Believe  Belong  Become

University of Chester Academies Trust

University Academy Warrington

An overview of governance for UCAT and all of it's academies can be found on the UCAT website.

Governors have three key roles;

  • Setting strategic direction
  • Ensuring accountability
  • Monitoring and evaluating school performance

All Governors are expected to demonstrate a high level of involvement and engagement within the Academy through regular attendance at meetings, events and through the use of ICT.


UCAT is a multi-academy trust (MAT) and its Board of Directors have overall control and are responsible for all UCAT Academies.

The Board have set up a structure that has tight lines of accountability through two main committees and Statement of Action Committees (SOACs) in each academy.

In addition there are Community Development Groups at each academy to ensure that important links with parents and the wider school community are maintained.

Statement of Action Committee (SOAC)

The SOAC, on behalf of UCAT Trustees, has the responsibility of improving the quality of provision so that the academy moves to ‘Good’ or better. The SOAC meets every three weeks and holds the Principal and senior leaders to account for student progress and achievement; ensures effective use of resources; ensures continuous improvement and maintains consistency of UCAT practices and procedures. 

Our Statement of Action Committee (SOAC)

Andy Wilson:  Chair of the Statement of Action Committee

Andy has twenty years’ experience as a governor within the secondary sector and is currently Chair of an outstanding school in Wigan.  He is Chair of a Multi Academy Trust covering Primary, Secondary and a Pupil Referral Unit.  He is passionate about the education of young people enabling them to reach their full potential within a supportive and aspirational environment.  He is a National Leader of Governance using his skills and experience to both support and provide challenge to other schools and academies on their own improvement journey.  His career started in the Gas industry as an engineer progressing through a number of roles to area service manager in South Manchester.  

Following this he has held a range of positions within education starting as a Management Training Consultant, a Consultant on Enterprise Education for the DfE supporting Northwest Schools, a Director of an independent Training Company and in Contracts Management within the FE sector.

Misia Barclay - Principal

I feel privileged to have the post of Principal at University Academy Warrington and to be able to be a part of shaping the future of education in our area in a time of significant and rapid change. I am optimistic about the future of the academy– as we have a very strong team with a wide range of skills and experiences who are all focused on the needs of every individual in our schools.

Since becoming a leader, my passion and motivation for learning has not changed. I still view myself as both a ‘teacher’ and a ‘learner’ as I have never stopped learning and want children and staff to be as enthused as I am about this exciting process. I believe very strongly in developing leadership at all levels and work closely with the Trust to strengthen and develop all our leaders.

Iain Borthwick

Dr Iain Borthwick, having graduated in chemistry and worked in a number of businesses at home and abroad is now the Managing Director of Tetrad, a traditional furniture manufacturer in Preston.  Iain lives in Padgate with his family, his younger son a student at UAW and his elder son having just progressed from UAW to Winstanley College. He has been a governor at the school since before it became an academy and is interested in ensuring that children of all abilities and backgrounds reach their potential. He is also keen to bring a business perspective to the academy both in how it runs and in what employers are looking for.Outside work he loves food, music and fast cars.

Gillian Griffies

Gillian taught in inner city comprehensive schools throughout her 38 year career in education. She worked for 21 years at her last school, most of this time in the role of deputy head teacher. Gillian has always striven to raise pupils’ aspirations and teachers’ expectations by setting the highest standards with rigorous monitoring procedures. She believes that every pupil should be challenged to achieve their potential and that all achievements should be valued and celebrated. She hopes that her range of experience will help her to contribute to the ongoing development and improvement at UAW.

Community Development Group (CDG)

The CDG ensures that parental and community views are included in decision making and forms and maintains links with the wider school community.

The CDG meets termly to gather the views of the wider school community to provide the SOAC with a clear view of that community’s perspective; ensures that the Academy meets the needs of the community; uses the expertise within the community to support the development of the Academy; works closely with the SOAC to ensure that the community dimension is taken into consideration when planning for future improvements; reports progress on a regular basis to the SOAC ; and undertakes parent and wider community surveys to report back to the SOAC.