Trust Board of Directors
Chair of the Board of Directors
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 nine 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.
Carol Dewhurst OBE
NCLT Director (Vice Chair)
I have been Chief Executive Officer of Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust since April 2014 overseeing the Trust growth from a three school MAT to Trust of 10 schools and over 7,000 pupils (as of Jan 2016). I am also acting as interim CEO for the set-up of a new Diocesan MAT in the Richmond area of North Yorkshire and sits as a Trustee on the LEAF Academy Trust board to support their re-brokerage in to Abbey Academies Trust. My work for BDAT also enables me to support a number of regional and national initiatives, most recently advising the Diocese of Leeds on their academy strategy and chairing the DfE West Yorkshire Strategic Partnership on collaborative working across education in the region.
I am a political science graduate from Leeds University and Chartered Marketer. I have worked in a number of public sector roles delivering project work across different areas of the children’s workforce from early years, social work and integrated working (every child matters). I previously worked as a team leader in the Academies programme at the Department for Education covering Yorkshire and Humber and the North West.
Richard Fletcher CEO (Ex Officio)
Richard has 22 years of educational experience and knowledge acquired over a career trajectory from classroom teacher to CEO, via middle and senior leadership. Richard has worked in secondary education for 12 years and in 6th form education since 2009.
Richard started his teaching career at Royds Hall High School in Huddersfield as a teacher of Physical Education. In his second year of teaching he was awarded the Lloyds TSB newly qualified teacher of the year for the North of England.
After working in Huddersfield for 2 years Richard moved to Castleford High School where he worked for 10 years. Richard’s roles at the school ranged from PE teaching, Head of Year and Assistant Head teacher for 5 years leading on KS4 achievement.
In 2009 Richard was appointed Assistant Principal at New College where he led on the pastoral curriculum, behaviour and support and school liaison and transition. After 4 successful years, Richard was successfully appointed Vice Principal and eventually became Principal leading the college to record breaking results. Richard remained Principal for 3 years before ultimately taking over the CEO reign in November 2019.
Richard strongly believes in the Trust’s vision and mission which is based on social mobility and social justice. As CEO, Richard will lead a Trust of colleges and schools in Yorkshire, hoping to make a significant difference to the lives of young people and to the communities which serve them. The Trust will, as a result, make a quantifiable and powerful contribution to social mobility.
NCLT Director, Safeguarding & SEND Lead
Bev is a Sector Skills Specialist with expertise in Advanced Manufacturing, Financial Services, New Technologies, Creative and Digital, and Retail. Her networks include colleges and private providers, universities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Local Authorities, membership organisations, Sectors Skills Councils, and National Skills Academies. Bev currently works for the LEP’s Investors development team working with foreign owned businesses.
NCLT Director and Chair of NCP Advisory Group
For most of my career I have worked as a manager for bus and tourist companies. I am currently Commercial Manager for Stanley Gath Travel, a small bus company based near Junction 32.
I am a governor at Larks Hill Junior and Infants School in Pontefract. I am a member of the Carleton Community High School Parent, Teacher and Friends Association as well as a member of the committee of the Wakefield Association of School Governors. I also serve on the Land Use and Transportation Committee of Pontefract Civic Society.
My two daughters attended New College, Pontefract and I am pleased to be given the opportunity to repay my gratitude by giving my services to the College.
NCLT Director and Chair of the NCB Advisory Group
Following a full career as a Warfare Officer in the Royal Navy during which he saw much of the world (especially the Gulf and West Indies) and gained a Master’s degree in Defence Studies, Peter Thompson took early retirement in 1999 and moved to Yorkshire to become the Bursar at Bingley Grammar School, a large 11-18 comprehensive school with some 400 in the Sixth Form. In 2007 he left there to take up the post of Bursar at a small co-educational all-through Independent day and boarding school in North Yorkshire prior to joining Woodhouse Grove School as Operations Director in 2012.
He joined Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust in November 2015 and is the Chief Operating Officer. The Trust is now home to 17 schools – four secondary, 13 primary, with around 1350 staff, 9000 students and a turnover around £56 million per annum. Peter’s role is providing strategic operational leadership and support across the Trust in many areas such as regulation and compliance, HR, legal, data protection, Safeguarding, Health and Safety, procurement, value for money, insurance and many other areas!
Peter’s expertise is in making strategic business decisions to provide the best value support to staff and pupils to give every pupil the opportunity to achieve their full potential. He has delivered a number of high value projects involving new build and refurbishment programmes on time and on budget. As an HR Generalist, he provides advice and support to the management teams and enjoys building and shaping teams of people to meet the ever-changing needs of schools.
Peter has recently completed 10 years as a Governor, Chair of Trustees and Member of a small Multi- Academy Trust in Bradford with a co-located Special School and secondary school and is a Director of the New Collaborative Learning Trust.
Phill was appointed as Chief Operating Officer at Leeds Trinity University in 2017, having previously held the post of Director of HR at Sheffield Hallam University. Phill is a Business Studies graduate, having studied for his degree as a sponsored student with the electricity supply industry where his career began at the age of 16.
During a career that spanned twelve years with Yorkshire Electricity Group plc, Phill worked on major business change initiatives including the privatisation of the business as part of the government drive to float UK utilities on the stock exchange. It was whilst working for the electricity industry that Phill gained his first senior managerial position and at the same time undertook a postgraduate diploma in People Management. He has been a Chartered Member of the CIPD since 1992.
Phill moved to join Portakabin Limited in 2002 with HR responsibility for the continental interests in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. As well as the European business, he also had HR responsibility for the international division which primarily concentrated on the oil and gas exploration sector in the Far East and South America.
Phil’s remit was one of business expansion and he worked extensively with country managers to help grow and expand the organisation throughout continental Europe and beyond.
Roles on external bodies
Having worked as an HR professional for over 25 years, Phill has a strong interest in the people agenda within organisations and in particular the not for-profit sector. He is a former Trustee of St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield and a former Trustee of the Children’s Food Trust in Sheffield.
is a lawyer specialising in employment and business disputes. She has over 25 years’ experience as a solicitor dealing with business disputes particularly those involving employment issues. Her particular strengths include acting as a trusted advisor,
building relationships and empathy with my clients.
Deborah Green is Chief Executive of ucisa a charitable company which represents the interests of Chief Information Officers in HE and FE and the teams they lead. Reporting to and working closely with the Chair of the Board of Trustees, she is responsible for upholding the charitable object of ucisa, providing strategic, operational and personnel management for ucisa and its subsidiary companies.
Prior to her appointment at ucisa, Deborah was Director of Student Recruitment at the University of Hull. Although a lawyer by profession, Deborah has a wealth of Higher Education experience joining Hull after five years, Deborah on the executive board at Leeds Beckett University where she led the Marketing and Corporate Communications Directorate. During her time there, Deborah led a major brand repositioning exercise, as well as one of the biggest communications programmes in Leeds Beckett’s history, in preparation for the university’s name change from Leeds Metropolitan University to Leeds Beckett in September 2014. Deborah also revolutionised the university’s approach to recruitment and the enquirer and applicant experience, developing and launching the university’s first major integrated marketing & recruitment campaigns, which included a range of innovative digital outputs, in addition to their first television campaign; building a multi award winning team in the process.
NCLT Director and Chair of the Wingfield Advisory Group
Russell is a recently retired Secondary Headteacher, Executive Headteacher and Local Leader of Education. He worked for 38 years in South Yorkshire schools initially as a teacher of Physical Education before moving into middle and senior leadership. Russell is passionate about the impact education can have on improving the life chances of young people especially disadvantaged students. He brings a wealth of experience in secondary education and understands the challenges and opportunities that secondary schools and trusts face. Russell is an advocate for the school led system and is keen to influence trust board decisions which will impact on the lives of future generations.
Russell has lived in the Pontefract area for all of his life, his son and daughter both attended New College Pontefract. He is a keen sportsman and has enjoyed participating in and watching sport.
NCLT Director and Chair of the Audit Committee
Neil is a multi-skilled doctor and businessman with a record of managing diverse businesses in the health and communications sectors. He also has had an interest in a beef and dairy farm in Estonia! He is an experienced Chairman of both business and not-for profit organisations and a respected communicator with wide media experience.
As a founder of a private primary school, a previous Adviser to NCP and a former Governor at Tadcaster Grammar School whose wife has wide experience in the HE/University sector, he has a keen interest in, and knowledge of, education in the UK.
He is very involved with Charitable work, especially the Thackray Medical Museum and the Leeds Rugby Foundation, and a lover of all sports.
He has 4 daughters and 7 grandchildren, and his youngest daughter was a student at NCP.