Trust Staff

The BDAT team

In addition to the Trustees, BDAT also employs a small central team to support the day to day running of the Trust:

Carol Dewhurst

CEO of the Trust

Carol has been Chief Executive Officer of Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust since April 2014 overseeing the Trust growth from a three school MAT to Trust of 14 schools and over 7,000 pupils by the end of 2017. Carol has also recently supported  for the set-up of a new Diocesan MAT in the Richmond area of North Yorkshire, acted as a Trustee on the LEAF Academy Trust board to support their re-brokerage in to Abbey Academies Trust and is a Trustee of New Collective Learning Trust, a new sixth form Trust in West Yorkshire.  Carol’s work for BDAT also enables her 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.

Carol is a political science graduate from Leeds University and Chartered Marketer. Carol has 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). Carol previously worked as a team leader in the Academies programme at the Department for Education covering Yorkshire and Humber and the North West.

Damian Chubb


Damian joined BDAT in September 2017 having previously been the Development & Standards Officer and central team lead for a similarly sized faith based Multi Academy Trust.

A later entrant to the teaching profession Damian completed his PGCE at the University of York in 1995 and for 17 years taught science and held various leadership posts, including Deputy Headship, in five different schools in Yorkshire, both independent and maintained. Soon after being designated as a Specialist Leader of Education for Science and CPD he was appointed Director of a cohort 1 Teaching School where he established a successful School Direct provision for ITT students destined for both mainstream and special school settings which had at its core a wide range of placement based learning experiences. In addition to the delivery of CPD for Alliance schools, Damian also planned and led on a number of DfE funded projects in such areas as Succession planning, Children Looked After, Early Years and Special Educational Needs, as well as coordinating a wide range of school to school support activities through the deployment of NLEs, LLEs and SLEs.

Damian will be working within the BDAT team for two days a week; the balance of his time will be spent in the establishment of the Dales Academy Trust in his capacity as CEO designate.

Peter Thompson

Director of Operations

Peter joined BDAT in November 2015. After a full career as a Warfare Officer in the Royal Navy during which he saw much of the world (especially the Gulf and West Indies) and gained a Master’s degree in Defence Studies, he took early retirement and moved to Yorkshire to become the Bursar at Bingley Grammar School. In 2007 he left there to take up the post of Bursar at a small co-educational all-through Independent day and boarding school in North Yorkshire prior to joining Woodhouse Grove School as Operations Director in 2012.

Peter’s expertise is in making business decisions to provide the best value support to staff and pupils to give every pupil the opportunity to achieve their full potential. He has delivered a number of high value projects involving new build and refurbishment programmes on time and on budget. As an HR Generalist, he provides advice and support to the management teams and enjoys building and shaping teams of people to meet the ever changing needs of schools.

Peter is Chair of Trustees of a small Multi- Academy Trust in Bradford

Samantha Rushworth

Business Support Officer

Samantha joined BDAT in April 2016 from the University of Bradford, School of Dementia Studies, where she provided full event management for a wide range of Dementia Courses delivered across the UK and provided a support service to the ADLT and 4 Dementia Care Trainers.

Samantha has spent most of her career working in education and has worked in schools for approximately 10 years in the role of Office Manager. Samantha is pleased to be back working with schools again and looks forward to being able to apply her previous school knowledge to this new role within the Trust. Working closely with Peter, Samantha will be the link between the Trust and Academies, providing support as and when required.

Victoria Bray

Governance Manager and Company Secretary

Victoria joined BDAT in April 2015 to support the Trust Board and its local governing bodies of the academies. Victoria has experience of providing clerking support to a number of governing bodies within the district and brings these skills to BDAT in order to provide support to the Trustees and governors in ensuring the effective functioning of the local governing bodies by providing quality assurance, Ofsted and DfE standard minutes and compliance.

Prior to her appointment Victoria was an Appeals and Admissions Officer at the School Admissions Team within Bradford Local Authority. She has over 10 years experience in dealing with numerous stakeholders to ensure placement of pupils into education within the district. Victoria bring with her knowledge of admissions and appeals procedures and policy.

Prior to this Victoria was employed as Crown Court Clerk at a Criminal Law Firm where she acted as brief to Council in Criminal Crown Court proceedings.

Victoria provides guidance and advice to the local governing bodies and line management of the Governance Support Officer and our team of casual clerks

Ashley Reed

Chief Finance Officer

Ashley joined BDAT in April 2016. Ashley’s background is 8 years working in public finances being 5 years with the School Funding Team at the Local Authority and laterally with Belle Vue Girls’ Academy as Head of Finance & Facilities. Ashley previously has 20+ years experience working in the commercial sector covering a myriad of roles ranging from Payroll Officer to Finance Director. Ashley chairs the Bradford Secondary Business Managers Forum which meets every half term.

In his spare time Ashley is a committed badminton player and coaches badminton at Bradford Kobras Performance Centre to a range of children from 4 years old to 18 years old. Ashley also is chairman of the Bradford & District Badminton League which he has been involved with for the last 10 years.

Lisa Smith

Finance Manager

Lisa joined BDAT in April 2016 from Bradford University, Faculty of Management & Law where she worked for over 11 years, her most recent post being that of Purchasing & Finance Administrator. Lisa is a qualified Accounting Technician, having achieved the Level 4 Diploma with the AAT in 2011.

Lisa has experience in purchasing, assisting in the production of monthly management accounts and advising on financial policies and procedures. She has excellent inter-personal skills and enjoys building relationships with new colleagues. Lisa works closely with the Trust Finance Director and is the link between the Trust and the Academies, providing advice and support when needed.

Craig Lee

Director of Primary

Craig joined the Team in September 2015 to support and work with the Primary Schools within the Trust.

Prior to his appointment Craig was the Executive Principal of a Church based Multi Academy Trust in South Yorkshire, successfully improving standards in 6 Primary Schools and increasing overall Ofsted grades of all the academies that had been inspected since they converted.

Craig has led schools to become Outstanding and also successfully taken schools out of Special Measures. Since 2004 Craig has been a Headteacher, an Executive Head and an Executive Principal of 7 schools and he became an National Leader in Education in 2010. Through this role Craig has also supported schools and leaders all over the country and has also been a speaker at local and national events. In the summer of 2015, Craig was chosen to attend the Queen’s Royal Garden Party in recognition for his services to Education.

Ann Morritt

Director of Teaching and Learning (Primary)

Ann has over twenty years experience working in education. Her career has involved roles within Wakefield and Bradford local authorities working as an improvement professional, a school leader, a consultant and as a classroom practitioner.

As a head teacher and as a vice principal, she effectively secured the necessary and rapid improvements that were needed to enable the academy to be judged by Ofsted as moving from satisfactory to good in all areas within two years.

Ann joined BDAT in September 2016 having recently supported an academy that was subject to special measures and having worked in the HE sector delivering initial teacher training for post-graduate students.

Helen Griffin

Director of Secondary

Helen taught for 32 years in a variety of secondary schools in Rotherham, Wakefield and Essex. She held a wide range of roles including ‘ acting headship’.

In 2006 she returned North to take up a post as a school improvement officer in Bradford specialising in working with schools facing challenging circumstances and developing leadership capacity in schools. This lasted until March 2015 (9 years). During her time at Bradford, Helen specifically supported Wyke Manor (now Appleton) as school improvement partner moving the school from SM to satisfactory; Immanuel College (from SM to good), Queensbury (from  SM to Satisfactory with good leadership), and Feversham College from (Good to outstanding).

In 2011 as part of this role, the secondary heads in Bradford requested that the Local Authority second Helen to act as the Operational Director for the newly formed Bradford Secondary Partnership. In this role Helen project managed all the work of the Partnership including coordinating the successful and rigorous self-review programme which all secondary schools in Bradford now participate. In this role Helen participated in over 150 school reviews led by OFSTED ex-HMIs or active inspectors. Helen also led the leadership development work embedding the NCTL system leadership programmes and Teaching Leaders work in the City. As part of her BP work, Helen also brokered and directly provided emergency school leadership support for Kings, Laisterdyke and Tong High school.

On retirement from this role in April 2015 Helen established her own company specialising in advising secondary schools with a particular emphasis on providing support to senior and middle leaders and acting as the external consultant for governors who are carrying out Headteacher appraisal. She also serves as a governor on two school boards.

Trudy Walker

Education Support Officer

Trudy joined BDAT from the Marie Curie Hospice where she worked as the Patient Administration Coordinator for approximately 3 years. Trudy has 15 years administration experience, of which over 6 years were spent in both primary and secondary settings  in a variety of roles including data management, PA/secretarial and premises management.  She is currently working towards an NVQ level 4 in Business Administration which she hopes to complete by December 2017.  Trudy is a conscientious, professional administrator who is experienced at working to tight deadlines and under considerable pressure. She is pleased to be back working with schools again and looking forward to being able to apply her skills and previous school knowledge to this new role within the Trust.

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