teaching School Management Committee and Chair of their SCITT.

Revd Michael Behrend

Michael is the current incumbent at St. Catherine’s Church. He has a degree in maths from St. John’s college Cambridge. He is a qualified teacher and previously worked for 10 years as a maths teacher in the private sector. In 1997 he completed his DipHE in Theological and Pastoral Studies at Oak Hill College.

He has been a governor at St. Catherine’s for 12 years and chair since 2015.  He is currently a parent of two children at St.Catherine’s school. During his time at St. Catherine’s he has helped project manage a new school building and subsequent relocation from old to new as well as play a key role in the successful award of Governor Mark.

Cath Ormrod

Cath is currently School Business Manager at St. Catherine’s. She has been in post for 10 years, has worked in the education sector for 18 years and has a strong financial background. Prior to this Cath worked in the banking industry for 18 years, covering a variety of roles including branch and business banking, mortgages and lending.

Cath completed a Business Management qualification with the National College in 2011.

She has a breadth of financial knowledge in education, and previously served as office manager at a large primary school in Bolton. She has vast experience of implementing robust, reliable financial processes that have economy, efficiency and effectiveness at its heart.

Her role principally involves the strategic management and oversight of all the school’s resources broadly covered under the categories of Finance and HR.

Dale Ritchie

Dale is employed with HMRC as an Outputs Planning Manager.  He works with internal and external stakeholders to manage the timing and issue of HMRC Customer Outputs. Part of his role is to manage outputs with a view to increasing efficiency, reducing costs, improving understanding of the levels of reactive customer contact through data analysis. He is responsible for developing software tools to ensure efficient forecasting. He works with private and public vendors to develop options to reduce cost and improve customer contact. Using data provided by suppliers he has established reporting and data analysis tools to measure budgetary savings and performance improvements.  He is responsible for exploring digital options to deliver outputs content to our customers.

He has previously been employed by Border Force as a Planning Officer. He was responsible for designing and building software in Excel to manage staff deployment, leave and training. Through data modelling and analysis, He was responsible ensuring effective staff deployment.

Jenny Miller

Jenny brings 16 years of experience of working in a range of primary schools and leading on all aspects of school improvement to the trust. She was employed initially as a primary teacher and then as a deputy headteacher for the last 12 years. She takes up the post of Headteacher in a Bolton primary school in September 2017. She has worked as a deputy headteacher in three diverse schools within Bolton Authority, being seconded for two of those positions. She chairs her current cluster deputy headteacher’s working party, organising and managing moderation of core subjects, community projects and cluster events etc. She is also a member of the safeguarding working party for Online Safety.

Alongside her full time deputy role, Jenny has also worked as a ‘supertutor’ for Manchester University for the last 5 years, training and supporting the PGCE programme and trainee teachers, giving her experience of working in different schools in Bury, Salford and Manchester authorities.  She has planned, written and led schools direct courses leading to the successful graduation and employment of outstanding NQTs. Jenny has several National College accreditations for CPD, including NPQH and the Stepping into Headship programme.

Victoria Allen

Victoria has 15 years of management experience in the National Health Service (NHS) where she has managed multiple improvement projects. She has a Master’s Degree in Change Management and uses the Science Improvement Methodology in her approach to managing change.  She also has experience in LEAN methodology.

Victoria leads and manages teams in the development of new pathways and the analysis and redesign of current pathways. She helps teams and individuals to identify gaps, issues and constraints with current pathways and processes and develop possible areas for improvement. Her skills include scoping, developing and implementing programmes of work and developing project plans.

She has completed a Chartered Management Institute Level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring and uses these skills when managing, supporting and leading staff through change on individual and team levels.

She has been involved in many Boards and strategy groups and led the Integrated Drug Treatment Services on behalf of a Primary Care Trust for three prisons.  This included overseeing a combined budget of £1m. Involvement in the Boards has included providing weekly and monthly reports and updates.

Ian Blinkhorn

Ian works as a Technical Manager at the University of Central Lancashire with a team of 25 IT technicians supporting staff and students on the Preston Campus.  After graduating in Chemistry from Loughborough University he has over 15 years’ experience in the IT industry in both education (Secondary and Higher) and the private sector.

He has extensive financial management experience having been responsible for purchases over a million pounds as well as management of large day to day budgets.  In addition, Ian has huge experience of performance management, collaboration, critical thinking, strategic planning and brings a passion for supporting students at whatever level to help them reach their full potential. Ian has a wealth of experience in data handling and brings this expertise to the board.

Chris Stanley

Chris currently works as a Commercial Manager within the Private Sector division of ISS Facility Services UK Ltd and is responsible for the Financial & Commercial performance of a £15m per annum contract with The Co-operative. This involves, but is not limited to, commercial risk mitigation, financial/commercial analysis, revenue generation, managing the client relationship from a financial perspective and ensuring the Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss performance of the contract is accurate and is reported/completed on time to the wider UK audience.

He is a professionally qualified CIMA accountant and qualified in March 2007.  His main strengths are his attention to detail, analytical skills and a willingness to innovate where it leads to improvement of service/margin.

Gill Smith 

Gill Smith graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1989 and started her teaching career at a large primary school in Ormskirk. She then moved to Blackrod Primary to be Deputy Head Teacher and was awarded the North West Teacher of the Year Award in 1999. From there she moved to Lostock Primary School in Bolton where she was Head Teacher for 11 years. She brings a wealth of teaching experience, senior leadership skills and a passion for primary education.

In 2015 Gill followed a dream to travel to New Zealand where she spent 6 months touring both North Island and South Island in a campervan. She also spent 3 months touring Australia and visited Dubai and Thailand on the outward and return journeys.

On returning to the UK Gill has been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to further her knowledge and understanding of mental health and emotional well-being and its impact on academic attainment. She has set up her own business teaching relaxation techniques and peer massage in schools and is currently in her final year of studying to become a counsellor. In addition she is still working with schools in Horwich and Blackrod as the Learning Community Learning Enabler supporting subject leader development, curriculum enhancement and collaborative learning. She also supports the Bolton Cultural Education Partnership in fostering the arts and cultural education across Bolton LA and works closely with Bolton Library and Museum Service, Bolton Music Service and The Octagon.  She has also recently trained as a Data Protection Officer and supports schools in this role ensuring compliance with legislation.

Our Details

Tel. 01204 332636

A registered company, limited by guarantee in England and Wales (No. 10651460) and an exempt charity