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Interim Executive Board

The Governing Body was replaced by an Interim Exectuve Board (IEB) on 17th December 2019.

Their role remains the same:

1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
2. Holding the headteacher to account for the education performance of the school and it’s pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure it’s money is well spent;


The members of the IEB are all experienced educationalists in some respect:

Chair: Diane Martindale

Diane has sixteen years’ experience as a senior leader in primary schools. Nine of those years were spent as the Headteacher of a successful Church of England primary school in Wigan.
Since retiring from full time headship in 2013 she has worked as a school advisor for the Manchester Diocese. She also works for a consortium (Leigh Lowton and Golborne Schools’ Partnership) of 26 primary schools in Wigan, as assistant director, contributing to the Headteachers’ partnership meetings and training events and co-ordinating consultancy support for school improvement as well as managing their budget.
Diane has 22 years’ experience of serving on a Governing Body and has been a member of 3 IEBs in 3 different local authorities who all subsequently joined a MAT.
Most recently Diane has acted as Chair of a JEB within Bolton LA, having now recently handed over responsibility back to the governing body.

Sarah Rothwell

Sarah has been working in schools since 2006, in a variety of roles from PA to the Headteacher, Community Relations Manager, School Administrator, School Business Manager and currently Assistant Chief Finance Officer to the Vantage Trust.
Her current role is to work alongside the CFO in all aspects of Finance including our annual Trust Audit. She has undertaken several conversions for the trust including St Augustine within Salford LA.
To compliment her experience she has completed: CSA qualification (Level 3), CSBM (Level 4), DSBM (Level 5) AAT Level 1&2.
She has also been a Governor at Aldwyn Primary School, Tameside from September 2009 – August 2015. During this time, she was firstly elected as the Chair of the Finance Committee and then became the Chair of Governors from December 2009 – August 2015.

Gareth Elswood

Mr Elswood has been a headteacher since 2009. He has led a number of schools as a headteacher including a three and four form entry school. He holds the National Qualification for Headship and is currently an executive Headteacher of two Church of England Primary schools who are within the Manchester Diocese.

Sonia Schofield

Sonia is a highly skilled and committed educational leader. She is constant in achieving the best outcomes for all children and holds a firm belief in using ‘evidence based research’ to support school leaders in improving schools and building capacity for improvement. Her role is fundamentally to be as a ‘force for improvement’, which embodies the values of the OFSTED organisation and supports the Trust’s on-going vision for developing capacity within schools, which will lead to the delivery of better outcomes for all children.

Her areas of interest and expertise are outlined below:

· Whole school approach for assessing and monitoring pupil progress

· Coaching and building capacity in middle and senior leadership teams in effective assessment practice at a whole school level

· Implement and develop pupil progress and tracking systems to support raising attainment and improved quality of analysis of pupil performance indicators

· Auditing current assessment provision and providing evaluation tools to support whole school improvements, using the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors ‘Excellence in Assessment’ framework

· Principles of an effective whole school attendance strategy

· Actions that school leaders can take to improve attendance for all pupils, pupils at risk of persistent absence and pupils who are persistently absent (PA).

She is passionate about school-to-school support and has a proven track record of achieving improvement in the schools she has supported. She has worked in over 26 schools, (cross phase) in her roles as a Local Authority Adviser and SLE. She has achieved consistent improvements in all of the schools.

As Deputy Headteacher, Head of School Improvement and Head of School at FGS results improved from 53% A-C Inc. English & Maths in 2012 to 74% in 2015 as a direct result of the improved and robust systems she introduced. It was also highlighted in the school’s 2014 OFSTED report in being awarded ‘outstanding’ for the school leadership. The school has since achieved ‘Good’ under the new inspection framework (July 2018) as noted ‘The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection’ and performance measures have remained above national figures.

As an experienced senior leader, she has a track record of high performance and outcomes. She has a particular interest in assessment, curriculum and whole school attendance. In her first Assistant Head post, she was appointed to improve whole school attendance and reduce levels of persistent absenteeism (PA). She significantly improved whole school attendance from 86% to 95% in her first two years and reduced persistent absenteeism from 22% to 10%. The achievement was recognised by the national strategies and a case study was compiled about the rapid improvements.

Her Trust role has led to a renewed enthusiasm for coaching as the foundation of all school improvement work and she has benefited from visits to national schools to see how they are organising in school coaching models to support whole school improvement and the benefits for both staff and students. The development of a coaching model for schools is closely linked to the pioneering work of Professor Philippa Cordingley and the Centre for the use of research and evidence in education (CUREE).

The IEB will remain in place until September 2021 to maintain consistency due to disruption caused with the Covid pandemic.

Chair of IEBDiane Martindale
IEB MemberGareth Elswood
IEB MemberSarah Rothwell
IEB MemberRob Dean
IEB Associate MemberSonia Schofield
HeadteacherWendy Budsworth

LAB Representatives

Trustees & Members