Beth Curl

MAT Trustee

Chair of MAT Board


Beth Curl was a governor of The Queen Katherine School for 8 years

and has been a Director of the MAT since its formation and is now chair.

Beth started her career as a research chemist with an international

life science company. Her growing interest in people and organisations,

catalysed her move into HR and Learning and Development.

Beth founded her management development consultancy in 1999 and

works with a wide range of organisations, particularly in the science and

technology sector.

Since moving to South Cumbria in 2006, Beth has worked with a

number of voluntary organisations and is committed to helping the

QKS MAT provide the best education and opportunities for all its students.

Eddie Richards

MAT Trustee

Chair of Governors, George Hastwell School

Eddie was appointed a Governor of George Hastwell School in 2017 and a MAT Trustee in 2018.

After leaving school he joined Vickers Limited as an apprentice at their Engineering Company in Barrow in Furness, now BAE Systems. On completing his apprenticeship Ihe undertook a course of undergraduate study in Engineering and gained a B.Sc. On completing his graduate study he rejoined the company as a designer, becoming Chief Engineer a number of years later. In 1996 he was awarded an MBE, in the Queen’s birthday honours list, for my services to the Defence Industry. During his career he worked on several international projects across the globe. Later in his career he converted from engineering to Programmes Management and was responsible for national and international projects. He was also a Principal Industrial Mentor for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

In his leisure time he has, for the last 40 years, been active in Scouting, until recently (2018) He was the District Commissioner for scouting across the South West of Cumbria. However, after two terms of office in that role, 10 years, he handed the DC’s batten over but still remains a County Scout leader

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Joanne Heather

MAT Trustee

Joanne joined the MAT Board in 2018 after moving to Cumbria in 2017. She has two children at QKS.

Joanne started her career with Shell International as a petroleum engineer, and after several years gaining operational experience moved to strategic planning and financial management, underpinning her undergraduate degree in Maths with an MBA at night school. She moved to Houston, Texas with a US energy company in 2000 to advise on investment of their asset portfolio and led the budget and financial planning teams for different divisions within the company. Latterly, she worked with a boutique management consultancy providing portfolio management and financial expertise, project leadership, organisational development, and facilitation and coaching of teams and executives. Over the years, she has contributed financial guidance to a number of voluntary organisations.

She brings a wealth of experience in financial management, strategic planning and organisational development to the Board.

She is passionate about how schools can best be supported to equip young people for adult life through the development of personal skills and future-proofed career aspirations as well as good academic qualifications. In her free time she is enjoying being back in the north of England, and exploring new destinations as well as revisiting old haunts.

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Joyce Hawthorn
MAT Trustee


Joyce was appointed as a Governor at The Queen Katherine School in 2018 taking on responsibility for linking with the schools Safeguarding Team

Joyce's professional life was in Social Work working in a variety of different roles within both the Voluntary Sector and Local Authority. She initially worked in Edinburgh and Kent in residential schools for young people with challenging behaviour - where there were identified social and family issues affecting their school life. This led to a career in community-based social work - initially in a safeguarding team within Cumbria County Council before moving to work with Action for Children within Cumbria but also tapping into some national agendas. Joyce has a particular interest in change management having helped to establish the Sure Start Centres across parts of Cumbria and was seconded back into CCC to develop the Early Help Agenda as Service Manager.
Outside of work, Joyce enjoys reading, collecting children’s books, travelling and gardening as well as keeping up with national politics and how this influences local government.


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Paul Slater
Chief Executive Officer
The Queen Katherine School Multi-Academy Trust

Paul Slater has been a successful primary headteacher for over 15 years and has been working with the Trust since 2017, as an adviser and now as the CEO.

Paul has worked across many different local authorities and has supported and advised many schools on curriculum development, Ofsted preparedness, staffing restructures as well as supporting schools to move from Ofsted categories towards Good. He enjoys working alongside colleagues to improve the life chances for all pupils and is always willing to offer advice and provide support. 

He firmly believes in allowing students to achieve their best through a wide variety of subjects and experiences provided through schools.  

Paul was nominated for the prestigious National Teaching Award and was a Silver Award winner in 2019 for his services as a Headteacher. 

Tracy Houlden

Chief Operating Officer

The Queen Katherine School Multi-Academy Trust


Tracy is the Human Resources Manager for the MAT, supporting the MAT schools with all HR and people related issues. She is CIPD qualified and has extensive HR, leadership and management experience in a wide range of sectors. 

Her approach to HR in education is pragmatic and school focussed. She aims to take the mystery out of HR and provide as much support as necessary to the schools’ Senior Leadership Teams.

Tracy says that she loves living and working in the Lake District – 'having spent 5 years commuting to Bolton from Kirkby Lonsdale, the journey to work is now wonderful.'

Billy Coxon


The Queen Katherine School Multi-Academy Trust


Billy first came to QKS in October 2012 to help prepare the end of year accounts. Since then he has become the MAT School Accountant. 

He is best known locally for playing rugby and was a regular in the Kendal 1st XV for over 20 years. Recently, he hung up his boots and took up golf (with a lot less success).

Alastair Byers

MAT Technical Services (ICT) Manager

The Queen Katherine School Multi-Academy Trust


 Alastair manages the ICT support function across the MAT Schools.


He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer having had experience in various sectors - Accountancy, Legal, Secondary and Further Education.


He has been involved in many major projects in my various roles, and looks forward to improving the Schools within the Trust.


In his spare time he enjoys fell walks in the Lakes and Yorkshire Dales and exploring the local Countryside.

Paul Brooks
Heath & Safety Officer

The Queen Katherine School Multi-Academy Trust


Paul has worked in the education sector for the last 10 years firstly as a Lab Technician then as Facilities Manager Walney School. In September 2016 he took over the role of MAT Facilities Manager as well as Educational Visits Coordinator, Walney School.

Previously Paul was a soldier for 24 years in Scotland's only cavalry regiment reaching the rank of regimental sergeant major. He has seen active service in the Gulf, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo, he retired from the military in 2003 just after receiving a medal from Her Majesty The Queen for meritorious services to the regiment.

Paul lives in Dalton with his wife and family, his hobbies include restoring old motorcycles and tending their land along with 55 sheep.

Totally committed to his job he says that he couldn't wish for a better job in civilian life.  

Phil Clayton

MAT Trustee

Phil is recently retired, having spent most of his professional career as a Management Consultant, specialising in programme and project management in the IT sector. He worked for both public and private sector clients, as a member of a large consultancy, and more recently as an independent contractor.


He lives in Kendal and has two children at QKS.

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Lisa Bibby

MAT Trustee

Lisa has over 25 years’ senior leadership experience across public and third sectors, delivering major change and improvement programmes across education, children’s services and community regeneration, most latterly as Director for Education and Schools for Blackburn with Darwen Council, focused on the reform of all education services and establishment of a schools led improvement system.

Since 2014 Lisa has worked as an independent strategy, development and improvement consultant to public and third sectors at local and national levels and is also a co-founder of a collaborative consultancy based in Lancashire specialising in research and evaluation. Since 2017 she has also worked for Mind, the national mental health charity, as a Quality Reviewer, responsible for undertaking independent reviews of local Mind charities, assessing all aspects of leadership and governance, sustainability and growth, influence and participation.

Lisa has significant experience as a trustee, chair, non executive director and as a member of a number of partnership boards including the Mind Network Committee.


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Phil Edmondson

MAT Trustee

Paul Edmondson was appointed as a MAT Trustee in December 2019.

Degree educated in Engineering, Paul has spent the majority of his career working for Siemens in the Oil & Gas Industry where he held a number of Design, Commercial and Management positions.

Paul now works locally in the advanced materials and paper products group – James Cropper plc, where he is the Technical Manager within the group’s Strategic Innovation Team.  

Paul is an alumnus of The Queen Katherine School and resides locally with his wife and two young children.

In his spare time he enjoys fell running, playing football and photography.

Liz Moffatt

MAT Member, Chair

Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders (CASL) Strategic Development Officer 

Liz Moffatt joined the MAT Board in 2014.

The Headteacher of an outstanding school for almost 21 years and an Executive Head for 3 years she brings a wealth of leadership experience and expertise to the Board. From 2002 she worked with the National College and then with Granada Learning, as a facilitator of adult learning and coach. As a trained facilitator and a coach she has worked with school leaders and staff in schools throughout the country.


​In 2010 Liz became a National College Regional Associate working with schools and other educational professionals to embed system leadership across the North West. She was the Strategic Development Officer for the Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders, (CASL), for several years until 2016. She now works as an associate with Education Development Trust and is co-creating with schools leaders and CASL members an accountability framework to measure the effectiveness of cluster working and the self-improving education system in Cumbria.

Richard Moore

MAT Member


Richard is managing partner at a Solicitors firm based in the South Lakes. He has lived in the area for nearly 25 years. He specialises in commercial work, commercial dispute resolution and employment matters.

Both of his children have been pupils at QKS. In his spare times Richard plays golf and fell walking.