Helen Hyde - President
Helen is the Headteacher of Watford Grammar School for Girls. The school has Visual Arts and Maths and Computing Specialist Status, is a national training school for the De Bono thinking tools and has accredited status as a ‘Thinking School' by Exeter University. The school became an Academy in September 2010. Helen trains schools across the country in the use of these thinking tools.
Helen is a Fellow of Holocaust Studies at the Imperial War Museum and takes many groups to visit Holocaust sites in Eastern Europe. Helen is on the board of the NCSL.
Tom Clark CBE FRSA - Chairman of the Board
Tom was formerly Chief Executive of George Spencer Foundation School and Technology College in Nottingham. George Spencer School received three consecutive ‘outstanding' Ofsted reports.
For 3 years Tom was an Associate Director of the Schools Network and led on workforce-remodelling and helping to develop international school networks in Australia, The United States and Hong Kong.
Tom organised conferences in the USA and provided performance management training in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur where he led Ofsted inspections. He has co-authored training programmes for middle and senior school leaders in England, Hong Kong and Australia and has published booklets on ‘study leave', ‘benchmarking and financial planning' and ‘workforce reform' for the DfE and the Training Agency.
For the last 4 years, Tom has been Executive Chairman of FASNA
He is a Trustee of the West Bromwich Albion Football Club Foundation and was made a CBE in 2003.
Joan Binder - Vice Chair
Joan is currently a member of the FASNA Executive Board and is largely responsible for the continuing expansion of FASNA professional development programme for governors, head teachers and senior leaders. New topics recently introduced include Effective Governance with an accompanying workbook, an introduction to Academy Status and follow up workshop events and the Role of the Company Secretary in an Academy. She is a key presenter at many of the seminars.
Joan has been an elected member of the FASNA predecessor organisations since 1994 representing the interests of autonomous schools to many other organisations including NEOST (National Employers Organisation for School Teachers), National College, unions and participating in a wide range of DfE consultation and strategy groups focusing on employer and governance issues.
In 2007 Joan won the East of England Governor of the Year award and is chair of governors of a large 11 – 18 secondary converter academy in Essex and chair of governors of a local 300+ pupil community primary school.
As a member of the FASNA Board Joan is involved in strategic discussions and decisions aimed at ensuring FASNA remains an effective influence on national policies and an important network within which member schools can consolidate the opportunities of greater autonomy.
Jane has been a governor at Tollbar Academy, a large 11-18 secondary school of 2000+ students, for 18 years with 16 years as Vice-Chair. Tollbar, rated as outstanding by Ofsted, became a training school in 2008 and is an accredited school provider. The school became a type 2 Academy in September 2010. During Jane's tenure of office she has developed a broad spectrum of experience being Chair of the personnel and pupil exclusion committees, sitting on finance, target setting and having input into curriculum development committees. Her remit also encompasses governor training, SEN/LDD, Looked After Children (LAC) and Child Protection issues.
In 2010 Jane became a director of Tollbar Edge, a charitable trust set up to support low achieving schools and is co-lead sponsor for Cleethorpes academy [a previously failing school], where she is also Vice-Chair of the governing body. In March 2012 in conjunction with two fellow governors, she became a founding member of Tollbar Family of Academies, a Multi Academy Trust.
Jane has recently been appointed as an Academy representative to the local Schools Forum.
Peter was Headteacher of Norton Hill School, Somerset, an 11-18 comprehensive school, between 1994 and 2012. The school has 1550 pupils on roll with 350 in the Sixth Form. In 2003 the school was judged excellent by OFSTED and in 2007 Ofsted judged the school to be 'outstanding' in all categories. Norton Hill has specialisms in Maths and ICT and Languages. It is a Training School, a Leading Edge School, and a centre for Gifted and Talented.
In 2009 Norton Hill entered a hard Federation with neighbouring Somervale School and Peter became Head of both schools (not an Executive Head!). Somervale was given a "Notice To Improve” in 2009 but in 2011 was in the top 100 most improved schools nationally after GCSE results including English and Maths almost doubled between 2008 and 2011.
Peter was a National Leader in Education and has supported schools in Special Measures and National Challenge. He was Chair of the local Schools Forum for 8 years and has been involved in promoting workforce reform.
He retired from Headship in 2012 and is now editing the Academy Magazine and undertaking some Educational Consultancy work.
Roy is Clerk to the United Westminster Schools/Grey Coat Hospital Foundation, an ancient (1594) charity which has strong links with Westminster Abbey. He is also Clerk to the governing bodies of the schools which make up the Foundation, an unusual mixture of independent and maintained schools with the latter being inner city, voluntary aided comprehensives.
He started his working life as a teacher, after which he became Education Officer for a Local Authority before spending ten years in the civil service which led to him travelling around Europe negotiating bi-lateral and multi-lateral treaties for HM Government.
Debbie has been Headteacher of Nunthorpe Academy, Middlesbrough since September 2003. This is an 11-18 school holding a dual specialism in Science and Business Enterprise, and was the first in England to become so in September 2006.. The school is regularly over-subscribed, especially in the Sixth Form which was opened in September 2008. There are currently 1533 pupils on roll and the school is more than full! Nunsthorpe became a Foundation school in April 2006 and an Academy in October 2012.
Debbie has previously been Vice Principal of Coopers Technology College (a Foundation school) in Bromley, South London. She is currently the Chair of her local PRU Management Committee and represents local secondary Headteachers on her Children's Trust Executive Board. She has been an active FASNA member since September 2005.
Debbie believes that school autonomy is the only way to really ensure sustainable school improvement and looks forward to furthering this vision with members.
Mike is an Executive Board Member of FASNA. He has previously given long service to FASNA national committee. Mike was Headteacher of Deacon's School, Peterborough from 1995 until 2007. The school was one of the original Grant Maintained Schools and was in the very first round of Specialists Schools in the mid 1990's. The school became foundation under the previous Labour Government.
He is now a Principal of The Samworth Church Academy in Nottinghamshire and has held this post since June 2007. His role on the board is particularly linked to maintaining, developing and forging strategic links that are purposeful and mutually advantageous. As an Associate Headteacher of the Special School and Academies Trust he has extensive national experience in many aspects of secondary education.
Patricia Sowter is the Executive Principal of Cuckoo Hall Academy Trust in Edmonton, North London. Cuckoo Hall became one of the first Outstanding Primary Schools to become an Academy in September 2010. To further educational opportunities for children in the area, and to meet parental demand Patricia recently opened Woodpecker Hall, a new two form of entry primary school, and she will be opening a further primary school in the Edmonton area in 2012. All schools will be led and managed by CHAT (Cuckoo Hall Academies Trust).
Patricia has been a FASNA member for 6 years and has a strong belief that autonomy with accountability can help to raise standards.
David is Chair of Governors of Christ the King Catholic School and Sixth Form College in Nottinghamshire. He also currently works in The Joseph Whitaker School which is a foundation school also in Nottinghamshire. David has worked in the education sector in a variety of roles for most of his career and has a background in education personnel and resources, having previously been a management consultant. David supports Joan Binder as a member of the SSSNB and is a former adviser to NEOST.
David believes that collaboration through FASNA, together with schools being empowered to take decisions at Governing Body level, is the only realistic template for the future given the funding realities for local authorities in the current economic climate. As a member of the Committee, he welcomes alliances with other organisations representing schools to promote school improvement through such autonomy.
Les Walton - Consultant to the Board
Les Walton is founder of Northern Education Associates Ltd and Chair of the Northern Education Trust. He also chairs the Education Funding Agency Advisory Group and is a member of the Skills Funding Agency Advisory Board and the All Party Parliamentary Committee on School and College Governance.
Les has over 45 years' experience of working in the education sector. He achieved national recognition for his work as head teacher of Norham Community Technology College, one of the first community specialist colleges. The school was cited by HMI as "one of the most effective urban schools in the country” and by the Deming UK Board as "one of the best examples of total quality management in the UK”. He was awarded the OBE for services to education during his time at the school.
As Executive Director and Chief Education Officer in North Tyneside Council, Les managed the re-organisation of a three-tier system of education, which achieved political, community and educational consensus. North Tyneside Council achieved Beacon Status for "Tackling Failing Schools” in 1999.
In 2000 Les was asked by the Department for Education and Skills to lead the interim management and subsequent outsourcing of education services in Bradford. During this period he developed the concept of a ‘New Relationship with Schools' and introduced partnership boards involving head teachers as ‘School Improvement Partners'.
In 2002 Les was appointed Chief Executive and Principal of North Tyneside FE College. He then created ‘Tyne Metropolitan College' through the merger of two FE Colleges. The amalgamation was described as ‘exemplary' by the DCSF.
Under Les's leadership, as the founder and Executive Chair of Northern Education, the company has grown to become a significant partner with the public sector in supporting leadership and educational improvement. Recently Northern Education was identified as being one of the most successful new companies established since 2000, based on growth and financial strength. The Northern Education Trust sponsors a growing number of academies in Yorkshire, Lancashire and the north east of England. This is an exciting development as Les can now use his considerable expertise in school improvement to make a positive difference for young people in the area and their local community.
In July 2009, Les was appointed by the Secretary of State as Chair of the Young People's Learning Agency Committee within the Learning and Skills Council and was Chair of the YPLA until 2012.