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Pontefract Academies Trust

Our School Governors

John Beevers (Chair)

I attended The King’s School Pontefract until 18 and then started a career in finance with Wakefield MDC. I qualified as a chartered accountant and worked my way through to become the Head of Corporate Finance with the council. In 2006 I moved to work with Nottingham City Council as Head of Financial Projects which involved working on many large projects such as the redevelopment of Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, the new tram system and the relocation of the council offices from several buildings into one central hub. Whilst at Nottingham I also took on the lead financial responsibility for Children’s Services at a time when the development of academies was beginning. In 2010 I was appointed as Director of Finance at Outwood Grange Academies Trust and then in 2013 I became Chief Financial Officer at Wakefield City Academies Trust. Both of these organisations are major multi-academy trusts and run approximately 40 academies between them. I joined the Delacy School Governance Committee in March 2015 and became the Chair in June 2017.

Trish Hollies (Vice Chair)

I grew up on a council estate on the outskirts of Leeds in the late 50s and sixties was selected for a place at the local grammar school where she decided teaching was to be my career. After qualifying as a teacher I worked in a secondary school, later in primary and finally a nursery school, where at this point I started working with families. A move into ‘Family Learning’ subsequently followed and I worked for a number of providers who created and developed courses to help parents support their child’s learning, improve their own skills, develop their confidence and enable them to have more of a say in local community matters. I later moved into my current role in Adult Education becoming an Area Education Organiser for the WEA. During the time my boys entered secondary school I was asked to become a school governor and left in 1999. Before long I was invited back and also became a governor at a local primary school. During this time I taken on a range of roles usually in relation to special needs, safeguarding and inclusion as well Chair of Governors up until last year. My heart lies with working with parents, seeing the impact learning has on families, seeing a parent lead by example, the child celebrating their parent’s success and, in turn, raising aspirations for their family and future. I feel proud and privileged to be part of that and to continue work as Governor of Delacy Primary school be part of Pontefract Academies Trust.

Averil Birch

My working background in Education began as a college lecturer in Post 16 Education before moving into Adult and Community Education with the voluntary sector and then with Wakefield MDC. I worked in a variety of roles including managing Education Centres and in development work with regeneration projects in local communities. Throughout this time I worked with primary and secondary schools to offer learning opportunities for parents and the wider community in order to improve outcomes for children and their families. I have been a Governor in primary schools for around 10 years and I am committed to working as part of a team to have an impact on delivering education which meets the needs of all children and allows them to achieve their potential in a happy and safe environment.

Sarah Asquith (Parent School Governor)

I am relatively new to the School Governance Committee joining in the summer of 2017.  I have two children currently in year six and one child currently in year four.  I am enjoying bringing the parent view to the Committee.

Jeff Allinson

I was born and educated in Castleford. After working as a foreign languages teacher across the Midlands, I completed 15 years as a secondary headteacher in Cheshire and Wakefield then worked until retirement as a part-time tutor for both Wakefield Adult and Community Education Service and for Leeds University Dept of Education.

Following semi-retirement in 1992, I started as a volunteer in my local Pontefract community, serving as a governor for 23 years at Larks Hill J& I School – 19 of them as Chair. I was a founder member of the Pontefract Education Trust and the Pontefract Academies Trust.

I've been a governor at De Lacy Primary since 2013 and at Halfpenny Lane J&I since May 2017. I've served as an elected member of the Wakefield Schools Forum since 2006.

John Gough

My background is as a chartered quantity surveyor. My most recent role was as chairman of the LIFT Board for Barnsley PCT. This board was responsible for ensuring joined up services in new, bespoke facilities in local communities, working with NHS, Local Authorities and private sector developers. Between 1985 and 1999 I worked for Barnsley MBC as a contracts manager. This role involved significant quality improvement responsibilities for the Local Authority. I had key responsibilities for corporate procurement, best value processes and transfer of council services to third party charitable trusts. In my role at Barnsley MBC, I led and managed significant change in social services following an adverse inspection report. For example, a full restructure of senior management, the development and implementation of a quality improvement plan endorsed by the social services inspectorate. The department was ultimately graded ‘outstanding’. As part of this role I reported both to elected members and to the inspectorate. My current role is as chair of the corporation of New College Pontefract. Graded outstanding in all areas of the Ofsted common inspection framework in 2014. I have been involved with the corporation since 1993. I am chairman and trustee of the Kings Foundation, as a nominee from the Duchy of Lancaster. This foundation provides financial assistance to students in Pontefract, with a focus on raising aspiration for disadvantaged young people. I am a Member for the recently incorporated NewCollaborative Learning Trust a family of 16-19 colleges located in areas of historical and persistent underachievement across Yorkshire and the Humber. I am a member and trustee of Pontefract Academy Trust and Chair of its Audit and Risk Committee. I am also currently serving on the Executive School Governance Committee for Carleton High School, and the School Governance Committee for Carleton Park J&I School

Julie Craig

As someone who was born and bred in the district, and who has achieved social mobility through being actively supported and encouraged by my parents to take advantage of great educational opportunities, I have sought to not only make education my career but also my hobby. I have served as a governor in primary, middle and secondary schools since the 1990's. During my time in Pontefract, I have been passionate about providing the best educational opportunities and securing continuously improving outcomes for children and young people of our area, being a key advocate to champion the initial creation of the Pontefract Academies Trust and continuing to secure the vision and strategy to drive it's development since that time. I am currently employed as CEO/Executive Headteacher of the Pontefract Academies Trust, having been Headteacher at The King's School from September 2000- August 2014. I previously worked in Senior Leadership roles locally at Hemsworth High School and further afield at Medina High School on the Isle of Wight. I held other teaching and leadership posts at Hemsworth and at Normanton Freeston High Schools. I have a degree in Economics and hold a Post Graduate Certificate of Education. I have undertaken relevant educational leadership and management training culminating in the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers, Leadership

Programme for Serving Headteachers, and Executive Headteacher System Leadership Programme. The school that I led, achieved consistently Good ratings in Ofsted inspections in 2005, 2007, 2010 with some areas rated as outstanding. Ofsted inspections carried out in the Trust's 6 primary schools have recorded significant improvements, with all schools now being judged Good. Previous governance roles were undertaken in the Normanton and Altofts area and also on the Isle of Wight. As the Headteacher at King's for many years I was an ex-officio governor. On becoming a Trust and sponsoring 2 primary schools in the area, I have served as a Governor on their governing bodies for the last 4 years - both schools moved from being judged as requiring Special Measures to a 'Good' rating within two years. I have served as a director of Wakefield Theatre in the past and am currently a parish councillor.