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North Oxfordshire Academy is a part of United Learning whose Trustees hold the ultimate responsibility for the governance of each United Learning school.

The Department for Education’s governance handbook 2020 identifies the essentials of effective governance as follows:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

United Learning’s Trustees delegate certain key roles and responsibilities to the school’s Local Governing Body (LGB) and these are set out clearly in our Scheme of Delegation which can be seen on the United Learning website.

Click here to view the Scheme of Delegation

Victoria Espley - Chair of Governors | Behaviour and Attitudes

I joined North Oxfordshire Academy Local Governing Body in September 2022 having relocated to the area from Cambridge. I now live in Warwick with my husband and two children. I am a passionate supporter of education and have been actively involved in educational charities since joining my first school board in 2007.  I have served as Chair of Governors for a number of schools including Ace Nursery School, St Luke's (VA) Junior School and Coleridge Community College.  
My specialisation is in financial and operational strategy, and I am currently Foundation Bursar at  Warwick Schools Foundation. After graduating in Economics and Finance, I worked in Financial Services, based in the City and leading a range of diverse teams across the globe.  Having enjoyed a number of voluntary roles within educational charities, I moved into the education sector, becoming Bursar at Westcott House and then Hughes Hall, both colleges within the University of Cambridge.

Michael Dennison - Safeguarding

I held the appointment of Chair of Governors from 2012 until 2022 and have had a long association with North Oxfordshire Academy and other schools locally. I am also serving on United Learning’s Education Board.  My background is in education and school improvement having previously been an academy principal, Ofsted inspector and deputy director in local authorities.  I am currently an education adviser to the Department for Education.

I am married (to an ex-deputy head teacher). Our three grown-up children attended local schools; only one became a teacher and is now working in a special school.

Jon Carlton - Leadership, Management and Finance

Jon Carlton is a Chartered Engineer who worked in the electricity and gas industry, both in the UK and USA, for 35 years.  He now runs his own consultancy business as well as performing a number of Non-Executive and advisory roles.  At the Academy, Jon is taking a lead on raising the profile of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.  He is also lead governor working with the staff to increase levels of achievement across the curriculum.

Phill Slater - Vice Chair and Quality of Education

Phill Slater is Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply and retired Director of Procurement from consumer product company Procter & Gamble in Switzerland. In this role he managed a team of 500 staff  located in over 20 countries. He also held senior positions with Gillette and Black&Decker working in UK, USA. Phill is married with two daughters who were both educated locally and has lived in the area since 1990. He graduated from University of Sheffield in 1978 and gained his post-graduate professional diploma at the North West Management School in 1979.

Claire Yates

Claire Yates is Director of Hospitality and Leisure at Warwick Schools Foundation where she leads the strategy on the community and commercial engagement. Previously to working at the Foundation Claire spent 19 years working in various roles in hospitality industry in Hotels. Having an interest in education this role provides me with an opportunity to shape children’s futures and gives something back to the local community. 

Natalie King

I grew up in Worcestershire and worked in primary schools as a classroom assistant and as an Integration Officer for Social Services, helping children to access education positively. I relocated to Banbury 17 years ago with my husband and we now have two daughters, our eldest daughter is a student at NOA. I have worked for Activate Learning at Banbury College for five years and most recently as a Governance and Compliance Officer. I have seen how important the work of the governing body is to an organisation, its students and its staff and I am proud to now be a parent governor at NOA. I have an interest in student mental health, school attendance and safeguarding. 

Robert Fernandes - Personal Development

Robert Fernandes is in charge of marketing at an online trading and brokerage business.  He has spent much of the past several years working for or with financial services businesses, ranging from early stage companies to global brands.  Robert has always been passionate about education and its importance in shaping students' lives and career paths.  In his role as a Governor at NOA, he currently oversees the area of Personal Development. 

Louise Penfold-Colledge

I currently work at North Oxfordshire Academy as a Learning Coach, and I thoroughly enjoy every day. I am married with two children. The eldest is a student at Noa and the youngest is in his sixth year at a local primary school. I have previous experience as a parent governor in a primary school and I am keen to fulfil this role at NOA. During my spare time I love making memories with my family, reading and drawing. My children's and young people's future is of the upmost importance to me. 

Oli Howson

Oli Howson is an ex-secondary assistant principal and is now lectures in Computer Science at the Open University. Having been a principal examiner writing A-level exams, a Computing at Schools Master Teacher and a specialist leader of education, Oli is passionate about education, teaching and learning. Oli still teaches 11-18 Computing internationally and is involved in teacher training, textbook development and runs an educational consultancy.
Oli has two daughters, one of whom is currently studying at North Oxfordshire Academy and is an international cheerleader, the other is at a local primary school and is accomplished in Taekwando.

Members who have stepped down