Role of the Local Governing Body

In order to understand the role and responsibilities of the local governing body within Mildenhall College Academy it is important to recognise that the governing body of a school that is part of a multi-academy trust, such as this one is, is very different from that of a single academy school or a community school.

The main difference is that the trust is the accountable body and ultimate decision-making body and not the local governors, or local governance tier as they are known, and it is the trustees who decide how governance works at individual academy level and what responsibilities are delegated to the local tier.  The trust board can, at any time choose to remove those delegated responsibilities or change the committee structure.  So, in a nutshell the local governing body is a committee of, and dependent on, the trust board for any decision-making powers.

So, what is the role of the local governing body at Mildenhall College Academy?

The local governing body is an informed local community resource with a unique local perspective and a delegated responsibility to provide challenge and support to the academy and the Trust.  Local governors are the “eyes and ears” of the trustees in the local community.

In line with the trust’s Scheme of Delegation, local governors are responsible for supporting academy improvement and engaging with academy leaders and the community in order to ensure that all students reach their full potential, regardless of background or level of ability.

Fully supported by the Trust’s Governance Team and the Chair, local governors of Mildenhall College Academy are responsible for:

  1. Knowing, understanding and challenging pupils’ overall progress and attainment. This means being clear about where the attainment gaps are, what provisions are in place to close those gaps and the impact of those provisions.
  2. Monitoring child protection and welfare in the academy including attendance, behaviour, suspensions and permanent exclusions.
  3. Receiving and noting summary management accounts and risk registers provided by the academy.
  4. Hearing any appeals as part of the complaints process and sitting on discipline panels in relation to suspensions and permanent exclusions.
  5. Evaluating their own effectiveness through the local governing body action plan, skills audit and clerk-led self-evaluation.

School visits help governors to understand more about their academy and the reality of school life.  We encourage governors to take on specific roles, dependent upon their interests and visit their academy.

Being a governor is a very rewarding experience.  You will be part of a team who is working to improve the life chances of children, some of whom come from very challenging backgrounds.  You will learn new skills whilst giving something back to the community you live and work in.  Our local Governors are committed to Transforming Lives, they give their time and energy to oversee the academy and take on a lot of responsibility.  Governance is enhanced by a team from a diverse range of professional, social and cultural backgrounds, if you are interested in becoming a local community governor please get in touch with Jo Bickley our Governance Clerk.

Contact the Governors

JB Pic Aug 23b

Jo Bickley, Governance Clerk

Any communication for the Governors can be made via the following:


Telephone: Leave a message via 01638 714645

Address: FAO Clerk to the Governors, Mildenhall College Academy, The Hub, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 7JX

Meet the Governors

Steve Shore

Steve Shore, Chair, Local Community Governor

Term of Office: 24/01/2023 – 23/01/2027 appointed by ATT Trustees

Leadership and Management Link Governor

Originally from Yorkshire, after a period working in The City, I moved to Suffolk just over 20 years ago.   I am a qualified Chartered Accountant and bring to the LGB over 30 years of business experience across a number of sectors including banking, insurance, hospitality and sport.  My current focus is in the hospitality and sport sectors where I am Chairman of Chelmsford City Football Club and a Director of Chelmsford City Racecourse.

I am from a family of educators.  Both of my parents were teachers, my sisters taught as well as my sister-in-law and niece, so I’ve had a broad experience of the education sector as it has evolved over the last 50 years.

Aaron HickmanWeb

Aaron Hickman, Local Parent Governor

Term of Office: 04/03/2024 – 03/04/2028 appointed by academy parents

I retired from a successful career with the British Army in April 2023 and relocated back to Mildenhall. I served in the Royal Engineers and progressed to Warrant Officer serving in Operations across the globe. I studied for a BSc Civil Engineering through the Army and have gained Chartered Manager accreditation.

I am a registered STEM Ambassador and am passionate in passing on my technical/life experiences to the next generation. Whilst serving I was awarded a Worshipful Company of Engineers commendation by Princess Anne for my work with developing apprenticeship opportunities for Army personnel.


Emma Stanley, Local Community Governor

Term of Office: 16/01/2024 – 15/01/2028 appointed by the LGB

Originally from Liverpool I worked in a number of roles but for the last 14 years I have worked for a Charity called The Edmund Trust in Cambridge. The Edmund Trust supports people with a learning disability and autism to live in the community.  I am a Service Manager, managing a Registered Care Home and a number of supported living services. This comes with the legal responsibility for the 40 staff and 25 people that we support.

Many of the skills that I have in my career are transferable into the education sector, especially around safeguarding, budget management, estates management and human resources. I have two children age 11 years and 6 years old. I am looking forwards to working closely with MCA and ATT as part of their team of governors. I hope my experience, knowledge and commitment will be not only influential but beneficial for both the students and the trust.

Helen Self (Mrs)4

Helen Self, Vice Chair, Local Community Governor

Term of Office: 01/09/2022 – 31/08/2026 appointed by the LGB

Attendance and Behaviour Link Governor

I have been community governor at Mildenhall College for several years before that I was a parent governor at Riverside Middle school.  I have been a police officer for 25 years and I currently work as Community Engagement Officer for Forest Heath.  I have two children one who is working and the other is currently studying at De Montford in Leicester studying a fashion degree.  

I have really enjoyed my time as a governor and am looking forward to working with Beck Row Academy as working with primary schools will be different to what I have done previously.

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Jordon Millward, Local Community Governor

Term of Office: 19/09/2023 – 18/09/2027 appointed by the LGB

I am a highly experienced science researcher passionate about improving students’ educational experience in the Mildenhall community. Having taught at various institutions, I have gained significant experience in enhancing the professional development of students in different academic fields.  As a member of the Royal Society of Biology, I am dedicated to promoting and enhancing science study. My experience in land-based studies, particularly ecology, has allowed me to develop a unique skill set which can significantly benefit the Mildenhall College Academy.

Having worked in various teaching roles, I have honed my skills in leading and organising training programs for staff members. I have also developed excellent communication and conflict resolution skills, which can help address any employment or safety-related issues at the academy.  

I am highly committed to improving the opportunities of the students and staff at Mildenhall College Academy, drawing on my research experience.  I am excited to use my skills and experience to contribute positively to the educational experience of students at Mildenhall College Academy. As a local resident, I am invested in the community and am eager to give back by serving as a local governor.


Karen Southgate, Local Parent Governor

Term of Office: 04/03/2024 – 03/03/2028 appointed by academy parents

I have a professional background in IT and currently manage a Practice within a global IT company at Director level.  This includes budgetary and revenue accountability, as well as managing a team of people and contributing to business strategy.

I have lived in and around the area all of my life and attended Mildenhall Upper School until 1990.  I am keen to contribute to the support and success of the children attending MCA and help govern the school.

Katherine Fulcher2

Katherine Fulcher, Local Community Governor

Term of Office: 25/11/2022 – 24/11/2026 appointed by academy parents

Key Stage 5 Link Governor

I have grown up in the area where I attended Mildenhall Upper School where I gained my GCSE’s and A Levels. I then went on to university gaining my BSE hons. I went on to be part of the management team at Boots Opticians. I have two children who both attended Mildenhall College Academy. I have a keen interest in making sure that all the children receive the highest level of education.

Pam G

Pam Garrad, Local Staff Governor

Term of Office: 31/10/2016 – 30/10/2024 (ATT 2nd Term) appointed by academy staff

Staff Voice Link Governor

I have been a Support Staff Governor at Mildenhall College Academy since 2015. Prior to this I was a Governor at a primary school in Suffolk for eight years whilst working as a School Business Manager.

Although I work at MCA, being part of the strong Governing Body allows me to see how they view the academy from a Governors’ perspective.  There are a wide variety of professions that make up the Governing Body which brings a wealth of experience and fresh, new ideas for pupil progress.

Paul N(2)

Paul Ngum, Local Community Governor

Term of Office: 16/02/2022 – 15/02/2026 appointed by the LGB

Quality of Curriculum and Careers Link Governor

My career spans over 12 years in the Legal and IT Industries. Whilst studying for a Master’s Degree in International Business Law, I worked as a Senior Paralegal specialising in Corporate and Commercial Law before transitioning to IT.

Currently working as a self-employed Quality Assurance Consultant, I have worked for both the Public and Private sectors and am the co-founder of Opportunity Foundation – a charitable social enterprise designed to facilitate access to the Legal Profession. 

Rebecca Saunders2

Rebecca Saunders, Local Community Governor

Term of Office: 09/09/2021 – 31/08/2025 appointed by the LGB

Safeguarding Link Governor

I became a community governor at MCA in 2021, through working in Mildenhall as Group Head of HR.  I am very much interested in supporting and developing the local community. My experience comprises of strategic leadership and developing leadership teams.