Setting our Strategic Direction

Our Members and Trustees act collectively to govern our trust and take strategic decisions. What do our Members and Trustees have in common? They understand the communities we serve and they are committed to ‘giving something back’; to having a measurable impact on education and positively influencing the lives of children and young people in Cornwall. 

David Hobbs

CELT Member

David is a former Deputy Headteacher and school governor who brings a wealth of experience from his career as an education adviser to Cornwall Local Authority and as SW Regional Adviser for the Training and Development Agency for Schools. He now works as an education consultant and owns CPD Peninsula Educational Consultancy Ltd. Away from his teaching career David has been both a magistrate and youth magistrate.

Ian Taylor

CELT Member

Ian is a Partner at Coodes LLP Solicitors. He has over 25 years’ experience of family law matters. He holds a full time judicial position as a Deputy District Judge of the Western Circuit with special permission to hear children matters. He is also a Family and Children Law Panel Assessor for the Law Society. Ian has been a Trustee for a number of Cornish charities including Relate-Cornwall and Cornwall Community Foundation.

Nick Warren

CELT Member

Nick has had a successful career as a chemical engineer in the oil and gas industry, most recently as Engineering Manager for Tullow Oil and, prior to that, BG Trinidad and Tobago. He studied Chemical Engineering at Surrey University where he obtained a PhD. Nick’s area of expertise is Higher Education. His aim is for CELT to work with HE organisations to raise aspirations and increase opportunities for pupils.

Geoff Brown

CELT Trustee, Chair of Board

A former Cornish headteacher, Geoff has served as the Liberal Democrat member for Newquay Central since 2007. Geoff is Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport.  Geoff has been with the Newquay Lifeboat for over 20 years. He led the local Cliff Rescue team for 25 years and has twice been awarded the Chief Coastguard’s Commendation.

Jonathan Childs

CELT Trustee

Jonathan is the Finance and Facilities Manager for an NHS GP Partnership based in St Austell. Jonathan’s areas of expertise are IT, communication, finance, and contracting. He believes that good facilities management is an important piece of the jigsaw in the running of a highly performing school, academy or MAT; it is only when things go wrong that people tend to notice.

Jo Connolly

CELT Trustee

Jo has had a long and successful career within financial services. She has run her own company for the last 16 years providing compliance support and business coaching to financial advisers across the UK. Jo has two children and enjoys being involved in the parent teacher association. She also volunteers in schools, nationwide, providing money education workshops to school leavers. Jo is passionate about empowering our next generation to really understand what financial security is all about.

Sean Dixon

CELT Trustee

Sean has been a doctor in the NHS since 1998, since 2009 as a consultant trauma and orthopaedics surgeon. Good governance, education and relentless objective scrutiny of performance are fundamental to his work. Sean hopes to use these skills to help our academies continue to set and achieve aspirational targets for performance and development.

Steve Dunn

CELT Trustee

Steve has 35 years of teaching experience. He was a Deputy Headteacher for 17 of those years. He is a Trustee of Trenance Cottages. He is a Member of Newquay Rotary Club, Cricket Club and Newquay Hornets RFC. His areas of expertise are Quality Assurance, Finance, School buildings, sites and facilities.

Sarah Karkeek

CELT Deputy Trust Lead

Sarah has had a successful career as a teacher and as the Founding Director of Happy Days Nurseries. Her area of expertise is governance. She is a National Leader of Governors. Sarah brings her experience to enabling our trust academies to take a central role in developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system.

Jason Knights

CELT Trustee

Jason’s area of expertise is media and public relations. He is founder and CEO of Knights MPR. He is an award-winning communications and public relations strategist who has more than 20 years experience in Business-2-Business and Business-2-Consumer roles, providing global expertise in the public and private sectors.

Ashley Mann

CELT Trustee, Vice Chair of Board

Ashley is Deputy County Commander and Paramedic for the NHS South Western Ambulance Service. He is responsible for operations across 17 ambulance stations. He is also a retained fire-fighter based at Newquay. Ashley joined Newquay RNLI in 1992 and is a long-standing helmsman and crew member of the Newquay lifeboat.

Lisa Mannall

CELT Trust Lead

Before her appointment as CELT Trust Lead, Lisa was Regional Schools Commissioner for the South-West from 2017-19. Prior to the DfE position she was Executive Headteacher of Newquay’s Trenance Learning Academy, and then Chief Executive Officer of Cornwall’s The Learning Academy Trust. Lisa is a National Leader of Education.

Kym O’Mara

CELT Trustee, Chair of Staffing & Remunerations

Kym is currently Deputy Head of Campus at Cornwall College St Austell and Curriculum Lead for the Cornwall College Group. She has worked in Further Education for over 10 years. She is a degree qualified Sports Therapist and also works locally within football.

Sebastian Parker

CELT Trustee, Chair of Estates, IT & Climate Change

After finishing school in Newquay, Sebastian travelled through Africa before studying Agriculture at Seale-Hayne College in Devon. He returned to Cornwall to join the family business of farming and manufacturing ice cream. The Callestick Farm brand has since established a reputation that has seen continual growth in its market share.

John Simeons

CELT Trustee, Chair of Audit & Finance

John’s varied career has included engineering, logistics, and product, project, and process management. He worked for a number of telecoms companies including BT. John changed career direction with a move to Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ltd as Management Accountant. He now volunteers with Citizens Advice and is a director of a property management company.

Greg Slater

CELT Trustee, Vice Chair of Board

Greg is a Chartered Architect and Head of Design for Treveth Holdings LLP. He has been London Director and Board Member of AWW Architects, and managed the renovation sector portfolio for PRP Architects, one of the largest practices in the UK. Greg’s interest is sustainable design and construction, and he has led on projects in Cornwall which include the St. Austell and China Clay Area Eco-Town and the Eden Project’s Green Build Hub.