Trustees and Executive Team

Our Members and Trustees work collaboratively with our Executive Team to ensure that the strategic direction and growth of the Trust is achieved. The overall aim is to provide good quality education for all of the communities that we serve.

Member Board

Brian Rigby, MBE

Chair

Brian Rigby, MBE

Chair

Date of appointment 29th November 2018

Before stepping down as Chairman of The Dean Trust in 2017, Brian Rigby was a leading figure in many of the successes at Ashton-on-Mersey School, where he was Chairman of Governors since 1989.

He played a key role in steering the school through a period of continued improvement that enabled pupils to achieve record GCSE results year on year.

Brian’s determination and enthusiasm was carried forward and continuous improvement was achieved by pupils at all the Academies that joined The Dean Trust, with parents acknowledging that Brian made a huge positive difference to the lives of many young people.

His work was recognised in 2005 when he received an MBE for his outstanding work in education, and in 2013 he became a National Leader in Governance having already advised several Governing Bodies in the North West.

Michael Prior

Vice Chair

Michael Prior

Vice Chair

Date of appointment 29th November 2018

Michael is a chartered accountant who has specialised in the education sector throughout his career and now provides internal scrutiny services to academy trusts.

At 22 years old, Michael was appointed as a Partner within Kidsons and, during the period of 1968-1989, led the growth and development of a small local firm into becoming a major independent practice in the Greater Manchester area. The firm, Heywood Shepherd, joined HLB Kidsons in 1989.

He has also served as a non-executive director to a number of companies and trustee to a number of charities.

Melanie McGuirk

Board Member

Melanie McGuirk

Board Member

Date of appointment 24th February 2021

Melanie has been a lawyer for 20 years. She is a partner in the law firm, Pannone Corporate, where she specialises in the resolution of disputes and commercial mediations.

Melanie has specialism in the resolution of disputes relating to intellectual property and reputation management. She is a committee member of the Association of Women Solicitors and the Manchester Law Society, including its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion sub-committee.

Deborah Lucas, FCIPD

Board Member

Deborah Lucas, FCIPD

Board Member

Date of appointment 29th November 2018

Deborah Lucas is a retired HR Director with over 30 years’ experience working at a senior level in a number of local authorities including Manchester, Oldham, Trafford and Kirklees.

She is passionate about education, in particular on helping to improve the life chances for young people with disabilities and became a community governor at the Kingfisher Special School in 2009. After supporting the school through transition to an academy in 2016, she became a Trustee of the Kingfisher Learning Trust where she now leads on all employment related matters.

In her spare time, Deborah volunteers at a local animal rescue centre, providing care and support for cats who have been abandoned, working hard to find them a forever home.

Trust Board

Damian McGann

Chair

Damian McGann

Chair

Date of appointment January 2018

Damian is passionate about education and relentless in his pursuit of excellence across all Dean Trust schools. Damian leads the Board of Trustees who provide support and constructive challenge to ensure that our schools remain efficient and effective in all areas.

Damian has varied business interests spanning several sectors including technology, finance, energy and education.

Prior to embarking on his current portfolio, Damian worked for three international banks, holding national board positions in two.

His particular areas of strength are growing scale businesses developing and executing quality propositions and building great teams. Damian has been involved in designing and executing many large-scale transformational change programmes and is experienced in running national and multi-site operations.

Sharon Bagshaw

Vice Chair

Sharon Bagshaw

Vice Chair

Date of appointment 16th July 2018

Sharon is the UK & Ireland Managing Director of AMS, a global talent solutions business. She has a background in technology, having spent over 30 years with IBM in global leadership positions across industries including Public Sector, Financial Service and Pharma/Life Sciences.

She has Board experience from her prior roles on the IBM UK & Ireland Board, IBM UK Services Company and a main board member of TechUK.

She is passionate about the skills agenda and was co-founder of the ‘TechConnect’, a programme between HMG and TechUK, bringing industry early professionals together to collaborate on innovative ideas to solve real world issues.

Tom Powell

Trustee / Chair of Audit / Risk & Finance Committee

Tom Powell

Trustee / Chair of Audit / Risk & Finance Committee

Tom has a 25 year career in finance and audit, and is currently the Head of Audit and Risk Management at Manchester City Council and the Chief Audit Executive for both Manchester City and Bolton Councils.

He advises leadership teams on a wide range of corporate matters and works closely with the statutory officers for finance and legal in assuring governance, information management, finance and all core aspects of the Council operations.

Tom is a Deputy Senior Information Risk Officer and works with the Councils’ Data Protection Officers to manage information risk, incidents and breaches. He oversees a range of policy frameworks including risk management; resilience and business continuity; safety; and counter fraud and whistleblowing.

John Shiels

Trustee

John Shiels

Trustee

Date of appointment 12th April 2012

John Shiels has been the Chief Executive of Manchester United Foundation since January 2008.

John leads a dedicated team of 145 members of staff, who deliver football coaching, educational programmes and personal development, providing young people with opportunities to change their lives for the better.

Over the last 15 years, John has led the growth of Manchester United Foundation to become one of the largest sports education charities in the UK and a leading organisation for youth impact across the North West. Each season, the Foundation directly engages upwards of 20,000 young people across the boroughs of Greater Manchester.

John is also recognised for public speaking having conducted countless leadership workshops with Manchester United icons Sir Bobby Charlton and Bryan Robson. John also undertakes speaking engagements with top business executives around the globe, demonstrating how to adapt and deploy the secrets of Manchester United’s success to competitive business environments.

Prior to leading the Foundation, John oversaw the operations of Bobby Charlton Soccer Schools and previously held the position of head coach for Manchester United’s international Soccer Schools.

He graduated from Manchester University and sits on the board of trustees for the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation and the multi-academy educational group, The Dean Trust.

In March 2022, John was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Honours List by HRH The Princess Royal for his service to young people across the Greater Manchester community.

In July 2022, John received an honorary doctorate from Ulster University, recognising his outstanding contribution to the personal development of young people through education, sport and community engagement.

Anna Beaumont

Trustee

Anna Beaumont

Trustee

Date of appointment 18th December 2017

Anna is founder of Bexley Beaumont Limited, an innovative award-winning boutique law firm with offices in Manchester and London.

A previous winner of Corporate Leader of the Year at The English Women’s Awards, Anna is also an alumni of Insider’s 42 under 42 (North West) and in 2021 was shortlisted for The Law Society Excellence Awards.

Anna is also an experienced non-executive director where she provides support on corporate governance, risk, integration, change management, service innovation and strategic and business growth support.

James Franklin-Smith

Trustee

James Franklin-Smith

Trustee

Date of appointment 9th February 2022

James is CEO of Oak Learning Partnership, a school trust consisting of primary, special and secondary schools. He has extensive experience of leading within education and specifically academy trusts.

James has a good understanding of the educational systems, structures and processes needed to be in place to support leaders and staff to provide young people with the very best education they deserve. James has over fifteen years of school leadership experience, including leading the improved performance of a group of schools, leading schools out of special measures and being the principal of a large, high-performing outstanding secondary school.

Simon Gallimore

TRUSTEE

Simon Gallimore

TRUSTEE

Date of appointment 17th November 2023

Simon is the CEO of Edam Group which is a local business with a national footprint that provides repair and mobility solutions to the insurance market. Prior to joining Edam in 2021 Simon spent the previous 30 years of his career working for some of the largest domestic and global insurers where he held numerous senior leadership roles and worked in a number of different countries.

Simon is passionate about the improving the pathway for school/college leavers into the work environment and has spent much of his career working both internally within the companies he has worked at, global programmes such as Enactus and with local colleges and trade federations.

Audit Risk & Finance Committee

Sharon Bagshaw

Vice Chair

Sharon Bagshaw

Vice Chair

Date of appointment 16th July 2018

Sharon is the UK & Ireland Managing Director of AMS, a global talent solutions business. She has a background in technology, having spent over 30 years with IBM in global leadership positions across industries including Public Sector, Financial Service and Pharma/Life Sciences.

She has Board experience from her prior roles on the IBM UK & Ireland Board, IBM UK Services Company and a main board member of TechUK.

She is passionate about the skills agenda and was co-founder of the ‘TechConnect’, a programme between HMG and TechUK, bringing industry early professionals together to collaborate on innovative ideas to solve real world issues.

Tom Powell

Trustee / Chair of Audit / Risk & Finance Committee

Tom Powell

Trustee / Chair of Audit / Risk & Finance Committee

Tom has a 25 year career in finance and audit, and is currently the Head of Audit and Risk Management at Manchester City Council and the Chief Audit Executive for both Manchester City and Bolton Councils.

He advises leadership teams on a wide range of corporate matters and works closely with the statutory officers for finance and legal in assuring governance, information management, finance and all core aspects of the Council operations.

Tom is a Deputy Senior Information Risk Officer and works with the Councils’ Data Protection Officers to manage information risk, incidents and breaches. He oversees a range of policy frameworks including risk management; resilience and business continuity; safety; and counter fraud and whistleblowing.

Jamie Otter

Committee Member

Jamie Otter

Committee Member
Originally from Lincolnshire, Jamie has worked for schools in the North and North West since 2011. Jamie is a partner at Stone King and based in the firm’s Manchester office, one of the most prominent education firms in the country, and advises schools and academies on commercial and governance issues. He is very interested in how schools can collaborate to drive success, and is particularly keen to ensure that schools continue to excel and provide a supportive environment for their pupils to thrive. He also feels that schools should play a big part in local life, and continue to build strong links with partner schools and local communities.

Executive Team

Tarun Kapur CBE

Chief Executive Officer

Tarun Kapur CBE

Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer of The Dean Trust, Tarun leads the Executive Team and Senior Trust Leads, to transform the lives of all children both within our Trust schools as well as externally in schools that are being supported through commissions.

Tarun has a wide network of connections in the world of business and education to help to support the Trust, but as importantly, many other schools and academies.

Tarun supports the work of the Manchester United Foundation as one of its Trustees, an organisation dedicated to community provision in sport, education and employability. He is also a Non-Executive Director for The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust supporting the development of their workforce.

Tarun is dedicated to improving educational outcomes in some of the most deprived and under-performing areas of the country. Tarun is key in helping to drive forward the regeneration of these areas and providing all children the opportunity to access high standards of education and raising attainment for all.

Andy Shakos

Academies Director

Andy Shakos

Academies Director

Andy joined The Dean Trust as Academies Director in April 2017 which incorporates Executive Headteacher responsibilities for secondary schools within the Trust’s Central and East Hubs. Before joining The Dean Trust, Andy was Headteacher of Parrs Wood High School, Manchester’s largest and most culturally and socio-economically diverse secondary school.

Following his successful tenure as Headteacher at Parrs Wood, leading the school to their highest educational outcomes whilst establishing the Sixth Form as an excellent A-level provider within the city, Andy joined The Dean Trust with an established reputation as a highly regarded and influential school leader.

Andy sits on Manchester’s Strategic Education Board alongside the Executive Member for Early Years, Children and Young People and the Director of Education to enhance educational experience, progression pathways and career opportunities for young people in Manchester.

As Academies Director, Andy’s key areas of responsibility include School Improvement, Quality of Education, Quality Assurance, Continued Professional Development, and Health & Safety. Andy has also been instrumental in leading on the Trust’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

Andy has provided Interim Leadership at Ashton on Mersey School and, most recently, has been Interim Executive Headteacher at Abraham Moss Community School in Manchester, as part of a school leadership support commission with Manchester City Council.

Andy is driven by a core belief that informs both his decision-making and evaluation of impact on provision and outcomes: “If it’s not good enough for my own children then it’s not good enough for anyone else’s.

Barry Bridden

Academies Director

Barry Bridden

Academies Director

Barry acts as a key ‘change agent’ within The Dean Trust and is at his best when schools require a major shift in culture and ethos. Barry takes responsibility for the Trust’s primary sector and is the Executive Lead for our secondary schools in Wigan.

Barry has considerable experience of ‘fresh start’ schools in both the mainstream and special sector, leading schools of varying types. Barry is an integral part of The Dean Trust’s Executive Team, leading on all matters SEND related and specialising in character building and behaviour.

Barry has experience of supporting many schools previously working at both Parrs Wood High School and Buglawton Hall School helping them out of Special Measures.

Barry’s experience in supporting schools in difficulty has also extended across the North West to Sheffield, Warrington, Cumbria and Knowsley, enabling them to improve their schools and then provide sustainability. His understanding of local context allows him to exploit this to the benefit of the school community that he is leading or supporting.

Andrew Hubert

Chief Finance Officer

Andrew Hubert

Chief Finance Officer

After spending 5 years working in Uganda, Andrew returned to the UK and qualified as an accountant while working in London for an IT recruitment company in their finance team. After a period working in Sainsbury’s head office, providing financial support to their supply chain capital projects, Andrew and his partner decided to move to Macclesfield.

Andrew secured a job at Macclesfield College as Director of Finance and Estates. This was the beginning of 15 years spent working in three different Further Education Colleges having senior responsibility for the finances and leading on major capital projects, restructuring and being directly involved in the merger of two colleges. This experience has ensured Andrew has a comprehensive knowledge of education and the associated complexities of medium sized organisations. In 2018, Andrew took up a new role as Director of Resources for the Information Commissioners Office. During his time at the ICO Andrew oversaw the significant financial and staffing growth of the organisation that has grown significantly over the previous three-year period.

Andrew has a real passion for education and joined The Dean Trust in the role of Chief Financial Officer in September 2021. This role is the perfect opportunity for him continue to use his experience and skills within an organisation that is making a real difference to young people’s lives.

Claire Henson

HR Director

Claire Henson

HR Director

Claire joined The Dean Trust in September 2018 with over 20 years HR experience, mainly within the private sector, working as HR Manager at Liverpool John Lennon Airport for 15 years prior to joining The Dean Trust.

Claire has experience in the full breadth of HR Management. Key areas of experience range from employee relations, employee reward, performance management, change management and employee engagement.

During her time at The Dean Trust, Claire has successfully developed a whole trust HR function and introduced a range of initiatives and processes which have improved the quality and professionalism of service across the Trust.

Mike Ward

IT Director

Mike Ward

IT Director

Mike joined The Dean Trust in 2014. His role as IT Director encompasses IT Strategy, Cyber Security, Project & Budget Management, IT Operations and Executive Support. Since joining Mike has developed a robust, scalable, cost-effective IT function across all Trust academies and an IT function that strongly underpins and enhances Teaching and Learning for staff and pupils.

Over the last 10 years, Mike has won numerous awards and accreditations both for himself and The Dean Trust, including Cyber Essentials PLUS, Certified IT Professional (CITP) Status, Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) and has been a finalist in both the AV Awards and EdTech Industry “IT Professional of the Year” for the last two years.

Outside of work, Mike is a Chairman of the Scouts Association, a Trustee of an Education establishment in South Africa and also volunteers at a number of North West charities, supporting people with limited IT access to develop their confidence and skills in this area.

Maria Finnigan

Operations Director

Maria Finnigan

Operations Director

Maria has extensive leadership experience spanning more than thirty years in both the private and public sector.

Prior to joining the Trust in 2015, Maria had a lengthy, successful and diverse career in the ever changing and highly competitive finance sector, culminating with managing a portfolio of high net worth commercial and corporate clients at The Royal Bank of Scotland.

In 2009 Maria utilised her financial acumen and business development skills to transition from the private sector to education. Her aptitude for fostering trusted relationships with stakeholders has enabled her to be an influential leader at a senior level, most recently as Director of Resources at Dean Trust Wigan.

Maria is married to Christopher and they have two grown up children, Callum and Megan. She loves to spend her spare time with family and friends as well as long walks with their much-loved Cocker Spaniel Snoop! Maria enjoys travelling to new places and loves nothing more than a holiday that involves skiing.

Maria is passionate about education, is honoured to join the Trust Executive as Operations Director and feels privileged to be a part of an organisation that places our young people at the heart of all that it does.

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