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Our Directors

The Shire Multi-Academy Trust.

The Shire Multi-Academy Trust is directly accountable to the Secretary of State for Education for its academies through its Board of Directors.

The role of the Board is to oversee all aspects of the operation of the Trust, providing support and challenge to the Executive Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team to ensure that every child in each of the Trust’s Academies makes good or better progress.

Eileen Parry Director/Member

Eileen’s career includes having been a Primary Headteacher, a Senior LEA Adviser specialising in Assessment and Special Educational Needs and an Ofsted Inspector.  She has served as a governor of the former Sandhill Primary School Governing Body for many years including two spells as Chair.  This has given her particular skills in directing the work of a LGB and of providing support and guidance to new governors.  Her in-depth knowledge of primary education enables her to understand, support and challenge the leadership and management of a school.  Currently she is using this knowledge and experience to support the development of the Academy,  in particular to develop the work of the LGBs in both schools.  Eileen is a regular visitor to both the schools in the Trust and has particular interests in Safeguarding and Assessment and Inclusion.  She plays an active part in updating and amending the school policies to match the requirements of Trust status.

Gavin Smith Director/Member

Gavin is a serving officer with South Yorkshire Police. He has nearly 29 years police service having worked in all districts within South Yorkshire and a variety of roles including road traffic policing and custody. He was a governor at Sandhill Primary School before helping the school convert to an academy and is currently a member and director of The Shire Multi-Academy Trust as well as sitting as chair of the Local Governing Body at Laithes Primary School. Gavin is passionate about Primary education and commits a lot of his time to the Trust, always looking to improve leadership and performance so that children get the very best start in life.

Elaine Doxey Director

Elaine’s career includes teaching in a range of Primary Schools in the Barnsley area, holding the post of SENCO, working in the authority to promote Positive Behaviour Management and as an Inclusion Advisory teacher, officer and leader of the Inclusion Team with Barnsley Authority. In her role with Barnsley Authority she worked with all Primary Schools in Barnsley to implement a framework to support the development of effective Inclusive Practice. She has a been a member of the Governing Body of Littleworth Grange providing challenge and support to the Leadership and Management of the school as well as support for Maths and reading in years 2 and 6 to support raising standards. Her particular interests are Inclusion, Safeguarding and Mathematics. Elaine is looking forward to developing her role on the local Governing Body of Laithes Primary and as a Director of The Shire Multi-Academy Trust.

David Donnelly Director

David is the CEO of the Heath Family (NW) –A Merseyside based MAT with four primaries and four secondary schools and has over thirty years’ experience in education.  He is a former primary Headteacher, Ofsted Inspector, Local Authority Adviser and Head of Service. He has served on a number of governing bodies and IEBs and is a former Chair of Governors of an Academy.

He has worked extensively in school design and capital programmes, supporting over a dozen LAs in developing their education strategies for the Building Schools for the Future Programme and working with architects and construction companies to develop their schemes. He co-authored a book with Sheffield University’s School of Architecture on the school design process.


More recently David has been extensively involved in the academies programme and has provided support to over fifty schools in converting to academy status. He now works with new and existing Academy Trusts supporting them in developing their strategic planning, governance models and systems and operating procedures. 

Nick Adams Chair of the Trust

Nick is a founding member of a sales and marketing company specialising in offering training and consultancy to businesses worldwide. He has a strong commitment to developing the capability of people within an organisation and extensive experience of offering his skills in finance, sales and marketing at a senior level to a wide range of businesses from small independent ones to major multi-national organisations. This has included developing vision and best practice within large organisations.

He brings to the Trust a valuable wealth of commercial experience and a perspective from the business world.

Key Skills:

Dynamic Facilitation
Negotiation and Selling
Dynamic Facilitation
Strategic Business Planning expertise
Category Management & Insight generation
Building high performing & highly motivated teams
Project Management
Commercial Finance

Phil Moore Vice-Chair of the Trust

Phil’s whole working life has revolved around teaching and learning. He started out as an English teacher and spent the first half of his working life in the public sector, initially teaching and then with the forerunner of Becta (MESU/NCET). The second half of his career was in the private sector, working for large companies such as BT and Pearson as well as smaller, niche companies but always in the education market. One of the small companies is his own which developed and published software to support the Citizenship GCSE. For the past 10 years, however, he has been CEO at Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning (YHGfL), taking it from a struggling RBC to a flourishing organisation which won a Becta ICT Excellence Award for support to schools. 

Penny Partlow

Penny worked in the Civil Service for four years; in Commercials for the Department for Works and Pensions, then more recently in Early Years and Academies for the Department for Education. Prior to that she spent most of her working life running several small businesses. She has spent time as a volunteer for The Samaritans, Age Concern and an animal rescue as well as forming a non-profit organisation that helped people to recover from mental illness. She cares about people and feels that her particular skills will support the team at the Trust to achieve their goal of putting children first and helping children to achieve their potential.

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