DoWMAT Members: Pen Portraits
Worcester Diocesan Academies Trust (WDAT)
WDAT is an umbrella trust which has responsibility to monitor the quality of education, the nature and effectiveness of Christian vision and ethos, the financial sustainability, and the correct governance of academies within the Diocese of Worcester.
Bryan Allbut is a retired secondary school teacher who has lived in Worcestershire for over forty years. He has a BA from Lancaster followed by a PGCE at Warwick and later studied at Masters level at The Open University and at Birmingham.
Following his retirement from full time teaching, Bryan worked as a part time National Strategy Consultant and as a local representative for The Association of School and College Leaders. He has been a school governor for many years and is currently a Director/Trustee of two Multi Academy Trusts and a Member for two others. He was a member of the Diocesan Board of Education for Worcester for nine years, serving as Chair for six years as well as serving as Chair of the Worcester Diocese Academies Trust for the same period.
Bryan has a range of interests ranging from singing with a community choir, to playing golf, to involvement with a charity working in The Gambia.
Alan Soper has a business background, having been Managing Director of a number of companies in logistics and facilities management. Alan is a graduate in Mathematics and has an MBA from Henley Business School.
Former employers include AMEC, National Freight Corporation, EMCOR and Biffa.
Alan has recently joined Monmouthshire Housing Association where he a Director and Chair of Audit & Risk.
Previous roles include; director and Chair of Audit for Teign Housing Association and director of the Bishop Anthony Educational Trust, the MAT for the Diocese of Hereford.
Living in Alfrick, Alan was Chairman of Alfrick & Lulsley Community Shop for seven years and is a Churchwarden for Leigh & Bransford. His non-work interests include singing, acting and directing amateur theatre as well as extensive travelling.
Dr 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.
From June 2016 - April 2021, Margaret was the Worcester Diocesan Director of Education. She has since taken up a post with the Church of England National Education Team to lead the new framework for Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) which comes into effect from September 2021.
Margaret has a BSc(Hons) in French, a PGCE and successfully completed NPQH. She has a Doctorate in Education, Christianity and Faith. 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.
Margaret was previously a DoWMAT Director, from September 2016 -April 2021.
Ruth Walker was the Project Director for the Worcester Diocesan Calling Young Disciples Project. This Project is one of a growing number of Strategically Funded Projects in the Church of England. The aim of the Calling Young Disciples Project is to work with churches across the Worcester Diocese to enable them to grow their engagement with Children, Young People and Families so that more Children and Young People discover the love that Jesus has for them.
Ruth began her working life in 1980 as a Secondary School Teacher, following a degree in Theology, teaching both Religious Education and Social Studies to 11-18yr olds. In 1986, she returned to College responding to God’s call to the Ordained Ministry and was ordained Deacon in 1988 in the Diocese of Oxford. This journey has taken her and her husband Peter (who is also ordained) across the country working for a total so far of 5 different dioceses. A common theme for Ruth in each appointment has always been building relationships with the local schools through: governance as a Governor as well as a Chair of Governors; the leading of Collective Worship; curriculum support and encouraging schools to engage with all a church building has to offer as well as pastoral involvement with staff, children and families. In all this, she has held a special concern for the support of Headteachers.
Sir Roger Fry (Resigned 31.03.2023) was born in Portsmouth and educated in England before entering the teaching profession.
In the late 1960’s he moved to Spain and in 1969 founded King’s College, The British School of Madrid. He has subsequently founded an entire network of British international schools under the banner of “King’s College”, as well as a chain of UK Academies, part of the King’s Group Academies MAT.
In 1981, Sir Roger founded the British Hispanic Foundation in Madrid
From 1996 to 2011, Sir Roger was chairman of the Council of British International Schools and is now its President.
In 2012, Sir Roger was awarded a knighthood for his services to UK Education Internationally and to UK-Spain Cultural Relations.