Board of Members

John Gough

Chair of the Board of Members

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My background is as a chartered quantity surveyor. My most recent role was as chairman of the LIFT Board for Barnsley PCT. This board was responsible for ensuring joined up services in new, bespoke facilities in local communities, working with NHS, Local Authorities and private sector developers. Between 1985 and 1999 I worked for Barnsley MBC as a contracts manager. This role involved significant quality improvement responsibilities for the Local Authority. I had key responsibilities for corporate procurement, best value processes and transfer of council services to third party charitable trusts.

In my role at Barnsley MBC, I led and managed significant change in social services following an adverse inspection report. For example, a full restructure of senior management, the development and implementation of a quality improvement plan endorsed by the social services inspectorate. The department was ultimately graded ‘outstanding’. As part of this role I reported both to elected members and to the inspectorate.

My current role is as chair of the corporation of New College Pontefract. Graded outstanding in all areas of the Ofsted common inspection framework in 2014. I have been involved with the corporation since 1993. Additionally, I am a member and trustee of Pontefract Academy Trust and chair the audit and risk committee. The trust comprises two high schools and six primaries. I am chairman and trustee of the Kings Foundation, as a nominee from the Duchy of Lancaster. This foundation provides financial assistance to students in Pontefract, with a focus on raising aspiration for disadvantaged young people.

Diane Heritage

Member and Chair of the Board of Directors

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Diane has experience of educational leadership at school, regional and national level. She specialises in leadership learning, policy development and school improvement. She is an educational innovator and creative thinker committed to building capacity for a school led system.

Diane currently provides consultancy to the Teaching School Council and The Education Endowment Foundation working closely with school leaders and other partners to inspire and facilitate local solutions with a relentless focus on children’s learning, achievement and well-being.

Diane has been a governor at New College Pontefract for six years and became Chair of the New Collaborative Learning Trust in 2016. She is married to Russell and has two children – to whom she looks for a valuable perspective on the real world.

Alastair Goldman


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I have been an academic since 1998

Became Professor and Head of Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield in 2013

Became Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Bradford in 2017, where I remain in post.

I have been a governor at an infant for a period of 9 years, this ended several years ago

I am a member of the Council of Governor for Bradford Royal Infirmary

Linda Maxwell-Smart


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Linda is currently a retiree. During the last academic year, she worked on a temporary, part-time basis at John Leggott sixth form college as a Consultant. Prior to that, she worked at NEW College Pontefract for 24 years, performing several managerial roles, including Senior Manager Teaching, Learning & Assessment, Senior Manager Data, Standards, Quality & Implementation, Director of Teaching & Learning, Faculty Manager & Head of English/Media Studies.

Linda began her teaching career in Manchester, where she worked in challenging high schools.

In the 1980s she was a governor in a high school in Stockport.

She has two sons who both achieved excellent results at NEW College and went on to become successful senior research scientists. Linda spends her leisure hours meeting her many friends for lunch, visiting the cinema & the theatre, shopping and walking around museums and stately homes.

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