Royston Halford

Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Rowan Learning Trust. He is a National Leader of Education (NLE) and has been a headteacher and then executive headteacher for over 14 years. Roy’s work as a system leader has been extensive since 2010 in which time he has provided support for over 40 school headteachers. Roy is a member of two educational reference groups: The DfE Secondary Headteacher Reference Group, which meets half termly to act as a national consultation group/sounding board for educational policy, and the North of England Ofsted Headteacher Reference Group.


Philip 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.



Andy Wilson

Andy Wilson became business advisor in 1995 supporting Hawkley Hall High School students within the young enterprise scheme. He is currently Chair of Governors of the school. In 2012, he was appointed as a trustee and director of The Rowan Learning Trust (RLT). In November 2012 the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) appointed Andy as a National Leader of Governance (NLG). This role involves deployment outside of the Trust to support other chairs of governors and their teams and improve how they challenge their schools’ performance. These deployments involve understanding data, building relationships, evaluating performance, self-evaluation and how to hold effective meetings. To date he has supported four high schools. Through the Rowan Learning Trust he has provided additional training to support other governing bodies. He also undertakes reviews of governance that provide an analysis of where improvement is required. This is separate to the NLG support role but is carried out by recognised NLEs or NLGs. He has provided support to other schools through the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and the National Enterprise Service. Andy has set up an independent training company and developed, designed and delivered enterprise curriculum resources and training days.

DJ Leonard image

David Leonard

David Leonard is a transport professional working for one of the largest public transport providers in the UK. He is a business manager in the north of England responsible for multimillion pound budgets and multi-site depots, delivering a safe public transport operation in the Greater Manchester area. He is a member of both the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and the Chartered Management Institute. David has been a parent governor at Hawkley Hall High School for over ten years and was recently elected onto the Board of the Rowan Learning Trust (RLT). His key areas of specialty include safety management and process implementation.


Alison Foster

Following Hawkley’s conversion to academy status in 2012, Alison became a Trust Governor and a Director of the Rowan Learning Trust. She has been a member of the Hawkley Hall Governing Body since 2005, initially as a Parent Governor, then as a Community Governor. She has served as Vice-Chair of the Governing body for several years and is also the SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities) Governor at Hawkley. Her background is in finance and accounting, having worked as an Accounts Manager/Credit Controller in the Insurance Broking market for 16 years. In 1994 she became a full-time mum until her daughter started primary school at which time she began working as a voluntary classroom assistant. She was also involved in the primary school PTA prior to joining Hawkley’s Governing Body. Alison is a director and the company secretary of the Western Skills Centre which was formed by Hawkley Hall and four other local high schools for vocational education in trade skills (e.g. building, carpentry, plumbing and painting/decorating) for 14-16 year olds.

MWoodhouseMargaret Woodhouse

Margaret was Director of Education and Early Years for Trafford Council until her retirement in 2012

Currently she is the Operational Director of By Schools for Schools, a not for profit company led by Greater Manchester Headteachers and representing Greater Manchester school leaders. BSfS is charged with supporting the development of school-to-school support across Greater Manchester. It is a single point of contact for Local Authorities and schools and holds the data base for all Teaching Schools, National and Local leaders of Education and National Leaders of Governance in the Greater Manchester area.

Margaret is also the Joint Lead for the Yorkshire and Humberside Pathfinder initiative- a collaborative project supporting schools across the 15 Local Authorities, working together on their journey to “good”

Margaret chairs the Fostering Panel for Trafford Council. She is Chair of Governors at Manchester Academy and serves on the governing body of her local primary school.

Tony BallAnthony Ball

Anthony Ball is a C-level financial professional and Chartered Accountant. He has 19 years of experience spanning financial services roles within the City of London and Europe. Responsibilities centred within the Global Investment Banking arena and recently within PE investor strategies and start-up SME’s. Anthony has sat on several Boards and has significant Corporate Governance and Regulatory experience.

Prior to his role in the City, Anthony was a Regular British Army Officer. More recently he served with the Grenadier Guards in Afghanistan.

Anthony is married with 2 children and is a keen amateur cyclist and runner.

Mel Chadwick

MelI became an English teacher at the age of thirty after a successful career in HR.  I have now worked at a senior level in sixth form education for over seventeen years and as Vice Principal of Winstanley College have been a senior manager in an Ofsted ‘outstanding’ institution for twelve years.

I have learned through this experience that a key factor in maintaining outstanding status is collaboration; not only because this helps retain key staff but also because every institution has areas for development however ‘outstanding’ their Ofsted label might be.

I am motivated by individuals surprising themselves by how much they can achieve; whether they’re trustees, governors, teachers or students.  I believe everyone needs to know what outstanding looks like and to receive clear and careful feedback on their performance compared to this definition.  This clarity about standards can often be best achieved within a Multi Academy Trust.  This is why I remain committed to the ethos of the RLT; to support children, students and adults on their journey to become outstanding