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Our Trust Board 

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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.

Steve Hodsman

Following a career in the police special operations unit dealing with police mobilisation and major incident response, Steve retired in 2016. Becoming involved in school governance in 2010, he successfully chaired a federated secondary and primary governing body before being appointed to the Board of Directors in 2014. Elected as Chair of the Board in 2015, Steve has led major changes in Trust development, successfully re-structuring both the Board of Directors and the Members of the Trust.

Now a National Leader of Governance, Steve has been instrumental in making significant changes to the work of the Board, ensuring that Executive Leaders deliver the vision and strategy of our Trust. Steve is currently working closely with Chairs of other Multi Academy Trusts, looking at national strategy and its impact on outcomes for pupils.

Steve brings a wealth of experience as a former senior police officer.  He is a National Leader of Governance (NLG), supporting other trusts and academies across the North of England. Steve chairs the Board of Directors, has an overview and responsibility for safeguarding, and has been a school governor at a local level for many years.

David Haigh

David brings a wealth of experience from the world of education and was formerly a member of the National Executive Committee for the Teachers Professional Body, the NASUWT.

David worked in the Education Sector mainly as a teacher from 1974 to the end of 2016. David has been involved mainly in the secondary phase teaching History and Business Studies, however was also a Head of Human Studies Faculty, both K.S 3 AND 4 Pastoral Head and a Deputy Headteacher. From 2004-16 David was secretary of the NASUWT teachers union in Sheffield and was heavily involved with casework and school reorganisation.

Since 1979, David has been involved as a school governor both in South and West Yorkshire and is presently an active Adult and Family court magistrate. A member and past chair of Meltham Town Council, David still serves as a schools admission appeals member in Sheffield. In the past, David has been a regional committee member of the Co-op Group.

David is a passionate believer in the power of education, to enhance pupil life chances.

Alan Richards

Alan Richards is passionate about developing the people he works with. With a 25 year background in Sales, Leadership and Management, a serving National Leader of Governance, an MBA and now a Director of a Multi Academy Trust. Alan is committed to sharing best practice, knowledge and experience by challenging his learners to be the best leader they can possibly be.

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.

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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.

Mark Sanders

Formerly, Mark was the Chief Executive of Bury Council until 2011, and prior to that held a number of senior officer positions at Oldham and Leeds City Council.

Other voluntary roles included:

National Young People’s Learning Agency

(Deputy Chair and Chair of Audit) –  2009 – 2012

Learning and Skills Council National Board – 2007 – 2010

Chair, Society of Metropolitan Chief Executives – 2009 – 2011

Non Exec Director Whitehall Industry Group – 2006 – 2011

Bury College Board – 2005-2009

Oldham 6th Form College Board – 1997 – 2001

Mark received an OBE in 2011 for services to Local Government, and has an MBA.

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.

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