Trust Executive TEAM
The Trust is led by an able, ambitious and experienced leadership team.
Mike Westerdale - Chief Executive Officer
Mike Westerdale, CEO, describes his greatest responsibility as ensuring every pupil and student reaches their potential, within a culture of care, where they are safe and inspired to flourish. Mike has over 30 years’ experience in the education sector, working in Headship roles as well as Director for Education for a large national Multi-Academy Trust before joining Brigantia.
Mike recognises that there are many Trust-wide outcomes to be proud of, including the commitment of all academies and members of the organisation to break down social mobility barriers and serve their respective local communities. In this regard, he looks forward to the continuation and growth of the Trust’s mission and to further supporting and strengthening the communities in a myriad of different ways. As the Trust grows, the aim is to create Brigantia’s own multi-agency team, working alongside the local authority, ensuring Brigantia Learning Trust’s academies are at the top of the agenda.
Mike describes his role as a facilitator and motivator, empowering others to take on their roles by removing barriers. For Mike, it was important to create a Trust offer that positively impacts on all stakeholders across the Trust, namely creating a culture of sharing: drawing on the strengths of one another to support each other, creating a pool of expertise and resources to draw from, sharing best practice and enabling individual flair to provide pupils and students with the highest quality teaching and outstanding educational experiences.
“As CEO for the Brigantia Learning Trust, I take great pride in my role of preparing every young person and member of staff for a journey of personal growth and development, improvement and achieving their potential. It is my role to enable every member of the Brigantia community to strive for themselves and to be ambitious for the whole community”.
Jacqui Simpson - Chief Operating Officer
Jacqui Simpson joined Brigantia Learning Trust in 2014 as Chief Operating Officer. Throughout the years, Jacqui’s career has spanned roles within banks and account management, before completing her degree at Sheffield Hallam University in Accountancy and Management control. Prior to joining Brigantia, Jacqui worked for Sheffield City Council within the Education Finance department for 11 years.
As the Trust has developed and grown, so has Jacqui’s role. With responsibility to oversee a range of departments: Human Resources, Finance, IT, Premises, Health and Safety and Estates, Jacqui credits her broad and strong team who she leads, citing their role as a back-office function, taking pressure off Executive Principals to ensure the smooth running of academies.
Within her role, Jacqui has a unique insight into and responsibility of the critical daily running of the Trust and academies, supporting with risk management and legal advice in addition to the effective management of the Trust. In years to come, Jacqui looks forward to the expansion of the Trust, not only with more academies but growing from within, and broadening their offer to students.
“Although at times challenging, working alongside the CEO, Director of Education and Executive Principals to ensure that everyone across the Trust and academies have the support they need to provide the highest standards of education has been incredibly fulfilling and rewarding”.
Simon Winslow - Director of Education
Simon Winslow believes his greatest responsibility lies in delivering the very best possible education to all learners across Brigantia Learning Trust, and ensuring they are established with next steps, and the confidence to achieve them.
As Director of Education, Simon is responsible for the educational developments taking place across the Trust and securing the best possible outcomes for all. With a world-class education himself having studied at Oxford University, Simon chose to pursue a career in education and was soon one of the first Advanced Skills Teachers in the country, working and supporting schools in special measures and challenging circumstances in Manchester and Sheffield.
Simon’s role is unique and varied, but he is resolute in the outcomes that he is seeking for the Trust and its young people. The Director for Education seeks to challenge and support academies in providing a high-quality education, being a voice for all, and enabling Trustees to challenge academies and members of the Trust to improve its offer. For Simon, he defines job satisfaction as witnessing first-hand the impact of Trust level decision making on the experiences of every individual within the Trust's academies. He is also proud of Hinde House Academy achieving an excellent Ofsted which has enabled the growth of Brigantia Learning Trust. In the future, he hopes the Trust continues to become ever more inclusive, and to be part of the educational transformation of the local children in Sheffield.
“The role of education is to break the link of where you come from and where you can be. In my eyes, education is the way forward and is a powerful tool. I have always felt passionate about giving back and feel I can do this best by working at an educational institution such as Brigantia Learning Trust, where I can support those who face great challenges, and support them by providing the highest standard of education and support, to ensure every young adult in our care is able to secure next steps whatever they may be and have the best outcomes that they sought to achieve”.
Vicky Simcock - Director of academy improvement
Vicky Simcock has over 15 years of senior leadership experience and has achieved an Ambition School Leadership’s Executive Educators Award. Vicky has also worked as a Regional Education Director in the Midlands for a national Multi-Academy Trust which involved providing intellectual leadership to Principals across educational phases and motivating and developing leadership to embed developmental plans to ensure rapid and outstanding teaching and learning.
As Director of Academy Improvement, her vision for the future is for an excellent education where every pupil, student and staff member is empowered to fulfil their potential and achievement is valued. It was her personal ambition and incentive to work for an academy and Trust whose values resonated with her own. Her belief is that belonging to the Brigantia Learning Trust enables strong progress and outcomes, where Trust-wide values are integrated and embodied, and support for wellbeing is a priority. Within her role, Vicky looks forward to providing outstanding leadership on educational delivery, to ensure continuous improvement and success.
“My priorities lie within providing professional support and challenge for principals and staff across academies and the Trust, to ensure the highest standards of attainment and rates of progress possible. I want to support the Trust in its growth, and sustain our community where everyone understands their value, importance and role in academy life. In essence, our vision of Creating Excellence Together will be tangible across all phases of academy and community life.”