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Meet the Church schools team

Most of the Board of Education staff are based at:

Bouverie Court, 6 The Lakes, Bedford Road, Northampton NN4 7YD

01604 887006 

Peter Cantley

Diocesan Director of Education

The Director of Education is the Bishop's Adviser on statutory education and is responsible to the Board of Education for the Church schools in the diocese. The Director is secretary to the Diocesan Board of Education and has a statutory responsibility with matters concerning Church schools such as changes of status, creating new schools and academies, schools’ standards and diocesan educational strategy.   

The Director leads and manages the diocesan education team, co-ordinating a range of services to schools, including headteacher and deputy headteacher appointments, senior leadership professional development, governance support, curriculum and ethos advice, RE and collective worship training, and school site development.  He also liaises with the three LAs (Northamptonshire, Peterborough and Rutland) in the diocese, as well as with the DfE and the national Church of England Education Office, and is a member of the Bishop’s Leadership Team and the Association of Anglican Directors of Education.

The Director holds additional Directorships with Peterborough Diocese Education Trust and Peterborough Diocese Church Schools Trust, and serves as a Board Member for: Nene Education Trust, Rutland Learning Trust, Evolve Church Academy Trust, Learning for Life Education Trust, Montsaye Community Learning Partnership, Guilsborough Multi-Academy Trust and Innovate Multi-Academy Trust; as well as serving as a Board Member for several standalone academies: William Law CE Primary School, Hartwell CE Primary School, St Mary’s CE Primary School and Freeman’s Endowed CE Junior Academy.

 01604 887062

Peter French

Deputy Diocesan Director of Education

Peter was appointed as Deputy Director of Education in January 2019 having previously been Assistant Director of Education in Birmingham Diocese. Peter leads on school Governance for the Diocesan Board of Education and sits on a number of Multi Academy trust boards across the Diocese and also delivers Governor training. Peter also delivers training on admissions and appeals and can advise on this. In addition Peter leads on land & building issues and deputises for the Director when required.

Peter is also an ordained Priest and as such he offers advice and support to clergy and churches working with all schools but especially church schools. He also offers pastoral support to school leaders. Peter is part of the editorial board for Grove Education Booklets    

01604 887039

Liz Youngman

Assistant Diocesan Director of Education

The Assistant DDE works collaboratively with the Director of Education in order to ensure the best possibly delivery of support to church schools in the Diocese. This includes managing the Service Level Agreement and training programmes.  She is the SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) Manager keeping up to date on national SIAMS developments, scheduling and calling inspections.  She leads on the implementation of the Service Level Agreement and is in charge of  delivering the training sessions for headteacher, staff and governors..

01604 887002


Lesley Pollard

RE and CW Adviser

Lesley works from the Bouverie Court offices. She:

  • provides support and advice to school in developing their Christian distinctiveness
  • Leads training and developing resources for schools in relation to CW and RE


01604 887006


Andrew Lakatos

Schools' Effectiveness Adviser

  • Andrew leads the Board's work on school improvement.
  • He co-ordinates and quality assures school improvement activity.
  • He is a serving Lead Ofsted Inspector and a former Headteacher


Mak BedfordMark Bedford

Schools' Finance Officer

Mark Bedford co-ordinates the school site development projects on behalf of the Board of Education for VA school capital builds only. He is based at the Diocesan Office in Peterborough. He:

  • Manages the DBE budget
  • Supports schools on the use of their devolved capital and LCVAP
  • Liaises with architects and contractors for school building projects

The Board has an Approved list of Architects and Consultants. All schools undertaking site development should submit designs for outline approval by the Board.

All schools wishing to use the Diocesan Building services should consult the notes in School Site Developments.

01733 887021

Doug SpenceleyDoug Spenceley

Bishop’s Vicar for Church Schools

The Reverend Doug Spenceley provides spiritual and pastoral support for Church schools whose parish currently has no parish priest.

This may include help at times of significant difficulty or stress, contribution to collective worship and RE, and helping to maintain and foster strong links with the local parish church.

He is also available to assist members of the parish church in developing and sustaining good quality links with their church school. This may include meeting with church wardens, PCC and member of the congregation, some leading of church worship and training.

01604 887006


 Andrew leads the Board's work on school improvement.  He co-ordinates and quality assures school improvement activity.

Alex Benoy

DBE Executive Administrator

  • Alex is the first point of contact for School Admissions queries and appeals.
  • She handles Foundation Governor appointments and co-ordinates for the training programme.
  • She arranges bespoke projects as requested by schools.
  • She provides administrative support to the Directors


01604 887060 


Claire Handley

DBE Administrator

Claire assists with the administration work for appeals and governor appointments

She will be responsible for maintaining the website

She provides administrative support to the Directors and the Executive Administrator

01604 887069




Diocesan Schools Consultants

Diocesan Schools Consultants (DSCs) are provided to support the link between the Board of Education and the church schools in the diocese.  They bring experience of working in education at headteacher level with a clear understanding of the implications of running a Church of England school.

They advise

  • on the latest government initiatives
  • on the Denominational Inspection Framework (SIAMS)
  • on current OfSTED inspection arrangements
  • on current development issues being addressed by the Board of Education 


They also

  • offer support to headteachers to consider succession planning for staff and governors
  • undertake self-evaluation through the denominational inspection framework
  • develop provision for Religious Education and Collective Worship
  • strengthen links between school and parish/diocese
  • facilitate inter-church school collaborations
  • promote the welfare of the pupils and the wellbeing of the staff


They make 3 scheduled meetings to schools each year, normally termly.


Martin Adamson     


Martin is currently Headteacher of Geddington CofE Primary School. He has a BA Hons in Theology and National Professional Qualification of Headteacher.  He is a lay preacher at St Botolph's in Barton Seagrave.  He chaired the Kettering Headteachers Group and was a member of the High Needs Funding Panel for Northants.

He can be contacted on

Julie Barke


Julie was Headteacher of Walgrave Primary School and St James CofE Primary School Northampton. She has a BEd and National Professional Qualification of Headteacher.

She can be contacted on

Alistair Day

Alistair is Headteacher of St Bede's Inter-Church School in Cambridge, a Catholic and Anglican mixed secondary comprehensive school which has earned an excellent reputation and is the most oversubscribed secondary school in Cambridgeshire with GCSE attainment and progress significantly above national expectations.  Alistair has supported the leadership teams of secondary schools in Cambridgeshire in challenging circumstances.  In the past he has taught Geography and Religious Studies.

He can be contacted on

Sandy Ettridge


Sandy is Headteacher of Brigstock Latham's CE Primary School. She has worked in a number of schools in Northamptonshire for over 25 years, and has been a lead teacher, Early Years Consultant and has held a number of senior management positions prior to becoming a headteachers.  She has a passion for encouraging creativity across the primary curriculum.

She can be contacted on

Nicola Fountain


Nicola is Headteacher at Rothersthorpe CE Primary School.  Rothersthorpe was recognised as an Excellent Church of England Primary School in 2019 under the new SIAMS framework.  She is also a representative on the Headteacher Consultation Group for the West Northamptonshire Unitary Area.

she can be contacted on

Pete Grindrod


Pete was Headteacher of Peakirk cum Glinton CofE Primary School, Beanfield Junior School in Corby and Higham Ferrers Junior School.  He has a Teachers Certificate and Advance Diploma in Educational Management.

He can be contacted on

Janet McMurdo


Janet is Headteacher of Oundle CofE Primary School and a SIAMS inspector. She has a BEd from Manchester University and an MaEd from Southampton University.

She can be contacted on

Chris Newton


Chris was Headteacher at Cosgrove Village and Kingsley Primary Schools and has a BEd from Northampton University.   She was also a visiting tutor there supporting students studying Foundation Degree Early Years. 

She can be contacted on


Janet Northing


Janet was Headteacher at Kislingbury CofE Primary School.  She has a BEd from Cheltenham & Gloucester, an MA in Religious Education from Kings College London and a doctorate in education from Canterbury Christ Church University.

She can be contacted on


Annette Ray


Annette, BEd, was Headteacher of Ashton and Ringstead CofE Primary schools and is currently a SIAMS inspector.  More recently she was an Associate Tutor at Northampton University. She has a Diploma in Education Management from the University of Leicester and also a National Professional Qualification for Headteachers. 

She can be contacted on