Board of Members
Betty Dixon MBE
Betty had her own hairdressing business for 40 years. She has a City and Guilds Diploma and a Master Craftsmen Diploma in Hairdressing and over the years she has trained many people to enable them to go on and open their own businesses.
Betty has been a school governor for 45 years for both Selston High School and the feeder school, Jacksdale Primary School. Betty is the Chair of Governors at Selston, a position she has held for approximately 19 years and also at Jacksdale Primary School for approximately 28 years.
Betty regularly attends all relevant training including Safeguarding, Safer Recruitment, Headteacher Appraisal, Ofsted, Leading your Governing Body, Radicalisation and Child Protection in Schools. Betty also undertakes a lot of research to ensure that she keeps the Governing Bodies up to date. Over the years, Betty has been on 8 Headteacher appointment panels at Selston High School and 7 at Jacksdale Primary School.
Betty has a long association with both Selston and Jacksdale as she attended both schools, as did her children and then grandchildren. During her time as a Governor she has received 2 awards from Nottinghamshire County Council; one for long service and a recognition award for the significant contribution she made to support the work of the Children, Families and Cultural Services Department.
In 2017 Betty was awarded an MBE for services to Education, Betty has also been a volunteer poppy seller for The Royal British Legion for 45 years.
Jean is the President of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce. She has operated The Supreme Rubber Stamp Company since 1985. During her career with the company Jean has successfully grown the organisation into a market leader with clients such as Rolls Royce, Toyota, Health Authorities and Schools across the UK. Jean also owns a designer handbag business that has developed into an expanding business with many corporate clients. She is also a director of a print management company which looks after corporate clients such as Waterstones, HMV and Ryman’s.
Jean joined Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce in 1992 and in 1997 was asked to join the Board of Directors. She is the former Chair of the Nottinghamshire Members Council, which promotes policy across the county and is also the British Chamber of Commerce national representative for business crime. She is a founding board member of the National Business Crime Forum.
In 1997, Jean founded Enterprising Women, a networking group aimed at empowering women in business through a variety of both business and social events. Enterprising Women now has over 500 members and the group is recognised nationally as a leading organisation representing women in business. She is a former Governor of Nottingham Girls High School.
Gillian began her career as a graphic designer working for a number of high profile clients including Boots. An early adopter in digital technologies she undertook a post graduate diploma in geographical information systems (GIS) and moved away from commercial design to work in the emerging industry of digital mapping and spatial data. Working with GIS for a local authority in a planning department, she completed an MA in Town and Country Planning. Gillian now works for Ashfield District Council as a spatial information analyst. She maintains her early interest in design, often in combination with her love of maps. She has been a school governor for over twenty years and has been a Chair of Governors at both primary and secondary level, she is currently Chair of Governors at Swanwick Hall School.
Richard Stones OBE
Richard retired from Policing in 2015 after 30+ years, during which time he represented UK policing with bodies as diverse as the UN and NATO. He was the first serving Police Officer worldwide to be awarded Chartered Security Professional status, holds an MSc in Security and Risk Management, is a Fellow of the Security Institute, Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, a Freeman of the City Of London and was awarded and OBE for services to Policing and business Security.
On retirement he was appointed the Head of Loss Prevention for the global fashion retailer Next PLC. During his careers Richard has also been a technical adviser on international security related projects for the EU, UN and NATO, was a contributing author to the UN Criminal Research Institute Handbook for the Protection of Crowded Places and recently wrote the UK Chapter of the McGraw Hill American Homeland Security handbook. He has been a school governor at both primary and secondary schools for over 20 years and has held numerous portfolios and chairs.
As a firm advocate for passing on knowledge and developing the next generation Richard recently joined Derby University as a Lecturer in Criminal and Corporate Investigations.
Board of Trustees
Karen Potts, Chair of Trustees
Karen is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Procurement and Supply (MCIPS) and a Director of a small business providing procurement and project management services. Karen has 25 years of procurement experience in the public and private sectors and an excellent understanding of EU Procurement Law. She worked for Royal Mail as Head of IT Procurement, Computer Sciences Corporation as Senior EMEA Supplier Manager and for six years as Senior Commercial Manager for the National College for Teaching and Leadership (previously NCSL), an Executive Agency of the DfE.
Karen has managed all elements of procurement including strategy formation, OJEU tender management, negotiation, development and management of contracts and supplier management. Category expertise include professional services, commissioned training services, IT products and services and outsourcing. Karen has expertise and experience of licensing products and commercialisation of intellectual property, due diligence to facilitate transition and transformation projects, development and audit of procurement policies and procedures and is a non-executive director for Gedling Homes. A committed school governor and chair of the business committee at Pilsley Primary School in Derbyshire for two years.
Roman Ruszczynski MA, BA Hons, NLE
Ray Ruszczynski retired in 2015 as the longest serving Head teacher of the largest secondary school in Derby City, Chellaston Academy. Chellaston became the first Outstanding secondary school in Derby in 2009 and regularly achieves the highest achievement in the City. As a pioneering Headteacher, Ray led Chellaston though early transition to Foundation status and subsequently Chellaston became the first Academy in Derby City. The growth of Chellaston from 600 to 1700 students during Ray’s long leadership is a testament to his outstanding professional vision and relentless drive.
The DFE recognised Ray’s qualities and he was appointed as a National Leader in Education (NLE) and was praised by name in a speech by Michael Gove in 2012. As a member of the NLE Ray worked with local schools in special measures to provide advice and strategic guidance.
Ray has boundless energy and enthusiasm and cares deeply about education and children. He has vast experience in strategic and pragmatic school leadership, child protection policy, pressurised decision making, school finance, personnel, Governance and leadership.
Ruth has been a governor at Ashfield School since 2006. Ruth has taught in the Further Education sector, teaching the National Diploma in Business Studies, the National Certificate in Business Studies, GCSE English and RSA Communication at West Nottinghamshire College. In 2006 she began work at EMFEC, an organisation which has the colleges of the East Midlands as its members and houses the AoC East Midlands. The role included supporting the identification and development of new project opportunities, engaging with stakeholder groups and fostering partnership and collaborative working and delivering projects for a range of funding bodies and organisations, including regional activity projects and research projects.
Ruth planned and developed the Continuous Professional Development programme for the further education sector, including in-house training, networks and conferences and bespoke events. This included planning and developing international visits, such as Continuous Professional Development for the Transversal programme.
Ruth managed a number of regional projects, which involved reporting internally and to funding bodies, the control of budgets, marketing and communication and liaison with external stakeholders. For example, one of the projects was a regional OLASS project (Offender Learning and Skills Service) working with 12 regional colleges and a Chamber of Commerce and recruiting and managing a team of brokers. Ruth was also the Regional Manager for the national Functional Skills Support Programme.
Gill is currently retired but prior to that ran her own translation agency and taught for 38 years in local secondary schools, originally as a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages and for 22 years as the sole Deputy Head Teacher at Selston. She has experience as leader of both academic and pastoral systems and during her career has been Course Director of European Studies, Child Protection Coordinator, Senco and Advocate for Looked After Children. She has organised and delivered whole school in-service training to Selston and other schools. Gill has also worked as an associate member of the local authority evaluating the provision of summer schools for Gifted and Talented, with local universities to coordinate the provision for trainee teachers and has been responsible for school finance.
She has experience in working with employers as part of careers provision in school and compiled portfolios resulting in the award of Investor in People and Career Mark. She has represented the school on local community groups (Safer Neighbourhood and Selston Forum). Additionally, as part of senior leadership, she has a vast experience of use of data, strategic planning, quality assurance, and performance management. She has held responsibility for premises and facilities management as well as Health and Safety and organised extensive refurbishment of parts of the school. Gill moved from leadership to governance on retirement
Ian is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Manager and Managing Director of MTM Products (I.S.P.P.) Ltd who are a manufacturer and supplier of bespoke labels, nameplates, graphic overlays, vinyl cut decals and emergency lighting signage. Ian is also a past President of East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and a Business Advisor with Young Enterprise. Ian represents the British Chambers of Commerce on Promoting Core Maths Senior Advisory Board. The aim is to introduce Core Maths as a new post 16 qualification which is very practical and relates to maths skills required for work, life and study.
Ian is an Employability Champion for D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and as such he is working to improve the employability skills of school students in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire by encouraging greater partnership working between schools, employers, local authorities and other stakeholders.
Chris took voluntary early retirement from a 28-year career in Lloyds banking group in July 2016. He then pursued his long-held dream of setting up his own consultancy. After working with a number of blue chip clients for a year he was offered the chance to help to transform the newly formed Global Innovation team at Boots. The agreement allowed Chris to continue with his consultancy work and so began the latest chapter of his life.
Chris is highly motivated and experienced Change Professional with over 28 years proven track record in the design, development and delivery of a range of Programmes including Cultural Change, Strategic Transformation, IT, Digital and Regulatory Change, within Banking, Construction, Manufacturing Operations, Retail Networks, Financial Services, Insurance, Life, Pensions and Wealth management businesses.
He also has first class Business Analysis and problem-solving skills. Previously responsible for successfully leading and delivering IT / Automation programs with budgets of several million pounds. Chris has exceptional leadership skills, is a strong motivator and is passionate about staff development and innovation. Also, Chris is skilled at Root Cause Analysis and successfully identifying Quick Win solutions to sit along-side Strategic Change. Furthermore, he has experience with procuring and managing high value contracts and a range of contractors ensuring best value for money. Competent in the development and delivery of business plans, balancing score cards, KPIs and marketing, Chris is a valuable member of the board.
Alison is an experienced business leader and non-executive director in both commercial and charity organisations. In her most recent full time role she was the Deputy Managing Director (incorporating the role of Finance Director) of Ikano Bank with responsibilities including finance, IT, change management, governance, compliance and HR. Her current roles include Non-Executive Director of the Mansfield Building Society where she chairs the risk committee. Alison has previously been a Chair of Governors and is currently Vice Chair at an alternative provision school in Nottingham City. She has a long association with The Woodland Trust where she was a Trustee for many years. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Andy has held senior management positions and directorships for over 15 years most recently in finance, retail, operations and strategic business development. He is a Director at Lloyds Banking Group with 30 years’ experience having previously worked with Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society and TSB Bank.
A respected portfolio and transformation professional, Andy has particular expertise and in-depth experience of leading large teams in implementing strategy and campaign management, providing advice/coaching to stakeholders to increase engagement and transform performance. Extensive experience in programme management, strategy, commercial development, marketing and risk governance.
A qualified financial professional (ACII) and coach, Andy has is highly skilled in multi-site operations, delivering complex programmes through engaged teams ensuring positive outcomes whilst supporting the development of policies and procedures.
Married with two daughters and Andy lives locally in Chesterfield, and continues to see the value that the Trust has in the community. He passionately believes that all children can achieve great things with the right conditions and with teachers that are able to focus on helping them grow and is committed to utilising his experience, time and energy in helping the students, teachers and communities we serve.
Ann has been Head of Marketing at Linney since 2015 and has over 25 years’ experience of marketing, branding, communications and bid management. With broad-ranging business expertise, she has successfully implemented major transformation projects, new product launches, re-brands and introduced digital technology.
Her sector knowledge is wide-ranging – from business process outsourcing with market specialist Capita, to aerospace with Pilkington’s, a digital start-up and now marketing services. Having started her career as a Modern Languages teacher, Ann has retained a deep interest in education. In recent years, Ann has been active in the Business Class network (a charitable organisation that fosters partnerships between schools and businesses). She established a partnering programme in Stockport and supported the mentoring of gifted and talented students.
Ann is a member of the CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing), has a degree in French, a PGCE in Modern Languages, a post-graduate diploma in International Marketing and an MBA.
Andrew Durrant has over 15 years of school governing experience, at primary and secondary schools, as well as 6th form colleges. Andrew has a degree in electronics engineering and a PhD in mechanical engineering, with a specialism in automotive engineering. After university he started a technology and manufacturing business, and after 15 successful years now employs staff in offices in the UK, Sri Lanka and USA, with exports going all over the world. His particular skills include business and finance, as well as IT. Andrew also works on the Board of a Derbyshire charity, supporting and developing a public park and castle. He also continues to work as a Governor of Bilborough 6th form college.
Andrew has 2 children in full-time education. His aims are to maintain high academic and behavioral standards whilst promoting learning in a way that is enjoyable, engaging and relevant, supporting all students irrespective of their ability.