Our Directors

Jane ClarkeChair of Directors, Chair of School Improvement Committee and Director with responsibility for Safeguarding

Career Summary: I spent my career in Local Authority social work with children, working in general Children and Family Services in West Yorkshire, Stockport and Cumbria (Barrow) and also working as an adoption specialist and as part of a multi-disciplinary hospital team. I retired in 2011.

Personal Details: I was Chair of Governors of St Peter’s Heversham from April 2013, having been a foundation Governor of the school from 2011. I took over the chair at a particularly challenging time and led the FGB as it sought to stabilise the school and to focus again on ensuring an excellent experience for the children and the achievement of high standards.

From my experience in Heversham, I have a particular interest in the opportunities and challenges that are faced by small schools in areas with ageing demographics. I played an active leadership role as the Heversham FGB explored academy status as part of developing a sustainable future for the school. I'm now excited to be working within The Good Shepherd as we develop a collaborative approach to improvement and development, better enabling local governing bodies to rise to the educational, financial and social challenges so many will face in the coming years.

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

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


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


Vernon RossArchdeacon of Westmorland and Furness

Career Summary: I bring to the Trust my 27 years of experience as a Parish Priest and over 20 years’ experience of School Governance in a wide variety of roles, both as a School Governor and as Chair of the Schools Committee for Exeter Diocese.

Working closely with schools of all types to support school development and improvement has always formed part of my work as a Parish Priest. My desire for schools to be places of excellent teaching and learning, underpinned by Christian values, fits well with the Trust’s own vision for education.

Relevant Experience: Governance, Leadership Development, Organisational Management, Strategic Planning, Change Management, Conflict Resolution, Ethics & Ethos, Financial Management, Fundraising, Health & Safety, Human Resources, Information Technology, Teaching & Learning


Pamela Weeden

Career Summary: I have over twenty years’ experience in education, including 8 years’ experience in headship and three as an Associate School Improvement Adviser. I led a small rural primary school from underachieving to successful, and understand the unique challenges of small school leadership and growth. I am also a qualified professional Executive Coach and Mentor and am experienced in the field of adult learning, designing and delivering a range of qualifications up to Masters level for ILM, CMI and NCFE; I enjoy a strong partnership with the Academy of Leadership and Management and am one of their senior associates. I've worked in several contexts including the NHS, Local Government, the private sector and the prison service.

Personal Details: I'm passionate about leadership development and believe in facilitating the growth of the person and the professional; I'm a creative, strategic and solutions focused individual, and am driven by developing and supporting the growth of others. I'm excited to be joining the Board and being part of the team that are taking the Trust forward.

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


Richard Petty

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


Mark Chater

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