Our Trustees

Ian Wilson - Acting Chair of Trustees

Ian is the headteacher at Bishops' Blue Coat High School. He is committed to improving education and welfare for all students, not only as a diocesan headteacher but during twenty years of governance as part of four boards spanning primary, secondary, academy and multi-trust. Ian fully understands the importance of accountability, using data and expertise to identify trends and support improvement. Throughout his career he has demonstrated a commitment to ethical behaviour, independence of thought and sound judgement across the range of academy responsibilities; employees, procurement, estates, compliance, equality and the best educational opportunities for the whole child.

Paula Conlin BSc PGCE NPQH - Chief Executive Officer

Paula is the Chief Executive Officer designate for the Trust and so is an ex-officio Trustee. She has 15 years’ experience of headship with repeated experience of school improvement as deputy headteacher, headteacher and IEB member. Within 18 months she led her own school from special measures to good and supported another school that also went from special measures to good. Paula has also worked as an inclusion consultant for the local authority and within a private company in the education sector.

Lloyd Willday

Lloyd is the CEO and executive headteacher of The Adelaide Academy Trust. As a headteacher, his own school was awarded TES Special School of the Year. He is a widely respected and exceptionally experienced leader of special schools in both the public and private sector, and provides consultancy, quality assurance and school improvement support in a variety of settings.

Melanie Renowden BSc

Melanie is executive director of school and systems partnerships for Ambition School Leadership, the education charity formed by the merger of two predecessor charities; Teaching Leaders and the Future Leaders Trust. She leads a team of 80 people with an £8 million budget to deliver development to school leaders at all levels and is responsible for stakeholder relationships with RSCs, MAT CEOs and other system leaders. Prior to this she held senior posts developing organisations in the education sector.

Angela Lewis

Angela has 15 years’ experience working in children’s services commissioning early years, youth services and targeted family support services for local authorities. She has extensive experience of safeguarding systems and practices in education and social service settings. She has previously served on an interim executive board. Angela is currently a commissioning manager working within a shared service across two boroughs. Angela has qualifications in business management, and coaching and mentoring.

Professor Graeme White - Diocesan Trustee

Graeme is a widely respected and well known medieval historian and educator recently at the University of Chester. As a retired senior academic he also has extensive experience of organisational development of organisations and people. Graeme is extensively connected into the communities of Chester Diocese including Chester Cathedral. He has reviewed other colleges and universities for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and is emeritus professor of local history at the University of Chester.

Mavis Sellers B.Ed, NPQH

A retired headteacher, Mavis has extensive experience leading and developing schools that ‘require improvement’ to meet the standards expected, working with governors, staff, aspirational parents and children to overcome the challenges required to secure rapid improvement.  She has used her experience to coach and support other headteachers facing similar challenges.  Mavis has worked in a variety of schools and has been a member of several governing bodies.  She was a Leading Maths teacher for Cheshire and worked with the British Council on international exchange visits to enhance educational practice in the UK in order to raise standards and achievement for children nationally.  She has mentored graduates for Manchester Metropolitan and Chester Universities on the Graduate Teaching Programme and Schools Direct.  Mavis continues her links with education through her work as a Schools Consultant for Chester Diocesan Board of Education.

Our Members

Nicholas Gill BSc CEng MIET SIIRSM

Nick is a chartered electrical engineer. He is an experienced senior manager, risk manager and head of safety, health and environment, improving performance, reducing risk, increasing operational efficiencies and driving behavioural change across complex technical environments.

Chris Penn. The Diocesan Board of Education, acting corporately by hand of its Director

Chris is the director of education for the Diocese of Chester.  He leads the education department which supports the 116 Church of England schools across the Chester Diocese.  Chris has been involved in primary education for over 20 years in a range of teaching and advisory roles, including as headteacher of a Church of England Primary School for a 10 year period. Over time, Chris has developed a depth of knowledge, skills and experience and has worked in a range of social contexts as an effective and influential leader of education.

Ian Wilson MA PhD DIC FRSC

Acting Chair of the trustee board


There are vacancies for two more members