Academy Council & Register of Business Interests

As a member of the Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT) the structure of the Academy Council and its responsibilities are set out in the FCAT Scheme of Delegation.

The Academy Council plays a vital role in the governance and accountability of Blackpool Aspire Academy; its responsibilities include:

  • Support the vision and direction of FCAT
  • Set and review the vision and direction for Blackpool Aspire Academy within the framework of FCAT’s vision
  • Approval of Blackpool Aspire Academy budget
  • Oversee financial monitoring of Blackpool Aspire Academy
  • Hold the Blackpool Aspire Academy Principal to account for standards and report annually to the Directors
  • Act as a critical friend to Blackpool Aspire Academy Headteacher
  • Approval of capital programmes before submission to the Board of Directors

The Academy Council is not responsible for the operational and day to day management of Blackpool Aspire Academy, this is the remit of the Headteacher who reports to the Chief Executive.

The Academy Council is made up of people who want to make a positive contribution to your child's education - below you will find some background information on our Academy Council members and records of all their meetings.

The address of the chair is care of the school - Blackpool Aspire Academy, Blackpool Old Road , Blackpool, Lancashire , FY3 7LS

Chair of Academy Council

Jill Gray

I am the Principal of The Blackpool Sixth Form College having been in post-16 education for over 20 years. I originally trained in hospitality management, having visions of managing hotels worldwide; however in 1994 my career took an unexpected turn when I entered the world of education initially as a teacher of tourism and hospitality before moving into middle management in 1998 and senior management in 2008. I have never looked back!

Having undertaken my post-16 education in Blackpool, I am excited to be back working in the town. I am passionate about education and aim to work in partnership with others to provide an outstanding education for the young people of Blackpool.

I have a wonderful son and a daughter and I am a very proud grandma!


Academy Council Members

Rachel Hayes

I have worked in the Civil Service for almost 20 years now and regularly work with the Department for Education, and wider with individual schools. I am qualified in procurement and project management, and now I have a young daughter, have become much more aware of education in the local community. I’m keen to support the academy, whilst bringing my experience to try and save money in the current climate, giving the pupils the best start possible. 

Sarah Matthews

Pen Portrait to follow

Jenny Campbell (FCAT Governor) 

Pen portrait to follow.

Paul Marsden

I joined Hodgson Academy as Senior Assistant Principal in 2017 after ten years of teaching and leadership experience in both Lancashire and Merseyside. My senior leadership responsibilities have included school development, curriculum and assessment, and I also led an outstanding Humanities faculty for a number of years. As a Specialist Leader of Education, I have provided support to colleagues in other institutions in a variety of challenging contexts.

Away from education, I have enjoyed several years experience as a Referee and Assistant Referee in professional football.

Chris Westhead

Pen Portrait to follow

Emma Newton

I am a 45 year old working mum, currently on the 2nd year of a degree course in physical activity, nutrition and health, at Blackpool University Centre.

I have one child in University, and my youngest attends Blackpool Aspire Academy.

Mica Goldstone

While always having an interest in education and qualifying as an A-level physics teacher I ended up in programming though recently completed an MSc(Res) Astrophysics. I also help run the Layton Bee Project that introduces primary school children to beekeeping.

Having now been a governor at the Layton Primary School for seven years, I hope to be a positive influence on the governing body at Aspire.

I also do not like having my photo taken!



Aspire Academy Council Register of Business Interests

Governors are advised to include interests of both themselves and any member of their immediate family (including partners).

Governors have read the guidelines regarding Register of Pecuniary or Business Interests and declared whether or not they have
any interests that may conflict with their duties as a Governor on Aspire Academy Council or as a Governor within Fylde Coast
Academy Trust and its other academies.


Academy Council Meetings

 Academy Council Meeting: Wednesday, 11th July, 2018
 Academy Council Meeting: Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018
 Academy Council Meeting: Wednesday, 21st March, 2018
 Academy Council Meeting: Wednesday, 7th February, 2018
 Academy Council Meeting: Wednesday, 6th December, 2017
 Academy Council Meeting: Wednesday, 20th September, 2017



Click here for Policies and financial information regarding FCAT

Click here for FCAT governance

Click here for Academy Council Secure Area