South Pennine Academy

The Trustees

Mr Mick Kay - Chair of the Board

Mick is the founding CEO of a growing multi academy trust, West Yorkshire based, that has six academies across the primary, secondary, all-through and alternative provision sectors.

Mick is a system leader working closely with the DFE and RSC, improving connectivity across the system, ensuring support is targeted at schools that need it most.

Mick is a values driven leader, with a people-centred approach, driven by the mission to improve social mobility and social inclusion. Working collaboratively with partners, Mick has a track record for delivering sustainable school improvement strategies that lead to significant improvements in outcomes for children and young people.

Mr Tom LIndley

Appointed to the Board in August 2020, Tom was recruited via the Academy Ambassadors programme.

Tom is currently a global marketing director for Mars Incorporated.  During his 20 years at Mars he has enjoyed a variety of positions in marketing, innovation and people leadership.  His expertise is in innovation, advertising development, strategy setting and organisational change management.

Tom believes in possibility thinking, setting stretching goals and empowering people and teams to be the best they can be.  He is incredibly passionate about sustainability and the responsibility of all organisations and senior leaders to help address climate change.

Having been schooled through the state school system before gaining a degree from the University of Bradford Management Centre, Tom is an avid believer of the right for all children to receive good quality education and to be educated in a school where they can flourish.

Claire Hewitt

Claire joined the Board in June 2021 having heard about the opportunity via the Academy Ambassadors programme. She is committed to making a difference and improving life chances for young people and this has underpinned her work in education. After starting out as a Chemistry teacher she spent over twenty years working in a variety of senior leadership posts including leading an 11-18 school and being headteacher of an all through school.

Claire has been involved in school inspections and was previously a governor of a free school in Manchester where she chaired the Teaching and Learning Committee. Although Claire is now retired, her passion for educating young people continues and she is involved in voluntary work as a maths tutor. In retirement she is enjoying having more time for walking, cycling and playing the piano.

Mr Roger Mitchell - Co-opted Trustee

Roger is a highly versatile and very successful business analyst with a strong background in assessing and refining operational processes and procedures and working practices to create more efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective methods of working to maximise opportunities and transform organisations.

He believes in building and developing strong long-term relationships with clients, colleagues, directors, trade unions, suppliers, and partner organisations to champion change and bring everyone along on the journey.

Working across retail, energy, and financial services industries in the UK and internationally, he brings a breadth of knowledge and best practices which can be of benefit to the education sector.

 Ms Jane Acklam OBE – Chief Executive Officer / Chief Accounting Officer

Jane is the CEO of South Pennine Academies.  She has considerable experience as a highly successful Headteacher and Principal.  Jane has been a National Leader of Education since 2009, and effectively supported and built capacity in a wide range of schools, locally and regionally.  As the Principal of Moor End Academy, she led them through numerous Ofsted inspections achieving outstanding in 2009 and again in 2012.  Jane has won national awards for her commitment to excellence in the professional development of teachers, and has been awarded a Teaching Award, as Headteacher of the Year. She has a wealth of experience working for the DfE on the Head teacher Board for West Yorkshire and Lancashire and as a Teaching and Leadership Adviser for NCTL.  Jane was awarded an OBE for services to Education in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list.