Bishop Nick is the first Bishop of Leeds, an area covering North, West and South Yorkshire established in 2014. Bishop Nick was previously Bishop of Bradford (2013-14) and before that was Bishop of Croydon (in the Diocese of Southwark). He worked as a linguist at GCHQ prior to training for ordination at Trinity College, Bristol. He has a particular expertise and passion for communication and is known for his engagement with the media including national broadcasting (e.g. BBC radio). He also represents the Archbishop of Canterbury at international conferences and is the English Co-chair of the Meissen Commission which develops relationships between the Church of England and the Evangelical Church in Germany.
Baroness Eaton DBE DL has been a Life Peer since 2010 sitting on the Conservative benches. In 1984 she was co-opted onto the Education Committee of Bradford MDC. In 1986 she was elected to Bradford MDC and continued to serve on the council until 2016. From 2000 until 2006 she was the first woman Leader of the Council. Baroness Eaton has a wide range of interests in her work in the House of Lords including culture education, communities, housing, families and social services.
Jonathan is the CEO and Diocesan Secretary for the Diocese of Leeds. He has responsibility for the governance and administration of the Diocesan Board of Finance. This includes the management of £200m of assets, overseeing all aspects of Diocesan operations and leading the delivery of the Diocesan strategy. Prior to this role, Jonathan was a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Justice, most recently undertaking the role of National Services Director of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service. Jonathan brings an established track record of improving processes and efficiency as well as leading the process to introduce new digital ways of working for users across the country. He provides expertise in good governance, risk management and programme management as well as general leadership experience.
Matthew is a lawyer advising corporate, third sector and trustee clients on pensions law and trusts law since 2004. He also advises on PPP/PFI projects and on property issues. He has been a Member of the Leeds Diocesan Board of Education since 2017 and was a trustee director of the Wakefield Diocesan Board of Education between 2012 and 2014. He was a Trustee of a pre-school playgroup between 2004 and 2009, responsible for finance and HR matters. He has been involved with church governance since 2005, as a member of his PCC, on Deanery Synod, on Diocesan Synod, and on several Diocesan Boards and Committees. He is currently the Chair of the House of Laity of the Leeds Diocesan Synod and a member of the Leeds Board. He is also involved with various non-Church third-sector groups, including Amnesty International, the European Movement, and groups in the pensions industry.
What are Members in an Academy Trust?
The Members effectively establish the company and appoint the Board of Directors. They have few obligations and largely exercise an ‘eyes on / hands off’ role. They have no involvement in the day-to-day business of the Trust. Their duty is to exercise their powers in such a way as to further the charitable objects of the Trust. They are to remain independent of the Board of Directors. The majority Members (3), representing the corporate nature of the Church of England Diocese of Leeds, appoint two further independent Members. The majority Members also appoint the majority of the directors to the Board of Directors and can remove any of those directors. Members will intervene if things are going wrong in the Trust and can appoint additional directors if they need to. Members have reserved powers to amend the articles and to appoint and remove auditors.
Board of Directors
Peter has been a solicitor all his working life and retired in 2022. He built a strong reputation as a family lawyer. Described as ‘calm and incisive’ in the 2015 edition of the Legal500, Peter joined his firm’s family team to deal with specifically high-value claims and high net-worth individuals in family and matrimonial proceeds. Peter was also the Diocesan Registrar for the Diocese of Leeds until March 2022, leading on legal advice to the Diocesan Board of Finance including in matters regarding safeguarding legislation. Peter brings legal, policy and negotiation skills to the trust. He was appointed as Chair of LDLT.
Geoff has been CFO for the Diocese of Leeds since early 2018, prior to which he was Head of Management Reporting at UK Asset Resolution. He is also a Trustee of Marrick Priory Trust and The Methodist Relief and Development Fund. He brings experience of financial management across a number of companies, alongside the knowledge and expertise developed in other trustee roles within the not-for-profit sector.
Richard is an experienced Town Planner, working for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority for the past 15 years, with 10 years as its Head of Development Management. This is a senior management role with responsibility for delivering an efficient and effective planning service. Richard is responsible for over 700 planning decisions made by the Authority on planning matters and representing it on regional and national groups. He makes a positive contribution to the strategic leadership of the organisation as well as managing a public-facing service. Richard has extensive practical experience of planning and development in urban and rural areas, having previously worked in York, Reading and Oxford. He is used to working constructively with politicians, developers, partners in other public bodies and the public. He holds a degree in Town and Country Planning and is a charged member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. As a member of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) of Holy Trinity Church Ripon, Richard makes a positive contribution to the leadership and governance of the church and continues to make particular contributions to developing a church mission that serves its community and in delivering youth activities. He brings a wealth of skills and a strong commitment to the Christian foundation of the Trust.
Angela is passionate about ensuring all children have the best education but grow up knowing that they each have a role contributing to society. She has recently retired from the post of Diocesan Director of Education for the Catholic Diocese of Leeds where for over 11 years she advised schools in 8 local authorities mainly in West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. She is a member of the DfE Early Years and Schools Recovery Advisory Group and a member of the DfE Working Group 1 advising on the Academy Trust Handbook and a collaborates regionally through the DFE West Yorkshire Strategic Partnership. Angela has been chair of a Leeds MAT since its establishment 5 years ago as a single primary school trust that has since grown to 8 academies. She has also overseen the establishment of a further 4 MATs in the Catholic diocese and the conversion of around 60 schools. Previously Angela worked for the Education team at Leeds City Council specialising in governance and has been a school governor for 26 years at primary, secondary and special schools in the region. Angela was awarded the OBE for services to education in the Queen’s New Year Honours in Jan 2017. Prior to her career with schools, she was a virologist at Leeds University before working as an accountant specialising in trusts. Whilst bringing up her two daughters Angela was appointed to the regional Consumer Council for Water with a special interest in consumer debt issues, complaint management and improving the quality of Yorkshire rivers.
Khal is a senior associate solicitor at Harrogate-based law firm Berwins. A member of the Commercial Property team, he has almost 20 years’ legal experience, much of which has been gained at firms across West & North Yorkshire, particularly those centred around Leeds, Harrogate & Ripon.
Whilst Khal handles a wide variety of commercial property matters, he has a storied background working on all sorts of transactions within the property sphere, including those of a residential and agricultural nature.
Having 2 children in local secondary and primary schools, he is passionate about the success of all educational facilities and suppliers and looks forward to working with the Trust and its members for the betterment of the Trust’s schools and benefit of the teachers and students alike.
Kate is the Finance Director for the Leeds based Collaborative Learning Trust, a growing multi-academy trust comprising both faith and non-faith schools across Leeds and Bradford. As a senior leader of a growing Trust, Kate brings a range of experience in establishing a successful and supportive central services function across Finance, HR, Operations, IT, Site and Governance, however her main expertise lies in Trust financial management. Prior to joining the Collaborative Learning Trust, Kate spent 12 years in the financial services sector for a large, multi-national firm, holding a range of positions across the finance function, most recently working as the Finance Director for one of the global businesses.
Andy retired from full time work in July 2023, having been a Service Director since January 2019 and was part of the Directorate Management Team for Children’s Services in Wakefield. Andy managed a team of 600 individuals and a budget of £46m across a diverse educational landscape. Together the team built on their 2021 ‘Good’ ILACS inspection and developed an integrated system (Wakefield Families Together) with colleagues in health, police, education, voluntary sector and social care to effectively support young people and their families. As part of this approach, Andy co-produced with education leaders, a more inclusive system which reduced permanent exclusions and supported vulnerable young people remaining in mainstream education.
Since retiring Andy has become the Chair of the Barnsley Schools Alliance, the Independent Chair of Rochdale’s Fair Access Panel and a Trustee with Lingfield Academy Trust, Accord Academy Trust (Wakefield) and Leeds Diocesan Academy Trust.
Andy qualified as a Reception Teacher in 1984 with his first post in London and has taught all primary age groups as well as holding senior leadership positions across several Local Authorities; including being a Primary Headteacher for 12 years. Andy has worked in school improvement since 2005; first as a school adviser and latterly as Head of School Improvement for North Yorkshire County Council.
In his spare time, Andy plays guitar, follows Salford Red Devils RLFC and is an avid reader of various genres of literature from Grayson Perry to Bernard Cornwell.
Rev’d Stephen Hanscombe is the Vicar of Leyburn and Bellerby in the Yorkshire Dales and has been since 2019. Prior to Stephen’s ordination he was a teacher and a headteacher in primary schools.
As a Headteacher Stephen worked in a variety of schools; both church schools and community schools. All of the schools Stephen was Headteacher of were schools in challenging circumstances, including the last school he was substantive head of, which was in special measures when he was appointed and was deemed a good school during the time he spent as Headteacher. Following Stephen’s retirement from his substantive post he worked as Executive Headteacher for a church school in Bradford for two terms.
When Stephen was ordained he wanted to be able to combine his two vocations and he served as a Governor in both primary and secondary schools. This has given Stephen experience in school governance which will be used to support the LDLT Board of Directors.
What are Directors in an Academy Trust?
The directors have ultimate responsibility for the running of the Trust and the academies in the Trust. They exercise strategic oversight but not operational or day-to-day management of the Trust or its academies. The Board has three core priorities: clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction for the Trust; holding leaders to account for the educational performance of the academies and the effective performance of Trust staff; and overseeing the financial performance of the Trust and its academies. The directors have to ensure that the Trust is run in accordance with the law, including charity law, with the articles of association, the Academies Handbook and the directions given by the Department of Education and the Education Skills Funding Agency. Directors also appoint the CEO of the Trust and, in collaboration with the Local Academy Councils, the head teachers of each school. Directors must also have regard to advise and implement any directions given by the Diocese further to the Boards of Education Measure. Leeds Diocesan Learning Trust must have a Board of Directors of at least 3 directors appointed by the Members. Member-appointed directors must always be in the majority by at least 2. The articles prescribe that LDLT Members should appoint up to 7 directors. The directors themselves can appoint more directors. Directors can delegate significant powers to the local level through a scheme of delegation. For LDLT the local level is called the Local Academy Council and resembles in many ways the school’s previous Governing Body.
Local Academy Councils
What are Local Academy Councils in an Academy Trust?
Each school will have a Local Academy Council (LAC) that will, through a scheme of delegation, have local responsibility for the governance and oversight of the Academy. For former Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled schools the composition of the LAC will be almost identical to the former school Governing Body including Foundation Governor roles and a position for the local parish priest. School staff and parents have places on the LAC. The LAC have the responsibility for setting: the school vision and ethos; the strategic plan for the academy; the curriculum and staffing structure; and manage the budget at a local level working with the Trust’s Chief Finance Officer.