Our Trustees

Cambridge Primary Education Trust is governed by a board of trustees made up of business people and educational specialists.

The board of trustees is responsible for monitoring and ensuring standards and achievement across the Trust’s schools; efficiency and effectiveness of executive leadership and services across the schools; and the strategic direction of the Trust as it responds to local and national demands and policy.

Our governance structure is shown here: CPET Governance Structure – March2017

The Board of Trustees

CPET Board and Committees


Lesley BirchLesley Birch – Chief Executive Officer and Executive Principal

Following extensive teaching experience working in schools in London, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, Lesley Birch was appointed Headteacher at Histon & Impington Junior School in 2001. Lesley became a National Leader of Education in 2009, and subsequently the Junior School was designated as a National Support School, working with other schools to enhance and improve educational standards. Lesley helped pave the way towards the formation of CPET on 1st December 2012 and was appointed as Executive Principal in September 2014. CPET schools have subsequently benefited from the freedoms and flexibilities of academy status, sharing best practice and working together in order to secure excellence for all pupils, all under Lesley’s directorship.

John Frost – Chair of TrusteesJohn Frost

John Frost brings a wealth of experience to his role as Chair at Cambridge Primary Education Trust. His career began in Her Majesty’s Forces, where he gained a commission and specialised in managing difficult and challenging situations, across a range of diverse and complex areas. Before retiring, he spent twenty three years in Local Government as a Head of Service, where he gained considerable experience in the workings of Local and National Government.

Rob PlumblyRobert Plumbly – Vice Chair and Chair of Finance and Premises Committee

Robert Plumbly has been a Trustee of Cambridge Primary Education Trust since its formation in December 2012. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Trust and also Chair of the Finance & Premises Committee. Robert has lived in the neighbouring village of Histon since 1997 and has worked in Cambridge, as a VAT Consultant, since 1996. He is married to Carol and has four children, all of whom attended both Histon & Impington Infant School and Histon & Impington Junior School. Robert joined the local governing body of the Junior School in September 2006 and served as Chair from October 2008 to November 2016.

PTPenny Todman – Chair of Personnel Committee

Penny Todman has 45 years’ experience in education, throughout which she has shown a commitment to improving the quality of learning for young people. She has taught in primary schools in Cambridgeshire throughout her career, including at Histon and Impington Junior School between 1985-1989. Following this she became a headteacher at two primary schools in the county with three Ofsted reports praising her leadership and management. During her time at St Luke’s she trained as an Ofsted inspector and chaired the local network of primary and secondary schools. Most recently, Penny has been working as an independent consultant delivering delivering and assessing all aspects of the national programmes for aspiring headteachers  and higher level teaching assistants throughout the region. She also co-ordinated a national research project for the DfES on collaborations between schools.

KRKieran Reynolds – Trustee

Kieran was formerly a parent governor at the Histon and Impington Infant School as well as a Trustee. He brings 15 years experience working in start up companies in the high tech sector with a variety of roles in project and programme management, budget planning, fundraising and financial control.

Mark Woods – Trustee Mark Woods - CPET Trustee

Mark began his teaching career as an English teacher at the Deacon’s School in Peterborough, then become the Second in English at the Jack Hunt School, Peterborough before being promoted to Head of English at Sawtry Community College in Cambridgeshire.  In January 2003, he was appointed as the Vice Principal of Swavesey Village College. It was through the Gaining Ground project that Mark was asked by Peterborough City Council and Cambridge Meridian Education Trust to take on the Interim Headship of the troubled Orton Longueville School (OLS) in Peterborough. A team from Swavesey joined Mark at OLS and after four terms of continual, rapid improvement, the re-branded Nene Park Academy became CMAT’s first sponsored academy with Mark as the Principal. After the tragic loss of his close friend, professional mentor and CEO of CMAT, Martin Bacon, Mark was appointed as the CEO of the CMAT to deliver the vision they had established together.  Under Mark’s leadership, the Trust has grown from two academies to its current size. Mark has been a member of both the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Schools Forums for several years. Mark is a governor of Woodston Primary School, Peterborough and he is a member of the Whole Education Steering Committee and a qualified peer reviewer. Recently, at the request of the DfE, Mark has supported a number of events for newly founded multi-academy trusts – enthusiastically sharing all of the mistakes he hopes never to make again.

PLPaul Larbey – Trustee

Paul Larbey joined as a trustee in early 2016. Paul heads the Global Video Business Division at Nokia where he is responsible for the strategy, management, development and delivery of the entire video portfolio within Nokia. Paul has held this position since January 2013 in Alcatel-Lucent which was acquired by Nokia in January 2016. Prior to this, Paul held various leadership roles in the Wireless Division of Alcatel-Lucent before moving to Cambridge to lead the newly acquired Velocix in late 2009. Paul brings not only a strong business background to the trust but also a passion for leadership and communication. Paul is based out of Cambridge with his wife and two young children and holds a first class degree in Electronics from the University of Durham, England.

NSmithNatalie Smith – Trustee

Natalie Smith is a mother of two and was a parent governor at Histon and Impington Junior School. She works as a senior archivist at Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, Cambridge where her responsibilities include looking after the papers of Sir Winston Churchill. Recent projects have included working collaboratively with the publishers, Bloomsbury Academic, to produce an online edition of the Churchill Papers and to develop an online school resource to encourage secondary school students to get to grips with primary sources from the Churchill Papers and hosting visits from school groups.


CPET Board of Trustees – meeting minutes

Minutes from recent Board of Trustees meetings are available to download here:
CPET FINAL Minutes 21-09-2016
CPET FINAL Minutes 06-12-2016
CPET Extraordinary FINAL Minutes 19-12-2016
CPET AGM minutes 08-03-2017
FINAL CPET Minutes 08-03-2017
CPET FINAL Minutes 06-06-17


CPET Board Pecuniary Interests and Attendance Register

A record of pecuniary and other interests of our current and recently serving Trustees, and our committee members along with their attendance at meetings is provided here:

CPET Board Interests and Attendance Register 2018 2019 v2