Effective schools need good governing bodies. The Diocese is committed to providing support, training and some resources to enable governing bodies, particularly with the specific task of leading a Church school. The Diocesan Governance Consultants can help develop strong and effective governing bodies in a variety of ways suited to the needs and characteristics of each individual school.

Two experienced Governance Consultants are able to offer this support:

Phil Preston

Phil Preston is a freelance consultant specialising in education leadership development. His work with the Chelmsford Diocese involves training and advising school leaders and helping develop a distinctively Christian approach to school leadership. 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. Recently he chaired the Interim Executive Board of a Church of England school successfully steering it into federation with another Church school. 

A former head of local authority education services Phil’s work included strategic planning, asset management, capital programmes, major organisational change to education provision, the creation of new schools and other education provision as well managing academy conversions. He has been a Senior Education Consultant, planning projects and developing innovative models of schooling both in the United Kingdom and abroad. He has also served as Lay Chair of his local Parochial Church Council.

Mike Simmonds

Mike Simmonds is an experienced educationalist with a focus on governance. Having served as a governor of a variety of schools, mostly as Chair, for 30 years he is currently Chair of Directors of a Multi Academy Trust (3 Schools) and Chair of an Interim Executive Board of a Church School.  

Mike is involved in providing training, mentoring and support for schools and governors in several Dioceses. In the Diocese of Chelmsford this often means supporting Head teachers and Chairs of Governors. He trains on many aspects of school governance and is a passionate communicator from lecterns and pulpits - often speaking at governor conferences across the country. He is continually thinking about how to re-imagine governance in Church schools and provide effective leadership for this and the next generation of children.

Check out the pages in this section of the website and access the support available.