Our Governors

Maggie Tate

Safeguarding and Vulnerable Students
M Tate Photo

Maggie Tate retired 3 years ago from her post as Senior Deputy Head at a secondary school in Staffordshire. During this time she worked closely with the National Forest Teaching School. Maggie is passionate about securing improvement in schools and since her retirement has successfully worked closely with two challenging Birmingham schools. Within the community Maggie serves as a Magistrate in the Criminal Courts and has just been appointed to the Family Bench. She also volunteers at the local branch of Citizens Advice. In her spare time Maggie likes to play golf and enjoys walking with her two dogs and friends. Six grandchildren also keep her on her toes!

Stephanie Turner

S Turner Photo

Gaining a First Class Honours Degree from The University of Leeds, in Theology & Religious Studies, Stephanie went on to gain a Masters Degree in Human Resources Management and a post graduate qualification in Workforce Planning. As an Associate Member of the CIPD, Stephanie is an active member in the Derbyshire and Nottingham branch as a trained mentor. Stephanie has ten years HR experience in the public sector with considerable experience in recruitment, project management, workforce planning and employment law. In her spare time Stephanie is a keen swimmer. She joined the school of Governors in the summer of 2017.

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Ian Burns


Ian Burns is the Managing Director of Cameron Homes Limited, a privately owned residential developer; a position held since 1994. Ian has experience as a Local Authority Councillor working at both Parish and District level. He was a Trustee of the Armitage with Handsacre Village Hall and has lived in Burton on Trent for the last 11 years. Ian has a keen interest in supporting the transition of young people from education to the work place.

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Katy Boyce

Numeracy Across the Curriculum

Katy is an Associate Solicitor at Eversheds Sutherland LLP. She specialises in Financial Services Disputes and Investigations. She has a Masters in Law and Business Management and a Law degree. Katy has a keen interest in education, as it was the foundation of her career, and values its importance. Katy lives within the community of the John Taylor Free School and has first-hand knowledge of the area. In her spare time she enjoys practising yoga and spending time with her friends and family.

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Jeanette Hodgkinson - Chair

Literacy Across the Curriculum

Prior to her retirement in 2005, Jeanette practised as a barrister from chambers in Birmingham. Former Responsible Officer at John Taylor High School, Former Chair of Quality, Compliance and Audit Committee.

Peter Robinson – Staff Governor

P Robinson

Health and Safety

As a founding teacher at John Taylor Free School, Peter is incredibly proud to have been given the opportunity to work at JTFS, to shape the course of the students and the schools future. He is certain that the work that has gone into creating the curriculum, building positive relationships with the students and developing a strong team will result in an excellent education for the students; providing them with a future in which they can succeed and thrive.

Peter sees the governor’s role as being vital in ensuring this excellent start continues and that the vision, ethos and values are upheld as the school grows in both student and staff numbers. He feels strongly that in order to make this happen, it is essential that strong positive relationships are developed between the governing body and the staff of the school.

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Charlotte Hopkins – Parent Governor

Research Led Practice

Charlotte is a serving head teacher of a local Primary Free School that has recently opened with one year group and will continue to grow year on year, similar to JTFS. Prior to that, she was headteacher of another Burton Primary school and was part of the team that took it out of Special Measures to Good. She knows the Burton area well and is looking forward to offering her 25 years’ experience in education to help bring the JTFS vision to life, that all students will 'succeed and thrive'.

SCP pic

Sue Plant

Sue is the Head of School at John Taylor Free School. She has worked in education for the last 23 years with experience of a wide range of schools and different settings. Her extensive leadership experience spans 2 highly successful Multi Academy Trusts based in the East Midlands. She has established a Teaching School Alliance and School Centre for Initial Teacher Training and understands the importance of professional learning for teachers and leaders.

If you wish to contact the JTFS Local Governing body you can do so by emailing Mrs S Byrne - Clerk to the Governors at:


Or writing to Mrs S Byrne, Clerk to the Governors 

John Taylor Free School

Branston Road



DE13 9SA

JTFS Transparency Document 2019-2020


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Leading By Laptop

20 May 2020

Leading by Laptop Is definitely not my style. I am a people person. I like to see people, talk to them face to face. Until last month, I only sent emails when absolutely necessary, held meetings whe...

Let's just take the next step

20 Mar 2020

As a headteacher, there are times when you are faced with challenges.  Sometimes it is about a lesson that hasn’t worked out, a set of examination results that weren’t as expected or...

We have saved you a seat...

07 Feb 2020

We have started our new recruitment round at JTFS and as I have written before, I always find it an interesting and exciting part of being a Head. The privilege of talking about the school, the commu...

365 Opportunities

14 Jan 2020

My assemblies last week were based on the theme of a new year bringing 365 new opportunities to make a difference. I was hoping to inspire the students to see this new term, new year and new decade as...

The end of an amazing first year at JTFS...what a whirlwind!

19 Jul 2019

I am sure that the clocks at JTFS go faster than in any other school!  It really doesn’t seem 5 minutes since we were preparing the building to open and now we are preparing for the last fe...

It's all change for us at JTFS

01 Jul 2019

As we plan for our final few weeks of our first year of operation at John Taylor Free School, we are conscious of the changes that lie in store for our students, their families and also our staff. W...

"Curriculum - building a love of learning with strong foundations"

30 May 2019

"It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it's the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time" David Allen Coe We are often complimented on the beauty of...

The Power of the Team

11 Mar 2019

"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." Henry Ford This is the quote I used when on interview for my job as Head of School. It is one that...

Introducing a new member of the John Taylor Free School team

30 Jan 2019

This week we welcomed Pluto to the team. He is a 5 month old Labrador who is undergoing training as a school dog. We have been considering having a dog at John Taylor Free School for quite some time....

100 Days

06 Dec 2018

Often in leadership development training, the facilitator will ask the question; “’what will you achieve in your first 100 days and how do you know you have made an impact?” Thi...

8 weeks gone in record time!

26 Oct 2018

The last 8 weeks have been the fastest 8 weeks ever.  We opened our gates on 5th September to a large group of students who couldn’t wait to be the first through the gate and what an exciti...

National Young Mathematician's Award

24 Oct 2018

  The National Young Mathematician's Award aims to inspire the next generation of mathematicians. Teams from schools across the UK have the unique opportunity to tackle a never-before-seen mat...


07 Oct 2018

It has been an incredible week.  We have hosted a Royal visit and the National WomenEd Unconference in the same week – quite a lot to pack in but I have never felt so proud of my job and pl...

John Taylor Free School is Officially Open!

06 Oct 2018

Staffordshire’s first brand new high school for nearly 30 years has held its official opening. His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO was present to cut the ribbon on the new £...

The Opening Week of John Taylor Free School

07 Sep 2018

“Success has always been easy to measure, it is the distance between one’s origins and one’s final achievement”   The team of staff and students at John Taylor Free...

2 weeks to go!

23 Aug 2018

A year ago this week, I saw an advert for Head of School, John Taylor Free School. The role it described was my dream job. A forward thinking Multi-Academy Trust with a Teaching School, a brand new b...

New Beginnings

17 Jul 2018

The last week of term is finally upon us. For myself and my 11-year-old daughter it is a week full of mixed emotions.Back in April, I wrote about transition but now that it is finally here, it seems m...

Coaching for Excellence

19 Jun 2018

Coaching has been a valid tool for improving performance in sport, business and industry for many years and on Friday I attended a National Coaching Conference where 200 repr...

Have you earned your Stripes?

06 Jun 2018

We have had a very exciting week with the new staff induction and a “getting to know you evening” for students and parents. Throughout these events, I have been explaining to the new commu...

The Challenge and Opportunity of Recruiting Staff to a Brand New School

06 Jun 2018

John Taylor Free School is in the unusual position of being able to recruit a team from scratch. This presents some challenges, in terms of getting the right “fit” for the team from the ou...