Richard Barnard
Trustee (Chair of Governors)

I started as a parent Governor at Robinswood Junior School in 1982. I became Chair in 1987 and then led the amalgamation of the Infant and Junior School to become the Primary School in 1988; Robinswood becoming the first Primary Grant-Maintained school in the South West; one of the first Primary Trust schools, next Academy and now an expanding Multi Academy Trust.

I began my working life as an accountant in Local Government and then worked as a lay Inspector for OFSTED for 17 years. I became one of the first National Leaders of Governance five years ago and in this role support other Governing bodies.

I am passionate believer in school autonomy as I feel local Governors, Staff, Parents and Communities know their children best and therefore deliver the best education for our children. I have at various times been a member of Gloucestershire Schools Organisation Committee, Schools Forum, Committee member of FASNA (Freedom and Autonomy for Schools National Association), Grant Maintained Schools Advisory Committee, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Education Governance and Leadership. I sit on appeal panels for Primary and Secondary schools in Gloucestershire.

I am an active Granddad. My 3 sons, 2 of whom now are teachers, all attended Robinswood. In my spare time I enjoy cricket, skittles and watching rugby.

I am very proud of the outstanding success achieved by the Trust and am committed to ensuring we remain to the fore in providing the best education for the ever-increasing number of children we educate.

 

Pat Norris
Trustee (Deputy Chair)

I am Vice Chair of the Robinswood Multi Academy Trust Board. I became a Parent Governor at Robinswood Primary School in the early 1990's. At the same time, I had become Chair of the school PTA, which I served on while both my children attended the school.

Over the years I have sat on various sub-committees within the governing body, including the Finance & General Purposes Committee. Although I have not personally managed the budget, regular attendance at these meetings has allowed me to have an understanding of the effective financial running of this organisation.

Over the years I have sat on various sub-committees within the governing body, including the Finance & General Purposes Committee. Although I have not personally managed the budget, regular attendance at these meetings has allowed me to have an understanding of the effective financial running of this organisation.

My position on the MAT Board is as a consequence of my local knowledge of the area and particularly of Robinswood Primary. I have been a governor at the school for many years which I feel has helped me to understand the important role the MAT board has in furthering this outstanding ethos to other schools within this partnership.

Over the years of my involvement with Robinswood the school has gone through grant-maintained, trust status, academy status and now an expanding multi academy trust. I believe in school autonomy where local governors, school staff, parents and all stakeholders know their children best and therefore deliver the best education for those children. I'm committed to ensuring that our multi-academy trust continues to provide the best education for the pupils we educate.

In addition to this, I spent 35 years working for the NHS as a Health Care Scientist with the NHS. I was part of a small dedicated team responsible for pre-natal screening within the county of Gloucestershire, organising staff training, trouble-shooting technical problems, and providing all important accurate blood test results in a timely manner. I was also involved in setting up a pre-natal screening service within the county biochemistry laboratory.

My leisure time is spent walking around Gloucestershire, caravanning, gardening, playing skittles and watching Gloucester Rugby.

Kimberley Hoodless
Trustee (Executive Headteacher)

I have worked in education for 29 years, having graduated with a BA Hons degree from Manchester University in 1989.

I have worked in a range of schools within four different authorities and have held senior leadership positions for the last 22 years. I had been a Headteacher for 10 years before taking on the role of Executive Headteacher at The Robinswood Multi Academy trust. In my last post I successfully led a high performing, two form entry school, graded outstanding by Ofsted.

I completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship in 2006 and in January 2013 completed a six-month Primary Executive Headteacher Programme through the National College of School Leadership; this training provided me with the opportunity to research and explore the role of an Executive Headteacher and confirmed my view that collaborative work across a group of schools can greatly impact on all pupils and staff in a very positive way.

In addition to the experience I bring in all aspects of school leadership, I have also successfully led two major building projects; moving a school into brand new premises and a multi-million-pound project to expand her previous school. For both projects I was praised for my ability to manage the building works, involve staff and other stakeholders whilst also continuing to raise standards and focus on school improvement. I have also successfully set up a governor run nursery.

 

Chris Quick
Trustee

I am a father of two young children who both attend schools within the Robinswood Academy Trust, which led to my initial involvement in education governance when I applied to become a parent member of the Advisory Board at Waterwells, which I secured in 2016 through parent vote. I chose to become involved as I believe education is critically important to both our children and society in general as a force for good.

Since that time, I have helped the Waterwells Advisory Board grow and develop, and through this role became interested in becoming involved in the Trust Board to help develop the strategy for the MAT, and also manage the links with the Advisory Board.

In terms of my contribution to the Trust Board, I feel I bring a strong analytical and problem-solving background, with experience of safety, engineering, commercial and financial aspects within private and public-sector business. I aim to use these skills in the education sector to secure the best possible education for as many children as possible, whilst ensuring the long-term security and viability of the Trust.

I am a degree qualified professional engineer and a Fellow of the IMechE, and am a manager in a large, complex and safety conscious U.K. infrastructure design and construction project. My passion is developing people and teams to be the best they can be.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, watching rugby and travelling to new places.

 

Mark Gale
Trustee

I have worked for the Matson and Robinswood community for almost 30 years having been seconded from Gloucester Law Centre in 1989 to help residents establish the Matson Neighbourhood Project. I worked for Matson Neighbourhood Project from 1989 to 1998 during which period it established the first full time doctors’ surgery in the area, launched the Furniture Recycling Project from Matson Baptist Church before moving it into warehouses in the docks as well as developing extensive community advice services and adult learning opportunities through a community consortium called the Gloucestershire Neighbourhood College.

 Since 2007 I have been the Chief Executive of the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust charity which was created to enable the establishment of Gloucester Services on the M5 to facilitate the generation of local employment opportunities and sustainable long-term income for community groups. Since opening in 2014, Gloucester Services has become a major local employer with 400 staff and plans to distribute £10 million over the next 20 years to local community partners including GL Communities, the Redwell Centre, Play Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust on Robinswood Hill, local Residents’ Groups and Fair Shares Community Timebanks.

 A former UK Social Entrepreneur of the Year, I have also helped establish Gloucester Law Centre, Community Foster Care, a number of community shops and is currently a trustee of the Scrapstore at City Works’.

Alison Hook
Trustee

I retired from the post of Children Centre Locality Manager with the Gardner’s Lane and Oakwood Federation in 2016. My role involved supervising the senior management team and ensuring the requirements of the contract with the Local Authority were met and the Governing Body and Trustees were kept undated. I was part of the team that put together the successful bid for the contract and establishing charitable status for the Federation. The Federation included the children centres with nurseries in the most deprived areas and two primary schools.

I originally trained as a teacher in London and taught for 8 years in Tower Hamlets. Following a move to Hampshire I became involved in Family Centres and was seconded onto the social work course at Southampton University. There followed years of social work practice in child protection and family work, this led into leadership roles in social care. By becoming involved and leading CAMHS multiagency projects I was able to combine teaching and social work skills. During this time, I chaired the Fostering and Adoption Panel.

Throughout my career I have developed my learning and completed a master’s degree from Worcester University when we moved to Gloucestershire. My career has always involved working with children and families who have experienced deprivation and inequality and I continue to want to contribute to improving outcomes for children.

I enjoy making art and spending time with my family, including three young grandchildren.

 

Deshni Pyndiah
Trustee

The Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) has a long-standing relationship with the Robinswood Academy Trust, I am pleased that I can join the Trust as the new Trustee appointed by RIO and continue to contribute to this relationship.

My role with RIO spans a wide range of areas from research and evaluation, challenge-based learning projects, grant funded programme delivery through to consultancy support to a range of organisations. My knowledge of social enterprise approaches supports a wide range of organisations to harness innovative approaches and business models to become more sustainable and resilient. Through RIO’s position as Arts Council’s South West Bridge organisation, I offer specialist support to the arts and cultural sector across the South west, to ensure young people access high quality cultural education.

With extensive experience working in the third sector for national organisations, in project delivery and management positions, I contribute a breadth and depth of skills and experience to any professional context. My passions are firmly rooted in innovation, creativity and all things social enterprise and my purpose is centred on using social enterprise to empower individuals to equip them for life in the 21st century.

I believe that every person regardless of background, should have the access to the same opportunities, but not everyone will have the skills or support networks to help them reach these. Through my work I aim to empower and equip individuals and communities with skills, tools and opportunities, so they can live more rewarding lives. At a strategical level, this means challenging and enabling schools, organisations and businesses to ‘think differently’ and foster new approaches to solving problems, while creating social impact. I hold a particular interest in social enterprise education and the huge potential it holds in preparing our children and young people for their futures.

With a strong commitment to supporting young people to reach their full potential and advocating for inclusion and diversity wherever possible, I am a director for social enterprise Saffron Records, a music education platform for women; subcommittee member for Bristol Plays Music, the city’s music hub run by Bristol Music Trust, member of the advisory group for The Common, a Caring in Bristol initiative for young people who are or at risk of becoming homeless and also a youth mentor.

Tom Coole
Member

I was born in Matson and have lived here for my entire life. I attended Robinswood Primary School between 1997-2004, and as a former pupil it’s really exciting to be able to return as a Member of the Robinswood Academy Trust. I really welcome the opportunity to be involved in the future direction of the Trust and increasing the aspirations of the children who attend our schools, many of whom I represent at the City Council.

I studied Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton, before returning to Gloucester and working in a number of roles in local politics. In May 2016, I was elected as the Gloucester City Councillor for Matson, Robinswood and White City, the ward which includes Robinswood and Moat Primary schools. I currently serve as Chair of the City Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Peter Antill
Member

I became a Member at Robinswood Academy Trust in 2017, the connection being that I attended Robinswood Primary Academy many years ago.

When approached, I was interested to hear of the plans of the Multi Academy Trust who have had some success with improving the schools they are involved with. I hope to be able to make a contribution to the Trust ensuring it maintains its high standards of governance which will set the framework for further improvement.

I am an experienced retired local government officer with an accountancy qualification. I was fortunate to serve as a senior officer for a local council, and in that role, I advised local councillors as well as serving on various committees for my professional accountant institute. I have also advised Members of Parliament on a Select Committee.

I am a committed father of two daughters and grandfather of five children. When time allows, I play golf badly and enjoy watching most sports.

Ian Brotherton
Member

I am a former pupil of Robinswood Primary School, attending in the late 1980’s, before going to the Crypt School with a good number of Robinswood Pupils. As such, I have a keen interest to help the Trust maintain what it has grown to in recent years. I still have many friends I met at the school and feel it played large part in my grounding.

Having remained in Gloucester, I am now a director of a family accountancy practice located in Abbeydale. This currently serves over 400 small business and individuals from mainly the Gloucestershire area, but also as far afield as Inverness.

I am also finance director for Redsixty Limited, a company with commercial contracts with City of London Council and Transport for London.

I am also the finance director for Gloucester Golf Club located in Matson, a Not for Profit Company Limited by Guarantee. Having been a member of the club since I was 12 years old, this has been a very rewarding position to give something back to the club and the community of Matson, as we saved the club from being closed in late 2017.

I have two children and coach both football and cricket at local Sports Clubs. Any spare time remaining, I am a season ticket holder at both Gloucester Rugby and Liverpool Football Club, and also enjoy Cheltenham Races.

Jane Penswick
Staff Advisor

I have had a varied career, having worked overseas in the travel industry for 10 years, then moving to France with my husband to set up businesses and try something out of our comfort zones. We moved back due to family circumstances and decided to live in Gloucestershire. Previously, I worked in marketing and communications for 9 years, where I learnt the importance of public image and effective communications.

I joined the Trust as Administrator for Waterwells just before it opened in 2013 and added Hunts Grove to my role since it opened in 2015. I thoroughly enjoy my challenging job, where no two days are the same — juggling multiple jobs and throwing everything into the air to see what lands on my desk first! The office is the hub of the school and I can see the whole school from internal and external viewpoints. I deal with a wide range of issues, and support staff and pupils. Working with staff from Waterwells and Hunts Grove, and liaising with Robinswood daily, I have an understanding as to what is happening across the Trust.

I am approachable, reliable and have an interest in staff welfare - our staff being the most vital ingredient to running a successful school. My interest is also in how we communicate with staff, parents and the community. My previous and current experience enables me to make a significant contribution to the success of the Trust.

 

Jennie Waltho
Staff Advisor

I have been teaching for 15 years, having graduated with a BA Hons with Qualified Teacher Status and English at King Alfred’s College in Winchester. I started my teaching career at a Primary School in Hounslow and then relocated to my hometown of Gloucester where I then started at Robinswood Primary School.

I have been working at Robinswood Primary School and as part of The Trust for 13 years; I have taught every year group in KS1 and KS2 and have a good knowledge of our four MAT schools as I currently teach across three of the four schools. I was part of the teaching team when Robinswood gained ‘Outstanding’ in their Ofsted visit in 2010.

I have been on the leadership team for 9 years; I have led in many subjects over the years along with being a successful NQT mentor. I am passionate in my current role as Head of Maths across the Trust.

From 2009 I was a member of the governing body for Robinswood Primary School and subsequently when the Trust started I joined the Advisory Board for Robinswood Primary School and the Multi Academy Trust Board.

 

 

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