Methodist Independent Schools

Deep respect for religious faith and experience

About Us

example-img-1
What are the schools like?

Most are for both boys and girls, as boarding or day pupils, from nursery age until aged 18.

They feature:

  • A clearly Christian ethos
  • High academic achievement
  • Particular care for each pupil and the opportunity for all to develop their full potential
  • Balanced education with time for sports and the arts
  • Deep respect for religious faith and experience
  • Excellent facilities and teaching standards
  • An international outlook with students from many overseas countries
Trustees
The Revd Dr David Deeks (Chair of MIST)

The Revd Dr David Deeks (Chair of MIST)


Education: Downing College (1960-63) and Wesley House (1964-6), Cambridge: Natural Sciences (Part II Physics), then Theology.

Vocation: Methodist minister, in appointments 1966-2008.

Special interests: theology from the Methodist tradition which engages with the modern world; Christian reflection on public issues; lifelong education for all; leadership and oversight of large and complex organisations.

Personal: married to Jennifer (1967); 3 grown-up children, one grandchild.  Living in Bristol, we enjoy walking, gardening and theatre/cinema; and I like painting with acrylics.

Mr Keith Norman (Deputy Chair of MIST) - Nominations & Governance Committee

Mr Keith Norman (Deputy Chair of MIST) - Nominations & Governance Committee


Keith has recently retired, having been a secondary school science teacher and, for the past 20 years a deputy headteacher.

He was brought up in Essex, studied at St. Andrews and York Universities where he met and married Pat. They live in Essex, where Keith is organist and a worship leader at the local Methodist Church.

He is also the Lay Stationing Representative for the Beds, Essex and Herts. Methodist District. They have a son and daughter and are the very proud grandparents of three beautiful little girls and one smiling boy.

Trust nominated trustee. 


Air Vice-Marshal Steven Abbott - Nomination & Governance Committee

Air Vice-Marshal Steven Abbott - Nomination & Governance Committee


Air Vice-Marshal Steven Abbott is a retired RAF officer, but now works for the MOD as a member of the Senior Directing Staff and Course Director at the Royal College of Defence Studies. A Governor at Culford School since 2008, he is currently Chair of Governors. He joined the RAF at age 18 and after completing a degree at UEA served for 37 years, retiring in 2011. 

Nominated by the Chairs of Governing Bodies of each school held upon the Methodist Independent Education Trust Deed  

The Revd Dr John Barrett - Methodist Family of Schools Steering Group

The Revd Dr John Barrett - Methodist Family of Schools Steering Group



Educated at Culford School, and Newcastle and Cambridge Universities. Trained for the Methodist Ministry at Wesley House, Cambridge, and subsequently has held a variety of appointments in the area of Christian education including three headships: Kent College, Pembury; The Leys School, Cambridge; The Anglo-Chinese International School, Singapore.

He was the first Chair of the World Methodist Council Education Committee and from 2006-20011 was President of the World Methodist Council. He is a Governor of Kingswood School.

He is married to Sally, and has two married children and four grandchildren.

Nominated by Methodist Council

Mrs Elaine Cleland - Finance Committee

Mrs Elaine Cleland - Finance Committee


Elaine has wide ranging experience in senior management and leadership both in business and education. Her focus has always been on the engagement and development of the people, empowering them to perform more effectively to enable an organisation to realise its full executive and commercial potential.   

Trust nominated trustee.

Mr Robert Cowie - Finance Committee

Mr Robert Cowie - Finance Committee


Rob is a Chartered Accountant and is a consultant in the Truro office of Francis Clark LLP. He lives just outside Truro, Cornwall with his wife Sandra. He originally qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1976 and became a partner in the predecessor firm in 1983, and has just completed 42 years’ service in the firm.

Rob is a Governor of Truro School and is currently Vice-Chair and Chair of Finance. He is also a member of the Audit Committee of Cornwall College, and is a member of the national taxation committee of the Country Land and Business Association.

Rob has three grown up children, two of them having attended Truro School, and one grandson. Rob enjoys playing golf and travelling.

Trust nominated trustee.


Mrs Barbara Easton (Safeguarding Trustee) - Ethos Committee

Mrs Barbara Easton (Safeguarding Trustee) - Ethos Committee


Barbara’s professional background is in school leadership, and Religious Education.

She is the Director of Education for the Methodist Church in Britain and a Trustee of both MAST (Methodist Academies and Schools Trust) and MIST (Methodist Independent Schools Trust).

She is also involved with the Methodist Church as a Local Preacher and youth club leader.

Nominated by the Methodist Council.

Miss Margaret Faulkner - Nominations & Governance Committee, Remuneration Committee, Audit Committee

Miss Margaret Faulkner - Nominations & Governance Committee, Remuneration Committee, Audit Committee


Margaret was educated at Hunmanby Hall, a Methodist group school, and has a degree in Economics-with-Statistics from Bristol University.  
Margaret ended her lifetime career in the railway industry in 2001, retiring from a position in financial planning for Railtrack Major Stations. 

She is currently a Governor at Farringtons School, having been Chairman from 2003 to 2010. 

She is Treasurer of both her local church and Circuit.

Nominated by the Methodist Council.


Ms Veronica Knight - Nomination & Governance Committee, Remuneration Committee, Audit Committee

Ms Veronica Knight - Nomination & Governance Committee, Remuneration Committee, Audit Committee



Veronica Knight was called to the bar in 1977 and is currently Circuit Judge in the Kent County Court.  She has been a Governor of Kent College, Pembury and is a corporate member of The Ladies’ College, Cheltenham.



Nominated by Methodist Council

Mr Hugh Monro - Remuneration Committee

Mr Hugh Monro - Remuneration Committee


Hugh Monro was, for 20 years, the head of four independent schools before becoming the founding principal of a cathedral academy.  He is currently the chair of two school governing boards and a governor of three other schools. He is an educational consultant, appointing and appraising head teachers both in the UK and overseas.  

He and Clare have two grown up children.

Nominated by the Chairs of Governing Bodies of each school held upon the Methodist Independent Education Trust Deed. 


Mr John Robinson CBE - Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee

Mr John Robinson CBE - Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee


John’s main career was with Smith &Nephew plc, where he became Chief Executive and subsequently Chairman.

He has Chaired a number of companies, mainly in medical products but including Railtrack and George Wimpey.

He was Chair of Council (Pro – Chancellor) at the University of Hull.  

He recently retired as Chair of The Abbeyfield Society, and is now a Trustee of Livability, care of people with serious physical and learning disabilities, and the Royal College of Surgeons.


Trust nominated trustee.

Mr Michael Saltmarsh - Finance Committee

Mr Michael Saltmarsh - Finance Committee



Chair of Governors at Shebbear College.  Expertise in Property Development.


Nominated by the Chairs of Governing Bodies of each school held upon the Methodist Independent Education Trust Deed  

Methodist Bursary Fund

The Methodist Bursary Fund was established by private donation in 1980 and has been augmented by contributions from our schools.

It was originally created to provide financial support for Methodist families, to enable and assist them to board at the secondary schools controlled by or associated with the  Methodist Independent Schools Trust.

Currently about 24 families a year receives help in this way.

Who can apply?

The Awards Committee will consider for an award any pupil of secondary age whose parent(s), whether living or deceased, is or at the time of death was a member of the Methodist Church. Any pupil who is herself or himself a member of the Methodist Church or is about to enter into membership will also be eligible.


What are the factors considered by the committee in making an award?

Priority is given to those children in need of boarding education.

In appropriate cases awards can also be made to enable children to attend our schools as day pupils. To be considered for an award the parents or guardians of any pupil will be required to make a full statement of the financial circumstances of the family.

Awards may include additional assistance provided by the school.

Awards normally continue until the pupil leaves the school but are reviewed annually in light of the pupil’s progress at the school and any changes in the circumstances of the family.

How are applications made?

The parents or guardians of those eligible should ask for an application from the Head of the appropriate school. Application forms are not distributed by Methodist Independent Schools Trust.

Initial applications should be accompanied by a letter of support from a Methodist minister who knows the family well or in the case of minister’s children from the Chair of District.

Completed forms must be sent to the Head of the School where the child will be a pupil and be submitted by 1st February in the year of proposed entry to the school.
Application for awards may be considered after this date in exceptional circumstances.

The Awards Committee at its absolute discretion reserves the right to decline an application and to cease the payment of a grant.


example-img-1