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Raising Aspirations, Raising Achievement.

Members & Trustees

 Members: Appointed on 12th June 2017

Rev Nigel Sinclair:  The Leeds Diocesan Board of Finance appointment. Chair. 

Nigel is the Team Rector of four churches in West Leeds.  He has been a member of the Diocesan Board of Education (Ripon & Leeds, now ‘Leeds’) for over ten years, co-chairing their Working Party on School Governance and serving on their Academies Sub Group.  He has been a school governor of seven primary schools (2 as Chair) and one secondary school (which converted to Academy status) over a twenty year period and is presently a Member of two other Multi Academy Trusts.  His first degree was in Public Administration (which included a placement year working with Northumberland Education Authority) and he holds an MA in Religious Education from York St John.


 The Bishop of Whitby, Paul Ferguson: The Diocese of York Educational Trust appointment.

Having studied at New College, Oxford, as Organ Scholar Bishop Paul then trained as a teacher and briefly returned to his old school as a staff member. He then went to Westcott House, Cambridge as an ordinand, taking a theology degree at King’s College. Paul was ordained to a 

title post at St Mary’s, Handbridge, Chester and then went on to Westminster Abbey, where he was first Chaplain and then Precentor. In 1995 he came to York Minster as Precentor and Residentiary Canon, and in 2001 was appointed Archdeacon of Cleveland. He was consecrated as Bishop of Whitby in June 2014. Bishop Paul is a member of the Church of England’s Porvoo Panel which oversees links with the Scandinavian and Baltic Lutheran churches.


Jenny Carpenter: University of York St John appointment.

Currently Head of Programme for the primary full-time PGCE and the BA in Learning and Education. Jenny’s main teaching responsibilities are around the primary PGCE programme. With over 20 years teaching experience Jenny spent 11 years teaching across the whole curriculum from Year 1 to Year 8 before becoming a Senior Lecturer at York St John University. From here she developed into her current role. She completed her Masters in Educational Leadership, Management and Change in 2009 and is currently studying a part-time PhD with an interest in the relationships between learning, teaching, tutors and students and how we can create effective learning environments for all.


Dame Reena Keeble : Elevate appointment

Dame Reena is an NLE and was a successful primary Head teacher for 22 years. She achieved her doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2006 and was honoured with a DBE in recognition of her services to education in 2011.  She is an educational consultant with significant headship experience and is responsible for an innovative NLE school which achieved three ‘Outstanding’ judgments under her leadership. Dame Reena chaired the DfE Primary Heads’ Reference Group for five years and is currently leading and chairing a national review of primary teaching on behalf of the Teaching Schools Council.


Jim Brown: Elevate appointment

Jim is currently Chair of governors at three primary schools. All of these are currently rated as outstanding. He has 30 years’ experience of being a successful businessman.  Jim has significant experience of the business world as a director of various companies and a successful self-employed project manager since 1989.  Jim is a trustee of Queen Mary’s School, Thirsk, an independent school catering for ages 2 – 16.


Member  Date of Appointment
Rev Nigel Sinclair 12.06.2017
Bishop Paul Ferguson 12.06.2017
Dame Reena Keeble 12.06.2017
Jim Brown 12.06.2017
Jenny Carpenter 12.06.2017



Rev Nigel Sinclair:The Leeds Diocesan Board of Education appointment. Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Portrait – see above.

Katherine Humpleby: The Diocese of York Educational Trust appointment. Chair of Elevate's Standards Committee.

Until May 2018, Katherine was a School Development Adviser for the Diocese of York, supporting head teachers, staff and governors in over 50 schools across 8 local authorities in the North. As part of a team she worked in partnership with local authorities, teaching schools, the DFE, RSC, OFSTED, Church of England National Education Office, and other Dioceses across the UK, to support over 127 wider schools across the Diocese of York.

Katherine is currently Secondary Improvement Lead and a Specialist Leader of Education for Hope Learning Trust in York, supporting the CEO, trustees, governors and head teachers in the raising of standards across five secondary schools, and manages the Hope Secondary Improvement Team of subject specialists.

Prior to her role at the Diocese, she was Assistant Head across a 2-19 Multi-Academy Trust. She achieved her PGCE in Geography and Modern Foreign Languages at Durham University in 2000 and her Masters Degree in Education at Durham University in 2002. She was awarded the National Professional Qualification for Headship qualification (NPQH) in 2014. She is a National College accredited Pupil Premium Reviewer. 


John Brear: Member appointment. Chair of Elevate's Audit and Resources Committee

John is a chartered accountant with 40 years’ experience.  He is a partner at Brown Butler Chartered Accountants. John has particular expertise in the IT (including software) and medical sectors.  He has numerous IT and software businesses, with turnovers of £50m-plus, among his clients and he also advises many medical practitioners and dentists on issues such as changes to NHS superannuation, contracts and incorporation.


 David Blanchfield: Member appointment.

 David has worked in HR for the Civil Service for the last 12 years.  He has provided HR consultancy support to government departments. He is an HR specialist in pay and reward policy development to support organisational reform and workforce efficiency.


Dr Liz Foster: Member appointment.

 Liz has significant experience of education from being a senior lecturer in education at the University of Leeds, through working at the Training and Development Agency and undertaking various consultancy roles advising on school centred initial teacher training and evaluation and research.


Graham Shaw: Member appointment

 Graham is one of the country’s foremost legal authorities in the education sector having advised in this field since 1999. He was also one of the first lawyers in the country to advise on the academies programme following its launch by the Labour government in 2002. Since then he has advised extensively on sponsored and school converter academies across all phases and types of provision including primary, secondary, all-through, special, alternative and hospital provision, Church academies, co-operative academies, schemes with PFI and/or BSF arrangements and Multi Academy Trusts (“MATs”). He has also advised extensively on academy transfers between MATs, the conversion of Single Academy Trusts (“SATs”) into MATs and the merger of SATs and MATs.

 Graham’s experience also spans an extensive range of MATs including for any combination of primary, secondary, special, alternative and hospital provision, Church and non-Church academies where he has advised on their academy conversions and transfers and their operational and strategic requirements.

 Graham also advises maintained schools and individual academies on their legal requirements and has advised on free schools, studio schools, schools PFI and university student accommodation, having also advised universities, further education and sixth form colleges and independent schools.

Graham lives in Harrogate with his wife and twin 14-year old children and attends St John's Church in Bilton, Harrogate.

Alison Wilson: Member appointment.

 Alison Wilson is an Assistant Director at the Department for Education and leads the delivery of two of the Government’s Opportunity Areas (Doncaster and the North Yorkshire Coast). Prior to this she has worked in the Regional School Commissioners Office; on school funding reform; and reform to the system for supporting children with special educational needs. Alison also served as a governor for almost 3 years at Topcliffe CE Primary school.


Nigel Ashley: Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

 Nigel has been a Head teacher for 13 years of 2 schools. He is an NLE.  He was previously the Head teacher at Meadowside and led the school to being Outstanding school. He was also responsible for taking his previous school from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Outstanding’.  As an NLE, he has supported many schools. Meadowside Academy is the lead school for North Star teaching school. 

 North Star is working in partnership with Leeds Trinity University to offer early years and primary training places on the School Direct programme.


 Vacancy: Member appointment.


Trustee Date Appointed Date Resigned
Rev Nigel Sinclair 12.06.2017
Katherine Humpleby 12.06.2017
John Brear 12.06.2017
David Blanchfield 12.06.2017
Dr Liz Foster 12.06.2017
Graham Shaw 16.10.2018
Alison Wilson 20.07.2017
Nigel Ashley 12.06.2017
Mike Smit 12.06.2017 14.11.2017
David Tucker 12.06.2017 03.09.2018


Register of Interests


 Elevate MAT Register of Interest - Dame Reena Keeble.pdfDownload
 Elevate MAT Register of Interest - Jim Brown.pdfDownload
 Elevate MAT Register of Interests - Jenny Carpenter.pdfDownload
 Elevate MAT Register of Interests - Rev Nigel Sinclair.pdfDownload
 Elevate MAT Register of Interests - Right Rev. Paul Ferguson.pdfDownload
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 Elevate MAT Register of Interests - Alison Wilson.pdfDownload
 Elevate MAT Register of Interests - David_Blanchfield.pdfDownload
 Elevate MAT Register of Interests - Dr Elizabeth Foster.pdfDownload
 Elevate MAT Register of Interests - John Brear.pdfDownload
 Elevate MAT Register of Interests - Katherine Humpleby.pdfDownload
 Elevate MAT Register of Interests - Nigel_Ashley.pdfDownload
 Elevate MAT Register of Interests - Rev Nigel Sinclair.pdfDownload
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Trustees Attendance:

 Trustees Attendance
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Committees for 2019-2020:

Elevate Audit & Resources Committee

Including Pay Review Committee :

 John Brear, David Blanchfield, Alison Wilson and CEO

Chair: John Brear

In attendance: Finance Manager: Rebecca Clarke, Clerk: Dianne Mousley


Elevate Standards Committee:

 Katherine Humpleby, Dr Liz Foster, Graham Shaw and CEO

Chair: Katherine Humbleby.

In attendance: School Improvement Team Member    Clerk: Dianne Mousley


Head Teacher Partnership Board:

 Head teachers, CEO and School Improvement Team Members

In attendance:


Chair of Governors Board:

 Chairs of LGBs, CEO and a Trustee.

Chair: Chris Dale (Carlton Miniott Academy)

In attendance:  Clerk: Dianne Mousley


Church School Scrutiny Committee:

 Rev Nigel Sinclair (Leeds Trustee), Katherine Humbleby (York Trustee), CEO,

Foundation governors and Head teachers of C of E Academies.

Chair: Rev Nigel Sinclair

In attendance:  Clerk: Dianne Mousley


CEO Performance Management Review and Pay Committee:

 Chair of Trustees, Chair Audit & Resources and Chair of Standards.


Head Teacher’s Performance Review:

 CEO and Chair of LGB.

Member of Elevate’s School Development Team