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  • Beyond Inspiration
  • Beyond Excellence
  • Beyond Partnership
  • Beyond Education
  • Beyond Inspiration
  • Beyond Excellence
  • Beyond Partnership
  • Beyond Education


The corporate management and trustee responsibility for the actions of Extol is vested in the “Trustees” of the  Trust (together, referred to as “the Trust Board”), who are company directors registered with Companies House. The Trustees are personally responsible for the actions of Extol and our schools and are accountable to the Members, to the Secretary of State for Education and to the wider community for the quality of the education received by all pupils of the schools and for the expenditure of public money.


The Trustees are required, as trustees and pursuant to the Funding Agreements, to have systems in place through which they can assure themselves of the quality, safety and good practice of the affairs of the Trust. The role of the Trust Board;


  • Setting the vision, ethos and strategy for Extol Trust and its academies over the next three to five years;
  • Establishing the governance structures for Extol Trust, from Members to individual Academy level, in keeping with the Articles of Association;
  • Providing clarity, through the published Terms of Reference and setting the level at which the LGBs will have authority and accountability through the scheme of delegation;
  • Engaging with the Academies’ communities, parents, pupils and staff;
  • Contributing to developing collaborative relationships beyond the Academy Trust;
  • Ensuring that there is a strong and effective executive leadership structure and personnel in place across the Trust;
  • Overview and scrutiny of Academies’ education performance data;
  • Overview and scrutiny of the Academy Trust’s financial capability and management systems to ensure compliance with the Academy Trust Handbook, and deliver best value for money;
  • Ensuring senior leaders within schools are challenged to improve the education of pupils:
  • Developing the Trust Board to ensure that it has the capacity, skills and succession plans to have a positive impact on outcomes for pupils.


The Trust Board sets Trust-wide policy. The Board will carry out a regular skills audit of its Trustees.




Jackie Butterworth

Chair of Board

Jackie is currently a Divisional Director at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. She has a Masters in Organisational Change and Management Development, and Nye Bevan NHS Leadership Academy Award in Executive Healthcare Leadership.


Thus she brings experience of business, specifically around HR and financial best value to the Board of Extol. She is passionate about improving the life chances of young people in the Wear and Tees Valley areas and champions school improvement. This is reflected in a number of years experience serving as a school governor within both primary and secondary school settings.


Jackie has recently completed Confederation Of Schools Trust Chairs Leadership Programme and is driving the strategic governance of Extol.


Leo Gillen 

Vice Chair of Board and Chair of Resource Committee

Leo is a local business man with a vast array of skills which he has brought to the Board of Extol; including Business Development, Planning and Strategy, Account Management and adept negotiation skills.


He is currently Head of Operations of a renowned local company and has experience as Non-Executive Director of NHS Hartlepool and as Chair of Retail Council. He has previous experience of Local Council.


Leo's skillset is invaluable to the Board as it develops its growth strategy.


Stephen Blake

Chair of Audit Committee

Steve worked in the private sector for over 40 years and recently retired from the role of Group Treasurer at a large Marine Insurance Company, where he was also a Director of its Corporate Pension Scheme Trustee Board.


He brings to the Trust extensive experience and knowledge of Corporate finance, investment strategy, risk management, regulatory compliance and international cash management. Skills and knowledge which are deployed as Chair of our Audit Committee .


With over 20 years’ experience as a school governor, he is committed to assisting in the strategic development of the Trust and its schools to ensure the best possible outcomes for the children and communities it serves.


Margaret Bousfield

Chair of Standards Committee

Margaret has 42 years experience as a teacher, Headteacher and Executive Headteacher in the primary sector. She took her last school from requires improvement to outstanding and was recognised by Ofsted and the government for outstanding leadership. She was one of the first appointed NLEs and had a proven track record in improving schools that have failed or were in danger of failing.

During her career prior to retirement Margaret took on a number of additional roles. These included:

  • Education Adviser to the Local Safeguarding Board, including involvement with serious case reviews.
  • Schools Forum representative for large primary schools.
  • Visiting education lecturer at Durham University.
  • Established and managed the Durham University – Hartlepool teaching student partnership. A project to offer student teachers placements, in house training and mentoring in Hartlepool Primary Schools.
  • ​​​​​Represented Hartlepool LEA at National Conferences and consultations.
  • Keynote speaker on a number of occasions at the National College and led workshops at national training events across the country on all aspects of school improvement.


Margaret  since retiring has served as a Justice of the Peace ad sits on the board of The Hospital of God. 


Margaret remains passionate about excellence in education and as Chair of the Standards Committee holds leaders to account.


Stephen Brownhill


Stephen has worked in the Education sector for 20 years, and has experience of working across primary, secondary and special educational need phases.  He is an accredited School Resource Management Adviser (SRMA) with the Institute of School Leadership. 


Having worked for Sunderland Local Authority for 15 years, Stephen now works as a HR & Finance Manager for Inspire Multi Academy Trust in Sunderland, where he manages the HR & Finance function across the Trust. 


He holds a variety of qualifications including BA (Hons) in Politics, a Graduate Diploma in Law and is currently studying towards ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) as part of his continuing professional development.


Stephen is excited to work with Extol, offering strategic challenge and perspective to the Board.


Julie Deville



Julie has significant experience of effective school improvement and as an NLE has previously been deployed as interim Headteacher in schools causing concern.  She is passionate about the school led system and  formed Extol Trust to further enhance system leadership in the North East.   Julie has experience of working with primary and secondary Leadership Teams to promote effective and sustainable change management.  She has been deployed through the DfE School Improvement initiative in both primary and secondary school settings.


Julie currently sits on TeachFirst's North East Strategic Board and has supported their development of the Early Careers Teaching programme. Julie also sits on Hartlepool and Middlesbrough LA Education Partnership Boards.


As CEO, Julie has developed a different professional skillset than that of a Headteacher. She has gained insight into project management, managing change, talent strategy, financial predicting and metrics around financial sustainability within a complex organisation of a Trust, thus creating a sustainable community of improvement. 



Derek Richardson


Derek is an experienced senior manager across multi disciplines in the telecoms industry (field engineering, customer service, transformation, audit, performance, sales, call centres, programme management).

He was prior to partially retiring, the Programme Director in the North East with responsibility to implement and build the Superfast Broadband network working with all 26 Local Authorities on 8 government contracts across the North East and Yorkshire.


Derek has over 35 years in telecoms working across the UK and previous involvement over past 20 years with many schools initiatives from both BT and Business in the Community including Headteacher mentoring and school governor.  


Derek skills are utilised by the Trust in developing our communication and digital strategy.



Danny Eason

Danny has enjoyed working within the education sector for nearly 35 years with a substantial part being the Headteacher at two primary schools.

Since retiring from full time teaching Danny acts as carer to his Autistic daughter committing himself to the process of developing her independence as a young adult.

Danny’s personal experiences have created a particular passion for inclusivity in the Education setting and he strongly believes that where schools work together in spirit of partnership and collaboration they can significantly improve the life opportunities for all.


Martyn Ingram

Martyn has over 30years of experience working in the HR  sector, spending the majority of this supporting Schools and Education Institutions.

Martyn is currently the  HR Manager in a busy Primary Academy Trust

During Martyn's career he has dealt with a wide range of both operational and strategic HR issues.

Martyn is passionate about the role that HR provides and is actively involved with the Chartered Institute of Personnel  & Development of  which he is a Chartered Member. 

Outside of work, Martyn has previously served as an  Elected Member for Stockton on Tees Borough Council, undertaking several Chairing roles, and spending the final two years, as the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community


Ian Hoult

Ian brings Senior Management experience from working in both Public and Private Sectors and is currenlty working at Durham County Council.  He is passionate about the education of all young people and has previously been a Chair of Governors in a Primary School setting.  Outside of this he is a Trustee of a waste food community interest company.  Overall he brings broad experience and a passion for the best for our children.


Joanne McHale-Young

Joanne is an experienced employment lawyer assisting clients on HR issues in both the public and private sectors.  She has worked with companies across the North East for over a decade supporting with implementation of corporate strategies to improve performance, as well as the promotion of Equality and Diversity within the workplace.


Joanne has an interest in education and is committed to supporting the local community and ensuring children have access to good quality education assisting them in achieving their ambitions.