Ann Connor OBE

Ann worked for 27 years in a range of schools as a teacher and leader before becoming an Education Adviser in the DfE, focusing on the national school improvement agenda in the Academies and Free Schools Group.

In 2014 she was seconded to the Due Diligence and Counter Extremism Group to investigate during the Trojan Horse enquiry.

She went on to lead a highly trained EA group which undertook serious investigations for the DfE across the country.

After 17 years she retired from DfE in 2018.

She was made an OBE for Services to Education in 2019.


Rev Canon Michael Fitzsimons - Chair of the Trust Board

Canon Michael Fitzsimons is a priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

He is a trustee of the Archdiocese, a member of the Archbishop’s Council and is the Episcopal Vicar for Education.

He has served in numerous parishes across the archdiocese and is a trustee (past chair) at Nugent, a leading Catholic social action agency in the northwest.

Prior to ordination he worked in previous roles as a volunteer, worker, senior manager, and board member in a variety of organisations in the voluntary and statutory sectors for over 20 years.

He has specific and direct experience of working with people who are homeless, youth and community development work, addictions and mental health, and in prisons.

He has held numerous board/director appointments including as a member and chair of Independent Monitoring Boards (prisons), and trusteeship and advisory roles with charities, credit unions and in schools and education.

Experience at board level includes key oversight of strategic planning, finance and fundraising, the facilitation of organisational development and change, and innovation and service development.


Helen McKie

A practising solicitor with experience of working in the local government sector, advising upon education and employment matters.


Catherine O'Leary

Cath has, for the last sixteen years, been working as a Diocesan Schools Officer for the Archdiocese of Liverpool with responsibility for the 35 Secondary Schools and 2 6th Form Colleges across eight Local Authorities. This is a wide-ranging role supporting Headteachers and Governors in all aspects of their work relating to their school. Prior to this her experience included nineteen years as an Ofsted Inspector; a local authority inspector in two different authorities with responsibilities for National Curriculum Assessment, Peripatetic Music Service and Sensory Impairment Services.

Cath has undertaken a wide range of school leadership roles culminating as headteacher.

She is a long-standing governor at two of our Secondary Schools and a trustee for Liverpool Archdiocese Secondary Schools Improvement Trust.


Anne Pontifex

Anne has experience of working across a range of schools in a variety of contexts within the secondary sector.

She became an NLE which led to her working with and supporting a variety of schools across the North of England on a range of projects.

Her headship of a Liverpool high school saw her lead on three school inspections, the first graded “Good” and the following two graded “Outstanding “.

For three years she took over the role of Executive Headship for a Multi Academy Trust.

Anne is now the school improvement officer for Liverpool Archdiocese.


William Skiliki

After practicing architecture for a number of years Bill moved into property development and investment, attaining returns on equity high in the top quartile for their sectors.

After divesting in this business he has worked at chief executive and director level in commercial and residential property development in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

In the private sector he has been Managing Director of a major residential developer and Chief Executive of a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

In the public sector Bill was Chief Executive of The Housing Partnership, a joint venture between English Partnerships and The Housing Corporation, Acting Chief Executive of Salford Urban Regeneration Company and latterly Director of Commercial Ventures and Special Projects at English Partnerships.

Bill has also been a Development Director at a Housing Association.

Bill has held a number of non executive positions again in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

He was a Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and was a member of the Investment Committee.


Rev John Mervyn Williams SDB

Fr Williams had twenty-eight years’ experience as a secondary school teacher up to 2001 including four years as Head of Department, five years as Head of Sixth Form and over seventeen years as Headteacher of a 1,550 pupil comprehensive school, Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton.

From 2002 to 2020 he was a Trustee and the Provincial Economer (bursar/treasurer) of the Salesians of Don Bosco British Province managing the business of the registered charity over nine locations.

He is also a Trustee of another Religious Order and a Foundation Governor and Trustee at St John Bosco College (voluntary aided comprehensive school) in Battersea, London.

For 12 years until 2020 he was a governor of a Girls Catholic independent school.

He also serves as Safeguarding Lead for the Salesians of Don Bosco.