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People

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. 

Executive Headteacher: 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. 

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 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.
 
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.

Wendy Harrington – Head of Governance and Compliance

Wendy joins us from a multi-academy trust in Leeds where she was part of the executive team. In her role at Ebor, which she joined in spring 2022, Wendy is Head of Governance and Compliance and GDPR and data protection is also in her brief. Wendy spent 18 years in banking. As a qualified chartered banker she managed multidisciplinary teams specialising in legal, corporate and personal lending. Following a career break to look after her two children, Wendy came into education initially as a school governor.

 

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 the Central Support Team. She is administrator of Ebor’s Primary School Direct initial teacher training programme, working closely with the director and liaising with York St John University. Louise also administers and supports Ebor’s apprenticeship programme.

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 – 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.

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.

Fiona Gammage – Finance Assistant

Fiona has four years’ experience in accountancy and the museum sector and has five 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.

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.

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.

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.