Lee Chapel MAT Board 

Members and Trustees

Outstanding Success Through Partnership


Mr Craig O’Callaghan 

Member & Chair of Board

Prior to his recent retirement, Craig was the Chief Operating Officer at the University of London.  His role involved leading an operational service delivery to 54,000 students across the world.  Craig worked in education for over 30 years years and has operational, technological, legal and financial experience.  Craig holds a BA in Humanities and has an MSc in Politics and Administration from Birkbeck College.

Mr Mike Smith 

Member & Vice-Chair of Board

Mike is committed to making a difference and believes that the pupils should be at the centre of all planning and decision making. Mike supports strong leadership and management as he feels they underpin successful teaching and learning and he is proud to have led a skilled and highly motivated governing body through the transition to becoming a Primary school.  The excellent team work forged with the Headteacher and Senior Leaders provides a sound basis for academy status and the exciting opportunities that lay ahead for pupils, staff and parents.

Prior to retirement, Mike had two successful careers, one in psychiatry and a second more recently in human resources, having worked for the NHS in a London borough and in Essex.  His core skills therefore, lie in personnel management, facilitation and human behaviour.  When not attending to school business, Mike spends much of his time with his family, playing golf, and league table tennis.

Mrs Sandy  Tomlinson

Member, Chair of Finance & Audit Committee & Vice-Chair of Lee Chapel Primary School & Nursery

Sandy was appointed to the Trust in June 2019 and is a School Business Operations Consultant who has worked in Education for over 9 years and has over fourteen years experience as a school governor in both primary and secondary sectors.  She has experience in Financial, Project and Facilities Management, Human Resources, Health & Safety and Procurement.  

Mr Roderick Pollington 


Rod is long standing Manager at the Port of Tilbury, dealing in the logistics of freight and cargo transport.  This major port is the largest multi-modal port in the South East and has annual throughput of 16 million tonnes per annum.  Rod plans the transportation of varied cargoes spread across an estate in excess of 1,000 acres and liaises with a variety of short and deep sea vessels. Rod also offers operational support for different cargoes, including forest products, grain and bulks as well as cruises and property solutions.  

Rod has a wealth of experience as a Governor and Chair of Governors and is adept at strategic planning and governance. Rod, as a former Chair of Governors of one of the Trust’s Schools, was an active participant in the development of the MAT’s strategic growth and development strategy.



Mrs Susan (Sue) Jackson

Chief Executive Officer 

Sue is the overall lead for the academies within the Trust.  Working closely with the DfE, Regional Schools Commissioner and the Heads of Academies, her specific focus is to ensure that the Trust's strategies are realised.

Sue is a National Leader of Education and a trained Ofsted Inspector.  She has been Headteacher of Lee Chapel Primary (a National Support and Teaching School) for the past 24 years, during which time she has, together with her ‘team’, supported schools across the Local Authority in her capacity as a school based Development Adviser, executive Headteacher of OFSTED category schools and a Leadership coach and new Headteacher mentor.

Mr Michael Betteridge 

Now retired but previously a Director of a Theatre Company

Mike’s strengths are in business management and PR. He is analytical and is able to identify, assess and review key performance indicators. He is a local resident with a long-standing relationship with Lee Chapel as his children attended the school and now his Grandchildren currently attend. Since retiring, Mike has become heavily involved in devising and organising school drama performances and theatre workshops for Primary pupils across Essex.

Mr Dermot Kavanagh 

Vice-Chair of Finance & Audit Committee and Chair of Lee Chapel Primary School & Nursery

Dermot is a qualified Financial Manager, experienced in building relationships in the commercial sector, who prior to retirement, managed the office at a local firm of Solicitors dealing with the financial aspects of the firm. Experience gained from working for and with a range of companies and providing bespoke advice for a variety of organisations has proved useful to the board.  Dermot is customer focused, analytical and an effective communicator who prioritises the customer experience to ensure a world class service.

Mr Steve Robson 

Chair of Governors of Ryedene Primary School & Nursery

Steve was appointed as the Chair of Governors of Ryedene Primary School & Nursery in November 2023.

Over 30 years’ experience of working within the retail trade as a Company Director.  Steve has proven financial, marketing and personnel experience and an understanding of  business principles.  He is currently working as a sport groundsman and is actively involved in all aspects of school premises management, Health, Safety and Safeguarding at Greensted Primary School & Nursery.

Mrs  Julie Bird 

Former Royal Air Force Sergeant

Now retired, but previously a Royal Air Force sergeant and Senior Manager in a Newspaper group, Julie has a very long association with Lee Chapel having been a pupil, Parent Governor and now Trustee.

Julie’s career started in the Royal Air Force and she is enthusiastic about Military events and the Combined Cadet Force. Julie also spent over 23 years as a Senior Manager at a group of newspapers locally and across Essex . She developed education in the media Producing supplements and magazines enhancing choice for parents. Julie has a wealth of experience in communication and performing arts, having two talented children and grandchildren who have performed on stage and television. Julie’s passion for the performing arts meant that she wholeheartedly supported the building of the Trust’s new theatre and the further raising of the performing arts across all Trust schools. Julie actively encourages equality, diversity and inclusion in the school’s choirs and performing art groups and brings much to our team of Board members and trustees.

Mr Jon Hann

Chair of Governors of The Phoenix Primary School & Nursery

Jon was appointed as the Chair of Governors of The Phoenix Primary School & Nursery in October 2022.

Mr Stuart Burke-Terson

Chair of Governors of Northlands Primary School & Nursery

Stuart was appointed as the Chair of Governors of Northlands Primary School & Nursery in February 2024.

Mr Ian Randle

Former Chair of Governors of Northlands Primary School & Nursery



Mrs Victoria Carter (Company Secretary & Clerk to the Board)

Mrs Ann Burrows (Chief Financial Officer )

Mrs Elizabeth Cornelius (Human Resources Director)



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