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Every child deserves

a first class education

Our People

Our Leadership Team

Michael Tonge

Chief Executive Officer 


Mike has taught in every year group across the primary range and has held a wide variety of management and leadership positions across the primary phase.  He became head of Prestolee Primary School in 2005. Since then Prestolee has moved from a requires improvement school to an outstanding one.  It is now the lead school in the Prestolee Multi Academy Trust.  The trust is built around the core value that every child deserves a first class education.


As the Chief Executive of the trust he oversees all activity in the trust but is very well supported by a highly effective leadership team and school improvement team.  Alongside his role as CEO he is a lead Ofsted inspector and is part of the executive steering group for the Greater Manchester Learning Partnership.  He is the GM Sub Regional Support for Teaching Schools, sits on the North West School improvement board, the GM Reform Board and the GM Education and Employability board.  He is a National Leader of Education and has supported school improvement across the region and beyond.


He believes Prestolee succeeds because it is about empowering others and building great communities of practices across the trust and across the region.  All of the solutions to the challenges we face are out there somewhere.  We simply have to work together to find them.


Rebecca Dunne

Deputy Chief Executive Officer


Rebecca Dunne is Deputy CEO of Prestolee Multi Academy Trust and as a system leader provides school improvement expertise both locally and nationally. She has led Prestolee Primary School as the Head and been part of team Prestolee for many years. Within the Trust her leadership role includes being the Executive Head teacher of Waterloo Primary School, Strategic lead for Prestolee SCITT and leading school to school support improving leadership and management throughout and beyond the Teaching School Alliance and Trust, with a particular focus on quality assurance.


Rebecca began her career as an NNEB and undertook Initial Teacher Training (ITT) through the graduate teaching programme. This foundation of school led teacher training and leadership development has been key to her commitment to building capacity in the Trust through a process of both external recruitment and developing leaders within the Trust. Progressing from newly qualified teacher to Head of school at Prestolee, Rebecca was integral to the school becoming first outstanding, and later a National Teaching School specialising in assessment and leadership.  Through her commitment to school led ITT Rebecca successfully led Prestolee’s School Direct Programme training over 3 years and supported the transition to  become a SCITT.


In her spare time Rebecca is an amateur painter and cat lover and is slowly becoming a plant collector.


Michael Govier

Chief Financial Officer


Mike began a career as a qualified Electronics Engineer specialising in Flight Testing and Avionics at BAe Systems. Mike designed, built and commissioned data acquisition systems and test installations to acquire test data in flight. Working within a ‘total quality’ ISO9001 environment, Mike developed a new revenue stream for the company in the form of a data replay business for black-box flight data recorder systems that was engaged in system replays for maintenance checks and regulatory accident investigation. He later became Project Manager of a multi-disciplinary team operating across five key sites with executive responsibility for a £30 million pound component of a major national defence project. He successfully led the FTI installation design and manufacturing teams and kit-setting logistics to deliver an installed test system on-board three test vehicles through to first flight. He developed a dependency driven integrated project schedule and was directly accountable to the project board for technical and financial risks, management of dependencies and deliverables for the FTI system.


Mike has operated his own private teaching business delivering accredited IT qualifications. Mike has been parent governor at his children’s school and PTA treasurer. He has extensive experience working in school administration since 2005 and has enjoyed working within a highly successful team and helped develop the schools businesses. Mike has had key involvement within the formation of the MAT, the academisation of several schools and as CFO holds responsibility for the central business organisation of the Trust. 


Vikki Semple

Trust Governance Professional

As a Governance Professional, Vikki has responsibility for leading and developing governance at all levels across the Trust.  Her role is to provide support, advice and guidance to Trustees and Governors and ensure there is strong strategic leadership and oversight of all schools within the Trust.


She has previously led Governor Support Services in two Local Authorities.  Throughout her career she has been responsible for influencing and improving governance in both LA maintained schools and academy trusts; and she has successfully implemented strategies that have had a positive impact.  She has also managed professional clerking services that have provided support to hundreds of schools.


Vikki has extensive experience of governance having worked in the sector for 20 years.  She was previously a Senior Governance Support Officer delivering an extensive governor training programme and providing high levels of support to boards to ensure high quality governance.  Vikki has often worked with Governing Boards following External Reviews of Governance to ensure the issues that have been identified are addressed effectively.  The impact of this work has been recognised by subsequent Ofsted inspections. She has worked across both the maintained and academy sector.


Vikki is a National Leader of Governance and delivers external reviews and support for schools and academy trusts through the National Leaders for Governance programme, on behalf of the NGA.


Vikki is also an experienced governor having served on maintained school governing boards for several years and as a Trustee on a Multi-Academy Trust board.  Vikki is currently the Chair of the Governing Board at large Anglican Primary School.


Karis Schroeder

Executive Assistant 


Karis has extensive business administration experience having worked in various support roles for 18 years after graduating with a Business Management degree from Liverpool John Moores University in 2006. In her early career Karis worked as a Personal Assistant; first in the construction industry and and more recently in the private  healthcare sector before progressing into a HR role in 2015. In 2016 Karis completed her Level 5 CIPD qualification and worked as a HR Manager before she joined Prestolee in 2018.


As Executive Assistant of Prestolee MAT Karis is responsible for supporting the CEO and Deputy CEO to ensure that the Trusts objectives are accomplished, and operations run efficiently. Karis has been instrumental in implementing new systems and working practices to ensure a smooth transition to new schools joining the trust. 


Our Trustees

Andrew Gallimore 



Serving on school governing boards for over 20 years has given Andrew a wide range of experience of how schools function.


Delivering high quality RE lessons and leading collective worship on a regular basis in over 100 schools over this same period means that Andrew has seen first-hand the ingredients that make for an outstanding school setting.


Andrew is a member of Salford SACRE contributing to the development of an engaging RE syllabus. Andrew has overall responsibility for all aspects of church life.

Andrew loves spending time with his family including a grandson. He is also involved in organising and participating in his local, weekly Parkrun event. Loves to read, mainly theological texts.


Andrew Sargeant



For the last 15 years, Andrew has been the Director/owner of four start-up waste management brokerage limited companies. He has held many senior management and Director roles within the waste management industry, accountable for the leadership, general management and performance of regional and national multi-site structures, including employment and management of up to 250 staff in senior management, operational, transportation, engineering, sales and customer support roles.  These businesses operated within the UK and Europe, with annual turnover of £25m.  


Andrew has been successful at business improvement, having taken over a haulage business, losing £300k/annum and taken it into profit of £100k/annum within one year, improving asset utilisation from 45% to 80%, and justifying a capital expenditure of £1.5M.  He has also managed one of two High Temperature Incineration plants in the UK, taking average monthly turnover from £800k, to £1.5M/month.


Andrew was key in identifying and managing the acquisition of other businesses and rationalising these, before consolidating them within his business, dealing with reorganisation and restructuring of these units.  He has project managed the operation and subsequent sale of an international engineering business and has operated a multi-site national business, providing the leadership and management, holding management to account for budget targets, operational, staff, asset and health and safety management.


Lisa Gartside



Lisa has over 20 years professional experience in the software industry working across sectors including banking, insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing. Her current role focuses on helping customers to optimise their key business processes to deliver greater efficiency and cost savings whilst maximising ROI.


Lisa works in partnership with customers to advise them on their automation strategy and help them identify opportunities to leverage technology to solve their business problems.


Lisa has many years’ experience of analysing business requirements and identifying potential solutions that deliver the best results for all the stakeholders involved.  Working across industries, she is used to collaborating with SMEs with deep domain knowledge and is comfortable asking challenging questions when appropriate.


Working in an environment that is fast paced and constantly evolving, Lisa is committed to her personal skills development and is continuously learning and mentoring others in their development.


In her spare time, Lisa enjoys live music, travelling, football, Pilates and vegetarian cookery. She is a keen supporter of schemes to improve the number of girls and women studying or working in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM).


James Whitham



James has over 30 years’ experience in Data Management, in both end-user and consultancy roles.  In 2012 he started his own independent consultancy business, which ran profitably for nearly 10 years, until in 2021 he became a founding partner in a new Data and Analytics consultancy organisation, which is now engaged with a number of leading FTSE-100 organisations.


James has worked with organisations across all sectors to help them manage and use information in order to reduce costs, manage risk and drive improved business performance.  He is a strong communicator who frequently engages at senior management levels in large organisations.


James is a strategic thinker who is able to apply his analytical skills and experience in a wide variety of situations.  He is open-minded to new ideas and thinking, whilst applying critical reasoning to ensure strategies and plans are well thought-through and that potential risks or threats have been identified and mitigated. James has a strong track record of building high-performing teams, and leads by example.


In his spare time James is a keen cyclist and runner, and has completed a number of triathlons, including an Ironman.  He enjoys reading, cinema and walking his two dogs in the hills around Tottington where he lives.


Paul Heath



Paul has almost 30 years’ experience in the corporate field of financial services and a further 7 years’ experience in the private sectors of business coaching and education/sporting support.


Paul has previously been responsible for managing teams of up to 60 people with financial scorecards in excess of £1m.  More recently has had the responsibility of growing two private sector organisations from start up to turnover in excess of £100,000.


Entrepreneurial and creative in his outlook, Paul constantly strives for growth band development both professionally and personally.  His critical thinking enables Paul to consider key impacts of decisions taken.


An excellent understanding of business matters along with strong reasoning skills enables Paul to communicate clearly.  His demonstrable ability to manage teams of people make him an asset in a group environment.  Paul also has an ability to step back and see the wider implications as well as getting involved in the detail.


In his spare time Paul enjoys all things sport especially football and golf. He also loves to travel especially around USA and he is a voracious reader.


Carolyn Ford



Carolyn has over 19 years in the legal profession.  She is currently a paralegal with a large firm of solicitors specialising in public and private family law. Attending court on a regular basis and liaising with a wide range of agencies Carolyn has built up an expertise in both general practice law, education and family law. 


 Carolyn’s head of department sits on the child abduction panel meaning Carolyn supports with a wide range of complex legal cases. Carolyn assists counsel in both public law proceedings and international child abduction cases.  She has attended the High Court in London and public law outline meetings across a range of cases.   


Outside of work, Carolyn enjoys hiking, reading and socialising with friends and family.  She holds dinner parties and attends social events with work.  Carolyn’s ambition outside of work is to write her own book and have it published.  She also has an avid interest in true crime documentaries and books. 


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