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JMAT Team

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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.

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Deborah Whelan - Strategic Safeguarding & Attendance Lead  

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.

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Jill Leighton -Governance Lead

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Jacqueline Oliver - Strategic Operations and Health & Safety Lead

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.

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Alison Sutton - ECT Coach

Alison is an experienced teacher who has spent over 20 years working in primary education. She has taught in schools across three different local authorities, working in all year groups from FS1 through to Y6. She has a passion for Mathematics and ICT which has resulted in her leading whole school national training initiatives and developing a range of curriculum resources. 

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Ian Farmery- Head of IT and Network Management 

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 infrastructure and is responsible for delivering and developing reliable and scalable ICT solutions across our network, wireless, desktop, storage and server infrastructures.

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Michele Finney - Finance Officer

Michele has over 40 years experience in administration and finance.  She was employed for over 17 years at British Steel in HR and went on to undertake a number of roles in education from September 2002.  Michele provides HR support to the central team as well as supporting schools with finance.

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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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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.

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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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Dr Karen Davies

Trust Educational Psychologist

Dr Karen Davies is a highly experienced Educational Psychologist who has a breadth of experience working in Local Authorities. After working as a primary school teacher for a number of years, Karen progressed to work as an Assistant Educational Psychologist in Leeds before completing the Doctorate training in Child and Educational Psychology. 

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Liz Woodcock- Assistant Accountant 

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

Liz Provides Finance and accounting support to the central team and academies, including preparation of financial reports, providing advice to school business managers and assisting the CFO in producing annual financial statements.

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Jo Davenport - Teaching & Learning Lead  

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.

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Lynsey  Wigfull

Teaching & Learning Lead  

Lynsey has spent her whole working life in Primary and Early Years education, and before starting her role at Sheffield Hallam, worked as a teacher in EYFS, KS1 and KS2, SENCO, Inclusion Manager, Headteacher of two Primary schools, Local Authority School Improvement Advisor in three different Local Authorities and Ofsted Inspector. 

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Dan Bennett - PE Lead 

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.

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Helen Johnson -School Business 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.

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Cheryl Gaughan - Strategic Inclusion Lead

Cheryl has extensive experience in working with schools across the Yorkshire region as well as on a national level . She is a recognised trainer of the DfE Engagement Model and a member of the National Network of Specialist Provision which contributes to the national SEND agenda. Cheryl is passionate about all children being included in their school  but particularly children with SEND to be successfully included. 

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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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Peter Haynes - Chief Finance Officer (CFO)

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 as a CFO in a large multi-academy trust.

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Ryan Briggs - Digital Media Specialist

Ryan has over 15 years experience working in education and digital media.  He is responsible for the digital online presence of the MAT supporting its vision and strategic direction. Ryan believes that technology should be used to communicate innovatively with all stakeholders.

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Barry Prince - Compliance Manager

 Barry provides support around maintenance and compliance across the JMAT schools.  He is the first point of call for caretakers and site managers when issues arise and is the link between school premises staff and JMAT.

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