The Governing Body of Rural Church Schools Academy Trust

Our Governors are a group of volunteers who bring a range of skills and experience to their role as the strategic leaders of our schools'.  They have a strong focus on three core functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction for our schools'
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of our schools' and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of our schools' and making sure its money is well spent.

We have 21 Governors who meet at least once each term as a full governing body and carry out much of their work through committees, various working groups and regular visits to schools'.  The main committees are the HR Director - Ian Rutter, Estates Director - Jackie McMurtrie, Finance Director - Alex Platt, Achievement Director - Sheila Louhglin and Pastoral Director - Anne James.


Our Governors (all appointments are for a period of 4 years, unless stated):

Mr Piers Bostock

Trust Director, Chair, Estates, Pastoral

"I have been working in the sugar industry, in the UK and later all over the world, for 42 years.

I was a Haberdasher Governor at Bunbury School from 2001 to 2010, as Vice –Chair and Chair of the Finance Committee. I was then asked to join the Haberdashers’ Adams Federation Governing Body, helping to govern Adam’s Grammar School (now an Academy) and Abraham Darby Academy in Telford.

My voluntary activities include Treasurer of my local church St Anne’s Ambergate and Chairman of Heage Windmill Society, which manages the charity running the windmill."

Mrs Caroline Briggs-Harris

Estates, LAC Bunbury

Caroline is a Barrister

Mrs Brenda Brockbank

Achievement, LAC St Oswald’s

"I grew up in Birmingham, and come from a family of teachers, nurses, and accountants. I was one of only three girls from my high achieving school to go to university, a sign of the times in the 70’s! I completed an English degree and trained for teaching at Bangor University. There I met my husband Donald, who was on track for training for the ministry.

I began teaching in the secondary sector in Oldham and as Donald went back to college, swiftly on to Hampshire. I completed further training for teaching religious education and used that to also train Lay Readers for Chester Diocese for over ten years. I have been a teacher for 37 years working in six different authorities, and a range of schools, some in deprived areas, others high achieving. In 1995-99 I stepped out from teaching and worked as Youth and Children’s Adviser for Lichfield Diocese and ran a residential Diocesan youth/schools centre in Staffordshire. I advised, trained and supported volunteers working in all sorts of parishes and helped with large and small Diocesan and parish events, including a Greenbelt style weekend camping festival at the Staffordshire County Showground. In 1999 – 2000 I worked with Revd Helen Chantry as Youth Officer for Chester Diocese.

Back in teaching, in I specialised in pastoral work, becoming a Head of Year and latterly Assistant Head of Sixth Form at Helsby High School, near Frodsham. This was an amazing and challenging post, but definitely the best!

Donald is an Anglican priest, and together we worked in parishes in Birkenhead, Wirral and Cheshire. He was Vicar of Acton, Church Minshull, Worleston and Wettenhall from 1999- 2006 when he had to retire because he has multiple sclerosis. We still worship at St David Wettenhall.

I retired in 2016 to look after Donald and together we hope to travel a little while we still can. I volunteer with our local MS Society Branch in the Vale Royal area and am a member of the Inner Wheel Club of Nantwich. I have time for all that being a Foundation Governor may bring and hope that the work at St Oswald’s and Bunbury Aldersey Schools may use the gifts, skills and talents God has helped me develop over the years."

Mrs Isobel Burnley

Pastoral, LAC St Oswald’s

"St Oswald's is a church school and has two governors nominated by the church. I am one of them, and have been since 2011. I am licensed as a Lay Reader to St.Oswald's, and, as such take services, in the absence of the vicar. I take the Collective Act of Worship in school on a regular basis.

I have served on the Church of England General Synod, Chester Diocesan Synod and Nantwich Deanery Synod. I am a church Warden at St. Oswald's and can report back to the PCC (Parochial Church Council) who have a great interest in the school. They were delighted at the excellent Ofsted and SIAMS (church) reports.

Rev Philip Goggin

Pastoral, LAC Warmingham

“I have been Rector of St Leonard’s Warmingham since September 2011. As such I am an ex officio governor at the school. To be in this role is a great privilege and opportunity,as I cherish the part that the school plays in the community. Church and school are community anchors not to be taken for granted.”

Rev Tim Hayward

Pastoral, LAC Bunbury

“Rev Tim is our local Vicar in Bunbury, as well as being father of two - Rose and Poppy - both happy here at Bunbury school.

He enjoys leading collective worship once a week and supporting the children and staff.

He loves all sports and at our annual sports day, can be seen running in the fathers' race with surplice and stole, as well as egg and spoon.”

Mr Robin Hazelton

Finance and Staffing, LAC St Oswald’s

"I am a former Banker of 45 years, Borough and County Councillor, now retired. I have recently moved to Cheshire and am delighted to take up the role of Finance and Staffing Governor for the RCSAT. I have two grandchildren in the Federation and I am keen to support the schools through this exciting time of change and re-organisation."

Mrs Helan Isherwood

Pastoral, LAC Warmingham

“I am the Pastoral governor appointed by the Chester Diocesan Board of Education. I serve on the Community committee where we try to link the school, the church and the community through news and activity.I am a retired secondary school teacher and a licensed lay reader at St. Leonard’s church. I also enjoy swimming, walking, reading and gardening.”

Mrs Anne James

Chair of Pastoral, Estates, Achievement, LAC Bunbury

"I have recently retired from a career in education. I have been teaching in a number of primary schools in a range of counties for more years than I care to remember or admit to! I have lived in Bunbury village for over 20 years. Both my children, now sadly grown up, attended Bunbury Aldersey CE primary School."

Mrs Emma Jordan-Stout

Pastoral, LAC Bunbury

"My youngest child, Annabel, joined Bunbury School in January 2013, when we relocated to Cheshire from Yorkshire, where I had lived for most of my life. The job I left to move here, was Administrator at a small Primary School, which was one of a federation of 10, so I have seen first hand how positive an effect working closely with other schools, can have. Prior to that I spent 10 years working as a Sales Office and Procurement Manager, looking after the purchasing and sales admin for a department dealing with £6m turnover per annum. A lifetime ago, my career started as a shorthand typist at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Whitehall!

I don't currently go out to work, and spend my time caring for our menagerie of dogs, cats, sheep, chickens and guinea fowl. We are refurbishing a thatched Tudor cottage, and I enjoy baking, cake decorating, and I like to get creative with many different craft hobbies!"

Mrs Zareena Lloyd

Achievement, LAC Warmingham

I have been a Foundation Governor since September 2014. I currently work as a PA at Leighton Hospital with a vast experience in both admin and IT. Mother of two children who both attend Warmingham Primary. I am an active member of the PTA and supported the school and the wider community since 2008. As a family we reguarly attend church services both in the village and also at Elworth.”

Mrs Sheila Loughlin

Dep/Chair, Finance and Staffing, Achievement, LAC Bunbury

"I am an educational consultant with the Diocese of Chester and an additional inspector with Ofsted.

I have been headteacher of two primary schools. Most recently, I was appointed Principal of the Chester Diocese's only sponsored academy in Stockport, during its transition from being a school in special measures.

Whilst a headteacher in Cheshire East I worked for the local authority as a school improvement partner, working with schools in the Tarporley area, one of which was Bunbury Aldersey C of E School.

I look forward to working with the children, staff and parents of The RCSAT."

Mr Jason Lowe

Finance and Staffing, Achievement, LAC Bunbury

Jason is Deputy Headteacher at Tarporley High School.

Mrs Jacqueline McMurtrie

Estates, LAC St Oswald’s

“I have a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science and I am a qualified bookkeeper. I currently work from home for an established accountancy firm. I have 2 children at St Oswald's School and I am passionate about maintaining the very special ethos and child friendly focus. I work closely with the school bursar to ensure the school finances are accurate and used most efficiently to benefit the education of our children. I am also very involved in the planning and project management of the school's building work and helping to protect the school's future and ensure St Oswald's continues to thrive. I regularly liaise with staff; I read with the children and help in a practical role when I am needed."

Mrs Sam Mellor

Headteacher, LAC Warmingham

“As Headteacher I am automatically a member of the governing body. I have been at Warmingham since 2010 and as a teaching head I have taught throughout the school. This is lovely school and it is an honour to be part of your children's lives.”

Mr Robert Parton

Estates, LAC St Oswald’s

"I have lived in the school catchment all my life, I attended Church Minshull Primary school in the neighbouring village that has since closed. Having seen the impact this has had on Church Minshull, I am a passionate believer in the value of local village primary education and the benefits it brings to the local community.

I was elected as a Parent Governor at St Oswald's in 2005 being re-elected in 2009 and 2013, I was Vice Chair for the last 7 years.

Outside school with my wife Andrea we operate Church Minshull Aqueduct Marina. This business was set up six years ago and has developed since opening now employing 30 people. We have learned the importance of having the right team in place and planning ahead, not to mention the financial challenges which come with managing a growing business. The contacts and experiences gained from managing this business, I like to believe have helped in my governor role."

Mrs Alexandra Platt

Finance and Staffing, LAC St Oswald’s

"I have worked as a management accountant and head of a finance department of seven staff for a multi million pound business reporting directly to the board. I have also previously worked in banking and private practice in an accountancy capacity. Currently, I am partner with my husband in our dairy farming business, locally in Church Minshull employing a staff of 3, where I am the office manager and responsible for the accounting and human resource functions of the business.

I am very passionate about the ethos of St. Oswald's not only in its educational capacity but also in the pastoral care it gives to our students. I also feel it is extremely important to have rural schools such as St Oswald's and Bunbury Aldersey in the centre of a rural community."

Mrs Amanda Richardson

Finance, LAC Warmingham

“I was appointed as a diocesan governor and was really pleased when my application was successful. I have stood on the community and finance committee's and have recently been appointed as the chairman if the finance committee. I work for Cheshire constabulary as a Management accountant. I have been chairman of Malpas Young Farmers and Cheshire Federation of Young Farmers. I was deputy mayoress for Crewe and Nantwich in 1995. I live in Warmingham and have 2 children that attend Warmingham Church of England school. We enjoy village life and are very proud of our village community school and the success of the children and teachers and everyone else involved.”

Mr Ian Rutter

Estates, LAC Warmingham

“My name is Ian Rutter I have been appointed as local government governor at Warmingham primary school. I am the son of a farmer and married to Sarah Richardson we live in Elworth with our 3 young children, the eldest attends Warmingham. I am the Managing Director of my automotive company based in the north west I employ 500 staff. I hope I can add a business culture to the school decision making whilst being totally focused on the long term benefits to the school, the parish and its children.”

Mrs Fiona Todd

Finance and Staffing, Achievement

Fiona is the Executive Headteacher (EHT)

Miss Alison Tomlinson

Achievement, LAC St Oswald’s

"I have strong links with St Oswald’s Worleston. I was a Teaching Assistant there since 2013 and my youngest daughter became a pupil in 2014. During that time I have worked throughout the school and am now based in Early Years in the mixed Reception and Nursery Class. In June 2016 I completed Early Years Teacher training.

I feel privileged to work with children every day and accompany them on their learning journey. I enjoy being part of the St Oswald’s family and I am enthusiastic about our continuing links with Bunbury Aldersey, in the RCSAT"


Governor -Register of Pecuniary and Personal Interests

Clerk to the Governing Body

Lynn Taylor - Cheshire East Governance


Pecuniary Interests

The following Governor is currently employed by RCSAT:-

Fiona Todd, Sam Mellor, Alexander Platt, Alison Tomlinson, Susi Waddington


The following Governors have Business Interests:

Piers Bostock – Eagle Sugar Ltd

Caroline Briggs-Harris – Self Employed Barrister, Citadel Chambers Birmingham

Robert Parton – Parton Farms


The following Governors are company directors:-

Piers Bostock – Eagle Sugar Ltd and RCSAT

Anne James - RCSAT

Sheila Loughlin - RCSAT

Jacqueline McMurtrie - RCSAT

Robert Parton – Church Minshull Marina Ltd

Alexandra Platt - RCSAT

Ian Rutter - RCSAT

Fiona Todd - RCSAT


The following Governors have Charity Trusteeships:-

Isobel Burnley – Worleston School Trust

Rev Dr Philip Goggin – Warmingham School House Fund

Revd Tim Hayward – St Boniface Bunbury PCC, St Jude Tilstine Parnell PCC

Amanda Richardson – Warmingham School House Fund


The following Governors have gifts or hospitality offered to them by external bodies as a governor/trustee and this was declined or accepted in the last 12 months:-



The following Governors have children/grandchildren at the school:-

Revd Tim Hayward, Alison Tomlinson, Alex Platt, Robert Parton


The following Governors have a family member as a member of staff:-

Robin Hazelton, Fiona Todd


The following Governors are members of professional bodies, membership of organisations, public bodies or special interest groups of with they are a member and have a position of general control or management:-

Caroline Briggs-Harris – Bar Council, Criminal Bar Association

Brenda Brockbank – Lead Support Volunteer MS Society Vale Royal and West Cheshire Group, Club Correspondent Inner Wheel Club of Nantwich

Robin Hazelton – Committee member Wrenbury and Combermere Conservative Association

Fiona Todd – Member of CCT


The following Governors have roles in other educational establishments:-

Sheila Loughlin is a Governor at another school in Cheshire East;


The following Governors have no personal interest in the school:-

Anne James, Ian Rutter

A Caring Christian Family Where We Grow Together

St Oswald's Worleston Primary School. Church Road, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 6DP

Tel: 01270 623826 | Email: