South Pennine Academy

The Trustees

Dr Phil Wheeliker - Chair of the Board - Academy Ambassador Mentor

Phil is a South Yorkshireman by birth and is a former Royal Air Force Logistics Officer who gained active service experience during the Falklands and the First Gulf War. Subsequently he spent many years within a variety of industries, gaining executive experience in general management, training provision and in business rescue and transformation. A business psychologist and psychotherapist, Phil currently runs a thriving business, based in Wakefield, specialising in management training, corporate and individual performance coaching and in stress and anxiety control. He is a visiting lecturer for Rolls Royce in the UK and both OPEC in the Far East and the Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation in the Middle East, currently coaching their senior executives to cope better with mounting work pressures.

A Governance Leader, qualified Accountant and Chartered Logistician, he also holds an MA in Psychotherapy, a Doctorate in Corporate Stress Management and an MBA. Phil is also a Trustee and Chair of the Pay, People and Performance Committee for Rodillian Multi Academy Trust.

Having left school himself at 16 to undertake a Factory Administration Apprenticeship, Phil is keen to ensure that our pupils get the best possible start in life.

Mr Simon Gray - Vice Chair of the Board

Simon was appointed to the Board in October 2019, after identifying the opportunity through the Academy Ambassadors programme. Prior to this appointment he gained insight into education governance through sitting on the local governing body of a large inner-city primary school in Leeds. He spent 6 years on this board, holding the position of Chair for 2 years and leading various sub committees including finance and health and safety.

Simon’s original career plan was to join the Police force and attended college to help facilitate this. However, the part-time work at a local supermarket which he did to help fund his studies took him in a different direction, and over the following 12 years his career took him around the UK progressing into senior store operations management roles or a number of major retail brands including Tesco, Toys R Us and ASDA.

Deciding on a career change and seeking advice he went to see a recruitment consultant who suggested that his skill set may well suit recruitment. He joined a large national recruitment organisation where he was trained to specialise in sales, commercial management and senior appointments and over the course of 8 years he had progressed to director level.

In 2011 he decided to open his own business practice and operate as an independent consultant. He continues to run this business working on a national basis with several large organisations that require high level talent.

Simon was born and raised in the small mining town of Worksop near Sheffield but now lives in Leeds with his wife and 2 daughters of primary school age.

Simon firmly believes in education for all children regardless of their backgrounds and feels particularly passionate about children from challenging environments having the opportunity to reach their full potential in a safe and nurturing setting.

Mr Glyn Charles

Glyn is a career accountant who has studied accountancy at all levels, attaining a degree before qualifying in industry.  He has held various senior posts in large and small organisations, determined to make a difference and make an improvement.

He believes in continuous improvement and creating exciting opportunities and environments for people to get the best from them.  His experience has been gained in an wide range of industries and he will be able to utilise that experience for the benefit of the Trust and all stakeholders.

Ms Gina Raymond

Gina is a HR professional, and Chartered Member of the CIPD with more than 20 years' post-qualified experience in industry.  She has held roles at both senior management and executive level.  She currently runs her own HR consultancy providing specialist advice and support on leadership capability, coaching, team dynamics and commercial HR strategic planning.  With experience in a number of industries including life sciences, financial services, dentistry and mobile technology, her most recent role was as the Group HR Director for a travel company providing travel management services to the third sector, primarily humanitarian and academic clients.

 Gina was born and raised in Hyde, Tameside and was a member of Tameside Bugle Corps in her youth.  Outside of work she is an avid musician, singer and songwriter, and is keen to find ways to encourage children to find their individuality and creative expression through the use of music - be it singing, playing, or dancing.

Mr Mick Kay

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 Chris Bond

Born and bred in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, Chris has worked within the construction industry for over 20 years and since 2008 has been the owner and managing director of a successful building services group of businesses.

An enthusiastic and compelling communicator, Chris has a track record of building long lasting and profitable business relationships which have sustained his companies through both good and very difficult trading conditions. Chris is entrepreneurial in character and energetic in his approach, leading and motivating teams to take action then deliver complex and often difficult projects.  He is a knowledgeable information management specialist who is adept at problem solving in business and corporate environments and is dedicated to providing support for multiple parties.

Effective at managing resources, training teams of employees and troubleshooting problems, Chris is devoted to developing a positive company culture in which employees embrace open conversations for new idea contribution. He has a real interest in personal development and encourage his teams to take every self-development opportunity available.

Having a 6 year old daughter at primary school in Wakefield, Chris has a very personal interest in education and the development, support and protection of children. He was incredibly excited when the opportunity arose to work alongside the Trustees at South Pennine Academies.

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.

Ms Rohema Khan


 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.