Chair of Aston Community Education Trust, Member and Trustee 

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. 




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.”




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 which was previously a Single Academy Trust chose to join the MAT in Spring 2017.          



Member and Trustee

Roy is a retired BT manager whose managerial roles encompassed a wide area of skills including apprentice recruitment and training involving extensive cooperation with schools and colleges, and a period of part time lecturing in a College of Further Education.

His roles within BT also gave him a wide experience in the control and oversight of large capital and revenue expenditure, project management, staff management and cooperation on an operational level with large national business organisations as well as the day to day management of several large communication centres.

Since leaving BT after 40 years’ service he has devoted his time to serving young people as a school governor for 17 years specialising in SEND, Inclusion and Safeguarding. His role as a member of Rotherham LA’s Admissions Appeals and Exclusion Panel has given him an extensive insight into the school admissions and disciplinary processes. His other interests centre on religious aspects as a member of the Churches Together in South Yorkshire Executive Committee and he is member of Rotherham Local Authority’s Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education.




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. She is currently Vice Chair of Governors at Springwood Junior Academy and a member of the Local Governing Body at Aston Academy. 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. 




Honorary Trustee 

John has lived within the Rotherham community for all his life. He began his education at Catcliffe school and graduated from Woodhouse Grammar School in 1955, before beginning his career with the National Coal Board in 1955 where he worked his way through the ranks from colliery worker, deputy, overman, colliery overman and was finally promoted to Colliery Under Manager in 1990 the position from which he retired in 1994 when the colliery closed. During his time working for the NCB John achieved a City and Guilds qualification in Mechanical and Electrical Studies and Drawing. 

John is passionate about his local community and has dedicated years of service to Rotherham in a variety of different roles, including that of elected RMBC Borough Councillor between 1994 and 2015, where his responsibilities included Planning and Health and Safety. As a governor at Aston Academy for 47 years, John relishes his role supporting young people and the community and has been a trustee for six years. John has a particular interest in Health and Safety and local community issues.