Doug Cowper is the Chair of Trustees for DGAT.  Doug is a former Chair of Governors at Winchcombe Abbey  Church of England Primary School where he was a governor for 5 years.  The academy was judged to be 'outstanding' by Ofsted in April 2017.  

Doug is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IET. He has been an active member of INCOSE for 12 years and was President of INCOSE UK from Nov 08 to Nov 10 and a Director from Sep 06 to Nov 12. Whilst by profession, Doug is a highly experienced systems engineering manager he has a wide range of experience working across the commercial, military, government and academic sectors and has worked with organisations such as GlaxoSmithKline, Syngenta, University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Airbus, Boeing and AWE. Doug has also led a number of working groups developing the teaching of systems engineering core competencies in the UK.  He has published a number of Journal Papers and Conference Papers in his specialised field. Doug is also a Doctor of Philosophy (Technology Planning & Management -University College London).

Doug has significant commercial and business knowledge. He has extensive Project/Bid and Business Management & Development experience. In his spare time, Doug works with the Scouts.

Rob Stokes is a Chartered Accountant and Partner for Randall & Payne LLP.  He currently works as a Client Director and Senior Statutory Auditor. Rob works with a growing number of both standalone academies and multi academy trusts and is responsible for expanding the firm’s offering in respect of education and academies. In addition to organising Academy seminars, he attends EFA working group meetings and training session as well as working alongside the  Gloucestershire and Worcestershire Association of School Business Managers. Rob also maintains an audit presence with commercial clients and charities. 

As a member of the Randall and Payne senior leadership team, Rob supports the strategic development of the company as well as being directly responsible for both the audit team and outsourcing team.

Prior to joining his current company, Rob worked for Morgan Waugh Haines LLP & Waugh Haines Rigby Limited as a Senior Accounts Manager and Senior Statutory Auditor where he was responsible for the training, standards and compliance of 30 staff across the accounting practice and audit practice. Rob built the firm’s academy client base and established a relationship with solicitors also involved in the sector. During this time he worked with fourteen academies.


Dr Kenny Lynch is a Reader in Geography and the Course Leader for the University of Gloucestershire’s BA and BSc Geography programmes.  He graduated from the University of Aberdeen and was awarded a PhD from the University of Glasgow.

As a Reader, he leads research teams and develops research capacity in the University.  2007-2011 he served as Deputy Director of the University’s Pedagogic Research & Scholarship Institute which encouraged and developed research activity, particularly focusing on research-informed teaching.  

As an academic geographer, he has researched, advised and published extensively on aspects of the relationship between cities and the countryside in sub-Saharan Africa and on aspects of teaching and learning in higher education, and in 2004 was awarded a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of his achievements in this aspect of his research.  Kenny also supervises Masters and PhD research students and has been an external examiner for a number of universities in the UK, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.


The Venerable Phil Andrew joined the Diocese as Archdeacon of Cheltenham in March 2017. The Archdeacon of Cheltenham has responsibility for the four deaneries on the eastern side of the Diocese covering Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Cirencester, and the Cotswolds.

Before his appointment as Archdeacon of Cheltenham, Phil spent almost 11 years as Vicar of St Mary’s Church in Reigate, Surrey, where he was also a school governor and an honorary canon of Southwark Cathedral. Before training for ordained ministry at St John’s College in Nottingham Phil had a career as a Chartered Engineer, working in a number of management roles overseeing design and construction projects, particularly in the UK water industry.

Commander Mervyn Cowdrey’s considerable professional skill set comes primarily from a 40-year career in the Royal Navy, highlights of which includes being Head of Personnel for all UK and affiliated military forces in Afghanistan with an oversight of the administrative support and duty of care of all UK forces during this time. He has a comprehensive knowledge of project management, personnel administration and end-to-end logistics. During his naval career, he was responsible for the development of maritime logistics strategy and policy. He was responsible for the strategic management and planning of training for 4000 new entrants into the Royal Navy. During this time was personally responsible for £95m annual budget. He also represented the MOD as a member of the Home Office Project Team which developed the legislation that led to the 2006 Charities Act.

In his spare time, Mervyn has been a Treasurer of St Jude's Church, a large Anglican Church as well as the Project Director for a major redevelopment of the building. He is currently Secretary to the PCC of St Peter’s Church, Minsterworth. He retains his season ticket for Fratton Park, the home of Portsmouth Football Club.

Philip Perks has been a member of the Gloucester Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) for well over a decade, including Vice-Chair of the Board for the past six years and Chair of the Strategy, Trusts, Buildings, Admissions and Governance Committee.  He retired as Head Teacher of Hillview Primary School, Gloucester and is currently a Bishop’s Visitor, Substitute Ex-Officio Governor at Highnam CE Primary Academy and Churchwarden of Holy Trinity, Tibberton.


Tim Brock is a DGAT appointed governor at St Matthews Church of England Primary School in Stroud. He was a governor at St James’ Church of England Primary School Cheltenham from 2009 to 2018. Tim chaired their Ethos Committee before becoming vice chair and was Chair of Governors for four years. The school became an academy and joined DGAT in 2017.


Tim is Oxfordshire County Councils Lead Officer for Governance. Working alongside other members of the School Improvement Team Tim is responsible for improving leadership in all maintained schools. Previous roles with Beam Suntory, Bass PLC, The Forestry Commission and as a Policy Advisor to The Under Secretary of State for Employment have helped to shape his career.  


Tim is a proactive leader capable of turning strategy into action. Strong leadership skills and experience gained in both the public and private sectors allow him to demonstrate organisational agility and an ability to drive change by influencing and engaging others.


Tim was born and educated in Worcester and now lives in Cheltenham with his wife and two children.  He is happiest when inspiring others and cherishes honesty, passion and integrity.

Charlotte Rawlings is an experienced Chair of Governors initially at Minsterworth C of E Primary School.  Charlotte previously ran a pre-school that achieved the ‘Outstanding in all Areas’ judgement following an Ofsted inspection.  As a result she was then was appointed EYLP (Early Years Lead Practitioner) for Gloucestershire.


In 2018, Charlotte was appointed Trust Governor and Chair of Governors of a small but experienced IGB team and successfully led the Interim Governing Body at Coaley C of E Primary School and oversaw its transition to a Full Governing Body.


Charlotte spent many years of her career as an interior designer, providing design consultation and completing design projects for high profile clients across the UK, with several projects featuring in major design publications such as House and Garden magazine. Charlotte is knowledgeable in working closely with Rapid Action Plans for School Improvement.


Charlotte has four children ranging from 29 to 17. A committed Christian, she and her husband regularly attend Holy Apostles C of E Church in Cheltenham.  

The Venerable Hilary Dawson joined the diocese as Archdeacon of Gloucester and Residentiary Canon of Gloucester Cathedral in January 2019. She has responsibility for five deaneries on the western side of the diocese.

Prior to coming to Gloucester, Hilary was in parish ministry in Exeter Diocese and has extensive experience of serving on governing bodies. These have included a federation of church primary schools, a number of community schools, a grammar school, and an independent school.

Before ordination Hilary taught for 19 years, mostly in primary education. She was also a School Chaplain for four years. She helped to write the RE curriculum for Devon SACRE and adapted it for use in small schools.


Trustees are responsible for the strategic direction, broad policy framework and oversight of the Trust and all its academies. They take decisions that are in the best interests the MAT as a whole and are not representative of any one of the constituent schools. The Trustees are also Directors of the Academies Trust which is a company limited by guarantee and registered as such at Companies House.


Professor Doug Cowper (Chair)

Rob Stokes

Dr Kenny Lynch

The Venerable Phil Andrew

Cmder Mervyn Cowdrey

Philip Perks

Tim Brock

Charlotte Rawlings

The Venerable Hilary Dawson 

© 2019 DGAT