Janet Dodd

Janet Dodd

Start of Service: 1 September 2016

Jan is Chair of the local governing body at Maple Court Academy.

Previously a Deputy Head Teacher at an 11-18 school her areas of responsibility have included:- Director of Science Specialism; SENCO; Second in English; Head of Religious Studies; Head of Careers / Work Based learning; Sixth Form; Gifted and Talented, PSHE. She has had lead responsibilities for Teaching and Learning (especially DSEN); Community Education and Global Education links.

Jan has extensive experience in school improvement and has been part of a Management team responsible for leading a school out of Special Measures. Jan was also employed as an Ofsted Inspector and mentored other inspectors in training and completed enhanced training as an inspector for Special Education and the Independent sector.

Jan has also worked as a consultant carrying out school reviews for the Ormiston Trust, Top Quality Marque and in the Middle East for Cambridge Education.

She has a MA in Professional Studies in Education; a Diploma in Special Education Needs; a certificate in Positive Management of Behaviour in Schools; a Diploma in School Management Studies and an Ofsted qualification to inspect Section 5, 8, 162a, Special Schools and EYFS.

Kate Townsend

Kate Townsend

Start of Service: 1 June 2013

Kate is a Governor on the local governing body at Maple Court Academy and is the link governor for Leadership and Management, Pupil Premium and Parents.

She is employed as an Education Consultant to the Alpha Academies Trust and is also Vice Chair of the local governing body at The Discovery Academy, Chair of the Excel Academy and Director of the Alpha Academies Trust. Kate is also a member of the Stoke on Trent College Corporation and Chair of Curriculum, Quality and Standards Committee at the College.

Previously a Non-executive Director of NHS Stoke, Kate has a very broad experience in governance and has been heavily involved in the practical process of Academy conversion and the setting up of Multi Academy Trusts and Federations.

Kate has extensive experience in school improvement (having previously been an Ofsted inspector) and leadership and management and was formerly the Strategic Manager for school improvement 0-19 with a Local Authority.

She has a BA in French Studies, an MA in Politics and holds the National Professional Qualification for Head Teachers (NPQH).

Simon French

Simon French
Vice Chair

Start of Service: 15 April 2016

Simon is the Vice Chair of the local governing body of Maple Court Academy and is currently the Principal of The Discovery Academy.  Simon is also a member of the Discovery Academy local governing body, a member of the Stoke on Trent College Corporation Board and a member of the Curriculum, Quality and Standards Committee at the College.

Simon has led on teaching and learning at The Discovery Academy for the past three years and has experience of other strategic areas including behaviour, inclusion and line management of all subjects as part of the Senior Leadership Team.

Previously Simon was acting Head Principal at the Excel Academy in Sneyd Green, having commenced at Excel in 1997 as a teacher of Science. 

Simon has also been a governor at Holden Lane Primary School and was Vice Chair of Governors at REACH.

He has a BSc Hons in Biomedical Science and completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) in September 2007.

Jonathan Baddeley

Jonathan Baddeley

Start of Service: 1 September 2014

Jonathan is the Principal of Maple Court Academy where he took up post in September 2014. He was appointed as a governor at the Discovery Academy in July 2015.

Before joining Maple Court Jonathan was the Headteacher at a high performing primary school within the City of Stoke–on–Trent where he became a Local Leader in Education (LLE) and supported several other schools within the City.

He was previously Chair of The Stoke-on-Trent Association of Primary Headteachers and currently represents Primary Academies in the south of the City at the Schools’ Forum.

As an LLE, he is also a member of the Stoke on Trent School Improvement Group, which is the strategic body that shapes the school improvement work in Stoke and monitors the performance of its schools and academies.

Sarah Robinson

Sarah Robinson

Chief Executive Officer
Alpha Academies Trust

Start of Service 1 June 2013

Sarah is a member of the local governing body at Maple Court Academy and is the Link Governor for Teaching, Learning and English. Sarah is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Alpha Academies Trust, a member of the Alpha Academies Trust Finance and Operations Committee, and a member of the local governing bodies of the Discovery Academy, Excel Academy and the Stoke Studio College.

She has worked as a senior manager in colleges across the North of England prior to taking up her post at Stoke on Trent College in January 2010.

For 8 years Sarah was Principal and Chief Executive of Darlington College. Under her leadership the College achieved a Grade 1 Outstanding OFSTED inspection and was awarded Beacon status. 

 She was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham in 2006 and was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours 2009 for her services to further education.  She has been Chair of Governors of primary, secondary and special schools, and governor on college Corporations. 

 Sarah holds a MA in Education Management and LSDA Principals’ Programme.

Rev. David Street

Rev. David Street

Start of Service 17 December 2013

David is a Governor on the local governing body at Maple Court Academy and is the Link Governor for Behaviour and Personal Development.  He is also a governor at Bentilee Nursery School and is Chair of governors at Kingsland Academy.

He is the leader of St. Stephan’s Community Church in Bentilee, a vibrant Anglican church at the heart of many aspects of local community life.  With a very supportive team the Church runs a ‘foodbank distribution centre’, a weekly craft club for people with learning difficulties and hugely popular ‘Streetwise’ youth club.

Rev Dave leads assembly in school on a weekly basis and is also chaplain to The 1st Bentilee Boys and Girls Brigade run by Maple Court Academy.

Rev Dave’s background is in the design industry, spending twelve years designing shops and showrooms for Royal Doulton. He has a Masters Degree in ‘computing in design’ and art, creativity and design are still very important to him. He ran his own web design business before working as a Community Worker and then re-training in ‘mission and ministry’ and became Vicar of Bentilee in June 2013.

 He is deeply committed to local people and is passionate to see young people reaching their full potential and making a real difference.

 Also he loves music and plays both the guitar and piano.

Aimi Brown

Aimi Brown

Start of Service: 17 December 2013

Aimi is a teacher and a staff Governor on the local governing body at Maple Court Academy.  She is currently the Year 5 teacher, raising standards within the year and facilitating learning.

In addition Aimi is the Director of PE, providing detailed information on how the sport premium budget is spent and raising the profile of PE within the school, ensuring that both staff and children enjoy PE and become lifelong learners and have sincere enjoyment for the subject.  Alongside this role, Aimi is also the director of extracurricular activities, organising and running a variety of clubs to ensure that there is lots of variety to suit all needs. She works with other educational providers to guarantee quality is being provided.

Aimi is also the NQT coordinator within the school, ensuring that deadlines are met and the NQT’s are being fully supported. She liaises with outside agencies to ensure that this is effective.

  Aimi has a BA Hons in Sport and Physical Education.

Sharon Gwilt-Bowen

Sharon Gwilt-Bowen

Start of Service: 11 December 2015

Sharon is a staff Governor on the local governing body at Maple Court Academy.  She is also the Deputy Safeguarding and Home School Link Officer.  Sharon has been a teacher at the Academy since 2005 and prior to this was a Learning Mentor at the Academy.

Previously she has worked at Cicely Houghton Special School for 7 years as a Personal Welfare Assistant, assisting a child with Prada Willi Syndrome.

Sharon is born and bred in Bentilee. Throughout her career she has been involved with young people. She has 20 years’ service as a Red Cross Young Officer, 4 years as a Scout Leader, 2 years as a child minder, a Personal Care Worker for a lady with learning difficulties and is currently Captain of the Bentilee 1st Boys Brigade.

Juliet Levingstone

Juliet Levingstone

Start of Service: 19 March 2015

Juliet is a Governor on the local governing body at Maple Court Board and is the Link Governor for Safeguarding and SEN Able Students.

She is Headteacher at Bentilee Nursery School and has a lead for quality in Early Years in the South locality. Julie has previously worked in primary schools in Manchester and is very experienced in early identification and intervention of special educational needs required to give children the very best start in life.

Juliet is a member of the National Association of Headteachers, is a Local Leader of Education and a member of the National College of School Leadership. She has led Early Years networks across the City and has organised or led a variety of Early Years courses.

 She is currently Chairperson for South Collaborative 3, which supports effective communication and interagency working.

 Juliet holds an MA in Primary Education and PGCE in Education (Special Needs and Inclusion).

Claire Walters

Parent Governor

Start of Service: 26 January 2017

Claire is a Learning Support Practitioner and parent Governor on the local governing body at Maple Court Academy.  She currently works within key stage 2 providing teaching support to a class of 29 children. She also supports one learner in tutor designed interventions on a one to one basis.

Claire is currently attending college undertaking a Level 3 qualification in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools.

Prior to her role as a Learning Support Practitioner at Maple Court Academy, she was also a voluntary Teaching Assistant working in the key stage 1 area.

Claire has extensive management experience due to her time working as a Team Manager for a major energy company and currently has two children attending Maple Court.

Samantha McCue

Samantha McCue

Parent Governor

Start of Service: 30 January 2017


Maxine Bagshaw

Maxine Bagshaw
Clerk to the Corporation

Start of Service 1 January 2011.

Maxine is the Clerk and Company Secretary to the Alpha Academies Trust, which includes the Studio Colleges, Maple Court Academy, the Discovery Academy and the Excel Academy.

She is also the Clerk to the Corporation at Stoke on Trent College.

Maxine has worked in the FE sector for 14 years and prior to that was a solicitor in private practice.  Her role is to support the Board and provide independent advice and guidance.

Maxine is also the Clerk at West Nottinghamshire College and Interim Clerk at Tresham College