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

R Wheelhouse

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.

Ruth can be contacted using the following address: ruth.wheelhouse@ashfield.notts.sch.uk

M Thixton

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.

S Pollard

Shaun Pollard

Shaun has been a Governor at Ashfield School since 2008 and has previously served as a Governor at 2 local Primary Schools since 1997 until recently. He is a registered Social Worker with over 30 years experience in frontline and Management Children’s Safeguarding. He has also been a Foster Carer since 1999. Concerned about the education of Children in Care Shaun began tutoring his foster children after work and after several years decided to become formally qualified as a Teacher PGCE, QTLS. In 2013 he started a provision for Children in Care which has grown to become Pollyteach (now part of the Portland Charity Group). He is currently Assistant Principal at Portland College, Director and Designated Safeguarding Officer for Pollyteach and continues to teach STEM subjects (especially physics and astronomy). He is currently the Safeguarding Governor at Ashfield School.

A Boyer

Anthony Boyer

Tony is a retired Head of Business Education at an Academy School in Doncaster. In that role he was also responsible for Business Education Links and successfully forged close working partnerships with local and national companies such as Polypipe, Sainsburys and M&S. Tony introduced the Young Enterprise Scheme at the school and was on the Doncaster Schools’ Working Party which helped formulate the area bid for “Objective 1” funding (An EU initiative to regenerate South Yorkshire industry). He spent 10 years in the commercial environment, working for two national distributors of specialist consumer durables. Initially in field sales he progressed to General Sales Manager and ultimately Sales and Marketing Director. Tony has served his local community as a Parish Councillor, during which time he held the positions of both Chair and Vice Chair of the council. He has one daughter who attended Ashfield Sixth Form and advanced through to University. As a Governor he looks forward to fully supporting Ashfield School in the achievement of its objectives and helping its students fulfil their potential.

A Pope

Alexis Pope

Alex has been a co-opted governor at Ashfield School since 2019. He has lived locally for over ten years and has two children in a local feeder primary school. Alex is a Chartered Engineer with a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Sheffield and an MBA from Manchester Business school. He works for a large multi-national engineering consultancy, leading a diverse team of Midlands-based engineers and technicians in the highways and transportation sector. With graduate experience working in the rail engineering (permanent way) sector, Alex’s current projects are highway-based and include a leading role in the design team who delivered the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme. As co-opted governor, Alex brings best practice and lessons from the contemporary professional services sector, as well as direct experience of people management including development, training, reward and recruitment.

R Gonouya

Robert Gonouya

Robert has lived in Sutton in Ashfield for the past 6 years and brings substantive experience at both strategic and operational levels, mainly in the third sector. With over 15 years of combined project management experience, overseeing community-based interventions relating to youth skills development, social inclusion, increased youth labour participation, volunteering, health and wellbeing, Robert is passionate about ensuring that Ashfield school and its governance excel, benefiting in part from contributions drawn from his professional background.

Also, Robert brings notable evaluation and impact management experience and critical analysis skills to the team. In both his previous governorship experience at West Park Academy and current role at Ashfield school, Robert’s efforts in leadership roles, such as being link governor on Pupil Premium Spending /Impact and Science, have been informed by his research and teaching backgrounds. He holds a BSc (Hons) International Studies, MSc NGO & Development Management and is PhD candidate in Management (University of Leicester’s Business School), where his research is focused on social prescribing and young people’s transitions into employment.

Robert currently works as a consultant for social impact consultancy company, which operates in the UK, USA and international development arena, supporting clients to improve both individual and organisational performance, by effectively planning for, measuring, evaluating and sustainably growing the impact of their work. He is also a Trustee of Arena Community, a charity working across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, supporting people with challenging lives, including those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, the homeless, isolated and families who are not food secure.

J Pearce

James Pearce

James joined Ashfield’s governing body in 2021. As a co-opted governor, James’ recent education experience offers a diverse perspective. Having successfully completed the Rolls-Royce Project Management higher apprenticeship, James sought an opportunity to employ his early-careers background, supporting the education and early-career paths of current students. Whilst helping the governing body with aspects of strategic direction; continuous improvement and overseeing Ashfield’s drive to sustaining an environment that enables students to be at their best – James’ focus is aligned to Employability and Post-16.

L Maguire

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.

S Fillingham

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.