Gerry Rice, Chair of Trust in Learning (Academies)

Gerry Rice moved to the area in 2013 and is Associate Dean - Quality, Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences at the University of the West of England.  Prior to this he was responsible for Social Work, Education and Community Studies at a University in the North of England.

Gerry has a background in social work and has worked with young people leaving the care system, young homeless offenders and as a practitioner and manager in a number of alcohol and drug projects.

Gerry joined the TiLA Board as a Member and Director in May 2014 and is committed to the improvement of educational opportunities for children and young people.

Lee Probert

Lee Probert joined City of Bristol College in January 2016, as its new Chief Executive and Principal, having been Deputy Chief Executive with the Hull College Group and holding a number of senior posts within the Strategic Leadership Team since 2009.

Lee has served as a Director for the Learning and Skills Council national office in Coventry; the Executive Director of the 157 Group; an independent Governor of the University of Worcester; Chair of the Board of Directors of Sirius Academy and is a member of the Teachers' Pension Scheme Pension Board.

Locally, Lee serves on the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Skills Agenda Group; Bristol’s Learning City Partnership Board; Trust in Learning Board of Directors; Western Principals Group and is a member of the South West CBI Council.

Lee joined the TiLA Board as a Member in March 2016.

Andrew Baber, Director

Andy was born in Plymouth, moving to Bristol more than 15 years ago. He is an experienced, multi-disciplined individual with skills, knowledge and experience in Finance, Programme Management, Human Resources, Engineering and Manufacturing.

He is a graduate of Plymouth University and is a member of the Chartered  Institute of Management Accountants.

His career to date has developed and evolved from an engineering technical apprentice through to senior and executive management, operating in both large and small to medium size enterprises. His most recent experiences have been in the learning and development area, organisation transformation and employee engagement.

Today he runs his own business, Astute Growth Ltd in parallel with his work as a Learning Facilitator at the RUH in Bath where he focuses on leadership and management development.

A father of two daughters, both synchronised swimmers, he has been a volunteer and previous Chairperson of the synchro section within the City of Bristol Performance Aquatics Club.

"I am passionate about developing our people, giving them every opportunity to succeed in an ever increasingly challenging and complex work".

Mark Davies, Chief Executive of Trust in Learning (Academies)

Mark Davies is Chief Executive of Trust in Learning, Bristol. Trust in Learning is a multi-academy chain encompassing both academies and trust schools. Mark came to Bristol to launch the Bridge Learning Campus which was one of the first all-through institutions in the UK encompassing education and learning from ages 3 to 16.  The Trust includes three other schools in the City covering primary, secondary and specialist provision.

Prior to taking up this post Mark established and ran his own Leadership Coaching business as well as establishing a second company on behalf of Gloucestershire schools and University. During this period he supported a number of failing schools securing improvement. Up until 2006 he was Headteacher of Dene Magna School Gloucestershire. The school was highly acclaimed, both locally and nationally, for the quality of education provided and whilst leading the school Mark introduced some radical and forward thinking approaches to education and the school was judged outstanding and leading edge.

Mark has been asked to sit on some prestigious forums to advise Government notably he has been a member of the DfE Headteachers Reference Group since 2000. He is also an Ofsted Inspector. Trust in Learning has been established to support schools in challenging areas within the City and its members include the University of the West of England and the City of Bristol College.

He started his teaching career in the early 1980’s in Worcestershire as a PE and History teacher before moving to Derby where he taught in two City schools firstly leading PE/Sport and then into senior leadership.  From Derby he moved to Gloucestershire and Dene Magna as a Deputy for a year before being promoted to the Headship.

Caroline Jenkins, Director and Chair of Bridge Learning Campus Local Governing Body

Caroline is a mother of four and step-grandparent to three.  She has been working with and supporting parents in her many different roles that she has had over the last 15 years since she left nursing.

Caroline has been a governor for 23 years and a Chair of Governors for 20 years.  She has also been a governor in about 10 different schools in Bristol.  She was also a consultant governor for Bristol and she has supported many chairs of governors who were very new in the post.  Caroline has also supported governing bodies of schools in challenging circumstances, in Ofsted categories or identified by the local authority as governing bodies causing concern.

Caroline has also been appointed by the local authority as an additional governor in three schools and was a member of an IEB in a school.

Caroline knows her community extremely well as she lives and works in it.  She is proud to say that she lives in Hartcliffe and she is extremely proud of what has been achieved in BLC since it opened.

Roger Opie, Director

Roger is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County and City of Bristol and the City of Bristol’s High Sheriff in nomination for 2018-19. 

Until recently he was Chief Executive of ABLAZE which is a Bristol charity set up by the city’s business community to use business volunteers to raise aspirations in young people. Under his leadership over 1500 business volunteers impacted on 3,000 young people each year.

In June 2015 the charity’s success was recognised through receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.  Roger was in 2011 awarded Business in the Community’s Sieff award for engaging businesses with their communities.

Roger was previously Director of the HTI Trust which influences education and employability matters impacting on business and government policy. 

Roger spent 18 years in secondary education in Bristol as a headteacher, deputy head and head of department before becoming the Director of Education at the Industrial Society, where for 15 years he successfully led national programmes across the UK and overseas on education leadership, employability of young people and corporate social responsibility for businesses. Graduate recruiters enthused about the national network of Student Industrial Societies directed by Roger which they used to recruit excellent students. 

Roger led some significant community projects in South Africa including developing leadership potential in the Zulu schools in Kwa Zulu Natal.

Similarly many national and local businesses value his guidance in setting up and running projects in their related communities which have brought added value to the businesses and their localities.

He is an enthusiastic campaigner for greater understanding between business and education and his views are widely respected across the sectors.  Roger is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the Colston Society, and became a Freeman of the Guild of Educators of the City of London.

He has been involved with Clifton Rugby Club for over forty years, is a Vice President and the match day commentator. BBC Radio Cornwall regularly uses him to cover matches and he writes for the Rugby Paper.

Roger has two grown up children and retains close links with his native Cornwall.

Nathan Peacey, Director

Nathan is part of the management team at Foot Anstey, a South West based law firm.  Nathan is responsible for leading their “go to market strategy”, the sector offering client relationship management. At its heart is the philosophy that Foot Anstey's success is defined and measured by the success they achieve for their clients.

Nathan's background is as a lawyer specialising in advice on issues that go to the heart of an organisations reputation, frequently around risk and regulatory issues, advising clients on compliance, corporate governance and the prosecution and defence of regulatory crime.

In addition to TiLA, Nathan has a number of volunteer roles outside work with MusicSpace, Rockleaze Rangers FC and the Ablaze Reading Scheme.

Jackie Smith, Director and Chair of Parson Street Primary School Local Governing Body

Jackie Smith is a Director on the TiLA Board and the Chair of the LGB at Parson Street Primary School.

Jackie is a mother of one.  She was born in Bristol and has always lived in the BS3 area.

Jackie has been a Community Governor at Parson Street Primary School for eight years and became the Chair of Governors in 2015.  

Jackie's career has been in administration, HR and education in a variety of organisations.  She is currently a community volunteer.  Jackie firmly believes that everyone should be given the best possible opportunities to pursue their dreams.

Jane Walton, Director and Chair of Filton Avenue Primary School Local Governing Body

Jane Walton is currently Chair of Governors at Filton Avenue Primary School.  She has seven years’ experience as a Governor and had responsibility for Special Education Needs before becoming Chair of the Resources Committee.  Her background is in arts administration and project management and she currently works as a self-employed musician, teaching singing at Red Maids’ High School (juniors) and Colstons's Girls’ School, as well as directing several choirs. 

Laura Kochanski, Director and Chair of Orchard School Bristol Local Governing Body

Helen Cooper, Director

Thyrone Hodgson, Director

Louise Donaghey, Director