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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.

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