The Marches Academy Trust ‘Together We Grow’ podcast is where we chat to professionals, policy makers, staff, students and celebrities about the power of education and how we shape the future. We also bring you news and updates from within the Marches Academy Trust. Hosted by the Marches Academy Trust’s CEO, Sarah Finch.

Click here for Apple/iTunes or here for Spotify to follow/subscribe and listen to our fantastic episodes.



The Future of Education with Mick Waters

Professor Michael Waters is an inspiration to many, including our host Sarah. Mick was the Director of Curriculum at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, based in London, from 2005 to 2009.

In this episode he shares his thoughts on what education could/should look like in the future and what the true purpose of education is. He poses some thought-provoking questions to us, shares some heart warming stories about being a teacher and tells us why it’s the best job in the world.

The Vision of Education with BBC’s Branwen Jeffreys

Sarah is joined by Branwen Jeffreys, Education Editor for BBC News. Branwen is a broadcaster and writer with a broad interest in social policy and education.

Join us as we discuss Branwen’s life experiences and how this has shaped her thoughts on what education could look like.

Improving Opportunities for Special Needs Students with Dr. Ellis Crasnow

Sarah is joined by Dr. Ellis Crasnow, director at the STEM³ Academy, a WASC accredited school dedicated to K–12 students who are bright, have a passion for STEM-related fields, and benefit from non-traditional learning methods.

Ellis really considers the journey that young people with special needs will be on once they finish education and he works tirelessly to prepare them for life as best as possible. Join us for a truly inspirational and fascinating discussion.

Encouraging a passion and talent with Dr. Sam Collins

Sarah is joined by Dr. Sam Collins, a leading global voice on women’s leadership, equality and empowerment.

Sam shares some of her own childhood educational experiences as well as some interesting and inspiring insights on how she sees the future of education for our children. Sam believes, particularly with special needs education, that we need to encourage a passion or talent, instead of obsessing over fixing a weakness.

Lifting young women out of poverty through education, with Dr. Zareen Roohi Ahmed

Sarah is joined by Dr. Zareen Roohi Ahmed, the Chair of The Halimah Trust, a charity established to fulfil the dreams of her daughter who was tragically murdered in 2007. Zareen has channelled this negative energy into some truly positive and beautiful things, one example being opening an all girls school in Pakistan, built by The Halimah Trust and partners. This school has given young women a much needed education and the opportunity to escape poverty.

Life after education with Robert Forrester

Sarah is joined by Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors, former head boy of Sir John Talbot’s School (part of the Marches Academy Trust) and a graduate of Oxford University. We chat about the ups and downs of Robert’s very successful career journey, who/what influenced him growing up (in and out of school) as well as discussing what schools can be doing differently to better prepare students for life after education.

Robert also shares with us his experience on the ITV show Undercover Big Boss as well as what all billionaires have in common. The answer may not be what you think!

A student’s perspective on education with Lucy Craig (Sir John Talbot’s School)

Sarah is joined by Year 13 student Lucy Craig, one of the creators of ‘Herstory’, a student-led newsletter highlighting remarkable women’s stories both contemporary and from history. This is the first time that we have heard from a current student on the Together We Grow podcast and Lucy provides some fascinating insights into what she likes about the education system and what she would like to see change in the near future.

To read Lucy’s impressive work on ‘Herstory’, you can visit the Sir John Talbot’s school website by clicking here.