The people who are appointed by the members to sit on the trust board are the trustees. They are responsible for the operation of the trust. They set strategic direction and are directly accountable for finance and standards.
You can read more about about the trustees below:
Sue Bowen (Chair of Trustees)
I am the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Aspire Trust and was previously the chair of governors of Ash Grove Academy.
My background is as a primary school headteacher and then as a school improvement officer working with 22 primary schools in the Sale and Altrincham area. During this time I trained as an Ofsted inspector and inspector of Church of England schools. I retired from this work in 2006, carrying on consultancy work including inspection. Since I finally dropped my consultancy work and tried again to retire, I have been as busy as ever with voluntary work! I sit on the panel for Cheshire East’s adoption service as an independent member, being adopted myself. I am an active member of Macclesfield Castle Rotary Club and was its first female president in 2013/14. I organise charity lunches for Marie Curie. I also play tenor horn in the Moss Rose Community Brass Band which is based at Ash Grove Academy.
I was proud to be awarded NSPCC Cheshire Woman of the Year in 2012 for my voluntary work.
Ken Newton (Vice Chair of Trustees)
I come from a commercial background. Born in Mobberley, Cheshire, educated at Knutsford College and Stretford Grammar School. On leaving I joined Meyer International, a timber importing company, as a management trainee. After studying for my Institute of Wood Science degree, and completing the firms training course, I eventually attained the position of Sales Director, looking after their companies in Manchester and Liverpool. In 1987 I was invited to join the Board of the Mallinson Group, as Managing Director to run their London-based companies. I was asked to join ITTO, the International Tropical Timber Organisation, set up by the then Prime Minister, John Major. It was his initiative to have sustainable tropical timbers within the third world countries by the year 2000. In 1997 I was contracted to help run an importing business in Nottingham, whose management buy-out was failing. In 2000 I moved back to Macclesfield to help a German organisation who were experiencing the same difficulties. Before retiring I ran my own successful importing business in Manchester.
I work as an analyst within the Department for Education in the area of teacher workforce and supply. Prior to that I have worked as a strategy consultant in the telecoms industry, as a research engineer, and in higher education both as an academic and in industry/academic business development.
My personal interests include hiking (not nearly as regularly as I used to do!), bell-ringing, and genealogy.
I am a Parent Governor at Sandbach Primary Academy and have been for just over four years and Chair for almost 12 months since we converted to an Academy.
As a Parent Governor I am actively involved in the learning and academic development of all the children and I feel that I have a positive impact on the school decisions.
I am passionate about the educational standards of the children. I feel that a good primary education is pivotal in developing our children to deal with the challenges that they will face in secondary education and beyond with the right skills and confidence.
Professionally I am an experienced PA and administrator with particular strengths in organisation, systems, communication, planning and time management. I believe that the skills I utilise in my day job are extremely transferrable to being a school governor, in particular, for the role of Chair.
At home, I enjoy spending time with my family, my daughter loves History and Science, so we love visiting museums and National Trust properties. I also enjoy crafts and try and fit that in between being chef, chauffeur and personal assistant to a very socially active nine year old!
Christopher Dean (Safeguarding Trustee)
I am the Chair of Governors of Peover Superior Endowed Primary School and link governor for SEN. I’m the ex-Headteacher of the David Lewis School, Great Warford (all age residential special school). I graduated from Imperial College London and worked in industry for several years before re-training to teach. I’ve worked for more than 30 years in education and held senior positions in a wide variety of schools for over 20 years. I have two adult children, both of whom attended state schools in Cheshire, and four grandchildren. The two grandchildren who live locally attend another school within the Aspire Trust.
I am a Chartered Accountant by profession, currently Finance Director of a charitable Trust in the leisure sector. I have been a Governor at Ash Grove since 2008 and was Vice Chair for 6 years. I was appointed a Director of the MAT in 2013.
Katie Harrop (Health & Safety Trustee)
My working life has predominantly been based in the leisure industry. Having spent 5 years ‘on poolside’ before moving into Human Resources. I currently work for Life Leisure, the charitable trust operating Stockport’s leisure facilities and as their HR Manager I am reflective and reciprocal on a daily basis. I have also demonstrated resilience by not giving up on my desire to go to university. Following two failed attempts to ‘do the uni thing’ I returned on a part time basis in 2010 and graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a degree in Law in 2014. I enjoy learning and am currently being resourceful studying for a Masters degree in Law; my interests in this area are human rights, the European Union and charity law which helps enormously in my Director role for the Aspire Educational Trust.
Having thoroughly enjoyed my time at school, my main reason for becoming a governor was to stay involved in education and I immediately felt welcome upon meeting everyone at Ash Grove in 2012. It is a great privilege to now be your Chair of Governors and I can only hope my skills, knowledge and personal experience of building learning power add to those of the amazingly caring and dedicated team of teaching and support staff here at Ash Grove. It is a pleasure to work with them and play my part in helping the children at Ash Grove aspire to be the best they can be.
I have extensive (30+ years) experience in teacher education, with a reputation for innovation and thought-provoking CPD in the UK and internationally. Regular contributor to national and international conferences, frequently by invitation.
I am the Founder and CEO of Millgate House Education since 2004 and have close working relationships with a variety of professional bodies, such as Association for Science Education, Royal Society of Chemistry, British Science Association, Primary Science Quality Mark.
Actively involved in curriculum and professional development – e.g. Lead writer for British Science Association CREST Star Investigators Project, Editor/writer for Royal Society of Chemistry cross-curricular topic webs and primary science videos, member of STA KS2 science sample test review group, research co-ordinator for Primary Science Quality Mark, involvement in development of current primary science national curriculum. I have directed several national projects, including Science on the Underground, Concept Cartoons in Science Education, Active Assessment, and Puppets Promoting Engagement and Talk in Science.
Prolific writer, with first published paper in 1986. Written extensively for publication (approx 120 publications), including several authored books and papers in refereed academic journals as well as materials for classroom use. Some publications have been translated into Norwegian, Swedish and Danish, where they are made freely available to teachers by the National Agencies for Education for these countries.
Firm believer in the value of educational communities, and since 1978 have been actively involved in a range of Association for Science Education committees. Recently completed a three-year term of office as a Trustee for Association for Science Education and have been awarded honorary membership.
I am currently the CEO of the Aspire Educational Trust and have worked in education for the last 18 years. I was previously the Head teacher of Ash Grove Primary School for six years taking it from ‘school causing concern’ in 2009 to ‘outstanding in all areas’ in 2013. Since becoming outstanding, the school was designated a National Teaching School, National Support School and DFE sponsor. This all led to the founding of the Aspire Educational Trust, a family of primary academies dedicated to improving outcomes for all.
As an NLE, I have a wide range of experience and expertise in supporting schools in challenging circumstances bringing about exceptional outcomes for all, especially our most vulnerable learners.
As CEO, I also have responsibility for the Aspirer Teaching Alliance and the EFF/ IEE Research School. These roles ensure that school improvement strategies are always research informed and evidence based. I have worked with over 200 schools and contributed to a number of national projects to bring about change for the children and families we serve.
Having previously worked as a freelance photographer and subsequently managed a garden centre aquatics department, I now have the hardest but most rewarding job – that of house husband and looking after our two children. Throughout my working life, learning and education have been vital and that is why as a Trustee of Aspire Educational Trust I want to help maintain and improve the standards within our primary schools. We never stop learning and if we make sure our children’s primary school days are happy and rewarding, they will be well prepared for their secondary education and life beyond.
I have been a Parent Governor at Underwood West Academy for two years and relish the opportunity to work alongside the staff and pupils of a school that provides such a caring and nurturning environment.
Professionally I’m an Operation’s Manager within Royal Mail, responsible for all day to day running of a Delivery Office including operational and staff issues, business planning, staff development, absence management, Health &Safety, Conduct, and facilities management. I believe these skills can be utilised in my role as a Governor and Trustee.
I am the proud parent of two children. My son has progressed through Reception, Years 1, and 2. It has been a privilege to watch his skills develop and to see first-hand the expectations and challenges set by Underwood West Academy. I enjoy spending time with my family, and pursuing my love of History.
This is my first role as a Governor and Trustee but I hope I can have a positive input and help support the Trust and all its schools in the future.
I am the Chair of Governors at Puss Bank Primary Academy and link governor for English. We joined the Trust in December 2017 and I became a trustee in March 2018. My background is in secondary education and I retired in 2010 after thirty eight years of teaching in Macclesfield and Wilmslow.
I wanted to become involved in Primary Education and joined the governing body as a community governor at Puss Bank in 2012. I was elected as the Chair in 2015. We have a team of dedicated governors who work closely with the staff to ensure the children have the best possible opportunities to achieve the highest possible standards.
I am a member of Macclesfield Harriers and sing in the choir at St Paul’s Church. My husband and I enjoy travelling and we have twin daughters who live locally and two small grandchildren.
This is an exciting time for Puss Bank as new members of the Trust and I look forward to the continuing challenge of leading our governors and working with other trustees.