Chair of Governors

Business Governor

Steve Kuncewicz -

Steve is a Partner and Head of IP & Media at Bermans Solicitors, and also leads the firm’s Creative Industries team.

He specialises in contentious and non-contentious Intellectual Property, Media and Social Media legal issues, working primarily in the Media, Creative, Film, Television, Marketing, Advertising and PR sectors but advising a wide range of regional, national and international clients on issues involving branding, content and reputation management. Steve’s practice includes advising on marketing, advertising and content clearance & management, reputation management & strategy, Film, TV & Online content development, IP exploitation and infringement claims, data protection, media regulation, confidential information, privacy and defamation.

Allegedly Manchester’s most-followed Lawyer on Twitter, Steve is nationally recognised as a leading expert in the evolving legal issues in the Social Media environment and wrote the first two legal textbooks on the subject – “Legal Issues of Web 2.0 and Social Media”, published in June 2010, and “Legal Issues Of Corporate Communication in the Online World”, published in July 2011.

Recommended in the Legal 500’s North West Technology, Media & Telecoms Section for his specific expertise in Social Media issues, Steve is described by clients and contacts as “enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly”, “calm and focused” , “a consummate professional” and “providing sound, practical advice delivered with personality and a keenness to listen”.

Steve is also heavily involved in Business Development and Marketing, regularly speaking at local and national conferences including “Social Media & The Law”, “Sports & The Law”, the Chartered Institute of Marketing National and PRCA national Conferences, Business Growth Hub’s “Future Of Digital” Conference, the 2014 Legal Futures “From Click To Client” Conference and many others.

In addition, Steve is a frequent media commentator on IP, Digital and Media legal issues, appearing for outlets including BBC Breakfast, BBC RipOff Britain, ITV Granada Reports, BBC Radio 4 & 5 Live, the Financial Times, GM Business Week, City AM, Computer Weekly amongst others.

Aside from his day job, Steve is a Board Member of ProManchester and co-Chairman of Creative pro∙manchester, working tirelessly to build links between the financial and professional services and creative industries in the region. Steve is also a member of the Council of Manchester Law Society and the National Law Society, a Board Member of the MPA, a Director of Manchester Creative Studio, a Trustee of NOISE Festival, a Non-Executive Director of Rochdale Development Agency and an Ambassador for Forever Manchester.

Vice Chair of Governors

Education Governor

Marie Garside -


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, co-ordinating 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.


- Position Vacant -

School Principal

Peter Ramsey

Peter’s teaching career started in 1995 when he began teaching GCSE Electronics and Design Technology at Saint Thomas More Catholic High School in Wigan. After four years he moved to Matthew Moss High School in Rochdale, where he spent three years teaching Resistant Materials and Graphics. Following this he moved to Prestwich Arts College in Bury, where he was head of Resistant Materials and Graphics, before also becoming Head of Year 7.

In 1999 he moved to become Head of Engineering at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Manchester. Saint Paul’s had recently become a specialist engineering college and it was a fantastic opportunity to lead the development of the engineering faculty. He later joined the senior leadership team at Saint Paul’s, enjoying three years in the role before the opportunity came to join Manchester Creative Studio. He had followed the studio’s development with interest and when the opportunity to apply for Principal came around he didn’t hesitate. The vision behind this studio school is one that he is fully committed to deliver, and he believes that it is an amazing opportunity for creative young people to express themselves and learn in a fully supportive and specialised environment.

Careers Governor

Industry background

Alex Cowyn -

I’ve been working in the creative digital industry for almost 19 years, starting with some experimentations with CDROM and interactive media during the tail end of my career in the music industry. In 1997 I attended Milia in Cannes, where 99% of the stands were showing what the internet was capable of.  I knew this was the future and I promptly left music and started my career in digital.

I started as a Project Manager before moving into Client Services and finally finding my true calling in Strategy. During this time I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have worked for some amazing brands incl: Samsung, Virgin, Berghaus, 3 Mobile, Universal Music, National Express, Mercedes and Durex SSL. Neither our industry, nor my role, has stood still over the past 19 years. There’s always so much to love about the job because there’s always something new to discover and understand.

I joined Amaze in 2010 and am now Strategy Director with primary responsibility for Toyota Europe and Hiscox Insurance, as well as having worked on Saucy Fish, Coca Cola Enterprises, NSPCC, Unilever and Carlsberg. It’s a great job, but the one thing I’ve learnt is that it’s nothing without the right people around you to make things happen. Whilst we’re all great thinkers, our agency is hired to make things happen for our clients. Our worth is only as good as our next idea and the people who come up with it.

Amaze have been working with MCS since 2013 because we understand that having the right skills, talent and aptitude is what helps us all keep our jobs and keep our clients profitable and competitive. Nobody at school told me a job like this existed, I had to seek it out for myself. That can’t carry on. We have to find the right people early on and help them find the best use of their talents.

Finance Governor

- Position Vacant -

Staff Governor

Staff and Industry Professional

Rob Croll -

Robert is responsible for developing the student experience for all students at Manchester Creative Studio and Collective Spirit Free School through personal coaching, SEN and Gifted & Talented initiatives, student voice, extended curriculum activities and Industry live briefs.

Robert has worked with young people over 20 years in formal and informal educational settings as a coach, mentor or teacher. Robert was lead for recruitment for Collective Spirit Free School until opening 2013 and led the consultation and recruitment of parents, students and partner employers for Manchester Creative Studio from bid to opening phase in 2014.

Robert has previously been Chairman of Shockout Academy (that teaches industry performance arts skills to 4–18 year olds in Manchester), and chair of the Board of Trustees at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Community Governor

Simone Spray -

I started as the CE at 42nd Street in July 2014. 42nd Street is based in central Manchester and we support 1000’s of vulnerable young people each year who are finding it difficult to cope with life’s stresses. We offer young people a unique and personalised package of support that could include one to one support and therapy,  therapeutic and identity based group work, a social action programme and opportunities to shape and take part in our creative programme- The Horsfall. I have an honours degree in Psychology and an MA in Youth and Community Work and I have been working with children, young people, families and communities for over 20 years. I cut my teeth in the public sector and became a senior Manager in one of the UK’s first Children’s Trust in Trafford and then went onto run the Extended Services Strategy in Oldham where I developed my skills and passion for community cohesion and tackling child poverty. I then went on to run the UK Child Poverty Programme at Save the Children where we focused on scaling evidence based, early intervention programmes that tackled the root causes of child poverty across Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England. I then spent two years developing my charitable leadership skills working at Keep Britain Tidy as Deputy Chief Executive at a critical point in the charity’s history.  I led the organisation through a complicated merger and restructure enabling the charity to increase its campaigning profile, diversify income and survive cuts of around £8million over 3 years. I am now delighted to be working back in my home of Greater Manchester, supporting organisations that promote equality, campaign for social justice andstrive for the economic, social and cultural devolution. I am married to a talented pyro-technician Peter and wehave two children Amy, aged 23 and Flo, aged 8, who both teach me something new every day.

Parent Governor

Joanne Nasr -

Joanne is the parent of a Year 11 student who has complex medical problems that have effected her schooling throughout her life.  He daughter joined MCS part-way through Y10.

Education Governor

- Position Vacant -