Home Page

Christ In All We Do

Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors are responsible for making strategic decisions about the running of the Trust. They play a critical role in accountability, effectiveness and standards and have duties as both directors (under company law) and trustees (under charity law).


The day to day running of the schools within the Trust is delegated to the local governing body and regularly monitored to ensure high educational standards.


Our Directors bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Trust.


Our Current Directors



Andrew Bailey - Chair

Andrew originally trained as a mining engineer at the University of Nottingham and Bolsover Colliery and also worked in civil engineering, mainly involving the structural inspection, investigative testing and maintenance of high rise concrete structures.  Since the closure of the Selby Coalfield, where he held a management position, he moved to Devon with his wife and children where they run a small farm and holiday cottage business. He has been a Governor at the Ilfracombe Academy since 2012 and a Director of St Christopher’s (secondary) MAT since 2013. He has developed a keen interest in education and utilising his skills, knowledge and experience to help the local community in the improvement of educational provision for all.


Dr Sean Sweeney - Vice Chair

Sean has a PhD in educational assessment from the University of Bath and he has 20 years' experience as a principal in secondary and residential special schools. He is an Associate Governor at Tavistock College, Director of Music at Tavistock Parish Church and a Director of the Tavistock Music and Arts Festival.


Fr. Paul Jones
Fr. Paul qualified as an accountant and worked in local authorities before joining the priesthood.  He is the Priest of All Saints Church in Babbacombe, Torquay and a Rural Dean. He is the Chair of Governors at All Saints CofE Academy and Vice Chair of Governors of St Cuthbert Mayne Secondary School, a church school jointly sponsored by the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.


Brenda Steel

Brenda is an education consultant with a specialism in school leadership and governance. She has 16 years' experience in this field having previously worked in local authority governor services in North Tyneside and latterly in Somerset. She was also the lead officer for Somerset Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) and for the schools involvement in Community Cohesion. Brenda chaired the National Service Improvement Group on behalf of National Co-ordinators of Governor Services (NCOGS). This group focused on providing quality services to school governing bodies. It also developed tool kits for officers supporting governing bodies through Trust status, Academy status and Federations. In November 2013, she was elected as a Trustee Board Member of the National Governors Association.


Nikki Prentice - Academy Director

Nikki has been in teaching since 1993 in Torbay and has been the headteacher of St Marychurch CofE Primary School in Torquay for 6 years. As her headship has developed she has taken on several wider roles which, in turn support her role as head. These roles include being part of the Children's Improvement Board and the local safeguarding board for Torbay, a governor of the Torbay Virtual School, a member of the pupil referral panel and a mentor for new and aspirant headteachers on the C of E NPQH course. Her strengths lie in school improvement, safeguarding, inclusion and assessment.  


Amy Laver

A commercial Associate Solicitor specialising in corporate and charity matters. Experienced in transactional corporate matters for small to medium businesses and bringing an analytical and commercial viewpoint. Charity governance specialist, with vast experience of advising schools and academies in particular.


Graham Briscoe

Graham is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Information Technology Professional, a Certified Management Consultant and a Fellow of the British Institute of Facilities Management.

He has worked in many management services roles throughout his thirty year corporate career with Royal Sun Alliance in London, Horsham, Liverpool and Bristol encompassing many roles – project and change management, information technology, quality and customer service management, continuous improvement, transformational change, facilities management, due diligence  and office and work relocations associated with company mergers and acquisitions. Graham also covers “Change Management and Facilities Management” pro-bono support to Charity, Voluntary and “Not for Profit” organisations in the south-west and south-east Wales.


Pallavi Banerjee

Pallavi is a Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Exeter.  Pallavi gained her PhD in 2016 from the University of Durham. Her thesis evaluated the impact of STEM enrichment and enhancement activities in improving attainment and participation of students. Making use of the National Pupil Database the study looked at students qualifying for various deprivation indicators. In addition to the secondary data analysis, the thesis included a systematic review exploring factors linked to the underachievement of students in maths and science in school.  Pallavi now leads the MSc Educational research programme and is also the Widening participation officer. She teaches quantitative methods on postgraduate modules and supervises doctoral students.


Julia Croughton

Julia qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1994; having worked in practice for many years, specialising in the not for profit sector, Julia escaped to the other side in 2013 to work for a charitable trust in the leisure industry, before deciding to move the St Christopher's to work as part of the central team supporting the strategic aims of the MAT and individual academies. As part of a previous role in practice Julia supported a number of academies in their earlier days of conversion.


Jo Evans

Jo Evans is CEO of St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust, currently 17 primary schools across Plymouth, Torbay and Devon Local Authorities. Jo has been re-energising the organisation to work collaboratively, operate effectively and continue to grow in a sustainable way. Jo has a very strong research informed background, being part of the Cambridge Primary Review Board of Directors. She has been a leader in a range of rural and city schools, in which she has taken one school from Special Measures to Outstanding and the most recent from Good to Outstanding. This has been achieved through her resolve to provide a principled approach to education.

Jo has recently written a book chapter for Routledge, “Aims into Practice” and has been involved in the creation of the Church of England Professional Qualification for Headship.


Contact our directors:

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love that you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10