Learning Accord Multi Academy Trust

Partnership Promoting Excellence

Elm Street, Skelmanthorpe, Huddersfield, HD8 9DZ

01484 863306

Trustees

 

Elaine Watson (Ex-Officio) 

CEO and Executive Headteacher

   

Elaine is CEO & Executive Headteacher of Learning Accord MAT & Executive Headteacher of Yorkshire Anglican Learning and Education Partnership.

Elaine has significant experience of leadership within education, and became a National Leader of Education in 2009.

Elaine has worked with a wide range of schools in challenging circumstances (in an Ofsted Category or vulnerable) to lead and shape the school improvement process, working with a range of consultants, LA officers and school communities to secure improved outcomes.

Elaine is an accredited School Improvement Partner, Professional Partner and carries out Inspections for Ofsted. Elaine has experience of managing and delivering CPD, school to school support and initial teacher training. Elaine has extensive experience of financial management and the effective management of resources to secure best value.

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Gillian Hamer

Governance and Education Specialist

  

Gillian is the Chair of Trustees and current Chair of Governors at Scissett CE Academy. She has extensive experience of governance, recruitment and strategic planning.

She is a member of the Executive Board of Yorkshire Anglican Learning and Education Partnership, with direct involvement in overseeing the effective management and delivery.

Gillian is a retired senior leader with over 40 years in education as both a primary teacher with music specialism and within senior leadership roles in Kirklees, including experience as a former Deputy Headteacher.

Gillian was also a former Acting Headteacher at Rawthorpe Junior School and Carlinghow Princess Royal J & I School. Gillian was formerly appointed to the senior leadership team at Christ Church Academy Kirklees to help the school move forwards following an Ofsted Inspection.

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 John Knox 

Finance, Business, Audit and Estates Management Specialist.

 

John is an experienced accountant who has experience of human resources policy and legislation, information management, information technology, health and safety, property and corporate governance including risk management.

John is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and Chartered Global Management Accountants. He is an IOSH Health and Safety Trained Practitioner. As Director of Strategic Improvement and Head of Property at the Diocese of Leeds Church of England, John leads a property team providing an estates management services across a diverse property portfolio.

Previous experience includes the development of Service Business Plans, including the setting and monitoring of objectives and key performance indicators. In addition, John has developed and implemented a budget strategy based on income growth.

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Dorothy Gott

SEND,

Inclusion and Governance Specialist

  

Dorothy has significant experience within education as an outstanding teacher and Deputy Headteacher.

Dorothy has been a highly effective SENCO and has additional qualifications in Special Education Needs and Dyslexia. She has supported Kirklees LA with their PSHE provision. Dorothy has particular expertise within Initial Teacher Training and staff development and has led training at both a local and authority level.

Dorothy has significant experience of governance and is currently a school governor at St Aidan’s C of E Academy. Dorothy has been a lead governor for recruitment and a key governor on the finance and resources committee. Prior to working within the education sector, Dorothy worked (for over 10 years) as a research chemist in industry; in a pharmacy department of an NHS hospital and in the support services within Higher Education.

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Julie Bowdidge 

CPD and ICT Specialist

 

Julie has over 30 years’ experience in Education and Children Services, much of this in senior leadership roles, covering areas such as Leadership and Management, Strategic CPD & ICT, Support Services, Business Planning and Traded Services.

This has included working with Headteachers and school leadership teams, unions and professional associations and external organisations such as the National College and local universities. Julie is a Director and lead professional of Collaboratives.co.uk educational consultancy.

She has experience of supporting schools, developing partnerships and collaborations, leadership and development programmes, coordination and arrangement of workshops and conferences, deployment of associate staff, in school training and supporting schools with academy conversion. Julie also has substantial experience in school governance. She has had roles as governor, vice chair and chair over a 15-year period.

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 Dr Kikelomo Kila

Senior Lecturer in Law, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

University of Huddersfield       

 

 Kikelomo Kila is a senior researcher in climate change, renewable energy and corporate regulation law and policy in developing countries. Her extensive research in climate change law earned her an endorsement as an Exceptional Talent in Legal Research by the British Academy in March 2020 and she has a recent Book (with Routledge 2022) and Book Chapter (2020) publication with Cambridge University Press. She obtained a PhD in Climate Change Law and Policy from the University of Exeter under full doctoral sponsorship by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund. She obtained her LLB from the University of Buckingham in 2009 and LLM in Oil and Gas Law from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen in 2012. She is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and a Senior Research Consultant (Policy, Consultation and Legislative Drafting) to the Constitution Review Committee of the Nigerian Senate. Kikelomo specialises in teaching Employment Law, Climate Change Law, Torts Law and Equity and Trusts Law and has practical experience in employment and torts law matters. Kikelomo's teaching expertise also covers a broad range of foundational law modules including Criminal Law, English Legal System, EU Law, and Competition Law.

Kikelomo has published several journal articles in the field of climate change and corporate regulation in developing countries and has presented her research works at several academic conferences globally. She has also been involved in organising conferences with leading researchers and stakeholders from universities in New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, South Africa, UK, and Italy to discuss topical issues in climate change, Energy, Environmental and sustainable development legal framework and policies. She has experience in designing and developing virtual learning programmes for teaching and learning in higher education and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Howard Astin 

Retired Vicar, extensive Governor experience with a solicitor background

Howard was the Vicar at St John's Bowling Bradford for 29 years developing various congregations and setting up a number of community charities.  Howard retired in 2017 and is now living in the Netherton/Honley area of Huddersfield.  He remains as Chair at one of the Bradford charities, Emerge Young People's Charity and is part of the preaching team at Holy Trinity Huddersfield.

 

Howard also has extensive experience (30+ years) as a governor at various schools/academies including being the Chair of Governors at Bradford Academy for many years which included working with Canon Richard Noake.

 

Skills and further experience that Howard brings to the trust are; a solicitor background, management, finance, accounts/budgets, being a mentor and providing personal support where needed.

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Baljit Birring  

Senior Consultant for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at Advance HE

Baljit has a successful track record of working at senior levels in Children’s Services leading teams on Equality, Diversity and Raising Achievement of Minority Ethnic pupils and School Leadership & Management.

For the last ten years Baljit has been working as an educational consultant working with the DfE, Teaching Schools Council and the LWY Equality & Diversity Hub school to help develop and supporting the implementation of a school-led system and to address the lack of diversity in school leadership.

Baljit is a senior consultant for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at Advance HE.


Baljit has substantial experience of school governance across primary and secondary schools as a governor, vice chair and Director on Trust Boards. Currently she is Chair of Governors (at Farfield Primary and Nursery School) in Bradford, which was a 'Requires Improvement' school when she was approached to join the governing body in 2019, under her leadership it is now a 'Good' school. Baljit has continued to develop her skills and expertise and has completed the National Governor’s Association Chair’s Development programme and is currently near completion of the Ofqual Effective Governance level 6 course.

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 Tracy Commons FCIM

Associate Director, External Relations at Leeds Beckett University

Tracy is an Associate Director at Leeds Beckett University with strategic accountability for the External Relations Service. Tracy leads a team responsible for the advancement and management of Leeds Beckett University's reputation and profile in the UK and internationally. This includes management of the university's communications and campaigns, creative, digital and events, alumni and partners teams. 

Tracy is the current chair of the Leeds Anchor Network marketing and communications group and an independent steering group member at Leeds Business Improvement District.

Tracy is also a Trustee for Leeds Mind - an independent charity affiliated with National Mind and the Mind federation. 

Prior to working within the higher education sector, Tracy worked at Kirklees Council and Welcome to Yorkshire. She was part of the team responsible for delivering and securing investment to bring large scale events to Yorkshire, including the Grand Depart Tour de France, Yorkshire Festival and Tour de Yorkshire.

Tracy Commons

Academy Ambassador

Marketing and HR Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members

Gillian Hamer, Governance and Education Specialist

Gillian is the Chair of Trustees and current Chair of Governors at Scissett CE Academy. She has extensive experience of governance, recruitment and strategic planning. She is a member of the Executive Board of Yorkshire Anglican Learning and Education Partnership, with direct involvement in overseeing the effective management and delivery. Gillian is a retired senior leader with over 40 years in education as both a primary teacher with music specialism and within senior leadership roles in Kirklees, including experience as a former Deputy Headteacher. Gillian was also a former Acting Headteacher at Rawthorpe Junior School and Carlinghow Princess Royal J & I School. Gillian was formerly appointed to the senior leadership team at Christ Church Academy Kirklees to help the school move forwards following an Ofsted Inspection.

The Right Revd Bishop Smitha Prasadam (Bishop of Huddersfield) 

The Bishop of Huddersfield is the Rt Revd Smitha Prasadam. She was consecrated in summer 2023. She studied English Literature and Linguistics at the College of Ripon and York St John, (University of Leeds). Born into the Church of South India, her family then moved to the Anglican Church in Wales. Both her parents were pioneer mission partners with the Church Missionary Society, and her mother was the first Indian woman ordained in the UK. As Bishop's Adviser, Smitha initiated the Racial Justice Working Group in the Diocese of Europe.  As a member of the Archbishop's Transformations Steering Group she championed women's vocational pathways for flourishing.  Smitha is passionate about liturgy which breathes life into ancient texts so that they can be heard with new meaning and relevance.  She is known for mission and partnership with children and young people in schools. Smitha served as Chaplain of St Alban's Copenhagen, and served as Bishop's Racial Justice Adviser, Vocations Adviser and Chair of the House of Clergy in the Diocese in Europe. She is also a member of the General Synod, the Liturgical Commission, St John's College Council Durham, FGPSC and is Chair of Anglican Minority Ethnic Network (AMEN).

Revd. Nigel Sinclair (representing Diocesan Board of Finance)

Team Rector of Abbeylands Team Ministry. Degree in Public Administration (including 1 year working in a County Council Education Department). MA in Theology and Religious Studies. Experience as a governor in Six Primary Schools and Chaplain at Queen Mary’s School.

Revd. Helen Butler

Helen Butler has worked for 27 years in Primary, Secondary and Special Schools. She was judged an “outstanding” teacher and SENCo by OFSTED. Helen is Kirklees Partnership Manager for the University of the First Age, a national educational charity. She managed the Kirklees Extended Learning Service and was a School Improvement Officer supporting and challenging both Secondary and Primary phase schools. As Extended Schools Remodelling Advisor, Helen represented Kirklees Local Authority at national and regional forums. Helen is a Director and lead professional of Collaboratives.co.uk educational consultancy.