Meet our Governors

Who are the Holbrook Academy Governors?

We have sought out a broad range of experiences, skills and talents to create a governing body which we feel best supports Holbrook’s mission and vision.

Helen Butler,  Chair of Governors

Helen is Chair of Governors and Chair of the Quality & Monitoring Committee. She has three children, all of whom attend or previously attended Holbrook Academy. Prior to becoming a governor at Holbrook, she served as a governor at an outstanding primary school as Chair of Quality and Monitoring Committee.

Helen moved to Suffolk over 20 year ago from Manchester to start her career as a graduate with BT and loved the area so much that she settled here with her family.  Helen currently works for Openreach as a Business Transformation Manager, specialising in Technical Release Management, Change Control and Financial Management. Helen also has extensive experience in Business Change Management, Contention Management and Annual Financial Planning.

Helen has a degree in Geography and professional qualifications in Project and Programme Management. In her spare time Helen loves to read, socialise with friends and go to the beach.

Nicky Cordle, Chair of Finance & Personnel Committee.

Nicky is a Parent Governor and Chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee. She has three children, with her middle child currently attending the Academy. Prior to becoming a governor at Holbrook, she served as a governor at one of the Academy’s feeder primary schools and on the committee of a local playgroup.

Nicky is a chartered accountant and runs a local accountancy practice and in previous roles has undertaken many educational financial audits. She uses this financial knowledge and experience in her role as a governor.

Nicky lives in Chelmondiston and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, swimming, socialising with friends and helping community projects.

Pete Sago

Pete Sago is a Parent Governor working primarily with the Quality & Monitoring committee but also supports the Finance & Personnel committee.   He is originally from Bramford and moved to the Shotley Peninsula over 20 years ago.

He had brief had careers in accountancy and IT, before joining the local ambulance service in 2002 where he qualified as a Paramedic.  He worked initially on front line ambulances and also as a  paramedic educator, before becoming a Critical Care Paramedic with the local air ambulance services.   Pete now works within Emergency Medicine at Ipswich Hospital managing the clinical care of patients and also working within medical education delivering advanced life support training and simulation training to a wide range of clinicians.

Outside of work Pete keeps active with cycling, gardening and bee-keeping.  He enjoys time spent outdoors and is a keen supporter of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme having undertaken the similar Queen’s Scout Award whilst an active member of the Scout Association in his youth.

Pete has three children with his partner Lisa (two whom currently attend Holbrook and one who completed her GCSE’s at Holbrook last summer).  Prior to becoming a Holbrook governor he had held the post as chair of a local nursery/playgroup which was rated as Outstanding during that time.

Martin Slattery

Martin is a Community Governor. He is now retired after a professional career spanning some 40 years in teaching and education in schools and colleges in Liverpool, Essex & Suffolk, culminating in 11 years as Principal of Bilborough Sixth Form College in Nottingham and two years as Director of High Pavement SFC in the City centre. Martin knows Suffolk well as Director of the Federated Sixth Form in Felixstowe in the 1980s, and more recently as Strategy Manager for the County’s 14-19 programme in the period 2007 – 2010. This post involved developing the County’s 14-19 curriculum with its 35 secondary schools and 4 FE colleges and creating the two new post-16 institutions in Suffolk – Suffolk One in Ipswich and the Sixth Form college in Lowestoft – to raise attainment and aspiration across the county. Martin is married with two children, two step children and five grandchildren, one of whom attended Holbrook Academy. He is currently completing a substantive publication on Ageing in the 21st Century and travelling with his wife, (outside the school holidays) to such faraway places as Vietnam, Cambodia and, hopefully, South America.

Sophie Spiers

Sophie is a Parent Governor and sits on the Finance and Personnel Committee. She has two children, one currently at Holbrook Academy and one a former pupil. Previously, she has served as Vice-Chair of Governors for one of the Holbrook Academy feeder primary schools, and before that Secretary of a local playgroup. Sophie has many years’ experience working across departments for small start-up companies, and currently is employed as Head of Operations for a technology company working within the travel industry. She also volunteers for a Suffolk-based social enterprise that helps families that are living in crisis.

Anna Sterling

Anna has been a teacher for over 23 years, and 20 of those years have been spent teaching on the Shotley Peninsula at a local feeder school, Shotley Community Primary. She has a daughter at Holbrook Academy, and her son will be joining soon. Anna has undertaken many different roles in her career, including that of staff governor, and has been part of the senior leadership team since 2006. She was SENCO for 14 years, and has a Postgraduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs. She is currently the Curriculum Lead and has been leading the development of a new curriculum for her school. She is also English and Oracy Lead, PE, Art, DT and Key Stage 2 Lead and is completing a NPQSL with a focus on vocabulary. She has been involved in various projects with external agencies including the County Advisory Service, and she is currently working with Marcelo Staricoff and the Joy of Not Knowing (JONK) to embed thinking skills into her school. She has also been a mentor with SCITT, and she is now working with the new induction training for ECTs. Anna’s particular interest is in the pedagogy of teaching and learning and is a part of the Quality and Monitoring Committee. Anna enjoys keeping active, spending time with her family and her dog, and she lives in Chelmondiston.

Dan Thomas                                                                                                                       

Dan is originally from Capel St Mary, and moved to London to study (BA Graphic Design from Middlesex University) and start a career in graphic design; first with Getty Images, then for ten years as an Associate at Conran & Partners (Sir Terence Conran’s architecture and design practice). There he worked on branding for many projects including the opening of the Bluebird ‘gastrodrome’ in Chelsea; the re-opening of the Great Eastern Hotel, at Liverpool Street Station; Roppongi Hills development in Tokyo; and the launch of Uniqlo in the UK. He moved back to Suffolk, to Holbrook, in 2005 where he and his wife, Lisa, an art director, established their own graphic design studio, Come Hither Design, in 2008. Their extensive client list includes Nespresso, PizzaExpress, The Galley Woodbridge, and Ipswich’s SPILL festival of performance. Come Hither Design have also helped with the marketing of The Alton Water Run. They have two children, both of whom attended the Academy. When the children were at Holbrook Primary School, Dan was Chair of the school’s PSA for over three years where he built the infamous Gunge Gallows and hosted numerous pub quizzes to raise funds for the school. He and Lisa are both season ticket holders at Ipswich Town and in his spare time he enjoys building props and costumes for his children and playing Ultimate Frisbee at Holbrook Sports Centre on Thursday nights.


The Holbrook Academy Staff Representatives are:

Matt Le Marrec

Charles Allen