How we are governed

All Aspire academies are part of a single charitable company known as the Aspire Educational Trust. Our principal regulator is the Department for Education.

Good governance is at the heart of delivering educational excellence.  Our three-tier structure was established following a review of governance in 2017. The revised structure addresses the key governance challenges faced by the Trust. The strong focus on collaboration within Aspire gives rise to the learning and sharing of good practice and this is extended to include governance.

This model allows for engagement at different levels of commitment and skill. It aims to encourage and support those in the governance structure with the capacity to bring their expertise to benefit more children, extending the reach of good governance across a wider group of schools.

The governance functions delegated by the Board across the structure are set out in a Scheme of Delegation which can be found below.



The Members are akin to the ‘shareholders’ in a company and they are responsible for strategic oversight. There is only one body of Members irrespective of the number of individual academies. 

Our Members are:

  • Diana Morrison (Chair of Members) appointed 01.12.2014
  • Greg van Enk-Bones (Vice Chair of Members) appointed 01.03.2016
  • Richard Ashmore - appointed 01.12.2014
  • Sue Bowen - appointed 01.12.2013
  • Gillian Hartley - appointed 30.04.2021


The Board of Trustees is the legal governing body of every Aspire school. Comprised of volunteer professionals chosen for their extensive experience in the education, charity and private sectors, the Board of Trustees is ultimately accountable for the performance of the Trust. Trustees agree the strategy for the Trust and monitor its implementation. The Board also approves policies, budgets and future plans.

In practice, many of these powers are delegated to other governance structures and executive leaders. The Board challenges and holds the executive team to account for the educational and financial performance of the Trust. Rigorous monitoring provides high-quality information about our academies, which supports effective decision-making at all levels of governance.

Our Board of Trustees is made up of the following:

  • Sue Bowen (Chair of Trustees) appointed 01.12.2013 and re-appointed 01.09.2017
  • Ken Newton (Vice Chair of Trustees) appointed 01.12.2013 and re-appointed 01.09.2017
  • Michelle Coppenhall - appointed 01.03.2015 and re-appointed 01.09.2017
  • Christopher Dean (Safeguarding Trustee) - appointed 01.03.2015 and re-appointed 01.09.2017
  • Kate Egdell - appointed 01.12.2013 and re-appointed 01.09.2017
  • Jane Tomlinson - appointed 18.09.2020
  • Martin Elliott - appointed 13.12.2018
  • Kevin Simpson - appointed 01.12.2013 and re-appointed 01.09.2017

Local Academy Committees 

Each academy has a Local Academy Committee. An advisory structure, LACs provide an essential link between academies, parents, students, staff and the community. They focus on distinct areas where a local presence and knowledge are essential.

The Chairs of our Local Academy Committees are:

  • Steven Boyd - Chair of the Wilbraham Primary School LAC
  • Jonathan Chadwick - Chair of the Parkroyal Community School LAC
  • Kate Warner - Chair of the Sandbach Primary Academy LAC
  • Andrew Cooper - Chair of the Victoria Road Primary School LAC
  • Ann Harris - Chair of the Puss Bank School & Nursery LAC
  • Helen Marsh - Chair of the Wilmslow Academy LAC
  • Liz Clover - Chair of the Peover Superior Primary School LAC
  • Roger Dixon and Richard Gregson - Co-Chairs of the Holmes Chapel Primary School LAC
  • Rebecca Salt - Chair of the Hollinhey Primary School LAC
  • Katie Siddall - Chair of the Ash Grove Academy LAC
  • Paul Stoddard - Chair of the Underwood West Academy LAC
  • Patricia Broadley - Chair of Ivy Bank Primary School LAC