Great news, Phase 2 is complete. Keep updated on the progress at SSSJ click here to view our recovery information.

Governance

Home » About Us » Governance

A message from the leader of our Trust, our Chair of Members:

I am very proud to have been a part of the Trust’s journey over the years and feel passionately that one of the most important ways for the Trust to thrive is through excellent governance.

The local governing bodies (LABs) set the tone and policies for the school, and ensure the school is going in the right direction. We pride ourselves on recruiting good quality governors who can use their expertise, so we co-opt governors where they have the skills that can add value for the whole school and, in turn, the Trust. I am excited to see where the next few years take us, but we can only fulfil our mission by working together, with the support of our outstanding team of volunteer LAB members, Trustees and Board Members.

Ned Solanki MBE

Chair of Members, Vantage Academy Trust

Expert Governing Team

We are proud of the expert governing team at Vantage Academy Trust, to ensure best practise and accountability our governance is organised into three key layers, with our Members Board sitting at the top; as a charitable company, our Trust Members Board ensure that they comply with charity and Company law requirements.

Our Trustees sit below the Members Board and are responsible for the strategic priorities of the Trust. On a local level, Local Advisory boards (LABs) hold each school Principal to account for what is delivered in each academy.

Members

The Trust Members are responsible for setting the vision of the Trust, amending the Articles of Association, appointing Members/Trustees and removing Trustees. Members hold Trustees to account for the effective running of the Trust.

Ned Solanki, MBE - Chair of Members


Ned has been a school governor for over 20 years and was Chair of SS Simon and Jude CEPS, leading the school from special measures to outstanding under Ofsted. He was appointed as an NLG in 2014 and has worked with a number of schools across the region, and is now also a governor at St Mary’s Hawkshaw, Bury. An IT manager for an international company, he deals with high value clients across the UK and works in the area of Cyber Security.

Ian Tomkin - Diocesan Board of Education

Ian is one of the Assistant Directors of Education in the Manchester Diocese. After a long career in industry, he is now responsible for buildings, estates and finance; he manages the provision of places, grant aid and sales of land. He is a member of the Seven Saints PCC and is now Vice Chair of the Bishop Frazier Trust, which includes the Outstanding St James’ High School and Cannon Slade High School.

Ross Malkin - Rector of St Hilda's Church

Ross is currently the rector of St Hilda’s Church and was formerly director of Manchester Diocesan Board of Education and Manchester Diocesan Association of Church Schools, until January 2016.

Sarah Whitty - Finance

Sarah is an ICAEW Chartered Account with 10 years experience in practice, specialising in the Education and not-for-profit sectors. Earlier in 2022, she took up a role as Financial Controller of a growing local Multi-Academy Trust. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family outdoors at their family’s farm, paddleboarding and open water swimming in the Lake District.

Deborah Smith - Diocesan Education

Deborah Smith is the Diocese of Manchester’s Director of Education. Previously, she was Deputy Director of Education for the Diocese of Carlisle. Deborah has worked for more than 30 years in the education sector, latterly as Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Inter-Schools Christian Union (NISCU). Prior to joining the Diocese of Carlisle she was also a member of the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE).

Phil Mason - Chair of Trustees

Phil is the Head of the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, Club Chaplain and Senior Safeguarding Manager. In addition, he is the Chair of Bolton Christian Community Cohesion, the Strategic leadership group for Sport and Physical Activity, the Voluntary & Community Sector Forum and the vice Chair of Bolton Community and Voluntary Services. He represents the Voluntary Sector on the Active,  Connected and Prosperous Board for Bolton and in 2017 received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bolton for outstanding services to the community. Phil has been a school Governor for over 20 years. He acted as Vice Chair of Trustees for 3 years before being appointed Chair in 2017.

Trustees

The Trustees are appointed with the skill set and expertise to take responsibility for the strategic priorities of the Trust  and implementing the vision and ethos set by the members. At board meetings, Trustees have oversight of financial performance, agree targets for pupil achievement and monitor progress of schools. They hold executive leaders accountable for standards and performance of employees and review the performance and pay of school Principals and Chief Executive Officers, in conjunction with Chairs of Local Advisory Boards.

Trustee family tree
Rob Dean - Education/Standards

Rob DeanRob has been a head teacher for eight years at St Thomas Chequerbent. Moving the school from Ofsted satisfactory to good and, last year, achieving 94% ARE combined in KS2 and so putting St Thomas in the top 10% of schools nationally. He represents head teachers on the LA executive board and is Chair of the Policy and Resources Consultation Group, and sits on the Schools Forum. He was previously an Advisory Teacher for ICT in a BECTA award winning team.

Phil Mason - Chair, Third Sector

Phil Mason

Phil is the Head of the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, Club Chaplain and Senior Safeguarding Manager. In addition, he is the Chair of Bolton Christian Community Cohesion, the Strategic leadership group for Sport and Physical Activity, the Voluntary & Community Sector Forum and the vice Chair of Bolton Community and Voluntary Services. He represents the Voluntary Sector on the Active,  Connected and Prosperous Board for Bolton and in 2017 received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bolton for outstanding services to the community. Phil has been a school Governor for over 20 years. He acted as Vice Chair of Trustees for 3 years before being appointed Chair in 2017.

Alison Chapman - Education/ITT

Alison is currently the Headteacher at The Baines School in Poulton-le-Fylde, having previously lead both teaching and Learning and the South Cumbria SCITT. She has a strong interest in both school improvement and teacher education, having established Cumbria University’s School Direct programme in 2011. Alison is a well-read education author with a number of publications in the field. She has recently been appointed as a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. In her role as trustee at Vantage, she provides challenge and support in our Teacher Education Programmes aa well as a wealth of experience across all sectors.

Martin Whittle - Buildings

Business Development Manager at John Turner Construction Group Ltd. A chartered surveyor of over 25 years, Martin has overseen a number of education projects, including whole school construction and refurbishment and is a school governor with over 10 years’ experience. Martin was recently co-opted to ensure our free school builds and the extension of St James’ are correctly monitored and delivered.

Natalie Harling - Education

Natalie is responsible for all income generation across business streams for a well-established National Educational Charity, working with over 26,000 young people each year developing core skills in Character Education using the wilderness locations of The Lakes, mountains and seas. She ensures the charity adheres to its mission to support disadvantaged young people and that funding is leveraged to the greatest advantage.

Professor Ged Byrne - Strategy and leadership

National Director of Global Engagement for Health Education England and lead for Health Education. Chair experience of several national and international bodies including Uganda UK Healthcare Alliance, The NHS Public Health HEEAG and the Global Health Exchange. Awarded a National Teaching Fellowship recognised as the highest UK award for education in the higher education community.

Anthony Burke - Finance/Tax

Anthony is a civil servant with HMRC in their Manchester office where he is currently an Assistant Director with responsibility for Strategy, Transformation and Compliance Risk within the Wealthy Customer Group. He has a background in analysis and operational leadership within the civil service and brings financial acumen and data analysis skills to the trust. Anthony was a Community Governor at Flixton Girls School from 2014 and became Vice-Chair of the Healthy Learning Trust before joining Vantage Academies in 2022.

John Byrne - Risk/Finance

Managing Director in the Global Advisory Division of Rothschild & Co, challenging and scrutinising income, costs, expenditure, structure and governance of businesses, ensuring resilience and ability to withstand external events/shocks. Member of Rothschild’s Community Investment Committee in the UK, with a core theme of helping to raise and realise the ambitions of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Ann-Marie Holmes - Business

Anne-Marie is a qualified Solicitor and Company Secretary and has been practising in the field of commercial law for over 15 years. She trained at DWF LLP in Manchester and has worked for a number of business, advising on a variety of legal issues. She has also held a number of leadership roles, leading the legal and Company Secretarial function.

Dr Lakshmi Sandu Aana - Business

Dr Lakshmi Sandu Aana is working as Consultant Gynaecologist at Mersey West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS trust and Clinical Lead at Edgehill University Medical School. She is dedicated to fostering an open and inclusive culture within both professional and personal spheres. She is interested and involved in risk management, quality assurance, educational leadership, mentoring, and quality improvement projects. She advocates for an environment where diverse perspectives are valued and embraced.

In addition she spends quality time with my family, exploring new destinations and immersing themselves in different cultures.

Local Advisory Boards

The main focus of the Local Advisory Boards is to hold individual schools and school leaders to account for school standards, behaviour, quality of teaching and safety of pupils. They set clear expectations, monitor and review progress and achievement for pupils and ensure that school spending represents good value for public money. They monitor and review the quality of teaching and learning, considering feedback from both parents and pupils and ensure that pupils are properly safeguarded. The chairs of all LABs are invited to attend Trustees meetings and present on key local issues, when appropriate.

Chair of Governors 

Maureen Kennedy

Maureen Kennedy

Gorton

TBC

TBC

Knowlsey Lane

Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson

SS Simon and Jude

Alison Hamer (Acting)

Alison Hamer (Acting)

Flixton Girls

Diane Martindale

Diane Martindale

St Paul's

Helen Whitehead

Helen Whitehead

St Augustine's

Ellie Kuitunen

Ellie Kuitunen

St Barnabas

Matt Blake

Matt Blake

St Hilda's

Leslee Draper

Leslee Draper

St James

Jessica Sutherland

Jessica Sutherland

Willow Tree

Other Resources

Click to view our Articles of Association.

Click to view our Master Funding Agreement.

Click to view our Scheme of Delegation.

Click to view our Vantage Trust Board Terms of Reference 2023 and our Committee Terms of Reference.

For more specific information on governance in individual academies, please use the individual school websites links below:

CLICK HERE for our governance portal, The Trust Governor, for those with valid credentials.

Copies of agendas and minutes are available upon request by contacting our Governance Professional:

Karen Haines: karen@j-a-s.co.uk

Trustee Attendance