School Improvement Team

Key document: “The Offer Provided for Schools in the Trust”


Roy Halford

Chief Executive

Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Rowan Learning Trust. He co-ordinates aspects of school improvement areas across the Trust which includes: senior leadership support and development, headteacher performance management, budgeting/financial management, staffing structures/HR, buildings and site matters, succession planning, governance and business continuity. Roy is the line manager of the Director of Education, finance and Information Systems members of the RLT school improvement team.


Phil Rimmer

Executive Headteacher

Phil is Executive Headteacher for the Trust.  He has co-ordinated, and led, the support for more than twenty schools; the impact of which has been as great as a 23% increase in 5A*-C including English and mathematics. Phil co-ordinates aspects of school improvement areas across the Trust which includes: senior and middle leadership support and development, student progress, SLE deployment for school-to-school support, curriculum planning, quality assurance, ARR, SEFs/SDPs and pastoral. He also co-ordinates leadership and subject networks within the Trust and is the line manager of the teaching & learning, English, maths and safeguarding/SEN members of the RLT school improvement team.


Rochelle Conefrey

Director of School Improvement

Rochelle was appointed as Head of English of Hawkley Hall High School in 2007 and then assistant headteacher in 2013. She initially oversaw an improvement in English results from 57% in 2007 to 82% in 2013. She is a member of the senior leadership team of the Rowan learning Trust (RLT) with responsibility for cross-trust teaching and learning. In addition, she is a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) and a trained facilitator of both the Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP) and the Improving Teacher Programme (ITP). She has a breadth of experience in supporting colleagues in other schools, using her developed coaching skills in many ways. In total, and to varying degrees, she has supported nine schools in her work as SLE. The focus of this work is to develop leadership skills, working closely with newly appointed heads of faculty and ultimately to help schools to improve student progress and consequently to raise attainment. She was also an original member of the Hawkley Hall Teaching and Learning Programme writing team and has taken part in senior leadership development which focuses on encouraging people to take on group goals as opposed to individual goals.


Jeanette Rigby

Safeguarding & SEN

Jeanette has worked in education for twenty years. She started at Hawkley Hall High School in 2005 as a pastoral leader. Teaching PSHE, Jeanette went on to become Head of Inclusion and Executive Head for SEND and safeguarding across the Trust and is Special Leader in Education (SLE), supporting other schools in developing SEND provision. She has a wealth of experience working with children, young people and their families; in particular, those with special educational needs and looked after children (LAC).

Since 2008, Jeanette has been the designated safeguarding lead. She also facilitates level 1 safeguarding training, designated safeguarding lead training and safer recruitment training across schools in Wigan and surrounding areas. Jeanette facilitates training of the designated person for child protection for Wigan Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB).

Jeanette is a keen ambassador of continued professional development for staff (CPD). She has been the lead professional in developing the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme (OTAP), designed to improve knowledge and understanding of how children learn. Jeanette’s relevant qualifications are a foundation degree (FDA) in teaching and learning in secondary education and BA (Hons) in teaching, learning and mentoring. She is currently completing an MA in special educational needs (SEN) and inclusion.


John Robinson

Information Systems

John has worked in the IT sector for over ten years, joining Hawkley Hall High School in 2006 as an ICT technician. He now holds the post of Information Systems Manager for the Trust. In this role, John has responsibility for the IT support of all Trust schools, devising and implementing ICT strategy, information security and e-Safety. John has extensive experience of working with schools to align technology with teaching & learning, working with senior leaders and key stakeholders, with a core focus on improving standards and achieving value for money. John has also led on major ICT projects, including extracting schools from managed services. John’s team also provides contracted support to non-Trust schools and partner primary schools.

John holds a BSc (Hons) in Information Systems, an MSc in Educational Leadership & Management and is a qualified PRINCE2 practitioner for project management.


Gill Goulding

Trust Business Manager

Having enjoyed a successful career working at manager level in the banking and legal costs sectors for more than 20 years, Gill joined Hawkley Hall in 2006. She held the posts of Finance Officer/Office Manager and Business Manager prior to appointment to the role of Trust Business Manager in September 2013. This gives Gill additional responsibility to the Trust Board for the effective governance and performance of financial matters across the Trust. She supports the Trust and its establishments in meeting all of their financial obligations. Gill has extensive experience of working with a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders across both private and public sectors. Adept at financial planning and management, Gill has used research, analysis and negotiation skills to successfully contribute to the Trust’s drive for continuous improvement for its students. She has Certificate of School Business Management (CSBM) and Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) accreditation