Meet the Directors

ATAndrew Talbot - Chair of Directors

  • Andrew is the longest serving governor at George Spencer, having started as a parent governor in 1999
  • Both of his daughters attended George Spencer from year 7 through to the end of the Sixth Form
  • He is the chair of the Finance & Business Development Committee and a member of the Admissions and Personnel Committees. He is also a member of the Standing Committee

He is currently the Chair of the Executive Board for the Trust and the Vice Chair of the Full Governing Body of the School. He also chairs the Finance & General Purposes committee. Andrew is a former employee of The Boots Company of some 34 years. His background and experience is in the area of procurement.



SJDame Susan Jowett, CEO 

  •  Started as a Modern Language Teacher
  •   15 Years - First Headship Holly Lodge Girls School
  •   Executive Principal & Chief Executive of George Spencer Academy 
  •   National Leader of Education (NLE) 

Susan's ambition for the Academy to become an all-through school (3-18 years) will soon be realised through the next stage of development with no one, but a small number of primary schools, to become part of the George Spencer Academy Trust.



FMFraser Mitchell, Interim Deputy CEO, Director of Secondary Education & Executive Principal at George Spencer Academy

  •  Became Principal in September 2013
  •   Vice Principal for 5 years at George Spencer
  •   Worked as Post 16 Director at King Edward VII School 
  •   National Leader of Education (NLE) 

Fraser joined George Spencer from King Edward VII School and Technology College, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, where he worked as Post 16 Director for 6 years, overseeing continuous improvements in attainment, culminating in 2008 with the sixth form being amongst the top 5% nationally for value added with a CVA of 1037.



GWGeoff Weightman

  • Director of The Spencer Academies Trust and Chair of Governors at Wyndham Primary Academy
  • Former Vice-Principal of George Spencer Academy
  • Associated with George Spencer for over 40 years

Geoff has been involved in school governance since 2009 and was part of the governance team that secured an outstanding judgement for George Spencer in April 2010 and again in May 2015. He has supported many of the Trust schools with various building and renovation projects and written bids to secure significant funding for several of the Trust Academies.



MTMichelle Thompson

Michelle has been a Governor of George Spencer for around 9 years and chairs the Personnel Committee. Her background is in HR and she is employed as a Senior HR Business Partner for Dairycrest. She became a member of the Trust when it was first established in August 2010.




JWJill Wilkinson

  • Current Chair of Governors at George Spencer Academy (2011 onwards) and Portland Spencer Academy (May 2015 onwards)
  • Former Principal of Sunnyside Spencer Academy and former Vice Principal of George Spencer Academy
  • Completed Leadership Development Programme for Chairs of Governors
  • Trust Project Manager for Academy conversions
  • Challenge Partners Hub Manager
  • Previous roles included Project Director for a small Education Action Zone (10 years)

Jill has been involved in school governance since 2006 and was part of the governance team that secured an outstanding judgement for George Spencer in April 2010 and again as Chair in May 2015. She has supported many of the Trust schools with their conversions and is the Challenge Partners Hub Manager.



DKDonna Kinderman, Chair of Governors (Fairfield Primary Academy)

  • Chair of Governors since 2012
  • Former Extended Schools Coordinator for the George Spencer Family of Schools
  • Currently working in education in a school in Long Eaton.

Donna has 4 children, of which 2 attend George Spencer Academy. She has a passion to see that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential and that Fairfield is equipped to deliver the best education we possibly can for the children.



MBMalcolm Batchelor, Chair of Governors (Chetwynd Primary Academy)

  • Parent Governor at Chetwynd for three and a half years
  • Chair of Governors since 2014
  • Taught in Secondary Education for 7 years and in Further Education for 4 years
  • Worked in Higher Education for 25 years at 3 Universities in a variety of areas including IT Manager and on National Programmes of Curriculum Development and E-Assessment



JSJames Smith, Governor (George Spencer Academy)

James has worked in property development and construction for 20 years and is a Director of a regional housebuilding company based in the East Midlands. He brings to the Board his experience in property planning, development, investment and law.


Born in Leicestershire (in the 70's), he read Estate Surveying at Nottingham Trent University. He has lived in Chilwell and Toton for over 16 years, married with two children who both attend Chetwynd Primary Academy.





TPToby Preston, Governor (George Spencer Academy)

  • Toby is a corporate lawyer and partner in a law firm.
  • Having been brought up and lived for a number of years in Sydney, Australia, he has been based in Chilwell for over 14 years.
  • He is married with two children, who both attend Chetwynd Primary School. 





PMPeter Marples ( Owner of 3AAA Ltd.)

Peter is one of the leading practitioners of education strategy in the UK. He trained as an Accountant in the Public Sector, joining as an Apprentice at aged 16 and qualified at aged 21

He was head hunted by KPMG and quickly rose to partner, one of the youngest in the country- ultimately leading their education practice in the UK and beyond, both in audit and consultancy. He built this practice to be the largest in the UK and renowned for its pioneering work on College mergers and strategic advice to Government.

In 2002 he decided to leave and led an MBO of a small Apprenticeship training business in the North East. He grew the business and it was successfully sold in 2005. He then took a leading role in a consortium to purchase his local football club which they successfully took to the premier league in the first year.

In 2008, he established his current business with his business partner. Aspire Achieve Advance (3aaa) now is the largest provider of Apprenticeships in the UK to the 16 – 21 year old age group with 41 centres in England and one recently opened in the USA.

Peter brings considerable insight into education policy, finance, strategic development of businesses and how a business can grow rapidly whilst maintaining quality (3aaa is an OFSTED Grade 1 Outstanding rated provider)


GHGary Holmes, Company Secretary 

  •  Previously accountant in engineering and manufacturing
  •   Business Manager at George Spencer for 9 Years
  •   Secured licence to deliver the new modular curriculum
  •   Chief Finance Officer for the Trust

A member of the Department for Education Technical Advisory Group and was part of the George Spencer team that secured the National College's licence to deliver the new modular curriculum.



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