Governance - Youth Engagement Schools Trust

The Fermain Academy Board of Governors meets every school term, as well as termly delegated committee meetings, and more regular sub committee meetings. Minutes for the following meetings can be viewed here:

Autumn Term 2015 - GB Minutes

Spring Term 2016 - GB Minutes

Summer Term 2016 - GB Minutes

Autumn Term 2016 - GB Minutes

Spring Term 2017 - GB Minutes

Summer Term 2017 - GB Minutes 

Autumn Term 2017 - GB Minutes

Spring Term 2018 - GB Minutes

Summer Term 2018 - GB Minutes

Autumn Term 2018 - GB Minutes

Attendance at Governing Board Meetings

View attendance from all 2017/18 GB Meetings

View attendance from all 2016/17 GB Meetings

View attendance from all 2015/2016 GB Meetings.

Business / Pecuniary Interests

The Trust keeps a record of all declared business interests. The up to date register of interests can be viewed here.


Our Governing Board

Stephen Armstrong - Chair of Governors

Stephen ArmstrongStephen lives in London and is married with two grown-up daughters.

Stephen has a background in special education both as a teacher and as a headteacher in special schools in London and Essex. He has worked as an advisory teacher in Newham for children with a range of special educational needs. He has also worked as a project leader with Achievement for All (now a national charity supporting students and their families to raise aspirations for improved achievement at school and also outside of school) in Camden and nationally as special school lead for Achievement for All.

He is now retired from working in education and enjoys a range of activities, such as learning to play the violin, gardening, travelling, reading, sailing, musical concerts, and art exhibitions.

Stephen is proud to have been a Governor at The Fermain Academy for three years and subsequently both Vice Chair and Chair of Governors. He is strongly committed to the ongoing success of The Fermain and visits the school on average once per month. Although he lives in London, he can be contacted both in person during school visits and through a contact number available through application to the school.

Martin Howlett - Deputy Chair of Governors

Martin HowlettMartin has had 25 years experience in education and 7 years as a Secondary Headteacher. Training in Avery Hill College in SE London with a specialism of Design and Technology and second subject as PE, Martin achieved a BEd Hons in Education. Since qualifying as a teacher, Martin has gained further qualifications at Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Masters Level in Education Management. Martin has also achieved the NPQH. Working in challenging secondary schools, Martin was Headteacher in three large schools, two of which he moved out of a Special Measures category. He has had experience of moving schools into Academies and also mentored other schools on their improvement. Since leaving headship, Martin has successfully built up a Leadership Coaching and Mentoring business which is operating in the United States.

Martin currently works for the Youth Federation as an Operations Director and also works for Achievement for All (DfE Funded) as an Achievement Coach. Martin has been a National Trainer for Early Support and Parental/Carer Engagement Strategies. Martin has worked internationally with the Parent/Carer Engagement strategy by supporting the New York City Parental Engagement development for over ten years. In the role of Parent/Carer Engagement trainer, Martin has worked with four Local Authorities in the South East to support LA Officers in the implementation of the 2014 Children and Families Act. As an Achievement Coach, Martin is responsible for coaching eight challenging secondary schools in England and Wales around the SEND progress agenda.

Martin was recently appointed to the Education Advisory Board for Wales where he supports the national development of SEND education support strategies in Wales. 

Robert Halsall

Rob lives in Middlewich, Cheshire, with his partner Kathryn and daughter Sophie.  Rob had worked in food retailing for 32 years, many of these has been spent being a store manager for Tesco Stores Limited.  He has had the opportunity of working in many areas of Britain over the last 15 years and has been at the Macclesfield branch for over three years now.  Robs main responsibilities are to try and keep customers and colleagues as happy as possible whilst managing the bottom line profit.  Rob’s spare time is mainly spent to tinkering with his classic car and motorcycle collection and watching motorsport.  Rob was extremely pleased and flattered to be asked to be a governor of The Fermain Academy.  As Rob works in Macclesfield he wants to be a regular visitor to he academy and looks forward to using his skills to help in adding value that will benefit the academy.

 Anthony Smith  

Tony SmithTony lives in Prestbury is married and has four children. Having worked in industry and commerce for 30 years with organisations in the UK, North America, The Netherlands and India, Tony is now running his own management consultancy business based in the North West of England.  Tony is actively involved with a number of local schools, as Chair of Governors at Alderley Edge Primary School and as the Interim CEO of a developing MAT in the South Manchester area.  An active sportsman all his life, Tony is now playing less but continuing to maintain involvement in sport through coaching of young players in cricket, tennis and rugby.  Tony was pleased to become involved with the Fermain Academy and is looking forward to the opportunity to apply his skills and experience to help the school continue to develop and prosper.

 Tim Haselwood

Tim HaselwoodTim Haselwood is a Chartered Accountant who spent most of his professional career with Deloitte LLP specialising in external and internal audit, IT consultancy, Management Accounting and Financial controls.  He then spent two years as Business Manager of Hollinhey Primary School in Sutton near Macclesfield and since September 2015 he has been the Business Manager of Tytherington School in Macclesfield, where he is responsible for Finance, HR and IT.   At The Fermain Academy, Tim chairs the Resources and Audit Committee.   He is married to Jan and they have two grown-up daughters, one who is teaching English in China and a granddaughter, Isabella, who is 6 years old.  Jan and Tim live in Wincle near Macclesfield with a lazy golden retriever, 5 alpacas who cut the grass and a wind turbine.



 Ruth Roberts Ruth Roberts

Joanna Burrows


Nic Brindle - Principal


Nic created The Fermain Academy from design, to oversubscribed provision every year since opening, to ‘universal’ grade for the provision from the Local Authority. Nic has led on the implementation of The Fermain Academy; including the setup of all policy and procedures to run the free school, conducted all school recruitment and curriculum design. Nic is now continuing to work closely with the DFE and EFSA as he embarks on a similar journey as an Executive Head looking to open The Axis Academy – a brand new SEN provision in Crewe for young people with a diagnosis for Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.

Nic has a background of working with SEN and vulnerable students throughout his career overseeing many different aspects of the schools such as; covering the school development plan, SEF, curriculum, Behaviour & Welfare, Attainment planning, whole school data and completing the paperwork to expand to a MAT. Nic also wrote the application and bid that won one of his schools the SEN school of the year 2013/14 as well as implementing whole school accountability and improvement documents, of which multiple items have been used by Ofsted inspectors as ‘outstanding practice’ for other schools.

Nic has a passion for developing all, continuing to lecture at three universities and multiple teaching school alliances to deliver CPD on Leadership at Senior and Middle levels, SEN in the classroom and early intervention and multiple elements on managing behaviour. Currently Nic is looking to complete his National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) and Doctorate of Education (EdD) in Strategic Leadership for Education settings.

Staff Governor representing the Fermain Academy:

Emma Colley 

My name is Emma Colley and I am the Staff Governor here at The Fermain Academy. I have worked at the Academy since it opened in 2015 and feel privileged to have been part of the school’s growth. I teach English which I am extremely passionate about, and enjoy engaging pupils in literature and language. I am also the SENCo, a position I feel truly blessed to be in. I strongly believe that no child should ever be disadvantaged in school because of a disability, and I feel honoured to be able to support the pupils of The Fermain Academy to access the education they deserve. Outside of school I enjoy cooking, reading and going to the gym. I also love travel and exploring new places.


Parent Ambassador - Sarah Murrell