George Beveridge – Chair/Trustee

George has worked in the nuclear energy industry for the past 30+ years in a variety of roles, including an 8 year assignment as Deputy Managing Director of Sellafield Ltd from 2008-16. George’s experience includes plant and project management, R&D, business management as well as general management of several businesses, including major international joint ventures.

George has played a key part in the socio-economic development of the areas in which he has worked. He was a founding Director of the Cumbria Inward Investment Agency as well as founding Chair of the Cumbria LEP; member of the Transport for the North Board; Chairman of Inspira Ltd and former Regional Chair of CBI NW. George has also acted as sponsor of an outstanding Academy secondary school in Cumbria and is an NED on the DfE Northern Regional Board.  George was appointed Chair of Business North in April 2018 and has served on its Steering Group since inception in 2015. He has lived in Cumbria for 32 years and enjoys walking and mountain biking in his spare time.

Lorrayne Hughes – CEO/Trustee

Lorrayne is the Chief Executive Officer of Cumbria Education Trust, the county’s largest multi-academy school trust.

Lorrayne took up her first Headship at William Howard School in Brampton in 2007 and in 2014 was commissioned by the Local Authority to bring about rapid improvement in two special measures schools in Workington. One of the schools was removed from Special Measures within 20 weeks.

She has led CET since inception to its current position where it is responsible for the education of more than 4,000 children across three secondary schools, eight primaries and West Coast Sixth Form.

Lorrayne passionately believes in inclusion and that all young people deserve a high-quality education. Children are firmly at the heart of all her strategic decision-making.
All schools work closely together following Lorrayne’s lead that collaboration can make a difference to all involved, from pupils and students to staff and their communities.

Lorrayne is a board member of the Confederation of School Trusts, the sector body for school trusts.

Margaret Payne – Trustee

Born and brought up in Northern Ireland, Margaret read Law at Nottingham University before completing her training as a solicitor in Nottinghamshire and London. She has worked in a high street legal aid firm in London before moving to Carlisle in the 1980s. Margaret continues to work as a solicitor in private practice. She established her own practice specialising in crime and mental health law in 1998.

Margaret was a Governor of her daughter’s primary school and then became a Parent Governor when she moved to William Howard School about 16 years ago. When she left for university Margaret stayed on! She has lived through many of the changes in education with the school, and worked with 3 Headteachers in that time. In many ways, joining the Trust Board was a natural progression.

Margaret’s working life brings her into contact with young people who face a range of challenges including difficult family circumstance and mental health issues. That has given her an insight into the many pressures that young people and families face, and the context in which education takes place.

As someone who benefitted from a good state education, Margaret is committed to equality of opportunity for all, so the involvement of the Trust in raising standards and aspirations both at primary and secondary level in Cumbria is a very exciting development in which she feels she is privileged to be involved with.

Dr Andrew Johnson – Trustee

Andrew Johnson was until January 2018 the Executive Director of Children’s Services at Northumberland County Council. Previously he was a Senior Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools. He is a qualified teacher with over 30 years’ experience in schools and colleges and has gained extensive senior management experience, including as a director of education with a variety of organisations.

Andrew has worked as leader of education for a large national charity, been a special school headteacher and held senior leadership posts across education and voluntary sectors. His responsibilities include improving science, ICT, literacy and numeracy outcomes in schools, colleges and teacher-education programmes. Andrew holds a Doctorate in education focussing on Special Educational Needs policy and its impact on children and young people.

He currently works as a part-time Director of Educational Projects for Northumberland County Council and works as an educational consultant.

Michael Donnelly – Trustee

Michael is an internationally experienced HR executive who has delivered on challenging assignments and led people and change across every continent across the globe. Having started his working life in the north west with United Utilities, he has worked around the world and also lived in the USA and the Middle East, as a senior leader in organisations including Avaya, Bass, BBC, Convergys and Serco.
Michael has been an invited speaker and presented at HR leadership events in Brussels, New York, San Diego and Singapore.
As a Chartered Fellow of CIPD, Michael now brings his experience and skills as a Non Executive Director and HR consultant in support of small enterprises and educational Trusts, including Stramongate and Penny Bridge Academies in Cumbria.
He is married to Angela and their growing family live in Cumbria, Hampshire and Scotland and he loves to spend time with them all. Michael likes to travel, keep fit and loves his music and sport. He is a drummer by trade and a Liverpool FC season ticket holder by birth!

Prof Rob Trimble – Trustee

Professor Robert Trimble is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Cumbria, where he has executive responsibility for all academic matters across the University which includes academic portfolio development, student experience, student outcomes and success, academic quality and standards, teaching and learning developments, international strategy, external educational partnerships and the oversight of a number of Academic Institutes and Professional Services.
Previously he was Pro Vice Chancellor (Education and Student Experience) at the University of Sunderland, where he had responsibility for student success and outcomes across all campuses. Prior to this, he held positions as Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law and Associate Dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences, at the University of Sunderland. He is a Chartered Engineer with a wide knowledge and experience of the engineering and manufacturing sectors. Prior to joining the higher education sector, he spent a decade working in aerospace engineering with Rolls Royce Plc.
He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Quality Reviewer for the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

Jane Routledge – Trustee

Jane was born, brought up and went to school in Cumbria before leaving for university and ultimately a career in London in the Financial Services sector. As Marketing & Communications Director in a number of investment management businesses, including two large multi-nationals and a small privately-owned firm, she has led big change initiatives as well as being responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies for a range of internal and external audiences. She has many years of experience in strategic and operational brand development, marketing, client and employee engagement as well as extensive experience of creating and leading client-facing functions in fast growing organisations.

Jane has served in voluntary roles for two adoption and permanency panels. She has also acted as a guest speaker for a national adoption charity to help raise funds, advocating in particular for cared-for children with specific learning difficulties. She is currently a mentor for a University of London programme for first generation undergraduates.

Being brought up on a farm on the Solway coast, Jane had it instilled in her from an early age that education would give her choice and mobility. She firmly believes in the power of education to change lives, and is especially keen to be involved in helping raise the ambitions and opportunities for children with specific learning difficulties – children for whom every day in school can be a real struggle.

Jane is married and has a son, three step children and two rescue dogs from Dogs Trust.

Deborah Shaw – Trustee

Deborah has a long career in Human Resources both in professional services and financial services. An honours graduate of St Andrews University and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, she was the Head of HR and member of the Executive Committee for a number of years in a UK private bank headquartered in London. She developed and delivered the HR strategy through a period of acquisitions and digital transformation, before retiring from full-time employment in 2020. With a strong background in governance and remuneration, Deborah also championed flexible working, corporate social responsibility and diversity in the workplace. Now spending time on consultancy and trustee work and splitting family time between homes in Lancashire and Cumbria, Deborah and her family have a long history of enjoying the Cumbrian fells. She is a regular runner, cyclist and walker, hobbies which she shares with her husband and has passed on to their two sons.

Brought up near Edinburgh she comes from a family with many varied roles in education. She has always involved herself with her sons’ schools and has maintained links with their former senior school supporting older students with career advice and interview skills practice. She is a strong believer in the value to be gained from links between schools, communities and business and is delighted to be able to use her background and professional knowledge in support of the Cumbria Education Trust.

Jeff O’Neill – Co-opted Trustee

Jeff is a Chartered Accountant and an experienced Non-Executive Director.

Following a career in financial services based in the North-east, Jeff relocated to Cumbria in 2015 and retired from executive employment in 2017. He lives in Eamont Bridge near to Penrith.

He is currently a Non-Executive Director of Justships Ltd. which is a wholesale marine insurance broker; and for the three years to September 2021 was a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of a local NHS Trust.

With involvement as a non-remunerated Non-Executive Director between 2006 and 2018, Jeff was for several years Chair of RASCALS Ltd which was an OFSTED regulated community social enterprise providing affordable childcare in the economically deprived area of South-East Northumberland.

In his executive career, Jeff was employed for 25 years by North Group, a marine mutual general insurance group of companies where he was Finance Director and a member of the senior leadership team.

Phil Cook – Co-opted Trustee

Phil Cook is currently CEO of a group of colleges in the North East of England. After a successful career in the Royal Navy, Phil moved into further education, starting as a teacher Phil now has over 20 years senior management experience, including nine years as a CEO. He was appointed a National leader for Further Education in 2020 and has led or supported the successful transformation of a number of colleges. Living in Cumbria Phil loves the outdoors, he enjoys mountaineering (but only the easy stuff), cycling and spending time with his family.

Richard Berry – Trustee

Richard was born, brought up and went to school in rural Oxfordshire before joining the British Army at 16 as a soldier, specialising in Payroll before qualifying as a Chartered Management Accountant, specialising in project accounting and Business Case financial modelling.

Following a successful 30-year career in the Forces, serving all over Europe and beyond, he and his wife Janet moved to Cumbria from the North East, where they still live.

Since retiring from the Army, Richard worked for an international IT company as the European Middle East & Africa Lean Transformation Finance lead for over 3 years before taking the plunge and setting up his own company some 7 years ago.

This has enabled him to gain experience contracting for various industries from perfume distributors to cruise ships to energy providers to Central Government departments. His current contract is working in the nuclear industry involved with transformation and benefits realisation.

Richard is a volunteer for the Alston Moor Business Association, where he is currently deputy chair. The aim of AMBA is to promote Alston Moor and its surrounding areas on business & tourism related matters to attract visitors as well as strengthening & improving the local economy.

Richard & Janet have two grown up sons, who both live in the Northeast with their partners, and a Grandson.

Members

Margaret Payne – Founding Member

Born and brought up in Northern Ireland, Margaret read Law at Nottingham University before completing her training as a solicitor in Nottinghamshire and London. She has worked in a high street legal aid firm in London before moving to Carlisle in the 1980s. Margaret continues to work as a solicitor in private practice. She established her own practice specialising in crime and mental health law in 1998.

Margaret was a Governor of her daughter’s primary school and then became a Parent Governor when she moved to William Howard School about 16 years ago. When she left for university Margaret stayed on! She has lived through many of the changes in education with the school, and worked with 3 Headteachers in that time. In many ways, joining the Trust Board was a natural progression.

Margaret’s working life brings her into contact with young people who face a range of challenges including difficult family circumstance and mental health issues. That has given her an insight into the many pressures that young people and families face, and the context in which education takes place.

As someone who benefitted from a good state education, Margaret is committed to equality of opportunity for all, so the involvement of the Trust in raising standards and aspirations both at primary and secondary level in Cumbria is a very exciting development in which she feels she is privileged to be involved with.

Martin Simpson – Founding Member

Martin has worked in the Media Industry for the majority of his working life. He has worked in an advertising agency as an account executive with retail and garage chains for four years before moving to the newspaper industry. Here Martin worked as a Sales Director at the Hexham Courant for 6 years before moving to Cumbria to set up two different companies for the Cumbrian Newspaper Group (CN Group). Martin started a business Directories Company in Penrith which covered the whole of Cumbria and worked on this business to get it to break even within 3 years. He was then asked to set up a market research business for the Group where he developed the business from a standing start to a turnover of £750,000 in 8 years.

Martin left the industry in 2011 where he trained to become a teacher. He now works at Carlisle College as a lecturer in Business and History.

Martin has a degree in Government and Public Policy and an MBA (Masters in Business Administration).

He has a wife Jill and two children Ben and Beth.

Debbie Francis OBE

Debbie currently holds a number of Non-Executive positions in both the private and the public sector alongside running a consultancy and executive coaching business. Debbie was previously the Managing Director of Direct Rail Services Limited; a rail freight business which provides freight services to the nuclear industry as well as a variety of other services including intermodal freight for Tesco and several passenger services across the country. Debbie has 30 years of experience across a range of industries from IT to infrastructure maintenance to rail. She has also gained extensive experience throughout her career both in the UK and overseas in finance, systems, commercial, operations and business development.
Debbie has held previous positions as a governor of an independent school and an academy. She has a 2:1 degree in Business Studies from Liverpool Polytechnic, an MBA from Manchester Business School and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA).

Cliff Lewis

Cliff is now a CET Member, having served as a Trust Board Director and nominated Safeguarding Director for several years. Cliff also chaired the Whitehaven Academy Local Advisory Board for an extended period bringing leadership, balance and energy to the newly formed Board. Having been secondary educated at Chelmsford Technical School, Cliff lived in the Chelmsford area for most of his adult life through which he has enjoyed a long and successful career in financial services. He remains a Director of a medium sized firm of independent financial advisers. In the past, Cliff has undertaken various voluntary roles including that of writing exam questions for the Chartered Insurance Institute’s various financial services examination papers.

In 2007 Cliff moved to Cumbria with Pat, his wife of 39 years, with a view to achieving a better quality of life and enjoying a quieter, cleaner and more attractive environment for their retirement. They spend time exploring Britain’s inland waterways on their narrowboat ‘Rainbow’s End’

Resignations in the last 12 months

  • Neil Crewdson – 22/11/21
  • Sheila Goodliffe – 14/01/22

To view the Meeting Attendance Records and Registers of Interest for the Trust Board click the button below.