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).

Administration Team

Bryan Lester

Schools Officer

My part in the education team is to manage capital finance and land matters for schools. My 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.

I am also involved with our two multi academy trusts as the company secretary for both trusts and a director of the Diocese of Chelmsford Sower Schools Trust.

I 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.

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

Catherine Forsyth

Education Projects Officer


Catherine recently joined the Education Department after returning from maternity leave in January 2018. She previously worked at the CDBF as Project Manager in the Development and Property Department.

Catherine works alongside Bryan Lester 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.

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.


Children and Early Years Team

Ann Sharp

I have been working in early years for seventeen years starting as a pre-school practitioner, deputy, then moving to become manager.

More recently I worked as an Early Years Development Officer for the Pre-school Learning Alliance supporting and training Early Years settings on the EYFS and welfare requirements.   I am passionate that our youngest children have the best nurturing and start to their education.

I am married to Trevor who is a vicar and we have two grown up children.  I love music and singing and I play the clarinet. Trevor and I both love to travel anywhere hot!

I am looking forward to working with Sparrows settings, nurseries and churches in the diocese   ensuring our children play and learn safely in God’s love.

 07548 586572      email:  asharp@chelmsford.anglican.org    

Working days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Steve Kersys

Children's & Families Advisor, Chelmsford Diocese 

07541 240607



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.



School Advisors

Heather Tetchner

Schools Adviser – School Improvement

Telephone 07907910248


I am excited about joining the excellent Diocesan Team of advisers in September and working together with the schools in my allocated area.  I believe that I have a great deal to offer the team and the schools on a practical and strategic level, after being in education for 38 years, 27 years of them as a headteacher.  It's going to be very important in the challenging times ahead, to be working together to raise standards in the distinctively Christian schools of our Diocesan family.

Jeff Graham

Assistant RE Adviser (Part-Time 1 day a week)


Jeff has been a Headteacher of a small, medium and large Primary School and has taught in both rural, town and inner city areas. His main role is to work with Colleagues and Agencies to both support and challenge our Church Schools to be the best that they can be.

He works closely with the RE Adviser on Church school distinctiveness, collective worship and Religious Education

In his spare time, he enjoys amateur dramatics, musical theatre, playing Scrabble and enjoys sitting at the beach hut watching the world go by.

Lallie Godfrey

Schools Team Leader – School Improvement Lead

Telephone 07976208498


Lallie has been a Headteacher for 19 years and led three Church Schools during this time.

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. For the past five years she has acted as a Mentor/Coach to other Heads in both Kent and Thurrock.

Lallie is happily married to Hugh, who was also a Headteacher, and has two children (Sam and Becky) both married and a lovely grandson, Isaac.

In her free time she enjoys walking along rugged North Devon coastlines with her two dogs and spending time creating fused glass pieces of art (or indeed anything art related including patchwork, clay figures, acrylic designs and black-stitch). Lallie is also inclined to get immersed in the latest computer games determined to beat her own highest score.

Mike Dean

Schools Adviser – SIAMS & Spirituality Lead

Telephone 07972108483


Growing up in the north of England during his first decade and then in Portsmouth on the south coast, Mike has had a variety of experiences since graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Psychology and Physiology. After a year studying for a PGCE in Southampton, he taught for several years in East Sussex before pursuing an early interest in computers by working for a large international software company in various capacities within their marketing, sales and training divisions.

On re-entering teaching, he worked in Buckinghamshire, rising to Deputy Headship level, and subsequently took on a headship in Barnet, where he worked for eleven years before assuming his current role for the Diocese last September. This has given him substantial experience of working in a church school environment, and the rewards and challenges that come with trying to provide children with the best and broadest possible range of learning opportunities, and in seeking to underpin all with a strong Christian ethos and Christian values.

He is currently studying for an MA in leadership and innovation. Other interests (in no particular order!) include cycling, playing guitar and keyboard, travel when time allows, good food and getting out of doors as much as possible!   

Ruth Everett

Schools Adviser – RE Lead

Telephone 07972113640


Ruth 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 spent six years working for the Essex Local Authority as a Primary Literacy Consultant where she was involved in local and regional work on phonics. She has continued to develop her outreach work for phonics. Recently she was involved in leading a school from special measures to good and qualified as a SENCO.

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  has always been an ongoing learning journey for Ruth, and one that she looks forward to continuing in her role as School Advisor.

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.

Schools Consultants

Mike Simmonds

Governance Consultant 

Mike Simmonds has nearly 30 years experience in school leadership as a governor across three counties.  He is currently chair of the Directors of a MAT which includes being chair of both the sponsor and sponsored school.  Mike is also Chair of an IEB for a Church School in the Chelmsford Diocese/ECC and a member of another in the Diocese of St Albans.  

Much of Mike's work is as governance consultant for the Diocese of Chelmsford as well as St Albans and Blackburn Diocese.  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.  Alongside this he is a conference speaker on governance and the teaching and learning project, What if Learning.  

Married with 9 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, Crochet and travelling.

Phil Preston

Governance Consultant

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

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.