Member Biographies

Sandra Dodson (Chair)

Sandra was Chairman of Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust from 2008 -2017. Previously Sandra was a Non-Executive Director of the Trust between 1996 and 2006. Sandra is a Trustee and Vice Chair of Yorkshire Cancer Research and Trustee and Chair of Masiphumelele Trust Ltd, which raises funds for the education and support of children in a township in South Africa. Sandra has been involved with education over a number of years having been a Governor and then Chair of Governors at Harrogate Grammar School for ten years. Sandra is now the Chair of the Red Kite, Multi-Academy Trust.’

Alice Deignan

Alice is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Head of School at the School of Education, University of Leeds. She has a background in teaching English as an Additional Language in Britain, and TEFL and teacher education internationally. She researches in language and education, and is currently leading a large project on the language challenges facing students at the transition from primary to secondary school, funded by UKRI (UK Research and Innovation).

Peter Hall-Jones

After successful Headship Peter formed his own Leadership and Culture Change company. In 2008 Peter co-founded The Curriculum Foundation supporting governments, unions and schools to design World Class Curriculum. Peter is an Education Leadership Consultant to The British Council working to improve education outcomes across Asia, Sub Saharan Africa and The Middle East. Peter is passionate about ‘whole child education’.

Bob Stott

Bob has 10 years experience as a Secondary School Headteacher in Leeds. He also worked closely with the City Council in realigning the inclusion provision across the City. For the past 8 years Bob has worked for Lancashire County Council initially as the Director responsible for education provision and then as the Director of Children's Services. Bob retired from Local Government service in May 2017. Bob brings his educational knowledge and experience to the board along with his strategic understanding of the wider agenda of Children's Services.

Tony Thornley

Tony works part-time as an education consultant. He provides advice to heads and governors on school leadership and standards, with a particular focus on schools serving disadvantaged communities. His previous experience includes running a large secondary school, working as one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of schools, both on individual assignments and as an associate Regional Director, and advising the Department for Education on academy performance.