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.

Claire Hewitt - Vice Chair

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.

Subuola Abraham - Trustee

Subuola, is a seasoned and industry-recognised professional with over 22 years of global regulatory risk and compliance experience from top tier international financial institutions.

Subuola holds a B.A.(Hons) Law degree and is a solicitor of England and Wales as well as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.  

Subuola is a Fellow of the UK International Compliance Association and is on their Global Advisory Board.

Keith Halliwell - Trustee

Keith is an accomplished executive with experience operating at a strategic level in a complex, high turnover and high-profile environments.

He has delivered large-scale change programmes, led teams across diverse geographical areas with responsibility for business performance and financial accountability and successfully  expanded his own business.

He has previously experience of governance in a multi academy trust in the role of Chair of Governors, with a particular focus on staff and student wellbeing, improving outcomes for all students and the benefits good schools bring to their local communities.

Dominic Wall - Trustee

Dominic Wall retired as the Headteacher of Co-op Academy Southfield after 12 years in September 2022 and he now works part-time as the SEND Lead for the Co-op Academies Trust. He is currently leading the development of Co-op Academy Brierley, a new special free school for Leeds City Council which will open in 2023.

During his career Dominic has worked as a headteacher in SEMH and LDD special schools in Blackburn, Oldham and Bradford, and for the local authority in Bradford as Strategic Adviser for SEN, overseeing the building of eight new special schools.

Representing the specialist sector on the Schools Forum in Bradford, Dominic served as Chair from 2015-17, during which period he is proud to have maintained a balanced High Needs Block SEND budget, through consensus across all sectors of education.

Designated by the Department for Education as a National Leader of Education in 2016 until his retirement as a headteacher, Dominic continues to be a member of the Specialist SEND Reference Group, which is consulted by the DfE about developments in national policy for specialist settings. From 2019-22 Dominic was seconded part-time to NICE as an Education Topic Advisor on SEND for the committee drawing up Guideline 213.

Working with colleague headteachers from across England, Dominic coordinates the Medicine in Specialist Schools (MiSS) group that lobbies on behalf of the specialist sector of education for better and safer provision of health services in school settings. On behalf of MiSS Dominic has been invited to join NHS England’s working party on delivering clinical interventions in schools and other community settings.

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.