Staploe Education Trust

Life at Staploe Education Trust Life at Staploe Education Trust

Trust Members & Directors

Staploe Education Trust - Members & Directors Secure File Access
Staploe Education Trust - Members and Directors Register of Interests 2018-2019
Staploe Education Trust - Director Terms of Office & Committee Membership 2018-2019
Staploe Education Trust - Directors & Members Attendance 2017-2018
Staploe Education Trust - Infrastructure Committee Attendance 2017-2018
Staploe Education Trust - Risk & Audit Committee Attendance 2017-2018
Staploe Education Trust - School Performance Committee Attendance 2017-2018

Directors & Trustees


Ms Nicola Close

Chair of the Trust

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

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 Jules Hillier

Chair of Soham Village College School Advisory Body

Interim Campaigns and Communications Director at the National Union of Students

Jules has a joint BA honours degree in English and Sociology from Oxford Brooks University and an MA in Marketing Communications from Westminster University. She has spent her whole working life in the voluntary sector and uses her skills as a problem solver by working on fixed term projects. This has seen her work as Chief Executive as both a youth charity, Ambition, and young people’s health and wellbeing charity, Brook. Jules also acts as a Facilitator for the Windsor Leadership Programme.

Jules has a particular interest in all aspects of management and leadership.


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).


Ms Christine Littlewood

Christine joined the Foreign Office after University and has worked in Germany, Italy, Hungary, France and Japan. Whilst in Japan she taught English to Japanese children and this is what prompted her to change careers and to train as a teacher. Christine trained at Trent Park and then worked in a variety of schools in London, Hertford, Ely, Cambridge and Bassingbourn. She has held a variety of posts culminating in a Headship. She visits schools as a Key Stage One moderator and marks examination papers for trainee teachers.


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.

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.



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

Chief Executive Officer The St Neots Learning Partnership Trust (SNLP)

SNLP brings together the two mainstream Academies in St Neots:  Ernulf Academy (600 learners) and Longsands Academy (1500 learners); also in the Trust is The St Neots Sixth Form Centre (500 learners) and Prospect House (Alternative Provision Base approx. 35 learners) – a total of approximately 2600 learners. Rick guided Longsands to a ‘Good’ Ofsted judgement in 2015 and became the CEO of the Trust in 2016.

Rick has worked in St Neots for over 13 years. His standing in the local community has been validated by the recent OFSTED report for Longsands Academy and the rapid improvements that are documented by recent OFSTED and DFE visits to Ernulf Academy detailing the SNLP's effective quality assurance management and leadership systems. From September, Rick will be mentoring two secondary headteachers on a formal basis and will offer advice and guidance on all aspects of the Ofsted framework.

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

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