(Member & Trustee)
Date of Appointment: 1st December 2019
Natalie is currently Head of Governance at Richmond upon Thames College (from April 2019). Her duties include providing strategic and proactive leadership on governance for the Corporation Board and the College; providing advice on statutory, constitutional and procedural matters; ensuring an effective framework and approach to risk management and which is regularly reviewed; acting as a key point of contact in respect of governance with relevant external and regulatory bodies such as Ofsted, the Association of Colleges and the Office for Students; and advising on the operation of the College’s internal governance model. She is also Data Protection Officer, supports HR in relation to the appointment of Senior Post Holders (SPH) and draft and review the SPH Probationary and Disciplinary Policies and Procedures. She also manages and leads on policies including whistleblowing, GDPR, and SPH policies.
Natalie’s previous experience is as follows: Head of Governance, Age UK (July 2016 – December 2018; July 2011 – July 2016 Head of Corporate Secretariat, Age UK Enterprises Ltd; and a number of posts at the British Medical Association from 2001 to 2011. Prior to the BMA she held a number of posts at the Law Society including Leading and Managing a Practice Advice Service for solicitors on legal practice.
Date of Appointment: 1st September 2017
Worcester Diocesan Academies Trust (WDAT) is the Diocese of Worcester’s company responsible for the oversight and management of all Church of England (C of E) academies in the Diocese. It is a corporate member of all Church of England academies and MATs containing a C of E school in the Diocese. WDAT nominates a representative to attend Members’ meetings on its behalf and tries, where practical, to use the same representative in order to improve continuity. For Avonreach Academy Trust, this representative to be Derek Valentine.
Derek is a Director of WDAT and in the past has been a Governor of both primary and high schools near Upton on Severn, where he lives. Two of his three grown up daughters are teachers and his three grandchildren all attend a Diocese of Worcester C of E academy. Derek is a PCC member of Malvern Priory, where he is also Chairman of Finance and Treasurer of Friends of Malvern Priory.
Patricia Steele OBE
Date of Appointment – 1st January 2019
Patricia has enjoyed a wealth of experience in a long and varied career. She worked for Griffin and George Ltd.; was parliamentary adviser to the Chamber of Shipping of the UK; was Chief Executive of the Institution of Highways and Transportation; Public Affairs Advisor for Babtie Group; and a Consultant Public Affairs Advisor.
Her public appointments have included being: a member of the Occupational Pensions Board; Non-Executive Director of London Transport; Director of Docklands Light Railway; Non-Executive Member of the Richmond, Twickenham and Roehampton Healthcare NHS Trust; Non Legal Member of the Upper Tribunal (Transport); Public Member of Network Rail; and a Disciplinary Panel Member of the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service. She is a Parish Councillor on Defford and Besford Parish Council. Patricia’s interests include politics, constitutional affairs, transport, travel and music.
(Chair of Trustees )
Date of Appointment: 1st August 2017
Andrew first became a Parent Governor at Norton Juxta Kempsey C of E First School in October 2005. At the time his first son was a Year 3 pupil and his second son had just started in Reception. Over those first few years of experiencing the modern education system as a parent, it became apparent to Andrew that things had changed since he was in the system as a pupil, some twenty plus years before. The main reason for Andrew wanting to become a Governor was to have a greater understanding of these new ways of teaching and, to be honest, to use that knowledge to help support his children with their education whilst helping the school in whatever way he could.
Andrew certainly hadn’t expected to still be a Governor over 12 years later, let alone Chair of Trustees of a Multi Academy Trust. It is a very different role to the one that Andrew gets paid for (Technical Manager for a company making seals for cars, aircraft and all sorts of industrial equipment), but what drives Andrew to stay involved, through sometimes very difficult times, is the amazing dedication of the education professionals and the volunteers that support them to provide the best possible education to the children in our schools, essentially maximizing their potential for their lives to come in an increasingly competitive world.
On a weekly basis, Andrew sees examples of that dedication throughout all four schools that make up the Avonreach Academy Trust, where collaborative working at all levels is bringing very tangible benefits and he looks forward to doing whatever he can to help the Trust flourish, develop and grow over the coming years.
(Avonreach Academy Trust Vice Chair and Safeguarding and GDPR Trustee)
Date of Appointment: 1st August 2017
Rob’s background is in business and lecturing. He was employed in Further and Higher education for over thirty years, during which time he helped many small businesses to develop, and taught on post graduate and professional courses. Rob has also written a number of degree level open learning programmes.
In addition to the above, Rob has been involved in running three small businesses and has worked overseas as a manager on British Aid and United Nations development programmes in Fiji and the South Pacific region. Rob retired from full-time employment in 2010, but continues to work as a part-time consultant.
Rob’s four children attended Pershore High SchooI, where he has been a governor for over 25 years and where he was Chair of Governors from 2005 until 2017. Rob is pleased to be able to continue his contribution to local education as a Trustee of the Avonreach MAT.
Professor Ian Cumming OBE
(Chair of Finance Committee)
Date of Appointment: 1st August 2017
Ian started his career in the NHS as a Biomedical Scientist, and later worked as a Research Scientist in coagulation disorders before moving into NHS Leadership in the early 1990's. He has held a variety of NHS general management posts, including over 11 years as Chief Executive of acute hospital Trusts, followed by three years as the Chief Executive of a healthcare commissioning organisation prior to being appointed Chief Executive of the NHS in the West Midlands in 2009.
In 2012, Ian was appointed Chief Executive of Health Education England (HEE). Ian has a particular interest in the development of leadership skills in clinical staff, and is an Honorary Professor of Healthcare Leadership in the Medical School at Lancaster University. In 2003 Ian was awarded the OBE for services to the NHS and in 2010 Ian was made an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Ian has a special interest in sports medicine, an area in which he holds an MSC. Ian became a board member of Sport England in 2016.
Outside work, Ian is a qualified level 3 swimming coach, working closely with young people to develop their swimming abilities, a keen snow skier and enjoys sailing, walking and watching rugby union.
Date of Appointment: 1st February 2019
Karen is employed by Health Education England as Head of Finance for their Midlands and East Region. She is responsible for the financial delivery and governance of NHS resources with a budget of approximately £1.1 billion. She is also a member of the NHS Regional Management Team delivering HEEs mandate from the Department of Health and Social Care. She is a qualified accountant with a focus on efficiency, transparency and improvement arising from continuous review of current process and practices. She therefore fully appreciates the importance of being a custodian of public funding and ensuring the best value for money for stakeholders.
Karen has held or still holds a range of finance leadership roles in a variety of NHS settings, including Strategic Health Authorities, NHS Trusts providing Acute, Community and Mental Health Services. Other relevant experience includes:
• Audit committee member;
• Provision of full financial management service including budget setting, monitoring, forecasting and reporting;
• Production of unqualified annual accounts within statutory deadlines;
• Implementing and migrating financial systems;
• Leading finance teams and developing quality standards to measure performance;
• Embedding financial governance across organisations
She is also Treasurer of the Worcester Swimming Club.
Date of Appointment: 7 July 2020
Rachel is Head of Policy at Resolution, a membership association of 6,500 family lawyers and other family justice professionals, committed to a non-adversarial approach to family law and the resolution of family disputes and to the best interests of children. She campaigns for better laws and better support and facilities for families and children undergoing family change; co-ordinates responses to Government and other consultations; leads liaison on policy issues with other professional bodies and civil servants, including at the Ministry of Justice and Department for Education, including regularly participating in working and advisory groups; leads development of policy positions and strategies; and advises on policy issues to colleagues and members.
Prior to this she held various policy roles at The Law Society of England and Wales providing specialist legal policy support on different areas of law, practice and procedure including children law policy, youth justice and immigration policy. She was Secretary to the Immigration Law Committee and the Children Law Sub-Committee at The Law Society.
She previously practised as a solicitor specialising in private and public children law and worked as a Medico-Legal and Family Legal Officer in The Official Solicitor’s Office.
A commercial business leader with 25 years’ experience in FMCG, Retail and Manufacturing. Significant expertise in multichannel execution including a strong focus in digital retailing, global sourcing, profit control and product development. Further strengths include strategic planning, market segmentation and customer leadership. Frequent demonstration of ability to lead cross-functional teams and manage significant business transformation. Strong intuition & people management skills demonstrated through building high performing teams incorporating recruitment, coaching and performance management. A strong communicator who builds enduring & effective relationships through flexible interpersonal skills.
Michael Hodges is married to Karen. They have 5 daughters. He is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He is also a member of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors. As a Chartered Surveyor he spent 23 years with international real estate advisers Jones Lang Wootton/Jones Lang LaSalle in a variety of transactional and senior management roles both in the UK and abroad. These roles culminated in 2 positions at a global management level (as Global Practice Head of Tenant Representation and finally as International Director in charge of the company’s Performance Management Programme). His experience is across the range in commercial and residential property, having worked on some of Europe’s largest mixed use developments. Between 2013 and 2016 he was National Treasurer of the Gideons International in the British Isles. He is currently Chairman of t and also volunteers as ANT Harbour Master for the Pershore River Festival.
Floriane Fidegnon is a Consultant at BMNT, currently working on the Royal Navy contract, helping them to correctly identify and translate operational problem areas. She has a background in manufacturing engineering and public policy, having worked in a manufacturing production environment, a public policy think tank and the charities sector.
Prior to joining BMNT, Floriane was a department head in a public policy think tank, as the head of the Industry, Technology and Innovation team. She has extensive experience working with civil servants, parliamentarians, private and public sector stakeholders across manufacturing, data analytics and innovation policy translating and publishing challenges into actionable recommendations for government. As a manufacturing engineer for a major pharmaceutical company, she contributed to a number of lean and innovation-led programmes that were adopted to improve production performance.
Floriane is a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) design and manufacturing policy panel and an IEEE TechEthics ambassador, advising professional institutes on their engagement with industry and academia in emerging markets.
Floriane is passionate about diversity, inclusion, equity and youth engagement in STEM. She founded and led the Warwick Women’s Engineering Society, is a Royal Academy of Engineering Leaders Scholar, and regular science communicator. She is a charity trustee for Stemette Futures as well as the Chairperson of the Stemette Futures Youth board. She holds a first class BEng in Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Warwick.