Welcome to the Governor and Trustee section to support effective governance within the Trust.  We are currently writing short read articles to support current, new and aspiring Trustees and Governors in their roles.  They can be printed into a three fold document.  Please find them below.

Multi Academy Trust Board for Southport Learning Trust

Stuart Bellerby, BSc (Eng), PGCE, PGDip, MBA 

Co-opted trustee 

Roles on the board: 

  • Chair of the board 

The key skills I bring to the board are: 

  • Education and School Improvement 
  • Governance  
  • Commercial in the public sector and finance. 

I have spent my professional career working in and with schools and local government and it is this experience, and the competencies gained, that I bring to the Board. Having spent the early part of my career teaching mathematics in secondary schools, I moved across to local government 20 years ago. I have had a variety of roles in school improvement including mathematics and ICT adviser roles, and then onto senior secondary school improvement adviser overseeing high schools in a Northwest Local Authority.  

More recently I have taken up roles in local government leading and coordinating school traded services, and developing and implementing the council’s commercial strategy. 

I have overseen school governance services at local government level, and have led training on governance matters. I have found my knowledge and experience of school governance useful during my time as a governor at Greenbank High School and then as one of the founding trustees of Southport Learning Trust. I have held roles as a governor at other local schools and academies over the last 20 years. 

In my spare time I enjoy music, especially live events, and also enjoy participating and watching sports. 

 Claire Buck  

Chair of Governors, Greenbank High School  

 Roles on the board:  

  • Vice-chair of the resources committee 

I am a senior lecturer at Edgehill University, for primary English and early years foundation stage.   My research has included using reading groups to encourage reading for pleasure, and the use of technology to assist in the same field.    

 I am passionate about reading, and the access that this provides to the whole curriculum.  My work has me exploring many aspects, such as motivation for reading, successful boy readers, early reading and writing development, and child development.  

 Prior to joining Edgehill, I was a primary school teacher.  Alongside my role at Chair of Governors at Greenbank, I have gained a wide experience of education across all ages.  

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to serve on both the Greenbank and the Southport Learning Trust boards, and proud to be supporting so many of our children and young people to be successful. 

 Craig Clifford 

Parent trustee 

I have been in the financial services industry for over 20 years and have worked in major US and Swiss financial institutions in London, Europe and the Middle East where my roles included compliance, risk and anti-money laundering.

In my current role I am based in Liverpool and responsible for some of the key operational processing areas for Pershing, Bank of New York Mellon. I am a member of the Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) Operating Committee.

I am passionate about supporting careers and work related learning to support pupil aspiration and have encouraged my company to work with Trust schools on mock interview and industry days.

Roles on the board: 

  • Chair risk and audit committee 

 Rich Cottier BA (Hons) 

Co-opted trustee 

Roles on the board: 

  • Vice-chair risk and audit committee 
  • Link trustee for SEND  

The key skills I bring to the board are: 

  • Governance 
  • Strategy 
  • Finance 
  • Marketing 

Initially gaining business experience in an accountancy practice, followed by a career in financial services, I have for the last 25 years worked for an IT services organisation. Most recently I have managed, within a Transformation Programme Management Office, multimillion-pound investments from conception to delivery. 

For the Trust this means I can effectively challenge the leadership team and provide direction and vision where appropriate. I am good with both detail and the bigger picture, and understand governance frameworks well. As an excellent senior level communicator, I can break down complex subjects into simple concepts. 

I am determined to do all I can to support the Trust’s provision of excellence, both educational and vocational. 

Over the last few years, I have raised funds for a Liverpool-based brain injuries foundation trust charity, with a series of activities, most recently with the ROC triathlon (2020). 


 Philip Power, BEng (Hons) Combined Engineering 

Chair of Governors, Kew Woods Primary 

Roles on the board: 

  • Link trustee for disadvantaged children 

The key skills I bring to the board are: 

  • Collaborator 
  • People orientated 
  • Passion for education 

I have been chair of governors at Kew Woods Primary School for eight years and a trustee at Southport Learning Trust for three years. Outside of education, my current role is with Homes England, “the government’s housing accelerator.” Previously, I have owned an engineering business, worked in education looking after assets and facilities, and spent several years as a retail manager.  

Throughout my career, I have championed the need for collaboration and the importance of a work culture that makes people feel involved and respected. These are the skills and passions that I bring to Kew Woods, Southport Learning Trust, and the golden thread of all I do. 

My passion is to help young people achieve their potential through education and ensuring children have the best opportunities to succeed whilst growing into responsible and caring individuals. 

In my spare time, you will find me treading the boards at the Little Theatre in Southport. I am the Chair of BOS Musical Theatre Company. We have been established for 60 years and we stage two fantastic musicals a year. 


 Ian Raikes BA (Hons), PGCE, NPQH, NPQEL 

Chief Executive Officer 

The key skills I bring to the board are: 

  • Educational leadership. 
  • Governance  

I was a Head teacher for 10 years with the school I led being consistently in the top 20% of schools nationally. I led the creation of the Multi Academy Trust in 2017 and in turn the sponsorship of a secondary school which moved from Inadequate to Good in 2020. I have an excellent knowledge of the local community we serve and sit on various strategic boards such as Southport Town Deal Board, Liverpool City Region Careers Hub, Sefton and Knowsley Sky Music Hub, Sefton Safeguarding Children’s Partnership and Chair the Southport Learning Partnership. 

I am passionate about the difference groups of schools working together in communities of school improvement can have on improving the life chances of the children we serve. I am dedicated to the growth of our Trust in the locality to support schools to grow, collaborate and achieve economies of scale.  

I have a love of sport, especially rugby, cricket, football and tennis, the environment as a Geographer, and the Arts. This translates into my vision for the wider curriculum for children. I am happily married with four children and fully aware of the demands of raising children as they grow through the different stages from nursery to higher education and the support they need. 

Paul Blott BA (Hons), MBA

Chair of Governors Birkdale High School

Role on Trust Board

Audit and Risk Committee

Areas of Expertise

· Education and skills policy

· Contract and performance management

· Leadership coaching and development

I spent the majority of my career working as a senior civil servant focused upon skills policy and the delivery of positive outcomes for learners, before establishing a small management consultancy organisation specialising in research and evaluations projects and supporting organisational improvement.

I believe passionately in the value of education and have been a governor for over five years supporting Birkdale High School and its offer to boys in the Southport area.

In my spare time I enjoy watching football and playing padel tennis, as well as reading and walking our Boston terrier.


Colin Davies

Chair of Governors Meols Cop High School


Roles on Trust Board:

Resource Committee

Audit and Risk Management Committee

Areas of Expertise:

· Strategic Development and Implementation

· Educational Strategy and Masterplanning

· Financial expertise including asset management, risk management

· Construction and property professional

I spent 30 years of my professional career at leading universities as Director of Estates and Facilities delivering estate strategies that underpinned teaching, leaning and research strategies and managing budgets in excess of £250 million per annum.

I currently have my own consultancy practice specialising in providing strategic and operational services to a range of private and public sector clients including The Department for Education, Fuji, The Royal College of Art and various leading universities.

I have a commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and was previously a Board Director for a mental health charity.

I am passionate about Widening Participation and have set up various Modern Apprenticeship schemes to enable young people to develop careers in construction related sectors.

I am currently Regional Chair of the Chartered Institute of Building and previously held the roles of Regional Chair of the Association of University Directors of Estate, Director of the North West Universities Purchasing Consortium, Advisor to the Board of the City of Liverpool College.

Allan Jones

Current trust role – To be Assigned

Areas of expertise

· Team work

· Challenge

· Change management

· Finance

I have been chair of governors at Bedford Primary School for five years, where I also chair the Finance committee and I am safeguarding Governor. I am retired following a career in Telecommunications, initially as an engineer and mostly as a Programme Manager in IT. In my career I was always leading change and concentrated on the impact on the end user or customer, looking at the impact on them. Similarly, I bring this to my work in schools, my driving force in any decisions being “does this make it better for the children?” I was very lucky to get a great education due to the individual efforts of my teachers, rather than the “system” and am passionate to try and help our schools make that difference and not have to rely on individual teachers. Outside my voluntary work I am a season ticket holder at a local football club and love skiing and walking in the French Alps. I am also chair of another Primary School, in Formby.


NameGovernor TypeTerm FromTerm ToAdditional InformationEmail
Stuart BellerbyCo-opted Trustee23 Jun 202122 Jun 2025Elected Chair of Trust Board 22.09.2021sbellerby@southportlearningtrust.org
Paul BlottTrustee12 Sep 202211 Sep 2026Chair of Governors - BHSpblott@southportlearningtrust.org
Robin Buchanan- BrownCompany Secretaryn/an/arbuchananbrown@southportlearningtrust.org
Claire BuckTrustee14 Oct 202013 Oct 2024Chair of Governors - GHSbuck_c.gov@greenbankhigh.co.uk
Craig CliffordParent Trustee21 Jun 202320 Jun 2027cclifford@southportlearningtrust.org
Louise CobainCo-opted Trustee30 Mar 202229 Mar 2026lcobain@southportlearningtrust.org
Richard CottierCo-opted Trustee23 Jun 202122 Jun 2025rcottier@southportlearningtrust.org
Colin DaviesTrustee1 Apr 202331 Mar 2027Conversion to Trust 01.04.2023 Chair of Governors - MCHSc.g.davies2018@icloud.com
Michelle DowMembern/an/amdow@southportlearningtrust.org
Anja GouldbourneGovernance Professionaln/an/aClerk to Governors at GHS, Kew Woods & SHS.agouldbourne@southportlearningtrust.org
Allan JonesTrustee1 Apr 202331 Mar 2027Appointed to Board following conversion of Bedford Primary School to Trust 01.04.2023.ajones-governor@bedfordps.co.uk
Phil PowerTrustee20 Apr 202319 Apr 2027Chair of Governors - Kew Woodsp.power@kewwoods.com
Ian RaikesCEO and Trusteen/an/airaikes@southportlearningtrust.org
Peter ReedTrustee26 Sep 202225 Sep 2026Chair of Governors MHSreedp@maghullhigh.com
Bina ShuklaCo-opted Trustee6 Dec 20235 Dec 2027Chair of Governors SHSbshukla@stanleyhigh.co.uk
Anna SmithObserver13 Sep 202112 Sep 2025CFOasmith@southportlearningtrust.org
Kate WebbMembern/an/akwebb@southportlearningtrust.org


SLT Full Trust BoardSLT Full Trust BoardSLT Full Trust BoardDue Diligence Meeting - TrustFull Trust Board MeetingSLT Full Trust BoardSLT Full Trust Board
GovernorGovernor Type28 Sept 202223 Nov 202214 Dec 202222 Feb 202324 Mar 202321 Jun 202312 Jul 2023
Stuart BellerbyCo-opted TrusteeYYYNYNY
Paul BlottTrustee – Chair of Governors BHSNYNYYNY
Claire BuckTrustee – Chair of Governors GHSYYNYYYN
Craig CliffordParent DirectorNYYNYYY
Louise CobainCo-opted TrusteeNNYYYYY
Richard CottierCo-opted TrusteeYYYYYNY
Colin DaviesTrustee – Chair of Governors MCHSNN
Allan JonesTrustee – Chair of Governors BPSNY
Phil PowerTrustee – Chair of Governors KWYNYYYYY
Cathy RaeStaff TrusteeYYYYNS
Ian RaikesCEO and TrusteeYYYYYYY
Peter ReedTrustee – Chair of Governors MHSYYNYYYY
Ruth WilliamsCo-OptedYYYYYYY
Trust Board MeetingFull MAT BoardRisk and AuditFull MAT BoardFull Trust BoardFull Trust BoardFull Trust Board
GovernorGovernor Type22 Sep 202120 Oct 202108 Dec 202102 Feb 202230 Mar 202218 May 202213 Jul 2022
Stuart BellerbyCo-opted TrusteeYYYYYYY
Mr Robin Buchanan BrownCompany SecretaryYYYNYY
Mrs Claire BuckTrusteeYYYYYYY
Craig CliffordParent DirectorYNYNYYY
Louise CobainCo-opted TrusteeYYY
Richard CottierCo-opted TrusteeYYYYYYY
Ms Anja GouldbourneClerkYYYYYYY
Dr Richard HadjiMemberYYNS
Mr Geoff HoweTrusteeNYNSYYNY
Mark MeliaStaff DirectorNSNNN
Mr Phil PowerTrusteeNSYNYYNY
Cathy RaeStaff DirectorYYYYYYY
Mr Ian RaikesCEO and TrusteeYYYYYYY
Mrs Anna SmithTrusteeNYYYYYY
Ruth WilliamsTrusteeYYYYYYY


NameRemoval ReasonGovernor TypeFirst AppointedFromToLeaving Date
Mark MeliaResignedStaff Trustee5 Jun 20195 Jun 20194 Jun 202331 Jan 2022
Dr Richard HadjiResignedMember23 May 201717 May 2023
Cathy RaeTerm of Office ExpiredStaff Trustee5 Jun 20195 Jun 20194 Jun 20234 Jun 2023
Ruth WilliamsResignedCo-Opted Trustee1 Sep 201712 Jul 202311 Jul 202714 Nov 2023


Name of GovernorDeclared Interest
Mr Richard CottierEmployed by BT
Mr Stuart BellerbySenior Manager (School Traded Services) at Wirral Council. Vice Chair at Birkdale High School.
Mrs Claire BuckEmployed by Edge Hill University. Member of the Sefton Children’s University Board (representing EHU).
Mr Ian RaikesForum member of Sefton Local Safeguarding Children Partnership.Board, Member of Elevate EBP Limited, Member of Governing Body for Sky Music Hub, Headteacher Board Member for Liverpool City Region Careers Hub, Lead Deliverer for National Professional Qualifications for Best Practice Network and Rainbow Teaching School Hub.
Ms Ruth WilliamsMember of Sefton Corporate Parenting Board and Chair of Sefton Governors Association.