The Diocese of Coventry

Multi Academy Trust

Together, pursuing life in all its fullness

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The Multi Academy Trust Members

The members of the Multi Academy Trust enter into the funding agreement with the Secretary of State and are legally responsible both to the Secretary of State and to parents and pupils for the running of the Academy Trust and the academies within the Trust. They are also responsible for holding the directors to account for the running of the Trust. 

The functions of the members of the Academy Trust include:


  • Overseeing the achievement of the objectives of the company
  • Taking part in annual and extraordinary general meetings
  • Appointing and/or removing directors
  • Appointing the auditors
  • Signing off the company’s financial accounts and annual report
  • Power to amend the Articles of the company or close the company


There are seven Members of the Diocese of Coventry Multi Academy Trust:


The Bishop of Coventry - The Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth

Christopher Cocksworth read Theology at the University of Manchester. After teaching RS and Economics in secondary education, he trained for ordination and pursued doctoral studies. Dr Cocksworth has served in parochial and chaplaincy ministry and in theological education, latterly as Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity by the University of London for his services to education. He has written a number of books and articles in the area of Christian theology and worship.


Bishop Christopher is Chair of the Faith and Order Commission of the of the Church of England. He entered the House of Lords in January 2013 where he contributes on international matters (for which he is lead Bishop), education and ethics of beginning and end of life; he also seeks to give voice to life on the ground in Coventry and Warwickshire. 


The Diocesan Board of Education - represented by April Gold (Diocesan Director of Education)

April is Diocesan Director of Education for Coventry Diocese. She was previously Deputy Director of Education and has a broad range of experience in supporting schools, parishes and Churches to provide distinctively Christian Education.  She was previously a Deputy Head Teacher in a large Secondary School in Rugby, and has worked in education for 23 years.


April hold qualifications in Educational Leadership and Management, Christian Counselling and Psychology and is passionate about enabling all members of school communities to flourish as they pursue an education for life in all its fullness.


The Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education - Mr Chris Edwards

Chris had a successful career in education over 33 years; teaching in the UK and Kenya. As a Church of England Head Teacher, he led 2 primary schools to good and outstanding inspection grades respectively; becoming a National Leader of Education.  In 2013 her became Regional Academies Director for Oasis Community Learning responsible for 8 academies in the Midlands.  During his tenure, all eight previously failing schools achieved Good Ofsted grades aligned with the excellent culture and ethos of the Academy Trust.


Since 2018 Chris has been Chief Operations Officer for HOPE Coventry, a Christian UK Charity, enabling churches to delivery predominantly social action projects to serve the city including a Night Shelter and Good Neighbours a large volunteer befriending service.  He is trustee of Jubilee Church Coventry and founder trustee of Mercy Hands Uganda UK.


The Bishop's Nominee - TBA



The Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education Business Committee - Mr Mike Draper

Mike has an engineering background, completing first an apprenticeship and then a Mechanical Engineering degree while working at Courtaulds Engineering, later known as CEL International.

Mike then retrained while still with CEL and took on responsibility for health and safety in a wide variety of design and construction projects. Mike now works for Volvo Group in Warwick where he is the head of their Safety, Health and Environment team for the UK business. Mike became a Governor at Blue Coat C of E School in 2010 and joined the Diocesan Board of Education in 2013 and was appointed Vice Chair in 2018. Mike was a Churchwarden for St Stephens in Canley from 2011 to 2018.


The Chair of the Board of Directors - Paula Whitfield

Paula is an FCA, having trained as a chartered accountant with PWC, working in their London, Cardiff and Sydney offices. Paula worked for PWC for 15 years, finishing her career with PWC as a director in their pensions audit and assurance business.  Paula also worked for British Airways for 3 years in their engineering division reviewing business performance and being involved in the sale of a business.  For the past 10 years she has worked for the GEC 1972 Plan and Telent Ltd specialising in pensions accounting for the company and the pension plan and supporting the Board's Audit Committee on various topics such as risk management, controls, financial reporting, taxation and audit (both internal and external).  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 is currently a governor at two local primary schools and is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee at another secondary academy trust.  She has successfully steered two schools through their SIAMS inspection, with one school achieving a judgement of outstanding.


Appointed Member - Dr Rex Pogson

Rex studied at Cambridge, and taught in schools for 27 years, culminating in 13 years of headship at Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby.  He was then Director of the Warwickshire Arts Zone for 8 years, with responsibility for forging partnerships between schools, artists and arts organisations for all age-groups.  In a voluntary capacity, he was Chair of the Coventry Diocesan Board of Education for 12 years, with responsibilities for 75 church schools, and was the founding Chair of the Coventry Diocesan MAT.


Members Appointments


  Member Date Appointed
  Bishop Christopher Cocksworth 27-02-2013
  Mike Draper 07-03-2018
  Rex Pogson 17-12-2018
  Paula Whitfield 01-01-2020
  Chris Edwards 24-01-2020
  April Gold





Members Resignations


  Member Date Appointed Date Resigned
   James Kennedy 27-02-2013 01-12-2014
   Rex Pogson 27-02-2013 12-02-2016
  Simon Lloyd 27-02-2013 29-04-2016
  Simon Ramshaw 12-02-2016 29-03-2017
  John Green 14-12-2015 17-07-2017
  Sybil Hanson 12-02-2016 07-03-2018
  Peter Law 17-07-2017 31-12-2019
  Ruth Marlow 12-12-2016 23-01-2020
  Linda Wainscott 27-02-2013 31-08-2020
  Elaine Scrivens 03-04-2017 24-09-2020


Declarations of Interest


Director Pecuniary and 
Business Interests
Educational Establishments Relationships Date of Declaration
Mike Draper  None Declared

 Director - Coventry   Diocesan Board of Education

 Director - Blue Coat CofE

 Academy Ltd

 None Declared  17-07-20
Bishop Christopher Cocksworth  

Bishop of Coventry Royalties – Canterbury Press and SPCK Publishing, royalties; currently not exceeding £500 per annum but subject to possible change in future

Residential holding – in Egham, Surrey, owned jointly with wife from which rental income is received

Chairman of the Members – St Gabriel’s CofE Academy (Houlton)

Member – Blue Coat CofE Academy

Member – Arden Forest CofE Academy

Court Member – University of Leicester

Chair of Trustees – Coventry 2020 Educational Trust

Vice-president – Medical & Life Sciences Research Fund

Trustee – St Peter’s Saltley Trust

 Council of Reference – 

 Shakespeare birthplace Trust

Charlotte Cocksworth (wife) – teacher

Timothy Cocksworth (son) – Sole Trader, TJ (Building) Services




 Director – Whitfield Consultants Ltd

 Director – Stanhope Pension  

 Services Ltd 

 Director – Custodian Holdings Ltd

 Director – Telenet Communications  

 Pensions Trust Ltd

 Governor -  Lawrence

 Sheriff School

 Governor –  Dunchurch   School’s Federation

 Governor – Stretton

 CofE Academy

 None Declared  13-07-20

Rex Pogson

Trustee - Bradby Club for Young People

Director on PCC - St Andrew's Church Rugby

Member of Council - Rotary Club of Rugby

Trustee and Governor - St Gabriel's MAT and school

Trustee - Dunchurch and Thurlaston Educ Trust


 None Declared


Chris Edwards  None Declared  None Declared  None Declared 14-09-20
April Gold  None Declared

Trustee - Nicholas Chamberlain Trust

Member - Inspire Education Trust

Member - Arden Forest Multi Academy Trust

 None Declared 15-09-20


Persons with Significant Control (PSC)


  • Coventry Diocesan Board of Education (RLE)
  • The Bishop of Coventry in a corporate role (RLE)

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