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Uppingham Community College Academy Trust and Governing Body

The broad object of the Academy Trust is to advance education for the public benefit by establishing, maintaining, managing and developing a school which offers a broad and balanced curriculum. The Academy Trust is also bound to comply with the Companies Act 2006 in the pursuit of this object.

This means, as a College and Specialist Technology Academy, we have greater freedom, scope, and flexibility to deliver the very best education and development that we can for our students and are accountable for doing so within a legal framework.

The statutory requirements and obligations of the Academy Trust are set out in the ‘Model Funding Agreement’ and the ‘Memorandum of Association’ as agreed between the College and the Secretary of State for Education.

The role of the Governing Body is to support, challenge and be a ‘critical friend’ in relation to the work and future development of the College and the wider community. Good governance requires involvement in strategy and policy development; ensures sound personnel and financial management; measures performance and supports the pursuit of challenging medium and short term goals.

The work of the Governing Body is facilitated through Full Governor Meetings, various Committees, plus Special Area and Curriculum Links. Governors are also involved in other day to day activities in support of the Principal and Staff as required.

The governing board comprises of 7 Members. In total, the Governing Body currently comprises of 18 Governors, including the Principal as an Ex-Officio Governor. Broadly, 50% are elected (minimum of 2 Parent Governors and maximum of 4 Staff Governors) and 50% are appointed (maximum of 12).

With the exception of the Principal, being a Governor is a voluntary role. We are extremely fortunate to have a very committed Governing Body made up of individuals with varied backgrounds and a valuable mix of experiences and skills as summarised below:

Ex-Officio Governor & Principal

Mr Ben Solly

29.08.2017 - current

I joined UCC in August 2017 as Principal. I have been a teacher since 2004, initially teaching PE in the Black Country as an Advanced Skills Teacher, before moving across to Leicestershire in 2010 to take up a senior leadership position in Melton Mowbray. I secured my first headship at Lutterworth College in 2014 and led the school through an age range change conversion to become an 11-18 all through school. I have been a member of the editorial board of the weekly educational publication Sec Ed since 2012 and I also occasionally contribute articles and opinions through this online magazine. I am currently Chair of the Leicestershire and Rutland Sport (LRS) Headteacher PE and School Sport steering group, Headteacher representative of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Local Children's Safeguarding Board and a Trustee of the Rutland Music Education Hub.  I am also a Governor of Harington School, the Sixth Form Free School that UCC is co-sponsoring and a facilitator for Inspiring Leaders on the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH).

Elected Parent Governors

Dr Miriam Stoate

Term of office:

13.03.2018 - 12.03.2022

I am a parent governor. I live with my family in East Leicestershire, having grown up in Rutland and attended UCC. I was a primary school governor, taught English in Thailand and trained as a secondary school Geography teacher. I am link governor for Science and have an interdisciplinary PhD with a focus on Environmental Management, Economics and Decision Making. I have university level teaching and research experience, including from universities in Canada and Thailand. I co-run a farm, with an emphasis on environmental management, sustainability, on-farm research and renewable energy and am also involved with various community organisations.

I enjoy reading, gardening, cooking, cycling, swimming, theatre, singing, spending time with friends and train travel adventures with my family.


Mr Nick Brookes

Term of office: 07.01.2021 - 07.01.2025



I was born and raised in Leicester and now live in a small village in South East Leicestershire near Uppingham. Having graduated with a degree in Mathematics, I embarked on a career in data and analytics just as the boom in ‘big data’ was taking off. Since then I have worked across the globe holding senior positions in marketing functions, specialising in data transformations, customer experience and digital marketing.

I am married (to a teacher!) and have two children.  My son currently attends UCC and my daughter plans on joining in 2021. I am extremely proud and excited to act as a parent governor and look forward to helping the school meet its goals for current and future generations of students.

My passions outside of work are football, which I still play as well as attending matches at Leicester City when possible, gardening, cooking, travelling and comedy.

Elected Staff Governors

Mrs Kirsty Rodgers

(Staff Governor)

Term of office:

01.11.2014 - 31.01.2023

I qualified as a teacher in 2005 and I have been Head of History/2ic Humanities at Uppingham Community College since September 2011. I have been encouraged to thrive as a teacher and to develop my career at UCC and since 2019 I have been a Lead Practitioner in charge of all teacher trainees; PGCE/School Direct, NQT's and RQT's. In January 2019 I was fully supported by the school to gain my certificate in Coaching and Mentoring from Warwick University. 

Previous to my career as a teacher, I worked in the advertising and marketing industry for 11 years. Starting my career at the Leicester Mercury, I moved from sales into buying advertising and worked for two advertising agencies; planning and buying over £1.5 million of media a year.  

I have both experience at UCC as a teacher and a parent. My two children have been educated at UCC: one has completed his time here and gone on to study A levels and the other is currently in Year 8. 

I believe first and foremost that students should enjoy their learning and want to succeed. The learning environment at UCC allows students to experience this as it is an excellent community of staff and students who all work together to thrive and achieve their very best.

Mr Laurence Redmond

(Staff Governor)

Term of office:

11.10.2017 - 11.10.2021

I have worked at Uppingham Community College since 2002 and in that time I have been a teacher and Head of Department (Humanities); and parent to three children who have all been educated here. My experience as a parent, teacher and local resident give me a good knowledge of the school, the surrounding area and the issues faced in our context and in the broader educational landscape. Communication is paramount to being an effective governor. I believe that I see decisions through the eyes of the staff and can understand strategic decisions from a teacher’s perspective.


Mrs Kim Stuart-Jones (Staff Governor)

Term of office:

02.12.2019  - 02.12.2023

I have worked at UCC for over 7 years now, first on main reception and then as Admissions Officer.  I absolutely love working here!  I have a background in HR and recruitment.  As well as being a member of staff, I am also a parent and have one daughter in Year 7 and a son who joined in September 2020.  I am passionate about helping the governing body make UCC the very best it can be.

Elected Governors:

Mr Andrew Mankowski

Term of office:
14.09.2020 - 14.09.2024

I am an architect and a CDM Consultant (health, safety and risk management) and have been working in Central London for the last ten years on high-end projects including The Royal Opera House, The British Museum and Battersea Power Station development.
I was engaged by the organising committee through preparation for the London Olympic Games. I have designed and built a Further Education College and individual buildings at a High School.
I was appointed as CDM Consultant for a centre of London School, for extensions above three storeys on a demanding site while the school was engaged in full teaching activities. I have prepared papers for Health and Safety Policies, Fire Protection, Risk Assessments and many others, as well as reviews and inspections setting high standards.
I have taught sailing in school and been part of school training for White Water Rafting, Caving, Scuba Diving and others, and have driven to the other side of the world. My hobbies are sailing instructor, fell walking, running and cycling.
I am married with two sons with Phds.
I have chaired the Professional Conduct Committee at the Royal Institute of British Architects and sit on the London branch of the Association of Project Safety, primarily driving the best in Health and Safety.


Mrs Morag Topham
Term of office:
07.12.2011 - 24.06.2023

I live with my family in Manton having moved to Rutland in 2009. I have been an Appointed Governor at UCC since December 2011 and I was previously involved in governance from 2003 to 2009 prior to moving here. School governance has been a way to remain involved in my children’s education as they have grown up.  I have developed relationships with like-minded people who share a passion for ensuring UCC continues to provide quality teaching and learning in a safe and happy environment for all the students. 
I completed 30 years of Police Service and following retirement from the police, I am now an Education Welfare Officer.  During my time with the police force, I gained extensive experience in Child Protection along with other specialist areas of policing. 
I am the Vice-Chair of Governors and the link Governor for Drama, DT, Performing Arts, PDBW and Child Protection and I work closely with the SEN and Inclusion team. I am also involved with the Resources and Education Sub-Committees. 
I have a BA (Hons) Degree in English Literature and Language and I enjoy live music, reading, art and travelling when I can. I am a trustee of Manton Village Hall.

Mr Andrew Robinson
Term of office:
09.03.2020 - 09.03.2024

I have lived in Rutland for over 30 years. My 3 daughters went to school in Rutland. My wife, Kathy, and I have lived in Uppingham for 2 years.
I am largely retired from paid employment but I am still a Director of the business (which I was CEO of for 16 years) that manufactures screens for cinemas worldwide. I am also a founder Director of a business planning to open a boutique cinema in Rutland.
I am a Cambridge Science MA and hold an MBA from Cranfield Business School.
I am a member of a number of local organisations.
My leisure interests are diverse and include cycling, gardening, bridge, politics, travel and restoring woven chair seats.
Given the huge importance of education, I am delighted to be a member of UCC’s Governing Body.

Mrs Jeannette Warner
Term of office: 
10.9.2019 - 31.08.2023

I live in a small village just outside of Uppingham. I am married with 2 grown-up sons and have been a governor of UCC since 2019.
I am a company director for a family-owned printing company that produces magazines, brochures and catalogues. I have a particular interest in charities and manage the firm’s corporate social responsibility budget.
My previous work experience was in HR and Training for a large national insurance company which I joined after graduating from Exeter University with a BA(Hons) in Economic & Social History.
I also have the privilege to be a Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Rutland as well as being involved in a number of local charities. I am on the Board of ‘Rutland First’ and am Chairman of ‘For Rutland’.
I enjoy gardening, walking and cooking.



Mr Nick Davenport (Chair of Governors)

Term of office:

05.12.2017 - 04.12.2021

My wife and I have lived in Rutland since 1981 where our daughters attended local schools. I was a secondary school teacher for 25 years becoming head of department and a member of the senior leadership team. I then left teaching to become a partner in a business consultancy specialising in learning and development within organisations working across all sectors. I retired in 2015 but continue to support school leaders on key issues affecting their schools and I hope to bring these insights to UCC. I enjoy all sports, especially golf and rugby as well as taking time out to travel. I have a BA degree in history and an MA in the history of education.

To contact the Chair of Governors:

Mr Nick Clarke

Term of office:

11.09.2018 - 10.09.2022

I am a communications professional running my own consultancy business.  I work with a diverse group of third sector, church and private clients, offering services including communications and crisis media management; communications training; video and audio production; and graphic design and layout.  Prior to establishing the consultancy in 2013, I spent twelve years working both nationally and at county level for the Church of England on external and internal communications.  Before the turn of the millennium, I spent twenty years working in professional radio in a variety of roles including News Editor and Senior Producer, as well as ten years behind the microphone broadcasting on daily shows.

I grew up in Leicester, was educated at a local grammar school, graduated from the city’s university and began my career with the BBC in the city.  Currently my hobbies include running, baking bread and trying to learn Spanish. I am churchwarden at Uppingham Parish Church and am married to Liz, who is Chair of Governors at Uppingham C of E Primary school.

Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.



Mr Geoff Thompson

Term of office:

01.04.2011 - 24.6.2023

I had been Chair of the Governing Body from 2012 to 2021 and I was involved in all the committees. I was originally a parent governor at UCC before becoming the Chair. I am also a Founder Governor and Chair of the Scrutiny Committee at Harington School.

We live in Uppingham and the whole family are involved in local community activities. My wife is the Chair of Uppingham Neighbourhood Forum.  I enjoy walking, cycling, travelling, skiing, sailing and singing.

Skills and qualifications:

I have worked for the London Stock Exchange for 2 years and a large international bank for 38 years in a wide variety of roles (including Finance, Marketing, Sales, Strategy, IT Development, Relationship Management, Risk Management and General Management), including five years in Canada and Switzerland before returning to the UK in 2011. I am a Freeman of the City of London, a Liveryman of the Information Technologists Company, and have B.Sc(Hons), ACIB and CIMA Cert.BA qualifications.

Mrs Lizzie Souter

Term of  office:

21.04.2017 - 20.04.2021

I have been a governor at UCC since 2017.  I live locally in Market Harborough with my husband and our two children.  I am a qualified chartered management accountant (CIMA) and experienced company secretary.  I currently lead the finance and treasury function at Market Harborough Building Society, where I am also the company secretary and have responsibility for governance arrangements.  I have worked for the Society for a number of years and am well versed in operating in a highly regulated environment.  I enjoy trampolining and running, including volunteering at Parkrun. 

Chair of Resources Committee

Mr Rob Sawyer

Term of office: To be confirmed

Following thirty years in business, I became a Governor at UCC early in 2004. I was Chair for six years from 2006 and also a Trustee of Harington School during the formation and opening phases of its development. 

Although my involvement with UCC ceased in 2016, the College has always remained close to my heart and I am pleased to serve, once again, as a Member of the Academy Trust. 

Mr John Woodhead

Term of office: To be confirmed

Prior to retirement I was for 20 years Headteacher of an 11-18 Specialist Science College near Northampton. My earlier experience included the positions of First Deputy Head of a Leicestershire Upper School and Head of English at a school in the North-East of England. I studied for my first degree (MA in English) at Clare College, University of Cambridge, and was later a student at Durham University, where I was awarded an MA in Education. 

My wider experience in Education included a year’s secondment to County Hall in Leicester, where I worked on issues of school staffing. For a time, I was a board member of both the AEB and AQA, the examinations authorities. I was Chair of the Governors of Northamptonshire’s Longtown Outdoor Education Centre, situated in Herefordshire and, as a senior secondary Headteacher, I took my turn as Chair of the Northamptonshire County Secondary Heads Group. Since retirement, I have represented the Diocese of Peterborough on the Rutland Schools Forum. 

My wife and I have lived in Uppingham for over 30 years. Our children (now grown up with families of their own) both attended UCC in the late 1980s and early 90s. I have many interests, including walking holidays, reading and theatre, and supporting Leicester City Football Club. I am a member of Uppingham Parish Church, where I sing in the choir. 

Mrs Sally Allen

Term of office: To be confirmed

I am a mother of 2 ex pupils of UCC who left UCC in 2009  and 2012. 

I was a School Governor at UCC for quite a few years, when our children were at the school leaving at the same time Jan Turner retired.  During my time as Governor I was a link to the English Dept and also for the Duke of Edinburgh awards.  I was also a school mentor which linked pupils to have regular meetings during Year 11 to help / encourage these pupils with their GCSE's etc. 

As a local Rotarian I am still involved in encouraging UCC to send 2 pupils per year on a Young Rotary Youth Leader course which is held in February in Derbyshire at Whitehall.  This has been a successful partnership with the school and Rotary. 

I currently work as a Practice Manager for my husband's dental practice in Uppingham and we do have Year 10 students from UCC apply to us to do work experience.  Some of these students later have gone into medicine or dentistry. 

Associate Members

Mrs Kirstie Croote

Term of office:

UCC employment



I took up the post of School Business Director at UCC in January 2017 and during my time, there have been many interesting but very rewarding challenges. I have held previous Senior Leadership posts relating to Business Management at other establishments, mostly based in the North West. Some of these positions were based in Primary settings and others, Secondary. All have provided me with an in-depth knowledge of funding and school business management across both sectors. 

I thoroughly enjoy working at UCC and feel fortunate to lead a team of Support staff so committed to contributing to the students' education.

Recent Ex-Governors:

Dr Sarah Furness - Term of office: 05.12.2017 - 04.12.2021 Resigned: 05.07.2021

Mrs Lisa Thipthorp - Term of office: 01.09.2019 - 31.08.2023 Resigned: 17.05.2021

Mrs Margaret Jennings - Term of office: 25.05.2011 - 24.06.2023 Resigned: 31.12.2020

Mr Stephen Kirk - Term of office: 13.03.2018 - 12.03.2022 - Resigned: 14.09.2020

Mrs Emma Cohen - Term of office: - 23.03.2016 - 23.03.2020

Mrs Joanne Armstrong - Term of office: - 23.03.2016 - 23.03.2020 - Resigned : 4.11.2019


Mr Stephen Berridge (Support Staff Governor) - Term of office: 25.05.2011 - 30.09.2019

Mr John Woodhead - Term of office: 01.09.2015 - 31.08.2019

Mr Mike Deely - Term of office: 030.1.2013 - 01.01.2021 - Resigned : 21.03.2019

Mr Robert Wills - Term of office: 010.1.2013 - 010.1.2021 - Resigned: 14.03.2019



Attendance records

2017 - 2018 FGB

2017 - 2018 Committees

2018 - 2019 FGB & Committees

2019 - 2020 FGB & Committees

2020-2021 FGB & Committees


UCC Governance Guide 2020-2021

This document sets out the vision for our school's governance along with the strategic priorities, committee structures and a general overview of how our governors are expected to carry out their roles.

Governing Body Structure

Ex-officio Governor
Name Committee
Mr Ben Solly (Principal) ALL
Elected Parent Governors (minimum 2)
Name Committee
Dr Miriam Stoate Education
Mr Nick Brookes  
Mrs Alix Cunnell  
Elected Staff Governors (max 4 - to include at least 1 teacher and 1 non-teacher)
Name Committee
Mr Laurence Redmond  Education, Resources
Mrs Kirsty Rodgers  Education, Resources
Mrs Kim Stuart-Jones  Resources
Appointed Governors (max 12)
Name Committee
Mr Nick Davenport (Chair) ALL
Mrs Morag Topham (Vice Chair) Education, Resources
Mr Nick Clarke Education
Mr Geoff Thompson  
Mrs Lizzie Souter Resources (Chair)
Mrs Jeanette Warner Resources (Vice Chair)
Mr Andrew Robinson Resources
Mr Andrew Mankowski Health & Safety, Resources
Mr John Woodhead  
Mr Rob Sawyer  
Mrs Sally Allen  
Co-opted Governors  
Name Committee
Associate Members Committee                          Voting Rights
Mrs Kirstie Croote Resources                        No
Pay Committee Members  

Geoff Thompson

Nick Davenport

Lizzie Souter