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.



Angela Cattermole  – Trustee

Angela spent over seventeen years in senior financial roles within the education sector in both FE and multi-academy trusts. Her role included management of HR, IT, and Facilities teams as well as budgeting and financial reporting. She retired at the end of 2020 and moved to Shropshire from the Essex-Hertfordshire borders in June 2021.




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.


Pam Edwards – Trustee

Pam is the Diocese of Lichfield appointee with a special interest for the church schools within the Trust. She works part time for the University of Chester, as a Visiting Lecturer on the BA and PGCE Primary Education Programmes, and as a Partnership Liaison Tutor, working with primary schools in Shropshire, Powys, and the North West. Prior to this, she was a Headteacher of two Church of England primary schools in Shropshire and has had a long career in primary education also working in the West Midlands and Powys. She was an adviser for Shropshire Council and her areas of expertise are leadership and management, SEND and safeguarding.


Mark Liquorish – Trustee Responsible for Educational Standards

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 30 years and is also a local Rotarian. Mark is the Chair of the Educational Standards Committee and is responsible for safeguarding and health & safety.


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.





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.




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

Anna qualified as a solicitor in 2004.






The Church of England Central Education Trust (CECET) is the Diocesan Corporate Member of Marches Academy Trust. Its interest is to ensure Church of England schools within the Trust maintain and develop their religious ethos which is to be both distinctively Christian and inclusive of all. It views education as enabling the flourishing of all pupils and staff to develop their God given potential.

CECET is represented at Members meetings by an officer of the Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education.


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.

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