We have a growing central team who will work closely with our Academies, offering a range of support services and advice.

 

Central Services Team

Steve Mitchell

Steve Mitchell

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Headteacher of Parklands High School

I started my career in education over 20 years ago as a teacher of German and Russian in an 11 - 18 high school in Cumbria. I led the Modern Languages Department for several years before moving to Parklands High School in September 2009, when I was originally appointed as Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for the Language College, and later secured promotion to Deputy Headteacher for Achievement, working alongside the Deputy Headteacher for Teaching & Learning. In September 2018 I became headteacher of Parklands and, in collaboration with my dedicated colleagues and governors, continued to ensure Parklands went from strength to strength. I have experience of implementing a variety of initiatives to improve outcomes and have a track record of successfully managing underperformance of both departments and individuals, which has positively impacted the school community. I am passionate about providing a holistic approach to education and firmly believe in supporting our local community. In February 2023 we received approval from the Department for Education to form our own multi-academy trust, Aspirational Futures, which I am privileged to be able to lead as Chief Executive Officer, and in autumn 2023 I successfully passed the National Professional Qualification in Executive Leadership.

ceo@aspirationalfutures.co.uk

Michelle Curtis

Michelle Curtis

Chief Financial Officer

I previously worked in the democratic services sector before my career change to school business and finance. I have over 12 years experience in the role of School Business Manager within a variety of educational settings, including primary, secondary and a 16-19 free school. I have been employed in both maintained (primary and secondary) and academy structures (3 SAT's and 2 MAT's). In addition to my role as Chief Financial Officer I also support other schools outside of the MAT with all aspects of school business management. In all of my roles I have led and managed the financial and business aspects of the school. I am passionate and committed in ensuring resources are available to support students in fulfilling their potential. I have undertaken the Level 4, 5 & 6 Diplomas in School Business Management; attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Studies and a Masters Degree in Senior Leadership. I hold the Certificate in Financial Reporting for Academies, and I am currently working towards an ICAEW accountancy qualification. My hobbies and interests outside of work are quite varied and are a combination of group activities and individual pursuits. Activities I like participating in with others include country walks with our three dogs; cycling and watching Manchester City. Individual interests I enjoy are baking, upcycling furniture and producing driftwood art.

cfo@aspirationalfutures.co.uk

Carol Slater

Carol Slater

Chief Operations Officer

I have worked in management roles within Education since 1992 and most recently was employed at Parklands High School for over 20 years as part of the Senior Leadership Team with responsibility for 25 support staff within 5 departments; cleaning, site, catering, IT network and reprographics. My main responsibilities included Health & Safety, premises and projects, together with management responsibility for the school IT, reprographics departments and the catering and cleaning teams. I am certified in IOSH Managing Safety for School Site Managers, Asbestos Management, Safeguarding, Safer Recruitment, Moving and Handling, Fire Prevention, Fire Warden/Marshall, Fire Safety for Schools, COSHH, Lone Working, Manual Handling, Food Allergy Awareness and Anaphylaxis and have a Higher National Certificate in Business Information Technology. I am currently mid way through a Postgraduate Level 7 (Masters degree) in Project Management which I hope to complete by July 2024. As Chief Operations Officer for Aspirational Futures I look forward to supporting both primary and secondary school staff and pupils through the many journeys and challenges we face together. Outside of work my passion is to spend time with my family which includes 2 Daughters, 1 Son and 3 Grandchildren. My family members are split between the UK and New Zealand and I enjoy spending time on opposite sides of the world with them. My hobbies include playing the FlugelHorn and going to concerts and the theatre…and buying handbags!

coo@aspirationalfutures.co.uk

Vicky Calvert

Vicky Calvert

Human Resources Manager

I have worked at Parklands since September 2009 having had 20 years working in banking in various branch and managerial roles. My first role was as the exams officer then I moved into Human Resources and Payroll following the school's conversion to Academy status in 2012. I completed my L3 Associate CIPD qualification in 2015 and since then have been on various training and development roles, am currently working my way through the ACAS training suite and regularly attend employment law workshops to keep my knowledge current. I am a member of the Confederation of School Trusts and the Academy HR Managers Network. I have been involved in investigations, disciplinary meetings, capability meetings and TUPE transfers. I have had mediation training and provide advice and support to managers dealing with these issues and more. I am responsible for recruitment and new employment contracts, co-ordinating payroll, TUPE, policy management, staff absence management and general HR provision. I am currently working on a project to introduce a new online recruitment platform and an online HR system to ensure a smooth HR service provision to all the schools in the Trust and I also have a keen interest in employee well-being and mental health and it’s link to absence levels and staff retention. Outside of work I enjoy travelling, interior design, the gym and generally being active. I have just worked with a landscape contractor and re-designed my garden and am really excited to see that come to life over the next few months.

hr@aspirationalfutures.co.uk

Alan Dowsing

Alan Dowsing

Trust Network Manager

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, as well as a Master's Degree in Computer Networking. I previously worked for Lancashire County Council in educational IT support for 5 years, before moving on to Parklands High School where I was Network Manager for 7 years. I have experience in designing, implementing, and supporting computer networks in schools, and all the various devices that go with it. I am very aware of the role IT Services play within education, and the importance of my position within that. I am also accustomed to providing technical support to all ranges of user types, in many different environments, and have honed these skills over many years. Outside of work I enjoy running, and following my beloved Blackpool FC.

it@aspirationalfutures.co.uk