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Members & Directors


Revd Michael G Banyard MA B.PHIL, ADV DIP ED., CERT ED., CTM
Vice Chair of the Ely Diocesan Board of Education

Retired Rector of the Three Rivers Group of parishes

Taught as a secondary teacher of Religious Education and Head of Humanities Faculty at the City of Ely College, (1969 – 1984) then was Deputy Headteacher of MOD secondary schools in Cyprus, (1985 – 1991) and Hong Kong (1991 – 1996), before a final year in Germany and then early retirement in 1997. He spent four years as Lay Pastoral Assistant at St John’s Anglican/Episcopal Cathedral in Hong Kong, before two years at Westcott House, Cambridge (2001 – 2003). Ordination in 2003/2004 led to a curacy in south east Cambs, and then Incumbency as Rector of the Three Rivers Group of parishes since 2007. He has served as a Parish Councillor, was an OFSTED Inspector, and is currently Governor of two church primary schools; he serves as Vice Chair of the Ely Diocesan Board of Education, and maintains his interest in education and schools and the interaction of the mission of the church and its schools in his rural circumstance.

Ms Kate Carreno
Assistant Director of Central Services at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Kate is the Assistant Director, Central Services at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, where she is responsible for museum operations, communications and public engagement. Kate oversees the University of Cambridge Museums Major Partner Museum programme which is based at the Fitzwilliam. She has worked in the museum and cultural sector for over 30 years and served on the boards of a number of charities, mostly in the cultural sector. Currently, Kate is a member of the Cambridge Arts and Cultural Leaders group, the UK-wide Women Leaders in Museums Network and serve on a number of university committees and steering groups

Mrs Gillian Greet BVSc, MRCVS, DVR
Advisor at the Citizens Advice Bureau

Gillian is a qualified veterinary surgeon from the University of Bristol. She specialised in diagnostic imaging and worked in general practice before working as a consultant in MRI at the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket. She currently works as an Advisor at the Citizen Advice Bureau.

Gillian has been a governor of a number of boards including Moulton and Kennett primary schools.

Rick Carroll

Rick spent 14 years in St Neots serving as a Deputy Head and Headteacher of Longsands Academy and latterly as the CEO of the St Neots Learning Partnership.  Rick is now investigating opportunities to return to the role he loves - being a Headteacher. He is currently reviewing the recently published Draft Ofsted 'Education Inspection Framework' and will support the Staploe Education Trust in this ever changing world of education.

As an Economist graduate, Rick’s areas of leadership strength include:

  • Financial planning and risk management
  • Human resource planning
  • Marketing and communication


Ms Nicola Close
Chair of the Trust & Member

Chief Executive of the Association of Directors of Public Health (UK) which is a Charity and registered Company

Nicola’s education was in Mathematics, Philosophy and Public Health and she has worked as a teacher and in IT. She has worked as a Public Health Manager for more than 20 years firstly in the NHS and since 2007 as Chief Executive of the Association of Directors of Public Health (UK) which is a charity and registered company. Nicola has an instinctive grasp of good governance as one who has worked both as a chair of a governing body and Trust for many years, but also as a senior executive who works as CEO with her own Trust Board.

Nicola is highly strategic and uncompromising in her high expectation for governance and for schools.  She has a special interest in SEND.  She will tackle challenges and hold governors, as well as headteachers, to account. 

Mr David Snashall
Vice Chair of the Trust & Member

David joined the Trust in 2015 having recently moved to the area. Now semi-retired, he worked as a Headteacher for 13 years moving two failing schools to the Ofsted rating of ‘good’. Since leaving full-time teaching, he has worked for the Association of School and College Leaders, leading the team who provide front-line telephone support to its members, supporting school leaders who have employment issues. David leads courses and provides consultancy on employment and education law.

Mrs Anne Bevan

Anne has been involved in education for over forty years. She began her teaching career in 1977 as a PE teacher at Soham Village College, where she worked until 1986. After having her family she returned to teaching and also decided that she wished to change age groups and took up a post at The Weatheralls Primary School. This was initially as a class teacher, latterly as Deputy Head Teacher from which she retired in 2016. Later that year she became a member of The Weatheralls Advisory Body. Her specialisms are in Key Stage 2, assessment and data analysis.

Dr Jamie Humphrey

Jamie has been a Trust Director since 2013. His education is in chemistry, and he has worked for over 20 years with a not-for-profit organisation, the Royal Society of Chemistry, based in Cambridge. His career has focussed on the communication of science, and he currently, as Publisher and member of a senior management team, leads the Royal Society of Chemistry’s programme of academic journals. Between 2009 and 2015 he was a tutor for people entering the publishing profession (with the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, ALPSP) and since 2011 he has been a Subject Director on the ALPSP Training Review Group, which oversees the programme of training courses for the profession. Jamie is also a governor at St. Andrew’s CofE Primary School in Soham (since 2009).

Mrs Lorraine Lofting

Lorraine has a strong interest and background in strategic leadership in children’s services in the public sector drawing on significant experience in operational delivery change management, partnership working and service improvement.

Lorraine is a qualified social worker with a specialism in the leadership and management of early help services and associated processes and systems to help to reduce demand on specialist services.

Latterly, Lorraine has applied her knowledge and experience to the transformation of adult social care in the community of Soham by applying the Dutch buurtzorg principles to the setting up of a small self managed team.

She has a coaching qualification and enjoys using coaching techniques in developing system leaders. 

Mrs Ruth Mc Naughton

Ruth has been a Trust Director since 2014. Ruth runs an executive coaching company, having had a career in training and development. She has worked for organisations such as NFER Nelson, The Open College, Henley Distance Learning, Financial Times Management, Pearson and Penna HR Consultancy. She has had a variety of roles in sales management and also as Head of Coaching Capability and Commercial Operations Director. Ruth is a trained coach an NLP practitioner and currently training as a counsellor.

Mr Joshua Schunmann

Josh has been a member of the Weatheralls governing body since 2015 and was appointed as a director to the trust in January 2017. After attending university in London, Josh returned to Soham and ran his own business for 7 years where he was the landlord for a public house in Soham’s high street. Josh now splits his time between freelance teaching and local government, serving his community as an elected member at both District and County level.

Josh has a passion for education and community and has been heavily involved in community groups and organisations.

Dr Carin Taylor

Awaiting content

Reverend Colin Watkins

Colin is the Superintendent Minister of the Ely & Newmarket Methodist circuit and Minister for Soham, Wicken and Burwell Methodist churches. He is also responsible for Methodist ecumenical relationships across Cambridgeshire. Colin studied for ministry from 2005. Prior to his ministry he was a senior manager in the IT industry, responsible for service delivery to customers of IBM across the UK.

Colin joined the trust as a governor of the Shade Primary School and became a director in 2017.

Mr Simon Wright
Head of Third Parties & Accreditation, Association of Train Operation Companies

Simon joined the Trust as a governing body member for The Shade Primary School and became a Director in December 2015. Simon has spent his working career in the rail industry, undertaking both customer facing and back office settlement management roles. Simon is currently Head of Third Parties & Accreditation at the Association of Train Operating Companies. 

Latterly he has been responsible for managing IT supplier and customer relationships, running a team of IT analysts and administering governance and licencing within the trade association that represents the UK’s train operating companies.

Simon is also the treasurer of the local parish church St Andrews.