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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 - The Venerable Barry Dugmore



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


  MemberDate Appointed
  Bishop Christopher Cocksworth27-02-2013
  Mike Draper07-03-2018
  Rex Pogson17-12-2018
  Paula Whitfield01-01-2020
  Chris Edwards24-09-2020
  April Gold


  Barry Dugmore15-10-2020



Members Resignations


  MemberDate AppointedDate Resigned
  James Kennedy27-02-201301-12-2014
  Rex Pogson27-02-201312-02-2016
  Simon Lloyd27-02-201329-04-2016
  Simon Ramshaw12-02-201629-03-2017
  John Green14-12-201517-07-2017
  Sybil Hanson12-02-201607-03-2018
  Peter Law17-07-201731-12-2019
  Ruth Marlow12-12-201623-01-2020
  Linda Wainscott27-02-201331-08-2020
  Elaine Scrivens03-04-201725-09-2020


Declarations of Interest


DirectorPecuniary and 
Business Interests
Educational EstablishmentsRelationshipsDate of Declaration
Mike Draper None Declared

 Vice Chair - Coventry   Diocesan Board of 


 Vice Chair - Blue Coat

 CofE Academy Ltd

Associate Director - Inspire Education Trust

 None Declared 09-09-21
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 Holdings – rental income

Trustee - Coventry refugee and Migrant Centre

Trustee - St Faith's Shelter, Coventry

President - Coventry and Warwickshire YMCA

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

Member – Blue Coat CofE Academy

Member - Henley in Arden 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

Ex-Officio Patron – St Peter’s Saltley Trust

 Council of Reference 

 – Shakespeare

 birthplace Trust

None Declared




 Director – Whitfield Consultants Ltd

 Director – Stanhope Pension  

 Services Ltd 

 Director – Custodian Holdings Ltd (ceased June 2021)

 Director – Telenet Communications  

 Pensions Trust Ltd

 Governor -  Lawrence

 Sheriff School

 Governor –  Dunchurch   School’s Federation

 Governor – Stretton

 CofE Academy (ceased July 2021)

 None Declared 09-09-21

 Rex Pogson

Trustee - Bradby Club for Young People

Director - St Andrew's Church PCC

Member of Council - Rotary Club of Rugby

Member of Conditions of Employment Group - Diocese of Coventry

Member - Lawrence Sheriff School Trust

Director/Trustee - St Gabriel's Academy Trust

Trustee - Dunchurch and Thurlaston Educ Trust


 None Declared


Chris Edwards None Declared None Declared None Declared08-09-21
April Gold Director - Together for Change

Trustee - Nicholas Chamberlain Trust

Company Secretary - Coventry Diocesan Board of Education

 None Declared08-09-21
Barry DugmoreNone DeclaredNone DeclaredNone Declare20-10-20


Persons with Significant Control (PSC)


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

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