InMAT Information

‘ A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary  things’

Barack Obama

Board of Governance

InMAT is governed by a Board of Directors all of whom are drawn from the academies in the Trust. The Board is drawn up in line with the model provided by the Department for Education.

The Board is made up of three groups all of whom work together to enhance the education of the children in our care.


Composition: The Trust has appointed five members of whom only one is also a director.

Function of Members

The Members meet annually and their key roles are to:

  • act as custodians of the visions and values of the Trust; and fulfil the duties of charitable trustees in terms of compliance, prudence and care.
  • receive the annual report and accounts
  • appoint directors
  • ensure that the Board is fulfilling its responsibilities.

Board of Directors

Composition: Members have appointed eight Directors plus the CEO as a Director. The Directors are able to co-opt up to four additional Directors. Two of the Directors chair the LGB boards (Carol Witherden/Shelia Bryan). Board meetings will be attended by the Director of Business and Finance.

Function of Directors

The directors will meet termly as a full Board, as well as in working groups – Teaching, Learning and Outcomes, (chaired by Carol Witherden)  Audit and Finance Committee,  (chaired by Bill Dearns).  The Board focus is on the high level performance of the Trust and its strategic development. The key roles of directors is to:

  • account to Members for the performance of the Trust
  • hold LGBs to account for the performance of schools in each InMAT cluster
  • hold the Director of Business and Finance to account for the financial performance of the Trust and the effective use of resources
  • hold the Development Lead for Inspire to account for the effectiveness of school improvement strategies, the overall performance of schools, and the attainment and progress of children across the Trust
  • be responsible for the ‘operation’ of the Trust and its strategic development
  • oversee the Trust’s strategic risk register and ensure that key risks are addressed or mitigated
  • ensure that the Trust complies with its statutory responsibilities
  • oversee the performance of the Teaching School in relation to school improvement outcomes for InMAT schools.

Trust Member Profles

Graham Althorpe

Recently retired UK & Ireland CEO of one of the premier European semi-conductor companies. A Director of SEMTA (the Skills Council for Engineering and Manufacturing), Chair of their Investment committee Graham was also the Industrial Chair of Electronics in Schools. Grahama was a member of Government’s Electronic Innovations Team and of the Electronics Leadership Council. Graham brings knowledge of schools, ICT, business development and leadership. Graham is also a Governor at Millbrook Junior School.

Beverley Haywood

At the beginning of my career I qualified as a solicitor.  On leaving the legal profession I subsequently assumed a number of HR roles over a 20 year period across both the public and private sectors, including the Education sector.

In my current role I advise and represent members on a wide range of employment matters and have regular dealings with local and national MAT’s and Governing Bodies.  This role includes negotiating employment policies with MAT representatives at various consultative and negotiating fora.  I represent members in employment matters within maintained schools,  stand alone Academies and MAT’s .    I have a sound understanding of employment law including that pertaining to Governors.

Cei Davis Linn

I have been a school governor since 2007, initially a parent governor, becoming Chair of Governors in 2009. In 2010 I set up an equally managed Cluster Chairs Forum. The forum meets termly for best practice and school to school support. In 2012 the LA invited me to become a support governor for GB’s that were struggling or requiring additional support. I have supported a variety of schools and I am a National Leader in Governance. I have experience of a school converting to an academy status and chairing an IEB for a school in special measures.

Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson is an experienced teacher, headteacher, education adviser and university lecturer, now retired and operating as a sole trader (education consultant).  Michael has specialist knowledge of SEND and Inclusion, having been headteacher of an Ofsted outstanding special school in Leicester City and a school improvement adviser (Inclusion) for Leicester City LA and Northamptonshire LA.  Michael has a degree in English Language and Literature and a Masters Degree in Education.  Michael completed the National Leadership Programme for Serving Headteachers in 2003. Most recently, from 2014 -2017, Michael was Teaching School Lead at Fairfields Teaching School Alliance (102 member schools across Northamptonshire).

Board of Directors (Trustees) Profiles

Fergus Gallagher

Chairman of the InMAT Board. Fergus is Vice Chairman of Governors at Hall Meadow School and a Senior HR professional who has led change in the Banking and Pharmaceuticals industries. Fergus is a change management specialist and has been involved in mergers and acquisitions as a consultant to RBS plc and SKB plc. He brings strong experience in terms of HR, change management and ICT solutions.

Carol Witherden

Carol is Chair of Governors at Wollaston Primary School and is a trained Ofsted Inspector. A former Teacher and valued member of the LA Inspectorate, Carol has a granular understanding of teaching and learning and what constitutes best education practice.

Sheila Bryan

Recently retired from Nationwide Building Society where she managed multi-million pound share-save schemes for FTSE 100 companies and led teams in the Corporate Market, and the Remortgage Legal Centre. Her final position was as Risk Management consultant to their new mortgage teams across the Bank. Sheila brings sound financial understanding and risk management expertise.

Peter Banks

Director of Finance; Chair of Governors of The Grange, Daventry and on the Board of the INNOVATE MAT based in the Daventry area and a Trustee of the Inspire Teaching School Alliance. Peter is an accountant who worked in the City and latterly for 30 years as the Internal Control Supervisor of Ford Motor’s European Parts Operations.

Bill Dearns

Bill is an accountant and served as a senior manager with Price Waterhouse in London and Sydney, Australia. He worked as a Partner in Cottons Accountancy from which he retired in 2012. Bill is Chair of Finance at The Grange and a Trustee of the Inspire Teaching School Alliance.

Claire Neilson

Graduate of Aston Business School with Public Policy Management and Business Administration followed by 8 years in manufacturing as a Specification Manager. Claire served two further years as Account Manager for the National Building Specification organisation. Claire is a parent in one of the academies in the Trust. She brings sound knowledge of business development and administration.

Gaynor Crute (CEO)

InMAT’s Chief Executive. Gaynor has worked in a number of schools across the County and was, until recently, the Headteacher of The Grange School in Daventry where she served for 15 years. During her time at the school she significantly raised standards and aspirations as well as amalgamating the infant and junior schools to become a primary school. The Grange School is extremely well respected throughout Northamptonshire and is known for its high standards and outstanding arts provision. In 2015, the school was in the top 10% of schools nationally. This was a significant achievement given that pupil’s attainment on entry is well below average. She has worked alongside head teachers in challenging circumstances and assisted them to redefine their vision and plan for whole school strategic improvement and change. In recognition for her work, she was nominated for, and awarded, Head Teacher of the Year for the East of England. She has assisted the LA through the role of a Consultant Leader and a mentor for new head teachers. She is a National Leader of Education (NLE), and The Grange is a National Support School. Gaynor was jointly responsible for the vision, values and set up of Inspire Teaching School.

Gaynor has always had clear vision, inner strength and passion for education. Her leadership has been described by many as ‘inspirational’. In her role as a National Leader of Education, she has liaised and worked closely with the DfE and the Regional Commissioner. She has worked alongside colleagues from NCTL and is a recognised Reviewer for Disadvantaged Pupils. She has successfully completed Ofsted training.

This significant experience and knowledge will enable her to provide challenge and support to all InMAT school leaders, thus moving the organisation forward to a position of strength.

Lorraine Cullen (Inspire Lead)

Formerly the Head of Hall Meadow Primary School that she opened as a new establishment in 2002, Lorraine now works with the school in its role as National Support School. Lorraine also works as a National Leader of Education and is the Development Lead for the Inspire Teaching School. Lorraine is a Doctor of Education in Leadership Development and she has particular interest in child initiated inquiry and in developing a cross-phase primary curriculum premised on pupil choice.

Dawn Chapman (Head of Finance)

Sally Hamson (Co-opted)

Headteacher at Wollaston Primary School. Ofsted graded the school a confident good. Sally is passionate about staff development and has supported 4 deputies from other parts of the country though their NPQH training. All are now very successful head teachers. Sally is now a Local Leader of Education (LLE) and in that role has supported 2 local schools that were struggling.

Tania Watts (Co-opted)

Headteacher of Hall Meadow School in Kettering. This is Tania’s second Headship. In 2004 Tania was offered an Assistant Headship at a large middle school in Linslade, where she worked for 6 years finally becoming Acting Head teacher at the school. In 2010 Tania moved to work at Briar Hill Primary School in a very challenging area of Northampton, where she worked as Head teacher for 6 years. During this time she developed her skills across the cluster and across the town as part of a large network of schools. During her time at Briar Hill the school moved from being in a challenging situation to a stable one and a recent Ofsted judged the school good. Tania has taken a leading role in developing our education vision and supporting new entrants to the Trust.

We are immensely proud of the fact that Sally’s innovative curriculum is now being taught in schools in Northamptonshire, Birmingham, Cumbria, Cardiff and Bristol with further interest from schools in Japan and Abu Dhabi. Sally is the County Secretary of the NAHT and she sits on their National Executive where she represents schools across Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Lincolnshire.

Over the last 2 years she has been Vice Chair and sole Primary member of the National Head Teacher’s Roundtable, working to influence the Department for Education and Ofsted. They have met with the Secretary of State for Education and the head of Ofsted to discuss the professions’ concerns around the current Education system.

Jacqui Johnson (Co-opted)

Headteacher of Ashby Fields Primary School in Daventry. With experience in four schools in very different settings including a multi-cultural Ofsted-outstanding, beacon school, Jacqui has a breadth of knowledge and skills. She was given outstanding gradings for lessons and excelled in the classroom specialising in literacy. She was SENco for four years in a challenging school with a high percentage of children on the SEND register. She has been a headteacher for eight years. The first five years of which were in a rural school during which time their KS2 SATs results rose steadily until they were ninth in the country in the league tables. Jacqui took on the headship of her current school when they were in the Ofsted category ‘requires improvement’ and led the school to a ‘good’ Ofsted grading. Despite many challenges the school has recently been inspected by the local authority who have confirmed the good category.