Our Directors

Jane ClarkeChair of Directors and Director with responsibility for Safeguarding

Career Summary:  Although now retired, my profession was that of a social work practitioner in children and family services. Working with children in vulnerable and challenging circumstances led me to a keen awareness of the importance of holistic development and of the part schools play in that. My professional practice also highlighted for me the importance of clarity in decision making and accountability.

Personal Details: I became a Foundation Governor of a Church of England primary school and subsequently found myself as Chair of the Local Governing Body during a time of particular challenge and difficulty for the school. Through that role, in 2015 I became a Director of the Good Shepherd Trust and became Chair in 2020.

I am not an educationalist. I hope I bring to the role a commitment to ensuring that the Trust sustains a sound strategy and effective governance as it supports the schools in enabling all their pupils to develop to their full potential, not just academically but also personally and socially.

Relevant Experience: Governance, Administration, Safeguarding, Primary Education, School Improvement, Social Work and Care


Patrick FreemanVice Chair of Directors

Career Summary: I've worked in education for approaching 20 years, beginning as a field studies education tutor in Dorset; later training formally in Primary education (science specialism) in Bath. During this time I also worked at a state secondary boarding school in Bruton, Somerset - leading a range of activities for Years 8-13 inc. Much of my teaching career was conducted in Norfolk LEA working in various sized schools, in rural and coastal ‘Action Zone’ areas. During this time I became a lead teacher in ICT and critical thinking/problem based learning approaches.

In 2007 I moved to Cumbria (St. Martin’s College) to become a Senior Lecturer in ICT and Education to train new and serving teachers developing good partnership relationships with many of Cumbria‘s Primary schools.

Since 2010 I've taken on the role of Principal Lecturer (School Engagement Manager) for the University of Cumbria’s (UoC) Institute of Education, overseeing cross phase partnership arrangements (procurement of placements and QA processes) for the various routes the UoC are engaged or partnered in. I work with system leaders and economic partnership leads across Cumbria; along with various national Teaching School alliances. I'm also a school governor at the University Technical College (Energy Coast UTC). I'm an External Examiner for Plymouth University (Education dept.) and National Executive Secretary for the ‘Association of Partnerships in Teacher Education’ (APTE).

Personal Details: I'm committed to developing partnerships that have children’s best interests at their heart. I'm really enjoying working with all the schools in The Good Shepherd to develop young learners’ aspirations with high quality teaching and learning practitioners.

Relevant Experience: Governance, Leadership Development, Organisational Management, Partnerships, Strategic Planning, Administration, Business Development, Change Management, Conflict Resolution, Ethics & Ethos, Health & Safety, Human Resources, Information Technology, Research & Evaluation, Teaching & Learning, Early Years Education, Primary Education, Environment, School Improvement, Secondary Education, Special Education


Simon HughesChair of Business Development and Communications Committee and LGB Chair Lorton School

Career Summary: With a degree in electrical engineering, I started my professional career as a systems design engineer with Michelin and JCB before joining PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a management consultant. I spent 16 years at PwC working mainly with the research and development arms of multi-national aerospace and pharmaceutical companies in the UK, USA and Europe, helping them to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their research and development. Since retiring from consulting, I've been involved with school governance for 15 years and have worked with a number of primary schools on their websites and the introduction of Computing into the curriculum. 

Personal Details: I'm married to Shelagh and we have 3 children grown up children - a biochemist, a primary teacher and a human biologist. We all love the great outdoors and go climbing, kayaking, fell walking and biking together as often as we can. Building on a lifelong passion for photography, I am now enjoying a second career as a family and wedding photographer.

Relevant Experience: Governance, Leadership Development, Organisational Management, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Change Management, Financial Management, Information Technology, Primary Education, School Improvement


Richard PettyChair of School Improvement Committee

Career Summary: I have worked in education since 2000, initially as a History teacher and Head of PSHE/Careers, before taking on various Head of Department and pastoral roles in schools in London and the South-East of England.  As Headmaster of Berkhamsted Sixth, one of six schools in the Berkhamsted Schools Group in Hertfordshire, I enjoyed being on the Executive team leading six schools ranging from a Nursery to a sixth form, including three primary schools.  I am a governor of Orton Church of England Primary School, having previously served as a Governor of three schools ranging from 4 to 18 in age.

I work for the University of Oxford, engaging students and staff in a wide range of schools across the three northern English regions in the opportunities offered by Higher Education, and forming strategic partnerships ultimately aiming to raise the number of applications to universities from students in northern England.

I joined the Trust because I would like to help develop education in Cumbria and raise aspirations for all pupils.

Personal Details: I was brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne, have lived in London for most of my adult life and moved to Cumbria in 2017 on the birth of twin sons.  My interests include spending time with my family, walking, fell running, and supporting Newcastle United;  the latter in particular requiring resilience, realism and a sense of humour.

Relevant Experience: Governance, Leadership Development, Organisational Management, Partnerships, Strategic Planning, Administration, Business Development, Change Management, Conflict Resolution, Ethics & Ethos, Fundraising, Financial Management, Health & Safety, Human Resources, Marketing, Media & PR, Research & Evaluation, Teaching & Learning, Early Years Education, Primary Education, School Improvement, Secondary Education, Special Education


Martin Rayner

Career Summary: After studying Business Studies at Newcastle Polytechnic, I took over the running of Lakeland, the creative kitchenware company, with my two brothers in 1974. We grew the business, which still has its head office in Windermere, from a turnover of £500k to about £160m turnover. I retired in May 2014 from day to day operation of the company but remain a 33% owner and a director. I'm currently investing in and mentoring smaller local companies. I aim to bring a wealth of business experience to the board of directors.

Personal Details: I was born in Cumbria and educated at St Mary's Church of England Primary School and Heversham Grammar school. I'm involved with fundraising for St Martin's church, Windermere, and am a director of Lake District Summer Music. My hobbies include golf, skiing, sailing, fell running, walking, music, food, wine, and cooking. I'm passionate about God, love of my neighbour, self-improvement, the Lake District and the world.

Relevant Experience: Governance, Organisational Management, Partnerships, Strategic Planning, Administration, Business Development, Change Management, Ethics & Ethos, Financial Management, Marketing, Media & PR, Research & Evaluation


Claire KirkpatrickLGB Chair Dean CE School


Chris KearnsLGB Chair Gilsland CE School

Career Summary: I have been an Airline Pilot for over 20 years and currently fly Long Haul routes on the Boeing 777 from London’s Heathrow Airport for British Airways. The industry has many challenges, none more so than recent events, but there are many rewards. To experience first-hand so many different countries, people and cultures is one of the greatest privileges imaginable, and that’s not to mention how good the view can be from the office window!

During my time as a School Governor and as a Director at the Trust I have often found myself surprised at how the skills developed and used in my “day-job” have been so useful in my voluntary work. During the process of moving Gilsland into the Good Shepherd it was necessary to make important decisions, and to challenge decisions made by other parties up to Government level. I hope I can do the same for The Trust as it grows and develops.

Personal Details: With three primary school aged children, a Labrador, an incredibly patient wife of 14 years and so much time spent working away from home, family time is the most valuable thing to me. Living in such a beautiful part of the world, in the middle of Hadrian’s Wall Country, we have an abundance of fantastic outdoor and historical spaces to explore. I’m unfortunate enough to be a lifelong Newcastle United supporter but tend to find more pleasure in following Formula 1 racing!

Relevant Experience: Strategic planning, Leadership development, Governance 


Mark Chater

Career Summary: Over 35 years as a teacher of RE, teacher trainer, researcher, policy maker, and charity director have given me insights into primary and secondary teaching, curriculum design, the professional development needs of teachers, national issues on RE and church schools, and strategy in the charity sector, with a particular interest in grant impact and funding for change. I have written or edited eight books on education, RE or theology. 

Personal Details: I love walking, reading and writing, creative cooking, singing, and travelling. 

Relevant Experience: Governance, Leadership Development, Partnerships, Strategic Planning, Change Management, Ethics & Ethos, Research & Evaluation, Primary Education, Secondary Education, Initial Teacher Education