bringing out the best in boys

Pen Portraits of Governors

Mike Harrison


I am the Chair of Governors. A science graduate of Manchester University, I have worked in Education for the past 45 years and am an ex-head teacher, an author and have been a teacher-trainer, an Ofsted Inspector and a Dean of the Faculty of Education at Manchester University. I have also worked in India, Lithuania, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Malawi (amongst others) as a consultant to Education Ministries. I recently retired from the Department for Education where I further developed teacher-training and continuing professional development for teachers. I have been a governor in other Trafford Schools in the past and am currently Chair of Governors, Chair of School Effectiveness Committee and link governor for Science at Flixton Junior School. Courses and Conferences for governors attended in the past year include: The Academies Show NEC; Manchester University Governors' conference; Teachers Pay and Conditions; New Special Educational Needs regulations, and the Trafford Chairs' Forum. I live in Flixton, am married to Sue and between us we have grandchildren at every stage in school education. I enjoy hiking, reading (particularly Roman History) and play tennis regularly at David Lloyd, Manchester.

 John Whitby


I am joint Vice-Chair of the Governing Body and Chair of the Curriculum and Standards Committee. As the Chief Executive of a work based learning provider involved with delivering Apprenticeships and Training to the Post 16 sector, I am well placed to support Wellacre in my role as a Partnership Governor. I have over 26 years’ experience of working with young people and am able to support the School in offering independent advice and guidance in a wide variety of Post 16 sectors, with particular experience in Engineering and Construction Apprenticeships. My organisation has a strong relationship with the Academy helping support delivery of technical subjects and also supporting taster days, interview techniques, CV writing and job interviewing support and training and work experience placements. As Chair of the Curriculum Committee I am involved with the monitoring of standards within the Academy and I have many years’ experience of Ofsted in the Post 16 sector. My background in a Secondary Modern School in Stretford followed by many years of training in Engineering at North Trafford College has given me the skills to be able to converse with individuals at all levels within the Academy. I was previously a Governor at Trafford College for 14 years prior to becoming a Governor at Wellacre. I have lived in Flixton for over 25 years. I am married with two children. My wife works at a local playgroup and one of my children has recently completed his School education as a student at Wellacre Academy. I have experience in strategic development, finance, quality and development of training and have supported the Academy with industry links to enable students to understand Post 16 options.

Donna Harris

Donna Harris Image.JPGI am joint Vice-Chair of the Governing Body. I was appointed a Community Governor at Wellacre Academy in September 2017 and I am also a member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee. Having worked in Secondary Education for over 25 years as a Mathematics Teacher and then as a Senior Leader, I am very pleased join the Governing Body at Wellacre Academy.  I am committed to supporting young people in their learning and to supporting the School in providing the best possible opportunities for the boys who are educated here at Wellacre Academy. Having grown up in the North East of England, I studied Mathematics at Nottingham University before training as a teacher and relocating to Trafford in the early nineties. I live in Sale and am married with two wonderful grown up children.

Sean Anstee

Sean_Anstee4.jpg I am pleased to be appointed to the Governing Body at Wellacre, and also serve as a governor at Trafford’s Pupil Referral Unit.  I want to see Wellacre Academy thrive and grow, providing the best education it is able to pupils. I am the Leader of Trafford Council, a Vice Chairman of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority where I hold the lead portfolio for Skills, Employment & Worklessness and am Chairman of the Greater Manchester Skills & Employment Partnership. In addition, I am a Deputy Chairman of the Local Government Association, the national voice of local government, working with councils to support, promote and improve local government.  I am a Non-Executive Director of Trafford Housing Trust and the Manchester Growth Company and Vice Chairman of the North West Regional Leaders Board. I hold a BA (Hons) in Business Management.  Prior to public life, I spent eleven years working for Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and finally BNY Mellon. Recognised by the Local Government Chronicle in 2015, as one of the top 100 most influential people in local government and a keen marathon runner.

Natanya George

NWB-Pic.jpgI was elected as a Staff Governor at Wellacre Academy in September 2015. I live and was brought up in the local area and attended Flixton Girls High School. I’ve worked at Wellacre Academy for 6 years. I stood for election on the Governing Body because I felt I could bring a different view-point as a member of support staff within the Academy. I have previously volunteered in primary schools and have a good knowledge of school systems and the transition from primary to secondary school education. I have gained valuable experience from working in the administration team here and am familiar with the processes and systems in place to support students' learning. I believe I can bring a lot of enthusiasm and positivity to the role as a Governor, through the role I undertake in promoting Wellacre via social media and other forums. I am well organised and  professional in undertaking my work and as a member of the Resources Committee I feel I have much to offer in this respect.

Rachel Platonov

Rachel Platonov.pngI was appointed a Community Governor at Wellacre Academy in September 2017 and I am also a member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee. I have worked in education for over 20 years, both in the UK and internationally, during which time I have had considerable involvement in curriculum enhancement, public outreach and liaison activities. Through these activities, as well as through my own teaching, I have witnessed first-hand the importance of providing all young people with high-quality teaching and learning experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Likewise, I have come to understand just how important community involvement—not just by parents and teachers, but by individuals and groups from a range of backgrounds—is in providing this. I am passionate about education and the transformative role it can play in the lives of individuals, families and communities, and I am committed to supporting Wellacre in providing the best possible opportunities and in achieving the best possible outcomes for its pupils.

Julia Wentlandova

Julia_Wentlandova_profile_photo_resized.jpgI was appointed as a Community Governor at Wellacre Academy in July 2017 and I am also Chair of the Resources Committee. I am a qualified solicitor specialising in property, contract and procurement law. I work in-house at the University of Manchester's Office of the General Counsel and run my own small consultancy business. I am also a qualified teacher.
I feel that my experience as an in-house solicitor coupled with my brief time in teaching places me in the unique position of being able to make an informed and empathetic, yet simultaneously challenging and analytical contribution to the strategic leadership of Wellacre.
I am committed to ensuring that Wellacre strives to provide a high quality, consistent and holistic approach to the education of its boys, enabling them to reach their full potential and, in turn, make their contributions to society.

Gavin Armitage

Gavin Armitage Governors Pic.jpgI was recently appointed as a Parent Governor at Wellacre Academy. I am an ex-student of Wellacre leaving the School in 1989, my Father attended Wellacre before me and my Son is a current student having started in September 2017, making him the third generation to study at the Academy. I was an active sportsman at Wellacre and attained good academic qualifications.  I went onto further education and gained an Honours Degree in Business Administration & Marketing from Newcastle Business School. I currently own an Industrial Supply Company based locally.  We are a small Company who mainly supplies Blue Chip Manufacturing Plants in the UK and Overseas.  As Managing Director, I am responsible for much of the key decisions within the business. Furthermore, I am co-founder of a locally based Registered Charity called the Riff Raff Society.  We put and social events, sporting events, and partake in challenging endeavours to raise funds. We pride ourselves in helping local people facing challenging situations and circumstance. As an ex pupil and one who has a Son at the Academy. I am keen to ensure that Wellacre maintains it's high standards and the boys have every opportunity to achieve their full potential.

I take great pride in been elected to the role of Parent Governor.

Jimmy Khan

J Khan.jpgI am really proud to have been appointed to the Governing Body of Wellacre Academy. On the 1st May 2017 I started a new role as the Partnership Manager for Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), GLL are the largest providers of Leisure Centre in the country. However, for almost 30 years I have worked with local Government, the last position I held was as the Chief Leisure officer for Preston City Council.

I am looking forward to working with fellow Governors and the Principal to help all the children to fulfill their full potential. My particular expertise is an ability to identify and attract external funds. I am keen to create and develop partnerships with the Public, Private and the Voluntary sector to help the school improve academically and vocationally through improved facilities.

I have three Children, Omar 26, Maria 22 and Izac who has just turned 11 and is currently a year 7 pupil. I live in Manchester with my partner Kerstine, we are both volunteers for the local football team AFC Urmston Meadowside. I am the club's Vice Chair and the Football Development Officer.

My main hobby is football, when I left school I started playing football for Blackburn Rovers before moving on to Bury FC and then spending three seasons in Finland playing in their second division. The pinnacle of my career was being selected in 1989 to play football for Pakistan, the game was against the United Arab Emirates in the World Cup Qualifiers for Italia '90.

I am also an FA 'A Licence Coach Educator and an FA Mentor which involves me supporting new and existing football coaches to improve.

I still play veterans football and spend a lot of time driving up and down the M6 to Stoke on Trent; Izac is at the Stoke City Academy, he trains 3 times a week in Stoke and plays matches on Sundays. Watching Izac play is the highlight of my week.