Key Trust Leaders

Trust Executive

Richard Fletcher

CEO

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Main responsibilities in your current role

My role as CEO is extremely broad and varied and mainly involves working alongside the Trust COO and Directors in order to ensure the Trust functions at a high standard, constantly evolving to keep up with the ever changing environment. I work closely with the Trust chair to agree the strategic direction, in conjunction with the full Board of Directors. My role also requires me to secure the long term and sustainable success of the Trust by maximising the skills and resources of its staff. A key aspect of my role is to provide strong and distributed leadership to the COO, Principals/Headteachers, senior leadership teams and Trust Directors so all staff and students benefit.

Brief background of your educational career

I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 1997 and was appointed at Royds Hall Secondary School in Huddersfield as a teacher of Physical Education. I worked at the school for 2 years then joined Castleford High School for the next 10 years. At Castleford, in addition to being a PE teacher, I was appointed Head of year 11 for a number of years, and then 5 years as an Assistant Headteacher responsible for raising achievement. After Castleford High I moved from the secondary sector to the 6th form sector at New College Pontefract where I was appointed Assistant Principal. Whilst at New College I have also held the positions of Vice-Principal and Principal before being appointed Chief Executive Officer.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

I have a deep passion for sport, so like to play or watch sport at any opportunity. I currently play cricket and golf, I go to the gym most evenings and run 2 to 3 times a week. I am the X-first team captain of Pontefract RUFC, where I still enjoy watching the current first team on a Saturday afternoon throughout the winter. My son plays for Doncaster Rovers football club under 18’s Youth team so I follow him up and down the country too. When I am not playing or watching support, I enjoy taking my two dogs out for a walk and spending some precious time with my family and friends.

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

I wanted to be a PE teacher from an early age, because I couldn’t think of any better way to spend my days; playing and teaching sport/physical activity, whilst at the same time aiming to make a positive difference to the lives of young people. PE teaching allowed me to fulfil both of these ambitions. My desire in wanting to make a difference back then, still applies today as these important words flow through the current Trust vision.

Andy Woodcock

Chief Operating Officer

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Main responsibilities in your current role

To oversee the activities of the Trust’s finance function, supporting the COO, including the preparation of the Trust’s annual published accounts and ESFA returns. I also teach A level accounting on a part time basis.

Brief background of your educational career

I studied Geography & management Studies at Leeds University, and qualified as a management accountant with ACMA, whilst employed as an accountant in industry. On changing careers, i qualified as a teacher at Edge Hill College, prior to embarking on a teaching career, initially at Holy Cross college in Bury.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

I have 3 rescue rabbits, one who helps lives in the house. I enjoy gardening, reading, and have recently bought a bike…which sadly still needs some mud on it. I started doing Lego (technic) sets during lockdown, as an alternative to jigsaws, and am currently building a very large crane!

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

My Geography and Economics teachers made a real impression on me, when I was at school, and having gained experience in accounting in various industry settings, I decided to combine the two ideas and pursue a career in teaching, which I have been passionate about since 2005.

Joanna Vickers

Chief Financial Officer

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Main responsibilities in your current role

I am the Trust’s Chief Finance Officer and as well as being in charge of finances for the Trust I also line manage IT, Health and Safety, Estates, GDPR, Reception and the Trust Relations Manager.

Brief background of your educational career

I have worked for Pontefract New College and more latterly the Trust since 1992. I have a BA Degree and a PGCE qualification in Business and Economics and a Diploma in Educational Leadership. I came as a newly qualified teacher of Business in 1992. I taught A Level Business and A Level Accounting as well as BTEC Business during my teaching career. I was Head of Business for around 10 years taking the department to Ofsted outstanding and then Faculty Manager for several different areas of College including Maths, ICT, Science. I was Assistant Principal and then Vice Principal at the College before we became a Trust and was then Director of Finance for the Trust before taking on the role of COO two years ago.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

I enjoy walking and try to keep fit by attending the local gym. I have five grandchildren and spend a lot of time with them. I enjoy travel and visiting new places.

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

Before coming into teaching I worked in commerce for 10 years mainly for small businesses in administration/finance. I always enjoyed learning and education and felt I could pass on my knowledge and skills to younger people. As Business and Accounting are not always teaught pre-16 I decided to specialise in post 16 education.

Main responsibilities in your current role

I have ultimate responsibility for the effective leadership of New College Doncaster and for ensuring the very highest standards of educational provision.

Brief background of your educational career

I have been Principal of New College Doncaster since its opening in 2017 and supported the pre-opening phase. Prior leading New College Doncaster I spent a number of years in senior leadership roles at New College Pontefract, before which I was Head of Mathematics.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

In addition to playing the cello, I enjoy travel, reading and music.

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

My initial move into education stemmed from my love of mathematics, but I have developed real enjoyment of and passion for educational leadership and management, in the raising of standards and aspirations, and in the creation of outstanding educational provision and opportunity for young people.

Lauren Walker

Chief of People Operations

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Main responsibilities in your current role

My role is very varied and encompasses management of all aspects of the Human Resources service for the Trust, identifying HR priorities and implementing appropriate solutions to support Trust aims. I provide professional advice and support to senior managers relating to HR and work closely with a very talented broader HR Team who look after each academy and their staff with their operational HR needs.

Brief background of your educational career

I have worked within the Trust (previously NEW College Pontefract) for many years, initially managing Student Services and then later Central Services Teams. I moved in to a HR role in 2014, following which I became CIPD qualified to Level 7 and progressed in to my current role as Trust Director of HR.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and socialising with friends, as well as creating handmade greetings cards.

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

I enjoy working in education and being part of the ‘bigger picture’ that supports students to achieve their potential. In my role, I particularly enjoy supporting and advising our academies on HR management, policy and best practice. I also find it particularly rewarding when you are able to support staff members in a way that makes a real difference to their lives.

Principals/Heads

Vicky Marks

Principal, New College Pontefract

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Main responsibilities in your current role

I have overall responsibility for the effective running of the college but student achievement and personal development are high on my list of priorities. Staffing and staff welfare is a crucial part of my role, as is ensuring that the site, and all those who work and study at New College Pontefract, are safe and well taken care of.

Brief background of your educational career

I was based in Manchester for my teacher training, and I stayed there for a further 10 years, working at Cheadle Hulme School, an independent day school for 4-18 year olds. As well as teaching chemistry, I was Head of Lower School, and SENDCo for a short time. After relocating back to Yorkshire I had a brief spell at Queen Margaret’s School in York, but took a break from regular teaching when my third child was born profoundly deaf. I joined New College Pontefract in 2013 as a part time chemistry teacher and joined the senior management team a few years later when the Trust was established. I have been the Principal since November 2019.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

I’m an avid reader and whenever possible, I enjoy trips away in our campervan which have been enhanced by my recent acquisition of an e-bike. I try to stay active and I still play netball at the time of writing.

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

One of the core values of our Trust is candour, so I’ll be honest and say that my decision to go into teaching chemistry was based on the fact that my boyfriend at the time was a teacher and we wanted to travel together each summer. It turned out to be a great decision and I have enjoyed a varied and fulfilling career. The boyfriend is now my husband.

Brendon Fletcher

Principal, New College Doncaster

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Main responsibilities in your current role

I have ultimate responsibility for the effective leadership of New College Doncaster and for ensuring the very highest standards of educational provision.

Brief background of your educational career

I have been Principal of New College Doncaster since its opening in 2017 and supported the pre-opening phase. Prior leading New College Doncaster I spent a number of years in senior leadership roles at New College Pontefract, before which I was Head of Mathematics.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

In addition to playing the cello, I enjoy travel, reading and music.

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

My initial move into education stemmed from my love of mathematics, but I have developed real enjoyment of and passion for educational leadership and management, in the raising of standards and aspirations, and in the creation of outstanding educational provision and opportunity for young people.

Stuart Nash

Principal, New College Bradford

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Main responsibilities in your current role

College leadership of staff, students, curriculum, pedagogy, quality and performance, behaviour and attendance, SEND and inclusivity, safeguarding, progression, college systems and procedures, and communication with all stakeholders.

Brief background of your educational career

I have wide-ranging educational experience and knowledge acquired over a long career path from classroom geography teacher to college principal, via middle and senior leadership, working in both school and sixth-form college settings.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

Outside of work I’m a keen fell runner, cyclist, mountaineer and rock climber.

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

To make a difference.

Phil Davis

Headteacher, Wingfield Academy

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Main responsibilities in your current role

Head of school.

Brief background of your educational career

My passion for education started in 1999 when I started my career in Doncaster as a teacher of Religious studies. I progressed quickly through middle leadership and then into senior leadership fulfilling a variety of leadership roles in behaviour, teaching and learning and student achievement until successfully securing my position as Headteacher of Wingfield Academy in 2018.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

Spending time with family, exercise and reading

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

I truly believe in the power of education to transform the lives of young people. Creating opportunities and the idea of social mobility is the number motivational factor that ensures I get out of bed every morning. What we do here every day can make such a difference to the lives of our students. We truly believe that there are no barriers to success or boundaries to what can be achieved.

Alex Wirth

Headteacher, Anston Greenlands Primary School

Alison Bradbury

Headteacher, Redscope Primary School

Sarah Hewitt

Headteacher, Thorpe Hesley Primary School

Trust Directors

Chelsea Branson-Webster

Trust Director of Quality and Standards

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Main responsibilities in your current role

Ensuring a consistent high quality experience for all students within our 3 sixth form colleges. Analysing and improving performance, quality assuring the implementation and effectiveness of college systems to drive standards.

Brief background of your educational career

I started at New College as a PE Teacher, progressing to Head of School for Health Care and Services. Following this I became an Assistant Principal and I’m currently Vice Principal at NCP, in addition to my Trust Director role.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

Running, yoga, online shopping!

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

To make a difference to the lives of young people.

Main responsibilities in your current role

I have ultimate responsibility for the effective leadership of New College Doncaster and for ensuring the very highest standards of educational provision.

Brief background of your educational career

I have been Principal of New College Doncaster since its opening in 2017 and supported the pre-opening phase. Prior leading New College Doncaster I spent a number of years in senior leadership roles at New College Pontefract, before which I was Head of Mathematics.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

In addition to playing the cello, I enjoy travel, reading and music.

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

My initial move into education stemmed from my love of mathematics, but I have developed real enjoyment of and passion for educational leadership and management, in the raising of standards and aspirations, and in the creation of outstanding educational provision and opportunity for young people.

Helen Jackson

Trust Director – Curriculum and Education

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Main responsibilities in your current role

Ensuring that the curriculum that is delivered in our three sixth form colleges meets the needs of our students. This includes the ‘intent’ of our academic curriculum and as well as the curriculum that supports the personal development of our students.

Analysing, supporting improvement and reviewing college performance also forms part of my role.

Brief background of your educational career

I qualified as a Geography teacher in 1999 and worked as a classroom teacher and then Head of Geography in 11-18 secondary schools. I was appointed as the Head of Humanities at New College Pontefract in 2015. Following this I became the Assistant and then Vice Principal at New College Doncaster when it opened in 2016. My Vice Principal role runs alongside my Trust Director role within the Trust.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

Socialising and staying active. I also love to escape to the countryside and enjoy walking in the Lakes, Dales or Peaks.

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

To have an impact on the lives of young people. I enjoyed school and look back at my time in education with fond memories. I would like to be part of those memories for someone else, knowing that I contributed to their success and enjoyment.

Steve Crisp

Trust Director – Digital Transformation

Dave Hunt

Trust Director – Finance

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Profile coming soon

Main responsibilities in your current role

Brief background of your educational career

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

Joanne Holden

Trust Director for Safeguarding

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Main responsibilities in your current role

Oversee safeguarding across the Trust Ensure all policies and procedures are up to date and we are meeting our legal obligations Support Senior leaders with safeguarding cases as required Delivery of staff training Quality Assurance of Safeguarding concerns

Brief background of your educational career

New College 13 years 3 of these years were within a seconded role from an external organisation. Progress Tutor, Senior Progress Tutor, Assistant Principal Connexions – working with NEET young people Doncaster College working within both FE and HE.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

Staying physically fit and enjoying time with friends and family

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

To be able to make a positive difference to the lives of young people

Trudi Toms

Director of Primary Education

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Main responsibilities in your current role

I probably have the best job in the world as I work with and support the three amazing primary schools who have recently joined NCLT. My main priority is to ensure that those schools continue to deliver an exciting, creative, relevant and challenging curriculum for their pupils and support their communities effectively. I work with the Senior Leaders and all staff in the schools on school improvement, including professional development and support to help schools develop their leadership, staff and curriculum, so they can improve their results and performance.

Brief background of your educational career

Having obtained a BA (Hons) in English literature and a PGCE, I began my teaching career in a challenging Sheffield first school in 1986. I then moved to Rotherham schools after I had a family. In 2002 I took a very interesting turn to become a senior Teaching and Learning Consultant for Rotherham School Improvement Service before returning to teaching as Deputy Head in 2008 at Brinsworth Whitehill Primary School and then being Acting Head Teacher there whilst achieving my NPQH. In 2010 I became Head Teacher at Thorpe Hesley Junior School, securing the role of Head Teacher of the newly amalgamated Infant and Junior Schools in 2014, as they became Thorpe Hesley Primary School. My proudest moment being when we took the school to Outstanding status with Ofsted in July 2017. In 2020, along with Anston Greenlands and Redscope Primary schools, we set up the Creative Children’s Academy Trust with myself as Trust CEO and THPS Head Teacher, before a very positive and forward thinking merge of this smaller trust with NCLT in January 2023. At this point I left the post of substantive Head Teacher to take up the post of Director of Primary Education, a very exciting move!

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?

Outside my work life I am a very busy Mum to grown up sons and daughters who live all over the country, and Grandma to seven beautiful children. I consider myself blessed to have such an amazing family. They, along with our two black Labradors, take up most of my spare time. I also love to squeeze in as many holidays as possible, a cruise being the favourite, and lots of theatre visits. Needle felting allows me to destress, I love creating! Oh, and I am definitely going to take up knitting again in the near future. Busy hands are happy hands!

What reason did you pursue a career in education?

To be honest, it was always in my blood. I come from a long line of teachers and have many relatives who also went into the profession. I did think I was going to be the odd one out when I took a BA instead of going straight to a teaching qualification – but fate had other plans! I have spent my (very long) career in schools trying to make a difference to children and their families and have always worked on the basis that any school I have had a hand in should be one I would be happy for my own children to go to. Education can change a life and open a door, I’m in it to make that difference.

Jodie Richardson

Trust Director – Information Technology

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Coming soon

Les Reed

Trust Director – Estates

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Coming soon

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