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Our Governors

Maggie Tate

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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

Katy is a Trainee Solicitor at Higgs & Sons Solicitors and she will qualify in September 2018. She has a Masters in Law and Business Management and a Law degree. Katy has a keen interest in education and lives within the community of the John Taylor Free School. In her spare time she enjoys yoga and spending time with her friends and family.

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Jeanette Hodgkinson - Chair

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.

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.


Open Evening 

Monday 22nd October 6.00 - 8.00pm

Presentations are at 6.30pm, 7.00pm and 7.30pm
Seats must be booked in advance for the presentation
Click here to book


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 pleased that...

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 £30million Jo...

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 School are feeling justly pro...

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...

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 community at John...

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 outset and not...