The school is an academy within the Aquinas Church of England Education Trust (Aquinas). The responsibility for the oversight and management of all aspects of the Aquinas rests with the Board of Trustees. The day to day management of Aquinas has been delegated by the Trustees to the Chief Executive Officer, Kathy Griffiths. The day to day operation of Rye College has been delegated to the Mr Barry Blakelock (Executive Headteacher) and Mr Dom Downes (Head of College).

In order to assist Mr Blakelock and Mr Downes, the Trustees of Aquinas have established Aquinas Advisory Councils (AAC) for each academy including Rye College. The members of Rye College AAC are as follows:

Chair: Mr Jim Sharpe (Trust appointed)

Trust appointed Members: Mr Trevor Llanwarne, Mr Alan Powell, Mr Stephen Murphy and Mr Jeremy White.

Parent Members: Mr Barrie Payne and Miss Emma Hughes.

Staff Members: Mr Dom Downes and Mrs Rachael Street.

The purpose of the AAC is to support, advise and be a critical friend to Mr Blakelock and Mr Downes in raising standards of achievement and progress for all learners.

The AAC does have delegated responsibility in relation to aspects of admissions, appointment of staff, complaints, performance management, permanent exclusions, school inspections, staff grievance and disciplinary. The AAC also has the ability to escalate concerns to the Mr Blakelock and Mr Downes, CEO or Trustees.

The AAC members meet at least 3 times a year and certain members will have specific functions as agreed by the AAC and Mr Blakelock and Mr Downes. Members will also forge links with the school and wide community. Notes of the AAC meeting are available on request.

AAC Members’ code of conduct and declaration of business interests support the following principles: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

If you wish to contact the Chair of the AAC or any of its members, please email:

office@ryecollege.co.uk and insert in the subject box ‘for the attention of the clerk to the Aquinas Advisory Council.

AAC Documents


Formerly, Rye College was a member of the Rye Academy Trust. Further information can be found by clicking here.

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