Members and Trustees Biographies
LIAM COWELL: MEMBER
I have been at DLA Piper for 20 years and have experienced the firm's growth from a regional UK firm to the largest law firm globally. That has involved constantly adapting to change and setting and achieving new standards.
·Detailed knowledge of school budget setting, target setting improvement planning.
·Knowledge and experience of running a business and directly responsible for a revenue budget of £10 million and associated costs.
·Experience includes vision planning, strategy setting and implementing both growth plans and right sizing programmes.
ANEEZ ESMAIL: MEMBER
Over the past 14 years 3 of my children have attended Chorlton High School. This motivated me to become involved and support the school. I was an elected parent governor for 8 years and became a co-opted governor two years ago.
Governors have an important role to play in supporting a school and I wanted to play my part. I am a passionate believer in comprehensive education and having excellent local schools for all children. Our children have had an outstanding experience not only because of the teaching that they have received but also because of the values that the school has given them. I am pleased that I have been able to play a role in making Chorlton High School one of the best schools in Manchester.
I have been the Chair of Governors for the past 7 years. I also sit on the Scrutiny and Finance Committees. I enjoy working with the staff, acting as a critical friend both questioning and challenging them.
In my work life I am a Professor of General Practice at the University of Manchester and until the end of 2014 was part of a senior management team at the University. This gave me considerable experience and knowledge in areas of finance, developing strategy and supporting leaders; attributes that I hope I have brought to the role of Chair of Governors.
I am most proud of the transformation of Chorlton High over the years. When our children started coming to Chorlton High in 2001 it was an average comprehensive. The school has completely transformed itself into an outstanding community school and I am pleased to have been part of that transformation.
On a personal level, I have enjoyed working alongside the Governing Body, especially with Andy Park (Headteacher). I have learnt a lot about data monitoring, how schools are assessed and about education in general, which has also helped me in my management role at the University.
Now that the school has become part of a multi academy trust, the school will face new challenges – especially in supporting other schools. The education landscape is changing dramatically and the school will have to evolve if it is going to remain an outstanding school. However, it must never lose its values: remaining a truly comprehensive school where all children, irrespective of their background, are nurtured and supported to realise their full potential.
ISOBEL FREEMAN: MEMBER & TRUSTEE
I live in the local community, and have always been involved in activities in the communities where I have lived. Being a school governor is one such role, as schools are at the heart of their communities. I have worked with young people throughout my career, firstly as a teacher and more recently as a careers adviser, and firmly believe that education can transform lives, and therefore want to be involved in supporting my local school. I have been a governor in primary schools for over 20 years and in that time have been Chair of Governors and chaired committees.
I was elected as a Community Governor to the Governing Body of Chorlton High School in October 2014. I have attended full governing body meetings and committee meetings throughout the year to get a better understanding of the school. I also have attended a number of events at the school including one, as a local business person, to encourage young people in their career decision making. From September 2015 I will be a trustee on the Multi Academy Trust board, which will be a different role, as the board will oversee two local governing bodies.
As an individual, I am conscientious and committed to whatever I do. I believe that governors play a key role in education, setting the ethos of the school, and ensuring that all pupils receive the best education possible through effective use of the resources available. As most of my work has been with teenagers, I have extensive knowledge of education, and the education system with all its recent changes, which makes me a useful member of the governors’ team. I also bring my experience as a school governor in a primary school.
As a school governor I hope I play an effective role in ensuring that children receive an excellent education. I enjoy being involved at a strategic level, and think I have developed good skills of enquiry and scrutiny, which may bring a different perspective to discussions and decision-making.
It is my hope for the future that the school continues to do well for its pupils, not just in terms of exam results, but in providing a broad and cultural education that equips them well for life.
MARK BROOKFIELD: Trustee (Vice chair of trust board)
Chorlton High is an excellent school which is going from strength to strength. The challenge as a Parent Governor is to work with the school’s Head and senior leadership to ensure that every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential, whatever their background, whatever their ability.
I am the parent of 2 children at the school – Molly in year 10 and Leo in year 7. At Chorlton High our ‘kids’ grow into young adults. Every one of them deserves to enjoy their time at school and be supported in their academic and personal development. Every one of them needs to be prepared for the uncertainties of adult life. The school must provide inspirational teaching backed by nurturing pastoral care and a rich choice of extra-curricular activities. Pupils must be free from bullying.
As the area’s largest school, Chorlton High has a significant role to play in the local community through involvement in the wealth of cultural activities available and links with other schools. We also have a responsibility to ensure our pupils’ behaviour is a credit to the school.
In my professional career I’ve worked in publishing for 7 years at City Life magazine followed by 25 years working as a senior account handler at a large independent Manchester advertising agency. I now work from home managing my property portfolio.
I have previously had 6 years’ experience as a Parent Governor at Chorlton Park Primary. I am fully aware of the skills and commitment required to be an effective Governor and as a parent governor I cherish the opportunity to work with the Head and leadership team at Chorlton High to help in improving the education for all of our children.
JENNY COLLINDON: TRUSTEE (CHAIR OF TRUST BOARD)
I am the Vice Chair of the Trust Board, Chair of the Local Governing Body of Newall Green High School and Pioneer House High School and also sit on the Newall Green Finance Committee. I have been involved with Newall Green in a governance role for the last three years and very much enjoy working with the head teacher and the staff team. I am pleased with the good progress that the school is making and was delighted when we had the opportunity to join with Chorlton High School to for them CHS Learning Trust. Through my role in Newall Green I have particularly welcomed the many opportunities to meet with and to hear from young people themselves.
I first became a school governor at William Hulme Academy (3 – 18 years); I have been a governor there for 8 years and am currently the Local Governing Body lead on the primary phase and on SEN and safeguarding across the Academy (both primary and secondary phases). This experience as a governor has helped me in my role at Newall Green.
As an educational professional I have, through my career, developed specific areas of knowledge, skills and expertise in: school improvement, change management and leading and managing teams. I was a member of Manchester City Council Senior Leadership Team (2004 – 2014). Prior to this I was head teacher at Piper Hill Specialist Support School for 13 years (1991 – 2004). Since retiring from the Council in 2014, I have become more involved with work as a governor using the skills and experienced developed over my professional career.
I am fully committed to supporting the Trust and in these ever changing times believe it is more important than ever that schools are able to work collaboratively, learning from and supporting each other. The education landscape is constantly changing and schools need to evolve and change in response; in this changing context I believe that governors have an increasingly important role and I want to play my part through contributing my skills and experience.
AMANDA EDWARDS: Trustee
My primary motivation for becoming a governor was because I care about education for all, where there is a broad and balanced curriculum, and where every child matters.
I had been a governor at my children’s primary school and played a part in the strategic direction of the school. I believed in the ethos and felt that I could support and challenge the school as a governor. I ultimately became the Chair of Governors at Chorlton Park Primary School and during my tenure was inspected twice by OFSTED. I am pleased to say both inspections were rated as outstanding. When my children moved up to the high school I was keen to continue to be involved at a strategic level.
My professional background is in Special Educational Needs, this work gives me great insight and understanding which is invaluable in my work with the governing body. I sit on the Scrutiny committee where I feel my expertise is most directly applicable and I can contribute the most.
I understand the time commitment involved in becoming a school governor and I am keen to support the school with my skills and experiences as appropriate. I have sat on attendance and pupil conduct committees and interviews to appoint new members of staff. I also became the first National Lead of Governors in Manchester LA; in this role I supported governors in other schools.
I think that the one of the biggest challenges we face at this present time involves the new curriculum. My primary concern relates to the potential increased focus on academic attainment, which may detract from recognising the wider range of skills and knowledge that our school population has.
HELEN JONES: TRUSTEE
I have been Chair of the Governing Body at Piper Hill since 2006; my wide knowledge of educational provision in Manchester, my work as LEA adviser for Primary stage education and my role as head of a Development Centre gave me a good basis for having the highest expectation from pupils.
I also played a leading role with the DFES in writing the Guidance for the Education of Sick Children.
My educational experience of running a complex school highly effectively and detailed knowledge of school and College finance and relevant standards
BEV RIDYARD: TRUSTEE
I have been able to grow into the role through the time I have worked with the school, beginning as a school governor back in 2013 and have been part of the transformation that has happened since then through the creation of the Piper Hill Learning Trust and now the Prospere Learning Trust.
I am able to use my strategic and tactical marketing experience to input into marketing and communications elements of the process. In the past, this has including working with the Executive Principal on:
Creating an internal branding document to ensure all members of staff are communicating in a consistent way. The document outlined how to use words, images, school logo and other elements to help all staff reach for the same standard and reflect the outstanding attributes of Piper Hill High School.
Creating a stakeholder tracker document to test. This details all stakeholders and when key messages need to be promoted, to whom and through which communication channel.
I have had input in the bidding phase of the marketing and communication strategy.
I believe that my core strength lies in my contrasting work and life experiences to other governors and the trust members. I find that the kind of questions I ask and the comments I make reflect this as I see the world from a different perspective than the teaching world.
I am a huge believer in self-development and giving back which are the two things that have contributed to my success to date and thus raising standards. I am always keen to know more, through channels such as The Key and Governor Live which help me in all aspects of life, not just through this role. It also helps with the softer skills such as time management, stakeholder management and financial review which complement my other voluntary roles which include Vice Chair for the North West branch of Chartered Institute of Marketing and member of the Learning Advisory Group for Chartered Institute of Marketing too.