Scroll to content

Corinium Education Trust

Get in touch

Changes to the Board

Graham Russell, Chair of The Corinium Education Trust’s Board of Trustees, chaired his last meeting on Tuesday 6 December 2022 before stepping away from our multi-academy trust to pursue other interests after 9 years of dedicated service. Graham Russell, was previously Chair of Cirencester Deer Park School’s governing body and became Chair of Trustees, and also a Member, in 2018, when the school joined with local primary schools to form The Corinium Education Trust.


‘I am immensely grateful to Graham Russell for modernising governance across the Trust. He brought a collegiate style of leadership which was truly values-led to the Board. We especially welcomed the reduction in the number of Trustees and governors, the more streamlined approach and the increased personalisation which continues to ensure everyone on the Board is more informed and, consequently, more voices are heard in our discussions. Graham added momentum and this injection of informed pace into our decision making enabled us to bring about wider improvements and manage change effectively. He acted with determination, drive and a belief in people which was really empowering. Our progress would not have been achieved without Graham’s ability to listen, engage and engineer positive solutions!’ Chiquita Henson, Trust Lead (CEO).


Also ‘retiring’ from the Board was Charles Woodd, who has similarly made a significant contribution to education governance locally, initially as a governor of a primary school, then at Cirencester Deer Park School and for the last 5 years as a Trustee of The Corinium Education Trust and Chair of our Audit and Risk Committee.


‘Charles Woodd has made a truly amazing contribution that has made a huge difference, both to Deer Park School and the Trust, especially through his guidance and perspective on the finances. Charles is an innovative and entrepreneurial thinker who sees the value of investment in education and making things happen which are for the benefit of pupils.’  Graham Russell, Chair of Trustees (April 2018 - December 2022).


‘I am very grateful to Charles Woodd who has been instrumental in moving the Trust forward. He discharged his duties effectively and creatively, allowing a degree of freedom to innovate and act in the best interests of our children and staff. This was demonstrated keenly in the way he responded so positively to financial challenges and skillfully reflected with us before helping to frame imaginative and sustainable solutions.’ Chiquita Henson, Trust Lead (CEO).


As founding Trustees of The Corinium Education Trust, Graham Russell and Charles Woodd worked closely with Chiquita Henson, Trust Lead (CEO), Kathy Jackson, Governance Officer, and the Trust’s Members to plan for their succession. Martin McLeman, Trustee, was unanimously elected as the Board’s new Chair and Mark Harwood-James will Chair the Audit and Risk Committee.


Following a rigorous period of recruitment using online tools such as ‘Inspiring Governance’ and ‘Reach Volunteering’, as well as our websites and school newsletters and liaising with the Diocese of Gloucester, we were pleased to welcome four new trustees to the Board in December; two were already known to The Corinium Education Trust.


Martin Kingston, our new Foundation Governor, was previously a member of Kemble Primary School’s local governing body. He was nominated and appointed by the Diocese of Gloucester and, as a King’s Counsel and active member of our local community, he brings a wealth of knowledge and legal expertise to the Board.


Martin Doidge, who retired from his executive role as Director of Finance and Operations within The Corinium Education Trust in March 2021, responded to our advert and, after an 18 month break, re-joins the Trust in a non-executive role. We are very pleased to welcome him and his comprehensive insights into education business management back!


Dominic Britten, was seeking a volunteer role and put himself forward for the position of a school governor on Inspiring Governance, which is where we found him. He is relatively new to the area and has a senior role within an innovative and dynamic global company where he leads on financial planning and analysis.


Sarah Lower heard about the vacancy from a colleague at the Royal Agricultural University and, having expressed an interest in the role, submitted a successful application. As the RAU’s Director of Human Resources she also brings considerable specialist expertise to the Board.   


Our new trustees will join Martin McLeman, Mark Harwood-James, Claire Minett and Vanella Jackson when the Board reconvenes on Tuesday 7 February 2023. We are looking forward to working with them as we develop our forward strategy.