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Board of Directors

Acton C of E Primary Academy is part of the Real Life Learning Multi Academy Trust along with Calveley Primary Academy

Members Board

Aim: To oversee the efficient and effective running of the academy trust.


  • 1. Subscribers to the Memorandum of Association
  • 2. Appointment of Directors
  • 3. Staff employer and approver of contracts, pay and conditions
  • 4. To conduct an AGM and sign off the financial accounts
  • 5. To receive reports from the Board of Directors, including internal audit, EHT's performance management, teaching & learning standards and to hold them to account
  • 6. To complete an end of year review for all stakeholders
  • 7. To achieve role objectives as part of overall Directors' Plan as agreed by FGB
NameDate of appointmentRoleAppointing BodyGovernance role in another institution and relevant business/pecuniary interestsDate stepped down
Rich Hastie22.09.16ChairFounding membersNone
Kath Edwards01.09.16Responsible officerFounding membersNone
Chris Penn01.09.17DBEDirector of Education for the Diocese of Chester, Member
Laura Leather01.09.16Founding membersLaura Leather Marketing Consultant
David Shaw27.03.19None

Board of Directors

The Real Life Learning Academy Trust exists to work together across our academies to build a firm foundation for every child's future, giving them the self-belief, resilience and wisdom to achieve their potential, in all aspects of their lives. The Board of Directors provide confident and strong strategic leadership across the Real Life Learning Academy Trust, leading to robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance. It has three core functions, which are:

  • 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 effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent

The people who volunteer as Directors cover a wide range of professional sectors and therefore bring a wealth of independent experience to leading the Real Life Learning Academy Trust. You can read more about them in the information below.

David Shaw

I joined the Board of Directors as the Chair in September 2019 following changes to the governance arrangements across the Trust. As my son attends Calveley Primary Academy and my younger daughter will join very soon, I wanted to participate in the life of the Trust and support the great work taking place. I live locally in Wettenhall with my wife and two children and enjoy spending time together.

My professional background is working in education with primary, secondary and sixth form schools and academies. I spent 16 years as a senior leader working in complex secondary schools and sponsored academy contexts, including several Headships and advisory work with multi-academy trusts. This experience included leading teaching and learning in a newly designated sponsored academy, curriculum and assessment design for students aged 11-18 and working as a governor at primary and multi-academy trust level. I now work as an Education Consultant for a national education software company and support schools across the country from North Birmingham up to Newcastle upon Tyne.

I am delighted to be Chair of Directors and believe strongly in the benefits of partnership working across schools whilst retaining the unique characteristics of each individual academy that is part of the Trust.

Lynn Dove

I joined the Board of Directors as the Vice-Chair in September 2019 after some gentle encouragement from one of the longstanding directors on the RLLAT governing board. I am an experienced management consultant and for the past 20 years have pursued an independent career in advising organisations on how to deliver transformational change. Outside of my professional career, I have contributed to many local committees, including chairing the parent associations of both Eaton Primary and Tarporley High Schools for a number of years. I am hoping to use my skills and experience to help the Trust achieve its aims and provide our pupils with the same high quality education my own children received at their rural primary school, many years ago. I have lived in the local area for over 30 years and, now my children have grown, spend most of my spare time gardening and socialising with friends."

Beverley Dolman

I am the Executive Headteacher of the Real Life Learning Academy Trust (RLLAT). I became the substantive Headteacher in Acton CE Primary School in 2008 and became the Executive Headteacher of Calveley Primary School from June 2012. The schools worked very closely together and following a review of the benefits, the schools became part of RLLAT from 1st September 2016.

Since 2013 I became a National Leader in Education. In this role I have been responsible for school improvement in a number of schools across Cheshire West and Cheshire East. One of the schools I supported was Bridgemere CE Primary School and following succesful improvement and a development of strong relationships, this school is currently in the process of joining RLLAT.

Outside of my roles, I have a daughter Abigail (who attended Acton CE Primary School). My spare time is spent on a badminton court. I play for 3 different clubs and represent Cheshire in my age range.

I look forward to driving the development of the Trust in the future and ensuring all children who are part of the Trust receive the very best education which will fully prepare for the future.

Jo Edwards

I have been a co-opted Governor since 2013 and more recently I am a Director on the board of Directors for the Real Life Learning Academy. I am the Pupil Premium Director for the schools in the MAT and also subject responsibility for PE. This means I have a monitoring role on the application and effectiveness of these two areas.

My professional background is in Information Management and I have worked for Railway companies for the past 25 years including Intercity, Virgin Trains and to present Network Rail.

Being involved in the governance of a primary academy trust is a rewarding experience where we look to make a difference for all our children, staff and stakeholders.

Elizabeth Ford

I have been involved with Acton School since 1988 when my eldest daughter Sarah started in Reception. My other two children, Richard and Katy also attended – Katy leaving in 2004. During that time I have served on the Governing Body as Parent Governor, Community Governor and served two terms as Chair of Governors. Now that Acton has become a member of the Real Life Learning Multi Academy Trust, I took on the role of Vice Chair as the Ex Offio Director appointed by the Diocese. (I also serve on the Members Board of the Academy)

I am a partner in our family farm and have been involved in that business since 1982. I am also Secretary and Treasurer of Acton Parish Hall

I have always been honoured to be involved with Acton School – a school which, thanks to the hard work of all the staff, pupils and governors is a very successful rural primary school which has been at the heart of the community for many generations. My husband and his brother and sister were pupils at Acton and their father was a governor. I am equally honoured to now be involved with Calveley which is also a successful rural school with the same ethos. I look forward to helping to ensure that both Acton & Calveley Schools continue to develop, grow and provide the highest standard of education for current and future generations.

Richard Lewis

Louise McDonough

Yvonne Wood

I am a Foundation Director. I am also the Director responsible for looking at the management of school finances. I am a chartered accountant and have lived in Calveley since 1999. I am very impressed with the management of the school as well as the training I have received since my appointment which has certainly helped me to get to grips with things quite quickly. Outside school I am a full time working Mum, managing an accountancy practice with 75 staff. I am also secretary of Calveley Church.

Name of DirectorDate of appointmentAppointing BodyTerm of officeSpecific RoleGovernance role in another institution and relevant business/pecuniary interestsAttendance record at board and committee meetings in past academic yearDate stepped down
Elizabeth Ford 01.09.16Founding members 4 yearsFoundation Representative Health and Safety and SafeguardingPartner – PA, E & RG FORD, Hon Secretary and Treasurer Acton Parish Hall5 of 7 attended:18/10/18, 24/1/19, 18/3/19, 7/5/19, 3/7/19
Beverley Dolman01.09.16Founding members4 yearsExecutive Headteacher Staff Director6 of 7 attended: 12/9/18,18/10/18, 28/11/19, 18/3/19, 7/5/19, 3/7/19
Jo Edwards01.09.16Founding members4 yearsPupil Premium, PE4 of 7 attended: 12/9/18, 28/11/18, 7/5/19, 3/7/19
Yvonne Wood01.09.16Founding members 4 yearsFinanceBennett Brooks & Co Ltd. Bennett Brooks IT Ltd6 of 7 attended: 12/9/18,18/10/18, 28/11/19, 24/1/19, 18/3/19, 3/7/19
David Shaw27.03.194 yearsChair3 of 3 attended: 18/3/19, 7/5/19, 3/7/19
Louise McDonough27.03.194 yearsCurriculum and Standards3 of 3 attended: 18/3/19, 7/5/19, 3/7/19
Richard Lewis27.03.194 yearsTrainingGovernor at Bridgemere CE Primary School3 of 3 attended: 18/3/19, 7/5/19, 3/7/19
Lynn Dove27.03.194 yearsVice Chair3 of 3 attended: 18/3/19, 7/5/19, 3/7/19

Audit and Finance Committee

NameRolePossible meetings 18-19
Kath EdwardsChair4 of 4 attended: 5/11/18, 4/2/19, 1/5/19, 17/6/19
Yvonne Wood2 of 4 attended: 5/11/18, 4/2/19
Elizabeth Ford3 of 4 attended: 4/2/19, 1/5/19, 17/6/19
Beverley Dolman4 of 4 attended: 5/11/18, 4/2/19, 1/5/19, 17/6/19
Sandra Edge4 of 4 attended: 5/11/18, 4/2/19, 1/5/19, 17/6/19

Pay Committee


The Membership of this Committee will be agreed by the Board of Directors.

The Chairman of the Committee will be elected by a quorum of the Committee members. The Executive Head Teacher cannot take on this role. The membership will be four Directors with a quorum of 3. The Chair or Vice Chairs of the Board of Directors may be asked to attend meetings, in exceptional circumstances, to ensure the Committee is quorate.

The Committee will have the power to invite others, without voting rights, to give advice to the Committee e.g. personnel consultant. No other person paid to work at the school may be a member of the Committee. The head teacher must withdraw and not vote on his/her own pay or performance appraisal.

Terms of Reference:

  • 1.To ensure the Performance Appraisal Policy is in place and reviewed annually.
  • 2.To ensure the Pay Policy is in place and reviewed annually.
  • 3.The Committee, in conjunction with the Executive Head Teacher, will carry out an annual review of the salaries for all staff, including teachers on the Main Pay Scale, Upper Pay Scale and Leadership Pay Scale. The Committee will agree make pay recommendations to the Board of Directors.
  • 4.The Committee, in conjunction with the EHT, can make decisions relating to pay concerning post -threshold teachers in line with the pay policy and make recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval.
  • 5.To ensure that a copy of the salary statement is issued to all teachers following a change to salary every year.
  • 6.To ensure the setting and reviewing of targets for all staff takes place, via approval of anonymised targets.
NameRolePossible meetings 18-19
Beverley Dolman1 of 1 attended: 4/10/18
Jo Edwards1 of 1 attended: 4/10/18
Elizabeth FordChair1 of 1 attended: 4/10/18
Penny Holding1 of 1 attended: 4/10/18
Sandra EdgeMinute taker1 of 1 attended: 4/10/18

EHT Performance Management Committee

Aim: To lead the process by which the overall performance of the Executive Head Teacher is formally and rigorously assessed annually in order to enable them to improve teaching, leadership and management that will positively impact upon the quality of outcomes for all pupils.


  • 1. To appoint every 2-3 years a suitably skilled and/or experienced external advisor to assist with the EHT's Performance Management Review
  • 2. To set objectives with the assistance of the external advisor that will contribute to improving education for pupils.
  • 3. To review performance annually against the job description, EHT standards and objectives set with the assistance of the external advisor
  • 4. To review and support the EHTs professional aspirations and training needs
  • 5. To review and facilitate the EHTs work life balance
  • 6. To complete a mid year review of performance against agreed objectives
  • 7. To recommend pay progression to the Board of Directors based upon the outcome of the review and taking account of overall performance
NameRolePossible meetings 18-19
Fiona SloyanChair2 of 2 attended: 15.10.18, 17/4/19
Jo Edwards2 of 2 attended: 15.10.18, 17/4/19
Penny Holding2 of 2 attended: 15.10.18
Laura Leather2 of 2 attended: 15.10.18, 17/4/19
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