Education Team

Tim Elbourne

Director of Education

The Revd Tim Elbourne came to Chelmsford as Director of Education (DDE) in Jan 2013 and leads the Education Team. 

Tim Chairs the Chaplaincy Council at Anglia Ruskin University and the Grove Education editorial group. He is a Director of Sparrows

Tim was Director of Education and an honorary Canon of Ely 1998-2012.  Previous posts after ordination in 1986 have included University Chaplaincy, Clergy training and Parish roles in rural Yorkshire and inner London. His PGCE was in Secondary English.

Tim is a Mancunian (though he chose to stand on the Liverpool Kop as a teenager in an early act of local nonconformity) and often travels north to spend time among Yorkshire hills and with his delightful small granddaughter and family. However, his summer allegiance remains firmly with Lancashire County Cricket club.

Publications include ‘Church schools: A Mission-Shaped Vision’ (Grove, 2009) ‘Understanding Church Schools’ (Grove 2012) and papers in ‘Anglican Church School Education’ (Bloomsbury, 2013) and ‘Faith Matters’ (Mayhew, 2013).

07813 082071

Administration Team

Bryan Lester

Schools Officer

Bryan's part in the education team is to manage capital finance and land matters for schools. His role requires liaising with the eight Local Authorities within the Diocese on the allocation of funds, most specifically for VA schools who are the direct responsibility of the Diocese, but also having some input into decisions affecting VC and foundation schools.

He is also involved with our multi academy trusts as the company secretary and a director.

Bryan joined the team in 2007 and enjoy working in what is a very changeable and varied role as part of a very supportive and friendly team.

He is a chemistry graduate with a background in IT and education having worked for several years in the Education Department in Essex.

01245 294439

Catherine Forsyth

Education Projects Officer

Catherine is the Education Projects Officer. She previously worked at the CDBF as Project Manager in the Development and Property Department.

Catherine works on school improvement projects, assisting with capital finance and liaising with schools and Local Authorities. She enjoys working as part of a dynamic team and building strong relationships with schools and Trusts.

Catherine has a degree in Business Administration and enjoys exploring new places, looking after animals and spending time with her husband and son.

01245 294440

Catherine Pearson

Catherine Pearson joined the Education Team in August 2019 having previously worked in the higher education sector.

She administers the Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Education website and prepares the Schools Bulletin.

She also provides administrative support to the Education Team.

Catherine’s interests include historical research, writing, art and flamenco dancing.  Her husband is a professional artist and she enjoys curating his exhibitions.

Catherine’s working days are: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

01245 294441

Jill Smylie

Education Support Officer

Jill joined the Education Department in 2015 and enjoys working as part of a very friendly team. She maintains records of the Foundation Governors appointed by the Diocesan Board of Education and can offer advice relating to the Governing Bodies. She also provides administrative support to the Education Team.

Jill's interests include being involved with her local church as a member of the PCC and helping with Riding For The Disabled and also enjoy a range of sports including ski-ing, pilates and keeping fit.

Jill is multi lingual with a BA Honours in Spanish Studies.

01245 294441

Children and Early Years Team

Ann Sharp

Ann is the Early Years Advisor for the Diocese and her work involves supporting and line-managing the Sparrows nurseries of which we have three, helping them to work within the EYFS and Ofsted framework and day to day challenges that occur.

She also works with and supports any church pre-school or church in the Diocese that has under-fives.  This may mean working with a new or existing toddler group, a pre-school that has a strong Christian ethos or any other group that may need new ideas to support young children.

Ann finds thatt working with under-fives is a rewarding and (on occasions) exhausting career (!), but one that should be recognised as so very important.  Our youngest children are inquisitive and eager to learn - how great is that!  They soak up information like sponges and these early years groups and activities can define their social and independence skills for later life.

She is eager to visit many groups to offer any support that she can and to nuture our children in God's love and Jesus' compassion, so if you know of anyone who needs help please let her know.

As Ann says, 'There is one main thing to remember - Always have fun!!!

Working days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.    

07548 586572

Steve Kersys

Children's & Families Advisor, Chelmsford Diocese 

Steve is married to Mary and they have two fantastic daughters, Polly & Rosie.

Steve works as the Children’s & Families Ministry Advisor for the Diocese of Chelmsford and in the past he has toiled away as a Deputy Head in a Primary School, a minister in an Independent Church, Tutor andTeam Leader at a Bible College, Puppet Manufacturer and seller of fruit & veg on a market stall.

Sport, gardening, bee keeping and reading are all things Steve would love to be doing but at the moment supporting Churches in their Ministry with children and families and helping out at his local Church, St Mary’s, Great Baddow, fills the hours quite nicely. Future projects include camper vans, carpentry, self sufficiency, writing and a social life.


07541 240607

School Advisors

Carrie Prior

Schools Adviser

Carrie joined the Education Team in September 2018 as an Adviser and will take the on a specific area.

She has worked in Church of England schools for 15 years, spending over 10 years of those years in Senior Leadership as an Assistant Head, Deputy Head and Headteacher.  Most recently this has involved 6 years as head of an Essex Primary School.  Carrie joined the school when it had been placed in Special Measures, and within a year, under her leadership, the school reclaimed its good rating and has maintained it ever since.

Alongside Headship Carrie has been busy raising her family.  She is married to Damian and has two young children, Bella aged 6 and Theo aged 3.  Running a family and a school in tandem has kept her very busy! She enjoys cooking, reading, being in the countryside and living in her village community in rural Essex.

07583 032694

Heather Tetchner

Schools Adviser – School Improvement

Heather joined the team, working on a part-time basis of three days a week (Wednesday - Friday), September 2017 after working for Essex County Council for 39 years in total, during which time she was a headteacher for 27 years.

She can offier advice and support on both a practical and strategic level.  She has led a range of schools rural, town and coastal ranging from a three class primary school, an infant school, a junior school up to a 14 class primary school.

Heather's interests are travel, swimming, gardening, dancing, films, the theatre, reading and is a member of the Wickford Rock Choir.  She is actively involved in her local church being in the church choir and on the PCC.


Helen Craig

Schools Adviser & Collective Worship Lead

Helen joined our Education Team in September 2018 and leads on Collective Worship.

She has been a Headteacher for seventeen years.  She has led two schools and is proud that all her teaching experience has been in Church schools.

She was the first co-headship for the Diocese.  She has led her schools to outstanding SIAMS inspection judgements.  Helen has enjoyed collaborating with other local schools and supporting initial teacher training.

Helen is married to Ian.  She has two sons, Sam and William who are currently at university.  In her free time she likes to exercise, travel and enjoy good food with friends and family.

07972 108483

Lallie Godfrey

Schools Team Leader – School Improvement Lead

Lallie was a Headteacher for 20 years and led three Church Schools during this time as well as opening a new school in Chelmsford.

She has been a Primary Excellence Project Headteacher in Kent where she supported schools across the county and in North West Kent with training, school improvement and leadership as well as being a School Improvement Partner and National Consultant Leaser.  She is also an accredited Consultant Leader and Mentor / Coach and School Improvement Partner.

Lallie is happily married to Hugh, who was also a Headteacher, and has two children (Sam and Becky) both married and two lovely grandchildren, Isaac and Tillie, with another due later in the year.

In her free time she enjoys gardening, walking along the riverbank near her house with her two dogs and spending time creating lass pieces of art  and acrylic designs which she exhibits and sells.  She  is also inclined to get immersed in the latest computer games determined to beat her own highest score.

07976 208498

Ruth Everett

Schools Adviser – RE Lead

Ruth is a School Adviser and RE Lead.  She has worked in Education since 1984 with the majority of time spent teaching in Essex Primary Schools in a variety of roles, leading a wide range of subjects including English and RE and Senior Leadership.

She has also spent time as a Primary Literacy Consultant involved in local and regional work on phonics and most recently involved in leading a school from special measures to good.  Ruth is a qualified SENCO an area of interest that continues to be explored through the teaching of RE and working with Governors.  Her experience of working with Governing bodies includes being a staff member, LA Governor and more recently a Chair of Governors on a Local Governing Body.

Ruth has served on Governing bodies as a staff member, LA governor and recently taken up the position of Chair in a local school.

Education for Ruth has always been an ongoing learning journey and in Autumn 2017 she began a research based Masters in Religion, Society and Christian Education.

Ruth particularly enjoys participating in variety of forms of worship including singing, playing a selection of musical instruments. She spends what little time she has left with family, friends, walking, reading and cross stitch.

07972 113640

Schools Consultants

Mike Simmonds

Governance Consultant 

Mike Simmonds has 30 years' experience in school leadership / governance across three counties.  He is currently chair of the Directors of a MAT (4 schools).  Mike is also Chair of an IEB for a Church School in the Chelmsford Diocese/ECC and two Local Hubs for the Vine Schools Trust.  

Much of Mike's work is as governance consultant for the Diocese of Chelmsford as well as St Albans as well as both the Vine Schools Trust and the St Albans MAT.  He is part of a team developing Church School governor training for Liverpool Hope University. These roles include delivering training, providing support for schools and governing bodies and creating resources.  More recently Grove Books have published this book 'Church School Governance'. Alongside this he is a conference speaker on governance and the teaching and learning project, What if Learning.  

Married with 11 grandchildren, Mike lives in Hadleigh, Essex and is a member of a sausage club (ask him why!) and loves reading, watching films and preaching in a diversity of churches.

Pamela Draycott

SIAMS/Kenyan Link Consultant

Following a successful teaching and middle leadership career in a range of schools, Pamela worked for many years for RE Today supporting primary and secondary school RE nationally and internationally.

She then worked as a curriculum advisor for Kent County Council before completing her full-time working career as an Associate Headteacher in a quickly improving secondary Church of England Voluntary Aided School.

She now works on a part-time capacity as an Educational Consultant. She is SIAMS Manager for our Diocese overseeing our church school inspection programme.

Click here to view information about our SIAMS process

Pamela also supports our Diocesan Kenyan School link.

Click here to view the Diocesan Kenyan School Link

Pamela is married with 1 daughter and two grandchildren. Her main hobbies are Photography, Knitting and Crochet.

Phil Preston

Governance Consultant

A former head of local authority education services, Phil is currently a Governance Consultant for the Diocese of Chelmsford.

Much of Phil’s career has been spent in school organisation planning and education capital programme development and he has been a governor of schools in Essex and Hertfordshire. Recently Phil has led major education change projects including new schools, alternative education provision and academy conversions in North East London.

Phil has also been Senior Education Consultant in a major international company managing educational change programmes and developing new models of schooling in the UK and abroad. Phil is a former Chair of the Diocese of Chelmsford Vine Schools Trust and a former Foundation Governor of his local Church of England Junior School in the Diocese.