Meet our MAT Board Members

Tim Edwards

Tim is an experienced senior manager, who has held a number of senior positions in public and private sector organisations, in particular in the Further Education, Housing and Regeneration sectors. He has significant skills and experience of strategic, performance and quality management, and social value.

Tim is a Director and owner of TJE Consulting a specialist consultancy business, Chairs of Leek United Charitable Trust and Martec Training and a Board member of VAST and MSV Housing.

Tim has an MBA from Keele and a 1st Class Honours degree from the Open University.

Born in North Staffordshire he has a strong commitment to the area and its economic growth and in particular education and training. Tim lives in Newcastle and is married with two children


Dr Sharon George

“I attended Keele University as a mature student in 1997 to study dual honours Biology and Chemistry BSc. I then went on to complete a PhD in thermochemical corrosion of materials in 2000 with Keele and Ceram Research. I worked as Keele’s Business and Enterprise Manager until 2008 when I left to run my own training and innovation company, NovaSci Ltd. During this time I lectured in innovation and entrepreneurship at Coventry and Staffordshire Universities and managed innovation projects across a variety of industrial and educational sectors.

I am currently a Senior Lecturer and Course Director for the MSc in Environmental Sustainability and Green Technology at Keele University where I am a  researcher working with industry and public sector to find solutions to climate change nationally and internationally.  I have been a member of the MAT since 2016


Wendy Whelan

“I started teaching in 1986 and have 20 years’ experience of leadership in schools at a senior level and experience of school improvement via Local Authority and Department for Education Pathfinder and Free School development work.

I have a passion for ensuring that through education everyone can have access to equality of opportunity. Since 2015 I have also been a Pupil Premium Champion qualified in undertaking Ofsted directed Pupil Premium reviews. I have also chaired a number of Education-Business partnership groups in past roles and think it is important for our academies to make solid links with non-education institutions – to this end we are growing our number of partners working as part of our Trust.

I am very proud to be Chief Executive Officer of United Endeavour Trust. We are proud of our achievements, of our staff and students and we are ambitious for continual improvement which progresses us towards achieving high academic and pastoral standards. We have a strong commitment to developing the whole child and to working in wider partnerships to allow our students to experience active citizenship and a good preparation for employability and a life based on developing well-being. We have only been a Multi-Academy Trust since October 2015 but we have developed clear structures for the successful governance and management of the MAT which are being used as good practice examples with a number of developing MATs.”

Jenny Johnston

“I am the Training and Development Manager at KMF, where I have been employed for 20 years. My role has changed over the years from Health and Safety and HR Manager to Training and Development of staff and apprentices.

In 2007 I led the setting up of an internal apprentice training facility which is EAL accredited, in which we have trained over 80 apprentices over the last 10 years. I am PGCE qualified and the West Midlands Apprentice Ambassador for the ESFA. I am proud to say that KMF have won awards for apprenticeship delivery and are one of the top 100 apprentice employers.

I am delighted to be a part of the United Endeavour Trust Board, as I work very hard to engage with schools and young people in Stoke on Trent to raise aspirations in STEM related subjects.”

Alex Hansen

Alex is a former Clayton Hall Business & Language College Pupil turned Governor, currently sitting on both the Clayton and Newcastle Governing Boards & acting as Chair of Newcastle Governors. After finishing education in 2013 he joined N Hunter Ltd a Staffordshire based fraud prevention agency.  Throughout his time at N Hunter Ltd he has held a number of roles, from Investigator where he worked with high street banks and lenders to prevent application fraud, to Compliance & Relationship Manager where he developed a strong GDPR knowledge and aided in the creation of privacy policies for finance applications.  Throughout his career he has been heavily involved in auditing, health & safety and systems management gaining multiple qualifications along the way.  In his free time Alex is a Blood Biker for SSCBB aiding in the delivery of vital medical supplies across the UK. He is also Treasurer for a number of charity accounts, aiding in both fund raising as well as being responsible for account management, awarding grants to individuals and making donations to other charities.

Fiona Norfolk

“I have extensive experience of leading organisations through periods of transformation by providing strategic direction and clear communication. I have worked through a number of mergers/acquisitions and programmes where a company has chosen to fundamentally change its operating model.

In my last corporate role, I was the Managing Director of Portion Solutions Limited, a food packing company in the West Midlands. I now run my own business making personalised and hand printed products.

I have a BSc (Hons) Social Policy from the London School of Economics (LSE) and I am a fellow (FCMA) of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). I started my career as an accountant in practice and quickly changed to business accounting, progressing to Finance Director and then to Managing Director.

I am a Parish Councillor and a member of my local Community Association.”

Pauline Gibson

“I am privileged to be a Director/Trustee of the MAT Board. I am passionate about every child having an equal opportunity to reach their potential.

I am an experienced Board Member as well as being a Non-Executive Director in the NHS. As owner of Excel Coaching and Consultancy Limited, I also specialise in strategic leadership development, executive coaching, transformational teams, and culture change.

I am proud of my ability to create an environment where dynamic, cohesive teamwork and individual excellence delivers tangible sustainable outcomes.

I did not follow a traditional route through education and my Masters and other Post Grad qualifications have been attained alongside full time working. I have taught adults literacy and numeracy skills and lectured at University.

As a fellow of the CIPD I believe in the power of behaviour and mindset in achieving outstanding results.”