Schools within our trust:

Engage Academy

Reach Academy

Ethos College

Ethos Academy Trust

Knowles Hill Road, Dewsbury Moor,
Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, WF13 4QS

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 introduce 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.


Lorraine Absolon

Lorraine has almost 30 years’ experience of working for Kirklees Local Authority. Whilst taking on a number of roles during this time, the focus has always been on improving educational outcomes for vulnerable learners.

Following an initial period of time as an Education Social Worker, Lorraine moved into a role which enabled her to work in partnership with schools to develop whole school strategies aimed at improving attendance. This developed into a wider role across the local authority providing strategic advice and guidance regarding attendance and behaviour, linking in to the broader school improvement offer.

When the opportunity arose to concentrate on improving outcomes for children and young people in care Lorraine saw this as a natural move, linking her social work training and qualifications with the extensive experience of working within the learning services. She is currently a Team Manager in the Kirklees Virtual School for Looked After Children with key responsibilities that include ensuring that every child looked after by Kirklees has an appropriate school place, they are making at least the expected level of progress and are able to experience success within their learning journey.

Lorraine has continued her own learning journey, achieving a MA in Education Management in addition to seeking out opportunities for continued professional and personal development.

As a Trustee Lorraine’s focus will be:

  • Ensuring that there is a high quality curriculum offer that is flexible enough to meet the needs of students who have experienced barriers to their learning;
  • Ensuring that members of staff have the skills – and support – necessary to enable students to make progress and achieve their potential;
  • Ensuring that the Trust is able to contribute to building capacity in schools across the local authority to meet the needs of vulnerable learners.

Away from work, Lorraine’s interests include reading, gardening and travel.

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 pre schools 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.

Jo Firth

Jo has worked across FSTE 100 companies and the public sector, both in the UK and the UAE. Most recently appointed as the Director of Health, Safety, Quality and Environment for a large European consultancy, Jo brings strategic and operational business expertise in estates and facilities management, health and safety, quality management and sustainability.

With 3 young children of her own, Jo recognises the importance that all children (and their families) be given the support they need to achieve their ambitions. Ethos Academy Trust is dedicated to improving the life chances of all students by providing a high educational experience within an outstanding support network, and Jo is dedicated to its ongoing development and expansion.

In her spare time Jo enjoys running and is in training for her second marathon.

Charles Haygarth

Charles has enjoyed an extensive career working in the financial services industry as a Risk and Compliance Director. He has served on a number of Boards specialising in the design and implementation of governance frameworks and taking the lead in liaison with the Financial Conduct Authority who regulate the industry.

More recently Charles ran his own compliance consultancy advising firms on a range of regulatory topics.

Retiring in 2018, Charles has written his first novel which will be published in the Spring of 2019. In his spare time Charles enjoys cycling and keeping fit, playing golf and watching football.

Marcus Newby

Marcus is in his second headship having worked in schools in Kirklees for twenty-one years.  He is the chair of Kirklees Primary Heads, the lead of The Summer’s Hub in North West Kirklees, a member of Kirklees’ Schools’ Forum and a Kirklees Learning Partner (KLP) serving four schools in the authority.  Marcus took his current school, Howard Park Community School, from ‘Requires Improvement’ to a strong ‘Good’ in two years and has empowered staff to make rapid gains in pupil achievement and a develop school full of ‘absolute joy’.

Marcus is a Parent Trustee, appointed whilst his daughter, who has medical needs, was being home tutored by Ethos College.  Marcus is absolutely committed to supporting the Trust due to ‘the highest quality of education and pastoral care that his daughter received at Ethos’.  He has a particular interest in inclusion, equality and social equity and is a passionate advocate of improving awareness of mental health issues.

Marcus is a keen and accomplished artist. Most recently his work was accepted at the digital stage for the 2018 ‘Summer Exhibition’ at The Royal Academy.  He has a passion for the more ‘curious and bizarre’ in the world of arts and culture.

Andy Rawson

Having worked in Sales and Marketing for over 20 years, Andy was appointed to the role of European Sales Leader for Cummins Turbo Technology in 2015.

As an employee of Cummins, Andy can facilitate educational activities, careers advice, and exposure to industrial experience and connect pupils with industrial mentors to supplement the normal curriculum offered by the school.

In his spare time Andy enjoys many sporting activities including running, football (mainly watching these days) and golf.

A key responsibility for Andy will be to bring a business and marketing perspective to the team and, in parallel, Andy is seeking governance experience from working as a member the Board of Trustees.

Rob Whitehouse

Rob is a skilled practitioner who brings a wealth of teaching and leadership experience. Over the past three decades he has worked in Education, fulfilling many roles in both the Voluntary and Maintained sector. He helped to devise guidelines for safeguarding young people, in response to the Children Act, for the Church of England in the early 1990s. Rob has valuable experience overseeing the implementation of the Local Management of Schools in North Sheffield and taking part in strategic social action including sitting on the Sheffield Crime Prevention  Panel. He has worked as an Associate QCA Consultant helping to implement GCSE and A Level reforms. He sat on the Teacher panel of Farming and Countryside Education, an environmental charity, for several years and is a keen advocate of outdoor education.

With a track record in troubleshooting, rebuilding damaged relationships, resolving disagreements and team building, Rob has developed a unique skill-set which includes SEND, analysis of systems, data, and school improvement.

He looks forward to serving as the SEND Link Trustee and hopes to help see the exciting vision of the Trust realised.