Oxford Spires Academy has the following Governors in post


Marianne Blake – Principal

Marianne has been teaching since 1999. Throughout her career she has been a Head of Year, Head of Design & Technology and Head of Art & Design, A senior leader of Pastoral and Student welfare and a Local Authority lead for STEM collaboration. Her most recent role before becoming our Principal at Oxford Spires Academy was as a Deputy for Achievement, Standards and Curriculum.Marianne presently lives in North Oxfordshire. In her “spare time” she is an avid supporter of both the Saints and Bath Rugby and a keen runner.

Tony Brett (Chair of Governors)

Tony is a local resident and runs a Residents Group for the Reliance Way and Saunders Road area. He is a chemistry graduate and the Director of Medical Sciences Division IT Services in Oxford University. He is keen to help improve the attainment of all who attend Oxford Spires Academy and believes that a good solid education is a basic building block of equal and fair society. Tony is also the Chair of the City of Oxford Choir and sings tenor. He has served for 9 years on Oxford City Council, finishing as Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford for 2013-14. He has an allotment next to Oxford Spires for leisure!
Tony Brett can be contacted on:


Nigel Molden (Vice Chair)

Nigel attended the City of Oxford High School between 1960-66 and was at Oxford School during its first year, 1966-7 following the COHS and Southfield merger. During that year he was a School Prefect and the Head of Trevelyan House. He later became Chairman and President of the Old Boys Society.Nigel holds an Honours degree in Sociology, a Masters degree in Management Studies and a PhD for research work in the long cycle of business activity. During the 1970s he was General Manager of Warner Music in the UK and founded his own company, Synergie Logistics/Magnum Music in 1980 which he continues to run to the present time. He was a Magistrate for 22 years, a Town and District Councillor and has held the position of Chairman of HM Courts Board for the Thames Valley. He is a Governor (and former Chair of Governors) at Claremont High School Academy in Harrow and has served as Governor at the Wycombe Royal Grammar School and Windmill Primary School. He has completed the Certificate of Higher Education, the Foundation Certificate in History and the Postgraduate Certificate in Historical Studies at Oxford University.

Barbara Watson (Parent Governor)

Barbara is a parent-appointed Governor and has lived in Oxford for 30 years, previously having been brought up and having worked in Edinburgh. She has two children at Oxford Spires Academy. Barbara lives very close to Oxford Spires Academy, and has seen the improvement in behaviour since the Academy was launched. She is particularly happy that Oxford Spires is setting high expectations for its students, and is keen to see everyone achieve their full potential. Barbara’s children are keen footballers, and she supports Hibernian and Kidlington Youth Football Club.

Barbara Watson

Siuli Kadir (CST Nominee)

Siuli has been a home-school community link worker for the past nine years and currently works for Oxford Spires Academy. She has served as a youth worker for the Bangladeshi community in the past and has also worked with various Asian women’s groups in the community.The mother of two beautiful children, Siuli is very involved with the community and at present is supporting an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class at Oxford Spires Academy for our students’ parents who have very limited English.


Mrs Joanna Van De Poll (CST Appointee)

Joanna has lived and worked in Oxfordshire for over thirty years.Having graduated in Geography and Sociology from the University of Hull she has worked in careers guidance, further education and prison education until retirement in 2010.She is interested in ensuring that all young people have good and appropriate learning opportunities which maximise their chances of a fulfilling working life. In her spare time Joanna likes to travel, garden, read and go walking in the beautiful Cotswold countryside. She also serves as a Director of a local charity which provides day centre opportunities for the elderly and which involves cooking lunch for thirty every month.

Colin Aldridge (Parent Governor)

Colin is a parent-appointed Governor. He is a father, husband, youth mentor and a practicing Buddhist. He won’t sit back and watch life from the sidelines. He will jump up, grab life by the horns and swing it around until it submits or at least sees things from his point of view (which is always right). One day these children in our care will be the ones to rule the world and take it over, invent things to make life better and cure diseases. Colin feels it is our duty to make sure children have strong foundations to build on, educationally, socially and emotionally. He thinks it is important we help children believe in themselves so the phrase “I can’t” is forgotten.

Chris Scrivener (Oxfordshire County Council-appointed Governor)

Chris is an education consultant, and before retiring, worked as a School Improvement Leader with Oxfordshire County Council, with a specialist responsibility for working with leadership teams supporting school improvement. Chris is one of Oxford Spires Academy’s two Local Authority-appointed Governors. He has been associated with Oxford Spires, and its predecessor school, for a number of years. Chris spent many years in teaching and leading schools before joining Oxfordshire County Council as a school’s adviser. In addition, he is the Chair of a locally based charity which grew out of the school partnerships between Oxfordshire schools and schools in Uganda, and now spend much time in Uganda where he works with national and local groups on improving the quality of education.

Councillor John Sanders (Oxfordshire County Council-Appointed Governor)

John is one of Oxford Spires Academy’s two local authority-appointed Governors. He has lived in Oxford since 1977. He is a retired IT project manager and has worked for local authorities and public utilities as a consultant. He is married to Gill who is also a County Councillor and they have two grown-up sons. John is a County spokesman on transport and the environment. He is a Freeman of the City and a supporter of apprenticeships in Oxford.

Lucia Nixon (CST Appointee)

Originally from Canada, Lucia has lived in Oxford for nearly 25 years. She has had a career in Higher Education in Canada and in the UK, with a long-standing interest in outreach and events for schools and teachers. Her academic subject is Archaeology, and she continues to publish on various aspects of Cretan and other landscapes. Her last post before ‘retirement’ was Senior Tutor and Tutor for Admissions in an Oxford college. Lucia has always enjoyed encouraging students to aspire, and finding ways to set them up for success, whatever they have chosen to do. She likes food, travelling, music, and the St Giles’ Fair.

Catherine Kneafsey (CST Appointee)

Catherine has lived in East Oxford for 30 years and is actively involved in local community activities and music. She originally trained as an English teacher and worked in London and Italy but came to Oxford as an educational publisher for Oxford University Press. In the last six years she has returned to teaching English at GCSE and A-level and also English as a Second Language (ESOL). She currently works as a variable hours teacher at the City of Oxford College of Further Education and also writes teaching materials for English as a Second Language. She is particularly interested in how research into the psychology of learning can suggest ways to improve outcomes for learners.

Fridolin Wild

Fridolin is local to Oxford, living with his partner Katerina and their three kids in the nappy valley of Cowley, close to the school. He is a Senior Research Fellow of the technical university of Oxford, Oxford Brookes, and Director of the Performance Augmentation Lab, which investigates, how wearable technology can be used to benefit society to learn, train, and work better. He graduated at the University of Regensburg, Germany, then joined the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria for five years, later the Knowledge Media Institute of the Open University of the UK for seven, before opening his own lab at Brookes. He secretly paints, loves publishing, and plays piano with more enthusiasm then skill.


Clerk – Mariana Scolaro


Schedule of Meetings for FGB 2018-2019

Date Room Time
25th September 2018 Room H1 4:30pm
6th November 2018 Library 4:30pm
17th January 2019 Library 4:30pm
8th May 2019 Library 4:30pm
3rd July 2019 Library 4:30pm