Inspiring Primaries Academy Trust begins with the principle that all academies will have a local governing body to which a wide range of decisions is delegated.

Each school publishes information about its local governing body. 

The Board of Trustees is the accountable body for the performance of all academies within Inspiring Primaries Academy Trust. It ensures clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; holds the executive to account and oversees the financial performance of the Trust.


Peter Bell (Chair of Finance and Audit Committee)

Peter has served as a Parent Governor at Gilmorton Chandler, where his two children attend/attended. Currently working as Managing Director for Manheim UK (part of Cox Automotive), he has spent his career in the Financial Services sector in a range of commercial and operational roles, and has over 25 years of leadership experience. He holds the Institute of Directors’ Certificate in Company Direction qualification. Beyond family and work, Peter is a keen cyclist and coaches a local children’s football team.

Katherine Campbell, Counsel

Katherine is a solicitor specialising in property litigation for an international law firm in London, dealing with commercial property disputes of all kinds.   She is also a specialist in insolvency related matters. She is an experienced governor of a Church of England primary school and her husband is the CEO of a cross phase multi academy trust. Katherine lives in the community served by Inspiring Primaries Academy Trust and is a strong advocate for education in local communities.

Dr Jonathan Clarke

Jonathan has a professional background in planning, urban design and landscape architecture, which has included the design and procurement of many schools; he has expertise in property and estate management. He currently works at the University of Warwick in the Department of Politics and International Studies, carrying out grounded research on governance and institutional design, including looking at guidelines for better risk management across Europe’s critical infrastructure sector. As part of the Urban Living Birmingham project, he is advising on governance reforms for Birmingham City Council, which promote innovation and service integration.

Bob Howes

Prior to retiring, Bob’s career was based around IT in several industries, project managing the implementation of large IT systems and related major manufacturing changes in many countries. He is involved in a number of local community activities including the Lutterworth Open Christmas and was Lutterworth Town mayor for 2013/2014.  As a Town councillor, he is involved in new allotment development, the future of the Whittle plane as well as chairing for the past two years the Administration and Finance Town Council Committee.  This Committee oversees the Council finances and spending of the £¼m of taxpayer’s funds.  He is an experienced governor of a community primary school.

Richard Keenan

Richard has served as a parent governor at Ullesthorpe CE Primary School since 2012, becoming chair in 2016. Both of his children attend local primary and secondary schools. Richard owns Ark Business Finance Ltd and Zebra Business Development. Ark is a business to business finance brokerage and Zebra is a sales consultancy and coaching business helping to build and manage sales teams within a project timeline. Richard has worked in the financial arena for 25 years, principally helping small and medium-sized enterprises raise money for their business needs. In Richard’s leisure time, he enjoys golf, cycling and music. 

Michelle de Middelaer

Michelle is a qualified secondary teacher with 17 years experience in teaching, middle and senior leadership roles. Michelle has experience of leading teaching and learning, professional development, initial teacher training, school self-evaluation and quality assurance. Since 2011 Michelle has worked for the education software supplier BlueSky Education providing a product to schools and multi-organisation partnerships for the management of staff performance, professional development and self-evaluation. In this role Michelle designed the self-evaluation element of the software allowing schools to produce evidence-based reporting. She works strategically with school leaders across all sectors of the education system in the UK and internationally to efficiently manage, develop and monitor performance, broadening Michelle’s experience and understanding beyond a secondary context. Michelle provides direct training, consultancy visits as well as presenting at school leadership events such as the ASCL Annual Conference. Michelle also works alongside her husband as a Co-Director of ‘Learning Through Leadership’, providing a range of training opportunities for schools with a focus on leadership development, coaching and effective teaching and learning. Michelle lives locally and her children attended local primary and secondary schools. 

Graham Read, JP (Chair)

Graham has served as a governor at Gilmorton Chandler for a number of years; both he and his son were pupils at the School. He worked for Leicestershire County Council for 42 years and recently retired from his role as Corporate Facilities and Operational Property Manager, responsible for all of the County Council’s property portfolio. He holds a degree in Facilities and Property Management, with a diploma in Health and Safety.  Graham has served as a magistrate for 22 years. He is a former board member For East Midlands Property Alliance.

Jane Robson

Jane has over 50 years of experience in state education working as a teacher, as a headteacher, as a senior officer for a Local Authority and as a consultant and trainer.  She has also held a number of roles focusing on the development of high quality leadership in schools, including that of Director of the East Midlands Leadership Centre.  As an independent consultant Jane has worked on the development and delivery of regional leadership projects and on the development and delivery of national leadership programmes for the National College for Teaching and Learning.  She is accredited by the National College as a coach and facilitator.  Currently she designs and delivers training programmes for maintained school governors, local governing bodies and independent school governors for Leicestershire County Council.  She is chair of her local Parish Council and a primary school governor.

Marie Sandford, Trust Leader and Accounting Officer

Marie has been a Headteacher since April 2005 and has undertaken Executive Headteacher appointments since 2010 after becoming an accredited National College of Teaching and Leadership National Leader of Education in 2010. This involves working with other school leaders to support school improvement. Marie has sat on both primary and secondary school governing bodies for over 20 years. She has three children who attended primary and secondary schools in the local area and her three grandchildren currently attend local schools. 

John Taylor (Vice Chair)

John is self-employed as an Educational Consultant and director of TaylorGill Ltd, which provides education, change and communications consultancy services. He has over 35 years’ experience in education, including being a lead inspector for Ofsted.  He leads a ‘challenge partnership’ style peer review programme as part of a local Teaching Alliance, trains governors on behalf of the Local Authority and undertakes departmental reviews for SSAT of schools and academies across the country. John is a National Leader of Governance. Until recently he was a trustee of The Lutterworth Multi Academy Trust and is an experienced governor/chair of the governing body of a Church of England primary school. John also has experience of achievement data, risk management, financial analysis and working with HR teams, including on safeguarding issues.

The Members ensure the Trust’s charitable object is carried out. The Members of the Company comprise the Diocese of Leicester Educational Trust (Carolyn Lewis, Diocesan Director of Education), two appointees of the Diocese of Leicester Educational Trust (Bishop Martyn Snow and Archdeacon Richard Worsfold), the chairperson of the Trustees (Graham Read JP) and any person appointed under Article 16 (Helen Christie). 

The Diocesan Board of Education website can be accessed here: Leicester DBE