The Department for Education’s governance handbook 2019 identifies the essentials of effective governance as follows:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding the executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
United Learning’s Trustees delegate certain key roles and responsibilities to the school’s Local Governing Body (LGB) and these are set out clearly in our Scheme of Delegation which can be seen on the United Learning website.
The Chair of our LGB is Neil Davidson. To write to our Chair of Governors please use the address below:
Mr Neil Davidson
Chair of Governors
c/o Lincoln Minster School
Upper Lindum Street
Meet the Governors
Neil Davidson (Chair)
Joined January 2020
Finance & Marketing
Neil has had an extensive career in food manufacturing beginning at Northern Foods Plc where he became Managing Director of its milk division. Neil subsequently became Chief Executive Officer of Express Dairies Plc and Arla Foods UK. Neil is currently a Non-Executive Director of Morrisons Supermarkets Plc , Chair of Produce Investments Plc and Chair of The Cricketer Publishing Ltd. Neil was previously Chair of Cherry Valley Farms Ltd, Non-Executive Director of Permission Plc and Northern Recruitment Group Plc. He has been a Governor of Ashmount Special Needs School in Loughborough since 2006.
Neil is Trustee of the United Learning Trust and the United School Schools Foundation.
Robin Wright (Vice Chair)
Joined April 2016
Robin retired as Director of Sport at the University of Lincoln and was a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Robin is currently a Consultant with the University’s Estates Department and represents the University on the Brayford Trust Board. He is on the following Boards; Magna Vitae, Lindum Sports Association, and County Commissioner for Lincolnshire Scouts, as well as Vice President of Lincolnshire Cricket Board. In the past, Robin has been a member of Sport England’s Research Group, National Sports and Games Committee and Chair & Vice-Chair of the Regional Volunteer Sector, and a Founder Member of the Lincolnshire Sports Partnership.
Mr John Weitzel
Joined September 2020
Finance, Marketing, and Education
John retired in 2016 after 38 years at Loughborough Grammar School, the last 13 as Deputy Head and twice as Acting Headmaster. He is a mathematician who was also heavily involved in boarding, coaching rugby, cricket and athletics; producing plays and singing in the choir. John was responsible for the School’s 500th anniversary and the visit of the Queen in 1996.
From 1998 to 2005, he managed England’s U15 Cricket XI and in 2019 was awarded the Times Educational Supplement’s award for ‘Special Services’ to Independent Education.
Mrs Sharon Stone
Joined September 2017
Sharon has worked for the Lincoln Business Improvement Group (Lincoln BIG) for the past 6 years supporting the Chief Executive and managing many of the group’s significant projects including the Baron’s Trail in 2015 and most recently the Lincoln Knights’ Trail in 2017. The 36 Knight art sculptures across the city were sponsored by local businesses and also incorporated an Education Trail run by the Education Business Partnership. She works closely with many local businesses, managing the support from Lincoln BIG to the different collectives across the city and assisting with the promotion of the city to residents, students, businesses and visitors. Sharon’s daughter is a current pupil at Lincoln Minster School and is also a chorister at Lincoln Cathedral. Sharon’s experience as a chorister parent with her knowledge and expertise of the business community in Lincoln ensures her commitment to working collaboratively to support the school.
Mr Steve Gelder MBE
Joined September 2017
Finance & Marketing
Steve Gelder left school at 16 with no qualifications but two ambitions, to become a professional footballer, and to own a big home with a tennis court and an S Class Mercedes on the drive. After labouring on a building site for 6 months Steve earned himself an apprenticeship in bricklaying. At the age of 22, he set up Gelder Group which today has an annual turnover of over £40m and has just been named the East Midlands 21st fastest-growing company, No 1 in Lincolnshire.
Gelder Group continued to expand throughout the recession, are winners of the National Training Awards, a Top 100 apprentice employer and was the first building company in the UK to hold both Investors in People Gold and Investors in People Champion status. In 2007, aged 40, Steve was awarded an MBE “For Services to Business and the community in Lincolnshire”.
Steve puts his success down to his upbringing, his company’s commitment to training, particularly apprentices and his belief that ultimately we all become our environment. Steve is a national apprentice ambassador and the 2013 recipient of the City & Guilds Prince Philip Medal and more recently has been awarded The Companionship Bearings by Lincoln College and a lifetime achievement award from Lincolnshire Media and accepted a position on City & Guilds National Council.
Mr John Latham
Joined February 2019
John works for the University of Lincoln where he is Director of DCV Projects within the Vice-Chancellor’s office and is also a self-employed Leadership Coach. Prior to joining the University, John worked for the City Council for 25 years, leaving as Director of Development in 2016. John represents the University on a number of external Boards including the Brayford Trust, Investors in Lincoln and Lincoln BIG and is a Trustee of the YMCA. He has previously served as Chair of Governors of Scampton CofE School and is a Parish Councillor.
Mr Chris Jackson
Joined June 2019
Chris describes himself as a ‘merchant adventurer’ and left school at 16 moving straight into an apprenticeship with what is now BT. After five years, he left to start his first business at the age of 21.
Since then he has started several different successful ventures and pursued different ideas and dreams. A qualified communications engineer, he has filled many roles including Systems Network Designer, Master Locksmith, Managing Director and Ship’s Master, working in the fields of communications, security, leisure and tourism, scientific marine survey and latterly, future learning.
After living and working on the West Coast of Scotland, Chris relocated to Lincolnshire in 2014 and now works as a Senior Lecturer and Team Coach at Bishop Grosseteste University. He also runs his own private practice as Jarra CIC with an aim of encouraging learning and development in external organisations based on the Finnish Team Academy model. He has an extensive network of contacts and frequently travels internationally, most recently presenting at the Academic Adventures conference in Tampere, Finland.
Professionally, Chris holds a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship from Durham University Business School, which was awarded in 2001. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and a Fellow of the Institute of Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship (IoEE).
Favourite saying: “If you know the enemy and you know yourself, in a thousand battles you need never fear the result”.
Mr Jim Kirby
Joined September 2019
Finance & Marketing
Jim is employed in the compliance and projects team for the Priory Mutil Academy Trust (MAT) in Lincoln. His first role in a school was Business Manager for a Grantham based large primary Single Academy Trust (SAT). He oversaw this transition into the Priory MAT in June 2018.
Prior to joining the SAT, Jim, with his wife, bought and ran a manufacturing business, firstly in Hull and latterly moving it to York. A company bought the business in 2011 for which Jim continued to work for two years. During his time in York, he was a school governor at a Local Authority run large secondary school before relocating to Lincoln for family reasons. For almost 19 years Jm worked for Calor Gas in various engineering and managerial roles around the UK. During this period Jim was transferred to their parent company for three stints when he lived and worked setting up businesses in the Slovak Republic and Pakistan. He ran their business in the Philippines and spent time in their Head Office in Holland where he worked on various projects in Europe and the Far East.
Jim is married with four children and is just experiencing the delights of being a grandparent for the first time.
Mrs Alison Baptie
Joined October 2019
Originally born and bred in Nottingham, Alison first moved to Lincoln in 2009 before moving out to California in 2011 for five years due to her husband’s RAF posting. In America she spent time gaining her Masters in Business Administration, as well as working as the Administration Manager for the Hyundai-Kia Proving Ground in the Mojave Desert.
On her return to the UK Alison joined Novartis as a Patient Access and Business Manager covering the East Midlands, East Anglia and Essex areas. Alison has had 20 years of previous experience in the pharmaceutical industry.