Board of Directors

Diane Heritage

Chair of the Board of Directors

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Diane has been a governor for ten years and became Chair of the New Collaborative Learning Trust in 2016. She brings extensive experience of educational leadership at school, regional and national level.

A former teacher and twice headteacher, Diane has developed expertise across all phases, working with schools, trusts and partnerships in the development of a school led system.

Previously, Lead Associate for the National College for School Leadership, Diane specialises in coaching, professional learning, policy development and school improvement. She is currently Independent Chair for East Riding School Improvement Partnership and for several strategic groups serving Teaching School Hubs. As Senior Associate with the Education Endowment Foundation she works with a range of partners to bring the use of evidence-based practice closer to schools.

Carol Dewhurst OBE

NCLT Director (Vice Chair)

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I have been Chief Executive Officer of Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust since April 2014 overseeing the Trust growth from a three school MAT to Trust of 10 schools and over 7,000 pupils (as of Jan 2016). I am also acting as interim CEO for the set-up of a new Diocesan MAT in the Richmond area of North Yorkshire and sits as a Trustee on the LEAF Academy Trust board to support their re-brokerage in to Abbey Academies Trust. My work for BDAT also enables me to support a number of regional and national initiatives, most recently advising the Diocese of Leeds on their academy strategy and chairing the DfE West Yorkshire Strategic Partnership on collaborative working across education in the region.

I am a political science graduate from Leeds University and Chartered Marketer. I have worked in a number of public sector roles delivering project work across different areas of the children’s workforce from early years, social work and integrated working (every child matters). I previously worked as a team leader in the Academies programme at the Department for Education covering Yorkshire and Humber and the North West.

Neil Kaiper-Holmes

NCLT Director and Chair of the Audit Committee

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NCLT Director and Chair of the Audit Committee

Neil is a multi-skilled doctor and businessman with a record of managing diverse businesses in the health and communications sectors. He also has had an interest in a beef and dairy farm in Estonia! He is an experienced Chairman of both business and not-for profit organisations and a respected communicator with wide media experience.

As a founder of a private primary school, a previous Adviser to NCP and a former Governor at Tadcaster Grammar School whose wife has wide experience in the HE/University sector, he has a keen interest in, and knowledge of, education in the UK.

He is Vice-Chair of his Parish Council and is very involved with Charitable work, being Chair of the Thackray Museum of Medicine, past Chair and current Trustee of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and a lover of all sports.

He has 4 daughters and 7 grandchildren, and his youngest daughter was a student at NCP.

Bev Foster-Short

NCLT Director, Safeguarding & SEND Lead

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Bev has worked in skills and business support for more than 20 years developing and managing a number of complex programmes. For 7 years she ran her own consultancy working with a number of stakeholders including universities, colleges and the private sector. Her most recent role was with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership leading the DIT NPH funded KAM programme working with foreign owned businesses already invested in West Yorkshire. Her current role is Development Manager with the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combine Authority’s Growth Hub supporting businesses in South Yorkshire.

Anthony Dee

NCLT Director and Chair of the NCP Advisory Group

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For most of my career I have worked as a manager for bus and tourist companies. I have now retired after spending the last 4 years as a part-time driver for Poppletons’ Coaches in Pontefract. I am a member of the School Performance Review Board at Larks Hill and De Lacy Junior and Infants Schools which are part of the Pontefract Academies Trust. In the past I have been chairman of the Carleton High School Parent, Teacher and Friends Association and chairman of the Wakefield Association of School Governors. I am the Co-ordinator for the Highways and Rail Groups of Pontefract Civic Society. My two daughters attended New College, Pontefract and I am pleased to be given the opportunity to repay my gratitude for their education by giving my services to the College.

Alison Megahy

NCLT Director and Chair of the NCD Advisory Group

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Alison recently retired from a career as a teacher and manager in a diverse range of education settings. After teaching in FE and HE she progressed to Head of Sixth Form/Assistant Headteacher in two large secondary schools. She then took a role as a Senior Advisor at Doncaster Local Authority, responsible for implementing the 14-19 strategy, monitoring activity across the borough’s secondary schools and supporting structural intervention. Alison’s most recent position was Vice Principal at Longley Park Sixth Form College in Sheffield, with responsibility for curriculum and quality, where she worked for the last decade of her career before retiring in the summer of 2019. Throughout her career, Alison has persistently championed strategies to improve teaching, learning and assessment to impact positively on the life chances of young people. Alison became an Advisor at New College Doncaster when her youngest daughter was studying A levels there and became Chair the following year.

Phill Dixon

NCLT Director

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Phill was appointed as Chief Operating Officer at Leeds Trinity University in 2017, having previously held the post of Director of HR at Sheffield Hallam University. Phill is a Business Studies graduate, having studied for his degree as a sponsored student with the electricity supply industry where his career began at the age of 16.

During a career that spanned twelve years with Yorkshire Electricity Group plc, Phill worked on major business change initiatives including the privatisation of the business as part of the government drive to float UK utilities on the stock exchange. It was whilst working for the electricity industry that Phill gained his first senior managerial position and at the same time undertook a postgraduate diploma in People Management. He has been a Chartered Member of the CIPD since 1992.

Phill moved to join Portakabin Limited in 2002 with HR responsibility for the continental interests in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. As well as the European business, he also had HR responsibility for the international division which primarily concentrated on the oil and gas exploration sector in the Far East and South America.

Phill’s remit was one of business expansion and he worked extensively with country managers to help grow and expand the organisation throughout continental Europe and beyond.

Having worked as an HR professional for over 25 years, Phill has a strong interest in the people agenda within organisations and in particular the not for-profit sector. He is a former Trustee of St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield and a former Trustee of the Children’s Food Trust in Sheffield.

Deborah Green

NCLT Director

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Deborah is Chief Executive of ucisa a charitable company which represents the interests of Chief Information Officers in HE and FE and the teams they lead. Reporting to and working closely with the Chair of the Board of Trustees, she is responsible for upholding the charitable object of ucisa, providing strategic, operational and personnel management for ucisa and its subsidiary companies. Prior to her appointment at ucisa, Deborah was Director of Student Recruitment at the University of Hull. Although a lawyer by profession, Deborah has a wealth of Higher Education experience joining Hull after five years, Deborah on the executive board at Leeds Beckett University where she led the Marketing and Corporate Communications Directorate. During her time there, Deborah led a major brand repositioning exercise, as well as one of the biggest communications programmes in Leeds Beckett’s history, in preparation for the university’s name change from Leeds Metropolitan University to Leeds Beckett in September 2014. Deborah also revolutionised the university’s approach to recruitment and the enquirer and applicant experience, developing and launching the university’s first major integrated marketing & recruitment campaigns, which included a range of innovative digital outputs, in addition to their first television campaign; building a multi award winning team in the process.

Russell Heritage

NCLT Director and Chair of the Wingfield Advisory Group

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Russell is a recently retired Secondary Headteacher, Executive Headteacher and Local Leader of Education. He worked for 38 years in South Yorkshire schools initially as a teacher of Physical Education before moving into middle and senior leadership. Russell is passionate about the impact education can have on improving the life chances of young people especially disadvantaged students. He brings a wealth of experience in secondary education and understands the challenges and opportunities that secondary schools and trusts face. Russell is an advocate for the school led system and is keen to influence trust board decisions which will impact on the lives of future generations.

Russell has lived in the Pontefract area for most of his life, his son and daughter both attended New College Pontefract. He is a keen sportsman and has enjoyed participating in and watching sport.

Jo Twiby

NCLT Director

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I have a passion for unlocking the potential in students, ten years’ experience as a system leader in two high-performing multi-academy trusts and an intimate knowledge and understanding of teacher development and the education landscape. I admire the significant positive impact that New Collaborative Learning Trust has had on young people in our region and I look forward to contributing to NCLT’s vision, ethos and strategic direction. I am highly experienced in leading people, driving improvement and providing sensitive support and challenge to a range of stakeholders. Formerly Executive Director of English at Delta, I engaged and developed a high-performing team of nine subject directors and sixteen English departments, to establish and share a clear vision for English, which ultimately raised student achievement and exceeded national averages in academies predominantly serving communities characterised by privation. In June 2019, I began to lead the professional development across the Trust and brought coherence to the activities within our Teaching School Alliance, from initial teacher training (School Direct programme in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University) to active participation in the early rollout of the Early Career Framework, and delivery of the National Professional Qualifications. I undertook the complementary role of NPQ Assessor so I could better understand the demands placed on our participants and how to best support them through the change programme design and delivery. In October 2020, I led a successful application for two teaching school hubs, galvanising a partnership of schools and educational networks across the region. In my current role as Executive Director of Teaching School Hubs, I am deeply engaged with leading-edge thinking in the sector, utilising the best available evidence around professional development design and delivery. In collaboration with the Research School network, I am co-designing and co-delivering Phase 2 of a sustained cross-phase programme across our 53 academies, joint-funded by EEF, to continue our work in narrowing the gap and building leadership capacity around implementation. My priority is always students, and I approach all aspects of my role with their experience firmly in my view. In every interaction, I ask my team to consider the user experience – our participants, our facilitators, our schools, our partners, and our lead providers – in all their decision-making. At a practical level, it is vitally important that all colleagues fully understand and appreciate the challenges students, teachers and school leaders are facing.

Jasbir Singh

NCLT Director

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Through my professional career I have developed extensive experience of working with volunteers and have been involved with a number of organisations in a voluntary capacity. Within my roles in the Conservative Party I have developed strong skills in establishing safe practices and robust safeguarding and have been instrumental in ensuring the continuing wellbeing of a very wide range of volunteers. When representing a national organisation in the public eye and managing teams of people, it is essential that sound risk management and safeguarding practices are put in place to enable all those involved to achieve effective and successful outcomes within a safe environment. I have been responsible for the constant review and delivery of robust risk management for associations and teams across the whole of the north of England. For more than 15 years, I have worked collaboratively and engaged with government bodies at every level – national, local, legal, administrative and voluntary. Experiences within the charity sector, at local, regional and national level and with my own complex organisation, have enabled me to share best practice to develop stakeholder relations and deliver successful projects. I constantly strive to evolve and implement innovative, fresh and exciting strategic plans to adapt to the ever-changing environment, within a framework of clear and comprehensive safe practice. In my current role I am required to ensure that strong governance is in place to improve the institutional performance of the organisation, especially within the voluntary party. I am responsible in supporting the understanding and interpretation, not just the imposition of policies such as policies around discipline and the investigation of complaints. Through my work which deals with disputes and conflict resolution I am required to adhere to the Nolan Principles of Public Life and, as a trained mediator, I have been able to rebuild relationships between individuals or groups where there are disputes.

Michael Phagurey

NCLT Director

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I have 8 years’ experience working throughout the Public & Charity sector in a financial capacity as a Chartered Accountant which will help my contribution to NCLT by analysing and interpreting research and managing any risks that occur. In my current role (R&I Accountant, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, I have attended contract review meetings with contract managers, commissioning managers, quality colleagues and providers which has given me the experience of how providers can be held to account through regular contract monitoring of KPIs. A part of my current role is to assist the Head of Commissioning Finance to provide integrated contracting, commissioning and financial information to facilitate the agreement of the Secondary Care Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) I do this by producing timely and accurate monthly financial performance reports with recommendations on actions required to maintain financial balance. I have been in situations where I have had to rely on my communications to relay complex information both verbally and written to internal and external stakeholders, which demonstrates that I can speak confidently in challenging situations whilst listening to the points of others. I am regularly involved in work-based extra-curricular activities, often giving up my spare time to help benefit the organisation. This has included volunteering at Covid clinics, being a member of the BAME network & New Ways of Working group and currently about to start a reverse mentoring program. I value diversity and difference in the workplace and always aim to behave with the highest amount of integrity. This can be done by working well with others, having a positive, helpful, and respectful attitude. I try to support this in our organisation by being a member of the BAME network and lead by example. I am enthusiastic about where I work but also the work I do, I am always keen to deliver the best quality and always keen to take on feedback on how to improve ways of working.

Bev O’Sullivan

Governance Professional to the Trust

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