Board of Trustees

Pete Westall

Acting Chair

Information: Pete Westall has worked for Midcounties Co-operative for 25 years he is currently head of Co-op Energy and is a member of Midcounties Executive team. His career has been spent in various roles within the Society, including roles within Retail, Energy and leading the Society’s CSR agenda.

Midcounties Co-op has a broad family of businesses engaged in a wide variety of markets, including food, travel, energy and childcare. The Society was recently recognised with a prestigious 5 star rating in Business in the Community’s annual benchmark of responsible business, the Corporate Responsibility Index. It has also been awarded the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.

Dr Ian Luke


Ian has been Dean at the University of St Mark and St John in Plymouth since 2010.  He is responsible for the strategic and academic development of the Faculty of Education & Social Sciences. Originally from Walsall, Ian has worked in several regions within the UK as well as Australia. Within higher education Ian has held lecturing or management positions at three universities as well as being engaged in a range of roles for specific projects within other higher education institutions. From a research perspective Ian's current interests include metacognition, disability, higher education and teacher education. Ian has a background in sports acrobatics, winning both World and European medals.

Andrew North


Andrew works as an Engagement Manager for Co-op Group.  He has worked with the Co-op for around 20 years in the South West and South East of England  His current role helps members have their voice in the Co-op and works with co-op businesses to support the communities in which we trade.  Additionally, Andrew works to support other co-ops within the Movement, including co-operative schools.  Prior to this role, Andrew led  the Membership teams at the Co-op in the South East and South West of England and supported the governance structure of the Co-op in the South West.

Previous roles include Project Manager and Administration Manager at Nationwide Building Society.

Outside of work, Andrew is involved in his local community woodland which is near Ashburton in Devon.

Colin Wilkes


Information: Colin is the national lead on academies development for the Schools Co-operative Society and serves as a Trustee for co-operative schools in the Midlands and the North-East, in addition to being an OUR Trustee here in Gloucester.

Prior to joining the co-operative sector in 2010, Colin worked at a senior level in local government, most recently in strategic change, school organisation and major projects. He managed large school building programmes and school re-organisations.

His experience in this field, and in purchasing and supply, led him into a number of advisory roles for the DfE and for the Local Government Association.

Colin has been involved in academies development from their early inception and has had a key role in developing co-operative academies. 

Nigel Baggott

Trustee and Finance Director

Nigel has a depth of experience in HR and Asset Management having project managed several school expansion programmes. Nigel's strength is that of financial management and has over 20 years experience in managing large school budgets. His experience in this field has led him to be elected onto the ASCL advisory panel at which he also represents Gloucestershire school bursars and business managers.

Fran Oborski MBE


Fran was rewarded with her MBE in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her political and public services to the community. Fran has been a local authority adviser for special needs, an Ofsted Inspector, a school governor and academy trustee, and is an elected councillor in the Wyre Forest District Council. Fran is also a member of the Polish Honorary Consul.

Tom Wainwright


Tom is a Senior Associate Solicitor at Trowers & Hamlins' Housing and Regeneration department which he joined in 2015 from DWF LLP.  Tom specialises in governance work for public, third sector and co-operative clients, including Registered Providers of social housing, schools and academies, health service bodies and a wide variety of member-based organisations.

As well as being on the board of OUR Co-operative Academies Trust, Tom is former company secretary of Supporters Direct, the umbrella body for fan trusts looking to gain influence in the running and ownership of their clubs.

Richard Williams


Information: Richard has 4 decades of extensive experience in leading challenging schools in some of the most deprived areas of the Black Country, Telford and Gloucester. From classroom teacher through to Senior Leader and Vice Principal, then onto Principal of two large secondary schools, Executive Principal at Beaufort Co-operative Academy and now CEO at OUR Co-operative Academies Trust Richard has led on major projects throughout his career such as one of the very first PFI ICT Grid for Learning projects in Dudley, a school reorganisation in Sandwell, Building Schools for the Future in Telford, developing foundation school trusts in the West Midlands, establishing OUR Multi Academy Trust as well as establishing an education consultancy and becoming a qualified Ofsted Inspector. Richard believes that schools and academies should be at the heart of their communities and the natural choice for parents, carers and the young people that attend them. Schools and academies have a duty to provide the very best education for all young people whatever their background, no excuses, and this belief is central to Richard’s drive in his leadership. Richard is a strong believer in system leaders and takes great pleasure in helping to grow our school leaders for the future.