Board of Trustees: In all Academy Trusts, the individuals appointed to challenge and scrutinise the strategic direction and day to day running of the company, led by the Chief Executive Officer, have three functions:

◾They are Directors – because the MAT is a company, and;
◾They are Trustees – because the MAT is a charity, and;
◾They are Governors – because the MAT is responsible for running the schools.

This can be very confusing as the documentation used to set up the Academy Trust and the Department for Education guidance for Academies uses these three titles interchangeably, depending on the context. In HCAT, this role is simply called ‘Trustee’. Trustees are made up of a diverse range of individuals. The Members will always appoint Trustees, and Trustees have the option to appoint associate Trustees.

Our Trust Board Register of Business Interest includes for each of our trust’s members serving at any point over the past 12 months, their full names, date of appointment, date they stepped down (where applicable), and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions and also their attendance at meetings – Register of Business Interest HCAT 2023

Our governance arrangements outlines the structure and remit of the trust’s members, board of trustees, committees and local committee’s including the names of each Chair:

Our Trustees

Alan Richards – (Independent) Alan is the Chair of the Trust. Alan is an experienced Chair of Governors in both the Primary and Secondary sector and is licensed as a National Leader of Governance by the National College of Teaching and Leadership. He is the Chair at two Teaching Schools rated as outstanding by Ofsted and is a Director of a School Improvement company based in Rotherham. Alan has a very successful track record of supporting school improvement and governor development.

Stephen Gallagher – Stephen is the Vice Chair of the Trust. Stephen has been a Parent Governor and is currently the Chair of Governors at Ward Green Primary School for over 15 years. In the past he has also been the Chair of Governors at another school. He is a solicitor specialising in employment law. This gives him experience with HR matters, workforce planning, and legal risk management and performance management/ improvement.

Andrew Kent – (Independent) A confident and pro-active leader with extensive experience of managing large-scale projects while devising effective strategic planning and delivering outcomes within timescales and budgets and has extensive experience of working at Board level in educational, health, and voluntary sector organisations.

Margaret Gostelow – Margaret was a social work practitioner and manager in London for 27 years before working as a children’s guardian in the family courts and chairing child protection conferences for BMBC. She has been a school governor for 31 years and was a founding member of the Barnsley Governors Association in 2010 and served a three year term as chair.

Ian Dickinson (Independent) – Ian brings corporate experience from the finance sector to the HCAT board. Being a local Barnsley business professional he is keen to promote continued positive outcomes for our young people. Offering his perspective and ideas to ensure our continued improvement on all aspects of education.

Mark Utley – (Independent) – Mark is a professional Chartered Management Accountant working for a global technology company who specialise in helping organisations across different industry sectors with digital transformation, technological decarbonisation, cyber risk management and outsourcing. Mark specialises in the Financial Services sector and will use his extensive experience of corporate governance and risk management to bring value to the academy in support of its strategic aims.

Michelle BinnsMichelle has been in the education sector for 34 years, most recently as the Headteacher of Ward Green Primary School. where she spent the last 13 years. Michelle currently delivers safeguarding CPD for schools, social care and foster carers as well as supporting schools undertaking safeguarding audits.

Michael Knight – Michael is the Chief Technology Officer for the NHS South, Central and West. Michael brings a wealth of experience in digital transformation, data, cyber security and change management.