Gillian has over 30 years’ experience in mainstream secondary schools in various leadership roles. As Deputy Head, she currently leads on SEND, inclusion and wellbeing at a local high school. Gillian is also chair of the North Kirklees Behaviour and Attendance Collaborative. Gillian has a great deal of experience around safeguarding and SEMH needs and has a particular interest in issues around attachment and Adverse Childhood Experiences. She has had a long connection with Ethos Academy Trust and knows the difference the organisation makes to the lives of our most vulnerable young people. As a school leader, Gillian is aware of the challenges faced by education currently and has experience of curriculum, HR and wider educational issues.
Alastair has spent his career working with children and young people in numerous roles, starting in residential care and for most of his life in the Education Welfare Service. He is a Social Worker by training and has broad experience and knowledge of the multiple factors that impact on the educational and life chances of children and young people. He has worked in the local community all his life and has extensive knowledge of the range of agencies that support families and young people.
In addition to his work role, he has been involved in various guises in a range of local organisations. He was vice-chair on the Trust Boards of both a local hospital and Primary Care Trust. Such roles provided broad experience of financial management, human resource issues, strategic management, governance and an opportunity to gain in-depth experience and training around mental health issues. He has also been a governor for a range of primary, special and high schools throughout his adult life and presently serves as vice-chair on the Governing Body of a local mainstream high school.
Having retired recently Alastair spends his time pursuing his passion for cycling, volunteering with a local charitable organisation, continuing his own education, being an active school governor, travelling and enjoying family and social life.
Dr Rajeev Gupta+
Dr Rajeev Gupta has been a Consultant in the NHS for almost 20 years and was Assistant Professor in Regional Institute of Maternal and Child health for 5 years prior to that. Although he is a pediatrician, his experience is far more as a leader, author, researcher, professional executive and corporate coach. He has done a Triple Accredited MBA and is executive member of the Council of the Open University Business School. He is Chairman of the Central Specialist Advisory Committee of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health for General Pediatrics and Vice Chairman of the CESR for the Royal College. He has been Chair of the Regional Council of BMA Yorkshire for 5 years and Chair of the Regional Consultant Committee for 4 years. His main area of interest in clinical science is pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition and he has chaired the national education committee of British Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition for 3 years and has been a council member for the society.
Dr Gupta has organised many conferences including virtual Public Engagement and Educational seminars on Mental Health, the Impact of Covid-19, and the Holistic Management of Obesity (which gained over 10,000 viewers).
He is passionate about equality and has been working tirelessly over the past 25 years on various agendas including ethnic equality, gender equality and equality for those who are mentally or emotionally damaged. He does free coaching of women who have been physically or sexually harassed, helping many women to stand up, build self-esteem and start up business. He is Chair of the BME Network at Barnsley Hospital where he works currently, and is also involved in national and international BME Networks.
Dr Gupta is a qualified Yoga Teacher and has run yoga classes for doctors and their families to provide a holistic perspective of natural health. He has been a key person for the iPeer Support programme to support doctors, nurses and other professionals experiencing stress during the Pandemic.
Dr Gupta enjoys being creative: he writes poems and also has entrepreneur skills. One of his creations is a digital product Humanoid Digital Sales Assistant which won the International Hermes Creative Platinum Award in May 2021.
Katie is a chartered accountant with over 25 years of financial and audit experience, working in both the public and private sector. Since qualifying Katie has worked for multi-national corporations in the construction industry, consumer goods and professional services, working in over 100 countries. Such roles provided broad experience of transformation and project management, mergers and acquisitions, finance and risk management, strategic management, governance, and internal and external audit.
Being diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 23, Katie recognised the concerns disabled persons (and their families) face. As a result, Katie has a stubborn passion for diversity and inclusion, a desire to raise awareness and to drive inner confidence. This has included being Chair of the Disability Employee Support Network for the UK rail industry.
Katie decided to retire early to pursue her desire to support the most vulnerable in our communities. Katie is currently a Trustee for two Multi Academy Trusts in the North East – including Chair of the Finance, Audit, Risk and Resources Committee for Ascent Academies’ Trust; Finance Director for a Community Benefit Society and a Trustee for the UK charity, Young Epilepsy.
Jane Acklam OBE+
Jane is the founding CEO of South Pennine Academies (SPA). The Trust has eight open academies, including secondary, primary, two of which are primary free schools. There are plans for a further academy to join in the autumn term. In addition, the trust has two preschools serving the two to four age group. The trust also operates Huddersfield Horizon SCITT with over forty trainees. SPA has modest plans for growth over the next two years.
Jane has extensive experience as a secondary Headteacher, achieving two outstanding inspections, in a highly deprived area of West Yorkshire. She has been involved as a System Leader in School to School Support for over eight years. Whilst a Head she also led a very successful Teaching School Alliance.
Jane became an NLE in 2011, was awarded Headteacher of the Year for the North in 2009 in the Teaching Awards and has received an award from the General Teaching Council in 2009 for Excellence in Professional Development, Equality and Diversity.
In the 2017 New Year’s Honour List she was awarded an OBE, for her services to Education. She continues to be highly committed to her belief that high-quality educational experiences are a right for every child in our society and South Pennine Academies is determined to improve life chances for all students in its academies.
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