Academy Leadership

Andrew Whitaker

CEO - The White Rose Academies Trust


Andrew Whitaker enjoyed a ten-year career in the University sector, including working as an Associate Senior Lecturer, before moving into the 3-18 education sector as a Senior Leader.

As Senior Vice Principal of the UK’s largest all-aged special school based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, Andrew led all operational areas of the school including Post 16 provision. Throughout a transformative eight years, he project managed a £25m BSF building programme, created a highly successful school improvement consultancy and played a key role in leading...

Associate Executive Principal

Christian Wilcocks

Executive Principal - White Rose Academies Trust


As a Deputy Headteacher, Mr Wilcocks worked closely with Executive Principal Mr Whitaker to transform learning and behaviour at Todmorden High School; taking the school from the bottom 5% of schools nationally, to the top 15% within a three-year period. From September 2014, Mr Wilcocks was Principal of Colne Valley High School, leading the school through a period of significant cultural change and improvement... ​


Richard Chattoe

Principal - Leeds City Academy

Prior to commencing his role as Principal at Leeds City Academy in March 2019, Richard worked as Vice Principal at Leeds West Academy, with responsibility for the improvement in the quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment across the school. Richard was delighted to have played such a significant role in establishing a range of innovative and highly impactful strategies...

Sarah Carrie

Principal - Leeds East Academy

Sarah Carrie’s ambition from a young age was to become a professional dancer. She achieved this ambition after training at the highly acclaimed Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, graduating with a Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree in Dance. During her career as a dancer she was fortunate enough to work with ...

Dan Whieldon

Acting Principal - Leeds West Academy

Dan Whieldon began teaching at West Leeds High School in 2002 after a number of years working in television production at ITV in Manchester following his graduation from Staffordshire University in English, Media and Cultural Studies. After working as intervention lead and Head of Media Studies at West Leeds...



Vice Principals

Chris Reynolds
Vice Principal - The White Rose Academies Trust

Chris Reynolds graduated from York St John’s University in Sports Studies and Physical Education, before going on to complete his Masters in Physical Education at Leeds Metropolitan University. Chris completed his teacher training...

Jeanne Rogers
Group Vice Principal for Quality Teaching and Learning

Jeanne Rogers has worked with children and young people for over 30 years. Beginning her career in Children’s Centres in East Leeds, she then went on to teach students that aspired to be childcare practitioners. Jeanne started teaching at Croydon College, before moving back to the North....

Rachel Smith
Vice Principal - Executive Director of Professional and Organisational Development

From September 2019, Rachel will lead the strategic action plan for staff retention and development.


Rachel Smith graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA (Hons) in Geography before going on to complete her PGCE in Secondary Geography Teaching...

Assistant Principal

Nicola Widnall
Assistant Principal - Acting Director for Professional and Organisational Development

Hailing originally from the Brecon Beacons in South Wales, Nicola Widnall graduated from Leeds University in 2005 with a BA Hons in Spanish Language and Literature. It was during her year studying in Granada in the south of Spain as part of her degree that she realised she wanted to pursue a career in education...

Rachel Sharples
Assistant Principal 

Rachel Sharples is delighted to join the White Rose Academies Trust as Assistant Principal focusing on Academy improvement. Prior to her appointment, Rachel was Assistant Principal with responsibility for driving the quality of Teaching and Learning at Darton Academy, part of the Delta Academies Trust...


Associate Assistant Principal

Lee Garner
Associate Assistant Principal - The White Rose Academies Trust

Lee is a former Police Officer and joined the British Transport Police in 2009. He worked in a variety of uniformed roles, including a period of time as an Acting Sergeant responsible for raising standards within Territorial Policing...

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