Trustees and Members

Trustees, like Directors of other companies, are registered at Companies House. Their main duties are:

• The daily running of the Academy Trust and the management of the Trust’s business affairs;
• Ensuring the standard of education at schools within the Trust:
• Entering into contracts on the Trust’s behalf;
• Ensuring that relevant statutory documents are delivered to Companies House;
• Managing the Academy Trust’s finances and property;
• Taking part in board meetings of the Trustees.


If you wish to contact any of our Trustees or, if you are interested in becoming a Trustee or a Governor, please contact Bee Lopez Bloor, Clerk to the Trust’s Boards, either by telephone: 01691 664400 or via email:



Sarah Finch – CEO

Sarah took up her headship at the Marches School in April 2009. In 2011, she became a National Leader in Education and in 2014 completed the National College for Teaching and Leadership Fellowship Programme.   She led the Marches School into becoming an Academy in August 2011. In May 2012, Sir John Talbot’s School in Whitchurch were given a Notice to Improve category and Sarah was asked to step in to support the school through this challenging period.   In 2014, Ofsted moved the school to a ‘Good’ category and Sir John Talbot’s School joined The Marches Academy Trust in August 2014.

As CEO, Sarah continues to drive the Trust to expand, employing its capacity and experience to inspire and motivate students and staff and create a family of academy schools with a shared set of visions and values.   As CEO, Sarah monitors standards within the Trust, evaluating the progress of sponsored schools and reports on her work to the Board of Trustees.


Alex Fry – Chair of the Board of Trustees 

Alex joined the local governing body at Sir John Talbot’s school as a community governor, shortly after it joined the Marches Academy Trust, chairing it for several years before being invited to become a Trustee.  He has been actively involved in the school throughout the time his three children have attended, running after-school clubs for computing, robotics and hockey.

Along with his wife, Alex is a co-founder of a Whitchurch-based technology company with an international client base, which has provided work experience opportunities for local students for many years.  Outside of work and school, he is currently chair of Whitchurch Hockey Club, and actively involved in playing and coaching players of all ages.


Catherine Bennett – Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees 

With an MA in Human Resource Management Catherine has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development for over 20 years.  Catherine is currently the CEO of a successful Employee Benefits Technology business which she founded 10 years ago.  Catherine has experience of managing change during growth as well as providing strategic direction.  Catherine was appointed as a parent Governor of Lower Heath CofE School in 2017.



Stuart Cowper – Trustee Responsible for Audit & Risk

Stuart is part of the Leadership Team at Shrewsbury School with responsibility for Partnership and Community Engagement.  He has experience in academic and pastoral leadership and management, having previously been a head of department in modern foreign languages and also a housemaster in two boarding houses.

Stuart is also a trustee of ‘Shrewsbury House’, a youth club in Everton which supports the local community there.


Mark Liquorish – Trustee Responsible for Educational Standards & Chair of the Marches School Local Governing Body.

Now retired, Mark previously worked as a Health Services Manager for the Shrewsbury and Telford National Health Service Trust. During his 42 years’ service to the Trust, Mark managed a team of up to 50 staff and developed his skills in logistics management, budgetary control, people management and statistical analysis. He took a strategic approach to the services that would be required in the future and during this time he reformed patient transport services in Shropshire and was part of several major redevelopments of the Trust. Mark has been a governor for 20 years and is also a local Rotarian.  Mark is the Chair of the Trust Educational Standards Committee.


Arthur Walpole – Trustee Responsible for Finance & Operations

Arthur, retired Shropshire Councillor, spent his working life with British Telecom in Coventry, BT HQ in City of London and Oswestry. As Operations Manager, Arthur was mainly concerned with planning and operating the UK transmission and switching network. He delivered million pound projects, managing teams of up to 300 staff.


Keith Winter – Trustee

Keith has spent his working life in the accountancy profession and has successfully grown his businesses from a  small one man band to a large firm employing over 100 staff. He now works as a Consultant for the firm advising clients on strategy and business development as well as acquisitions and disposals and share valuations.

Keith has been on the Board of Directors of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce since 2008. He served as President for three years and Chairs the Finance Committee  and sits on the Marketing committee. He previously served on the British Junior Chamber National Board and was a member of Shrewsbury Round Table and Shawbury Rotary.



Arthur Walpole – Member 

Arthur, retired Shropshire Councillor, spent his working life with British Telecom in Coventry, BT HQ in City of London and Oswestry. As Operations Manager, Arthur was mainly concerned with planning and operating the UK transmission and switching network. He delivered million pound projects, managing teams of up to 300 staff.



David Griffiths –  Member 

David previously held senior management posts with HSBC Bank, involved in network reorganisation and H.R. but specialising in business and commercial banking throughout Wales and the Midlands.  Now semi-retired, David is an Accounts Manager for a local business. David has been a governor of The Marches School for 15 years.




Bob Pearson – Member 

Predominantly involved in the building industry for 40 years, in many different capacities. Bob is currently the Commercial Director of a Quarrying Company, employing 94 people and working nationally. Bob was a Governor at The Marches School for 20 years.




Robert Forrester – Member

Robert was a Director of Reg Vardy plc between 2001 and 2006 where he held the roles of Finance Director and Managing Director. Robert qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen. He was also a member of the Economic Growth Board of the Confederation of British Industry. Robert founded the Company in 2006.



Anna Burgess – Member


Register of Interests of Members and Trustees
The Members and Trustees of the Marches Academy Trust are required to complete an annual Declaration of Business Interests. Copies of these declarations are held by the Clerk to the Trustees and are inspected annually by the appointed Auditors.

Please click here to enlarge.




Trustees and Members