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The Trustees

  • Victoria Del Giudice, Trust Board Chair+

    Victoria brings to the board a variety of experience from industry, including Finance, recruitment and business management. After taking a break from employment to raise her own two children Victoria felt she needed to put her skills to good use and made enquiries about joining the original Management Committee of the Pupil Referral Service (PRS). After a year as Parent Governor, supporting the PRS to move from maintained schools to academy status, she was elected Chair of the new Trust board.

    Victoria’s passion and commitment to Ethos Academy Trust is driven by a desire to connect with people who want to share their expertise and passion with causes throughout Kirklees that need help to support the most vulnerable in our community. She actively seeks out opportunities to network and introduces charities, schools and the corporate world so that they work together for the benefit of all. Being part of shaping the future of education for those with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties is an honour and a privilege that Victoria doesn’t take lightly. She will strive to ensure that Ethos Academy Trust only enhances the opportunities open to those young people in Kirklees.

  • 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.

  • Graham Dewhirst+

    Graham enjoyed a long career as a partner in a private equity company having originally qualified as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has served on a large number of boards including a number of not for profit organisations.

    In 2015, with his family, he helped to create a charity focussed on helping young people in North Kirklees. The charity, Let June Make A Difference, is named after his late wife who died in April 2014.

    Graham enjoys music and watching sport from the comfort of an armchair.

  • Gary Cox+

    Gary brings 28 years of business leadership from his EMEA role working for Johnson and Johnson. He is a Chartered Management Accountant and successfully led Marketing, Finance, Strategy & Insights and IT functions during his tenure. He brings a wide range of experience, from creating commercial strategies in EMEA, to introducing initiatives to help improve employee performance through mentorship programs. He is passionate about people being given the opportunity to develop themselves and maximise their skills. He spent six years as a voluntary school governor at his old primary school. He is an official mentor at Leeds University Business School. He recently left Johnson and Johnson to pursue a career in mentoring & coaching to help businesses and individuals. He is also keen to help people improve their mental wellbeing and overall outlook on life. He is in the final stages of completing a book and program to help people improve their chances in life.

  • Karen Bennett+

    Karen has over 25 years of experience in a wide variety of HR roles gained within both a multinational chemical company and a professional services environment. Karen is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personal and Development and she brings this HR background alongside her Operational leadership roles, significant project management exposure and experience in managing diverse organisational and cultural change programmes to the board.

    After chairing two apprenticeship trailblazers and supporting the development of the new T level qualifications, Karen changed career two years ago and is now a Senior Policy Advisor within the Apprenticeship Directorate for the Department of Education.

    Karen brings with her a passion to support young people to achieve their full potential in all areas of life and is a school governor at the Manchester Academy. Karen brings both her private sector career and HR background combined with her more recent experience of developing policy options within the civil service to the trust.

    Karen enjoys continually learning and trying new hobbies.  She is a qualified yoga teacher, Reiki Master, British Sign Language (Level 2), enjoys meditation and has recently taken up knitting – although still has not managed crochet!

  • Donna Tandy+

    Donna is the CEO of Palladian Academy Trust, a mixed MAT of 10 like-minded church and community schools (1 secondary and 9 primaries) across Bath and Wiltshire.   Donna works in partnership with schools, ensuring all staff and children are able to fulfill the commitment of ‘learning together, making the difference’.

    Donna has extensive experience as a Primary Headteacher, Academy Improvement Partner and Deputy CEO. Prior to relocating to the South West, she was the Deputy CEO for Focus-Trust who have 15 primary schools across West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. Four of these schools are in Kirklees. Donna has a proven track record of securing sustainable improvement in her own schools and through supporting others. She has been a Pupil Premium reviewer and has a particular interest in improving the life chances for disadvantaged pupils. She is passionate that the curriculum on offer recognises and celebrates the context, but also provides opportunities for pupils to ‘look out’ and experience the wider world to build their social capital and improve life chances.

    Donna is keen that this role will promote MAT to MAT working and collaboration across the sector that will benefit both Ethos and Palladian, as both organisations enter a new and exciting phase of their development.

  • Jem Greenwell+

    Jem is an executive business leader in the global food and beverage industry. Having progressed her career in different roles covering Sales, Marketing, New Product, and Packaging Development, Business Development and most recently General Management, she has created a strong platform on which her leadership credentials are built.

    Bringing a wide experience in strategic business planning for sustainable growth, successful change management, commercial leadership and customer understanding she considers these experiences valuable to support the central Ethos Academy Trust team in their mission to nurture inclusive learning communities. Believing that people are the key to any successful organisation; she brings experience of mentoring to help and support people to excel and realise their potential.

    She believes education should be available to all regardless of background and circumstance, and that the work of the Ethos Academy Trust plays a great part in ensuring the life chances of its students are maximised.

    Jem hopes that as a trustee, her business experience will help the Trust realise its growth aspirations and that it is able to support more and more children achieve their dreams.

  • Alison Black+

    Alison is Director of Standards and Continuous Improvement at South Pennine Academies. She has extensive experience as a headteacher and school improvement adviser in both Primary and Secondary phases of education. As a headteacher, Alison has successfully led three newly sponsored academies to achieve good inspection gradings as well as achieving outstanding in her first headship.

    Alison believes that a good education is the key to improving life chances. She is passionate about ensuring that vulnerable and disadvantaged students in particular are able to access high quality curriculum provision, support and personal development that will enable them to be successful in the future.

Get in Touch

Ethos Academy Trust

Field Hill Centre
Batley Field Hill
WF17 0BQ

Telephone01924 478 482


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