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Thomas Deacon Education Trust

Each of our seven academies has its own Academy Committee, which is made up of parents, staff and members of the community.

By volunteering as an Academy Committee Member you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference to children’s education by working closely with our academy leadership teams, helping to set our vision and strategic direction, monitoring and supporting learning, and challenging your academy to continuously improve.  Our Academy Committees meet six times a year and Members are invited to all staff conferences. 

As well as giving back to the community, being an Academy Committee Member provides opportunities to progress your own skills. All our Academy Committee Members receive ongoing support as well as opportunities for professional development. We also offer benefits, such as:

Although some corporate or professional experience would be beneficial, you don’t need previous experience in education to become an Academy Committee Member. Overall, the role is a unique experience to work with our wonderful academy teams and children, give something back to the community and further progress your own skills.

Are you interested in becoming an Academy Committee Member? If so, please click to submit your details and a member of our Governance team will contact you.

Alternatively, you can email TDET Governance and Compliance Manager, Andrea Richards, at for more information.


Find out about the experiences of some of our Academy Committee Members

Kirsty Freedon, Academy Committee Member at Thomas Deacon Academy

“I first became interested in becoming an Academy Committee Member at Thomas Deacon Academy (TDA) when my daughter was in Year 7.  I felt like I wanted to understand her school more, and because she joined during Covid it was a strange start for all the students.  

“I’ve been involved for two years now and have found the role very rewarding. I currently work at Queen Katharine Academy, another TDET academy, as a teacher, head of department and ECT coordinator. I have learned so much from working on TDA’s Academy Committee. I’ve been involved in permanent exclusion hearings, where we have to check the school policies have been followed and that any opportunities to avoid exclusion have not been missed. 

“I’ve also attended several visits to review behaviour, teaching and learning, and SEN. It’s given me a greater insight into how a school operates, how it’s evaluated and how it ensures it’s meeting the needs of all its pupils.    

“From a personal view, it has been an excellent form of CPD for me. Sometimes I’ve had to ask difficult questions and challenge, which is the role of the Committee, but Members should also support the staff and students. I went to school in Peterborough, and both my children go to TDA, so making a small contribution to the quality of education of students there is very important to me.”    



Jack Ashby, Chair of Academy Committee at Upwood Primary Academy

"I became involved in the Academy Committee at Upwood Primary Academy after seeing a post on Facebook asking for volunteers.

"I began as an Academy Committee Member in March 2023 and became Chair of the Committee in January 2024.

"I’m a Chartered Accountant by trade, so while not entirely relevant for the Committee I bring a wealth of business expertise. Being a Chartered Accountant has exposed me to lots of levels of governance as well as strategy. With my work I’m analytical in nature and believe that I provide sufficient challenge to the school’s leadership.

"Running a school is hard. As a parent, you get one perspective, that of your child/children. However, once you come across to the other side of the school gates, you see that a significant amount of work goes into making sure that all children are looked after, and not just your own. Whether that be additional educational support, safeguarding or special education needs, teachers and support staff are responsible for all of this. Despite saying how hard it is, what I love about the profession is the continued passion and support teachers show to pupils on a daily basis.

"Both my parents had served as board members of school governance as I was growing up in New Zealand. Being from a small suburban school, I saw the positive impact it had on them, allowing my parents to have a sense of community, purpose and belonging. Being from New Zealand I saw this as an opportunity to make enduring relationships with people in the community and surrounding villages. I also see it as my way of giving back. I recognise the effort the teachers, support staff and volunteers put into my children’s education and development and serving on the Academy Committee allows me to do this in a commitment that works around my busy schedule."