Corinium Education Trust

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Who Are We?

The Corinium Education Trust is an ambitious and growing family of schools committed to improving the learning and life chances of children and young people in Cirencester and the South Cotswolds. The structure of our multi-academy trust is predicated on the principles of collaboration, effective team work and school improvement. This is achieved through our rigorous and on-going self-evaluation which informs our strategic planning.



Our Chief Executive Officer and the other school leaders within The Corinium Education Trust meet fortnightly to discuss overall strategy and review progress. Further one to one meetings take place within each school between Chiquita Henson, CEO, and headteachers. We work together to as critical partners: this ensures we can support and challenge each other, our teams and all members of our MAT community to bring about wider school improvement.

Chiquita Henson
Chief Executive Officer and
Headteacher Cirencester Deer Park School


Chiquita has been Headteacher of Cirencester Deer Park School since 2003. She is recognised as a National Leader in Education and trained as an Ofsted inspector in 2014. In 2013-14 she contributed to bringing another secondary school out of special measures. She currently chairs an ‘outstanding’ SCITT, the Gloucestershire Initial Teacher Education Partnership and is also chair of GASH Ltd, the training arm of the Gloucestershire Association of Secondary Headteachers. As an experienced Headteacher, Chiquita has been a member of a number of national steering groups, including Applied Learning (Specialist Schools and Academies Trust) and the DFE’s Leading Edge Programme.



Carol Dougill
Executive Headteacher, Kemble and Siddington Primary Schools


Carol Dougill is currently the Executive Headteacher of Kemble Primary and Siddington C of E Primary Schools. She has been in this post since January 2015. Prior to this Carol was the headteacher at Lydiard Millicent C of E Primary School in Wiltshire for 9 years. Whilst working for Wiltshire Council, Carol worked as a School Improvement Advisor, and supported a range of schools with differing needs. She is an experienced mentor and has supported many headteachers, carried out external peer reviews and acted as a shadow head for others following the National Professional Qualification for Headship. Carol trained as an executive headteacher via the National College for Teaching and Leadership. Carol has worked in schools for over 30 years and is still as passionate about children being happy and achieving well as she was when she started teaching.

Martin Doidge
Cirencester Deer Park School
Finance Director


Martin is a qualified accountant (FCMA) with a background in senior finance positions within the public transport industry. Martin joined Cirencester Deer Park School in 2003 as Director of Support and has been instrumental in the school having a consistently strong financial position for the past 13 years. Martin is a Governor at a local Primary School and is also an SLE working for the Odyssey Training School Alliance where he specialises in work involving school governance, strategic finance and pupil assessment data. Martin is currently Chair of the Gloucestershire Association of School Business Managers which has 225 members in all types of schools across the county.



Karen Venner
Headteacher, Chesterton Primary School


Karen took over as the substantive Headteacher of Chesterton Primary School in September 2017. She has had a progressive career in education over the last 10 years and was selected to be part of the Tomorrow’s Heads programme, prior to becoming Headteacher in 2012 of Kennet Valley C of E Primary School in Wiltshire.  As a trained coach, Karen has mentored and supported other Headteachers in Wiltshire and has clear goals for school improvement. Her hands-on approach ensures there are effective relationships with all stakeholders. Karen is passionate that all learners achieve their full potential through partnership, respect and opportunity.




In addition to the leadership of our Chief Executive Officer, Headteachers and other leaders within our schools, The Corinium Education Trust commissions support from a team of external consultants, including experienced practitioners and former HMIs.


We have appointed School Improvement Partners. They work alongside our school leaders. The opportunity to shadow and engage with experienced inspectors provides excellent professional development and has a clear impact.

Michael Smith

Mike Smith, education consultant and experienced HMI, provides both challenge and support for Cirencester Deer Park School. Furthermore, Mike led a MAT-wide review of Maths with practising primary school headteacher and CEO of Primary Quest Multi-Academy Trust, Stephen Dean. We have also commissioned bespoke support for primary teachers from external Maths’ consultants, Liz Hopkins and Richard Lucas. In 2019-20, Mike Smith will contribute to a MAT wide review of the quality of education, led by another experienced HMI and school inspector, Andrew Lovett.


Ken Buxton

Ken Buxton, Education Consultant, former primary school Headteacher and Senior HMI, chairs The Corinium Education Trust’s Monitoring Action Group at Chesterton Primary School. He also undertook a comprehensive pupil premium review with Deer Park’s Head of School, Liz Lang, who co-led a local authority ‘closing the gap’ project with the Education Endowment Foundation, having previously engaged in evidence-based research through the EEF RISE project with Huntingdon School, York. Liz has introduced this methodology into The Corinium Education Trust’s continuing professional development programme.


Chiquita Henson

see Our Leadership above

Kath Powell

Kath Powell, also an experienced HMI, has contributed to our school improvement strategy. Her close scrutiny of attendance at Cirencester Deer Park School and recommendations led to significant improvements.


Jo Pearce

Jo Pearce, education consultant, conducted a review of English at Chesterton Primary School and we are subsequently working with Watermoor C of E Primary School as a school improvement partner. This partnership focuses on ‘Talk for Writing’ and has engaged teachers in all of our schools.


Bob Pattenden

Experienced primary headteacher and education consultant, Bob Pattenden, actively supports the induction of our newly qualified primary teachers and provides personalised mentoring. We are also drawing on Bob’s wealth of experience as he is working closely with us on the development of the new primary school in Cirencester.



Carol Dougill

see Our Leadership above



The Corinium Education Trust is an active partner in the Schools’ Partnership Programme with other schools in the South Cotswolds. This involves our school leaders in peer reviews as both critical partners and school improvement champions. This has created a culture of openness across our schools, developed leaders’ skills in observation and led to more effective monitoring.




The composition of the Board of Trustees of The Corinium Education Trust brings together people who have the breadth of experience and range of skills relevant to the governance of our multi-academy trust which includes community and church schools. Each school within the Trust has its own local governing body made up of parent representatives and co-opted members who focus on the quality of education, behaviour and personal development in their individual schools.

Graham Russell

Graham is the Chair of the Corinium Education Trust. Graham became a Governor at Cirencester Deer Park School in 2013 and Chair of Governors in 2015. He was previously Chair of Governors at Brimscombe C of E Primary School. Graham has worked in the private, public, and not for profit sectors at a senior level and is motivated by designing and implementing innovative solutions through collaborative partnership working. Graham was a Director at Business in the Community for 10 years and worked with companies on their responsible/sustainable business strategies. He also had the pleasure of leading HRH The Prince of Wales’ Rural Action Programme, engaging business leaders with a wide range of public service issues in rural communities. Previously Graham has set up a number of social enterprises; has worked in local government to lead on major regeneration and economic development initiatives; is the Chair of a leading Mental Health charity; is Non –Executive Director at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust; and has worked as an expert adviser to the OECD.Graham was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2012 to study innovative approaches to tackling homelessness and providing community solutions for affordable housing.

Charles Woodd

Charles is a Chief Actuary for St. James’s Place. He is also an Executive Director responsible for leading the Finance Department, and Board Director of a number of main subsidiaries. Substantial professional expertise in financial matters, and extensive experience of all aspects of senior leadership and Board governance. Charles was a Governor of Cirencester Primary School 2003-2015, Chair of Governors for the last 10 years. He has also been a Governor of Deer Park School for 5 years, and has chaired the Resources and Audit Committee, meaning he has good experience of school governance and education. Charles has been a member of the congregation of St John The Baptist, Cirencester and on the electoral roll of the Parish since moving to Cirencester in 2001. Charles was PCC Treasurer 2008-2015 and remains a member of the Finance Committee. He is a member of the Standing Committee of the Friends of CPC and a Trustee of another grant making charity linked to the church.


Chiquita Henson

See Our Leadership above.

Claire Minett

A qualified chartered accountant, Claire has extensive experience in financial risk management, gained during 25 years working in investment banking and insurance, including senior management roles. She also holds a PGCE in secondary teaching and taught mathematics at a local secondary school before assuming the role of School Business Manager, which she held for 5 years, and in which she was a member of the senior leadership team responsible for all non-teaching aspects. Now retired, Claire’s active participation in education continues with her role as a governor of Farmor’s School, Fairford. She has also been a trustee of an educational charity in Cirencester.


Susannah Gilbert

Susannah has 15 years of work experience as an Economist, mainly within central government, undertaking performance measurement, policy analysis, cost-benefit analysis and regulatory enforcement. Susannah has recently changed career direction and is training as a secondary school maths teacher. Susannah has previously been a governor of two very different Church of England primary schools.  Susannah has recently moved with her family from Cirencester to Minchinhampton where her husband is Rector and their children attend the local primary school.  Susannah is an active member of the church community, in particular contributing to children’s and youth work activities and organising social and charity events.


Catherine Leahy

Catherine is a qualified teacher and has worked in schools in London, the South East, South West and East Midlands. Catherine is currently the Quality Assurance Lead for the schools in the Diocese of Gloucester Academies Trust. Catherine is an Ofsted Inspector with previous experience as a Her Majesty's Inspector and two years as a Senior Her Majesty's Inspector. Prior to joining Ofsted, Catherine held senior management positions in schools, including eight years as a headteacher. She also has particular expertise of working with pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. Catherine regularly inspects primary schools, special schools, pupil referral units and independent schools.




The Corinium Education Trust has four founding Members. They are responsible for appointing our Trustees and auditors. They receive annual reports from the Trustees and, as our multi-academy trust includes a church school, one member who is a representative of the Diocese of Gloucester, monitors the school’s Christian distinctiveness.

Shirley Alexander

Shirley has lived in Cirencester for since 1978 and been active in local education for a great deal of that time, firstly at Kingshill Secondary School and then at Cirencester Infant School, which subsequently became Cirencester Primary School, she retired as a governor last year. She has also been a local Councillor, served on Cotswold District Council for 8 years and on the Town Council for 16 years, during which time she has been mayor of Cirencester twice, 2001-2003 and 2007-2009. She continues to be involved with a number of trusts and grant giving bodies in the town and is currently chair of the Cirencester Community Development Trust. Shirley is a Soroptimist, and has served as club president and president of the South West and Channel Island region over the last 20 year.


Richard Mullings

Richard is the third generation of his family which has worked as a solicitor in the town. His connections with Cirencester are extensive and deep, both as a result of having lived in the town all his life, but also as a result of his thirty year career, working mainly on local trust and charity matters. He has involvement with (and responsibility for) many of the local charities and trusts, not least the Powell’s Education Foundation, which is the most significant education charity in the town. He is also active in promoting collaboration between charities in the town, with a recent notable success being the organisation in 2014 of a local charity-conference.

Robert Springett

Robert studied business, then theology at Lincoln Theological College and Kings College London. Ordained in 1989 he served curacies in Colchester then in Basildon before being appointed Priest in Charge of South Ockendon and Belhus Park then Rector of Wanstead. In 2010 he moved to Gloucestershire to be Archdeacon of Cheltenham. Throughout his ministry Robert has remained committed to the Church’s engagement with wider society, particularly through its work with schools: He is Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education and a trustee of All Saints Academy in Cheltenham. He is committed to deepening understanding with the wider Anglican communion, developing a partnership between Wanstead and the Church in Northern Uganda and playing a leading role in Gloucester’s three way partnership with the Diocese of Western Tanganyika in Tanzania and the Diocese of El Camino Real in California.


Graham Russell

See Our Trustees above




Our Patron is an advocate for the The Corinium Education Trust and its core values. Our Patron will help us monitor progress and celebrate the achievements of our children and young people.

Dame Fiona Reynolds

​Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE became Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 2012.  She came to the college after a long career in the voluntary sector, latterly as Director-General of the National Trust from 2001-2012. During her time as DG she made the Trust warmer and more welcoming, bringing the houses to life and raising the profile of the Trust’s work in the countryside. Before the Trust, she was Director of the Women’s Unit in the Cabinet Office (1998-2000), Director of the Council for the Protection of Rural England (now Campaign to Protect Rural England) from 1987-98 and Secretary to the Council for National Parks (now Campaign to Protect National Parks) from 1980-87. Fiona also holds a number of non-Executive roles.  She is a trustee of the Grosvenor Estate, a Non-Executive Director of Wessex Water, Chair of the Green Alliance, the International National Trusts Organisation and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England and Cambridge University’s Botanic Garden.