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Martin Doidge Retires

On Thursday 1 April 2021, Martin Doidge, The Corinium Education Trust’s Finance Director retired after nearly 18 years’ service to Cirencester Deer Park School and, as a founding member in 2018, The Corinium Education Trust. Trustees, school leaders and staff took every opportunity to say their farewells in meetings and at special events.

‘Martin’s contribution to The Corinium Education Trust has been significant. Nothing has ever been too much trouble! I am extremely grateful to him for his patience and wise counsel. He was instrumental in helping us create our multi-academy trust and he has worked closely with me and our Board of Trustees to ensure our organisation is effective, efficient and sustainable. While he will be sorely missed, I am confident we will be able to build on the secure foundations for growth and development that he has helped us lay.’ Chiquita Henson, Chief Executive.

Martin Doidge initially joined Cirencester Deer Park School in 2003 as Chiquita Henson, began her headship. He moved into education with relatively little experience of schools, having previously worked as an accountant in the transport sector. His original appointment to the post of Director of Support, reflected the workforce reforms taking place in schools at the time. In addition to leading the school’s finances, Martin’s early portfolio covered a range of operational management activities, including line managing the front office, duty rotas and home to school transport. However, he was also responsible for creating the school’s timetable and it was this task that enabled Martin to really understand how a school works. Martin’s spreadsheets, whether financial or for the purposes of the forensic analysis of assessment data, quickly became legendary.

Throughout his period of office, Martin Doidge consistently provided valuable support and challenge. His initial questions enabled school leaders to reflect and informed decision making. Martin took great care to ensure he understood the school’s position locally and made a significant contribution to Deer Park’s evolution as a specialist school with Foundation School status in the 2000s to academisation, first as a Single Academy Trust in 2011 and second through the creation of the multi-academy trust in 2018. Furthermore, Martin carved a new niche for himself as a member and, subsequently as Chair, of the Gloucestershire Association of School Business Managers.

Graham Russell, Chair of the Corinium Education Trust’s Board of Trustees, expressed his thanks to Martin Doidge on his retirement: ‘Trustees recognise and appreciate both his significant role at Cirencester Deer Park School and the considerable part he played in the formation and establishment of The Corinium Education Trust. We wish Martin a very happy retirement.’

‘I have really enjoyed working in education for many years and see the consolidation of schools into Multi Academy Trusts, like the Corinium Education Trust, as a great way for schools to come together to improve the quality of education for pupils of all ages. I’m sure Corinium Education Trust will continue to move forward and grow over the coming years and I wish it, and all the staff who work in the Trust schools, well.’ Martin Doidge.

Following Martin Doidge’s decision to retire, The Corinium Education Trust has appointed Andrew Tate to the new post of Director of Finance and Operations. To aid his induction and help achieve a smooth handover, Andrew took up his post on Monday 15 March 2021. He welcomed the opportunity to ‘shadow’ Martin and, as someone new to education finance, he is already beginning to ask questions and propose new solutions.

'I was really pleased to be offered the opportunity to join the Trust. It has been clear from my first day in role that Martin and his team have had a wide-reaching influence across the Trust, and I am grateful for the handover period that we’ve had together. As Martin hands over the helm of a steady ‘Finance and Operations’ ship to me, we will continue to focus on improving the quality of education for our pupils. I am confident that the Trust will continue to have many successes in future, which will have been made possible due to the legacy which Martin leaves behind.' Andy Tate, Director of Finance and Operations