Current Directors of the BAET


Will Finn


A modern history graduate from the University of York. In 1989, he began working with The McVitie biscuit company, and in 1991 left to join Johnson & Johnson, manufacturer of baby products, cosmetics and OTC medicines, in their marketing department.

He stayed with Johnson & Johnson for the next 25 years, becoming Marketing Director of their French cosmetics company in 1996, Marketing Director of the UK division in 1999 and International Marketing Director (Beauty Care), in 2003.

In 2006, he was appointed Managing Director of a newly acquired Johnson & Johnson company in France, and in 2009 he became Regional Managing Director for the African region, based in Cape Town. In 2012 he returned to Paris as President of all J&J consumer companies in France and a member of the Europe, Africa and Middle East management board, as well as the Global Beauty Care leadership team.

In 2015, frustrated by limitations of life within a large multinational company, he retired. He and his wife Victoria and their son Stanley, chose to settle in Hereford. Stanley attends the Cathedral school, Victoria teaches French in several local junior schools, Will is an occasional consultant, a trustee of Herefordshire Headway and, at last, a free man, able to pursue his interests in old cars and old comic strips.


Mark Simmons


Mark is Dean’s Advisor for Reconciliation Ministry at Coventry Cathedral and CEO of the Friends of Ibba Girls’ School. He was previously CEO of the peacebuilding charity, Cord, and of an international development agency, Fellowship for African Relief.

Mark has recently been appointed as trustee of the Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance, and of Reconciliation Initiatives, and chairs the UK & Ireland board of the Community of the Cross of Nails. An experienced mediator and negotiator, he has worked mostly in peacebuilding, international development, human rights, and educational leadership, notably in youth leadership programmes in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe, and currently with a number of governing bodies of Herefordshire schools.

Mark has four children, aged between 9 and 15, and is currently training for licensed lay ministry in the diocese.


Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith Photo

Former Headteacher at Mary Webb Secondary School. Chair of Shrewsbury Partnership for Education and Training, Secondary schools, post 16 colleges and training providers. Promoting cooperation and collaboration across the Shrewsbury area.


Canon Andrew Teale – Interim DDE, CEO

Andrew has taught for over twenty years, in primary schools in inner-city Nottingham and across Herefordshire, becoming the headteacher at Pembridge Church of England Primary School in 2003. Andrew has been the headteacher of St Paul’s Church of England Primary School in Hereford since 2010, securing outstanding judgments from OfSTED and in church school inspections. He was the executive headteacher for St Thomas Cantilupe CE Primary from 2012 until 2014, helping the school move from ‘special measures’ to ‘good’ judgments in 11 months. St Paul’s became a National Support School in 2015 and Andrew is now National Leader of Education and a church school (SIAMS) inspector with the Hereford Diocese. Andrew is a governor at Hereford Cathedral School and the three-school federation between Aylestone Business and Enterprise College, Withington Primary and Broadlands Primary School. He is also a director of Activate Education Ltd, a not-for-profit professional development provider and the Interim DDE of the BAET. Andrew has three children.


Peter Banford

Peter believes that if you have an interest, an opinion or simply want to support an organisation then you need to become involved in an appropriate way. The most important part of any organisation, especially schools, is the culture. If the culture is right, the aims, objectives and aspirations of the organisation will be achieved.

Peter is the Chair of Governors at St George’s Primary school in Clun, and enjoys working with the staff team to support them in delivering a fantastic education, within a culture that caters for all. He has a background in Project Management, fund writing, European rural development and manages Shropshire Council’s Community Enablement team.

Peter is a Governor at Southall Specialist school. He sits on the Finance committee, the Policy Review committee and focuses on Safeguarding and staff wellbeing.

He has recently completed, on behalf of St George’s school, an Erasmus project with partner schools in Iceland, Belgium and Finland. The topic was Education for Sustainable Development. The project involved teacher exchanges with the partner schools. Staff gained a lot from spending a week teaching in Iceland, Belgium and Finland. They brought back new ideas and developed their relationships with colleagues also attending the exchange visits.

Working in the Public sector Peter understands the current challenges that schools face. They have had to manage their school budget carefully at St George’s, the key for Peter (getting the culture right) is always putting the children and their education first.  He believes that education is a constant; we are always learning. Education comes in many forms and should be fuelled by creativity and aspiration. Education is a partnership between the school and the family. All schools provide an education, great schools provide an education, and perhaps more importantly, the appropriate wisdom and knowledge to use our education in a way that contributes to our own lives and that of the communities in which we live.


Craig Watson

Craig works as a consultant to the Department for Education, currently with the National Apprenticeship Service, where he advises both large and small companies around the country on government policy and the development of Apprenticeship provision.

Having held several senior management positions within the Leisure and Hospitality sector, he was a Director for both FE Colleges and Private Training Providers. During this time, he was responsible for the procurement & management of multiple funding streams, recruitment & selection of staff and the development commercial strategies.

Craig is passionate about education, both in and out of work; he is currently the Chair of Governors at Eastnor Primary School, which is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and in their latest ‘SIAMS’ inspection.

He is also a Director & Vice Chair of Ledbury Amateur Dramatic Society Ltd.  As part of this, he is the Designated Safeguarding Lead and runs a ‘Youth Theatre Company’ with his wife, where he nurtures and supports children and young adults through positive engagement with drama to become more confident and overcome barriers to success.


Louise Stevenson

Louise has almost 20 years’ experience in marketing and communications roles, in a range of organisations, from the National Trust to, more recently, FTSE 100 financial services institutions. She spent a number of years working with Worcestershire and Herefordshire County Councils supporting their Children’s Services and Children’s Social Care directorates with communications, media and marketing, including campaign management, crisis communications and media advice for school and local government leadership teams.

Louise is now self-employed, providing communications and marketing consultancy to small businesses and not-for-profit organisations, as well as Co-Founder of two local businesses and a mental health app, with her husband. Louise is actively involved in supporting the Academy Trust primary school her daughter attends, and also has four step-children, two of whom are school age.


Rob Pizii

Rob is the Bursar of Hereford Cathedral School, a co-educational School for 3 -18 in the centre of Hereford.  He has been in post for 5 years having moved to the city to take up the job.  Previously he was Bursar at Edgeborough, a preparatory School in Farnham, Surrey.

Rob’s first career was in the British Army, serving as an officer in the Royal Artillery for 22 years.  Rob’s roles were predominately in leadership positions, having the honour and privilege of leading soldiers in a wide range of situations, including on operations.  Rob also worked in Human Resources and procurement, following his interest in science and technology.  During his time in the Army Rob was fortunate enough to act as a Governor to three different primary schools in Germany, South Gloucestershire and West Sussex.  This breadth of experience has all been put to good use in his second career in the education sector.  Rob is also a Trustee to the Little Princess Trust.

Rob grew up in Taunton, Somerset, before studying for a degree in Geographical Science at Portsmouth Polytechnic.  A rigorous stint at Sandhurst was followed by many happy years in the Army, during which time he attended the Advanced Command and Staff Course, and gained an MA in Defence Studies.  Rob is married to a teacher, and has three children.  His interests include sailing and skiing.


Katy Skerrett

Katy Skerrett graduated from Oxford, and was later called to the Bar in 1999. She was a tenant at 2-3 Gray’s Inn Square and a scholar of Middle Temple. She practised in all areas of law, specialising in public, housing and local authority law. She was appointed a Judge in 2006, presiding over family and civil law cases in the Midlands and South Western region. She was later appointed as an Assistant Coroner in Berkshire, and later Gloucester.  In 2014 she was appointed as full time Coroner for Gloucestershire, which now takes up most of her time. She is a mum of three children, and lives with her husband in Herefordshire with two very lively spaniels, having returned to her home county when her children began to run too fast to keep up with them in Battersea park.


Kym Wilcocks


Primary practitioner and held 2 consecutive Headships in Portsmouth. Retired to Hereford and now Chair of Governors at Longtown Primary School, a Member of the DBE and DBEx, currently chairing the DBE Schools Committee.

An NLG for a year supporting several schools in the county and beyond. In May will become Chair of the Hereford branch of the NSPCC and Childline. Also involved in other voluntary work with the Church and a local hospital in Abergavenny.


Sam Pratley

Sam has been the Diocesan Secretary (Chief Executive) for the Diocese of Hereford since July 2016. He is responsible for all aspects associated with running the Diocesan Board of Finance Ltd, employing staff, managing significant assets and setting the strategic direction for the Diocese alongside the Bishop of Hereford. Prior to that Sam spent 14 years in the housing sector, leaving the WM Housing Group as the Managing Director of West Mercia Homes.
In his spare time Sam is a visiting lecturer at the University of Worcester speaking on topics related to Housing and Leadership. He is the chairman of Vennture and a trustee at Close House, both Hereford based charities.


Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education