Members of the Trust

Photo For Sue Thornton Member Section

Sue Thornton – Chair of Members

I am proud to be the Chair of Members of the Raleigh Learning Trust having had a long association with all of the Schools that are a part of the Organisation.

I became involved in School Governance in 2003 following a career in the NHS. I joined the Governing Body of the then Ambleside Junior and became Chair of Governors in 2005, leading the amalgamation of the Junior and Infant schools to become the Ambleside Primary School.

During my tenure as Chair of the Primary School I was asked to Chair an Independent Monitoring Board for Woodlands School and, subsequently, became substantive Chair of Woodlands and ultimately the newly formed Westbury Woodlands Federation.

My connections with Denewood and Unity come through a period serving on the Management Committee.

In March 2012 I became one of the first School Governors to become a National Leader of Governance and, in that role, I engaged with other Chairs of Governors who required support.

I ‘retired’ from School Governance and pursued other volunteering opportunities in 2015 but was pleased to be asked join what was to become the Raleigh Learning Trust during its formation.

In 2019 the Trust has become an innovative, well-established force for progress in Nottingham City and now faces new challenges under new leadership. I look forward to continuing my association with all the wonderful, dedicated staff who work tirelessly for our pupils and, if you are reading this because you may be interested in supporting our work as a Member of the Trust, please contact me through any of our schools.

Peter Brown – Member

I grew up in Birmingham and attended St Thomas Aquinas Grammar School from 1966 to 1973. I graduated from the University of Kent in 1977 and took my PGCE at Sheffield University in 1979. I was awarded a part-time MA from the University of York in 1996. 

I retired as Headteacher of Top Valley Academy, Nottingham, in 2015, after 14 years in post and 36 years as a teacher. I worked for two years as Trust Director of the Central College Academy Trust before fully retiring in 2017.

Over the years I have acquired extensive experience  of working with governing bodies and trustees.

As a Trust Member I am totally committed to securing positive outcomes and experiences for students whatever their backgrounds and life-circumstances.

Mario Vignali – Member Trustee

I Work for the Sytner Group and have done for the last 25 years. My role is Managing Director for Graypaul Ferrari and Maserati & Franchise Director for Ferrari and Maserati for the group.

This covers four sites: Scotland, Nottingham, Birmingham and Surrey with a total of around 350 team members.

This has been led by me over the 25 years with a dedicated team which I have built; my pride in training and promoting within see our staff turnover at less than 5% a year.

I am an extremely honest, straight forward working-class guy who has gone through a very difficult childhood from an extremely poor back ground, including being expelled from school at 15 with zero exams or qualification.

Everything I own and have achieved has been through hard work and a dedication to changing my life, thus why I am dedicated to helping children and schools who make a difference.

I have dedicated all my personal time over the last 4 years to the less fortunate families in Nottingham, helping parents with problem children and mentoring several children – one of which is working for Graypaul and several others we have found jobs for.  These children are all excluded from attending mainstream schools, so I have worked with the providers Fresh Start, Real Education and Channelling Positivity as well as some local schools Emmanuel, East Leake etc.

I am currently a Youth Offending Panel member for Nottinghamshire Council.

Eileen Hartley – Member Trustee

Born and educated in London I began my teaching career in Docklands.

I taught in Nottingham from 1970-77 then in Derbyshire from 1984 – 2005 following a break to have children.

I was a governor at Bilborough Sixth form college from 2006 and became chair in 2008. I was also the link governor for safeguarding and co – wrote the policy.

I have now joined the BFMAT Trust as a trustee, remaining as an associate at Bilborough. I am also a trustee of SEG where I am responsible for safeguarding and co-overseeing the foundation which helps needy students and apprentices.

My main interests are music and sport. I coached the senior county boys’ hockey teams when I gave up playing, subsequently coaching local men’s and latterly women’s teams.

I am a chorister at St Mary’s Attenborough and also sing with the Marygate Singers.

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