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Meet the team



Elspeth Davis (Chair of IFT Board)

Elspeth has taught across a variety of age ranges from nursery to university level. She became the headteacher of a primary school in North Somerset before becoming an Education Adviser in Avon and Bristol and joining Ofsted as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors 1996.

In 2001 she was appointed Ofsted Regional Director for early years education and childcare in the South West of England and has been a consultant to the Department of Education. In 2004 was awarded an OBE for her services to education.

Since retirement she has worked as an educational consultant to several local authorities as well as monitoring inspector training for Ofsted. Elspeth brings considerable experience as a school governor having been chair of governors at Crockerne Primary school from 2010 to 2013 and St Katherine’s secondary school until February 2017.


Dr Paul Phillips

Principal and Chief Executive, Weston College; college governor; member of the Search and Finance Committees, and the Capital Project Working Group. Dr Phillips is a governor of a local primary school. On a national level, he represents the South West on the Principals’ Professional Council. Dr Phillips is a member of the Association of Colleges South West Board; a member of the North Somerset Partnership; a non-executive director of NHS North Somerset; a member of the Local Enterprise Partnership; chair of the North Somerset Skills Strategy Group, and chair of the LEP Skills Group for the West of England.

Jacqui Ford

Jacqui Ford is a Vice Principal of Weston College and has a background in the NHS and the training of young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. She was instrumental in the creation of the NSETC in Weston-super-Mare, and the subsequent development of a multi-academy trust. Her work with students on the autism spectrum and disabled young people and adults has led to Beacon awards and recognition across the UK for the training she delivers.

Andrew Leighton-Price

Andrew has vast experience within the IT industry, with particular specialism in IT in accounting, training and education. Andrew began his career as a business systems analyst with ICL. He then moved to Kalamazoo Secure Solutions (the leading provider of products and solutions that protect documents, assets and identities from fraud and replication), where he continued his career, in both accounting and microcomputers.

Following this Andrew worked for HMSO, dealing with IT within the education sector with local authorities. He then worked with Time Computers where he ran their education division. During this role Andrew was part of the class 2000 team who were responsible for introducing computer systems for every school in Northern Ireland. Andrew was also an external industry advisor with BECTA (the lead agency between 2007-10 in the UK for promotion and integration of information and communications technology in education). Andrew then worked at Capita within their education sector and specifically with primary schools.

Andrew also has experience of working with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, covering external IT based training and holds a CFAB (Certificate in Finance and Business).

Andrew now runs his own technology business, and has been a Governor at Herons’ Moor Primary since its opening in 2003, and the Chair of Governors for last 7 years. Andrew brings great experience from being actively involved in the school’s growth from a brand new school, to being full within two years of opening and the transfer process to an academy. He has played a key part in recruitment, curriculum, pay and appraisal policies for the school.

Jo Midgley

Jo is Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of the West of England (UWE).  She has leadership and strategic responsibility for student experience at UWE, Bristol.   She is executive lead on diverse range of agendas including strategic marketing, external academic partnerships, recruitment and admissions, programme design and approval, academic quality and enhancement, student services, employability, enrichment and enterprise.

Jo Watson

After moving to Bristol in 2005 to join the Higher Education Funding Council, Jo Watson has spent the last nine years focused on improving the skills system to meet the needs of employers and learners in the West of England in further and higher education.  Jo has played an active role in working with a wide range of national and regional employers to create highly innovative and engaging skills programmes to meet business needs and prepare learners for successful careers.

As the Executive Director for Business Growth, at Weston College since 2014, Jo has led teams to secure large skills contracts with employers and public funders.  Jo sits on a number of Boards, including the European Structural and Investment Fund Committee and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Planning Group.

Jo holds a postgraduate diploma in strategic management as well as a degree in German literature from the University of East Anglia.

Jude Ferguson

Jude is an experienced Senior Manager who has worked in education and guidance services in both the public and private sector. She was formerly the Partnership Development Manager for Connexions, West of England. Jude is also currently Chair of the joint Audit Committee for the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable for Avon and Somerset.

William Harding

Will has over 40 years’ experience in a number of public sector organisations and is currently responsible for strategic and operational Human Resources and Organisational Development activities in a Unitary Authority. Over the years he has been responsible for providing HR services to a wide range of services including all education sectors. A graduate in Political Science, he is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development as well as holding a post graduate management diploma. He has a remarkable 30 years of service as a governor much of which has been at St Katherine’s school, Ham Green where he is currently Chair.

Mike Evans

Mike qualified as a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages in 1976 and taught in the same school for 36 years. He was a Pastoral Middle Leader for the last 21 years of his career with responsibility for monitoring the academic progress and personal development of students.

Mike has been a Principal Examiner for OCR, responsible for setting GCSE French Speaking Examinations and quality assuring the marking of the exam. His is currently a Principal Examiner for Cambridge International Exams, setting Listening Comprehension Papers, marking and quality assuring in three sessions a year.

Since retirement from teaching in 2013, he has been a Governor at Ravenswood School and Chair of Governors since September 2014.


For information on the governance of Inspirational Futures Trust please download the following documents:

IFT Governance Structure and Remit

Register of Members Trustees and Trustee Business Interests 2016-17

Trustees Register of Attendance 2016-17

IFT Central Structure

North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College

NSETC - List of Governors

Bristol Futures Academy

List of Governors

Inspirational Futures Trust
Weston College Group