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 are pupils. 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.

Ian Baines

Ian is an accountant with almost 25 years’ experience in public services, audit and risk management; including Board Director of Finance for three NHS Organisations. He has recently been appointed as Associate: Transformation for NHS Horizons, a small group of transformation professionals that operate out of NHS England’s Strategy and Innovation Directorate. Ian is passionate about the development of people to realise their potential thus moving an organisation forward, transparency within public services and underlying principles of respect. He understands the accountability of public services and the roles of non-executive trustees.

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.

Penelope Grimwood

Penny has been teaching, leading, monitoring and evaluating performance in schools for nearly 50 years – she has been a head teacher in three different schools and amalgamated a predecessor nursery/infant school with a junior school.   She then established a school improvement company, working with head teachers on school improvements and performance management, as well as administrating the company.  She is an experienced governor/chair of governors of a small village Church of England primary school.  During her time as chair the school has been assessed by Ofsted and SIAMS on two occasions as outstanding. Penny is also a governor of an infant school on the Isle of Dogs in London where 80% of the children are of Bangladeshi heritage, with many children living in poverty.  Further to working within schools she has been an adviser with Citizens Advice for 8 years and is a trustee of a national charity.

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.

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 has worked for Leicestershire County Council for 41 years and his current role is 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 21 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, CEO

Marie has been Headteacher of Gilmorton Chandler CE Primary School since April 2005 and Executive Headteacher of Ullesthorpe CE Primary School since August 2015. She became 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.

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.

Don Wright (resigned 23rd February 2018)
Don was deputy head teacher at a large comprehensive school for 20 years and briefly acting head teacher. Between 1995 and 2013 he was for 12 years a Councillor on the Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and elected Mayor in 2002-2003. For 8 years he was also a Councillor on the Leicestershire County Council where he was spokesman for his party on education. Having been previously a governor at three other Hinckley schools Don became chair of governors in 2009 at a Hinckley junior school. During his time as chair the school improved its Ofsted rating and in due course he appointed a new headteacher. He is churchwarden at his parish church, St. Mary’s Church in Hinckley. Don is a strong advocate for education in local communities.

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 Venerable Tim Stratford), 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