Board Members

Dr Roger White OBE
Chair of SWBCLT Board
I have been involved with community initiatives in BS3 since the early 1980s (when I helped run a number of Job Creation projects in the Old Robinson Building) and my wife (Christine Gray) ran Movement Magic classes for pre-school groups in the Southville Centre until the early 1990s. Our three children all attended Ashton Park School and I took on the role of Chair of Governors in 1999. At the time I was a lecturer in education at UWE, before becoming Chief Executive of ASDAN (a curriculum development and examinations organisation based in Bristol). Having retired as CEO of ASDAN, I am now able to devote more time to the Learning Co-operative.

I look forward to working with the talented and enthusiastic team of people involved to develop a whole range of exciting and rewarding experiences (such as the Handfuls of Harmony community choir project), which will benefit young people and their families in the Greater Bedminster area of Bristol – and will engage staff in the four member schools as well as from within the partner organisations represented on the Trust Board. To illustrate the maxim that “it is never too late to learn”, I have recently qualified as a Paraglider pilot, and am learning how to drop gently to the ground from a great height – always a useful skill!

Nick John
Headteacher, Ashton Park School
I have worked at Ashton Park school since 2003 as Assistant, Deputy and now Head​teacher.

What attracted me to the school and remains a driving motivational force is the sense of community both within Ashton Park and across the Learning Co-operative.

I am committed to work with our partner schools to ensure all young people in our community have the best possible opportunities to succeed. I believe that schools achieve this best by developing effective partnerships, sharing resources and working in collaboration together.

It is crucial that the Learning Co-operative is at the heart of the community and that parents, students and partners have a clear voice and involvement so they can help it move forward.

I look forward to working with you all.

James Hollis
Headteacher, Ashton Vale Primary School
Jennifer Smith
Chair of Governors, Ashton Vale Primary School
I have lived in Ashton Vale for most of my life and was a pupil at both Ashton Vale Primary and Ashton Park schools when they first opened their doors many years ago.

After spending some years at home looking after my husband and two sons, I worked in a residential children’s home working with children who were unfortunate to be in the care system. After several years I transferred to community work as a welfare officer and a further move to occupational therapy took me up to my retirement.

I became a School Governor at Ashton Vale and now have the privilege of being Chair of Governors. It is an interesting and busy job but it is one of the most rewarding.


Andrea Becker-Ginster
Chair of Governors, Compass Point
Michael Pengelly
Regional Operations Manager, The Co-operative Food
I am the Regional Operations Manager for The Co-operative Food business in Bristol. I live in Cardiff and have two children aged 2 and 6 yrs. I became a Co-operative Trust partner on behalf of The Co-operative Food business in Bristol over two years ago. It’s really helped me develop links with the local community which is an important part of the Co-operative’s values and principles. Interests include music and sport and I am a season ticket holder at Cardiff City Football club!


Susan Hughes
Associate Head of the Department of Education, University of the West of England
I moved from Coventry to Bristol in 1985 to begin my teacher education. My first post was in South Bristol: an experience which gave me an enduring affection for this vibrant part of the city. I moved out of the classroom to join Wiltshire’s advisory service before moving into initial teacher education first as course leader for KS2/3 English at Bath Spa then PGCE programme leader at the University of the West of England.

I am now Associate Head of the Department of Education at UWE, chair of our partnership steering group and responsible for developing educational collaborations within the university and across our partnership. I am also regional network coordinator for the Cambridge Primary Review Trust working with colleagues regionally and nationally to promote and secure a broad and rich curriculum for all children.


Ingrid Skeels
Community Representative
I am one of two community representatives on the Trust Board. I have two teenagers at Ashton Park School and I have been active in the local community since they were babies. I also work for Playing Out and Room 13 Hareclive, two south Bristol projects to do with children and creative learning / play, and I have written a children’s story and blog:
Tom Monks
Bristol Sport Foundation