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 Principal
  • 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 Principal 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

Michael Carey

I was a civil servant for most of my working life and moved to the Fylde in 1974 to work on the old DHSS site at Norcross. In those days I was an internal consultant specialising in efficiency studies and was lucky enough to get a secondment to work for two years as Organisation and Methods adviser to the Solomon Islands Government. I continued my studies after that to qualify as a member of the Institute of Management Services, but as soon as I qualified I moved off that work and spent the rest of my career in general management in various parts of Northern England.

Since retiring I have been a volunteer ranger for the Lancashire Countryside Service and I also volunteer as an adviser for Age UK in Blackpool. 

Sarah Elson

I have lived in Lancashire all my life and have been a teacher for 10 years. I am a passionate middle leader at Aspire, who has a varied experience range of teaching and leading from Acting Assistant Headteacher to current Head of Dance and CPD. I have always had a passion for teaching and learning and believe the education of our children is vital. Through my work on the Academy Council I hope to support FCAT's vision and achieve Aspire's aspirations of 'Success, Nothing Less'.

Bill Greene

The most important thing about today’s education system is the young people who rely on it. I want to ensure that all the young people who go to Aspire have, and take, the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge that will enable them to make the most of their lives.

As a I am a retired IT professional, who is actively involved in the local Blackpool community, I am able to recognise what is, and what is not, effective in achieving that goal.
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.

Ryan Sheldon

After leaving school I gained my A-levels and a History degree and trained to become a graphic artist, remaining in the printing industry until 2008 when I joined Education Diversity for five years supporting students who were being educated online at home and across their many centres, helping young people who for one reason or another were unable to learn in a traditional school setting.

Being Senior IT Technician at Aspire, and with two children of school age, I have more than a passing interest in the education system and what I can do to positively influence it.

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



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