Great Sankey High School is led by a Board of Governors, a Headteacher and a Senior Leadership Team.
Each individual has been chosen on the basis of their experience and expertise, as well as their commitment to achieving the very best results for Great Sankey High School. Together, members of the Board of Governors for GSHS along with the MAT Trustees develop policies and strategies for implementation by the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team.


Board Of Governors

John Shannon

Headteacher, Staff Governor

Appointment to the board: Appointed as Headteacher on 1st September 2019

Career Experience: Before becoming a teacher, John spent three years in finance. Having graduated with a first-class honours degree, he has taught in six schools across the country and led four of them. His MBA in Educational Management included projects on dynamic school cultures, social inclusion and transforming schools by empowering staff.  John is research driven and his passion is focussing relentlessly on quality first teaching alongside delivering a curriculum that not only prepares young people but also inspires them for their futures.

Skills and Experience: John is an LLE, a former school improvement partner and has been fortunate to speak at events regionally, nationally and internationally. Ofsted stated that: his ‘inspirational leadership has created a culture of high expectations, underpinning strong improvement in students’ achievement’, he is ‘dynamic, creative and principled.  He is an ‘energetic presence around the school, and nothing escapes him.’ and that he has ‘recognised and encouraged the talents of leaders and teachers.’ Along with an array of awards for the schools he has led, most recently he received a personal letter of congratulations from the National Schools Commissioner on his former school’s results and his and his staffs’ work in transforming the school.

Danielle Preston

Chair, Co-Opted Governor

Appointment to the board: Joined the Governing Body as an Associate Governor in October 2017 and was appointed as a Co-Opted Governor in January 2018. Appointed as Chair of the Remuneration committee in September 2018, as Vice-Chair of the Governing Body in September 2019, and as Chair in September 2020.

Career Experience: After leaving Great Sankey High School & Barrow Hall College, Danielle continued her studies and obtained a BA (hons) in Advertising Design from The University of Salford. Since graduating, Danielle has gained experience carrying out business development and account management roles in several multinational companies, and now works at Anixter, a global supply chain and distribution company as Contract Director, responsible for the management and governance of key Defence contracts.

Skills and Experience: Working in account management, Danielle is skilled in negotiation and strategic relationship management with a focus on contract governance, business planning and implementation/execution of improvement plans. She also holds experience in project management and sales and marketing.

John Morris

Vice Chair, Co-opted Governor

Appointment to the board: Joined the Governing Body in 1997, appointed as Vice Chair in September 2020.

Career Experience: John is an experienced solicitor now specialising in criminal law and therefore brings a wealth of legal expertise to the Governing Body.

Skills and Experience: John is an Alderman of Warrington Borough Council and was in charge of finances at Warrington for a number of years. He was also the Councillor for Whittle Hall ward for eleven years, and Chair of the Scrutiny Committee at Warrington Borough council which held the Executive of Warrington Borough Council along with the other Stakeholders to account.

Michael Platt

Safeguarding Lead, Co-opted Governor

Appointment to the board: Joined the Governing Body in November 2013 initially as a Parent Governor and appointed as Safeguarding Lead Governor in July 2015.

Career Experience: Michael spent 30 years as a full-time secondary education teacher in Lancashire and a further 5 years as a supply teacher in various schools.

Skills and Experience: Now retired, Michael can devote the necessary time required for his role as a governor, and can relate to both parents and teachers, having experience of both roles. From his extensive experience working in education, Michael brings a good understanding of the way schools work to the board.

Jude Ankers

SEND Lead, Co-opted Governor

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body in June 2013 and appointed as SEND Lead Governor in 2017.

Career Experience: Joined University of Liverpool as Head of Postgraduate Admissions in May 2007 responsible for a team of admissions officers processing applications for study at the University. In 2012 after an Admissions realignment, was appointed as Head of International and EU Admissions, managing a large team of staff dealing with all areas of admissions including enquiries and involvement in School visits. Jude was appointed as Associate Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions and Widening Participation in 2018 and is now responsible for driving the Admissions strategy at University of Liverpool forward.

Skills and Experience: With over 17 year’s experience working in Higher Education and specifically in Admissions, Jude has worked closely with young people throughout her career. As a previous student at Great Sankey High School, Jude has always taken a keen interest in the School and the local Community.  Part of Jude’s role is to work closely with applicants and Schools to ensure that students’ progress to the right programme and supporting them in preparing for their future career.

David McClelland

Co-opted Governor

Appointment to the board: Joined the Governing Body in December 2015 and previously held the role of Chair of Finance and Resources committee from February 2016.

Career Experience: David left Great Sankey High School, as a student, in 1993 embarking on a career of supporting businesses in a variety of roles. Starting on an IT support trainee programme with the BBC and then later moving on to support a local government organisation which became privatised in 1995.  He has held a number of posts including System and Helpdesk support for a global cinema chain, and business support for a regional waste disposal company, before joining a family logistics business in 2000 (gaining an Institute of Directors Certificate in Company Direction). In 2012, David carried out an acquisition of a logistics business, which in 2018 was acquired itself, and David is now employed by that organisation as a Business Support and Project Manager.

Skills and Experience: With over 26 years of business experience gained in a variety of organisations within the corporate area from SME to global brands, David brings to the board a vast range of knowledge and practical experience in a variety of business areas including IT, Finance, HR and Business Administration.  He is a valued support to the school from which advice and knowledge can obtained; whilst still being an effective ‘critical friend’ of the school.

Stuart Ryder

Co-opted Governor

Appointment to the board: Joined the Governing Body in May 2016.

Career Experience: After leaving Great Sankey High School and Barrow Hall College, Stuart went on to gain a BA (Hons) in accounting from the University of Wales before embarking on a career as a practice accountant and becoming a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. After 15 years, the majority of which were spent as a senior manager, at a medium sized practice in Cheshire, Stuart decided in 2012 that the time was right to set up his own practice to provide a more people-orientated approach to the provision of accountancy and taxation services.

Skills and Experience: With over 20 years working in the accounting profession, Stuart has a broad knowledge and understanding of the financial aspects of operating an organisation as well as being able to appraise the financial reports presented.

Caroline Aspey

Parent Governor

Appointment to the board: Joined the Governing Body in March 2018 as a Parent Governor. Caroline’s daughter is currently a pupil at Great Sankey High School

Career Experience: Qualified as an Accountant in 2001 and since then has worked for a number of large Global companies such as ICI and Ineos Fluor in the Finance Department. Caroline now works for Hepworth Acoustics Ltd as a Management Accountant, which is a Noise Consultancy Company mainly working with Housing Companies and Local Authorities.

Skills and Experience: Worked for a number of years as an Accountant producing month and year end accounts. Developing cashflow forecasting models and rolling them out to employees. As a manager, she is also used to dealing with personnel issues, negotiation and staff development. Considerable experience in budgets, payroll and working with Management and Consultants in a variety of roles.

Malcolm Macintosh

Parent Governor

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body in March 2018.

Career Experience: After leaving school, Malcolm completed a five-year general engineering apprenticeship. Promoted to various management positions and during this time gained a post graduate diploma in manufacturing engineering at GEC Dunchurch College. Appointed as Managing Director in January 1990 until he retired in October 2013, having completed 46 years’ service with the same company.

Skills and Experience: Managing three engineering companies as the Managing Director for 23 years, Malcolm gained experience in accounting, sales and marketing, quality control and human resources, and has the ability to prepare detailed yearly budgets. He also reported monthly profit and loss accounts and prepared five-year business plans and presented them to the main board.

Kieran Doyle

Staff Governor

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body in November 2020.

Career Experience: Kieran has been teaching for 10 years with his primary subject being History. He also has experience teaching RS, Geography, Maths and English. Of those 10 years, 4 were as Head of the History Department and 1 was as Assistant Director of learning of the EBACC faculty. Kieran is currently Head of Newton House at GSHS. Over the last two years, he has also taken up a role as a Teacher Educator, combining his teaching responsibilities alongside supporting new staff in their teaching careers. 

Skills and Experience: Being a History teacher, Kieran believes the most effective skill the subject gives is the ability to take on lots of information and the ability to deliver it in a concise and efficient manner. He thinks this skill is vital in being able to listen to several contrasting view points and feed the information in an accurate and fair way. Kieran has several years' experience as being a rugby union coach, volunteering with the youth section at the Vale of Lune rugby club and in a paid role as Head Coach at Lancaster University. These experiences have developed his communication and delivery skills, with up to 90 students attending sessions at the university. He has also coached teams at the schools he has worked at, and pre lockdown had started to support the year 9s rugby league side at GSHS. Having had experience as a middle leader in both academic and pastoral roles, it has allowed him to see a wide range of the pressures that staff in the school are faced with.