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Trustees

The Trustees provide strategic oversight and ensure that the Trust meets its legal obligations, both directly and through the assigned committees. It is the Trust Board, not the members, who are the organisation’s key decision makers. 

We have a strong Board, with a healthy balance of corporate and educational professionals, who are each able to bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. As a group, the Board sets the overall strategic direction of the Trust.

They scrutinise, challenge and support our educational and operational performance data, stability and emerging risks and opportunities. The Board delegates certain powers and duties to our Local Academy Councils.

This delegation is explained in our Scheme of Delegation (SoD).

Meet our Board of Trustees


Dave Cadwallader (chair)

Dave is School Governance Lead for School Improvement Liverpool. He is an established trainer in Liverpool and the neighbouring local authorities. Dave has broad experience of working with schools and academies to strengthen governance. He has also worked with the National Governance Association to deliver the National Development Programmes for both Chairs and Clerks.

Dave has been a school governor for over 20 years and has been with REMAT since its inception in 2014. He is also currently chair of a secondary, primary and special school within Liverpool.


Dave is committed to ensuring that each and every child, no matter what their background or their circumstance, reaches their potential and leaves us ready for the next stage of their life.


In his spare time, Dave enjoys listening to music. He also likes to cook food and then eat it.

Lorraine Partington (Vice Chair)

Lorraine has over 30 years’ experience within the field of education, initially as a primary school teacher in schools in Liverpool, Spain and Germany and subsequently as a Lead Advisory SEN Teacher working with children and young people, on a range of Social Emotional and Mental Health issues. Lorraine is passionate about inclusion and social justice, and believes in the right educational environment all children can achieve.

Lorraine currently works at Edge Hill University, where she was a Senior Lecturer for SEND for three years, teaching mostly on the National SENCo Award, whilst completing a Masters in SEND and Inclusion.

Lorraine has been in her current role as Head of Partnership for 8 years, leading a large team working with schools, colleges and MATs across the North West. Lorraine has been a Trustee at Rainbow for 7 years and was approached by the previous CEO. Although Lorraine already held positions as a governor of a primary school and Chair of Governors at a secondary SEMH school, she was interested in learning how a MAT operates and the impact on schools, pupils and communities.

Lorraine has two grown up children and enjoys going walking with her husband, Lorraine aims for 20,000 steps a day!

kenneth heaton

Ken is a retired Headteacher of Florence Melly Community Primary School, Walton. Ken has 40 years of teaching experience and took Florence Melly Primary School from 2 x RI to Outstanding. He continues to support schools with school improvement, and he has served on the board of Rainbow Education MAT since 1st September 2020.

Ken also chairs REMAT’s Education & Standards sub-committee.

Stephen Dunkley

Steve Dunkley is one of the newest Trustees on the board. After obtaining his BA Hons in Psychology from Manchester University in 1986 and a number of administrative roles in the late 1980s, Steve took on the role of Ergonomist in the research wing of British Steel plc in 1990. Here he developed an interest in health and safety and, after obtaining his Nebosh certificate in the late 90s, became a Safety Officer with the new iteration of British Steel, Corus UK Ltd, in 1999.

Steve spent 4 years at Corus’ steel plant in Newport (Llanwern) where he gained his Nebosh diploma before moving to Liverpool to take on the role of Assistant Safety Adviser at the University of Liverpool in 2003. The move was promoted by a downsizing of the steel plant but also a more personal desire to step out of his comfort zone and take on new challenges. Steve was promoted to the more senior role of University Safety Adviser in 2012, where he remains today.

Steve is a Welshman at heart but after over 20 enjoyable years, he has fallen in love with Liverpool and its people. At this point in his career, he feels the need to give back to the city that has welcomed him with open arms. He believes the skills and experience he has gained over his working life will add value to the Board of Trustees.

Steve has a love of music, the arts and keeping healthy. He is a strong believer in self-development and is hugely supportive of the Academy’s aim to help every child reach their potential.

Robert wyn jones 

Robert graduated from University College London in 1990 and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1996. Robert practiced in Criminal law in London until 2004 when he joined Exchange Chambers, which is based in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. Robert specialises in criminal law and employment law.

Robert has been a Trustee at the Rainbow Multi Academy Trust since 1st May 2017.

maria mcshane

Maria currently works at Liverpool John Moores, as a Health Safety and Enhancement Officer. Maria works in Estate Development, and her background is in Estate Development and Facilities Management. Maria's job role is quite varied, but one aspect of her role is looking after the adaptions of the Estate regarding any EDI issues.

Maria has worked at the University for 36 years. Maria is new to the Trust as she only became a Trustee in 2022. Maria has a particularly strong link with St Silas Church of England Primary School.

phil garrigan, obe

Phil joined Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in 1990 and during that time he has served in a variety of roles across Community Fire Stations, working with some of Merseyside’s most vulnerable and deprived communities.  Phil was extremely proud to be appointed as Chief Fire Officer in 2018.

Phil fully values his role and recognise the position of trust and respect in which the Fire and Rescue Service is held.

In addition to his role as Chief Fire Officer, Phil is also the Vice Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), and NFCC Lead for Children and Young People (CYP).  He passionately cares about young people and will continue to work across the sector to support Children and Young People, enabling Fire and Rescue Services to support and transform the lives of children across the UK.

Phil is a National Strategic Advisor, which has more recently involved me taking the national lead for the Fire & Rescue Service UK’s response to COVID19, as well as taking the lead for the deployment of fire engines and equipment to aid Ukraine. 

Phil is a Trustee and member of the Hive Youth Zone, Firefit Hub, and Rainbow Education Multi Academy Trust, as well as being an ambassador for the Cash for Kids Charity.

As Chief Fire Officer, Phil has led and supported improvement programmes that have focussed upon revising the governance of the Service and creating a performance management methodology to drive continuous improvement.   Phil is proud to say that, as a result of this work, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has significantly reduced the number of fire deaths.  Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is recognised as Outstanding by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services for its work in fire prevention, response to major and multi-agency incidents and for providing value for money.

Phil lives within Merseyside with his wife and 2 children and his aim is for the Merseyside public to have the best informed, supported, and equipped Fire and Rescue Service in the country. 

tracy dove

Tracy has worked in the financial industry for over 30 years in numerous "people centred" roles, including operational manager positions and, for the last 8 years, various roles in HR. 

Tracy's passion for education comes from previously working with a local special needs school to secure funding for specialist equipment and seeing the difference this made to the local community. Not being from an educational background, Tracy volunteered to become a Trustee at REMAT to bring a different voice and viewpoint to the table. 

duncan jacques, CBE

Duncan Jacques CBE is the CEO of Exceed Academies Trust in Bradford. Duncan holds a key insight into the education sector and brings a wealth of educational experience to the Trust. Prior to becoming a CEO,

Duncan was a successful Headteacher and Executive Headteacher, leading four schools (One in Leeds and three in Bradford) to Outstanding judgements, including one that had been in Special Measures and another that had been judged to Require Improvement twice. He is a National Leader of Education (NLE), still supports school improvement work at a local level and predominantly works in areas of significant social challenge and deprivation. He has experience of supporting Special Schools, Alternative Provision, Mainstream Primary and Secondary as well as Maintained Nursery Schools.

Duncan is the Chair of the DfE’s Priority Education Improvement Area in Bradford, his Trust runs the local Teaching School Hub, an Outstanding SCITT and The Bradford Safe Task Force. In 2019, he was awarded a CBE for ‘Services to Education’ and believes passionately in contributing to system-wide improvements.

jon everard

Jon Everard is a practising dentist working in the Prescot area of Merseyside. He has a passion for education and splits his time between clinical work and post-graduate education.  

Jon is an overseas and foundation dentist trainer, having trained many hundreds of newly  qualified dentists. He is an advisor for a large group of practices and has links and membership to many dental organisations.

Jon has served on the Rainbow Education MAT board of Trustees since May 2017.

Hilary cook

Hilary has recently been appointed to the REMAT board of Trustees. Hilary is passionate about meeting the needs of children with SEND and has a background as a SENCO in a mainstream secondary school.

Hilary is particularly interested in supporting students with Social Emotional Mental Health difficulties and has trained in attachment, therapy, and whole-school mental health support. Another area of interest for Hilary is Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), she is a specialist assessor for pupils with SpLD in literacy.

Hilary advocates strongly for the inclusion of learners in all areas of school and all activities within it. She also understands the importance of the support and advice of colleagues in the SEND community to allow schools and colleges to support pupils with SEND. It was the work she carried out with other professionals in the SEND community using WSS resources that motivated her to become Deputy Regional SEND Leader, Whole School SEND for Lancashire and West Yorkshire.