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Severn Bridges Multi - Academy Trust

Meet our Members

Dave Gunner – Chair

Dave has been involved with Severn Bridges Multi-Academy Trust since it was formed in 2017 when he became the inaugural Chair of Trustees. Before this he was Chair of Governors at Radbrook Primary School.


Dave is the Programme Director at the Scottish Public Pensions Agency. During his career he formerly headed Hewlett Packard’s Global Project and Programme Management Academy. He is recognised as a problem solver with the ability to build strong client relationships and partnerships, and a proven track record of programme and project management delivery experience. Dave regularly speaks at global conferences and has vast experience of managing successful large and complex IT systems integration programmes and projects.



Geoff Corfield

Geoff offers extensive knowledge and experience from a long and successful career in education and a proven track record in governance.


Geoff began teaching in primary schools, before spending 22 years as Headteacher at Harlescott Junior School in Shrewsbury. He has also served as Headteacher at Cockshutt Primary School as well as the specialist Branas Isaf Residential School. He has worked closely with a number of Shropshire schools through his work as Associate Advisor to the Shropshire LEA.


Geoff is currently Chair of Governors at Lakelands Academy in Shropshire and Community Governor /Member of Teaching and Learning and Finance Staffing and General Purposes Committees.



Andrew Connell

Andrew is Associate Professor and Head of Group (Education) and CPD at the University Centre, Shrewsbury, where he leads on the increasing number of education based courses, as well as Shropshire Council’s provision for teacher CPD.


He is passionate about educating teachers in order to help them provide the best learning experience for young people. He is part of a strong partnership of schools, colleges, nurseries and teaching alliances across the region. His impressive career in education has seen him teach in primary and secondary schools, before moving to Keele University and Liverpool Hope University. Until 2019 he was the head of Initial Teacher Education at the University of Chester.


Andrew plays key roles in a number of Associations and has been on several national subject expert groups. He has also jointly edited and written chapters for the latest edition of ‘A Practical Guide to Teaching Computing and IT in Secondary Schools.’



Ernie Edwards

Ernie is currently Innovation Advisor at Staffordshire University, where the Innovation and Pathfinder programme supports local businesses looking to grow through innovation. Two of the students Ernie mentored won the 2022 Innovation Plan of the Year. He is also a Business Mentor at the Chartered Institute of Marketing.


Prior to this, his most recent role was Managing Director Tekdata Interconnections. A manufacturer of wiring systems for the Avionics, Defence and Space (Astrophysics) sectors. Ernie previously had a 30-year career as a Managing Director of technically demanding businesses, where he delivered operational improvement in design, manufacturing, supply chain, business development, and marketing strategy.


Ernie studied Engineering (electronics) and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. UK and European Product Marketing roles followed before transitioning to business management.


Ernie has been involved with Severn Bridges Multi Academy Trust for a number of years. As a Trustee he was Chair of Finance, before taking up a role as a member for the Trust.



Jon Arnold

Jon Arnold is Headteacher of Welshpool High School and was previously Headteacher at St Peter’s Collegiate Academy as well as Shrewsbury Academy, part of the Marches Multi-Academy Trust, and Senior Deputy Headteacher at Thomas Telford School. He has been teaching since 2000. 


Jon is fully committed to working together with school leaders and Trustees in order to ensure that children with Severn Bridges MAT have access to the best possible opportunities and experiences that will enhance their future life chances. He is keen to give back to the MAT, having seen all three of his children enjoy the education they received while being pupils within Severn Bridges MAT.


As a practising Headteacher with over ten years of Senior Leadership experience working in schools, Jon is familiar with the educational landscape and frameworks that schools are working in.