Members & Trustees

Carol Jones (Chair) Member & Trustee

Start of service July 2013

Carol is the Chair of the Alpha Academies Trust Board and a member of the Alpha Academies Trust Finance and Operations Committee.  She is also the Vice Chair of the Stoke Studio College local governing body.

She is the owner and director of a business consultancy company, working with education providers and charities to develop and improve strategic and operational management, raise quality and improve outcomes for their clients and beneficiaries.

As a National Leader of Governance in Further Education, Carol has worked with many different types of colleges across the country; developing governing bodies and supporting individual Chairs and governors to improve Board effectiveness and college performance. She is also a co-opted member of the AoC’s Governor’s Council.

Carol is the former Chair of Stoke on Trent College Corporation and former Chief Executive of the Connexions Service for Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent. She has served on numerous committees and groups in both the County and the City, including the Local Safeguarding Children Board, always seeking to improve educational outcomes and employment opportunities for young people and helping unemployed adults get back into work.

Carol’s professional background is in careers guidance and she holds a BA (Hons) and a Masters degree in Research. Carol is also a Fellow of the RSA.

David Heywood Member & Trustee

Start of Service July 2013

David is a Trustee of the Alpha Academies Trust, Chair of the Stoke Studio College local governing body, Vice Chair of the Excel Academy local governing board and member of the Excel Oversight & Scrutiny Committee.  He is a former Vice-chair of Stoke on Trent College Corporation.

David is a retired Chartered Surveyor and until recently senior partner in a North Staffordshire based firm of Independent Chartered Surveyors.

Until retirement David was a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He specialised in Commercial Agency, particularly warehouses, offices and land deals and lists a number of major national Developers as his principal clients.

Paul Richards Member

Start of Service: 7 October

Paul is a member of the Alpha Academies Trust, as well as a member of the Stoke on Trent College Corporation and the Finance and Resources Committee.

Before his retirement Paul held the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University  and was heavily involved in the partnership known as the University Quarter.

Paul has spent much of his career in regeneration and economic development.

John Patino Member

Start of Service: 14 December 2016

John is a member of the Alpha Academies Trust and is Deputy Headteacher at Laude Newton College in Spain.
Prior to his move to Spain, he was Executive Principal at the Discovery Academy, as well as Headteacher at Holden Lane High School and Deputy Headteacher at Alsop High School in Liverpool.

He has also been Head of ICT at two separate schools – Thornleigh Salesian College in Bolton and Mansfield High School Technology College in Nelson, Lancashire.

John has a Masters in Education from Leeds University and a PCGE in IT and Business Studies from Huddersfield University.

Mark White OBE Member

Start of Service: March 2017

Mark is a member of the Alpha Academies Trust and is a Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham.

He is Chair of Governors of Stockton Riverside College and visiting Fellow of Teesside University. Mark has been Chair of the Association of Colleges (AoC) Governors’ Council, is an AoC Board member and Chair of Governance Portfolio Group.
He is chair of AoC Sport. He is a Director and Trustee of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), Chair of ETF Finance and Resources Committee and a Trustee of the National Governors’ Association.

Mark was appointed OBE in 2016 for services to education, particularly in Teesside. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), an accredited member of the Association of University Administrators (AMAUA), a companion of the Society for Education and Training and an honorary life member of Teesside University Students’ Union.

Pat Jackson Trustee

Start of Service: 30 September 2015

Pat is a Trustee of the Alpha Academies Trust and Chair of the Discovery Academy local governing body.

Pat has worked in the public, private and voluntary sectors on joint economic and business development projects and investment programmes.  This includes work as a SERCO Associate and with the University of Warwick and the WMG Academy for Young Engineers Trust to develop with Jaguar Land Rover and other employers, the WMG Academies for Young Engineers in Coventry and North Solihull.

Pat has over 30 years experience in the successful design and delivery of economic and business development policies and investment programmes across the UK. This has involved working with a wide range of senior business leaders, Ministers, local authorities, colleges, universities and the voluntary sector.

Pat is currently employed by the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, she is working with local businesses to develop a new skills strategy.

Pat also undertakes a range of voluntary work including mentoring young people “at risk”.

Kate Townsend Trustee

Start of Service 13 July 2011, re-appointed 26 January 2015

Kate is a Trustee of the Alpha Academies Trust and a member of the Alpha Academies Trust Audit Committee.  She is Chair of the local governing body at the Excel Academy, a member of the Maple Court Academy governing body and Vice Chair of the Discovery Academy local governing body.

Kate is employed as an Education Consultant to the Alpha Academies Trust and is also vice-chair of the Stoke on Trent College Corporation.

Kate has extensive experience in school improvement (having previously been an Ofsted inspector) and leadership and management and was formerly the Strategic Manager for school improvement 0-19 with a Local Authority.

She has been heavily involved in the practical process of Academy conversion and the setting up of Multi Academy Trusts and Federations.

She has a BA in French Studies, an MA in Politics and holds the National Professional Qualification for Head Teachers (NPQH).

Previously a Non-executive Director of NHS Stoke, Kate has a broad experience in governance.

Sarah Robinson Chief Executive Officer

Start of Service: 26 January 2011

Sarah is the Chief Executive Officer of the Alpha Academies Trust.  She is a Trustee of the Alpha Academies Trust Board and member of the Alpha Academies Trust Finance and Operations Committee.  She is also a member of the local governing bodies of the Discovery Academy, Excel Academy, Maple Court Academy and the Stoke Studio College.

She has worked as a senior manager in colleges across the North of England.

For 7 years she was the Principal and Chief Executive of Stoke on Trent College and prior to that, spent 8 years as the Principal and Chief Executive of Darlington College.   Under her leadership, the College relocated to a purpose built campus, achieved a Grade 1 Outstanding OFSTED inspection and was awarded Beacon status.

She was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham in 2006 until her departure and was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours 2009 for her services to further education.

She has been Chair of Governors of primary, secondary and special schools, and governor on college Corporations.

Sarah holds a MA in Education Management and LSDA Principals’ Programme.

Maxine Bagshaw Clerk to the Corporation

Start of Service: 1 January 2011

Maxine is the Clerk and Company Secretary to the Alpha Academies Trust, which includes the Studio Colleges, Maple Court Academy, Excel Academy and the Discovery Academy.

She is also Clerk to the Corporation at Stoke on Trent College, West Nottinghamshire College and Interim Clerk at Tresham College.

Maxine has worked in the FE sector for 14 years and prior to that was a solicitor in private practice. Her role is to support the board and provide independent advice and guidance.

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