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Striving for




ACET Members

The Board of Members is the highest level of governance within the trust. Comprised of a group of individuals with diverse expertise and backgrounds, they provide leadership, guidance, and challenge to ensure that the trust's objectives are met, and statutory obligations are fulfilled. They also have a responsibility to;

  • revise and approve the Articles of Association;

  • ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

  • hold trustees to account for educational performance of the organisation and its pupils/students, and the appraisal of staff;

  • appoint and remove trustees.

JOHN BARTON - Chair of Aston Community Education Trust

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.




Joanna is a solicitor, and has practiced corporate and commercial law for almost 20 years, latterly as the owner of her own law practice. Prior to studying at The University of Sheffield, Joanna was a student at Aston Academy and believes passionately in giving back to the school community that provided her education and prepared her for her legal career.

Joanna is thankful for the rich and varied education that she benefitted from, and cannot stress enough the benefits of educational experiences – something who holds great importance both as a mum, and also as a mentor of trainee solicitors, university students and employees who work or gain experience with her firm. She believes the education, and life skills our children receive at school are key to preparing them to excel and be resilient in their future careers.



Jill was brought up and educated in Sheffield and graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a BA (Hons) in Hotel business and tourism management following this she has worked for Hilton Worldwide in a number of commercial , business development and sales roles with responsibility for driving revenue across a number of market segments and supporting hotels with meeting their budgets. She is responsible for developing long term relationships with clients, managers and owners, stakeholders and multi- functional departments to ensure that they are working collaboratively and contributing to the success of the hotels. She is also responsible for creating and driving the sales strategy. During her time in the role she has also been responsible for mentoring a number of team members into their next role.

Jill has lived in Waverley for the past 5 years with her young family. Her two children have recently started at the brand new ACET Waverley Junior Academy and is excited for the new addition to the community and being able to be more involved as a member. Education has also been a large part of family life for Jill with both her parents also in education, her father being a local head teacher in Sheffield. She believes it is the best building block to establish a firm foundation for your career and supports structure in life.



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. He is a highly valued member of the ACET community.