Academy Council & Register of Business Interests

Stephen Cooke BSc (Hons), Unity Academy Principal

Stephen has worked at Unity for nearly 4 years, initially as Vice Principal in charge of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and since April 2017 as Principal.  Prior to starting at Unity, Stephen was Senior Assistant Principal at Hodgson Academy having started his teaching career there as a Teacher of ICT.  Outside of the school Stephen enjoys spending time with his wife and son, particularly spending time outdoors.

Mark Gutteridge, Sponsor Governor and Chair of the Academy Council

A Governor for over 15 years with experience in Early Years, Primary and Secondary Education. Mark is the Business Director of Community Futures a Third Sector infrastructure organisation.

Alan Lloyd BSc, PGCE, Sponsor Governor

Vice Principal of the Blackpool Sixth Form College responsible for resources and information systems.  An ex-Principal examiner for A-level computer Science, Alan has 32 years of experience in both secondary and further education and is an old pupil of Unity in its first incarnation as Warbreck High School.  For the last 8 years Alan has managed the £23M building development strategy at Blackpool Sixth Form College.

Derek Yarwood BSc (Hons), PGCE, Sponsor Governor

Deputy Principal of Hodgson Academy with responsibility for Progress, Community and Transition from KS2 to KS5. Derek is currently in his 29th year at Hodgson. He has also worked for Blackpool Schools FA for 13 years and Lancashire Schools FA for 7 years as a football coach/manager. As a former Palatine and Blackpool Sixth Form student he has a vested interest in education in the area. Derek is a passionate Blackpool Football Club Supporter!

Michelle Bateman BA(Hons), PGCE, Staff Governor

Primary class teacher at Unity Academy and is a staff governor.  Michelle has been teaching at Unity for 4 years and has a business and administrative background.  She has a keen interest in the local community having always been a Blackpool resident.  Michelle enjoys reading and shares this and her enjoyment of discovering new skills with the children of Unity.

Ben Mashiter, Staff Governor

Pen portrait to follow.

Julie Brotherton, FCAT Governor

Blackpool born and bred, Julie had over 25 years of management experience in large commercial organisations before founding her own executive coaching and leadership development company. She’s passionate about helping others to achieve their potential.

Ashley Hackett, FCAT Governor

Ashley is Blackpool born and raised and is now Chief Executive Officer of Blackpool FC Community Trust. Ashley oversees the whole organisation, with more than 50 staff members working across the town on projects focused on Health, Physical Activity and Education. Ashley has almost twenty years of work experience in Sports and Community Development and in 2017 was the proud winner of the BIBAs Business Person of the Year.

Zoe Spencer, Parent Governor

Zoe has 3 children, one of which attends Unity Academy. Zoe likes to take a hands on approach with her children's schooling and try to be as actively involved as possible. She works full time and in the evening turns into a "dance mom". Zoe also chaperones voluntarily for a local dance school.

Amaria Haiouani, Parent Governor

Pen portrait to follow.

Chris Lickiss BSc (Hons), NPQH, Executive Principal

Chris has worked within the North West and in Education for 28+ years, having started his career as a Mathematics teacher in Morecambe. Prior to joining Unity Chris was Principal of Ashton Community Science College for 8+ years, a successful 11-18 school in Preston. He was also appointed a National Leader for Education in 2011. Outside the school environment Chris is a huge football fan, supporting the mighty tangerines.

Please note: The address of the chair is care of the school - Unity Academy Blackpool, Warbreck Hill Road , Blackpool, Lancashire , FY2 0TS


The Academy Council plays a vital role in the governance and accountability of Unity Academy Blackpool; its responsibilities include:

·         Support the vision and direction of FCAT

·         Set and review the vision and direction for Unity Academy within the framework of FCAT’s vision

·         Approval of Unity Academy's budget

·         Oversee the financial monitoring of Unity Academy.

·         Hold the Unity Academy Principal to account for standards and report annually to the Directors

·         Act as a critical friend to the Unity Academy Principal

·         Approval of capital programmes before submission to the Board of Directors

The Academy Council is not responsible for the operational and day to day management of Unity Academy, this is the remit of the Principal.

Unity Academy Council Register of Business Interests and Governor Attendance

For details surrounding the structure and remit of the governing body across Unity Academy and FCAT, please see the FCAT scheme of delegation below.

FCAT Scheme of Delegation

If you are interested in applying for a position on our academy council, please contact Kath Buddle Governance Administrator at or call 01253 356271.