About us

The White Woods Way

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13 school primary phase Trust based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire

The Trust was founded September 2013 by three self-converting primary schools and has rapidly grown over the past five years. The Trust was founded on, and is guided by, a strong ethos centred on improving the life chances of ALL children regardless of background or ability. We aim to deliver high standards of teaching and learning through developing a culture of high expectation and high aspiration, providing a rich broad balanced curriculum and ensuring all learners have equality of opportunity.

At the very forefront of our drive for improved educational standards is the determination to work together in partnership to enable the Trust to offer the best possible educational experience to all children in our local communities. It is our aspiration to become a hub of excellence, helping to promote the life chances of all children in our Trust.

The Trust Central Team is responsible for the day to day running of the Trust, managing key functions including finance, facilities management and data protection. The Team plays a key role in delivering the strategic vision set by the Trust Board of Directors. The Chief Executive Officer is Kate Davies.

The strategic direction of the Trust is overseen by a Board of Directors who hold the Trust Central Team to account. The Board is made up of skilled professionals with extensive experience in education, finance, governance and the law. The Board is responsible for upholding high standards in public life as set out by the Nolan Committee. See below details of serving Directors.

Directors of the Trust are held to account by Trust Members. The current Members are Huw Thomas, Murray Clark and Alan Richards.


All of our children, from any background, will be supported to excel both academically and socially, developing the skills of lifelong learners.

Our Mission

Our schools will be exceptional and provide children and adults with a breadth of exciting opportunities promoting curiosity and broadening the mind.

We will build positive, challenging partnerships with each other and the wider community promoting aspiration and ambition.


Our 4 C’s;

Child-centredOur children are at the heart of all we do.

CollaborationWe work collaboratively, learning and supporting each other to maximise the achievement of our children and adults across the trust.

CuriosityWe embrace new learning and promote curiosity in all, always striving to improve, keeping ‘the main thing the main thing’.

Challenge We set ourselves and our children aspirational targets and are open to professional challenge and support.

Trust Central Team

Kate Davies
CEO of White Woods Primary Academy Trust
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Kate was appointed CEO in July 2019 she has worked across all phases in Education, serving as a Headteacher for 15 years and working as a  National Leader of Education.

David Fitzgibbons
Trust Building Surveyor
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David was appointed Trust Building Surveyor June 2017 having previously worked as a consultant for a private sector building consultancy firm. David has a proven track record in managing large scale building projects and has over 15 years experience working in the education sector.

Michele Finney
Finance & Admin Officer
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Michele was appointed to the Trust Central Team November 2018 having previously served over 15 years at Whiston J&I. Michele has a wealth of school administration experience and provides support to the Central Team and the Board of Directors. Prior to entering the education sector Michele worked for over 15 years at British Steel.

Jane Flaherty
Data Protection Officer
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Jane has recently been appointed Data Protection Officer for the Trust having previously worked as a School Business Manager for over 12 years. Prior to entering the education sector Jane worked in senior positions in a number of private sector organisations.

Joe Hawkins
Apprentice Estates Officer
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Joe Hawkins is our Apprentice Estates Officer. Joe will be working alongside schools and Dave Fitzgibbons and attending Barnsley College once a week as part of his apprenticeship. Joe will be completing a BTEC in construction as part of his role.

Andy Blatch
ICT Infrastructure and Innovation Lead
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Andy comes to us having previously worked for a large IT managed service provider for over 17 years and has experience delivering and supporting IT systems across a wide range of educational establishments.

Board of Directors

Julie Parry
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Julie has over 30 years experience in primary education 20 of which have been as a Primary Head teacher, working in Reading, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham and Doncaster. She has worked for Local Authorities and for Multi Academy Trusts as both an employee and on a consultancy basis through her own consulting company.  Julie has a keen interest in conservation and volunteers for the Peak District National Park.

Stephen Wragg
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Stephen has more than 13 years’ experience as a Non-Executive in the NHS - most recently as Chairman of Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, a position he held from January 2009 to December 2018.

Stephen is a self-employed Management Consultant. Prior to this he was Technical Director at W2 Networking where he was responsible for customer technical solutions, customer service and satisfaction and the development of commercial data centre strategy.

Alan Richards
Vice Chair
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Alan has been Chair of the Trust since its formation in 2013 having previously served as a local governor since 2002. In 2012 Alan was appointed as a National Leader of Governance and currently runs his own training business. Prior to this Alan served 30 years as a volunteer for South Yorkshire Police.

Mike Jennings
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Former Senior Litigation Manager with International Law Firm Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP and now Independent Legal Consultant. Mike has been involved in multi-million pound litigation for over 30 years. He has served on Risk Management Committees of two major teaching hospitals and has served as  a governor and chair at a primary school.

Julie Turner
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Julie has over 30 years experience in early years/primary education having served as Headteacher at Augton Early Years Centre since 1992 until her retirement in 2013. Julie currently has also previously served as a Director of Learners First Schools Partnership, a Vice Chair of a primary school Local Governing Body and worked in a voluntary capacity for the Royal Voluntary Service.

Phil Marshall
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Phil has a broad range of intensive educational leadership experience spanning 3 decades having served 13 years as a secondary Headteacher in Rotherham. Since 2011 Phil has worked with the Department for Education as an Education Specialist in addition to serving as a Director of Learners First Schools Partnership. Phil is also a Director of PM Impact Ltd, providing leadership support to academies, multi-academy trusts and schools.

Amy Skelton
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Amy is a Chartered Accountant and has over 20 years experience working in public sector finance. Amy is currently Chief Financial Officer of a multi-academy trust and has previously worked as Principal Finance Officer for Rotherham MBC, playing an instrumental role in developing financial services for the school and academy sector.