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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 Chair of Governors at Watford Grammar School for Girls and a Trustee of the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival.


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 & Chair of the Education Committee)

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).


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 (sits on the Education Committee)

Fiona is a Freelance writer and educationalist. She has many years of governance experience in both the primary and secondary sectors. She is also Deputy Warden and Weddings Coordinator 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. She edited a Scholastic Publications Magazine 1985-1987, and is now a freelance writer on educational topics.


Fiona is a Trustee of The Watford Grammar Schools' Academy Trust.


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

Guy is currently CEO of One YMCA since 2011 (£20m regional charity running homeless hostels, children’s centres, gym, nurseries (Ofsted Outstanding), youthwork & community centres). His role includes: strategic HR skills gained through oversight of 400+ staff and multiple TUPE and change projects; experience of performance management, job evaluation and disciplinaries.


He is also Chair of Watford & Three Rivers Trust for over a decade, a £2m local charity delivering county-wide wellbeing contracts volunteering and CVS services. In the voluntary sector, Guy has been Chair of Watford & Three Rivers Local Multi-agency safeguarding forum (part of Hertfordshire Local Safeguarding Board), plus Trustee involvement in several other charities which support local children and young people. 


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 Robert Finney (sits on Finance, Audit & Risk Committee)

Robert is a semi-retired lawyer.  After 10 years working in-house at several banks and commercial companies, he was a partner in three City law firms, heading the financial services practice.  At one firm he served on the firm’s board and on committees covering risk, audit and compliance.  


Robert is a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute (FCG) and has advised financial institutions on governance issues.


Robert is also a non-executive director of Plane Saver Credit Union, where he serves on its Finance Committee (and, until recently its Risk Committee) and leads a strategy working group.


Miss Emily Higgins (sits on the Education Committee)

Emily is currently studying at the University of Leeds, reading Business Management. She has spent a year on internship working in the Quantitative Research and Technology sector, working within the Human Resources function. Her career aspirations are focused on working in Human Resources, when she graduates in 2022. 


Away from her studies, Emily has worked as a volunteer at an orphanage in Cambodia run by the New Hope for Cambodian Children charity. The children living at this institution were HIV positive; part of Emily's work was to support the preparation of classrooms for the next term of teaching, as well as organise activities for the children.


Emily is a former pupil of Christ Church School and St Clement Danes in Chorleywood.


Mr Duncan Gauld PGCE, NPQH

Duncan is the Executive Headteacher of Christ Church & Sarratt Schools, & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Trust. Previously Duncan was Headteacher of Christ Church School (2010 to 2020).


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.