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People

Executive Headteachers

Chief Executive Officer and Senior Executive Headteacher (Ebor Central and Yorkshire Coast hubs): Gail Brown is a National Leader of Education and has over 25 years’ experience in primary education, having taught every age group. She has successfully led two 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. 

Executive Headteacher (Ebor South and East Riding and The Humber hubs): 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. Dave has been chair of his local learning alliance and a member of the North Yorkshire Education Partnership Board. He believes passionately in providing opportunities for young people to flourish and develop independent and collaborative learning skills.

Chief Operating Officer

Debbie Simpson joined Ebor in September 2019. Previously she was chair of the Institute of Continuous Improvement in the Public Sector and interim chief operating officer of Greater Birmingham Enterprise Partnership. There she overcame numerous political challenges and identified and successfully tackled complex financial matters that challenged the accepted position. She has previously been head of transformation and change with a shared service company and a senior civil servant.

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.

HR Director

Alison Taylor’s career in Human Resources began with Surrey County Council and has since spanned both the public and private sectors. In 1995 Alison returned to her native Yorkshire where she has worked in local authorities, financial services and the further education sector. She has been a HR Director since 2009.

Director of Communications and Development

Tim Moat is responsible for communications, press liaison, marketing and reputation management of the trust and its schools. He line manages the IT function and also leads on partnership development with like-minded organisations within and outside of education. Tim is first point of contact for maintained schools wanting to explore the academy programme.

Central Services Team

Ebor’s Central Services Team provides specialist in-house services to support management activities and vision as well as teaching and learning at all academies within the trust. The team continues to grow as Ebor Academy Trust develops and expands.
 
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.

Dani Rowlinson – Trust Systems Leader

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 Trust Systems Leader, with Dani reviewing and developing systems and processes across the trust, liaising with school business partners as appropriate.

Julie Forde – Business Support Team Manager

Julie is Business Support Team Manager for Ebor Academy Trust, using her previous office manager, HR and clerking experience to line manage governance, training administration and general support to the executive team. Julie has been an integral part of the growth of the trust, joining Ebor in 2013.

Louise Jackson – Administrator

Louise has worked for Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy for over 11 years. For the past four years she has been administrator of Ebor’s Primary School Direct initial teacher training course, working closely with the director and liaising with York St John University. Louise is also involved with Ebor’s rapidly expanding school to school support service.

Maddison Higgins – Receptionist/Administrator

Maddison has 5 years of experience working in the banking industry and most recently worked for National Security Vetting within the Civil Service. Maddison came to Ebor as she decided she wanted to try something new, she is really enjoying being part of the Ebor team and working within the education sector.

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.

Geoff Harvey-Walker – IT and Data Manager
Geoff works alongside our IT provider managing IT requirements and services across the trust and works with our Data Protection Officer to ensure compliance with GDPR regulations. Other responsibilities are to liaise with Ebor’s curriculum specialist for IT to maximise teaching and learning opportunities in the classroom. He works with our existing and upcoming academies to ensure ICT is embedded effectively throughout the curriculum.
Neil Davison – Finance Assistant

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.
He is currently working towards his AAT level 3.

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.

Ellen Machin – Training Administrator

Ellen moved to the central team from being office administrator at Camblesforth Community Primary Academy, part of the Ebor family of schools. Prior to this, Ellen was a secondary school administrator and cover teacher.

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.

Grace Jess – Estates and Facilities Assistant

Grace has eight years’ experience working in various sectors of estate and facilities management since obtaining her MSc degree in Property.
Grace works alongside our Facilities and Operations Manager, assisting in site management, maintenance and statutory compliance across all of our school estates.
Fiona Butler – Finance Assistant

Fiona has three years’ experience in accountancy and the museum sector and has four years’ experience in retail management. She also has a BA in Education Studies and has completed AAT Bookkeeping Level 2.

Samantha Tonks – HR and Payroll Systems Administrator

After university, Sam was employed with the Halifax bank at their head office, initially working in administration before joining the training and development team as a training consultant. For the last ten years she has worked in education, first as a teaching assistant in a primary school and then at Selby College, as Student Administrator and HR Officer. Sam joined Ebor in October 2019.