Our Board Members

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Dr Tim Coulson is Chief Executive of Unity Schools Partnership, a multi-academy trust of 25 primary, secondary and special schools based mainly in Suffolk. He was previously a headteacher in London, national director of the national numeracy strategy, director of education for Essex Council and a Regional Schools Commissioner.

Date of appointment: 14.6.17 (re-elected as Chair 13.7.18)

Mike Parish is the Group CEO of Care UK and chairs its Health Care and Residential Care Services. Care UK is a provider of a range of clinical services for NHS patients, including much of the national 111 and primary care non-emergency service, primary care and mental health care in over 40 prisons as well as acute elective surgery and diagnostics in nine hospitals. Care UK also operates more than 120 care homes for older people, many as part of long term arrangements with local authorities.

Mike joined Care UK in 2001 following a long career with the National Freight Corporation, latterly know as Exel Logistics and now DHL. Mike was also a director and trustee of the NHS Confederation.

Mike has three adult children and lives in Sevenoaks, Kent. He enjoys the outdoors, sport and photography.

Date of appointment: 1.4.15

Gordon Jones is a qualified Chartered Accountant, he worked as a Finance Director in the City of London. He has been chair of the Suffolk Governors Forum and a member of the School’s Forum. In his business life he controlled and managed service companies as both client and provider.

In 2013 Gordon was elected to Suffolk County Council as the member for the Stamford division and was immediately appointed Deputy Portfolio Holder for CYP services. In the recent SCC reshuffle he was promoted to cabinet as the Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services. He also sits on the Suffolk Health and Well being Board, Suffolk Safeguarding Board, Layham Quarry Liaison Group and Tattingstone Quarry Liaison Group.

Date of appointment: 1.4.15

A civil servant for over 20 years, Ian has worked on policy development and delivery across a number of departmental agendas, including Home Office, Communities and Local Government and Education. He has held roles within the Department for Education include Free Schools policy and implementation, Education Funding Agency oversight of the academies programme, and more recently, supporting the Regional Schools Commissioner for the East of England and North East London. This work has enabled him to develop skills and experience in financial management, legal frameworks and governance. 

Date of appointment: 22.11.17

Dean is currently Operations Director for Inchape PLC with responsibility for their Emerging Markets business which spans Europe, Africa and South America. His career has encompassed a varety of senior leadersip positions in multi-site businesses that have ranged from his current automotive role to banking, telecoms and leisure.

Date of appointment: 22.11.17

John's last full time executive role was Group HR Director for Greene King PLC. Prior to this he held senior positions in HR for Robert Fleming and Nomura, London based investment banks and for Terra Firma, a private equity business. 

Roger is a former Royal Marine, economist and has worked in business for most of his professional life.  Formed public policy consultancy in the 1980s of which he is  currently a non-executive director.  Been Chair of West Sufolk Hospital for the last 10 years, prior to which he was a director of a large property company.  Has been Chair of Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds for the past year and for the last four years has been a trustee of Emmaus Suffolk, a homeless charity.  

Laura was educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and read Natural Sciences before completing a PhD in biochemistry. After this she qualified as a chartered accountant and spent 10 years at EY including a secondment to Palo Alto, California. She then had a variety of roles in industry including at Rio Tinto, the global mining company, and is currently the Group Financial Controller for Avon Products, Inc.

Nick Jenkins is executive Medical Director at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) and a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at West Suffolk Hospital.  He has lived and worked in Suffolk since 2016, having previously worked in Warrington, Slough and Poole.

 His particular clinical interests include paediatric emergency medicine and he is the executive responsible for children and young people within WSFT.  His interest in education is further enhanced by having three, school age children. 

Date of appointment: 11.12.17

Following extensive teaching experience working in schools in London, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, Lesley Birch was appointed Headteacher at Histon & Impington Junior School in 2001. Histon & Impington Junior School has an Ofsted judgement of “outstanding”. Lesley became a National Leader of Education in 2009, and subsequently the Junior School was designated as a National Support School, working with other schools to enhance and improve educational standards. As a result of the outreach work, Lesley was appointed Executive Headteacher of the then struggling Hatton Park Primary School. It has since been awarded a “Good” in 2014.

Lesley helped pave the way towards the formation of CPET on 1st December 2012 and was appointed as Executive Principal in September 2014. CPET schools have subsequently benefited from the freedoms and flexibilities of academy status, sharing best practice and working together in order to secure excellence for all pupils, all under Lesley’s directorship. Histon & Impington Junior School is also a Teaching School, part of CTSN and Lesley is a Teaching School Council Representative for the Eastern Region.

Date of appointment: 11.1217

Paul retired from the Police Service in 2014 following a 34 year career with the Suffolk Constabulary reaching the rank of Deputy Chief Constable.  In 2015 he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished police service.

On retirement he was appointed an an Independent Chair of School Improvement Boards holding Head Teachers, Chairs of Governors and the Local Authority to account for rapid and sustainable improvements in pupil outcomes.  This led to other roles within education including being appointed as a chair of Interim Executive Boards, supporting and strengthening Governing Bodies and advising on the performance of Head Teachers.  Since 2016 he has run his own management consultancy business.

In his spare time Paul is the Chair of Governors at Norton CEVC Primary School and a Trustee of a charity linked to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Suffolk.  He has lived in Suffolk all his life.

Date of appointement: 1.4.18

Tim Elbourne is a Member of the Trust, on behalf of the Church of England Diocese of Chelmsford.

A priest of the Church of England, he has been Diocesan Director of Education at the diocese since 2013. The diocese is England’s second largest in terms of population and spans all of historic Essex and five East London boroughs. We currently support 139 Anglican schools with about 29,000 pupils, co-sponsor a UTC and operate a small nursery chain, Sparrows Childcare.

Before coming to Chelmsford Tim fulfilled a similar role for 15 years in Ely Diocese (Cambridgeshire, S. Peterborough and West Norfolk).  Previous roles have included university chaplaincy at the University of York; clergy and adult education in North Yorkshire; parish ministry in Tottenham and West Yorkshire. He trained as an English teacher before ordination over 30 years ago and taught for a short time in Trinidad. Tim grew up in a district of Salford and undertook his degree, PGCE and ordination training at Selwyn College and Westcott House in Cambridge. He has supported Liverpool Football Club and Lancashire County Cricket club for about 40 years and since moving to Essex has re-discovered the joys of playing acoustic blues guitar: sometimes helpful in grandparental duties.

 Declaration of Business Interests for Unity SP Board