The Diocese of Coventry

Multi Academy Trust

Together, pursuing life in all its fullness

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The Multi Academy Trust Board

The Executive Board of the Multi Academy Trust, fulfilling the role of both directors under company law and trustees under charity law, exercise the powers and carry out the duties of the Multi-Academy Trust. The Board of Directors are responsible to the Members of the Multi-Academy Trust as well as the parents, pupils and staff at the academies. Directors may also be known as governors of the Trust.


The directors are responsible for the three core governance functions – setting the strategic direction of the Trust and the academies within the Trust, holding the Headteachers to account and ensuring financial probity. Directors work with the local governing bodies to ensure the quality of education and financial management provided at each academy.


Two committees operate under the MAT Board. The Academy Effectiveness Committee monitors academy performance, Christian distinctiveness and pupil welfare. The Resources Committee focuses on finance, buildings and staffing issues


The MAT Directors



Peter Law  - Peter is a retired solicitor and local government lawyer. Peter is a Founder, Trustee and the Chairman of South Warwickshire Plato Trust which provides housing for persons recovering from mental illness. Peter worked within private practice for a number of years before bringing his property experience to head up Leicestershire’s Conveyance Department. Peter has been involved in the conversion of a number of schools to academies within Leicestershire and brings and enormous amount of legal expertise, especially around property.


Andrew Armbrister - Andrew spent 33 years in the Financial Services Industry, much of it working in the City until late 2016 where he was Programme, Risk and Controls Director with RBS. He has a strong background in change leadership, business improvment and practical Corporate and Commercial Banking. He is a specialist in Operational Risk and Credit Risk oversight, the development and the implementation of Risk Assessment and Control frameworks and policies across large populations. Andrew has extensive knowledge of Financial Crime Compliance, including s166 reviews and attestation. In the past he has been a member of an Interim Executive Board which was established following a local school being placed into special measures and worked with the MAT as the school converted to an academy. 


Mandy Coalter - Mandy joined United Learning in November 2012 having previously worked in local government, health, the voluntary sector and with schools. United Learning is one of the largest charities in the UK, running nearly 60 schools across State and Independent sectors. The Group won the HR Excellence Award for Employee Engagement in 2016. Mandy and her team also won the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development ‘HR Team of the Year’ in the Public/Third Sector in 2016. HR Magazine listed Mandy in the ‘HR Most Influential in the not for profit sector’ category in both 2015 and 2016. Mandy is a graduate in Law, a Fellow of the CIPD and is a trained Executive Coach (ILM7).


Ian Dewes – Currently the Headteacher of an outstanding infant school and National Leader of Education, Ian has taught across Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in Warwickshire and Haringey, London, where he was one of the LA’s “Leading Teachers”. In 2012 Ian completed an M.A. in Education which focused on leadership and management in schools. Ian is interested in school governance having led governor professional development sessions at several schools on understanding achievement data and is currently undertaking a professional doctorate with a focus on governance within multi academy trusts.


Ruth Marlow - Ruth was born and brought up in Sheffield before going to the University of Birmingham where she studied biological sciences and geography. After completing her degree Ruth moved to Nottingham and joined Nottingham City Council where she worked in the council’s Housing Department. In 1985 Ruth qualified as a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Ruth continued her career in Housing over the next twelve years, before becoming the Chief Executive of North Kesteven District Council in Lincolnshire and then Managing Director of Mansfield District Council. In these roles Ruth focused on organisational development and service improvement as well as staff training and development. She qualified as an Executive Coach and Leadership Mentor in 2010. In 2014 Ruth became a trustee of TNT – Transforming Notts Together – a member of the CUF Together Network. Here her keen interest in housing and homelessness issues were put to good use in helping to establish and develop TNT’s cold weather night shelter project in Mansfield. In September 2016 Ruth was appointed to be the Diocesan Secretary for the Diocese of Coventry.


Roger Medwell - Roger has recently retired as Chariman and CEO of NP Aerospace Ltd. He is currently Chairman of Imagineer Technologies and is involved in Imagineering, an independant educational charity with the aim of introducing young people of ages 8-16 to the world of engineering, science and technology.


Jason Slack - Jason has been Headmaster at King Henry VIII since April 2010. King Henry VIII
School was inspected in 2016, receiving the highest grade of ‘Excellent’ in all 8 categories of
the Independent Schools’ Inspection framework. Jason is a member of the Headmaster and
Headmistresses’ Conference, serving on their Inspection Committee since 2014 and also a
practising Independent Schools’ Inspector, having inspected 6 schools. Previously Jason was
Deputy Headmaster at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield from 2005 until 2010.
Jason graduated from Durham University with honours in Physics in 1994, being sponsored
through University and having worked with a major Chartered Accountancy firm before
taking a PGCE and starting a teaching career at King Henry VIII School. Jason moved to The
Grange in Cheshire as Head of Science and Physics in 1998, whilst also working with Keele
University tutoring on their PGCE and Physics Teaching Conversion courses. Any spare time
is spent with his wife and two children, keeping fit by playing football, playing the violin and
boarding Guide Dogs in training.


Paula Whitfield – Paula is a chartered accountant and member of the Pension Management Institute. She started work at Price Waterhouse, in a variety of roles including Audit Assistance Manager working throughout China, South East Asia ,New Zealand and North America. She is currently employed by Telenet Ltd., as a Pensions Accountant reporting to the Board's Audit Committee on various topics such as risk management, controls, reporting and general accounting issues. Paula is an experienced school governor, having started on the governing body of her local infant school 12 years ago where she became Chair of Governors. She has also been a governor at two other schools and is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee at another academy trust. She has successfully steered two schools through their SIAMS inspection, with one school achieving a judgment of outstanding. 


Mr Michael Cowland -
Michael has been working in multi academy trusts since 2011 having made a successful transition from local government.  This transition started with Northampton Academy a large secondary academy run by United Learning and most recently with the Diocese of Peterborough, where he was part of the senior leadership team who established the Peterborough Diocese Education Trust (PDET).  The PDET has since grown to become the home of 30 academies, 5500 children, 950 members of staff and has a turn over of £25m.  Michael spent time acting as interim Chief Executive Officer to cover a period of absence where he led the trust through four Ofsted inspections, the trusts's twenty third academy conversion and the successful secondment of a Head of Learning and Achievement, a post which resulted in a step change in the trust's academy improvement services.  Michael is a Cranfield School of Management Executive MBA and lives in Northamptonshire with his wife, 3 daughters and Eddie the Beagle.


Mrs Jo Baker


Ms Michelle Nisbet



Directors Appointments and Attendance


All directors are appointed by resolution of the Members of the company


  Director Date Appointed End of Term Full Board
Meeting Attendance
Meeting Attendance
  Andrew Armbrister 01-04-2017 31-03-2021 6 / 6 1 / 1
  Mandy Coalter 04-10-2016 03-10-2020 4 / 6 1 / 1
  Peter Law 17-07-2014 17-07-2022 4 / 6 2 / 2
  Ian Dewes 01-07-2016 30-06-2020 6 / 6 1 / 1
  Ruth Marlow 12-12-2016 11-12-2020 5 / 6 1 / 1
  Roger Medwell 21-04-2015 20-04-2019 4 / 6 1 / 1
  Jason Slack 26-04-2018 25-04-2022

5 / 6

1 / 1
  Paula Whitfield 09-07-2019 08-07-2023 0 / 1 n/a
  Michael Cowland 12-08-2019 Ex-officio n/a n/a


Directors Resignations


  Director Date Appointed Date Resigned Full Board
Meeting Attendance
Meeting Attendance
 John Wade 19-12-2013 03-10-2019 4 / 6 1 / 1
 David Morris 10-02-2015 31-12-2018 0 / 1 1 / 1
 Previous Resignations
 Linda Wainscot 19-12-2013 18-12-2017 0 / 1 1 / 1
 John Green 14-02-2015 17-07-2017 N/A N/A
 James Kennedy 27-02-2013 17-07-2017 N/A N/A
 Rex Pogson 27-02-2013 06-03-2017 N/A N/A
 Simon Lloyd 27-02-2013 29-04-2016 N/A N/A


Declarations of Interests


 Director Pecuniary and
Business Interests
Educational Establishments Relationships Date of Declaration
  Peter Law

 Chairman - South  
 Warwickshire Plato 


   None Declared  None Declared 18-07-18
 None Declared

  Employee- United

 Learning, Multi

 Academy Trust

 Parent -  


 Hastings Church of

 England Academy

 None Declared 18-07-18
  Ian Dewes  None Declared

 None Declared

 None Declared 18-07-18

 Diocesan  Secretary,
 employee  - Diocesan Board
 of Finance

 Trustee - Coventry 

 Diocesan Trustees


 Trustee -  Coventry 

 Diocesan Board  of Education 


 Trustee - Together 

 for Change 

  Coventry and

 Director   - Ruth Marlow Ltd

 Trustee - Transforming

 Notts Together

 Director / Trustee - Diocesan 
 Board of Education
 None Declared 18-07-18

 Trustee - Warwickshire

 Mark Benevolent Fund


 Trustee & Treasurer - 

 Hope4 (Rugby) Ltd

  None Declared

 Wife is a  member

 of Bishop's  Council for the Diocese of



 Director/Chair - Coventry 

 City of Culture 2021


 President – Armonico

 Consort Trust


 Director – MTLS Eco Ltd


 Director – Composite Ltd


 Director – Culture Coventry 

 Ventures Limited

 Director – Alderson House

 (Warwick) Ltd


 Director – Culture Coventry


 Director – Imagineer 

 Technologies Ltd


 Director – Medwell 

 Productions Ltd


 Director/Chair – The Godiva 

 Awakes Trust


 Director – Medwell Hyde Ltd

 Governor - Broad

 Heath Community


 None Declared 15-09-18



 None Declared

 Headteacher of

 King Henry VIII


 None Declared  18-07-18



 Director – Whitfield 

 Consultants Ltd


 Director – Stanhope

 Pension Services Ltd


 Director – Custodian

 Holdings Ltd


 Director – Telenet


 Pensions Trust Ltd

 Governor / director – Lawrence Sheriff   School


 Governor – 

 Dunchurch School’s



 Governor –   Leamington

 Hastings CofE 

 Academy (ceased   July 2019)


 Governor – Stretton

 CofE Academy

 (ceased July 2019)
 None Declared  09-07-19
 Michael     Cowland  None Declared

 None Declared

 None Declared  16-08-19

  Jo Baker 



 None Declared  None Declared  None Declared  14-09-18

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