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Governors Welcome

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Welcome From the Chair of Governors

I feel privileged to be the Chair of the Governing Body of Ashfield School. I have been a governor at the school since 2006. I am always hugely impressed by both the energy and drive of the talented staff team and the quality of the students. The improvements made at the school during the past few years have been remarkable but, as governors, we are not complacent and we will continue to support and challenge the school to make further improvements for the benefit of all our learners.

As a governing body, we work closely with Mr Maher and his leadership team to ensure that we have in place a clear strategic direction for the development of the school and a strong framework of local accountability. We do this by implementing robust scrutiny and challenge to make sure our students get the very best quality of education. We regularly challenge the Head and leadership team to ensure the School’s strategy for continual improvement is working.

As an academy, we also recognise our responsibilities as employers and seek to improve the working environment and support all our teaching and support staff. The facilities at the school are second to none and we are proud of our record as governors in ensuring the learning environment is continually improving for the benefit of students at the school.

The governing body, Headteacher and senior leaders have the following school aims:

  • To maximise the attainment and progress of all learners.
  • To ensure that all teams focus on the delivery of high quality teaching over time.

The governing body is made up of people with a wide range of experience and expertise in business, public service and local community organisations. We also have three staff governors who represent the teaching and support staff of the school. As a governing body, we are proud to serve the school and to represent the interests of students and their families.

Ruth Wheelhouse
Chair of Governors

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Governing Body

Ruth Wheelhouse

Ruth became a governor at Ashfield School in 2006. She qualified to teach in 1974 and began her teaching career in Primary Schools. After having 3 children, Ruth taught in the Further Education sector, and over the years taught and co-ordinated Business Studies, GCSE English, Uniformed Public Services, CIMA Organisational Management and Business Ethics. In 2006, Ruth began work at EMFEC, an organisation which has the colleges of the East Midlands as its members, where she led regional educational projects, planned and developed the Continuous Professional Development programme for teachers, and assisted colleges in the development of quality and associated training to improve standards. In 2012, Ruth returned to a local college on a part-time basis to manage the A Level department. She has recently retired.

Mark Thixton

I moved to the Ashfield area in 2006 and my wife’s twin daughters have been attending Ashfield School since 2011. They will soon be sitting their A Level exams and then hopefully, all going well, be heading off in September to different universities. At the same time, my son will be starting at Ashfield and I’m looking forward to him being given the same excellent education that my step daughters have had. I work as a Senior Analyst for Computacenter and have been there for nearly 11 years. I am currently a local authority governor at Annesley Primary School and a co-opted governor at Priestsic Primary School. I’ve enjoyed being a governor at these schools and it has taught me many things already. I have also just been appointed onto the Schools’ Forum Nottinghamshire Committee and I hope that my participation will be of some benefit to my role as a Governor at Ashfield School.

Michelle Jenkins

Michelle became a governor at Ashfield 4 years ago, as she wanted to be involved in the local community. She has a son at Ashfield who is now in the Post-16 Centre, and believes that Ashfield has given him a good foundation, both as an individual and academically. As a governor, Michelle hopes to maintain and develop this education for future generations of pupils. She has worked in schools in both the private and public sectors for almost 10 years, as well as being a School Support Staff advisor locally and nationally. She has also worked as a volunteer in local community groups such as Scouting. Michelle believes her experience of supporting children and working with Local Authorities will enable her to support Ashfield in its development to gain the best possible educational experience for its pupils.


Malcolm Townsend

Malcolm is one of our longest serving governors, having first been elected as a Parent Governor during the time when his three children were progressing through the school. Malcolm had previously given up employment to become a ‘pioneer’ stay-at-home Dad, and he is now a Community Governor. Considered to be a voice for more able students and also an advocate of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, his personal interests include fell walking, music, board games (three times Mensa Monopoly Champion), and for 10 years ran the most successful Junior School Chess Club in the country. Malcolm is a committed Christian and currently organises the popular Midlands Toy and Train Collectors’ Fair.

Ian Richardson

All of Ian’s family, including his two children, have/are attending Ashfield School. He has considerable financial and commercial experience, being a Chartered Accountant and Financial Director, and is also a volunteer Director of an industry federation whose membership exceeds 150 businesses.

Most of Ian’s leisure time is spent with his family, but he does participate in a local karate group as well as enjoying an occasional round of golf.

Ian is very proud to be a parent Governor and Chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee.

Geoff Banks

Geoff Banks FIRP – Cert RP, is the Founder and Managing Director of ie People, holding over 20 years’ experience in the recruitment of key individuals for both global and UK based SME companies. Geoff has also worked for organisations directly, including Bombardier Transportation and CH2M Hill.

ie People is known for specialising in the sourcing, selection and delivery of board level, senior leadership and critical talent to clients who "Design, Build and Maintain the Modern "Smart" World" in Technology, Transportation, Manufacturing and Engineering; Construction, Infrastructure and Major Projects; and Facilities Management and Security Services. The foundations of the company are built on delivering exceptional customer experience and delivering inclusive and diverse talent and recruitment solutions into industry.

Geoff is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (FIRP) and a Certified Recruitment Practitioner (Cert RP). Geoff also sits on the Rail Supply Group SME Board as a council member, supporting and promoting SMEs into the UK Rail Sector.

Geoff is passionate about employability and the opportunity to improve access to exciting careers for school leavers, along with College and University Graduates.


Linda Maguire

Linda has been a Modern Foreign Languages Teacher at Ashfield School for 14 years and enjoys the opportunity to shape decisions about the school as part of the governing body. For the last 5 years, she has been an Achievement Leader and is now enjoying her role as Head of Post 16.




Sam Fillingham

After graduating from Newcastle University in 2010, Sam completed a PGCE through the University of Leeds. He secured his first Teacher of English post at Batley Girls' High School in West Yorkshire, with particular responsibility for whole-school literacy. In 2014, he relocated to Nottingham and embarked on the role of Key Stage 4 Co-ordinator within the English Faculty here at Ashfield School, which led to his current position of Second in English. Sam is actively involved in making decisions linked to the English curriculum, assessment and intervention to ensure all students here at Ashfield School have the opportunity to achieve their potential and positively shape their future life chances. As Staff Governor, he is able to inform and update the Governing Body on students' progress in English, and offer ways to support students as they face challenges at a time of curriculum reform.

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