John Barton    

Paul Bennett                                                         

Roy Dyson    

James Sharman   

Tim Baum-Dixon 



John Barton       

Catharine Kinsella           

John Swift          

Miles Parker      

Andy Brickles    

Jenny Hudson  

Iain Somerville




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. 




Having worked for a number of years in a sales and general management role, Paul then studied for and achieved business accounting qualifications and an MBA. He has worked for 30 years for a local business which employs 200 staff and of which he has been the Managing Director since 2003. As an employer he has a particular interest in how schools can best prepare young people for the world of work, academically, socially and practically. 

Paul joined the governing body of Aston Academy as a Parent Elected Governor in 2006. His excellent contribution in this role was recognised in 2011 when he was asked to become a founding Member and Trustee of Aston Community Education Trust. Since that time the MAT has benefitted greatly from his commitment and business expertise. Paul possesses excellent understanding of strategic governance and is passionate about the development of high quality leadership across the trust.  



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.




James Sharman, a former student of Aston Academy, has worked for HSBC plc for the last 14 years in a variety of roles and currently works in Risk Management. Prior to joining the bank, he studied Law and Politics at Manchester University.  

James is committed to making a positive contribution to the local community where he was brought up and in which he now lives with his wife and two young children and has served as a governor at Aston Academy where he was previously a student. He has also been a member of the Local Government Standards Board. He is passionate about education as a means to unlock everyone’s potential and preparing students with the skills for the future.




After graduating from the University of Leeds with a BA (Hons), Tim achieved Graduate Diplomas in both Law and Legal Practice with the Nottingham Law School. A Chartered Accountant, he now works for one of the largest regional accountancy practices in Sheffield, leading their management accounts department, providing finance and accountancy service to the SME Market.  This includes the provision of bookkeeping, management reporting and management information systems reviews.

Appreciating the benefits of his own education, Tim is committed to ensuring that other young people in this area are also enabled to reach their full potential through the provision of high quality pastoral care, teaching and learning in our academies. Tim joins ACET in Spring 2017 bringing with him extensive and highly relevant professional expertise which is particularly valuable at this point in time as the organisation is undergoing significant and rapid change from an emerging trust comprising of four academies to an established MAT comprising of three secondary and six junior academies.




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.”




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. 




Miles has always had an interest in education and originally qualified as a teacher before becoming a solicitor. He specialises in applications relating to children and is a member of the Law Society Children Panel which represents children. His commitment to safeguarding and promoting the best interests of young people led him to taking an active governance role at the school, where he was later appointed as Chair.   

He has first-hand experience of the setting up and management of a Multi Academy Trust, having been a founding Member of the Children’s Academy Trust. He is firmly committed to providing children with a safe, secure and happy learning environment in which they flourish as learners and young people. He became a member of the Board of Trustees with ACET when Listerdale Academy decided to transfer to the MAT from the Children’s Academy Trust. 




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.          




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. 




Iain was brought up in Musselburgh, Scotland where he worked as an electrician before moving to England with his wife and family to commence a theological degree and re-train as a Christian Minister. He is passionate about enabling people to fulfil their full potential and empowering them to use the skills and knowledge which are unique to them for the benefit of all. There is an abundance of interest in education in his household with his daughter working in primary education and his wife occupying a senior leadership role with another Sheffield MAT.   

In 2010 Iain took on the role of Pastor in a church which is local to Aston and volunteered as a governor at the senior academy where he was appointed in November 2011. Since that time he has been actively involved in the life of the academy. He gives generously of his time through his participation in recruitment panels and is keenly interested in Inclusion and in supporting children with behavioural difficulties and/or SEND. 



Chief Executive Officer 

Eunice Newton has had a long and successful career in secondary education in the North West and South Yorkshire and with over twenty years’ experience in senior leadership, including two headships, the first of a small 11-16 Church School and the second of a large  11 -18 LA maintained comprehensive. Having led Aston Academy to an Ofsted inspection judgement of Outstanding, she worked with its Governing Body to convert the school to academy status in 2011, establishing Aston Community Education Trust. Under her leadership and that of the Board, ACET has grown from a Single Academy Trust into a developing Multi Academy Trust comprising of ten academies, with Eunice assuming the role of Executive Principal and then CEO. She was an Accredited School Improvement Partner and is a NLE.