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Trustees and Directors Information

Karen Graham

Karen has been a Headteacher for 16 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 an active member of the Horwich and Blackrod Learning Collaborative as well as Chair of Prestolee Teaching School Board.

Revd Michael Behrend

Michael is the current incumbent at St. Catherine’s Church, and St. Elizabeth’s Church, as well as Team Rector. 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 since 2002 and was chair from  2015 to 2020.  His is currently a parent of a child at St.Catherine’s school. During his time at St. Catherine’s he has helped project manage the relocation from the old school site, 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 Bingham

Jenny brings 20 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 12 years. She worked as a deputy headteacher in three diverse schools within Bolton Authority, being seconded for two of those positions.. Jenny has also worked as a ‘supertutor’ for Manchester University for 5 years, 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. She provides curriculum training for students in the Alliance for Learning SCITT. She has served as a Headteacher in a Bolton primary school since September 2017.

Jenny has two children who attend St Catherine’s Primary and is also a co-opted member of the Governing Board.

Jenny has several National College accreditations for CPD, including NPQH and the Stepping into Headship programme. She has recently completed a diploma in Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Victoria Allen

Victoria has 19 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.

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.

Anthony Cooke 

Anthony Cooke is currently employed as a full time class teacher, a member of the senior leadership team and as a SENCo at a small school within a disadvantaged area in the south of Bolton. He attended the University of Manchester, where he studied accountancy and finance for 12 months. He then left education and went to work for a few years within the private sector, predominantly as a trainer within the customer service sector. he returned to education in 2011 and graduated from the University of Bolton in 2014 with a first class honours degree in English, followed by a PGCE via school direct.

His experience is also not limited to my teaching experience. Whilst at university, he worked as a support worker for children under five within a Surestart Centre, as well as in two separate early years’ provisions attached to schools. He also worked with Beanstalk, a national reading charity, which also gave him opportunities to visit a number of other schools.

Our Details

Tel. 01204 332636

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