The Trustees ensure that the Trust delivers on its aims and provides support and challenge to individual schools. They have a key oversight role as well as being involved in the management and delivery of Trust services. Click the links below for more information about the Trustees.

John has been involved in school governance for over fifteen years. After primary experience, he became a governor at a local secondary school, Archbishop Holgate’s, where he was elected Chair in 2008, a position to which he has held since then.

In the last few years governors at the school has successfully dealt with the challenges of a local secondary school closing, school expansion, the growth of a new sixth form, the appointment of a new Headteacher and two major new builds as well as deciding to become an academy and more recently a Teaching School.

The school continues to self-evaluate as “outstanding”, the judgment it received at its last OFSTED inspection. He has been asked by two local authorities to work as an additional governor in some very different school contexts. This has included the huge satisfaction of working with the Governing Boards and Heads at two primary schools, one in serious weakness and one requiring improvement, to achieve “good” judgments in both cases. He also delivers training courses, licensed by the National College, for the National Governors’ Association for current and aspiring Governing Board Chairs.

He is passionate about outcomes for children, believing that one of governors’ key roles is to work with the Head and Senior Leadership Teams of schools to build aspiration and create “other tomorrows” for pupils. There is a well evidenced link between the quality of governing bodies and the outcomes for learners and he believes that governors need to focus limited resource on things that drive outcomes and “make the boat go faster”; not just in academic attainment (although this has to be non-negotiable) but also in educating the whole child. Since August 2016 he has chaired the Board of the Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust, a MAT of nine schools based in York now with around 550 staff, more than 3000 young people and an eight figure turnover.

John spent the first half of his working life in various senior sales, marketing and operational roles working for a number of companies including Sainsbury and Nestlé. Since becoming self-employed in 2006 he has built a successful consulting business in both the private and public sectors. He also works as a trainer and specialises in delivering training on leadership and negotiation to more than a dozen blue chip companies in the commercial world, as well as working in the education and health sectors.

Until resigning in October 2014, he sat as the senior non-executive director and deputy Chairman on a local NHS Hospitals Trust with a £480m turnover where he also chaired the Performance and Finance committee. He runs his own wine importing business. He has in recent years also become fascinated by the potential of simple businesses to alleviate poverty in the developing world and has spent some pro bono time in Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria exploring this.

In September 2018 John was made a Lay Canon by the Archbishop of York and appointed to the Chapter of York Minster (the cathedral’s governing executive).

Claire has been an active member of the Local Governing Committee at Hempland Primary School since 2012, sitting on both the Finance and Premises Committees. Claire was part of the original group set up to investigate and formalize the decision-making process to become an Academy School as part of a Multi Academy Trust and is committed to its success.

Claire is currently working to improve the IT and reading provision at Hempland Primary School. She is working with the Senior Leadership Team at Hempland to extend the provision of Chromebooks within Key Stage 2. Claire is also involved in a major upgrade of reading resources within the school, working with individual teachers to provide ‘magical and inspirational’ reading areas in each and every classroom.

Claire has over fifteen years’ experience as a Business Leader and Company Director, working nationally in both the technology and publishing business areas, and is also a Food and Nutrition Author, writing best-selling healthy cooking books published through HarperCollins and Orion.

As a Master of Mathematics, Claire is well-qualified to take on financial roles and her strong analytical and data skills complement the Board. She has worked as a Finance Director at two successful York businesses and understands educational finance well due to her time on the Finance & Staffing Committee at Hempland Primary School.

On a more personal note, Claire lives in York with her husband Andy, and spends more time than she should running after her three children. She also has a penchant for classic detective fiction, reflected in the output of her publishing company, Pepik Books.

Role as link Director for Values

Alison and Claire work together to ensure that all schools, Church and Community, big and small, are able to flourish and maintain their own distinctive values and ethos while working together to share strengths and support across all the schools within the Trust. Their job on the MAT board is to make sure that in the pursuit of excellence across the Trust, we are not overlooking the individual needs of our schools and pupils. We do not seek to change or improve the Trust’s Vision and Values but rather to safeguard these collaborative values in the decision-making process, making sure that the values of both our schools and the Trust are maintained into the future.

Andy works as a Consultant Histopathologist which is the tissue diagnostic branch of laboratory medicine. He is a member of Christ Church in Heworth. He is deeply committed to the Christian ethos and values of Archbishop Holgate’s school and has been a governor there for the last eleven years.

Andy is a MAT Board member, school improvement lead and Chairman of the MAT Standards Group. For Archbishop Holgate’s he is Vice Chairman of the Local Governing Committee, Chairman of the Curriculum Committee, a member of the Pastoral Committee and a Foundation Governor.

Andy’s three children have all completed their education at Hempland primary school and Archbishop Holgate’s school and have moved on to higher education and beyond.

Outside work and school, among many other things he enjoys dinghy racing with his family, being a partner in a small wine business and attempting to unravel the mysteries of his golf game.

Role as link Director for School Improvement

Andy brings his experience on the curriculum committee to his role as school improvement lead for the MAT. This role is delivered through the standards committee which is where results are scrutinised in detail, priorities are set for the year ahead and progress against the priorities is monitored throughout the year.

This strategic work is done in partnership with the Heads Group which delivers the operational implementation. In addition to scrutinising results, priorities and teaching and learning for each group of learners, the standards committee considers carefully the wider curriculum as each of our schools seeks to prepare their children as fully as possible for their next stage in life.

Alison has worked in education for the past 18 years. She is highly committed to supporting the development of educational provision which allows pupils to flourish both ‘academically and personally’, and provision which ensures pupils develop a life-long ‘love of learning’.

Alison is currently the Assistant Director of Education for the Diocese of York Education Team (effectiveness). Alison provides a role which focusses upon monitoring the overall effectiveness and performance of all 127 schools across the Diocese of York locality. In order to do this she has developed strong partnerships with 7 LA’s, and also liaises with colleagues at NCTL, Ofsted, DfE and National Society. Alison also provides specific support for leaders at a number of schools across the diocese, and leads CPD events for leaders on behalf of the diocese.

Prior to joining the Diocese of York Education Team, Alison worked for North Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Service for 16 years, beginning as a Primary School Teacher, and then as an Advanced Skills Teacher who supported teaching colleagues to develop their practice across a variety of schools and settings across North Yorkshire. Most recently she was a Headteacher of a Church of England Primary School for 9 years in the Selby area. As a Headteacher, she had varied experience, leading an infant school initially from ‘good to outstanding’, and then being Executive Headteacher for a second school which required additional leadership support when being deemed to require special measures and led the school successfully from this. She also shared her leadership expertise widely in support of others such as supporting other schools, leaders and presenting at both LA and diocesan events.

On a more personal note, Alison is married and has a very loveable (if a little excitable) dog named ‘Jasper’. She is a VW Campervan fanatic and enjoys the great outdoors!

Role as link Director for Values

Alison and Claire work together to ensure that all schools, Church and Community, big and small, are able to flourish and maintain their own distinctive values and ethos while working together to share strengths and support across all the schools within the Trust. Their job on the MAT board is to make sure that in the pursuit of excellence across the Trust, we are not overlooking the individual needs of our schools and pupils. We do not seek to change or improve the Trust’s Vision and Values but rather to safeguard these collaborative values in the decision-making process, making sure that the values of both our schools and the Trust are maintained into the future.

Jake has recently joined the civil service and works within the Estates Directorate which manages property portfolios across a range of government departments, including the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and Department for Education. In his role as the National Soft Services Manager Jake leads on all aspects of Cleaning, Catering, Security, Front of House and Customer Services across the shared estate cluster.

Jake has a strong background of working within the education support services sector having spent 10 years working in schools in York and has held senior estates management roles in schools across all Key Stages. Through Jake’s experiences he has developed a broad skill set including property management, project management, risk management and health & safety management. As an active member of the British Institute of Facilities Management, Jake has delivered presentations to the National Educational Estates Conference and in 2017 was awarded the inaugural BIFM Strategic Learner of the Year Award.

In previous roles, Jake has experience within the legal sector during his time at a conveyancing practice, and more recently had the opportunity to coach soccer (football!) to young players across the continental US.

As someone who feels passionately about the development and continuous improvement of Pathfinder MAT, Jake brings to the Board a commitment to strive for excellence in all that we do as a family of schools, celebrating each school’s own unique character and history, whilst at the same time never losing sight of the synergies created through collaborative working and the promotion of our shared values as we help each pupil in our care to achieve their potential.

Jake enjoys married life and likes to spend free time travelling, running and walking Elsa the St. Bernard dog.

Role as link Director for Estates and Health and Safety

As part of his role as link Director for Estates and Health and Safety, Jake works closely with the MAT’s
Operations Manager and Estates and Facilities Manager, interfacing between the MAT Board and the MAT central team in these subject areas. These meetings explore specific areas within the field of Estates and Health and Safety and focus on key strategic priorities, such as the development of the MAT Health and Safety Management System, medium to long term financial forecasting around estates development, the monitoring and evaluation processes, and, ultimately, how the Board are reported to and informed in these areas.

A key aspect of Jake’s link role involves ensuring that the Board are provided with assurances in terms of the MAT estate’s compliance with statutory provisions. As part of his full-time role within central government, Jake is able to keep abreast of the latest developments and innovations within the Estates, Facilities Management and Health and Safety sectors, and can support the central team in identifying where these can be adopted and used to add value to the MAT’s systems and processes.

Sandara graduated in Chemical Engineering from the University of Bradford in 1995 before joining Nestle UK. She has over 22 years’ experience working in various Quality Management and Technical roles, including Technical Manager for the Cocoa processing and Chocolate manufacturing plants, and Quality Manager with multi-site responsibility. After the birth of her second child in 2007 she returned to work part time, joining the 3rd Party Team as Quality Manager working with Nestle Affiliates in Europe, Co-manufacturers and Licensees.

At the end of 2014 Sandara joined the Corporate Quality Assurance function initially with responsibility for Supplier Quality Assurance for the market and then later becoming the market expert for chemical contaminants and food fraud. Sandara is responsible for developing cost optimised surveillance plans for the UK, monitoring factory progress against the plans, identifying training requirements and providing training to the factory teams.

Sandara is an experienced food safety and compliance auditor. She regularly audits suppliers and 3rd Parties against the Nestle Food Safety Management System requirements and audits other Nestle functions against ISO 9001:2015 Quality System Management requirements.

Sandara has volunteered her time since 2010 supporting local primary school children in individual and guided reading. She also is a member of the local community swimming pool committee. Sandara has also helped out at Cub and Scout meetings and events, including hikes and weekend camps.

On a personal level, Sandara lives near York with her husband and two children. Sandara enjoys the outdoors including walking her dog, running, and spending as many weekends as possible in the summer camping with her family.

Role as link Director for Compliance

As link Director for compliance Sandara supports the MAT board in identifying areas in which compliance is required, monitoring compliance to relevant standards and ensuring the MAT board is informed of specific issues. Recently this included Sandara working with the MAT Operations Manager to review the progress against the implementation of the new General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679. Other activities include confirming adherence to mandatory policy review schedules and constructive questioning and challenge of senior leaders relating to compliance issues. Within the Pathfinder MAT board there are also link Directors for key compliance areas (Education, SEND, Finance, Safeguarding, Health & Safety). Sandara has experience of monitoring compliance to internal and external standards, and advising on the EU Regulations within her current role in Nestlé UK.

Samantha is currently a Foundation Governor at Archbishop Holgate’s School where she chairs the Pastoral Committee, is a member of the Curriculum Committee and the Foundation Governors Committee, and is the Safeguarding Expert Governor.

She was previously a governor at Wilberfoss CE Primary School for seven years. During this time, she established and chaired the Curriculum and Standards Committee and also had the roles of SEN Governor, Training Link Governor and Science Link Governor. She has a deep understanding of the challenges that primary schools face and the decision-making regarding their priorities. As a MAT Trustee, Samantha is looking forward to supporting and challenging the MAT, to improve educational outcomes and opportunities for students across the City of York.

Samantha is an Associate Professor in STEM Education at the University of Leeds and a National Teaching Fellow. She has over 15 years’ experience of teaching and curriculum development, particularly focusing on professional development and business collaboration. She has been a member of the University’s Taught Student Education Board for 5 years, whose role is to set the University’s strategy, cascade those decisions down to faculties and schools, and then act upon feedback whilst balancing external stakeholders and government policy. This ‘helicopter view’ is invaluable as a MAT Trustee. She is also a director of Project Dexterity Ltd; providing consultancy services and training in all aspects of project management.

On a more personal note, Samantha is married to Simon and they have three children at secondary school. She enjoys cycling, dancing, running, and loves live music and musical theatre.

Role as link Director for Safeguarding

As part of her role as link Director for Safeguarding, Samantha works closely with the MAT’s safeguarding lead, who ensures that all schools are fully up to date and compliant with statutory safeguarding and child protection legislation. A key aspect of Samantha’s link role involves ensuring that the Board are provided with assurances in terms of the MAT’s compliance with statutory provisions and that all children within the MAT are kept safe in Education. Samantha’s role as Safeguarding Governor and Chair of the Pastoral Committee at Archbishop Holgate’s School ensures that she is fully conversant with the latest requirements and best practices in this area of work.

Derek is an experienced Human Resources professional, having held several positions of responsibility in large and medium sized global and UK based culturally diverse companies. His roles have covered all areas of strategic and operational HR within a business, including people development, succession planning, change management, acquisition integrations and compensation management. He considers the role of the HR function within an organisation as critical – people are often a key differentiator, and as individuals they deserve to have the best opportunities they can whilst at the same time delivering a maximum return to the organisation.

He recently joined British Steel as its Group Human Resources Director. This role is focused overall on helping enable and drive a performance based culture whilst ensuring a strong level of employee engagement. A large employer in the areas where its operations are located, British Steel places great value on working closely with its communities – including investing in strong apprenticeship and school link programmes.

Derek relocated from London to York in 2016 for family reasons including superior education opportunities and an improved standard of living for his young family. Prior to the 12 years he spent in London, he and his wife lived in France.

He attributes his family and professional success to having had a strong education when growing up – he feels that he was presented with some great opportunities that met his individual needs, and that have ultimately led him to where he is now. He has also had good insight into educational life through his wife, who is a primary school teacher.

His personal and professional experiences, and the fact that he has a young family, have led to his passion for the importance of the right start in life for young people.

Role as link Director for Human Resources

As link Director for Human Resources (HR), Derek works closely with the MAT HR Manager, providing an informal interface between the MAT board and the MAT HR function. Discussions cover all areas of HR/People activity, ranging from strategic direction discussions to day to day operational issues. A key output of the link relationship is the ability to provide to the board a comprehensive and robust overview of employee related matters, metrics and trends, in order that key decisions can be taken in this area.

Terry is an educational professional. He has been a teacher, school leader, local authority adviser for assessment, education manager in a TEC, chief executive of an Education Action Zone, ofsted inspector, and school improvement partner. He is currently a director of an education consultancy.

He has been governor in a first school, a secondary school and a College of Further Education. Besides schools in the UK, he has worked with schools in Switzerland, Czech Republic, Kuwait, Tunisia and the UAE.

He is passionate about contributing to any system that helps all children and young people, whatever their background, to be curious, empowered and successful citizens.

As a recently arrived resident of York, and a newly elected director of the Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust from December 2018, he is looking forward to working with colleagues further to raise ambition and drive aspiration.