The Trust has an experienced and supportive Board of Trustees and Directors who have a wealth of expertise in industry and education. Their role is to ensure that The Dunham Trust will be the best it can be, for the schools and young people within its care.

Trustees ensure that The Trust is committed to:

– High quality school improvement activity
– Cross-trust networking opportunities
– Research and development

The Board meet in full six times per academic year and receive termly updates from individual Heads of School as well as sub-committee meetings for each school in The Dunham Trust.

We’re always interested in hearing from people who want to be a governor at one of our schools.  Being a governor is a rewarding role where you are able to improve the education and experiences of young people.  

You can find out more about the role of a governor by downloading our governor information sheet.


  • Members are akin to the shareholders of a company
  • Have ultimate responsibility over the academy trust, the ability to appoint trustees and the power to amend the trust’s articles of association


  • Trustees responsible for the same three core governance functions performed by the governing body in a maintained school:
    1. setting the strategic direction
    2. holding senior leaders to account
    3. ensuring financial probity
  • As charity trustees – must ensure that they are complying with charity law requirements.
  • Academy trusts are charitable companies, where the trustees are company directors and must, therefore, comply with company law requirements.
    • regularly attending meetings
    • managing conflicts of interest
    • seeking advice from academy’s leadership team
    • ensuring that the academy has appropriate procedures in place for reporting financial information

The Dunham Trust Governance Organisational Structure 

Declarations of Interest -Dunham Trust

Declarations of Interest -Acre Hall Primary

Declarations of Interest -Barton Clough Primary

Declarations of Interest -Elmridge Primary


Declarations of Interest – The Orchards

Nick Payne
Chair of Trustees, Member

Appointed 26.06.12

Nick is a Chartered Surveyor and graduated from Sheffield in 1987 a year early at the age of 20.He originally trained with leading leisure surveyors Christie and Co, latterly in London, and specialised in the leisure real estate markets.

In 1998 he moved back to the northwest and founded Westport Developments, a regeneration company, and went on to develop and deliver Deansgate Locks amongst other projects.

He sold his interest in Westport in 2002 and founded the Nikal Group where he is CEO. Through Nikal, Nick is responsible for developing complex large-scale projects across England. The Group delivers significant build to rent housing projects, offices and hotels of between £50m and £150m each. The Group has a development pipeline of around £1 billion and amongst its impressive track record is presently working on a £300m theme park in central Blackpool and a £500m film studio in partnership with Homes England in Birmingham.

Nick purchased Hillcrest Homes 4 years ago to broaden the Groups activities into luxury private housing. Hillcrest has projects in partnership with various local authorities ,MOJ, Kings School , Macclesfield and Stoneyhurst College in the Ribble Valley.

In his spare time Nick enjoys Yoga spinning and gym training. He has three daughters all of whom went to Elmridge.He supports a number of charities including NSPCC,is a Patron of the Lowry Theatre Salford and a Trustee of Manchester Cathedral Visitors Centre.

Expertise: Real Estate, Business Strategy and Leadership.

Shaun Tarbuck
Vice Chair of Trustees,Member & Chair of Audit Committee

Appointed 30.03.15 (Trustee)
Appointed 4.04.19 (Member)

Shaun is a chartered accountant. He joined the international Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) in 1995 as Vice-President, Membership and Finance and was appointed Chief Executive in 2005.Shaun had oversight of the growth of the organisation from 70 members in 1995 to 290 members in 75 countries today. At the same time ICMIF has gone from relative obscurity as a global organisation to being one of the most respected organisations globally that participates in global discussions and policy-making. ICMIF has regional offices in Brussels Washington and Tokyo and Shaun sits on the ICMIF board and the regional boards as well as being the Vice-Chair of the newly formed ICMIF Foundation.

Shaun has established working relationships with key global policymakers in areas as diverse as climate change; disaster risk resilience; poverty alleviation; economic growth; and regulation and legislation. This includes regular contact with the G20 and B20;the United Nations, including speaking at UN General Assembly;  the UNISDR where he spoke at the Sendai(2015) and the Cancun(2017) conferences on integrating risk into the financial system; the UNDP; the IMF; the World Bank; the OECD; and the more insurance specific arenas of the Financial Stability Board(FSB) and the International Association of Insurance supervisors (IAIS).Shaun is an ex-officio member of the newly formed Insurance Development Forum(IDF) Steering Group which brings together insurance industry leaders with global policymakers from the UN, World Bank and FSB to ensure insurance related issues are discussed at the highest level.

Shaun is married to Francesca with four children, all of whom attended Elmridge Primary School. He enjoys most sports but particularly rugby union - a sport he has played, coached and refereed. He currently enjoys golf and cycling.

Expertise: Finance, Business Strategy and Leadership.

Paul Reilly

Appointed 26.06.12

Paul has been associated with Elmridge Primary School, the founder school of The Dunham Trust, since 1975.Since then, all four of his children and three of his grandchildren, one currently, have been educated there. Paul joined Elmridge's PTA in 1980 and was it's Chairman. In 1995 he was asked to join the Local Governing Body. alongside Elmridge's growth as a Teaching School and an academic sponsor, his role then grew to becoming Chair of The Dunham Trust in 2013. Paul stepped down as Chair and a Trustee in July 2019.

In his professional life he was as a Senior Personnel Manager at British Nuclear Fuel and, after taking early retirement, became a business start-up manager for The Prince's Trust. In this role he helped young, disadvantaged people move into self-employment-an area in which The Prince's Trust had much success. Paul is still a Trustee of the Nuclear Industry's Benevolent Fund and Chairman of its Cases Committee which helps past and current employees when they experience difficult financial situations.  

Expertise: Human Resources and Leadership.

David Vanstone

Appointed 4.11.2013

David became Chair of Governors of Acre Hall School in September 2013 after 17 years as Headteacher of a Trafford-based secondary school. A career spanning 35 years in teaching, both in the north west and across the country, has given David considerable experience in school improvement, standards and budgets. 

As a Society of Heads mentor, David has regularly guided newly appointed headteachers through their first year in post. Previous tenure as national Director and Chair of two different independent school organisations has given David an understanding of educational development at national level and a current role as Member Director of ISI keeps him in the forefront of developments in inspection.

David's previous role as lay member on Trafford Safeguarding Children Board equips him as Designated Lead Director for Safeguarding within the Trust.

Expertise: Education, Governance and Safeguarding.

LinkedIn page
Peta Cherry

Appointed 11.02.15

Peta is chair of the Pay and Personnel Committee for the Dunham Trust.

Peta is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and is a HR specialist with over over 25 years experience. She has worked in the private and public sector in particular, supporting senior leaders in schools with HR matters.  More recently, Peta has worked in the Civil Service providing advice and guidance to senior managers for HR policy practice and procedure. Peta has a wealth of experience in the public sector having worked with the Home Office, MoJ, Prison Service, HMRC and Department of Education,

In her spare time Peta is a volunteer for the Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust, chairing hearings to determine whether patients have been legally detained under the Mental Health Act.

Expertise: Human Resources

Kate Moss

Appointed 24.09.19

Kate has an extensive background, having worked in a range of different sectors, including being self-employed. During her career Kate has spent 8 years teaching and has, for the last 25 years, worked for Barnardo's. Twenty of those years has been as Head of Inspection, Barnardo's Corporate Audit and Inspection Unit. This is a UK-wide senior leadership post which involves assessing the performance and quality of Barnardo's diverse portfolio of over 1,000 children's services with a firm focus on continuous performance. Kate and her team also provide bespoke consultancy for Corporate and regional and national directors.   

When Kate was invited to become a Trustee, she felt that she could make a meaningful contribution to The Dunham Trust in terms of knowledge, experience and an understanding of the current critical issues faced both by young people and by educators and that she could realistically commit the time required to do this properly. 

Expertise: Education, Audit, Inspection and Leadership.


Attendance at Trustee Meetings 2021