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Central Services

Our Central Services Team provide a range of services to support our schools, through Data Protection, HR, Estates, Finance, ICT and Marketing.

clare thorley - director of business 

I have worked in the education sector for most of my career. I started as a peripatetic bursar, providing financial support to schools within Hull City Council in both the primary and secondary sector and then spent over 14 years at Winifred Holtby Academy as their Academy Business Director.

I progressed from BTEC National and HNC in Business and Finance through to a degree in Business at Hull University. I then continued my education journey through the National College for School Leaders through their School Business Managers programme gaining my Diploma in Business Management.

I joined The Consortium Academy Trust in September 2019 as the Director of Business and my team includes Finance, ICT, Estates and Marketing and Communication. I believe effective Business Services have a direct impact on the education provision of our learners, ensuring effective use of funding and resources and providing the best facilities and ICT provision, to allow educational development to evolve and thrive.

I look forward to continuing my journey working for the Trust. In my spare time I love to keep fit and enjoy long walks in the countryside with my family and our beautiful shoodle Murphy. I also enjoy watching films and reading.

jane simpson - director of Hr 

My passion is helping individuals, teams and academies be the best they can be.  My role is to drive forward the HR strategy for The Consortium Academy Trust, to attract, develop and retain talent, whilst creating a culture that empowers employees to innovate, do their best work and to support them to develop the minds of children and young people. 

I began my HR career working in the private sector in 1992 as a trainee, and have loved the complex challenges and vast learning experiences that Human Resources brings with it. I hold an MSc in Human Resource Management which I gained from the University of Lincolnshire.

I joined The Consortium Academy Trust as Director of Human Resources in 2018, previously working for Wolfreton School and Sixth Form College and the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, since 2005. 

I am proud to be associated with The Consortium Academy Trust, which provides me with the opportunity to support the transformation and development of an exciting environment for all to excel.

I live in the East Riding of Yorkshire with my husband, three children and my dog (my favourite child!). In my spare time I love to socialise with friends and family and am a part time taxi driver for my children.  

patrick morris - head of estates 

Having worked in public-facing Facilities Management for over 25 years in the sport, leisure, events and education sectors, I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to work with the Trust. Responsible for workplace and compliance management, health and safety and quality throughout my career, I am looking forward to developing this role as the Trust continues to grow.

Born and raised locally, I have two adult children and enjoy running, walking and being outdoors, and have a real affinity for Snowdonia and the Lake District. A keen motorcyclist, I currently own a BSA Bantam and a Ducati Scrambler.

matthew cooper - head of finance 

As Head of Finance for the Trust it is my role to provide financial oversight, strategic direction and to manage the strong finance team we have. I have been lucky enough to work in public sector finance for over twenty years with experience in both the NHS and Hull University. I have worked across most parts of the finance function having started my career as a rotational trainee at Castle Hill Hospital and, as I completed my AAT and then ACCA qualifications, I moved into management accounting first with the Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and then with Hull University. I worked at Hull University for ten years looking after a variety of areas and then returned to the NHS, now the Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, as a Head of Finance for Medicine. During this time my team and I worked hard to support the evolving and growing NHS agenda with significant investments to the local NHS estate, infrastructure and staff base. I worked with the NHS during the first year of COVID and helped support the huge initiative to create surge capacity, create COVID and non-COVID facilities and work to provide extra staffing during very uncertain times. Following this I was offered the chance to join the Trust.

I have always lived in the local area and enjoy adventuring in the great outdoors with my family. I am still amazed at the interesting places we have on our doorstep that I am only just discovering.

david brooke - head of ict 

After successfully completing my GCSE’s and attending Sixth Form, I started working in the IT department for the school where I attended as a student. Working for the school directly, it was rebuilt under the private finance initiative (PFI) in which I moved over to RM Education.

During my career at RM Education, I was fortunate to progress my IT career through a number of different technical roles which were both site based and mobile covering a number of different sites. In 2010 I moved over to Hull as the Building Schools for the Future programme started. Since then I progressed to a Support Consultant onto Senior Support Consultant then a Technical Operations Manager which covered Derby, Nottingham and Hull. In July 2018, I became a Service Account Manager responsible for 3 Multi-Academy Trusts which contained a mix of Primaries and Academies sites. I have recently studied for my ILM Leadership and Management Level 3 qualification through the apprenticeship levy.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time together as a family when we can get my 12-year-old son off his Xbox. Being originally from Leeds, I have an interest in football/rugby in which I am a supporter of Leeds United and Leeds Rhinos.

gilly stafford - company secretary/clerk to the trust/dpo 

I am the Company Secretary, Clerk to the Trust, PA to the CEO and the Data Protection Officer for The Consortium Academy Trust.

That gives the longest job title ever invented and a very varied job! Being the Company Secretary means that I keep the Trust compliant with any relevant legislation and regulation, and the board members informed of their legal responsibilities. As the Clerk to the Trust I make sure that there is effective administrative support to all of the boards and committees and that each is properly constituted.  I clerk all Trust Board level meetings and some Local Governing Board meetings. As the Data Protection Officer I work hard to keep our personal information safe and ensure there is a culture where we safeguard our personal information in the same way that we safeguard our people. I enjoy the variety and feel very privileged to hold this position.

In my spare time I love to play hockey and try to keep up with two young children.

claire gordon - marketing and communications manager 

After gaining a degree in European Studies and French, I started my career in an editorial role in London, working for a variety of publishing houses, including Pearson Education. I relocated to the East Riding following the birth of my second child as my husband is from the local area. 

I moved into a Marketing and Liaison role at Wyke College and then to a Marketing position at Wolfreton. I was fortunate to be in the role at just the right time to get involved in Wolfreton’s new school building development project. The rebranding exercise that I undertook at the same time was able to inform many of the interior design decisions and produced a cohesive look which I am proud to have been part of. I have provided marketing support to the Trust from its inception in 2017 and was delighted to be asked to work for TCAT as Marketing and Communications Manager in a full time role as the Trust developed. 

In my spare time I am happiest outside. I enjoy walking with friends and over recent years have developed a love of gardening.