An Introduction to the Trustees
TRUSTEES / DIRECTORS
The Directors of DoWMAT are:
1. Hugh Richards
2. Sean Witheford (Chair)
3. Margaret James
4. Phil Mitchell
5. Claire Davies
Hugh Richards is a barrister specialising in town and country planning and environmental law. He works in Birmingham and lives in Kidderminster. Hugh has been actively involved in the educational sector in Worcestershire for the last fifteen years with roles that include:
1996 to date: Local Authority governor at Chaddesley Corbett Endowed Primary School (CCEPS) (a single form entry Voluntary Aided school) including Chair of Governors 2000-2004.
2010 to date: Chairman, Chaddesley Corbett Educational Foundation (a charity owning the land and buildings of CCEPS and other assets valued at £4m) whose objects are to support CCPS and make grants to residents of the parish under 25 in the furtherance of their education.
2009 to 2012: Member of Interim Executive Board of Lickhill Primary School, Stourport. Initially appointed as lay-member by the Secretary of State, but elected Chairman after 6 months by other 3 professional members.
September 2006: invited by Worcestershire County Council to present to Ofsted and the DfE on draft guidance on schools causing concern.
2004-2006: Chairman of Governors, The Marlpool First School (now St Catherine’s CE Primary School). Appointed by Worcestershire County Council as an additional Governor to a school in Special Measures.
2004: Chairman Appointments Panel for headteachers to Church of England primary schools in the Wyre Forest Review
2003-2004: Chairman of Governors, Cliffey House Special School, Hanley Castle. Appointed by Worcestershire County Council to this school which was ‘causing concern’.
2002 to date: Member Worcestershire County Council Independent Appeals Panel (exclusions)
Sean Witheford has a BSC(Hons) in Production and Operations Management. In his working life Sean is the Managing Director of a local company, Jet Plant Hire Limited, that has a turnover of over £12m and 120 employees based out of 2 sites in Evesham and Newton Abbot. Sean is responsible for the strategic development of the company, all commercial and financial aspects, personnel, health and safety, and he oversees the general operations. More information on the company is available at www.jetplant.co.uk .
Outside of work Sean has lived in South Littleton for over 15 years and has 4 children that have all gone through the village school. Sean sits on the PCC of St Michael's church and until May 2016 was the Chairman of the Parish Council serving circa 8 years. Sean is the Co-Chair of Governors at The Littletons School. Sean also manages the under 16’s football team in the village as well.
Margaret James has worked in education since 1988. She qualified as a Middle School teacher and has mainly worked in this and the primary sector ever since. Her career began as a class teacher and has encompassed roles such as Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Safeguarding Officer, RE Subject Lead, Christian Distinctiveness lead, governor and Assistant Head. Between 2008 and 2011, she worked for South Gloucestershire Local Authority as Advisory Teacher for Religious Education, during which time she worked closely with both church and community schools in the primary and secondary phases. During this time, she also acted as an adviser to the South Gloucestershire SACRE.
Margaret trained to be a SIAMS inspector in 2010 and, soon afterwards, took up the part-time position of SIAMS Manager for the Diocese of Gloucester, whilst also working part-time as Assistant Head at St Mary’s VA Primary School in Thornbury. She was a member of the group which revised the Section 48 Inspection Schedule in 2012-13 and, since then, has worked as a National Society Consultant as a trainer of practising inspectors.
In 2012, she began work for the Diocese of Worcester as SIAMS Manager and a year later was asked to extend that work to incorporate the role of Training Manager. More recently, in 2015, she was asked to take up the positions of National Trainer and Quality Assurance Assessor of New Inspectors and still works in those roles on a consultancy basis.
In June 2016, Margaret was appointed as Worcester Diocesan Director of Education. Margaret has a BSc(Hons) in French, a PGCE and successfully completed NPQH. She is currently halfway through studying for a Doctorate in Education, Christianity and Faith, a five year commitment which is expected to be completed in 2018. Margaret is married and has four grown up children between the ages of 18 and 24. She lives with her husband in the village of Aust, close to the River Severn, in South Gloucestershire.
Phil Mitchell took early retirement from headship in August 2006 in order to become an accredited School Improvement Partner (SIP) and Church School (S48) Inspector.
As a SIP for 5 years, Philip worked to support the improvement of designated Middle schools, predominantly on the Isle of Wight. During the same period, he also worked in a part-time management and advisory capacity with Redditch YMCA in order to develop and deliver ‘Extended Services’ to local school communities.
Philip was Headteacher of Ipsley C.E. Middle School from September 2001, when it opened as part of the LEA reorganisation of schools in Redditch, until 2006.
Prior to his appointment as Headteacher of Ipsley, Philip was Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher of St. Peter’s C.E. Middle, Redditch (4 years and 20 years, respectively) and in a former middle school, he held the roles of Year Leader and Head of English.
Having contributed to the Worcester Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) during two periods as, respectively, co-opted Headteacher representative and Bromsgrove Deanery representative, Philip was appointed as part-time Educational Consultant to the Worcester Diocesan Department for Children, Youth and Education in September, 2011. In this role, he represented the Department in the appointments of Headteachers and Deputy Headteachers to Church of England schools, in training and in an advisory capacity to support school self-evaluation. Philip served on both Worcester and Dudley Advisory Councils for Religious Education. He retired from his role as Consultant in April 2016 and as Church School Inspector (S48) in the same year.
Philip is an active member of St. Leonard’s Church, Beoley and, until August 2017, Chair of Governors at St. Luke’s CE First School, Redditch, a role held since 2008.
In all, Philip has 48 years experience in education.
Philip maintains a strong commitment to improving the quality of learning for all pupils: to encourage, within a Christian context, enjoyment in learning; to value the importance of relationships and of the pastoral role of teachers, and to encourage learning beyond the classroom.
Claire Davies qualified as a teacher in 1988 and has since taught across the primary age range in a number of different schools; all with their own distinct challenges.
In 2009, following a brief spell as the Acting Headteacher in a 2 form entry Church of England Primary School in Worcester, she became Headteacher of a one form entry Church school in Malvern Link; a school with a high percentage of disadvantaged children. This was a school in Special Measures and as such, her role in the initial years held many challenges; stabilizing staffing, tackling deep rooted underachievement, improving teaching and learning, introducing robust data / pupil tracking systems, building positive relationships / trust, improving behaviour and restoring staff confidence and morale. After a year of hard work, the school celebrated its removal from Special Measures.
In 2011, Claire supported this school through its conversion to academy status and helped form a learning community within the four partnership schools where high expectations were transformed into high levels of progress and attainment for all pupils. This experience strongly confirmed to Claire the substantial impact working collaboratively with other schools can have on continuing school improvement.
From September 2019, this headship role was combined with the Executive Headship of a small village school with mixed age classes.
Claire began her role as CEO role for the Diocese of Worcester Multi Academy Trust in September 2016.
The Directors of the Trust Board declare the following Interests:
Mr Phil Mitchell
Membership of Moons Moat Conservation Group
Mr Hugh Richards
Barrister and Director of No5 Chambers Ltd. He is Chair of Chaddesley Corbett Educational Foundation
Membership of the Planning and Environment Bar Association, the National Infrastructure Planning Association and the Diocesan Synod(Worcester) and DBF.
Mr Sean Witheford
Co-Chair of Governors at The Littletons School since November 2015 and has been a governor since 2010.
Managing Director of Jet Plant Hire Ltd.
Committee Member of the Association of Planning Contractors and Vice Chair of Offenham Cricket Club.
Sister-in-law is employed as a TA at The Littletons School
Mrs Margaret James
Diocesan Director of Education for Worcestershire Diocese
Mrs Claire Davies
CEO and Accounting Officer for the Diocese of Worcester Multi Academy Trust.