Meet The Team

This is the team behind our Governance Programmes:


Gemma Hargreaves – Professional Learning Business Manager
Gemma has 7 years of experience working in governance, completing the NCTL Clerks’ Development Programme in November 2015.  Gemma has experience of governance in both a primary and secondary setting, within both maintained, academised and within a Multi Academy Trust.    Gemma left the role of Clerk to Trustees for the Marches Academy Trust in September 2017 to take on the new role of Professional Learning Programme Co-ordinator remaining within the Trust, working with Cavelle to deliver both the NPQ and Governor Development licences.  Due to her background in governance, Gemma is enthused to be involved in the delivery of training that supports governance in schools as she understands well how important training is for governors.

Fiona Stagg – Strategic Lead for Governance /Facilitator
Fiona is a national leader of governance and currently chairs two primary schools in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire. She is also a trustee of a three-school MAT in Nottinghamshire. She is an experienced clerk and works with a range of primary settings including single academy trusts, local governing boards, special schools, maintained nurseries and multi academy trust boards. An active participant in governor and other leadership networks Fiona is also a WomenEd regional leader for the West Midlands, facilitates both bespoke and commissioned governor and clerk development programmes and regularly publishes a blog from the perspective of the clerk.

Fiona has been a governor for almost 15 years, understands the increasing pressures placed upon governors and trustees and is passionate about ‘sharing and learning’ from each other and bringing system leadership to life.
Fiona also carries out external reviews of governance using the NCTL model and was previously a facilitator for the Edge Hill Governor Training modules.

Mike Humphreys – Facilitator
Mike is an experienced secondary school leader and facilitator  for professional learning, using skills gained as a senior leader in two large secondary schools.

Mike was the strategic leader for staff development at a large specialist secondary school, including leading on staff professional development and performance management, NPQML, NPQSL and M. Ed.

As the strategic leader for a SCITT, Mike wrote the bid and developed the programme for professional learning, training mentors and facilitators, liaising with partner schools and universities, assuring compliance with DfE and statutory requirements to ensure the highest possible quality of provision for trainees as a result of rigorous quality assurance. This role also encompassed research and development in cross phase school projects on ‘Life without Levels’ and SEND.
Under our previous licence Mike facilitated learning on the full range of governor training courses, training over 500 school governors. He has been a governor for 2 primary schools and 2 secondary schools. One of these went from Ofsted ‘inadequate’ for leadership to Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ in 18 months. Mike was also a secondary school governor (staff) for the better part of seventeen years.

Michelle Foster – Facilitator
Michelle is an experienced school governor and is currently chair of governors at a secondary school in Wigan.  She also has experience of governance in the primary sector and IEBs.

During the last licence period Michelle delivered the NCTL Governor Workshops and Leadership Development Programmes across the North West. Feedback from sessions delivered were consistently rated as excellent with participants going away from the workshops armed with the confidence and the ability to ask sensible, relevant questions at governing board meetings, and with more confidence in their own leadership abilities after the Leadership Programme.
Michelle has worked within a school improvement team of a local authority as well as within a central team of a multi-academy trust.  Michelle has experience of leading governing board self-evaluation, headteacher recruitment, recent Ofsted inspections, pay appeals, disciplinary hearings and school complaints, as well as developing and restructuring governing boards to improve efficiency and impact.

Michelle is a national leader of governance, has supported schools in the North West and is accredited by The National College to carry out external reviews of governance. Michelle has recently volunteered with Inspiring Governance to mentor future chairs of governors.

John Hesketh – Facilitator
John is a self-employed education consultant working with schools and local authorities to support and improve governance. John has a particular interest in working with governing bodies and schools in difficulty. This interest in governor and leadership dates from the late 80s and his involvement in training and developing governors and headteachers to prepare and support them in their developing delegated responsibilities. Before becoming self-employed 9 years ago, John was employed at a senior level in local authorities in roles with responsibility for the leadership and governance in schools. This involved running a teacher’s centre, development of appraisal schemes and introduction of performance management, development of a clerking service for governing bodies and developing and delivering training for governors.

Participation in these roles allied to John’s commitment to governor development provided a strong base from which John delivered under our previous governor leadership licence and clerk’s development programmes – as well as development and delivery of the DfE free workshops. As such, John is familiar with the competencies required by NCTL programmes.
In his free time John is Chair of an outstanding standalone secondary school academy and has chaired a multi academy trust.

Geoff Watts – Facilitator

Geoff Watts recently retired from his post as a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health at the University of Chester. His interest in leadership stems from over ten years ago when he was commissioned to write and deliver a leadership development programme for senior NHS staff.

Geoff has also had considerable experience of school governance having been a governor of a large secondary school and sixth form college for twenty years, ten of which as chair of governors.

Geoff believes passionately in the need for all those involved with school governance to develop their leadership and critical thinking skills through personal evaluation and reflection, as well as the capacity to work with others in  collaborative manner.

Meet The Team