The Trustees head up the governance of the Trust. As Trustees we focus on the following key functions ensuring the Brontë vision of ‘Achieving Together for Every Child’ is at the centre of all decision making.
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
- Overseeing and ensuring effective financial performance
Sarah Cotton - Chair of Trustees
I have a longstanding connection with Brontë Academy Trust, starting 25 years ago as an anxious parent of a new Reception child, moving through governance, with many years as Chair at Lees and more recently Oldfield, to my current role as Chair of Trustees. During this time, I have witnessed our Brontë schools grow through their collaboration, achieving together for every child.
I bring a balanced educational expertise to the board from over 30 years in secondary education. I started my career as a teacher of Mathematics moving through to senior leadership prior to retirement. During this time, I gained a broad and deep knowledge in leadership and education with a particular focus on curriculum design and student achievement always working to ensure changes strengthen outcomes for all children.
Both in my career and in my governance role I have worked through many changes in the educational landscape, from securing Beacon and Specialist School status to the formation of Brontë Academy Trust. The ever changing landscape makes governance all the more important and I work hard to fulfil my role as a critical friend. My skills in governance have been supported and developed through my completion of the CST Governance Leadership Programme.
Since I have retired I am able to commit more time to my local community of which the Brontë families are a part.
I started my journey with the Trust as a volunteer working at Haworth School, moving on to Chair of the Academy Governance Committee. I have now stepped down from that role and I continue with my role as a Trustee. One of my very first observations was the happiness of the children, which is a common thread that runs throughout the Academy. Children are always but at the centre of any decision making, as their happiness and welfare are paramount.
My background is not from an Education one but from Local Government. I was responsible for Anti-Social Behaviour, Community Safety and Family Intervention across the borough. I also spent time working as a Housing Manager. The Local Authority appointed me to the safeguarding lead for under 18’s, furthermore I had the opportunity to train to deliver safeguarding across the County. I take a very keen interest in safeguarding, which is, as it should be high priority for the Trust.
Through my career I spent time working with the Home Office regarding Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)assisting other areas of the country with the management of ASB. I was also privileged to assist with last published ASB legislation.
I have worked with many partners, Police, Youth Offending Team, Child Protection Unit, Education, Social Services, Doctors, to name but a few. I worked very closely with Probation particularly around releasing high risk individuals back into the community, managing their risk.
As you can see I have a varied background, with transferable skills particularly around Safeguarding and a good understanding of social issues that can only assist me in my role as a Trustee.
I am married and we have three grown up children who all attended Oakworth Primary. I have lived in the Oakworth area for the last 40 years. As a family we have always been involved in the local community through Scouting and Guiding, along with the village pantomime at the Methodist church.
I was elected as a parent governor in 1993 when my eldest daughter was in the school nursery. I have served continuously since that time taking responsibility for the school buildings, Health and Safety, and on the Finance and General Purposes Committee. As a governor I have always worked hard to ensure that the school buildings have been developed and maintained to the best of our abilities and provide a welcoming environment for our children to develop.
I spent all my working life in the building industry, the last 23 years being with Bradford Council’s Technical Services where I was involved with planning and organising the repair and maintenance of the council’s extensive estate, including the schools. In the 1990’s on the advent of the Construction Design and Management Regulations I became the council’s CDM Manager running a small team of CDM Co-ordinators to manage the Health and Safety provision on all of the council construction projects.
I have been retired since 2011, and now spend my time, looking after my grandchildren, driving for the Keighley Community Transport, and my role as Trustee for the Brontë Academy Trust.
My name is Anna, I am 49 years old :-( I've been married to Greg for 29 years! (Awaits lifetime achievement award). We have three grown up boys who have all left home, a girl in year 10 and a boy in year 3.
I trained and worked as a primary school teacher until 4 years ago. We have a successful business (Manor Blinds) which we run together. I am currently also a foster carer.
My hobbies include watching, but not participating in, most sports with the exception of motor sport and most football. My particular passion is for rugby union which has nothing to do with the male anatomy. Honest.
I am an avid knitter and have probably got a pair of needles with a partially knitted sock on them in my handbag right now. I approach most things with a sense of humour which has helped to keep me (in)sane over the years.