Andrew Whitaker was born, raised and educated in the city of Leeds. And is raising his own family in the city.
Andrew holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in business and management from Leeds Business School (Leeds Beckett University) and a postgraduate diploma in financial management from the ACCA. Andrew also holds a number of professional qualifications and awards from the National College, including the Advanced Diploma in School Business Management (ADSBM) and the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH). Andrew is a Fellow of the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) and a Churchill Fellow, having received this prestigious award in 2018.
Andrew has worked most of his professional life in education, including leadership roles at Leeds Beckett University, the University of Leeds and has spent the last fifteen years of his career as a senior and executive leader in local authority maintained special educational needs provisions and secondary school provisions.
This included working as the Vice Principal of the largest 3-18 special school in the UK for eight years and as Headteacher of Todmorden High School for four years. In 2016, Andrew became the CEO of the White Rose Academies Trust, which currently includes four schools in the city – Leeds City Academy, Leeds East Academy, Leeds West Academy and Alder Tree Primary Academy.
The Trust is a member of Luminate Education Group and in November 2020, Andrew was promoted to the expanded role of Group Deputy CEO, whilst also retaining the role of CEO of the trust. The group includes Leeds City College, Leeds Conservatoire, Harrogate College, Keighley College and The White Rose Academies Trust. The group educates over 30,000 students, employs over 2,000 staff and has an annual turnover in excess of £150m. Andrew is a board member/trustee of The White Rose Academies Trust and Hamara. Andrew’s leadership of schools has been recognised through the 2016 and 2018 Parliamentary Review – Secondary Education and in 2018, Andrew was privileged to be awarded a life-time Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.