FCAT Board of Directors

Chair: John Boyle

John’s initial career was in a Clearing Bank, coming to the Fylde Coast 28 years ago as an Area Manager. John has much experience in Finance, Accounting and Commercial Legal matters and of Corporate Governance. John has been a governor of Blackpool Sixth Form College for 12 years, latterly acting as Chair. He is a Chartered Associate of the Institute of Financial Services, a Justice of the Peace and a National Leader of Governance (“NLG”).



Director: Tony Nicholson

A National Leader of Education (“NLE”) and Executive Principal of Hodgson Academy, Tony has worked as a School Improvement Partner, as a National Challenge Adviser and an adviser to Headteachers through the Gaining Ground initiative. Hodgson Academy has held a specialism for school improvement work through the raising Attainment Transforming Learning route and holds designation as a SSAT Advanced Consultant School.

Director: Mark Gutteridge

Currently Business Director of Community Futures, a Third Sector infrastructure organisation, and with over 15 years of experience as a Governor covering Early Years, Primary and Secondary Education, Mark is now Chair of the Academy Council for Unity Academy Blackpool.

Director: Jill Gray

Currently Principal of The Blackpool Sixth Form College having been in post-16 education for over 20 years, Jill originally trained in hospitality management, having visions of managing hotels worldwide. 

In 1994 her career took an unexpected turn when she entered the world of education initially as a teacher of tourism and hospitality before moving into middle management in 1998 and senior management in 2008.

Director: Alana Frith

Alana has lived in Blackpool since she was four and been happily married now for 42 years with two sons and three granddaughters. She is an experienced Leadership Development Consultant and qualified and experienced coach used to working across all sectors at board and executive levels, to facilitate improvements in the structural and behavioural aspects of strategic leadership and governance.

Director: Graham Mawdsley

Graham was born and raised in Blackpool and spent the majority of his career working in the further education sector.

A product of vocational education, he started his career with an apprenticeship in electrical engineering ahead of undertaking teaching qualifications and commencing work in further education. Through the Open University he gained his degree in Leadership and Management and, in 2005, he began work in offender learning, focussing on Business and Information Technology.

He currently works as Head of Education for Novus, a social enterprise organisation working with offenders to improve their life chances. He is married and a keen advocate of life long learning.



Director: Sarah Molloy

Sarah has lived in Blackpool for nearly 40 years and been a local business owner for the past ten, working at the heart of her community with her husband.   She has three children and was also a foster carer, looking after children in Blackpool for four years. 

Sarah is a strong believer that every child should have the opportunity to have an excellent education and the chance to be the best they can be, which led her to become a school governor in two local schools, and subsequently to become involved with the Fylde Coast Academy Trust.


Director: Lisa Knowles


Lisa has lived in Hambleton for 30 years. She has two children and runs a local business in the community.
She is passionate about local children's education and improving access to education for children of all abilities. Recently, she has taken up the post of Chair at Hambleton Primary Academy Council, after serving 4 years as Vice Chair there.

Director: Joel Arber


Joel is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations) at the University of Central Lancashire, an organization he joined as Director of Marketing and Communications in 2010. A passionate strategic marketer, communications expert and senior leader, Joel has spent his career working in marketing roles and at advertising agencies across a wide range of clients, including Marks and Spencer, Rolls-Royce, the Open University and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Joel has been a governor at Cockerham Parochial CE Primary School since 2012, taking up the Chair in 2014. He is also a director of Marketing Lancashire.












































































Fylde Coast Academy Trust - Register of Interests

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