South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust

New education trust leaders announced

A wide range of leading business and education experts have been appointed to lead the new South Cumbria Multi Academy Trust (SCMAT).

Furness College will officially launch the Trust at a meeting on June 10th and has announced its members and trustees.

The members include retired sixth form vice principal Jan Fielding, John Butler MBE, who was national head of audit at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Phil Huck, former chief executive of Barrow Borough Council and the Chief Executive of University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Aaron Cummins.

The board of trustees will be led by Phil Huck and include Craig Ivison from Cumbria LEP, nuclear processes manager John Burgess, Karla Thomas of Playdale, degree apprentice Liam Edgley, retired geologist Peter Butterworth, primary teacher Lisa Warrener, senior project engineer Karen Johnson alongside the college’s assistant head of sixth form Helen Rastelli and financial controller Susan Pope.

Principal and Chief Executive of Furness College Professor Andrew Wren, who is from Cumbria and is the SCMAT’s chief executive officer, said it was a strong line up.

“We are delighted to have such a fitting breadth of experience across industry and education among the members and the trustees. Each will bring their own values and experience to this trust and, above all, they believe in this project and are enthusiastic about ensuring it makes a hugely positive impact for the young people of this town.”

Chair Designate of Trustees Phil Huck said: “As a passionate believer in our young people, the importance of education and local solutions, it is a real privilege to be involved in SCMAT. 

“The members and trustees who will oversee it have an amazing range of skills, expertise, experience and enthusiasm. This is a hugely positive step forward for the future of the area.”

Earlier this year, following approval from the Regional Schools Commissioner which recognised the value that such a partnership would bring, Furness College invited primary and secondary schools to join the SCMAT.

Chetwynde School signed up as the founding partner outlining it as a way forward to provide its pupils with a seamless opportunity to learn new skills and prepare for the next steps in its education.

Talks are ongoing with other interested schools who want to share knowledge and strengths with the college with the vision of ‘inspiring young people and changing lives through excellence in education’.

The move to create the SCMAT has been broadly welcomed by local and national political leaders with MP for Barrow and Furness Simon Fell praising it as a positive step that would significantly improve the educational offer in Barrow and surrounding areas.

Furness College is on two main sites with a world-class campus at Channelside and specialist sixth form at Rating Lane. Its successful merger with Barrow Sixth Form College in 2016 was praised by Ofsted.

For further information about joining the Trust, email


South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
c/o Chetwynde School Croslands
Rating Lane, Barrow-in-Furness
Cumbria LA13 0NY

Company number 13414087 registered in England.
Tel: 01229 824 210
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust