Our schools                
Our schools                
Manor CE Academy
Barlby High School
George Pindar School
Graham School
Vale of York Academy
Baldersby St James Primary School
Burton Green Primary School
Forest of Galtres Primary School
Poppleton Ousebank Primary School
Skelton Primary School

Trust Board

Tony Myers | Chair of Trustees
Andrew Simpkin
David Judson
Ian Thomson
Karen Osborne
Julie McGonigle
Olivia Seymour
Philippa Gowland
John Kesterton

Tony Myers became a director of Hope Learning Trust York in October 2016 and Chair from July 2017. For 11 years he was a governor at Copmanthorpe Primary School, being Chair for 7 years and Vice Chair for 1 year. For many years he led music in his local church (in various locations). Recently he chaired the Church Council (PCC) and the group leading on redeveloping the buildings for mission. He previously spent 3 years as trustee and treasurer of Adoption UK, and as trustee and chair of York Family Mediation. A qualified accountant, Tony retired (from paid work!) in December 2014 following 25 years at the level of deputy chief executive / vice-principal, variously in a social care charity, two further education colleges, and a professional body.

Andrew Simpkin is Head of Project Delivery for the Portakabin Group Sales business. Andrew gained his B.Sc honours degree in Building (Production Management) from Nottingham Trent University. He is a Chartered Construction Manager and Fellow of the CIOB and has been employed by Portakabin Group since 1988, operating at strategic level as a member of the group’s leadership team and the divisional business unit’s senior management team.

David Judson is a York-born English graduate whose work in the rail industry included strategic business planning, operations, logistics, finance, marketing and public relations.

His two sons were at Manor CE Academy where he was a governor and Chair of their Standards Committee for a number of years. David is also a member of the Trust Board’s Resources committee.

In his spare time, he sings with both a community and a chamber choir in York and is chair of the Hackney-based ‘London Sea Shanty Collective’.

Ian Thomson is a former Chief Planning Officer for unitary and metropolitan local authorities in the north of England. He has a track record of facilitating the implementation of major regeneration schemes creating jobs and homes. After gaining a Diploma in Town Planning and a Law Degree, Ian became City of York Council`s Assistant Director responsible for Planning and Environment in 1993. His most recent post was with Wakefield Council as Service Director for Planning, Transportation and Highways. Wakefield Council was one of the first in the region to have an adopted Local Plan with agreed sites for 10 years of future development. He has managed significant capital and revenue budgets, has been part of strategic decision-making groups within the public sector and is motivated by achieving delivery of projects.

Karen Osborne has spent her 35 year career in the Insurance industry, starting as a Commercial Underwriter, progressing to hold various senior management and director roles in the Commercial Insurance Company sector. She is currently the Commercial Branch Director of AXA Insurance in Leeds with 50 staff. Leeds branch won AXA Commercial Branch of the year for 2016.

Karen is passionate about ensuring that employees achieve their full potential and her proudest achievements are the people she has mentored, managed and supported over the years. This passion was extended during her time working with the David Young Academy, initially with their six formers providing work placements for internships. Karen was so impressed by the enthusiasm and potential of these young people that she went on to take a more active role with the school and joined the Local Governing body. Within a short space of time she was elected Chair of the LGB and became a Trustee on the Board of the Leaf Multi Academy Trust.

Julie McGonigle has been a teacher and school leader for the last 20 years and currently works in the areas of strategic improvement, leadership coaching and teacher training both in England and internationally.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Julie completed her doctorate in education at Jesus College, Oxford. Following this, she won a global teacher award to work with schools in disadvantaged areas of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. As Vice Principal (Academic), Julie was part of a team that founded one of the first city academies in England, a school that won a number of national prizes for academic improvement. Latterly, she was Deputy Head (Academic) at St Andrew’s Cathedral School, Sydney, where she continues to be engaged in strategic development. Julie’s passion is to see schools flourish: staff fulfilled, parents engaged and students growing.

Olivia Seymour is Assistant Director of Education in the Diocese of York and Regional Ambassador for RE.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Olivia studied Theology at Bangor University before completing her PGCE at York St John University. Olivia has worked in education for over 20 years, starting her career as an RE teacher at Barlby High School and laterally as Head of Humanities and Director of ITT at Archbishop Holgate’s School before joining the Diocese of York Education team in 2009.

In her role at the Diocese, Olivia has particular responsibility for church school distinctiveness, Church school leadership, Church School inspection (SIAMS), RE and Collective Worship. Olivia also co-ordinates the delivery of support for schools.

Philippa Gowland is a lawyer who has worked in the field of child protection since 1998. She studied law at Exeter University and also completed a masters degree in family law and policy at the University of East Anglia. Teaching is her family’s profession and it instilled in her a passion for good education and a desire to give every child the opportunity to achieve their potential. She has a significant knowledge of safeguarding and child development, and her work with vulnerable families gives her insight into the obstacles that can limit children’s life chances.


John is a retired secondary Headteacher who works part-time for the Association of School and College Leaders. He has been a Governor at Vale of York Academy since 2014, most recently Chair of Governors until leaving to become a Trustee. John has lived in York since 1996 with his wife, an EYFS specialist. Their children are now grown and have flown the nest.

John’s combined experience of working in school leadership, supporting ASCL members in employment and professional matters alongside being a school governor, brings a wide range of skill and experience to the Trust.

Hope Learning Trust York

Hope Learning Trust York is a Church of England multi-academy trust. The Trust Board, detailed above, comprises Trustees contributing particular skills and experience. Sitting underneath the Trust Board are Local Governing Committees (LGCs), formerly Governing Bodies, of each academy that retain most of their decision-making powers. Their details are on individual academy websites. 

Trust Board meetings are also attended by Helen Winn, in her capacity as CEO of Hope Learning Trust.

Find out more about Helen here.

The Trustees can be contacted via the Executive Assistant of Hope Learning Trust York at secretary@hlt.academy

If you would like to apply to become a Trustee please email secretary@hlt.academy


Members of Hope Learning Trust York 2019-20
NameDate of appointmentNature of any business interests including details of the company or organisationArea of Expertise/Responsibility within the Trust
Mr Tony Myers05/10/2020NoneChair of HLTY
Mr Martin Barnes01/04/2015NoneDiocese of York Education Trust representative member
The Right Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost10/10/2019Chair of the Chapter of York (Chair of Governors, York Minster School);
Member, Pathfinder MAT;
President, HomeStart York;
Governor, University of York St John
Archbishop of York representative member AND the Interim Dean and Chapter of York representative member
Members who have stood down in the last 12 months:


Trustees of Hope Learning Trust York 2019-20
NameDate of appointmentTerm of officeCommittees
Mr Tony Myers (Chair)05/10/202004/10/2024Resources
Mr Ian Thomson25/05/201723/05/2021Resources (Chair)
Mr David Judson01/09/202031/08/2024
Mr Andrew Simpkin01/04/201931/03/2023Resources
H&S Representative
Ms Karen Osborne17/07/201716/07/2021Standards (Chair)
Mrs Philippa Gowland04/07/201803/07/2022
Distinctiveness and Personal Development Committee (Chair)
Dr Julie McGonigle17/5/201816/5/2022Standards
Mrs Olivia Seymour04/07/2018
Ms Dee Cooley8/10/201901/07/2020
Distinctiveness and Personal Development Committee
Mr John Kesterton8/10/201907/10/2023Standards
Trustees who have stood down in the last 12 months:

Ms Dee Cooley.
From/to: 08.10.2019 – 01.07.2020



Resources Committee
Mr Ian Thomson (Chair)
Mr Tony Myers
Mr David Judson
Mr Andrew Simpkin

Standards Committee
Ms Karen Osborne (Chair)
Dr Julie McGonigle
Ms Olivia Seymour
Mr John Kesterton

Distinctiveness and Personal Development Committee
Ms Philippa Gowland (Chair)
Dr Julie McGonigle
Ms Olivia Seymour

Safeguarding Representative: Mr Tony Myers (interim)

Health and Safety Representative: Mr Andrew Simpkin

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Our lovely partner school, @BurtonG_Primary, just keeps getting better! The transformation over the last few years has been amazing, and now they have a beautiful community garden too! yorkpress.co.uk/news/18799546…