Our Team

Michael Thorp

Chief Executive Head

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, head teacher 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.

Lisa Bradley

Chief Financial Officer

Lisa is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants with over 30 years' financial leadership experience in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors, more recently in supported housing and education. She has led many successful teams across a variety of functions including finance, governance and compliance, HR, IT and property services. In addition to her role as Chief Financial Officer at Pennine Academies Yorkshire, she has recently joined the Board of Arches Housing in Sheffield and is an independent Trustee of Foundation.

Rebecca Cradock

Interim Director of School Improvement





Kate Evans

Trainee 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 pound 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 pounds. To support her in this she is currently undertaking her Association of Accounting Technicians qualifications.

Kerry Mulroy

Trust ICT Manager

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.

Katie Lister

Apprentice Finance Assistant

Katie joined Pennine Academies Yorkshire after completing her GCSE's in 2020 as a Finance Apprentice. She has been working closely with the finance team and provides invoicing support to the schools within our trust. Katie is also studying for her AAT exams and at the end of the 18 month apprenticeship will achieve a Foundation Diploma in Accounting and Business Level 2.

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.

David Summerscales

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 Procurement, Property Management and our Data Protection Officer.

Jenni Taylor

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.

Register of Interests 20/2021

Meeting Attendance 2019-20