Meet Our Team

David Silvester - CEO       

David is a National Leader of Education who has led schools as Headteacher and Executive Headteacher in the area for 15 years. He has worked across the school system as a system leader, associate headteacher and in a mentoring capacity. He has a passion for education and believes that success is possible in any context, given the right ethos, management, systems and organisation.

Alison Benbow - Deputy CEO                    

Alison has led schools as Headteacher and Executive Headteacher in the area for 15 years. She has worked across the school system as a champion for SEN and in a mentoring capacity. She has overseen the rapid improvement of a school in special measures,is an LLE (Local Leader of Education) and is recognised by Ofsted as an outstanding leader.

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Maxine Crawford – Executive Lead Headteacher


Maxine has led schools as Headteacher and Executive Headteacher in Brinsworth for 11 years. She is an Associate Head for the Arts with Rotherham School Improvement Service supporting schools with Artsmark. She has a passion for the curriculum, ensuring children learn through a diverse, though-provoking, creative, inspirational and soaked in memorable moments.

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Karen Smith - Executive Lead Headteacher

Karen Smith is an experienced and talented school leader, who has a passion for inclusivity. She has led a number of local initiatives for Rotherham School Improvement Service and other school partnerships and is a chair of governors in a Sheffield Trust. In her role as Executive Lead, Karen will be working directly with a school leadership team in a direct supporting and coaching role.

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Helen Headleand - Deputy CEO

Helen has a track record of successful school leadership. She is a National Leader of Education, deployed by the DfE to support vulnerable schools in our region. Last year Helen was employed as a consultant by Rotherham School Improvement Service, supporting a wide range of schools across South Yorkshire. She will bring this collective expertise in a leadership coaching role across our Trust.

Peter Haynes - Chief Finance Officer (CFO)  Register of Interests

Peter is a Chartered Public Financial Account with 17 years’ experience working in public services. He has extensive experience in Local Government, education and the National Health Service. His key areas of knowledge include public finance, education funding, financial systems and governance. Prior to joining JMAT Peter served a CFO in a large multi-academy trust and spent 10 years developing traded services for Rotherham MBC. 


Jo Davenport - Teaching & Learning Lead  Register of Interests

Jo has been a senior leader in an outstanding primary school as well as working as a Literacy consultant for Barnsley LA. She has worked across the school system as a consultant, driving up standards and empowering professionals to succeed.

Jacqueline Oliver - Strategic Operations Lead  Register of Interests

Jackie works in a range of capacities supporting the school system, including governance, compliance and health and safety.  She has a passion for improving the life chances and aspirations of the community in which she serves . She facilitates compliance for the Trust as well as administration for the Teaching School.

Helen Johnson - Trust Finance Lead

Helen has worked in school administration and finance for over 20 years and previously in the banking industry. She is an accredited National College bursar and has led on financial regulation and compliance. She has a commitment in seeking Value for Money to ensure schools spend every penny as well as possible.

Jill Carr - Mentoring Lead                          Register of Interests

 Jill has taught mostly in KS1 for over 30 years.  She is a moderator for Y2 and has held a number of roles and responsibilities within her career.  Literally, she has successfully mentored a number of students at various stages of learning.

Deborah Whelan - Safeguarding Lead        Register of Interests

Deborah has worked in various roles at Wath C of E for the past 17 years, including parent support and child protection.  She is highly committed to achieving a consistent approach to safeguarding practice across the JMAT group of schools and seeks to develop and improve safeguarding training provided to staff at all levels.

Ian Hutchinson - Coding and ICT Champion  Register of Interests

Ian has worked in education for over 20 years and throughout has had a passion for the power of technology in children's lives. He is a South Yorkshire consultant for Computers in Schools Association and is a lead practitioner and Vex IQ robotics champion.

Dan Bennett - PE Lead                         Register of Interests

Dan has over 10 years teaching expertise promoting outstanding PE achievement in both primary and secondary environments. He is passionate about making sure that all pupils have the opportunity to excel in sport.

Liz Woodcock- Assistant Accountant     Register of Interests

Liz qualified as an accountant in 2019 and supports our academies with the day to day accounts administration.


Ian Farmery- Head of IT and Network Management  Register of Interests

Ian has worked for both primary and secondary schools dealing with IT and network management for the past 15 years. He has led a number of teams helping schools develop their IT infrastucture and is responsible for delivering and developing reliable and scalable ICT solutions across our network, wireless, desktop, storage and server infrastructures.