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Welcome to

The Rutland

Learning Trust

Members and Trustees


Revd James Saunders 
Mr Peter Cantley (Peterborough Diocese Church Schools Trust – Corporate - Representative Member)
Mrs Alexandra Martin (appointed by the Diocese of Peterborough)
Mrs Heather Rattenbury (appointed by the Diocese of Peterborough)

Mrs Liz Youngman (appointed the the Diocese of Peterborough)




Revd James Saunders

Chair of Trustees

Revd Dr James Saunders is an Anglican priest. For the past eight years he has been a teacher and member of the leadership team in an independent boarding school, where he is responsible for safeguarding and child protection. He has served on the governing bodies of Church of England primary schools for the past twelve years, chairing committees focussed on school improvement, ethos and vision. In his time as Chair of Governors, the school appointed a new headteacher, restructured its leadership team, and moved from being ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’. He sat for two years on Rutland LA Education Performance Board, which acts as a sounding-board and steering group for those involved in improving school standards in the county. 


David Evans
Vice Chair of the Trustees

Member and Director of the Rutland Learning Trust.  Previous Chair of Governors.  15 years experience of business and team leadership. Married with two young sons, schooled within the RLT. Interests include running and cycling.


Rob Gooding

Chief Executive Officer

An Executive Headteacher for over 16 years. Rob has provided local and regional school to school support in a number of capacities: National Leader in Education, Headteacher consultancy - coaching and mentoring, English Advisor,  Lead Practitioner, Excellent Teacher, Ofsted Inspector and School Improvement Consultant. 


Adrienne Holland

Vice Chair of Trustees

Since retiring from 17 years of Headship, was the temporary Primary Strategic Lead for RCC and was interim Head for a very small rural school in Leicestershire. Has been a School Improvement Partner for schools in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire and is also Vice Chair of Governors for a local Primary School and Vice Chair of Home-Start Melton and Rutland. She is a Trustee for Raynes Trust, a Charitable Foundation and has acted as an External Assessor for both Warwick and Nottingham Trent Universities, from 2005-2011.  She remains passionately committed to education and continuous school improvement. I have 2 children and 2 grandchildren and live in Melton Mowbray.


Ian Blackburn

Ian is an FCA who worked for KPMG before roles as CEO and FD of two public companies. He has extensive experience in the UK and Europe of strategy, corporate finance, operations and financial management and corporate governance. He is currently Chairman/NED of several SME's and Chairman of Mobeus VCT 2 plc. 

Sarah Bysouth

Sarah joined the Governing Body at Cottesmore Academy in September 2014 and led the process for the school to join the Rutland Learning Trust. She has a long-standing interest in education and wants every child to achieve their full potential in a high quality and continuously improving environment.  During her working life, she enjoyed a successful nursing career, followed by working in the community as a Health Visitor. This was followed by a career in teaching then developing into training Early Years, Post 16 and Adult Training. Her final role was as Head of Service for Learning and Skills for a local authority with responsibility for education including Early, Primary, Secondary, Post 16 and Adult Education.  She has lived in Rutland for many years and has a close association with the Trust and feel privileged to work alongside colleagues in developing the Trust further.



Richard White

Richard joined the Trustee Team in July 2020.  He has worked as an independent management consultant for the last 30 years.   Working primarily within the financial services industry he has helped organisations to deliver their objectives through buying and merging with other companies and where they have had other challenges which needed to be overcome.

His children were all educated at some points in their educational career in Oakham; Richard has lived in Rutland for over 10 years.  

Richard is keen on supporting the Trust’s growth objectives and helping the Trust meet its objectives and aims.


Rachel Attenborough

 Rachel joined the Trust Board in July 2022 and is currently the Assistant Head (Teacher Development) at Uppingham School.




Kristi Withers

Works full time for Mars Chocolate.  Although Kristi no longer has children at school within the Trust, she is passionate about seeing the Trust continue to develop generations of children to fulfil their potential academically, physically and socially as well as providing them with safe and positive environments. She brings a number of skills to the Trust Board including; sales, negotiation, budget management, leadership and line management, strategy development, recruitment, coaching and capability, employee engagement and change management. Many of these skills are transferable and support her role as a Trustee to develop the strategy, review finances and ensure standards, accountability and effective policy.  


Daryl Kirkland

Daryl has a background in Residential Property Development at Boar level for both plc and regional development companies primarily responsible for Strategic Growth forecasting, budgeting and the delivery of forward land acquisition and planning consents to achieve the planned growth. More recently he led the establishment of a new start up development company in the South West.

He has lived in Rutland for over 20 years and both sons were educated locally and has previously had close links with the Trust for several years.

An excellent education is simple right for every child and Daryl believes that the Rutland Learning Trust have that Vision front and centre within their core objectives and ethos and is delighted to be part of the Trust team working to continue delivering this ambition.


Revd Peter French

Peter is currently the deputy Director of Education for Peterborough Diocese and prior to that was Assistant Director of Education in Birmingham Diocese for twelve years. Prior to this appointment he was a Church of England Vicar in Handsworth, Birmingham and Bury in Lancashire.  He is a National Leader of Governance and has a particular expertise in Governance, Admissions and Senior leader appointments in education as well as supporting church schools with their Christian Ethos.

Peter is married with three daughters one who is at University and the other two currently doing their “A” levels. He is also a season ticket holder at Northampton Town.


Adam Cooper

Having played a leading role in the development of digital identity with the UK Government working closely with the European Commission, US Government, and UN experts, Adam is now an independent consultant with clients ranging from the World Bank to the UK National Health Service. As a technical consultant to the World Bank ID4D programme Adam is engaged with multiple countries across driving the design and implementation of ethical identity solutions. 


Adam acts in an advisory capacity for various international projects and initiatives such as the UN Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and the MOSIP Modular Open Source Identity platform, as well as advising the Turing Institute, the Dutch Ministry of the Interior, and the Scottish Online Identity Assurance Programme. Adam is also an active contributor to international standards through ISO, the OpenID Foundation, and the W3C.


Adam has a deep understanding of the issues involved in early years development working as vice-chair of governors at the award-winning Pen Green Centre for Children and their Families in Corby, Northamptonshire. Recently Adam has also joined the Grace Children’s Foundation in New York as a Strategic Advisor with a special focus on the Children’s Resource Exchange, aimed at coordinating pro bono specialist paediatric care for children around the globe who are suffering from debilitating but treatable diseases, medical conditions, traumatic injuries and congenital birth anomalies. 


Adam has lived in Rutland for more than 7 years and has a young son at school in the Trust.


Kim Marczak - Trust Advisor

Data Specialist

Kim has joined the board as a Trustee Advisor due to the vast knowledge and experience she brings on data in education.  She is currently a Director for Hello Data Ltd.


Emma Keith resigned as a Trustee from 1st March 2022

Nicole Topham resigned as a Trustee from 6th July 2022

Contact Details and Useful Links