Our Governors

The Academy is run by The David Nieper Education Trust

Our governors are responsible for ensuring high standards of educational performance and achievement in the Academy and overseeing its financial performance.

Christopher Nieper

Managing Director, Christopher Nieper, joined the David Nieper family business in 1986 and witnessed the British fashion industry’s huge migration of manufacturing to offshore production.

Choosing to go against this offshoring trend and remaining steadfast to the company’s commitment to ‘Made in Britain’, Christopher pioneered the company’s investment in marketing, new manufacturing, infrastructure and skills to deliver continuous and sustainable growth. 

The company has multiplied sales 25 times in 25 years and today enjoys record sales of its luxury womenswear and employs 250 people.

In 2015 Christopher was named as a leadership exemplar in the UK’s Top 100 Manufacturers and in the same year amongst Derbyshire’s most inspirational 250 people. Both Christopher and his father have been honored with a lifetime achievement award for contribution to British made fashion and direct marketing

At the age of 19, Christopher sailed the Atlantic and also started his own furniture repair business before completing a degree in mechanical engineering and joining the family company.

In 2015 Christopher formed the David Nieper Education Trust, which engages with education establishments at all levels from primary and secondary schools, to universities and vocational training. The Trust actively encourages education to equip young people for careers and for employers and educators to work together.   

A beekeeper, sportsman, school governor, and former non-executive director of Help the Aged. Christopher is married with four children and lives in rural Derbyshire.

Rev. Paul Pritchard
Paul is a professional Engineer who has worked for a number of Global organisations during his career, including Westland’s, Unigate, Alfa Laval and JCB. He has held a number of senior posts in both engineering and human resources in UK, Italy and Holland.  Before retiring from JCB Paul was head of their worldwide Learning and Development operations and created, for Lord Bamford, the JCB Academy, which opened in September 2010. This was the first 14-19 University Technical College. He was initially Chair and subsequently Vice Chair of Governors and a trustee until 2015.

In 2011 Paul embarked on training for ordination in the Church of England, being deaconed in 2013 and ordained as a Priest in 2014. He is now acting as a curate in the Parishes of All Saints and St John’s Mickleover.

Paul is also a Non Executive Director of the David Nieper Organisation, a Trustee of the David Nieper Educational Trust, Chair of Trustees of the ‘Friends of Kenya’s Children’ and a Trustee of the Comino Foundation.

He lives in Mickleover and is married to Elaine, he has two daughters and four grandchildren.

Catherine Marie Garside CBE


Marie’s lifelong career has been spent promoting excellence in comprehensive education, initially as a geography teacher, Head of Department and Deputy, later as Head and Executive Head of an “Outstanding School”.

During the Greater Manchester Challenge Marie was appointed Operational Programme Lead for all ten “Families of Schools” within Greater Manchester, coordinating a diverse range of collaborative learning activities to raise pupil achievement.

As part of this initiative, Marie became both a National Leader of Education and a Diocesan Leader of Education supporting a number of schools and leaders in challenging circumstances. Her school was awarded “National Teaching School” status which allowed the institution to train new teachers, appoint and deploy “Specialist Leaders of Education”, provide training and develop future leaders.

The school community was awarded a great many accolades but Marie was particularly proud of being acknowledged nationally and internationally for its work as a National School of Creativity. She was asked to speak alongside the Chancellor to the creative industries at no11 Downing Street.

Professor Bill Lucas from Winchester University asked the school to become the northern hub of its “Expansive Education” network, recognising the strength of research and development carried out by its teaching school members.

Marie believes it is a great privilege to work with young people, supporting them in discovering their talents and widening their aspirations, through the provision of a high quality and engaging curriculum.  This care and concern was recognised in its award “Flagship School for Inclusion” acknowledging the range of interventions and support offered to all pupils.

Since retiring Marie works as a consultant, is a Chair of Governors at a primary school, Vice Chair at a Creative Studio School, and is a Trustee of the David Nieper Academy.



Julie Richards
With 26 years of experience in the post 16 education sector, working in both the private and public sectors, Julie has a proven track record in vocational provision, cross organisational quality assurance and quality improvement.  Julie is a qualified teacher specialising in business, financial management and teacher training.

She has been nominee for Ofsted inspections on two occasions, leading Chesterfield College to a good outcome with outstanding features at its inspection in 2013.  As Deputy Principal of Chesterfield College, Julie is responsible for all aspects of curriculum and quality improvement and has led the college in its significant growth of apprenticeship provision and employer engagement.

David Ashton
Hazel Dickinson
Anne Birch
Charlotte Bossworth

Clerk to Governors

Cathy Andrews – c/o the Academy