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MAT Team:

  • Amanda Bennett, Multi-Academy Trust CEO, NLE and Executive Principal

    Amanda Bennett is the CEO of The Greetland Academy Trust, an NLE and Executive Principal of The Greetland Academy. Before this she spent 14 years as The Greetland Academy’s Headteacher leading the school from successfully serving its local village to becoming a consistently high-achieving, outstanding school. Amanda’s development of the school included its conversion to academy status in 2010, one of the first outstanding converters in the region. Having established effective and robust curricular practices, with strong staffing and management structures, Greetland became increasingly able to offer outreach support to other schools. Driven by the school’s desire and preference to be at the forefront of the academic landscape, to lead and benefit from change, over the last five years Greetland has successfully bid to host and run multiple nationally recognised designations: National Support School; Teaching School (Teamworks TSA); a SCITT; Multi-Academy Trust lead school; Research School (the Oldham Research School); and an English hub school. Further accreditations include Investors in People status, Arts Mark and regional Pupil Premium awards. The academy has supported many regional and national initiatives, including the ‘Effective use of Teaching Assistants’ EEF project, RQT targeted support, EYFS projects and the National Teaching Service.

    Amanda has held the positions of vice-chair and then chair of the Calderdale Primary Headteachers’ Association over a four year period, supporting over 80 primary schools. She restructured the association to form an effective executive group. Following Greetland’s conversion to academy status Amanda has supported other school leaders and Governors through their academy conversions. Having restructured her own trust’s business model she has helped to develop governance and accountability structures within other schools and designations. Amanda contributes locally to forums and boards via the ‘West Yorkshire Strategic Partnership’ and continues to provide school support and guidance through Greetland’s Research School designation within the ‘Opportunity Area’ of Oldham.

    Amanda became an NLE in 2013 and is also a Pupil Premium Reviewer. She has been part of cross-regional school support, including in ‘cold spot’ areas and areas of high deprivation. She has worked on several Teaching School projects and provided additional capacity and due diligence work to other MATs. Amanda has supported Gill Robinson in a team of NLEs in her work as regional TSC representative, supporting network meetings, conferences and induction events. As a member of the ESFA Financial Steering Group she has provided system leadership input to this national strategy group.

    The roles of CEO, Exec. Principal and TSC Regional Representative are always challenging and ever-changing. Amanda finds inspiration from coaching and mentoring stakeholders and partners to reach their full potential and most importantly seeing pupils achieve the same, whilst enjoying their time within all of the Trust’s schools.

  • Nicola Foulkes, PA to the CEO

    Nicola Foulkes worked as an HLTA at The Greetland Academy until her appointment as PA to the CEO, Amanda Bennett in May 2019.

  • Jayne Firth, Chief Operations Officer

    Jayne Firth is the senior leader responsible for the Trust’s corporate and operational functions. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) serving as an integral member of the MAT Team.

    She has lead operational responsibility for strategic management and leadership of business management planning of the Trust including HR, Estates Management, H&S, Risk Management, Legal Services & Project Management including the delivery of new academy conversions. Jayne plays a key role in upholding, promoting and modelling the vision and values of the Trust at all times and providing a high level of service to customers.

    Jayne has worked in education for over 20 years and was enrolled on the first pilot of the Certificate of School Business Management for the National College, attaining this in 2004.

    Jayne has supported over 15 schools in their transfer to Academy status, leading a Carnegie Conference for academy transfer for West Yorkshire head teachers and Chairs of Governors. She also leads our local cluster group and has been a mentor of other SBMs. Jayne is an SLE in Academy Conversion and Academy Administration.

    Jayne is very used to supporting schools in her areas of expertise including visioning events with staff and Governors; assisting in pupil premium reviews and tracking; full admin staffing audits as well as H&S whole staff training sessions.

    Jayne has been a guest speaker at a regional School Food Trust Seminar to showcase how our school tackled the introduction of the UIFSM Plan and has been a member of a strategic group at the Dept of Health led by the Minister for Health on the Obesity Strategy.

    Jayne has also secured funding for a number of Condition Improvement Fund bids amounting to over £1 million as well as successful bids for Sports England Funding and a number of community grants which have ensured the ongoing improvements to the Trust’s ground and buildings.

  • Amanda Rawson, Chief Finance Officer

    Amanda has worked within education for seventeen years. She has worked at The Greetland Academy since 2011 where she is responsible for all aspects of financial management within the Trust. She is AAT qualified (Association of Accounting Technicians), as well as having successively completed the Certificate of School Business Management via the National College.

    Amanda’s background includes 11 years as a Finance Manager at Marks & Spencer. She moved into education as the Bursar for the Halifax Excellence Cluster in 2001, which worked with 26 schools in Calderdale ‘facing challenging circumstances’. She has been a Governor (including Chairing the Curriculum and Standards Committee) for approximately 12 years and was one of the Members of the Academy Trust when the school converted to an academy in 2010. She also has extensive governing body experience via another Calderdale school, judged to be outstanding for a third consecutive time.

    Amanda is a designated Specialist Leader of Education. As such, she has been deployed to carry out due diligence checks on schools potentially due to convert to academy status; review the finance operation and structures of a through school; and is regularly utilised to deliver academy peer review external assurance checks, as part of meeting the Academy Financial Handbook requirements. She has also been commissioned by the local authority to deliver training on academy finance and assurance processes to Calderdale governors, as well as participating in sub-groups to support the work of Schools Forum.

    She has also actively supported local schools considering the move to academy status, making presentations to their Governing Bodies and, in one instance, also reviewing a maintained school’s financial position and the impact that academy status would have on this. As part of the Academy Chain Bursar group she has provided support to other academies on their financial reporting requirements and to their Principals with regard to key financial information.

    Nationally, Amanda is part of the ESFA’s Academy Financial and Assurance Steering Group; within this role, Amanda Chairs one of the three Working Groups that report into the Steering Group. The particular focus of the Working Group she Chairs is on financial reporting and assurance. This includes oversight of the production of the Academies Accounts Direction, which all academies and their auditors utilise to produce their Annual Accounts.

  • Saleha Hollingsworth, Director School Improvement

    Saleha Hollingsworth graduated as a teacher in 2001 gaining PGCE and QTS. She had the opportunity to work in different schools in Halifax for four years before she joined Whitehill Academy in September 2005 where she worked for thirteen years. Saleha gained valuable experience, knowledge and skills during her time at Whitehill, not only as a teacher but also as a member of the senior leadership team. She started her career as a teacher in year 1 where she worked for four years. She then became a lead teacher moving to year 2 and taking responsibility for KS1 SATs. After completing her NPQML and NPQSL (National qualifications for middle and senior leaders), she was promoted to the post of Assistant Vice Principal at Whitehill Academy.

    Saleha lives in Halifax with her husband John and her two children Harry and Louise. Harry is currently at university in Newcastle, Louise is in year 10 and working very hard at school. During her spare time, Saleha likes cooking, walking and travelling and enjoys travelling to countries where she can practise her fluency in other languages.

  • Jonathan Pascall, ICT Co-ordinator

    Jonathan Pascall supports MAT Communication (websites, social media etc) and other members of the MAT team. He also teaches at The Greetland Academy, as he has since 2012, providing release time for the management team and other teachers.

    Jonathan first came to Greetland Primary school as a pupil in the 1970s. Following a degree at Oriel College, Oxford University, he took a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds University. Part of this PGCE was spent learning best teaching practice at Greetland Primary School in 1993. He then spent seven years teaching year 5 and year 6 classes at Northowram and West Vale Primary Schools.

    Ten years as an educational ICT Consultant for Calderdale Council then followed. During this time Jonathan worked in most of Calderdale’s schools, both Primary and Secondary. He also worked with the DfE, supporting the roll-out of interactive whiteboards in schools, producing teaching resources for both the National Numeracy and Literacy Strategies.

    Jonathan is a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) for Computing and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar.