Academy Councillors

Governance within a multi-academy trust

Tewkesbury Academy is part of the Cabot Learning Federation, a multi-academy trust that is responsible for a number of academies across Bristol, Gloucestershire and North Somerset. Governance for a multi-academy trust operates at two levels. At trust level, there is a Board of Directors. The directors are accountable to the Department for Education and external government agencies, including the Charity Commission, for the quality of the education the trust provides and the effective use of the associated academy funding. They are required to have systems in place through which they can assure themselves of quality, financial probity, safety and good practice. The Board is provided assurance on a number of these areas through various sub-committees, as shown in the diagram below. For further information about the Board, please visit



At a local level, each academy has an Academy Council comprising of up to 13 Academy Councillors. Academy Councils are responsible for holding Principals and their leadership teams to account for the quality and effectiveness of the academic experience of the students under their care with the aim of securing effective school improvement. They do this through monitoring performance against an annual academy improvement plan, through monitoring risks and responses to risks, and by overseeing systems and processes for the safeguarding of children and the health, safety and wellbeing of academy staff.


At Tewkesbury Academy, we have a Council with a wide range of skills and experience, who are committed to the academy and making sure all our students, parents and community see us as their local school of first choice, which gives students the education they deserve so that they can progress successfully to further or higher education, training or work.

If you want to contact the Chair (or any Academy Council members), please email the Clerk to the Academy Council


Our Academy Councillors are as follows:  


Chair of Academy Council: Sue Maizonnier

I’ve lived in Tewkesbury since 1982 and have two sons who both progressed to university from Tewkesbury Academy. I live in the school community and have a keen interest in the success of Tewkesbury Academy, so  I am delighted to be invited to support the school and community as an Academy Councillor and Chair of Academy Council.

Recently retired, my background is in the Financial Services sector, with 40 years’ experience in General Insurance Underwriting, People and Project Management, Marketing and Strategy.  I am a retired Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute.  I’m keen to support the school in seeking opportunities to develop every one of our students to their full potential and at the same time support the community.

I’m very much an outdoors person and in my spare time I enjoy leading guided walks for a holiday company.  When I’m not doing this I can be found taking an energetic walk to enjoy our countryside and coastlines, kayaking  or supporting the school’s Duke of Edinburgh award programme. 

Term of office ends: 2 July 2024


Quinn, Jon

Vice Chair of Academy Council: Jon Quinn

I am the owner and Managing Director of Geckota Limited.  Geckota is a local company specialising in the design and online retail of watches and replacement watch straps. I have a degree in electronics and prior to setting up Geckota I was employed as a Development Engineer at L-3 TRL Technology.

Geckota has grown to a staff of around 20 people and in the last few years we have taken on a number of apprentices and former pupils of Tewkesbury Academy. I believe that young people should be given every possible opportunity to achieve their full potential and at Geckota we do this with on the job training as well as providing opportunities for additional study.

I am keen to contribute to the development of Tewkesbury Academy and look forward to serving as an Academy Councillor.

Term of office ends: 25 July 2026


Stringfellow, Pat

Academy Councillor: Patricia Stringfellow, MBE

In my early career I spent over 15 years working at board level of UK service sector companies. I have a degree in Business Studies and an MBA as well as being a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development). I have many years of experience as a Human Resource Director and in 2010 set up my own freelance consultancy business advising Board level directors in strategic HR matters as well as business effectiveness issues. My work has covered sectors across service, distribution, charities, education, pharmaceuticals, health care and oil exploration.

I am also a co-founder and joint Managing Director of WatchMeGrow an early year’s education consultancy and software business.

In 2003 I was awarded an MBE for services to training through many years of chairing the National Training Awards (NTA’s).  I also more recently chaired The Princess Royal Training Awards. I am an Honorary Fellow of City and Guilds and served on the City and Guilds Trustee Board for 12 years. 

I have lived in Tewkesbury for 32 years. My husband David, set up his business in the town 20 years ago and employs over 25 people some of whom joined from Tewkesbury Academy. I am particularly interested in supporting students to become job ready and to forging links between the school and local employers as well as supporting the teaching body in business related subjects.

In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors whether walking the hills, out kayaking or tending our garden.

Term of office ends: 31 August 2024


Cole, Sarah

Academy Councillor: Sarah Cole

I am a Chartered Accountant, qualified in 1995, and spent the initial part of my career post qualification working for Grant Thornton in Cheltenham specialising in statutory audit services.  However, since 2004 I have worked for Trelleborg, a multi-national Swedish owned manufacturing group, as their UK Financial and Tax Controller, based at their Sealing Solutions manufacturing site in Tewkesbury. My role mainly encompasses statutory financial statements, statutory audit oversight and corporation tax compliance for all UK companies in the Group as well as other legal and compliance matters.

I have adopted Tewkesbury as my home town, having grown up in South East Kent, and am passionate about the future of young people in the town.  When the opportunity to join the Academy Council arose I was keen to get involved.  I have three boys, two of which have attended Tewkesbury Academy, although the youngest is elsewhere. I therefore have experience as a parent of different schools and hope to be able to draw on that in my role as an Academy Councillor.  

In my spare time I am also Treasurer of Tewkesbury Tigers, the junior section of Tewkesbury RFC, enjoy watching rugby and going to the gym.

Term of office ends: 2 September 2025


Hawkins, Steve

Academy Councillor: Steve Hawkins

I started working life as a Student Dowty Apprentice who subsequently went to work for: Dowty Hydraulics, Mining, Rotol and Propellers where I became Managing Director. I then continued to work for TI and Smiths Aerospace Landing Gear Actuation in similar roles.

Whilst most of my career has been spent in Senior Aerospace Management positions, I have had more general Engineering positions working for John Brown Group and B.P. My position before retiring September 2012 was Site Manager for Moog Controls at Tewkesbury, with Operational responsibilities in the US and Philippines. In 2011 I was asked to join the Board of the Gloucestershire L.E.P. and set up the Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Sector Group. I am the Business Manager Trustee for the Peter Lang Trust, a Gloucestershire based charity.

Whilst I enjoy a game of golf, I struggle to be consistent and lose a lot of balls into the rough. My wife Anne has now retired and we enjoy walking in the Cotswolds and looking after our grandchildren.

Term of office ends: 24 May 2024


Folkes, Catherine

Parent Academy Councillor: Catherine Folkes 

I am from a teaching background, with experience in both inner city and more suburban/rural schools, but also have spent time working as a 1:1 SEN teaching assistant. I am currently working in a local school, as a creative technician, across the Art and Photography departments.

My eldest son is currently in Year 8 and I have been really impressed, especially throughout lockdown, by the commitment and enthusiasm of the teachers at Tewkesbury Academy. This has inspired me to want to play my part in the future developments of the school, seeking a high-quality educational experience for all.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family: we are part of Holy Trinity Church in Tewkesbury; enjoy exploring the countryside around us; travelling (when we’re allowed!) and I am always interested in new creative projects.

I am really looking forward to becoming part of the Academy Council and learning more about the organisation and culture of Tewkesbury Academy.

Term of Office ends: 20 October 2024


Thompson, Kate

Parent Academy Councillor: Kate Thompson

I started as a Parent Academy Councillor in 2020, just as my son joined the school in Year 7 in the most unusual of circumstances due to COVID-19. It may seem early to volunteer to join the Academy Council when he has only been here a few weeks but I feel that it gives me the perfect opportunity to see things through his eyes as a newcomer and add this perspective to the board.

We have lived in Tewkesbury for 14 years and I work across Gloucestershire as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, leading services for people with learning disabilities and autism, as well as providing support to staff in a variety of settings.  My studies and work in Psychology have provided wide ranging knowledge and experience of supporting people of all ages in a variety of settings, generally with the aim of helping them be the best version of themselves that they can be. This is often made easier by ensuring that they, and those around them, are receiving the right support. 

Term of Office ends: 20 October 2024


Staff Academy Councillor - Tracy Byrne

I came to Tewkesbury in 1995 and I love living here. I started working in the Learning Support Department in Tewkesbury Academy in September 2022 after spending the previous four years working and training with much younger children in primary schools.  I have two children in Yr9 and Yr6. One of whom has significant needs which impact his learning.

In my time at Tewkesbury Academy, I have supported students both in and out of the classroom, planned provision for students, and helped to coordinate the transitions of the incoming Year 6 children with SEN. I have always had a love of learning and am incredibly passionate about equity in education.

I feel very fortunate to be part of this community, helping to create an inclusive environment that we can be proud of and I am looking forward to serving on the Academy Council as Student Advocate.

Term of office ends: 1 July 2027