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Severn Federation Academy Trust

Learning together with minds that think and hearts that care

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Meet our Trustees



Louisa Davies, Chair of Trustees.


Louisa has over a decade's experience in education & governance. She first became a governor at Lydney C of E in 2008 and then joined Aylburton Governing Body. She has been a Chair since 2014. Louisa is a Local Leader of Governance and provides both formal & informal support to other Chairs and Governing Bodies in the area.

Louisa is a qualified teacher and has worked with children and young people in many roles, giving her good knowledge of a range of different educational settings including working with children with SEND, Children in Care, at academies, state schools, faith schools and Further Education. She currently teaches at a Secondary Academy in South Gloucestershire.



Rachel Dare, Chief Executive Officer

Rachel has been a headteacher and executive school leader in different local authorities in England & Wales. After a first headship in Monmouthshire, she became Executive Headteacher in Gloucestershire in 2013, leading the schools to form the successful Severn Federation. Rachel was proud to open the Severn Federation Academy Trust in January 2021. Rachel is passionate about supporting schools to provide excellent education and providing creative school support solutions.

Qualifications include:

B.Ed hons Educations (specialism Music), M.Ed Child Psycology, NPQH; and in 2018 was designated as a National Leader of Education.

Elizabeth Jenkins

Liz is a retired teacher who worked in inner city Bristol for 16 years. Liz has lived in Lydney for the last 34 years and has two grown up daughters who attended Lydney C of E Primary, during which time she was a governor for the school. As a National Leader of Education and Head of a Teaching school, Liz contributed to Early Years policy and practice at a national level. Liz also worked as an Ofsted Inspector inspecting schools in the South West for four years. 


Chris Maclay

Chris Maclay is the Vicar for St. James Church in Bream, with responsibilities around the Forest. Chris has four grown children and three grandchildren. Before joining the Severn Federation Academy Trust as a Trustee Chris was a governor at four different schools. Chris is strongly committed to growing communities and has a passion to see every child be given the possibility of flourishing and becoming the best that they can be.

Hannah Straine-Francis. 

Hannah has been a governor for over five years; she is the Chair of the Ethos & Education Committee and has recently completed her NGA Chair training. She has a particular responsibility for Safeguarding and Looked After Children across the Trust. Hannah is a secondary school teacher in Gloucester, and has over 10 years experience working in both LA and MAT schools and Further Education. Hannah is also a co-opted governor at a primary school in Gloucester.



Lesa Cooksley

I have been a governor for Severnbanks Primary School since 2017. My roles included Finance Officer (Internal Assurance), monitoring EYFS and Starlets and was Chair of the Finance Committee. 


I am a qualified accountant with 25 years' experience.


I have four children, two in primary school, one in secondary and one grown up. I have fostered children and young people over a period of ten years, retiring when I became an adoptive parent.

Trustees Information

NameAppointed ByCommitteeResponsibilityRegister of InterestsGovernor of another SchoolTerm of Office
Miss Louisa DaviesMembers

Ethos & Education Committee




Pay Panel

Chair of Trustees (14.03.22 to 13.03.23)


Equality & Diversity

Member of SFAT, Local Leader of GovernanceNo20.11.20 to 19.11.24
Mrs. Rachel DareMembers

Ethos & Education Committee


Finance Committee

Miss Hannah Straine-FrancisMembers

Ethos & Education Committee


Pay Panel

Chair of E&E Committee

(01.03.22 to 28.02.23)



Children in Care

NoneCo-opted governor, St. Helens, Alveston20.11.20 to 19.11.24
Mr. Mark HigginsonMembers

Finance; Audit & Risk Committee

Chair of Audit & Risk Committee (10.01.22 to 09.01.23)


Health & Safety

Child at a SFAT schoolNo20.11.20 to 19.11.24
Rev. Chris MaclayDiocesan Member

Ethos & Education Committee


Christian Distinctiveness



Joy for Children and Communities,

PCC of St. James' Church Bream,

Member of Diocesan Board of Education

No20.11.20 to 19.11.24
Mr. Scott Michael BowenMembers

Finance; Audit & Risk Committee


Director of  HPJV Solicitors,

Law Society Council Member,

Spouse of an employee of SFAT

No31.03.22 to 30.03.26
Ms. Elizabeth JenkinsMembers

Finance; Audit & Risk Committee

Vice Chair of Trustees (14.03.22 to 13.03.23)


Local Academy Committees

Provides WGSP trainingNo20.11.20 to 19.11.24
Mrs. Lesa CooksleyMembersFinance; Audit & Risk

Chair of Finance Committee (07.03.22 to 06.03.23)



Director; Severnside Properties Ltd.

Sole Proprietor; Accounting Services

Trustee, Severnbanks School:

End of Term 01.03.2022

07.02.22 to 06.02.26




NameAppointed ByCommitteeResponsibilityRegister of Interests


of another School

Term of Office
Mr. Maurice BloomfieldMembers


Audit & Risk Committee

Chair of Finance CommitteeTrustee of Bledisloe New Zealand Memorial TrustNo20.11.20 to 16.12.21
Mrs. Nicola KnightMembersFinance; Audit & Risk Committee Child at SFAT school, employee of GCCNo20.11.20 to 31.03.22




Trustees Attendance

Board of Trustees Meetings 21/22







L. DaviesYXYY  
R. DareYXYY  

M. Bloomfield

(Retired 16.12.21)

M. HigginsonYXYY  
N. KnightApologiesXApologiesApologies  
L. JenkinsYXYY  
H. Straine-FrancisYXApologiesApologies  
C. MaclayApologiesXApologiesY  

L. Cooksley

(Appointed 07.02.22)


S. Bowen

Appointed 31.03.22)



Board of Trustees Meetings 20/21










L. DaviesYYYYYYY7/7
M. BloomfieldYYYYYYY7/7
C. MaclayApologiesApologiesYYYYY5/7
L. JenkinsYYYYYYY7/7
H. Straine-FrancisYYYYApologiesYApologies5/7
N. KnightYYApologiesYApologiesYApologies4/7
M. HigginsonYYYYYYApologies6/7


Finance Committee Meetings 2021/2022

R. DareYYY 
L. JenkinsYApologiesY 

L. Cooksley

(Appointed 07.02.22)

M. HigginsonYYY 


(Appointed 31.03.22)


N. Knight

(Retired 31.03.22)



Audit & Risk Committee Meetings 21/22



R. DareY-----------  

N. Knight

(Retired 31.03.22)

M. HigginsonYY   
L. JenkinsApologiesApologiesY  

L. Cooksley

(Appointed 07.02.22)


S. Bowen

(Appointed 31.03.22)



Finance; Audit & Risk Committee Meetings 20/21


M. BloomfieldYYY3/3
R. DareYYY3/3
M. HigginsonYYY3/3
L. JenkinsYYY3/3
N. KnightYYY3/3


Ethos & Education Committee Meetings 21/22

H. Straine-FrancisYApologiesY  
R. DareYYY  
L. DaviesYYY  
C. MaclayYYY  



H. Straine-FrancisYYY3/3
R. DareYYY3/3
L. DaviesYYY3/3
C. MaclayYYY3/6