Professor John Crewdson

Professor John Crewdson is Chair of the Board of Directors. Professor Crewdson has a lifetime of experience in secondary and higher education and was Chair of Governors at Ripley from 2003 to 2018. For a number of years he was also a National Leader of Governance and supported governors in a number of local primary and secondary schools.


Revd Canon Peter Ballard

Canon Ballard is Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. Canon Ballard is also Chief Executive of DBE Services a company which supports schools across the north of England with compliance, repair, capital work and decarbonisation planning. He holds several national roles including being the Treasurer of The National Society. He is a former Chair of Directors of the University of Cumbria. He is governor of a local community primary school. Peter has extensive experience of a many aspects of the educational and commercial sectors.

Mr Ben Ardern

Mr Ardern is currently Finance Director at a local SME Manufacturing business and is a fully certified CIMA Management Accountant with over 20 years experience in Finance.  He has held senior positions in multinational companies and brings extensive regulatory and strategic experience to the Trust.


Mrs Dawn Cheetham MBE

Mrs Cheetham is a Director of Commercial Kitchen Services Ltd.  She is a Non Exec Director of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and a Governor at Ripley St Thomas.


Mr Michael Dudfield

Mr Dudfield is a solicitor and retired local government director having worked for many years within local government, ultimately as Lancaster City Council’s Director of Legal and Admin Services which also included HR and estate management functions.   He is currently the Chair of Governors at Carnforth High School


Mrs Nicky Gomersall

Mrs Gomersall is the Headteacher of a double-form Primary School in Fulwood, Preston.  This is her third Headship within Lancashire.  Nicky is an ex-National Leader of Education and has considerable experience working with primary schools and their Governing Bodies in challenging situations.



Mr Christopher Hopkinson

Mr Hopkinson is a Town Councillor in Kirkham, Lancashire and Head of Protection Sales, for Sentinel Corporate Risk in Preston. He has spent the last 34 years working within Banks and Insurance Companies, the last 20 years in Senior Director roles for Legal & General, LV and Aegon UK and brings a wealth of knowledge and commercial experience, from working in this highly regulated environment.

He has been responsible for Distribution, including national teams of over 150 staff members, Key Account Management, Project Management, commercial negotiations and ongoing relationships with various software providers, Product Development, Distribution Risk and Governance, Third Party Reinsurer relationships and has been involved with many Financial Services external bodies and Trade Associations.

Mrs Sally Kenyon

Mrs Kenyon is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bay Learning Trust.




Mr Philip Bell

Philip Bell is CIPD qualified HR business partner and change specialist with eight years’ experience in the HR profession. Before joining Thermo Fisher Scientific, Philip worked as HR Business partner for various companies. Now Philip is a HR manager who provides high level HR expertise, support and coaching to managers on various aspects of HR such as policies, processes, people management and career development.

Phil has been Chair of Governors at Morecambe Bay Academy for over 3 years. He has great loyalty and commitment to improving outcomes for pupils in Lancashire.

Mr Paul Boustead

Paul Boustead ,MSc, CCIPD is a consultant in Employee Relations, Organisational Development, Transformation and Change. Until recently he was the Chief People and Culture Officer at the University of Leeds. He has over 20 years’ experience in HR and OD in the UK, which has included Local Government, Local Education Authorities/Children and Young People Services, the National Health Service and Higher Education Institutions and a Non-Executive Director of multi academy educational trust and supports several school governing bodies in his locality.

Latterly Paul has been playing a leading role in advising and supporting Boards and Executive Teams in developing their workforce strategies and transforming working practices in a post pandemic environment.

Before joining the University of Leeds where he became the inaugural Chief People Culture Officer, he was the Executive People and OD Director at Lancaster University, for nearly a decade and was responsible for developing and implementing their first and second People and Culture strategies which contributed to them becoming University of the Year and securing a sustained top 10 league table position and a rapidly increasing global profile. Paul was until recently the elected Chair of Universities Human Resources (UHR) and sits on several national groups/committees including the national pay negotiation board for the sector and the USS employers’ pensions group.

Mrs Jane Watson