Chair of Aston Community Education Trust, Member and Trustee

Now retired, John brings 33 years of leadership and management experience acquired through his work as a Senior IT Manager for a large global financial organisation. His position as a strategic leader: managing, reporting and delivering multi-million pound board level business cases on time and on budget including the management of personnel and finance matters for staff (up to 300+ across several countries), offices, programmes, projects and live IT services. He is a highly effective manager of people who places great emphasis on staff development particularly those who occupy senior leadership posts.

John has a wealth of governance experience at nursery, primary and secondary level in schools and academies, having been a governor since the late 1980’s. He is a highly experienced Chair who has also been a National Leader of Governance since 2013, mentoring other Chairs of Governors and undertaking Reviews of Governance. John was instrumental in setting up Aston Community Education Trust and as Chair of the Trust, he leads the strategic direction and reviews the audited accounts to ensure financial soundness, best value and strategic alignment.

In addition to serving ACET as Chair, Member and Trustee, John is currently Chair of Governors at Swinton Academy, Brookfield Junior Academy and the interim Board of Waverley Junior Academy, due to open in September 2020.




Vice Chair of Aston Community Education Trust, Trustee

Originally born and educated in Manchester, Catharine moved to University in Bangor, North Wales where she gained a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and then went to Aberystwyth to complete her Post Graduate Certificate in Education. During her working life she was supported to complete an MSc in Educational Psychology and then, in the late 1980s, an MSc in Education Management. Catharine also qualified as a Registered Inspector of Special Schools and a Team Inspector for both primary and secondary schools when the original framework for the inspection of schools was introduced.

Catharine worked in education for 38 years in a number of different posts, mainly in Rotherham, initially, teaching in both primary and secondary schools. She then became an Educational Psychologist / Senior Educational Psychologist and in 1990 she joined the School Improvement Service, originally as an Adviser for Special Educational Needs, then Senior Adviser for Secondary Schools and finally the Head of School Improvement. Her final post before retirement in 2010 was Senior Director of Schools and Lifelong Learning.

ACET were delighted when Catharine agreed to join the MAT where she now makes a significant contribution as Trustee and Chair/Vice Chair of Governors in junior and senior academies: “Young people face such challenges and I hope I can help, even in a small way, to ensure they also have the opportunity to learn, grow and develop in to active, positive citizens.

In addition to serving ACET as Vice Chair and Trustee, Catharine is currently Chair of Governors at Aughton Junior Academy and Thurcroft Junior Academy and Vice Chair of Shirebrook Academy and Lowedges Junior Academy.





Andrew is a retired firefighter with 33 years’ service to Derbyshire Fire and Rescue. He also took on the role of Regional Union Official for the East Midlands area. Andrew then went on to set up his own Learning Consultancy Company in 2015 in which he works with the Fire service and Police nationally delivering learning opportunities and Dyslexia awareness programmes.

He has been involved as a school governor for 34 years and currently acts as Chair in a primary school, Special school and secondary academy, so has experience of educational provision in the Derbyshire area which covers all ranges from 3 years to 19 years of age. Andrew is deeply committed to ensuring all children regardless of their age, ability or background benefit from access to high quality education. He became a member of the Board of Trustees with ACET when Shirebrook Academy, previously a Single Academy Trust, chose to join the MAT in Spring 2017.       

In addition to serving ACET as a Trustee, Andrew currently Chair of Governors at Shirebrook Academy.





Jane became a Parent Elected Governor at Aston Academy in 2016, and at the end of her term of office she was then invited to become a Trust Appointed Governor on the LGB. She has since become a Trustee and has joined a second LGB at Aughton Junior Academy.

In addition to serving ACET as a Trustee, Jane is currently Vice Chair of Governors at Aston Academy and Aughton Junior Academy





Jenny retired in 2011 after a long and successful career in secondary education which included work as teacher and leader of Science and leader of Pastoral Care. Firmly committed to the service of her local community, Jenny has been Secretary and Trustee of Todwick Village Hall Management Committee for two years and is also a member of the Rotherham Authority Admissions Appeals Panel.

Jenny’s career as a governor began in 1986 when she was elected as Parent Governor to the Primary School her three sons attended. Since that time she has gained extensive governance experience in primary and secondary education. Her areas of particular interest include Numeracy, Literacy, Science and Safeguarding and she gives generously of her time in supporting Reading and KS2 intervention work in the junior academy. She believes that all children should have access to an inclusive varied and high standard of education which promotes good progress and prepares them for their next stage of development.

In addition to serving ACET as a Trustee, Jenny is currently Chair of Governors at Aston Academy and Springwood Junior Academy.








Craig is a Commercial Director working for Balfour Beatty, the UK’s largest construction company. He leads an integrated Commercial team of over 100 people from 7 partner businesses in a leading Alliance within the water industry. Delivering £3.15bn of capital works over 10 years. Skilled at high-level stakeholder management and has experience of bringing multiple partner organisations together and aligning their needs to deliver optimal business outcomes. With a track record of successfully leading and engaging large, integrated teams in complex change and delivering outperformance and meeting efficiency targets at project, programme and business level.

In addition to serving ACET as a Trustee, Craig is currently Vice Chair of Governors at Swinton Academy and Brookfield Junior Academy.





Sally is a retired Occupational Therapist with 34 years experience in the National Health Service (NHS). She has worked in large organisations mainly in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, that provide mental health, learning disability and community services in hospital and community settings for children, young people, adults of working age and older people.

Sally has successfully undertaken a range of senior clinical, professional leadership and management roles with responsibilities in clinical governance, quality, standards and regulation. She has also worked for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as an Associate Inspector, carrying out inspections of NHS services throughout England as part of a specialist team.

Sally is committed to partnership working with schools, parents and the full range of external stakeholders to promote inclusive practice and provision of the highest quality education. She has particular interests in all aspects of health and wellbeing and evidence based practice.

In addition to serving ACET as a Trustee, Sally is currently Chair of Governors at Langwith Bassett Junior Academy and a Trust appointed Governor at Shirebrook Academy.