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Our Trustees

Mr Peter Nuttall – Member - Chair

Peter Nuttall has worked in education since 1971. From 1999 he worked at Cockburn School and was a member of the Senior Leadership  Team until his retirement. As well as chairing the Board of Trustees of the Cockburn MAT he is also the chair of the Local Governing Bodies at Cockburn Laurence Calvert Academy and Cockburn School in Leeds, as well as being a member of the Highfield Academy LGB in Blackpool.

Mr John Ellis – Member

John Ellis is a retired Chief Superintendent of Police with over twenty years’ experience as a governor.  He was the former Chair of Leeds Governors forum and was the former Chair of Governors for a number of years. 

John sits on a number of voluntary groups within the local community.

Mrs Sharon Giedrojt – Member

Sharon Giedrojt brings a wealth of school business professional knowledge and experience to the MAT. She has worked in education for over 5 years, in both primary and secondary settings.  Sharon also served as a school governor for numerous years with a period a Chair of Governors.  Prior to working in education Sharon worked within the legal sector and is a non-practicing Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

Cllr Sharon Burke – Member

Coming soon

Mr David Gurney – Trustee / Executive Headteacher

David Gurney became Headteacher in 2008, and the school has made significant improvements under his vision of ‘Transformation to Excellence’. This programme was recognised by Ofsted in 2014 which noted that it had led to ‘wide-ranging improvements’ and as a consequence ‘the school is now heavily over-subscribed reflecting the high regard in which it is held by many parents’. Ofsted also noted that ‘The headteacher’s leadership is underpinned by a strong moral purpose. He has a passionate determination to overcome barriers caused by disadvantage and to ensure all students are well prepared for life in modern Britain’.

David Gurney was drafted in by Leeds City Council as Executive Headteacher to lead Bruntcliffe School after the previous headteacher had resigned her post from immediate effect.  Leeds City council dissolved the school’s then governing body and established an interim executive board to “increase the pace of improvement” at the school. A development plan was written and implemented by Mr Gurney addressing the findings of the recent Ofsted visit and to put some stability back into the school. A number of key strategic decisions were made to secure the outcomes for year 11 students and securing an academy sponsor. Results went from 32% of pupils achieving the benchmark in 2014 to 52% last year.

David was also instrumental is setting up the Learning Trust South Leeds made up of a number of feeder primaries, and Cockburn School.

He has recently been approached by the DfE to be an Academy Ambassador to join the Board of Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) by bringing capacity and challenge to the MAT. He is now a member of the Board.

Mr Paul Crawshaw – Trustee

Before retiring in 2007, Paul Crawshaw worked as a policy adviser with, among others, HM Treasury and the Department for Communities and Local Government in London and Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire. During his career he was concerned primarily with the renewal of disadvantaged neighbourhoods and worked closely with residents and the community and voluntary sectors to achieve this objective.

Since retiring he has completed a qualification in Urban Regeneration at Sheffield Hallam University as well as undertaking voluntary work for Leeds CAB and Cockburn School.

Mr Christopher Graham – Trustee

Christopher Graham is an associate at the international law firm, Pinsent Masons LLP. Chris practices in banking law, which involves acting for both lenders and borrowers in respect of their financing arrangements that includes financing arrangements within the higher and further education sector.

Chris was formerly a secondary school teacher before practising law and has a strong connection with Cockburn MAT, as he leads Pinsent Masons’ relationship with the MAT, and has developed an awarding winning mentoring programme that is undertaken by some of the pupils of Cockburn School. Chris brings legal and banking expertise to the MAT board as well as his knowledge of the education sector.

Mr Jon Hairsine – Trustee

After over 30 years working in commercial businesses, leading change and transformation programmes in the legal, insurance, financial services and technology services sectors, Jon has now worked full time in both a professional and voluntary capacity in the education sector for the last nine years, in varying settings across West Yorkshire and Lancashire.  He currently serves on, or works with, a number of IEBs/governing bodies/trust boards.

As a ‘National Leader of Governance’, Jon’s primary focus is upon supporting schools which have been categorised by Ofsted as ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’, which have an identified need to improve standards of governance, or which face other significant challenges, e.g. a substantial financial shortfall. Over the last eight years, he has been able to contribute to ensuring that many such schools rapidly returning to performing at a ‘good’ level.

Recognising that excellent teaching changes lives, Jon is passionate about improving the quality of education and about the important role governors can, and must, play in driving up standards.

Mr Shamim Miah – Trustee

Shamim is a product of Cockburn School’s “transformation to excellence”. Shamim started his education at Cockburn, leaving in 2014 and is now a Trainee Solicitor at a top 6 firm in Leeds. Since then, Shamim has been at the forefront of empowering the voices of young people in Leeds on a regional and national level. In 2016, Shamim was elected as the Member of Youth parliament for Leeds. This position allowed him to represent young people in the House of Commons and to debate key issues such as Mental Health, Racism and Religious Discrimination and a Curriculum for life. During his role, Shamim worked closely between young people and councillors alike to influence positive and effective change within the community. Following his success, Shamim was voted the British Muslim Young Achiever of the Year and named in the Top 100 British Bangladeshi’s in the UK. He also received the Princess Diana Award and most recently nominated for a Yorkshire Asian Young Achiever award for his contributions to the local community. Shamim has been a Community Governor at Cockburn School for 4 years, and in this time has helped enhance post 16 careers development and monitored ICT & Business.

Mrs Catherine Moore – Trustee

Catherine Moore is a legal director at Pinsent Masons Solicitors. She specialises in corporate law, which involves buying and selling companies and businesses, investments, joint ventures, group structures and corporate governance advice.

Her first connection with Cockburn was more than 10 years ago, when she was involved in the first literacy programme for Years 7 to 9 between Pinsent Masons and the School. Since then, she has remained in touch with the School and has been involved in the Leeds Ahead organised Enterprise Days and interviewing practice sessions for Year 11 pupils. Catherine brings private sector corporate expertise to the MAT board.

Mr Steve Worrell – Trustee

Steve Worrell has worked hard developing himself and his career with 25 years’ experience in sales management, from junior to senior executive with experience of driving profitable commercial growth and account management through direct sales & strategic partnerships. This experience has been gained in both challenging and well-run business environments (public & private sector).

He’s currently responsible for driving market leading ROI with the world's largest automotive related organisations by enabling rich mobile, social and messaging technologies to drive & assist AI powered digital commerce and care strategies.  He has been trained in professional selling, account development and negotiating. As part of the senior leadership team at a data business he successfully completed an internal leadership programme linked to Coveys 7 habits of highly effective people.

Steve has lived in South Leeds for approximately 17 years and he’s interested in supporting schooling in the area to ensure that young adults have high aspirations and are confident when they leave.  He values education and wants local children to know that there are opportunities out there for them beyond the classroom.