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Chess Valley Primary Learning Trust

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The Board of Directors (also known as Trustees) carry out the all important strategic work of the Trust. They are permitted to exercise all the powers of the academy trust; be responsible for the three core governance functions; hold the CEO to account and must comply with charity law requirements.


As company directors, they must also comply with the 7 general statutory duties of a director set out in the Companies Act 2006; must ensure annual returns are submitted to Companies House and be responsible for directing the affairs of the charity so that it delivers its charitable object.

Mr Nick Moorhouse (Chair of Trust Board - sits on Finance, Audit & Risk Committee)

Nick is a former Director of Operations (Hatfield House). Responsibilities included: strategy, finance, premises, senior management team, archives, security, events, retail, hospitality, visitor experience, caretaking, business development and entrepreneurialism.


He is also a Non-Executive Director for institute of Civil Engineers; Trustee of Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival and governor at Watford Girls Grammar School.


Previous roles include: Divisional MD of FTSE 100 company; Adviser to The Faculty of Tourism, Nice University, France; HR Manager of hotels in London; Employer of large management and operational teams.


Dame Gillian Pugh (Vice Chair of Trust Board)

A former Chair of Christ Church Chorleywood C of E School Academy Trust, and of the Academy Governing Body (member 2013 – 2015.  Chair since Jan 2015).  Instrumental in setting up the MAT.


Numerous roles, both executive and non-executive in the education and children’s services sector: adviser to Department for Education (1990 - 2005); adviser to House of Commons Education Select Committee (2008 - 2010); Chair, Cambridge Primary Review (2006 - 2009).


Employment: Chief Executive of children’s charity Coram (1997 - 2005); director Early Childhood Unit, National Children’s Bureau (1986 – 1997).


Trustee: National Children’s Bureau (chair, 2006 – 2012);  Training and Development Agency for Schools (2006 – 2012); Children’s Workforce Development Council (2005 – 2012); Parenting Education and Support Forum (chair – 1999 – 2007); National Family and Parenting Institute (1999 – 2007); Thomas Coram Early Childhood Centre (chair – 1998-2005); Friends Provident Foundation (2005 –09).


Mrs Julie Disdale (also Vice Chair of Sarratt School)

Julie has been a Journalist for more than 15 years. She is experienced with handling and investigating complaints as a journalist, and specialises in watchdog-style industry reports into poor service or product quality, on behalf of readers. She holds a Masters in Marketing. Julie was part of the strategic working party for academy conversion and the formation of the MAT.


Julie has wide-ranging experience mining large databases of government or industry data in her work as a news reporter. She is a visiting Lecturer for the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Humanities, and Life and Medical Sciences. She teaches journalism and is a tutor to first year Psychology undergraduates.


Julie has a good, broad understanding of business, gained from more than 25 years’ working in professional roles for a variety of businesses across a number of sectors. These include City-based blue chip companies such as chartered accountants, surveyors, banks and investors. Worked for the BBC, for national newspapers and, for the last 15 years, within the motor industry, writing for a large publisher in London.


She is currently Vice Chair on the Sarratt C of E Primary School local governing body, an elected parent governor. Responsibilities include: Head of School appraisal and  Chair of Board’s Learning and Welfare committee.


Mr William Hall (Chair of Finance, Audit & Risk Committee & Internal Audit Officer for the Trust)

Bill is a qualified Chartered Accountant (FCA). Since 2001, he has been self-employed working mainly with small businesses helping with their finance and tax issues as well as preparing statutory accounts and tax returns.


Bill has been Responsible Officer for Christ Church Chorleywood C of E Academy Trust. He has also had a number of treasurer roles for local organisations and clubs.


Bill worked as a qualified Chartered Accountant (FCA). After qualifying in 1974 with Binder Hamlyn, a well-respected city firm, he spent some years working as an auditor. He also worked in tax and investigation departments. Bill then moved into industry working for a number of companies as a financial controller or similar, finally spending 20 years with a multi-national Chemicals/Pharmaceutical company where he was also involved in General Management.


Mrs Fiona Shore

Fiona is a Freelance writer and educationalist. She is Chair of Governors at Watford Grammar School for Girls. She is also Deputy Warden/Marriage Co-ordinator/Registrar at Christ Church, Chorleywood.


Fiona is a former teacher, including teaching at Christ Church School. She was also a Senior Producer of BBC Educational Programmes 1981-1993; Editor Scholastic Publications Magazine 1985-1987; a freelance writer on educational topics 1993 to present.


Fiona is also a Trustee of The Watford Grammar Schools Academy Trust; a Member of the Patient Advisory Panel Mount Vernon Hospital and a Beareavement Counsellor.


Mr Will Hobhouse (stepped down 31/12/20)


Mr Guy Foxell (sits on Finance, Audit & Risk Committee)

Guy is currently CEO of One YMCA for 7 years (£10m regional charity running homeless hostels, children’s centres, gyms, nursery (Ofsted Outstanding), youthwork, community centre). His role includes: strategic HR skills gained through oversight of 300+ staff and multiple TUPE and change projects; experience of performance management, job evaluation and disciplinaries.


He is also currently Chair of Watford & Three Rivers Trust for 7 years, a £1m local charity delivering county-wide well-being contracts volunteering and CVS services. In the voluntary sector, Guy has been Chair, Watford & Three Rivers Local Multi-agency safeguarding forum (part of Hertfordshire Local Safeguarding Board).


Guy's previous employment has included: Church Youth Worker, Christ Church Chislehurst (C of E), acting as local safeguarding lead; Youth Work Manager, Salmon Youth Centre.


Mr Duncan Gauld PGCE, NPQH

Duncan is the Executive Headteacher & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Trust. Previously Duncan was Headteacher of Christ Church School since 2010.


Before starting at Christ Church School, Duncan worked extensively in schools across South Buckinghamshire & the Chilterns. He trained as a secondary school Music & Drama specialist (1995) prior to a move into primary education (1999). After 10 years teaching in primary schools (1999 to 2010), including as an Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher & Acting Headteacher, he moved to work in Hertfordshire.