Jo Brown, Geoff Muirhead, Geoff Bean, Mick May, Michael Blakey and Kathy Cowell

Jo Brown will lead Charles Darwin Primary, a new free school in Norwich, when it opens next year.

She is currently part of the leadership team at Hevingham Primary School in Norfolk, where she has taught for the past nine years.

Charles Darwin will be part of the Inspiration Trust and will work closely with the Jane Austen College in Colegate.

Ms Brown will also introduce the trust’s extended school day, with pupils able to take part in activities such as music, dance, sport and cookery.

The 32-year-old grew up in Norfolk and attended Aylsham High School and City College Norwich before a teaching degree and training at Sheffield Hallam University.

Five new chairs have been appointed to the governing bodies of Aldridge Foundation-sponsored schools and its trust.

Geoff Muirhead CBE is chair of the trust’s new university technical college UTC@MediaCityUK in Salford.

Mr Muirhead, a civil engineer, says his main goal as chair is to “engender a culture of self-esteem where all students are prepared to take chances and where it’s OK to make mistakes and to learn from them”.

The UTC’s specific focus will be on “education for the future skills demand in the fields of digital and creative content, not just for media industries but across a wide range of business sectors”.

Geoff Bean, the new chair of Darwen Vale High School in Blackburn, says he wants to continue the foundation’s efforts in promoting an entrepreneurial education.

“We want all pupils, regardless of their ability or the subjects they study, to make exceptional progress, but we also want to help them to develop broader entrepreneurial life skills that will support them for their future.”

Mr Bean has a social studies degree and MBA from the University of Salford where he was also recently appointed as a council member.

Mick May succeeds Janice Shiner as chair of Kensington Aldridge Academy in west London.

From 2003 Mr May has worked in the charitable sector, initially as managing director of Groundwork Thames Valley before founding social enterprise company, Blue Sky.

His main goal as chair will be to oversee the opening of the school’s new sixth form and, like Mr Bean at Darwen Vale High School, he is keen to “stress the importance of entrepreneurship”.

He studied medieval history at the University of St Andrews, which he says was “the ideal preparation for my subsequent career in social enterprise”.

And specialist interim improvement adviser Michael Blakey has succeeded Jackie Potter as chair of Darwen Aldridge Community Academy in Blackburn, while Kathy Cowell OBE is the new chair the Aldridge North West Education Trust, the foundation’s regional academy trust for its schools in Darwen.

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