Our Trust Board 

Antony Knight

Antony lives in the Holme Valley. He has 2 grown up autistic children. He was initially a governor at Turnshaws School, Kirkburton and latterly became a governor at Castle Hill School. He is currently employed by Kirklees Council as a Service Development Manager. He is a member of 2 employee networks, which represents working Carers and staff with Disabilites. Antony continues to support ICAT's CEO, fellow Members and Directors.

Carol White

Carol lives in Barnsley and has a grown-up son and six step-children, one of her step-children attended Castle Hill. Carol also has 3 grandchildren, Carol’s grand-daughter was born prematurely and has individual, additional medical and educational needs. Carol recently took voluntary severance from her role with Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, where she worked supporting Early Years Education providers to fulfil their Statutory duties under Ofsted. She also delivered mandatory training in areas such as Safeguarding, The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and The Role of the SENDCO. Carol has a Masters in Professional Development – Early Years and Primary from the University of Huddersfield and hopes to use her knowledge and experience to support ICAT in offering the best possible opportunities to the pupils of each Academy school.

Dawn Whiteley MBE

Dawn has lived in the Holme Valley all her life, she worked, for over 25 years, helping people setting up and running their own businesses – for which she received an MBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours in 2016.  She now works locally supporting the running and management of an iconic community building in Holmfirth.  She brings this extensive business background to ICAT, with a wide range of experience in financial, HR and management issues.

Outside work Dawn is a devoted auntie to four nephews, she is a season ticket holder at Huddersfield Town Football Club and a member of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

Tim Wilkes

Tim qualified as a chartered accountant in 1983 with local firm Revell Ward, before moving to Kirklees and becoming a financial systems specialist. He was in charge of a team carrying out many projects over a long period, introducing and improving systems and helping people use them better.


On retiring a few years ago he joined Castle Hill School as a governor and later became an employee, helping oversee the academisation of Castle Hill School, implementation of the financial system PS financials, and assisting with the formation of the trust and the academisation of High Park School. He was a director of the trust for some years, stepping back recently to become a member.


Tim is currently Treasurer of the Friends of Beaumont Park. He is married with two grown up children. In his spare time he enjoys piano playing and looking after two springer spaniels.

Dr. Sue White (Chair)

Sue’s involvement started as a parent governor and although her son has now left school her association with the Trust has continued. She feels privileged to be part of such a wonderful community.  Sue’s professional background is in information science and until her retirement in July 2019 she was Director of Computing and Library Services at the University of Huddersfield.  As such she has extensive experience of strategic planning, leadership and financial management. Sue has worked in the education sector throughout her career and believes passionately in the transformative nature of education, at all levels.  She is the recipient of a Doctorate in Business Administration, and Fellowships of the Higher Education Academy,  the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and the Chartered Management Institute.

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Jayne Clarke

Jayne has worked extensively across all phases and sectors of education, including SEND, Primary, Secondary and Adult learning. In 2014-15 Jayne was awarded the TES National Headteacher of the Year and became an NLE, having moved a very vulnerable school to an Outstanding OFSTED judgement, going on to support other schools across the city of Bradford. Having worked at Executive level across Yorkshire and Humber for many years and as Chair of the Bradford Primary Partnership, Jayne has had the great privilege of working with many schools and leaders on their journey to improvement. Jaynes time in Bradford was followed by working with a number of Trusts at Director level, shaping the future of our academies and utilising a strategic focus at board level to ensure they met their civic duty to benefit the education of children and young people across the system. One of her proudest achievements is developing and supporting many staff teams and leaders to achieve their potential and be the best they can be.

Airam Neesa

Airam was born and raised in Huddersfield and is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Associate CIPD, currently leading the Finance and Operations for the UK entity of Cognition Education Group. She has over 15 years of experience in education where her professional career began as a trainee accountant in the third sector, specialising in education finance and welfare to work. Having spent six years in the Middle East initially establishing the operations of three new colleges in Saudi Arabia, she then moved into a role as Head of Finance and Operations for a prestigious International School in Bahrain where she remained until her return to the UK in 2020. Throughout her career so far, Airam has been involved in developing and executing strategies from board level right through to operational, working with a number of stakeholders. Through her passion for the non-academic side of education and to ‘give back’ locally, she joined ICAT, bringing with her a wealth of experience in Finance, HR and Facilities.

Dawn Whiteley MBE

Dawn is an experienced and dedicated leader, passionate about start-up and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development. She has developed a vast experience of the needs of start-up and small businesses following twenty five years working in the enterprise support sector, together with personal experience of running a small family business. Before becoming the Chief Executive of National Enterprise Network in 2011, Dawn also worked for Business Link Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency. She is the Chair of Governors at a local federated infant and junior school; was a Director of Customer First UK until 2016 and was Deputy Chair of the Action Halifax Partnership until its closure in 2010. Dawn was awarded an MBE for services to business support and enterprise in the Queen¹s 90th Birthday Honours in June 2016, she is a Fellow of the RSA and a Member of the IoD.

Dr. Emily Perry

Emily works at Sheffield Hallam University, as Deputy Head of the Centre for Development and Research in Education.  She leads projects focussed on teacher professional development.  As well as working on these projects, Emily teaches post-graduate and undergraduate students in Education, including supervising MA Education students and PhD students to carry out research in education. 

Before joining Sheffield Hallam, Emily was a science teacher, working in secondary schools in the UK and overseas, including living for a time in Sao Paulo and in Hong Kong.  Emily has a PhD in Chemistry and an MA in Education. 

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Iain Gray

Iain is originally from Dunfermline and for the past 16 years has lived in Walsden, Todmorden. Iain is married with two grown up boys and one grandson. Iain graduated from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh with a BSc Hons in Civil Engineering.

He recently retired from full time employment after spending 45 years in Sales, Marketing and Operational roles. The last six years of which were spent as Vice President of Sales for a Global Logistics and Distribution Business.

Iain is looking forward to putting his many years’ experience to good use in helping ICAT to execute its strategy and achieve its goals and objectives.

“Giving Back” – Iain strongly believes in giving back to the community and in addition to his ICAT role he works for Lancashire Volunteer Partnership in a befriending capacity.

Joan Haines

Joan has a background in Education, Business and Charitable organisations including Joan Haines Coaching and Consultancy, Achievement for All, School Improvement, Ofsted Inspector, Strategic Leader SEND, Head of Sensory Services, Teacher, Coach and Trainer. She is an International NLP Trainers Association (INLPTA) Master Practitioner and Trainer and a Multi-Braining Integration Techniques Coach. Joan has an MA in Leadership and Management and National Professional Qualification for Headship. This means that she brings varied skills to the role of ICAT and Chair of Governors, Castle Hill School. Joan is a Director of Shared Inspiration providing coaching, supervision and training to leaders.

Til Wright

Til has born and brought up in Rotherham, but spent her working life in Leeds. She now lives in Huddersfield. She took early retirement 10 years ago but has kept up to date with safeguarding and related issues. She was a teacher for 25 years then went in to senior management in the LA. She had a broad remit which included serious case reviews, safeguarding, liaison with head teachers. Most recently she has been the safeguarding governor at Huddersfield New College for 8 years. She is used to working in difficult/sensitive situations.