Caroline Down, Principal and Governor

Caroline has been a teacher for 25 years and was part of the school leadership team that enabled St George Community College to convert into the City Academy Bristol in 2003. This academy was the first of its kind to open in the South West of England.

At City Academy Bristol, Caroline set up alternative provision and, under the leadership team that she was a part of, the academy became a Bristol City Council accredited alternative education provider.

Caroline spent 18 years as the Senior Vice Principal and Acting Principal of City Academy Bristol before being appointed as the first principal of the new Bristol Futures Academy, which will opens September 2016.

Caroline’s teaching background is in mathematics and she is passionately committed to improving education in Bristol.

Jacqui Ford, Governor

Jacqui is Chief Executive of the Inspirational Futures Trust and Vice Principal for Partnerships and Community for the Trust’s sponsor, Weston College.

Jacqui has led teams at various levels for the NHS and is a highly-experienced teacher, having worked across curriculum areas from entry level right through to degree level.

Jacqui has delivered both regional and national systems of support for students with learning difficulties and disabilities, and has taken the lead in setting up further education programmes and courses for 400 full and part-time Key Stage 4 students (years 10 and 11).

Currently, Jacqui is arranging collaborations with local schools, the local authority, employers and universities, and has been helping to develop new models of learning.

Jacqui has also championed the STEM agenda through leading and successfully delivering the North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College project, a brand new 14-19 school free school in Weston-super-Mare.

Sadia Anderson, Governor

After leaving school Sadia found herself wanting a career in youth work within a formal educational setting. She did not let having two children hold her back and secured a place at university within teaching.

Sadia has worked for several youth groups, and volunteered at Baggator Youth Club, Firstborn and Felix Road Adventure Playground.

Sadia is furthering her career by attending an additional university course in computer science; the subject that she wishes to teach.

Sadia is a motivated individual who now has the professional tools to support and educate the future generation. Sadia strongly believes in putting young people at the heart of her work and promoting their needs.

Paul Taylor, Governor

Paul is the Sports Development and Performance Manager at the Inspirational Future Trust’s sponsor, Weston College.

Paul has developed both elite and enrichment sport throughout the College and the Trust including working with LDD students and inclusive community programmes.

Paul is passionate about education, business and sport. He is a Level 4 UEFA A Licence Football Coach and has previously worked for Bristol City Football Club, heading up the Community and Academy.

Paul initiated, created and managed the first Study Support Centre and Centre of Excellence for Girls in the South West.

Paul has also coached County, Regional and National Teams for The Football Association, West Bromwich Albion and Association of Colleges.

Jane Taylor, Governor

Jane has been the Service Manager (Employment, Skills and Learning) for Bristol City Council since 2002.

In 2011, Jane led the development of Community Learning West – a consortium of local authority community learning services in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. This formed the basis of one of the 15 national pilot Community Learning Trusts through a wider partnership with local further education colleges and more than 100 partners.

Jane has worked in the community education field for more than 25 years, working with the most excluded communities to address inequality and improve social and economic prospects through informal learning.

Jane is a volunteer ‘independent visitor’ and buddy for a young person in care and a volunteer for the Cinnamon Trust, which includes dog-walking and cat-fostering.

Ben Tucker, Governor

Ben is currently the Senior Assistant Principal at the City Academy Bristol, where he is responsible for curriculum, standards and raising attainment. He is also responsible for the line management of English and maths.

Ben has taught at the City Academy for 16 years, since its opening and at its predecessor, St George Community College.

Ben also worked for the Bristol Cathedral School Senior Leadership Team for one year, establishing a vocational curriculum.

Ben is a father of three children and is passionately committed to the education of all children and in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Ben has particular expertise in using data to inform teaching and whole-school strategies as well as raising attainment strategies.

Hayden Southon, Governor

Hayden is currently Deputy Headteacher at St Katherine’s School, in Pill.

Hayden has worked in education for 19 years in a variety of teaching roles including 10 years as a senior manager in two schools in the South West.

Hayden has considerable educational experience in pastoral care, special educational needs, online safety, child protection and alternative provision.

He also has extensive knowledge of alternative provision and governance due to his role as Governor of a pupil referral unit in North Somerset for the past 6 years.

Asher Craig, Governor

Asher has more than 30 years of experience working and volunteering in areas of race equality, education, community development and the socioeconomic development of disenfranchised and disadvantaged communities.

Asher’s experience is extensive and wide ranging but she has particular experience working with black and ethnic minority communities.

Asher has led successful organisations and partnerships both in Bristol and nationally, including in her roles as Chair of the Bristol Regeneration Partnership (pre-cursor to the Local Strategic Partnership) and Black Development Agency, Co-Chair of the National Primary and Care Trust Development Programme. Asher has also been a member of a several government task forces.

Asher was the project consultant in the development of Bristol Futures Academy. She has recently been elected as a Councillor on Bristol City Council.

In addition Asher has a number of current volunteer roles including Chair of the Race Equality in Education Steering Group for Bristol City Council, Trustee at National Qualifications Awarding Body, ASDAN, and Skills and Education Group and she is a member of the Strategy and Innovation Committee, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital CIC.

Val Rowles, Governor

Val retired in March 2015 having worked in education for 24 years. She has a background as an English teacher and she was Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at Bedminster Down School before rising to Assistant Head Teacher with responsibility for behaviour, safety and attendance.

Val was Chair of the city’s Fair Access Panel for four years, and was seconded to the role of Acting Head Teacher of Lansdown Park in 2014. Val is particularly interested in alternative provision for students who for whatever reason find mainstream school difficult, and while at Bedminster Down School set up its offsite provision called The Lamp.

Val herself was educated in South Bristol and has previously been a governor at two outstanding Bristol primary schools.

Since retirement, Val is able to spend more time with her grandchildren and loves to travel.


For further information about the Inspirational Futures Trust, including its Governing body, please click here.

Inspirational Futures Trust
Weston College Group