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Governance

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

Michael Dennison - Chair of Governors and Safeguarding

I have been Chair of Governors since 2012 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.

Michael.Dennison@northoxfordshire-academy.org

David East -

I joined North Oxfordshire Academy Local Governing Body in October 2022.  I am the Sales & Marketing Director for a UK based Chemical manufacturer and have been Managing Director in my two previous roles.  I specialise in business turnarounds, leadership & strategy, and I am passionate about developing people.

Previously, I have been a school parent-governor in Cheshire.  I am married and my wife is a Behavioural Psychologist, who runs her own business consultancy and was born in Banbury. I have two grown-up sons; one is an Officer in the RAF and the other is a Graduate Buyer.

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.

Ian McConnachie - Sixth Form

I am a University Administrator at the University of Oxford working in Admissions, Access and Outreach. I have recently relocated to Banbury from Oxford where I had lived since starting University and I grew up a little further North in Warwickshire.

I am in regular contact with a large variety of schools, candidates and parents, and understand the issues facing students wishing to enter Higher Education in particular. I am the lead governor for the Sixth Form where I work with staff to ensure that students develop skills to succeed in their future careers through both academic and vocational qualifications.

Victoria Espley - 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.

Robert Fernandes - Personal Development

Robert Fernandes is currently the Marketing Manager at a company operating in the online trading and brokerage space.
Shortly after graduating with a degree in Economics and Politics, Robert made the transition to digital marketing. Prior to his current role, Robert worked with a US-based construction firm, helping with marketing and operations.
 
Before that, Robert spent four and a half years as a consultant at a marketing and communications business which specialised in working with firms in the financial industry. Clients ranged from global stock exchanges to start-ups. As part of this role, he managed a large advertising campaign for a cloud bookkeeping company which was named one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies in 2018.
 
Robert has always been passionate about education and its importance in shaping student’s lives and career paths. In his role as a governor at NOA, he currently oversees the area of Personal Development.

Members who have stepped down