South Pennine Academy

The Executive Team

Chief Executive Officer/Accounting Officer - Lynda Johnson

Lynda was appointed as the Trust’s Chief Executive Officer in January 2023. As the CEO, Lynda is responsible for the overall success of the Trust and all the academies within it. She has been a highly successful leader in education for over twenty years including being an Executive Head Teacher, School Improvement Partner, National Leader of Education and Ofsted Inspector.  

Lynda has a great deal of leadership experience in transforming organisations and developing people, including achieving three concurrent outstanding inspection outcomes in three primary academies as CEO of a previous Trust.  She firmly believes in a values driven organisation with children and young people at the heart of everything.

Operations Director - Roz Batley

Roz brings a wealth of experience in school leadership, with particular emphasis on finance and business management in the secondary sector.  She has experience of Academy conversion, and is designated as a Specialist Leader of Education.  She has extensive experience of working on Governing Bodies in both primary and secondary education.  She has been a member of a primary governing body for 19 years and held the role of Chair for over 10 years. 

Education Director - Alison BlackAlison Black

Alison Black is our Education Director. She has thirteen years' experience as a headteacher and school improvement adviser and was previously Executive Principal of two of our primary academies in East Oldham. As a headteacher, Alison has successfully led three newly sponsored academies to achieve good inspection gradings as well as achieving outstanding in her first headship. Alison leads the Academy Effectiveness Team to work with schools in a range of activities to support school improvement including monitoring effectiveness through data analysis and reviews, supporting self -evaluation, building capacity in leadership and provision of high quality professional development for the whole workforce.

Finance Director - Keith Rushton

Keith joined the Trust in summer 2017.  He is a qualified accountant and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.  He has 28 years experience working for a range of international accountancy firms.  He has specialised in the education sector for over 20 years, working with a large number of colleges, universities, academies, and independent schools.  He brings a wealth of experience from providing internal audit, external audit and advisory services to his clients. Keith is an expert in education and charity finance, balancing an excellent understanding of the education sector with a commercial outlook.

HR Director - Luke Ricketts

Luke Joined the Trust in October 2023.  He has over 20 years' experience supporting HR in educational settings.  He has a Master's Degree in Human Resource Management and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).  He is a Safer Recruitment Trainer and a Mental Health First Aider.