Important Notice

Dear Parents/Carers

It is currently our intention for the academy to be open as normal on Tuesday 12 December.

The Christmas show scheduled for Monday evening will be postponed until Tuesday. Tickets for Monday will still be valid the Tuesday or Wednesday show.



Pat Jackson

Pat Jackson
Chair of Governors

Start of Service: 30 September 2015

Pat is Chair of The Discovery Academy local governing body and is the Link Governor for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare. Pat is also a Director of the Alpha Academies Trust.

Pat has worked with the public, private and voluntary sectors on joint economic and business development projects and investment programmes.  This includes work as a SERCO Associate and with the University of Warwick and the WMG Academy for Young Engineers Trust to develop with Jaguar Land Rover and other employers, the WMG Academies for Young Engineers in Coventry and North Solihull.

Pat has over 30 years’ experience in the successful design and delivery of economic and business development policies and investment programmes across the UK.  This has involved working with a wide range of senior business leaders, Ministers, local authorities, colleges, universities and the voluntary sector.

Pat is currently employed by the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, she is working with local businesses to develop a new skills strategy.

Pat also undertakes a range of voluntary work including mentoring young people “at risk”.

Kate Townsend

Kate Townsend
Vice Chair

Start of Service 13 July 2011, re-appointed 26 January 2015

Kate is the Vice-Chair of the local governing body at The Discovery Academy and is the Link Governor for Social Science & Humanities and Safeguarding.

She is a member of the Stoke on Trent College Corporation, as well as being the Chair on the Curriculum, Quality and Standards Committee at the College. Kate is also employed as an Education Consultant to the Alpha Academies Trust and is a governor at Maple Court Academy, Chair of Governors of the Excel Academy and Director of the Alpha Academies Trust.

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 been involved in the practical process of Academy conversion and the setting up of Multi Academy Trusts and Federations.

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

Previously a Non-executive Director of NHS Stoke, Kate has a broad experience in governance.

Jonathan Baddeley

Jonathan Baddeley

Start of Service: 17 July 2015

Jonathan is a member of the local governing body at The Discovery Academy and is the Link Governor for Maths.  He is also the Principal of Maple Court Academy where he took up post in September 2014.

Jonathan was the former 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 School’s 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

Start of Service: 26 January 2011, re-appointed 26 January 2015

Sarah is a member of the local governing body of the Discovery Academy and is the Link Governor for English.  She is also a 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 Excel Academy, Maple Court 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 she was Principal and Chief Executive of Darlington College.   Under her leadership, the College relocated to a purpose built campus, achieved a Grade 1 Outstanding OFSTED inspection and was awarded Beacon status. 

Sarah was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham in 2006 until her departure 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 and is Chair of the 157 Group.

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

Alan Fox

Alan Fox

Start of Service: 30 September 2015

Alan is a Member of the local governing body at The Discovery Academy and is Link Governor for Creativity and Technology, as well as Modern Foreign Languages. Alan is also a governor on the Alpha Academies Trust Audit Committee.

He has recently retired as a Chartered Surveyor and is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Alan holds a BSc (Hons), gained at Staffordshire University. His expertise is in all property matters including Valuations/ Leases/ Rent Reviews/ Planning.

Simon French

Simon French

Start of Service: 01 December 2015

Simon is a member of the local governing body of The Discovery Academy, he is also the Vice Chair on the Maple Court 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.  He was appointed Principal of the Academy in December 2015 and prior to this held the position of Senior Vice Principal. 

Simon has led on teaching and learning at the 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.

Ann Moult

Ann Moult

Start of Service 23 August 2011, re-appointed 23 August 2015

Ann is a member of the local governing body at The Discovery Academy and is the Link Governor for Business and ICT.

She is the Human Resources and Administration Director at Johnson Tiles, responsible for HR, Customer Services and Company Secretariat.

As part of the larger Ceramics industry, Ann has lead various training groups and represented the industry in various projects lead by both UKCES and the Skill Sector Council in order to further embed availability of continuous training for all employees.

Ann sits on the Education Trust Board of the local LEP and is an Apprenticeship Ambassador for Staffordshire.

Ann’s professional background is in Human Resources and is CIPD accredited.

Other than this Ann’s interest as a Governor is improving the behaviour within the Academy and is one of the Governors who attends the clinics run by the school.

Julie Peirson

Julie Peirson
Staff Governor

Start of Service: 7 July 2015

Julie is a Staff Governor of the local governing body at The Discovery Academy and is the Link Governor for MFL.

She is employed at the Academy as the Examinations and Data Officer.  She is responsible for all aspects of internal and external examinations, from exam entry to results distribution and collation of data.

Julie has a wealth knowledge on educational qualifications and the changing landscape of current GCSE’s and their new 9-1 equivalents.

Julie’s professional background is in busines adminisatration. Julie holds the National Data Managers Award and has just completed the EDI Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration QCF.

Nichola Millward

Nichola Millward
Staff Governor

Start of Service: 07 October 2016

Nichola is a Staff Governor of the local governing body at The Discovery Academy. Nichola has been a teacher for 12 years in a variety of different schools where she has been a Head of Year, second in department, and now Lead Practitioner. Nichola has a good understanding of whole school issues and is passionate about giving young people the best education possible.

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, 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.

Carol Jones

Carol Jones

Start of Service 1 January 2011.

Carol is a co-opted member on the local governing body of The Discovery Academy and is the Link Governor for Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance.Carol is the Chair of the Alpha Academies Trust Board and a Member of the Finance and Operations Committee. She is also Vice Chair of the Stoke Studio College local governing body. 

Carol is the owner and director of a business consultancy company, working with education providers and charities to develop and improve strategic and operational management, raise quality and improve outcomes for their clients and beneficiaries. As a National Leader of Governance in Further Education,

Carol has worked with many different types of colleges across the country; developing governing bodies and supporting individual Chairs and governors to improve Board effectiveness and college performance.

She is also a co-opted member of the AoC’s Governors Council.Carol is the former Chief Executive of the Connexions Service for Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent. She has served on numerous committees and groups in both the County and the City, including the Local Safeguarding Children Board, always seeking to improve educational outcomes and employment opportunities for young people and helping unemployed adults get back into work.

Carol’s professional background is in careers guidance and she holds a BA (Hons) and a Masters degree in Research.

Awaiting Photo

External Co-Opted Member

Start of Service: TBC

Information to follow.