Our Team

Michael Thorp

Chief Executive Officer

After completing a degree in Zoology at Liverpool University, Michael undertook a PGCE at Durham University. Michael has been a Teacher, Senior Leader, local authority advisor, Headteacher and Executive Headteacher in a career spanning over 25 years. He has always played a key role in school improvement in the authority. He has a particular interest in providing Resource Provision places for children with additional needs in mainstream provision. This is something reflected in Pennine Schools.

Michael contributes to the development of the local ITT programme and has a real commitment to leadership development at all levels. He has undertaken both NPQH and NPQEL. He believes that good Trust leadership is about not just talking the talk but walking the walk, consistently, every day.

Lindsey Denton

Chief Finance Officer

Lindsey started with Pennine Academies Yorkshire in 2022 and has over 15 years experience in finance, initially in industry before transitioning to the education sector in 2014. She is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Her previous experience involved leading the finance function of an educational Trust with a income of £38m.

Nicola Roys

Chief Operating Officer

Nicola started her career in the private sector, gaining over 7 years of experience in finance and people management before moving to the education sector in 2016.

Nicola has since progressed her career working for a small Multi Academy Trust as a Director of Operations for the last 7 years, managing large-scale projects, Human Resources, Estates and other critical corporate functions.

Continuing her professional journey, Nicola joined Pennine Academies in 2023 as Chief Operating Officer.

Rebecca Cradock

Director of School Improvement

After completing a joint honours degree in Primary Education with Sport, Health and Leisure at Leeds Trinity University, Rebecca joined the teaching profession over 20 years ago. She has been a Teacher, Senior Leader, Headteacher and Executive Headteacher in five schools across the district. Rebecca has also supported school improvement within the local authority through her role as Associate Headteacher.

Rebecca is the West Area Lead for Bradford Schools in Partnership and also chairs a Local Area Partnership, consisting of twenty primaries and one secondary school.

Rebecca is passionate about teaching and learning and is committed to providing children across Bradford a high quality education. Growing up in Bradford and attending state primary, middle and upper schools, Rebecca wants to give back to the community and is proud to work alongside like minded people.

Melissa Sellers

Trust Strategic Inclusion Manager

Melissa started her career in Marketing after completing a Marketing degree at The University of Huddersfield. She worked as a Marketing Manager of a commercial laundry company. She then undertook a PGCE at Bradford College. Melissa has been a teacher, a senior leader in school, and lead a behaviour centre in Bradford for children on the verge of permanent exclusion. She developed this provision and supported many children across Bradford in training staff and developing positive relationships. She has worked alongside SENDCos for several years in writing EHCAs, provision mapping and annual reviews. Melissa has more recently been instrumental in developing a number of resourced provisions across the Trust.

Melissa is passionate about providing a quality education for all learners, in particular those children with SEND. She is keen to drive this agenda in all schools in the Trust, embedding the graduated approach and working on early identification. Melissa works with the local authority on areas of improvement for SEND, in particular EHC assessment and Annual Reviews.

Abda Hussein

Head of Safeguarding

Abda started her career in Social Care and Safeguarding over 18 years ago. She undertook her Masters Degree at the University of Bradford and is a qualified Social Worker. Abda has worked within the Local Authority, NSPCC and Education sector. She has more recently been the Safeguarding Lead for a FE College within Bradford and has been instrumental in providing outstanding safeguarding support and training. Abda took lead in assessing child protection concerns on a day to basis, created policies and procedures, and delivered Safeguarding and Prevent training across the College.

Abda is passionate about making a positive difference to the lives of children, young people and families and will continue to do this within the Trust.

Kate Evans

Assistant Financial Accountant

After graduating from university, Kate began her career as an Office Administrator at Crossley Hall Primary School. Following rapid promotion to Finance Officer, Kate was responsible for managing the day to day finances for the school. This meant supporting the Business manager with a £3.5 million budget and a staff over 100. The school was exemplary in its financial management and consistently ran a healthy surplus budget with high pupil outcomes. She played a key role when the school joined Pennine Academies Yorkshire in December 2018.

Taking the next step in her career Kate was successfully appointed to be the Trainee Financial Accountant at the Central Trust. Here she supports the Chief Financial Officer in providing centralised financial support to schools. This means handling a Trust Budget of over £10 million. To support her in this she is currently undertaking her Association of Accounting Technicians qualifications.

Vicky Thompson

Trainee Assistant Accountant

Kerry Mulroy

ICT Business Partner

Kerry has worked in ICT for over 10 years, she started working for Crossley Hall in 2012 as a network manager. She now works strategically at Trust level creating and implementing ambitious 3 year ICT plans to ensure our students have access to high quality ICT provision. Kerry's ability to apply highly effective procurement procedures frequently delivers significant cost savings ensuring that our schools receive excellent value for money. Kerry has introduced many of the systems our school uses and works with our schools to ensure we use them to their full potential.

Avais Javaid

IT Technician

After graduating from the University of Huddersfield with a degree in Wed Design, Avais has worked in the private sector in the IT industry before joining the Central Team at PAY. Avais is working as an IT Technician supporting our trust and schools.

Technology is always changing and Avais is passionate about keeping up to date with the latest devices and tech.

David Summerscales

Estates Business Partner

David joined the Central Team as Business Partner in March 2020, after working in Operations and Senior Management roles within Financial Services for over 20 years. David moved on to utilise this experience within IT, supporting some high profile businesses in the UK as their Account Manager.

As well as supporting schools day to day with, David is the Trust lead on Property & Estate Management.

Helen Bland

Senior Business Support Officer

Jenni Taylor

People & Culture Business Partner

Jenni's earlier career began as systems analyst and programmer in IT. Having started a family, Jenni moved into Education and worked her way up to Executive Business Manager, leading the finances, HR and Estates for over 1200 pupils. She is currently the chair of the Local Business Managers forum and organises their annual conference. In March 2020, Jenni left schools to begin her new career as Business Partner for Pennine Academies Yorkshire. Here she works as a business partner supporting schools and taking responsibility for the centralisation of services. With over 10 year experience in school leadership, Jenni has a wide range of skills including bringing many large capital build projects to fruition.

Sarah Peel

People & Culture Lead

After graduating from the University of Hull with a degree in Business, Sarah began her career in education at a Bradford school, working her way from Office Administrator to School Business Manager. Following several years of successful school business leadership, Sarah moved to specialise in Human Resources for a large primary school with over 100 staff. Sarah is passionate about improving the outcomes for children across our district and strives to develop and embed the trust's People and Culture strategy.


Register of Interests 20/2021

Meeting Attendance 2019-20