About Us

John Simpson - Member

John Simpson - Member

John started his career in the late 1970s teaching geography and humanities in three Bristol schools before moving to the Avon Resources for Learning Development Unit (RLDU) in 1983. RLDU worked with networks of teachers to produce materials and develop classroom methodologies. In 1986, John moved to the London Borough of Brent as humanities adviser and undertook a range of roles there, the last of which was as director of education, arts and libraries. He left in 1999 to move back to Bristol as director of education for North Somerset.
In 2000, he became a founding director and education chief executive of Tribal Group, now a major provider of education services. He has masters degrees in the link between inspection and school improvement and in executive coaching. From 2007 to 2012 he served the Government as a school adjudicator. Since 2007, John has run his own company (Public Service at Heart Ltd) that undertakes a range of education-related consultancy services.
John’s main areas of interest are business effectiveness, school improvement, managing change and promoting education for a more equal and fair society. He is the non-executive chair of ASDAN, the Skills and Education Group, the lottery funded Bristol based Golden Key Project and the North Somerset Strategic Schools Forum. John has previously been chair of a MAT( Multi Academy Trust) and the West of England Learning and Skills Council. He has provided executive coaching to well over a 100 senior leaders in the public and private sectors.

Nigel Richardson CBE -Member

Nigel Richardson CBE -Member

Nigel Richardson is the former director of children’s services at Leeds City Council He retired in October 2016. Since joining in September 2010, he has successfully led the service out of government intervention via a period of significant improvement and transformation, with the result of children and young people in Leeds being placed at the heart of the city’s growth strategy. Nigel was awarded a CBE in the New Years Honours List 2017.

Nigel’s vision from the outset was to mobilise the whole city behind the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of all its children and young people. Building on the original concept of child friendly cities developed by Unicef, Child Friendly Leeds was launched in 2012 and remains an integral part of the ongoing city-wide effort to create better outcomes for all children, young people and families.

Leeds’ 2015 Ofsted report highlighted ‘outstanding’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘confident’ leadership, which has led to significantly improved outcomes for children, young people and families. In early 2016, Leeds was recognised as ‘Childrens Services of the Year’ and has recently been awarded the ‘Cutting Edge Award’ for its work on innovative restorative approaches with families.

Before joining Leeds, Nigel was the first director of children’s services in Hull where he helped the city pursue its position as the world’s first ‘Restorative City’.
Nigel’s career in public service began over 34 years ago working with young offenders. Since then he has held a wide variety of roles across a number of social care and local government settings. He has also held a range of key leadership roles including principal child care manager, assistant director of social services, director of social services and director of social and housing services. Nigel also spent five years working in the private sector advising on the development and effectiveness of social welfare systems for children and adults.
Nigel has advised on national policy and practice developments in England and Wales as well as internationally.  He spent 18 months working with Lord Laming on the landmark Victoria Climbie Inquiry. More recently he was invited to chair a cross government working group on ‘Family, friends and kinship care’ reporting directly to government ministers. He has worked at the invitation of the Welsh Assembly Government as part of its Swansea Council Intervention Board. He was also invited to be on the Advisory Group for the New Zealand Government’s ‘Qualitative Workload and Casework Review’ for the Child Youth and Family (CYF) part of the Ministry of Social Development. Nigel was also part of the same department’s advisory group for the ‘CYF Modernising Programme’.
Nigel has been invited to travel extensively to share his experiences and present the learning from his work to audiences around the world in places such as Nova Scotia, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, South Africa and the USA.
Over a number of years and throughout his different leadership and advisory roles, Nigel has been consistent in cultivating and nurturing essential partnerships by applying three key approaches to his work: putting children and families at the heart of everything we do; working restoratively with people - doing things with them, not to them or for them; and practically applying an outcomes based accountability methodology to test what difference is actually being made. The combination of these three approaches has helped to ensure a relentless collective focus on improving outcomes – a unique ‘whole system’ approach.
‘The Leeds Story’ co-authored by Nigel has recently been published in ‘Turning Curves - An Accountability Companion Reader’ by Mark Friedman.
Nigel is married with four sons aged 19–27, and became a proud grandfather for the first time in 2014.

Leanne Keating - Member

Leanne Keating - Member

Leanne is a Partner in the Personal Injury Litigation department at Bridge McFarland in Hull.
She joined Bridge McFarland in September 2001 having qualified as a Solicitor that same year. She became a Partner on 1st May 2005.

Leanne is also a member of the firm's Management Board

Adrian Storr - Member

Adrian Storr - Member

Adrian has a wide range of commercial experience at Director level.
He has extensive experience of business engagement & influencing.
He has worked in both the Public and Private sector so understands how the public sector can benefit from the commercial world.
He is also father to 3 children

Graham Wilson - Chair of Trustees

Graham Wilson - Chair of Trustees

A former Headteacher of two primary schools in Hull with experience of working as a primary teacher in both Liverpool and East Riding schools

Graham has worked as an independent consultant since September 2006.

Work has included school inspections, Primary School Improvement Partner (SIP) work for an L.A, and supporting individual local schools with the school improvement process. Graham has also been involved in working on “Restorative Practice” with a Hull school. He has been a Governor for many years, and is currently Chair of Governors of two primary schools and a founding director of HCAT.

Much of his work has involved working with schools in challenging circumstances. He is an NLG (National Leader of Governance) and is therefore able to support schools through their own Governing Bodies.

Liz Wilson -Trustee

Liz Wilson -Trustee

Liz has been a Teacher for 38 years, 16 were as a headteacher in three inner city schools
She is a trained Ofsted Inspector and has particular interest in.

• School improvement including effective data systems and analysis;
• Curriculum design;
• Use of pupil premium funding;
• Budget management, and
• Safeguarding, including pupil wellbeing

Having retired from Headship I she is still closely involved in education as a Professional Studies PGCE Tutor with The University of Hull. She also acts as an education consultant providing leadership development to individual schools and teaching school alliances.
She has been a governor at 4 schools and is currently Chair of Governors at Wansbeck and an NLG.

Cheryl Yates - Trustee

Cheryl Yates - Trustee

Cheryl is a CIPD qualified HR professional . With over 14 years generalist experience and exposure to different sectors she has also specialised within the Recruitment and Selection field.

Malcolm Mathias - Trustee

Malcolm Mathias - Trustee

Environmental, Health and Safety, Quality Consultant

A Qualified Environmental Health Officer/Manager/ISO 9001 Lead Assessor/Health and Safety Consultant/Professional Trainer
Public Sector EHO progressing a career through in Canterbury, Rushmoor and East Riding of Yorkshire Councils where he was Consumer Protection Manager/Strategic Development Manager/Public Protection Group Manager, East Riding of Yorkshire Council until retirement in 2007
Now Director/Consultant at MGM Health and Safety Solutions Ltd
Provision of detailed Health and Safety, Quality and Environmental advice

Anthony Kingston -Trustee

Anthony Kingston -Trustee

Anthony is an Education Consultant and has been a teacher, Head teacher and Senior lecturer combined with a role as Lead Inspector for Ofsted for a number of Hull and East Riding schools. He has also been a school improvement partner and Consultant to other growing academies.

Michael Whitaker - Trustee

Michael Whitaker - Trustee

Over 40 years of experience in education and social care. During this time he has undertaken a wide range of roles.
Currently undertaking Research at the University of Hull leading to a PhD as well as continuing consultancy work in East and West Yorkshire

Roles have included
-Head Teacher
-County Inspector in a large Shire County
-Assistant Director of Education
-School/Academy Improvement Adviser to a number of Academy Trusts
-Regional Academies Director (North) for a large Multi-Academy Trust
-Senior Education Adviser to architects and construction companies on school design, all phases
-Project Management in School to Academy conversions, all phases
-Interim Head of Service with Local Authorities- Alternative Education; Multi Ethnic Curriculum Support Service; SEND
-Project Management in LA Restructuring SEND and in Developing coherent 14-19 Provision
-Interim Leadership of Schools in Ofsted Categories and supporting schools to move from Ofsted Good to Outstanding
-Development of National Teaching School
-External Examiner in Sheffield Hallam University and Distance Tutor in the University of Birmingham Post Graduate Programme
-Lead Inspector in over 250 Ofsted Inspections
-Inspection Provider for over 250 Ofsted inspections per year
-Education Adviser to the Government of Gibraltar
- CPD Co-coordinator and provider to British Schools in Spain

Catherine Hindson- Trustee

Catherine Hindson- Trustee

Kate has twenty seven years teaching experience across primary, secondary and adult education in Buckinghamshire, London, the East Riding and Hull. She was Headteacher at Pearson Primary School in Hull for seven years until her retirement in December 2016 . She is currently governor at Bellfield Primary School.

Chris Huscroft -Trustee

Chris Huscroft -Trustee

Chris Huscroft – Since graduating in 2003, Chris has worked in schools in the East Riding in a variety of capacities, leading to his appointment as Executive Head Teacher of Swanland Primary School and Dunswell Academy in 2014. He was instrumental in supporting both of these schools through their academy conversion and helping to move Dunswell Academy from Requires Improvement to Good in 2015.

Chris is CEO of Swanland Education Trust (SET), a primary MAT in the East Riding of Yorkshire. SET has worked with HCAT over the years on a range of initiatives including Restorative Practice training and Research Projects. HCAT and SET’s relationship will be strengthened by his involvement on the Board of Trustees.

Gail Simpson -Trustee

Gail Simpson -Trustee

Gail has been both a Teacher and Headteacher in Hull and the East Riding, she brings a wealth of educational experience to the HCAT Board of Trustees and was the recipient of the Hull Daily Mail Golden Apple Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

Andrew Barber - Trustee

An experienced Director with experience across the charity, public and private sectors with determined, passionate and inspirational leadership skills. Andrew joins us following being a governor for Longhill Primary.

Andrew is currently the Chief Executive of the HEY Smile Foundation, providing support to over 250 charities across Hull and East Yorkshire. In addition he is the Director of the charities for Humber NHS and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS. Andrew brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of community services, funding, corporate social responsibility and social value.

A Hull born, creative thinker, with a can do attitude who is looking to continue to add value to the HCAT team

Estelle Macdonald OBE- CEO

Estelle Macdonald OBE- CEO

Estelle Macdonald OBE - Headteacher, Hull Collaborative Academy Trust - Collingwood Primary School, Hull

Estelle is CEO of HCAT.
Estelle was awarded a OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours List 2016 for her services to Education.
Estelle is a National Leader of Education. She is CEO of Hull Collaborative Teaching School, which has been running for 3 years and is one of the biggest alliances in the country. Estelle became CEO of Hull Collaborative Academy Trust when it formed in July 2013. Estelle has extensive experience in school to school support and she has done some significant work for the National College of School Leadership, coordinating school to school support for the Yorkshire Region. She is also on the Hull School Standards board, helping to raise standards and build strong and effective relationships within schools across the County.

Estelle took her own school from special measures to outstanding and Collingwood has been designated a National support school, a Teaching school and now an accredited SCITT.

Estelle is a director for Hull Centre for Restorative Practice, the Hull Collaborative Teaching school and Current Education which provide at cost services to Hull Collaborative Academy Trust.
Her school Collingwood is a lead school for Restorative Practice and she is regularly invited to speak both nationally and internationally at conferences, on this subject.

Key Responsibilities
DFE and responsibilities for other schools
Ethos, culture, behaviour
Induction of new schools
Accounting Officer
A member of the RSC's Headteachers Board

Katie Beal - Deputy CEO -Founding Head

Katie Beal - Deputy CEO -Founding Head

Katie Beal - Headteacher, Hull Collaborative Academy Trust - Eastfield Primary School, Hull
Katie has been head at Eastfield since September 2004 and was previously Headteacher at Craven Primary school between October 1998 and July 2004. During that time she was asked to train as a Primary Strategy Consultant leader. In this role Katie supported school leadership teams in a range of schools across the city over a 4 year period.
Katie has trained as a LLE and was interim Executive headteacher at Westcott Primary school during 2010.
Eastfield Primary was inspected by Ofsted in 2015 and was awarded Outstanding status.
Key Responsibilities
Development of leaders, Organising supervision programme
Development for middle leaders up & coming leaders link to CPD
Finance: Liaise with accountants, set budgets for Trust & funding opp.

Melissa Milner - Founding Head

Melissa Milner - Founding Head

Melissa Milner - Headteacher, Hull Collaborative Academy Trust - Thoresby Primary School, Hull
Melissa is an experienced head teacher who has been recognised both nationally and internationally for her leadership and work on research and development in education. As a successful head since 2006 leading Thoresby Primary to Outstanding status in 2016. Melissa has been recognised through the national NCSL programme as a professional partner to new head teachers and worked on a consultancy basis supporting local schools. Melissa is an LLE.

Under her leadership Thoresby has been identified as a flagship school for “open futures” and endorsed as a centre of excellence for P4 C, Lets Get Cooking and RHS.

Melissa`s success in supporting leadership led her to be elected as a member of the HCTS Executive Board helping shape the strategic direction and system leadership across the city.

Internationally Melissa has worked with the OECD to help develop international policy on entrepreneurship education. A founding member and Director of HCAT. Melissa leads on research and development across the trust and has proactively instigated and overseen a number of research projects to ensure the trust is able to access cutting edge educational practice.

Melissa is a serving Ofsted Inspector.

Claire Mudd -Founding Head

Claire Mudd -Founding Head

Claire has been teaching in Hull Schools for 18 years and has been Head teacher at Bellfield Primary School since 2009. She has worked in a variety of schools across the city and has a particular interest in Literacy and the curriculum. She worked as a Literacy Consultant for the Local Authority and was the Deputy Head at two schools before becoming a Head teacher.
Claire has been the strategic lead for ITT for HCTS for the past two years and is passionate about ensuring new teachers gain the very best training and support. She is most proud of her own school community and the children within it. Claire is a Basic Skills Quality Mark Assessor and has trained colleagues internationally in Restorative Practices. Claire is an LLE.

Key Responsibilities
Development recruitment of School Direct trainees
Curriculum
CPD for Trust organising training days & development sessions
Co- coordinating insets school-to-school managing Deputies Group

Darren Marks Central Team School Improvement

Darren Marks Central Team School Improvement

With a background in inner city schools that feature a high level of deprivation, Darren is highly committed to ensuring all children are entitled to the highest quality education. Under his leadership, Wansbeck Primary School moved from a school with standards below government floor standards to being consistently in the top 20% of schools nationally for progress across all subjects.
Being a strong team player, Darren is firmly committed to a collaborative, partnership approach and a firm believer of system leadership.
As an experienced Headteacher, Darren provides support to sponsored schools, specialising in supporting leadership and raising standards.
Darren is a serving Ofsted Inspector

Suzanne Wilson - Strategic Safeguarding Lead

Suzanne Wilson -  Strategic Safeguarding Lead

Suzanne worked for Hull City Council and is the newest recruit to our HCAT Team. She has over 12 years experience of safeguarding in education and works relentlessly to promote the safety and welfare of children and young people. Suzanne has extensive knowledge and her expertise has assisted schools with the development of creating strong cultures of vigilance by quality assuring and monitoring compliance through detailed safeguarding, anti bullying and case file auditing. She recognises there’s no room for complacency and always looks for effective ways forward to develop best practice and create a strong safeguarding ethos. Her aims are always to ensure her work and achievements are built around the needs of children; not only to maximise their opportunities, but to also minimise the risk of harm. Suzanne is also part of the partnership of HCAT with St Mary's College and provides her expertise to both organisations.