As a Trust we place a high value on good governance, believing that it is an essential part of our strategy to deliver the best possible education for our children and young people.  We have sought to create a clear governance structure that places as much decision making as possible in our schools to empower Governors and staff.  At the same time, as Trustees, we recognise that we have duties and responsibilities that underpin the work of the Trust and protect and nurture pupils, students and staff.  I believe that the Scheme of Delegation described in our Handbook offers an appropriate balance between the delegation of powers and responsible oversight.

It is important that we ensure our schools are delivering  an education underpinned by our values as RSA Academies. I encourage our governance committees to keep a strong focus on these as we support our schools and the trust in delivering our strategic objectives. This will enable us to deliver our vision for Central Region Schools Trust.


Malcolm Forbes

Sue Hind-Woodward

Sue Horner

William Adams

Peter Slough

Meet the Trust Board

To contact any of the Trust Board members please email:

Vacancies x 1: Actively recruiting at present

Eric Griffiths, RSA nominated Trustee, Chair – Strategic Management

Eric has been involved in school improvement since 1993 and has gained considerable skills in supporting school leadership. He has held local authority posts as a Senior Post 16 Inspector and as Chief Inspector of Schools, working also as an OFSTED lead Inspector. He was appointed as Executive Director for Education and Lifelong Learning in Sandwell in 2001. In 2005 he became interim Director of Education and Children’s Services for that Borough.

Eric retired in March 2006 and set up an Educational Consultancy, with much of his activity focusing on work with the Department for Education (DfE) to establish over forty Academies across England. In 2012, Eric began working with the Baker Dearing Trust and supported the establishment of University Technical Colleges across the Midlands and East Anglia, working with sponsors, governing bodies and the DfE, until his retirement in January 2015. In 2012, Eric was invited to become a Trustee of the Redditch RSA Academies Trust and was appointed Chair of the Trust Board in 2013. Eric has also served on the Trust Boards of the John Milton Academy and the Sandwell Academy.

The Reverend William Adams, FRSA, RSA nominated Trustee (member) – Diocesan matters/RSA Character and Commitments/Secondary Curriculum & Standards including Pupil Premium

Will is an RSA Life Fellow and the former Headteacher (1993-2004) of a highly successful large comprehensive school. As a governor of the University of Northampton, Will chaired the Remuneration and Honorary Awards Committees and led the governance review of the Board and Court. He was admitted as an Honorary Fellow of the University in 2015. He was installed as Rector of the Astwell Benefice (2005-2012) with additional diocesan responsibilities for the governance of two Church of England schools.Will is a member of the Northamptonshire Police Independent Ethic Committee and Director of a branch of the Samaritans.

Sarah Bates, Primary and Multi Academy Trust Expert

Sarah is a member of the Education Team with Coventry Diocesan MAT, a Church of England Trust with 14 schools (13 Primary and one Secondary school). She has been an Executive Head across two schools for the last few years and in her current role has responsibility for eight schools across Coventry and Warwickshire . She is also a National Leader for Education.

Sarah is an experienced leader, after ten years of Deputy Headship she led on ‘Leadership and Management’ professional development for Coventry Local Authority before becoming Headteacher of a school in Special Measures. Along with her leadership team, she led the school out of a category to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ OFSTED judgment two years later. Within her current role she works with schools across Coventry and Warwickshire, developing practice and improving outcomes for young people.

Elizabeth Keates, FRSA, RSA nominated Human Resources

Liz was appointed to the RSA Academies Board in September 2017. For the past 20 years Liz has worked for Carillion latterly she was HR Director for a discrete part of the Carillon business, she is also Head of Employee Relations it is in this role where she has had specific accountability for Employee Engagement and the group Diversity agenda. Liz brings over 40 years of HR experience to assist the Academies board with their strategy.

Orla MacSherry, FRSA, RSA nominated, Finance/Legal, Chair Trust Finance & Resources Committee

Orla has been a fellow of the RSA for six years. Orla is a solicitor providing independent consultancy services to major investment banks and property investment and development funds. From 2000 – 2011 she was a partner in Macfarlanes, a City of London law firm.

Orla is passionate about deploying her legal skills where she can in the not for profit sector and is particularly interested in education and the arts. She is a non-parent governor of Canonbury Primary School in Islington North London and was a founding trustee of Mind Yourself, a north London mental health charity.

Nick Clifford

Nick trained as a business manager at Oxford Brookes and subsequently worked in Harrods. After studying Planning at Westminster University, he worked as a policy analyst in London. In Manchester he worked on organisational change and development around the emerging sustainability agenda. He later studied for an MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School and then concentrated on corporate change in local government management. Recognising the need for more executive education for business leaders and managers he began an academic career at Alliance Manchester Business School. As a programme director and business development manager he directed, designed and delivered programmes to executives and managers in businesses of different size and scale. His PhD research was in the challenges of achieving successful organisational change.

John Howells

John retired from teaching at Easter 2011. He taught for over 40 years in the secondary sector. The last 25 years as a head in a community school. The school ran a leisure centre, all weather pitch, fitness centre and courts for out of school users. Also included was a large adult education programme funded by the LA, a large letting program, youth centre on site, shared Social Service building etc. In reality it was the concept of the extended school long before that idea was proposed by government.

John has been involved in a myriad of innovations around education and has worked with major organisations on developments and initiatives. His particular interests in education are around the curriculum, innovation and change, leadership and cultural models which enable change and a proper understanding of how learning models affect change.

Wilfred Chikowore

I am Zimbabwean-born, part Zimbabwe and part UK educated. I come from a family of teachers, nurses and police officers. Civil service and working within communities are what I grew up around, and form part of my personal and professional values. I qualified as an adult nurse in 2011, immediately specialised in occupational health. Within my profession, I work as part of an occupational health and safety team, and it this collaborative working that has given me a good understanding of the importance of health and safety in organisations. I have proven analytical, interpersonal and technical aptitudes, and possess sound commercial awareness.

I believe my strength lies in problem solving, which is one of the day-to-day elements of my current job role. I have an analytical and logical approach to problem solving and am adept at interpreting data and formulating solutions that are not only feasible but also practicable. My current postgraduate studies have given me a sound theoretical underpinning of health and safety management in organisations. I look for opportunities to share my knowledge and expertise not only within my workplace, but in the greater community. As well as supporting in my role as a governor, I also support small to medium enterprises on a voluntary basis in setting up or developing their health and safety provisions.

Jo Townshend

Jo has been a fellow of the RSA for 4 years. Building on her specialism of fine art painting and interest in collaborative practice and contemporary arts pedagogy, she’s worked in arts education since graduating from the Royal Academy of Arts. Jo’s doctoral research investigates educational leadership as arts practice, informed by Deleuzian concepts. She’s a Trustee of the De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill.

Jo is the Principal Partnerships Manager (Creative sectors) UCL, responsible for identifying and developing strategic partnerships in the arts, humanities and societal sectors. Her work facilitates major, institutional-level business partnerships that will extend UCL’s interdisciplinary research into new areas and lead to new innovations with industry.

Jo was the Founder Principal of a Studio School for the Creative Industries delivering traditional education in partnership with industry, Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ in All Areas. Whilst Head of Art and as an Advanced Skills Teacher, she designed and implemented whole school improvement using arts methodologies in collaboration with Creative Partnerships. She led community programmes with cluster schools and introduced British Council overseas partnerships exploring global sustainability and Fairtrade with Ghana & France

Emtiyaz Chowdhury

Emtiyaz is an economist with specialist knowledge in the life sciences. He has supported the development of evidenced based national clinical guidelines to ensure the NHS achieves value for money from medical interventions. More recently, Emtiyaz has been consulting leading pharmaceuticals on their global economic and market access strategy for new drugs.

Emtiyaz has been a member of the Trust’s audit committee since 2018. He is passionate about leveraging his experience in healthcare to champion the value for money agenda in the education sector and most importantly improve outcomes for students.

Are you enthusiastic about education and offering the best life chances to young people? 

If so, the Central Region Schools Trust has a number of vacancies and is seeking high-calibre, committed Governors and Chairs of Governors to strengthen its Local Academy Governing Boards (LAGBs).

The Central Region Schools Trust is a multi-academy sponsor with a mission to transform the life chances of the young people and their families in the academies we support. 

We are a group of schools with a strong and powerful relationship with The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (The RSA).  

The RSA has a strong history of supporting educational innovation, thinking and approaches, going back as far as the Nineteenth Century ( Today, we work together as a group of schools, working closely with the RSA, to ensure the best possible educational outcomes for young people in our schools. 

As a Trust we place a high value on good governance, believing that it is an essential part of our strategy to deliver the best possible education for our children and young people.  We have sought to create a clear governance structure that places as much decision making as possible in our schools to empower Governors and staff.    

Volunteering as a School Governor is a great opportunity to gain school leadership experience at board level as well as transferable skills that enhance performance and employability. Most of all, you will have the satisfaction of making a real difference to children’s lives and helping them to realise their potential. 

The main purpose of a Governor is to: 

  • Help set the strategic direction of the school 
  • Hold the leadership to account for the performance of the school 
  • Make sure that resources are used well and that money is well spent 
  • To ensure that both they and the school are answerable to the communities they serve, in particular parents.  

We are looking for a Chair of Governors that can provide the following key skills & areas of expertise; Governors should have experience in at least some of these areas: 

  • The ability to work in a team 
  • An interest in education and a commitment to the school 
  • Educational delivery in an AP, SEMH, ASD and/or mainstream context 
  • Enthusiasm for taking on an active role on the Governing Body 
  • Availability to attend Governing Body meetings and carrying out visits to the school 
  • A willingness to listen, learn and to undertake training 
  • Experience of organisational leadership (essential for the Chair) 
  • Performance Management in the context of outcomes and progression 
  • Safeguarding 
  • Financial Management and Fund Raising 
  • Human Resource Management, including staff development 
  • Knowledge of the local area, including the labour market  

For Governors, the time commitment will be approximately 10 days per year spent attending meetings, visiting the school from time-to-time and undertaking relevant training.  The time commitment for Chairs is approximately 2-3 days per month. 

There are no specific qualifications for the role of governor. You just need the right attitude, enthusiasm and time to devote to the role. 

It is important that we ensure our schools are delivering an education underpinned by our values as RSA Academies and we encourage our LAGBs to keep a strong focus on these as we support our schools and the Trust in delivering our strategic objectives.  

The Central Region Schools Trust seeks a diverse Board and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. 

Our organisation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff and governors to share this commitment. Before your appointment as governor is confirmed you will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS check. 

To discuss these opportunities further, please contact Lucy Taylor, Head of Governance: or on telephone number: 0121 270 3119

Thank you for your interest, we look forward to hearing from you.