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Executive Headteachers

Chief Executive Officer and Senior Executive Headteacher: Gail Brown has over 25 years’ experience in primary education and as a school leader, having taught every age group. She has successfully led a number of schools, taking one from Good to Outstanding and a school in Special Measures to Good in all areas. Gail spent six years working within a local authority context and as part of the National Strategies Yorkshire and Humber Regional Adviser team, supporting, challenging and improving practice and provision.

Director of Education: Dave Barber has over 21 years’ experience in the primary sector, 11 of those in senior management positions. Dave, an LLE, has worked effectively across the full primary age range in six schools in a wide range of contexts. He has extensive experience of providing school to school support that has proved instrumental in bringing about positive change.


Finance Director

Andrew Robinson is a CIMA qualified accountant with a BA in Accounting & Management Control. He has over 15 years’ experience of working with fast-growing entrepreneurial businesses in senior finance roles. Following his last role as finance & risk director for a financial services company in York, he joined Ebor in April 2017. Andrew is also the trust’s Chief Finance Officer.

Director of People and Culture

David Wheeler is an HR professional with over 25 years’ experience across the private and public sectors. As Head of HR for the Ministry of Justice, he led the delivery of HR services to over 90,000 staff. During his career, David has led substantial business change projects, fostered effective trade union relationships and worked in specialist areas of HR including HR Systems. Pay & Reward and Job Evaluation. He is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.

Director of Operations

Richard Swain is a chartered engineer with over 30 years’ experience of engineering, project and operational management within industry. He spent eight years as chair of The Education Alliance (TEAL) multi-academy trust, overseeing significant growth and development. Richard has been in school governance for almost 20 years.

Director of Communications and Trust IT Lead

Tim Moat is a former journalist and photographer, responsible for communications, press liaison, marketing and reputation management for the trust and its schools. As IT lead, he also supervises Ebor’s IT provider and internet service provider and, with them, he is continually horizon scanning to ensure Ebor remains innovative and at the forefront of IT in the classroom.

Central Support Team

Ebor’s Central Support Team provides expertise to our schools.
The promise we make to our schools is that we will work collaboratively and inclusively; we hear and understand schools’ needs and concerns, and take ownership where support is required. We provide a timely response, are innovative and proactive in finding ways to improve and we help build resilience, so our schools have the support and expertise they need.
Deborah Meiklejohn – SEND Lead

Deborah has worked in primary education over the last 15 years and has taught every age group. She has held the SENCO position in school, including early years settings, in both Gloucestershire and Yorkshire. She works closely with the Local Authority SEND teams and supports our schools in meeting the needs of our children and families. She has strategic responsibility for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities provision across the trust.

Sue Hinchcliffe – Director of Apprenticeships

Sue has almost 30 years’ experience of teaching across the whole primary age range and post-16. She has worked across four different authorities, in rural, urban, special, residential specialist and secure settings and has spent almost 20 years of leading and managing teams. Formerly SEND Lead and Quality Assurer for Ebor’s School Improvement Team, Sue has always had a passion for CPD which equips those working in schools and early years settings with the knowledge, skills and professional behaviours which enable them to make better provision for the children and families they serve. Sue was appointed Director of Apprenticeships in 2018.

Rebecca McGuinn – Lead for Safeguarding Behaviour and Wellbeing

Rebecca has over 20 years’ experience in safeguarding in education, working in a range of diverse settings, from schools in special measures to local authority safeguarding teams. She has wide-ranging expertise in many different areas of pupil wellbeing and is aware of the challenges education professionals face when trying to ensure they are meeting the demands of safeguarding compliance, including improving school attendance and managing children who show increased levels of complex and challenging behaviour. Rebecca sits on several local authority safeguarding partnership boards, is part of the national safeguarding directors’ association and provides advice, guidance, training and strategic support to school leaders who work in safeguarding and pastoral roles. 

Pete Scott – Finance Manager

Pete has over 20 years’ accountancy experience and brings a wealth of business and finance knowledge to Ebor Academy Trust. Over the past ten years, Pete has worked in the education sector in school business support and, more recently, as finance manager at a secondary school. He joined Ebor in December 2015.

Diane Hewitson – Payroll Manager

Diane has over 23 years’ experience working in all areas of payroll, including taxation, national insurance, pensions, sickness, parental leave and all year end processes. She left City of York Council in May 2017, after 21 years, where she was employed as the payroll and pensions team leader, managing a team to deliver an in-house payroll service.

Julie Forde – Personal Assistant to CEO and School Business Manager Coordinator

Julie provides administration support to Chief Executive Officer Gail Brown and the Executive Team. She also supports and advises School Business Managers and provides a link between Ebor schools and the Central Support Team. Julie has been an integral part of the growth of the trust, joining Ebor in 2013.

Louise Jackson – Administrator

Louise worked for Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy for over 11 years before joining Ebor’s Central Support Team. She administers and supports training for staff across the trust and is a key member of Ebor’s apprenticeship team, assisting learners and providing support in this increasingly important part of the organisation.

Dani Rowlinson – Data Project Lead

Dani has 20 years’ experience working in the education sector, both in administration and as an adult education tutor. Dani has been involved with Ebor since its inception and was PA to the CEO from 2014 until September 2018, when she took her considerable knowledge of the trust into a new systems management role. This role has now developed into Data Project Lead, with Dani collating and presenting data analysis across the trust, liaising with schools and the Executive Team as appropriate.

Andy Roberts – Facilities and Operations Manager

Andy has over 30 years’ senior level managerial experience in project, operations and facilities management within sectors such as energy, the NHS and education. He is now engaged in developing facilities, site management, maintenance and connected operational requirements across the estates in the trust. Andy is also the trust’s health and safety officer.

Neil Davison – HR & Payroll Systems Administrator

Neil comes from a farming family. He has grown up with a love of numbers and has a BA in mathematics and statistics. Having worked on the accounts of a small business for over 10 years, Neil moved to Ebor in January 2018 to work on the finance team. After over five years in finance, Neil transferred to the Human Resources team and is currently working as a HR & Payroll Systems Administrator.

Lara Pearson – Financial Accountant

Lara has over 20 years’ accountancy experience in various business environments including the educational sector. She worked at Great Yarmouth College in Norfolk and after relocating to Yorkshire she was employed by Askham Bryan College. Lara joined the Ebor Academy Trust in April 2018.

Abbie Golding – Finance Assistant

Abbie has seven years’ experience as a compliance officer within the legal sector before taking a break to look after her children. Abbie is now enjoying her job in finance and is pleased to be part of the wider Ebor community.

Jane Lovejoy – Finance Assistant

Jane is currently undertaking a secondment in the role of Finance Assistant, which she started in October 2023. In her new role, Jane’s main duty is to process invoices for Ebor Academy Trust. Jane also continues to undertake various governance and compliance tasks for Wendy Harrington, Head of Governance and Compliance.  

Caren Grieves – Estates and Facilities Assistant

Caren brings over 30 years of administrative experience and organisational skills to the Estates and Facilities Assistant role. Her personal skill was developed through experience supporting a management consultancy and for the past 10 years, the education sector. Caren shows enthusiasm for organised and clear ways of working, timely communication and colleague support. Ebor’s new premises management software will be supported by Caren and she will work with Andy Roberts in developing facilities, site maintenance and compliance across our schools.

Sophie Sinclair– Recruitment Assistant

Sophie qualified in 2007 with BTEC National Diploma in Early Years and went on to complete her degree in Education Studies at York St John University. 

Sophie has always worked within Early Years in private nurseries and pre-schools and joined Ebor from a primary school. She now has three children – and a little dog of her own – and felt this was a good time to move into the HR and admin side of the education sector.

Michelle Clarkson – HR Business Partner

Michelle has worked in the education sector for over ten years. She started as an administrative assistant before progressing as an HR Business Partner in 2013. In this role, Michelle managed a number of teams, projects and initiatives. Michelle joined Ebor Academy Trust in May 2018.