Governance - East Cheshire Youth Acheivement Free School

The Fermain Academy Board of Governors meets every school term, as well as termly delegated committee meetings, and more regular sub committee meetings. Minutes for the following meetings can be viewed here:

Autumn Term 2015 - GB Minutes

Spring Term 2016 - GB Minutes

Summer Term 2016 - GB Minutes

Autumn Term 2016 - GB Minutes

Spring Term 2017 - GB Minutes

Summer Term 2017 - GB Minutes 

Attendance at Governing Board Meetings

View attendance from all 2016/17 GB Meetings

View attendance from all 2015/2016 GB Meetings.

Business / Pecuniary Interests

The Trust keeps a record of all declared business interests. The up to date register of interests can be viewed here.


Our Governing Board

Stephen Armstrong - Chair of Governors

Stephen lives in London, and is married with two grown-up daughters.

Stephen has a background in special education both as a teacher and as a headteacher in special schools in London and Essex. He has worked as an advisory teacher in Newham for children with a range of special educational needs. He has also worked as a project leader with Achievement for All (now a national charity supporting students and their families to raise aspirations for improved achievement at school and also outside of school) in Camden and nationally as special school lead for Achievement for All.

He is now retired from working in education and enjoys a range of activities, such as learning to play the violin, gardening, travelling, reading, sailing, musical concerts, and art exhibitions.

Stephen is proud to have been a Governor at The Fermain Academy for three years and subsequently both Vice Chair and Chair of Governors. He is strongly committed to the ongoing success of The Fermain and visits the school on average once per month. Although he lives in London, he can be contacted both in person during school visits and through a contact number available through application to the school.

Martin Howlett - Deputy Chair of Governors

Martin has had 25 years experience in education and 7 years as a Secondary Headteacher. Training in Avery Hill College in SE London with a specialism of Design and Technology and second subject as PE, Martin achieved a BEd Hons in Education. Since qualifying as a teacher, Martin has gained further qualifications at Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Masters Level in Education Management. Martin has also achieved the NPQH. Working in challenging secondary schools, Martin was Headteacher in three large schools, two of which he moved out of a Special Measures category. He has had experience of moving schools into Academies and also mentored other schools on their improvement. Since leaving headship, Martin has successfully built up a Leadership Coaching and Mentoring business which is operating in the United States.

Martin currently works for the Youth Federation as an Operations Director and also works for Achievement for All (DfE Funded) as an Achievement Coach. Martin has been a National Trainer for Early Support and Parental/Carer Engagement Strategies. Martin has worked internationally with the Parent/Carer Engagement strategy by supporting the New York City Parental Engagement development for over ten years. In the role of Parent/Carer Engagement trainer, Martin has worked with four Local Authorities in the South East to support LA Officers in the implementation of the 2014 Children and Families Act. As an Achievement Coach, Martin is responsible for coaching eight challenging secondary schools in England and Wales around the SEND progress agenda.

Martin was recently appointed to the Education Advisory Board for Wales where he supports the national development of SEND education support strategies in Wales.

Jane Dyson

Jane lives in Macclesfield and is a busy mum with 4 children aged between 8 and 23. Following her degree in Psychology at the University of Sheffield, she qualified as a primary school teacher at the University of the West of England, Bristol.  Jane gave up a career in education to support her daughter in her competitive gymnastics career: one which took her right to the top, competing in the Olympics for Team GB in London 2012. Throughout this period, she volunteered in schools, focussing on helping children with special educational needs and also worked part time as a maths tutor.  For the last 5 years Jane has volunteered as a Samaritan, and she also enjoys singing, going to concerts and interior decorating.  Living just around the corner, Jane is able to pop into the Fermain easily and frequently.

Robert Halsall

Rob lives in Middlewich, Cheshire, with his partner Kathryn and daughter Sophie.  Rob had worked in food retailing for 32 years, many of these has been spent being a store manager for Tesco Stores Limited.  He has had the opportunity of working in many areas of Britain over the last 15 years and has been at the Macclesfield branch for over three years now.  Robs main responsibilities are to try and keep customers and colleagues as happy as possible whilst managing the bottom line profit.  Rob’s spare time is mainly spent to tinkering with his classic car and motorcycle collection and watching motorsport.  Rob was extremely pleased and flattered to be asked to be a governor of The Fermain Academy.  As Rob works in Macclesfield he wants to be a regular visitor to the academy and looks forward to using his skills to help in adding value that will benefit the academy.

Toby Seth

Toby lives in Macclesfield, is married and has two young children.   Toby has a background in education in the independent sector. He has worked as teacher, Head of Department and now Deputy Head at a range of independent schools in London and the South East and now Macclesfield where he is Deputy Head at the King’s School.  He current role is broad, encompassing both the primary and secondary parts of King’s, and brings him into contact with a wide variety of school issues. He deals frequently with staff, pupils and parents alike.  Toby is delighted to be involved at the Fermain Academy and started his tenure as a Governor in November 2017. He is keen to offer his experience to the school and has particular interest in strategic planning issues. 

Tim Haselwood

Sarah Murrell

Anthony Smith 

Nic Brindle - Principal


Staff Governor representing the Fermain Academy:

Emma Colley 

Get in touch

For more information or to refer a student please use the details below.

Tel: 01625 611 001

Address: The Fermain Academy, Beswick Street, Macclesfield, SK11 8JG