Mark Cooper – Headteacher

Mark started teaching at Thomas Adams in 1996, as a NQT of Physical Education and Business Studies. Since then, the school has played a major part in his life, his wife works at the school and both of his children attended Thomas Adams. Even the family dog, Oscar, goes to work daily as the boarding house dog!

Mark has worked as a staff governor for 8 years before becoming Headteacher. Mark always found the Governing Body forum most useful to discuss the inner running of a school with adults who bring experiences and expertise from other settings, that we can learn from; and feels this is a real strength of governance.

Mark’s aim for all of the young people he has the pleasure to work with has always been the same – to achieve their full potential. As Headteacher, Mark is extremely proud of the school and of its place within the communities of Wem and North Shropshire and he is as committed as ever to continuing to provide high quality education for our school community.

These are extremely challenging times for education, but Mark is confident that the Thomas Adams School community will, as always, meet these challenges and will continue to thrive.


David Watts – Chair of Governors

In his career, David has been a primary teacher for around 20 years, and has spent twelve months as an Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for SEND. David has been a SENCo for about 8 years since qualifying with the National Award for SEN Coordination.  Currently, David is an administrator at a small, local primary school. David is married with two children. They are and have attended Thomas Adams and it has been a joy to watch them develop, during their time at the school, into strong independent individuals with positive work ethics. David was a governor prior to Thomas Adams joining the Trust and has served on many committees and participated in school visits.


Robert Lumley
Link area: Health and Safety

Robert is an entrepreneur and insurance professional who pioneered rent and legal protection, tenant referencing and legal expenses in the UK. Now he concentrates on helping young entrepreneurs with their start-ups and the family business, which are all based around insurance. 

Robert became a Drapers’ Governor of Thomas Adams in March 2014 and is Chairman of the Adams Foundation Wem which as a foundation traces itself back to Sir Thomas Adams who founded the school in 1650 and who was a Master of the Company of Drapers amongst other things. Hence the association between the Drapers and the School. 

Married to Louise, together they have 3 children who are now young adults and off pursuing their own interests. 

When Robert isn’t working, he can be found in Meribel where he escapes to enjoy the mountains. His other passions are classic cars, motorbikes and travelling. 



Matthew Barrett – Vice Chair

Link area – Safeguarding and Prevent

Matthew has been teaching for 18 years, since completing his PGCE at Middlesex University, which was followed up with a MA in Teaching. Matthew is currently a teacher of Business and Economics at Shrewsbury School and he has been a boarding housemaster there for the last five years. In his role he has completed the Boarding Schools’ Association Certificate Course and  is fully aware of the relevant policies and guidance surrounding boarding. Matthew is a member of the NEU and is trying to keep up to date with issues affecting the wider education sector. Matthew moved with his family to Shropshire in 2009. Matthew’s wife works for the Shrewsbury Colleges Group and their three daughters all attend comprehensive schools in Shrewsbury.  Matthew is passionate about education and committed in all he does.


Stuart Mason – Parent Governor

Link area: Careers

Stuart is a serving Warrant Officer in the RAF. Stuart is a post-14 teacher gaining the Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status in 2012. Whilst employed as an instructor at RAF Shawbury, he attended Telford College of Art and Technology, where his interest in education began and continues to this day.  Stuart is a parent of two children who attend Thomas Adams and is proud to become a Parent Governor. Stuart has previously served as governor at three schools. Throughout these periods he acted as the critical friend of the Headteacher, staff and fellow governors which is key competent to be effective in the post.


Nicola Saltman – Governor

Link area: Finance

Nicola is a Finance Director for a company which she runs with her husband. She has worked in Finance for over 30 years and is a qualified accountant.  She currently has one child at Thomas Adams with a further two to enrol at later dates.

Nicola has a vast array of experience in Finance and HR and has been a school governor previously. She has also completed a course in Children’s Mental Health.

She is committed to helping the school to attain their strategic goals whilst trying to ensure that both the students and the school continue to maintain their high standards.


Robert Hatts

Link Area: Pupil Performance Data

Rob is from the North East of England where he spent the first eighteen years of his life. Secondary education was at the Newcastle Royal Grammar School at a time when it was supported by Local Education Authorities. Thence on to St Mary’s Hospital Medical School at London University. Various medical training jobs followed until in 1984 Rob was appointed as a Consultant Anaesthetist to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where he worked for over 30 years. He also took a year out to work in New Zealand.

Rob joined the Shrewsbury Drapers Guild in 2002 becoming Master in 2009. Always interested in the pastoral side of public service, Rob has become closely involved with the management of the 51 Drapers Almshouses.

He is married with three adult children who have now fled the nest. Rob enjoys tennis, walking and sailing in his leisure time.  Completing the 50 mile Longmynd Hike on a couple of occasions was particularly rewarding.


Governor at Thomas Adams School

Kate Beckinsale – Governor

As a parent, Kate is passionate about education for our future generation, especially as her own two children are currently in the state education system. Kate firmly believes that no child should be labelled or pigeon-holed and that every individual should be encouraged to explore a variety of activities and lessons.

Kate was fortunate enough to sit on the Board of Governors at Berkshire College of Agriculture as Student Governor while she was completing her degree in Veterinary Physiotherapy. She found being a governor very interesting and learnt so much from the experience which Kate would like to put to good use in our local community. Kate was also voted as the student representative for the three years while studying her degree, acting as the voice of her student peers and reporting their feedback in meetings with the management team.

Besides her children and governor experience, Kate’s work experience has equipped her with a vast set of skills that lend themselves well to the governor role. At Allianz Insurance, Kate worked in compliance ensuring processes and legal requirements were adhered to. Kate was later an Account Manager for a multimillion international life insurance account at Sterling Life. Within this role she had an input into the strategic planning of the current and future business.

Thomas Adams School Governor

Kelly Leonard – Parent Governor

Link area: Sixth Form

Kelly is a Specialist Children’s Physiotherapist and Clinical Lead for Children’s Physio and Occupational Therapy Services in Wolverhampton. Part of that work is going into mainstream schools to help ensure full inclusion and provisions are in place to meet the necessary physical needs of the child.  Kelly has experience of committees from Co-Founding the Military Wives Choir Foundation; Chairing a PTA; and a Primary School Governor at various schools since 2016. Kelly has been Chair of Governors at Shawbury St Mary Primary School for 3 years. Collectively, she has gained a lot of experience in Early Years; SEN, LAC and Safeguarding and have been through Ofsted, headteacher appraisals and interviews for staff.

As a parent of 3 boys,  Kelly wants to know that there’s accountability for her children’s education. As a Parent Governor, Kelly will provide support to the Head Teacher and staff, but is also willing to challenge what is being done. Kelly is approachable and willing to listen to the staff and the wider school community. Kelly wants to make sure she understands the impact of what is being asked of the school and if the outcomes are achievable.

Kelly believes that the role of a Parent Governor is a hugely responsible one and would like the chance to make a difference in our children’s education. Kelly is hoping to use her experience to benefit Thomas Adams School and to ensure that she can support the school to benefit future generations.

Staff Governor at Thomas Adams School

Hannah Lester – Staff Governor

Link area – Equality

Hannah is an English Teacher, PSHE Coordinator and Head of Year 8 at Thomas Adams School, where she has worked for the past 5 years. As a past student, she has a special interest in the school and being a governor allows her to continue to contribute to the school outside of her usual roles in the school day. Hannah lives in Wem and her young daughter attends the local primary school which allows her to be a visible member of the Thomas Adams Community both in and out of school. More recently, Hannah has been appointment as a Trust Improvement Consultant for Mental Wellbeing which is allowing her insight into how other schools within the trust are approaching a wide range of issues.

The Thomas Adams School
Lowe Hill
SY4 5UB 

01939 237000

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