Rev. John Richardson

Following his move from Holy Trinity Margate in 2016, John became Assistant Priest of The Benefice of Romney Marsh.

He has been a priest in the Church of England since 1975 and during that time has served for over forty years as a school governor in primary, junior, secondary, grammar and independent schools across the dioceses of Southwell, Salisbury, Bath and Wells, Bradford and Canterbury separately as a foundation and local authority governor. He made his maiden speech in the General Synod of the Church of England in 2000 in response to the changing culture of Faith Schools particularly in inner city inter faith communities. He chaired one of the first Academies in the UK in Bradford in the late 1990s and consequently was the keynote speaker at the national Head Teachers Conference in Torquay in 2000.As a member of the Archbishop's Council in Canterbury Diocese John joined the Diocesan Board of Education in 2013, and from 2014 was appointed as a Trustee and a Member as the first Chair of Aquila. He also is the Vice Chair of DCACL, the Diocese of Canterbury's Academy Sponsoring Body. He is also Chairman of the Outstanding CQC Mildmay NHS Specialist HIV Aids Hospital in London with sister projects in Kampala in Uganda and Kisumu in Kenya. They work with over 300,000 patients per annum. He is married to Sue who is recently retired after 43 years teaching of special needs teaching in multi deprived areas. She continues to be a Family Magistrate and School Governor. They have three children and eleven grandchildren.

John sits on the Audit and Risk and Finance and Resources Committees 

Annie Wiles

As CEO, Annie is also a trustee for Aquila

Quentin Roper

Quentin is Director of Education for the Diocese of Canterbury.

He leads a team of officers, staff and consultants that keeps ministry with children and young people at its heart, relating to them through parishes, families and the 103 church schools within the diocese. He studied Education at Durham University, graduating with a BA(Ed) Hons. degree in 1991, and has since completed an MA in Leadership and Management for Learning at Christ Church, becoming an Erasmus Scholar following participation in the Erasmus International Programme ‘Inclusive Education in Europe’ at the University of Oslo. Quentin was brought up in Norfolk, where his early career as a teacher encompassed both independent and maintained schools. On moving to Kent with his family, he undertook senior leadership roles in primary schools in Tonbridge, including an instructive period as an Acting Headteacher. He was Headteacher at Herne CE (Aided) Junior School for almost eight years until 2012, qualified as a church schools’ inspector and enjoys being a member of two local school governing bodies. He is eager to ensure that colleagues and Church of England schools are at the forefront of educational research and enquiry, an objective enhanced and inspired through a close partnership with the University’s Faculty of Education and NICER.

Graham Birrell

Graham has been a Trustee of Aquila since September 2014. Graham has worked at Canterbury Christ Church University for over twelve years as a Senior Lecturer in Education, specialising in initial teacher education and in the development of partnerships. Prior to this he was a primary school teacher in East Kent. Graham is particularly interested in values based approaches to education and in how these can be observed and enacted for the benefit of the whole school community. He is currently working on a doctorate on education, specialising in education policy, so also brings knowledge and expertise in current government policies and their effects on the school system.

Andrew Warrilow

Andrew is a media and marketing expert with experience of using a wide range of media types.

He is also passionate about ensuring effective care is in place for the most vulnerable in society. This has led him to set up a number of children’s homes to provide emotional support and physical security. He is a Director of the Trinity Resource Centre and of the Mildmay NHS Specialist hospital in London which was recently graded as Outstanding in their CQC inspection.

Andrew sits on the Finance and Resources Committee

Mike Wetherell

Mike has extensive experience in turning around struggling business and has particular expertise in working with charities and ensuring their financial and HR systems are streamlined and efficient. He was recently employed by the Kew Foundation as their Interim Operations Director with responsibility for governance, finance, HR and leadership of the Operations team. He is currently employed in a by Lloyds in their charity division. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Sue Butterworth

Sue has a life-long interest and involvement in children’s education. Starting as a primary teacher,  then deputy headteacher, she went on to be Headteacher of an outer London primary school for 10 years. Moving on she left to start a career with an Education Advisory Service supporting leadership teams and leading training for governors, teachers and support staff. Sue qualified as both a Primary and a Secondary School Improvement Partner and as an Ofsted Inspector. She went on to lead the Learning and Achievement Service and ultimately worked as a Director of Children’s Services before retiring. In all that time Sue has retained her passion for ensuring children and young people have every opportunity to succeed in life and learning. She is a firm believer in children getting the best possible start in life through well-coordinated support for families and excellent early years provision.

Elaine Rose

Elaine Rose has worked in social care specialising in mental health throughout her career.  She is a practising Child and Family Psychotherapist working with young people and adults and also works for the Ministry of Justice on a regular basis. For many years she was the safeguarding lead for Canterbury Cathedral and the Diocese of Canterbury. With a keen interest in research, evidenced based practice and outcomes, Elaine also works as an expert witness in care proceedings and has published academic papers in the last two years.

Elaine lives on Romney Marsh, she has a flock of sheep, a lot of chickens, three English Setter dogs and is, by necessity, a very keen gardener. She is a devoted grandmother, tandem rider and a very slow runner.

Lauren Atallah

Lauren Atallah is an experienced school improvement advisor who has been employed by Nacro and several academy trusts.

She has been in in Education for forty four years working with Local Authorities in the 14-19 sector as well as serving as a headteacher and holding senior management posts in the South East of England.

Since 2010 she has worked with the the following academy trusts: United Learning, The Midland Academies Trust, Brighton Universities Trust and The Attwood Trust. She has also worked for Sonia Blandford on Achievement For All, The London Challenge, the National College

NPQH, NPQSL and NPQML, Schools Direct and the University of Buckingham QTS/PGCE,M.A. and M.ED programmes. She is Chair of Governors at an outstanding local primary school and a Local Authority Governor of a good local primary school.

Her commitment is to ensure all children receive the best teaching and learning and aspire to achieve their full potential.

Andrew Gould

Andrew has taught in both KS1 and KS2 in schools in Kent and Thurrock followed by roles with KCC's Advisory Service, where he trained in OfSTED Inspection Skills.  He returned to front line teaching as a DHT of a large Primary school in Kent which was in Serious Weaknesses. As a result of the work he did alongside the HT the school achieved a Good judgement after only a short time.  Following this Andrew was utilised by the Local Authority as an Interim Head of School or Interim Headteacher of schools causing concern or in crisis to stabilise them and begin the process of moving the school forward to enable a suitable Substantive HT to take on. He left LA work to work as a Consultant Interim HT and led two schools in Somerset until his retirement in 2018.

Lisa Phillips

Lisa is an Accountant by background having Chartered in 2007 with a firm background in commercial finance before that. Becoming a mother in 2009 led Lisa to move into Education where she was a Finance Director at a 1200 pupil school. Building a new primary school and setting up a Kindergarten (for her son to attend!) just two miles from her home gave Lisa plenty to keep her busy.

Lisa then spent 5 years living and working in Abu Dhabi focusing on bilateral relations and business development at the British Embassy and in a communications consultancy.

Lisa returned to London and joined the Investments and Partnerships team of International Schools Partnership. Here Lisa worked to identify, build and grow relationships with schools who then joined the group. Lisa developed the team and systems to ensure robust knowledge transfer and global relationship management strategies.

During weekends and holidays, you will find Lisa trying to burn through the energy levels of two growing boys. Usually in parks and wide-open spaces with plenty of greenery and fresh air. Lisa occasionally runs, eats too many crisps and loves her slow cooker.

Glenn Berry

Glenn joined the Aquila Trust Board in May 2021. He was born in Kent and educated at Lincoln College, University of Oxford where he obtained a B.A. (Hons) in Mathematics. He has spent 30 plus years in financial services, specifically within the asset management industry working for a number of large global organisations. Most recently he was Chief Operating Officer Asia for HSBC Global Asset Management, based in Hong Kong. Indeed the bulk of his career has been in Asia, working in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. On his departure from Hong Kong he has returned to Kent and in addition to his responsibilities  for Aquila is still providing consultancy services to the asset management industry.

Apart from his own experience with education (multiple decade ago), he and his wife have three children who were educated both in Asia and in Kent.


Matt Johnson

Matt is an experienced business leader with a strong track record in leading commercial transformation and growth strategies. He is currently Chief Executive of Commercial Services Group, one of the largest, local authority owned, trading organisations of its kind in the UK. He chairs our Finance and Resources Committee.