The Central Team

Darren Holmes

Chief Executive Officer

Darren leads the development of the Enquire Learning Trust. In this capacity works with leaders, teachers, local governors and other professionals to enhance leadership, develop teaching and learning, facilitate improvement, foster transformation and generate quality outcomes for young people. Developing effective approaches to collaboration lies at the heart of Darren’s leadership and the work of the Trust. Darren is an experienced leader, coach and facilitator. His specialism is in developing practice, provision and opportunity through reflection on action, enquiry based learning and powerful communities of practice. He has written on a range of leadership issues for journals and national publications and has presented at national and international research conventions. He is an experienced designer of professional development and has a passion for unlocking the potential of others. Darren has made a key contribution to work at regional and national level through the National College, DfE and TDA. His previous experience includes more than 20 years as a teacher, school leader and senior local authority officer. He has worked as a researcher and facilitator for the National College. Together with Ronnie Woods he co-created Enquire in 2006. Darren is a Yorkshire emigre living in the North East. He is married to Suzanne and they have three fantastic children who provide a crucial perspective on learning. In his spare time he reads widely, tends a wildlife garden, walks a dog, plays football and picks a mean guitar!

Paul Kennedy

Director of Business Development and Operations

Paul currently lives in Wakefield and prior to joining the Trust in 2013 worked for a number of years within the local government finance sector. As a Principal Officer, he lead the finance team of a council department and provided advice and support on the financial arrangements for European funded revenue and capital projects across Barnsley and Wakefield. For 14 years Paul was employed as a Business Director, part of the senior leadership team of a large secondary school in Barnsley. During this tenure he initiated and implemented numerous school based business developments, attracted revenue and capital grant funding for the development of a number of small, medium and large scale projects, and had strategic responsibility for all school based support, resources and delegated functions. In his current role, Paul is responsible for the strategic leadership and management of all Trust business and operations.

Liz Thompson

Director of Governance and Development

Liz Thompson graduated from Huddersfield university in 2010 with a BA Hons degree in Business Management and Administration. She went on to do a 1 year project around Safe guarding of children with special educational needs. Following the project she did 2 years in administration before joining the Enquire Learning Trust as the Academies Development Officer.

Brett Webster

Director of Information Technology

Brett has nearly 20 years experience working in an ICT environment, 16 of which have been education based. For the past 7 years Brett worked as the Strategic ICT Manager for Kingstone School, and then Horizon Community College when the BSF scheme two large secondary schools back in 2012. Brett’s role is to ensure that our academies are given ICT guidance, expertise, and strategic steer to achieve a “good provision of ICT” that is accessible to all our pupils. Brett will also develop central systems within the Trust itself to ensure that we have the correct platforms and systems in place to provide a high level of support to all our academies.

Lauren Pilgrim

Director of People

Lauren began her career within Local Government spending over seven years working in various departments with NE Lincolnshire Council. Her chosen career path in HR commenced in 2012, moving from NE Lincolnshire Council to the Trust in November 2014. She has completed an MSc in Human Resource Management. Lauren is responsible for all areas of Human Resources and Personnel matters across the Trust, working closely with our leadership groups to provide a dedicated framework of support to the central trust and academies.

Jodie Younger

Director of Finance (CFO)

Jodie Younger joined the Enquire Learning Trust in November 2014 as trust accountant. In September 2017 she took on the role as Chief Finance Officer. She is responsible for the financial management and sustainability of the Trust and working alongside the Trust Finance Manager and Academy Business Managers to ensure a comprehensive and effective financial support service is in place across the Trust. Jodie is a qualified chartered accountant and prior to joining the trust worked in private practice for nearly 15 years.

Rebecca Clayton

Director of Improvement and Performance

Appointed to her first headship in 2009 to a socially deprived school in challenging circumstances, Rebecca led the academy to outstanding in 2016. Shaped by this, Rebecca still retains her passion for enabling all children to flourish in an environment of outstanding practice. Rebecca’s leadership career has spanned over 15 years in schools with a variety of challenging contexts. Rebecca’s vision is that leadership and collaboration is at the heart of making schools extraordinary places to learn. Her school improvement role is to work alongside principals to develop depth of leadership within each academy and offers coaching and challenging support to leaders in designing effective whole school provision. Rebecca and her colleague Alison have designed a bespoke assessment system within Enquire Learning Trust so leaders can use effective gap analysis to determine next steps for the curriculum. This supports pupils making strong progress through each subject and ensures that learning is built upon and strengthened over each Key Stage.

Jaimie Holbrook

Director of Improvement and Effectiveness

Jaimie is a former executive principal who now provides professional development and school improvement support for the Enquire academies. Developing effective pedagogies, designing engaging curriculum approaches and building leadership capacity is central to Jaimie’s work. In addition to leading a successful school, Jaimie has worked in a range of schools in different contexts supporting leadership and improvement for the local authority. He designs and delivers a range of professional development opportunities and draws upon the expertise across the Trust to broker collaborative support. Jaimie has a strong understanding of the requirements of the Ofsted framework and he supports the academies within the Trust to prepare for inspection

Michelle Baker

Finance Lead

Michelle started her career in the Royal Air Force from school and then joined the banking sector until she moved to Lincolnshire in 2007. She joined her first school in 2007 in administration/business management and became part of the Trust Central Team in September 2015.

Jamie McGuire

Estates Manager

Jamie has a background in process operations, working in both local and multinational companies since leaving school. This gave him experience and an interest in health and safety, particularly with regard to plant, equipment and buildings. He soon became involved in Health & Safety and then gained further qualifications in this field. Jamie began my work in education as a primary school site manager and then became the Trust’s Interim Health & Safety Officer. Responsible for the sites and premises infrastructure, buildings condition, facilities management, health and safety, estates maintenance, utilities, project and contract management and developing the Trust’s capital programme priorities.

Simon Thompson

Payroll Manager

Simon has worked within Payroll for 25 years. He began his career working for the Arcadia Group before moving onto Polestar Petty in 1997. Prior to joining the Trust in April 2015 he spent 15 years managing the Payroll for an engineering company where he was responsible for processing a number of different payrolls, expenses and administering the company car scheme. Simon's role within the Trust is to ensure all our employees are paid accurately and on time and offer guidance and expertise on any payroll related issues. He has a Diploma in Payroll Management. Away from work I enjoy walks in the countryside with my family and our dog. I am a massive sports fan and enjoy watching most sports particularly football and am a keen supporter of my local team Leeds United where I have held a season ticket for over 30 years.

Holly Robinson

Payroll Assistant

Holly joined the Trust in June 2017 after completing sixth form. She worked as an apprentice providing administrative support to the central team. Holly completed her apprenticeship in 2018 and moved on to work within our Payroll department. Outside of work I enjoy travelling to new places and going to concerts and festivals. I have a whippet called Charlie that I like to take out on plenty of long walks.

Lynsey Freear

Responsible Officer

Lynsey is a chartered accountant and joined the Trust in September 2017 as the Responsible Officer.

Alison Semley

Data and Intelligence Officer

Alison has just over 20 years experience working in the education sector. The first 2 years working as IT Learner Support Officer for Barnsley College and the next 9 years teaching ICT at a Barnsley primary School. Before joining the trust in May 2018 she worked for Barnsley Council managing the Sims Support Team which included supporting the Trust from its infancy. Working closely with Rebecca Clayton, the biggest challenge has been to create, develop and implement an assessment tracking and analysis system across the Trust. In her spare time Alison enjoys all sports specifically netball, running, cycling and long country works with her family and their dog.

Sara Gartshore

Office Manager

Sara has worked in various administrative roles across the Financial Sector and Local Government. These range from mortgage processing, call centre coaching, Customer Services and Learning & Development to Children’s Homes and Short Break Services administration and Child Safeguarding. In 2015, she completed her Level 3 Diploma and Certificate in Business & Administration. Sara also plays in a brass band!

Kerrie Birch

Office Administrator

Kerrie joined the Enquire Learning Trust in June 2019 as a Business Admin Apprentice. Since qualifying she is now working alongside the Admin, HR and Finance departments and is studying to qualify in CIPD Level 3 Human Resource Practice.

Katie Bedford

HR Manager

Katie joined the Enquire Learning Trust in May 2019. She is qualified to CIPD Level 7 and has completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management. Working alongside Lauren Stones, Katie is responsible for all areas of Human Resources and personnel matters across the Trust.

Matthew Rowlay

Estates Assistant

Matthew has recently joined the Trust having previously worked for over 10 years managing draught beer installations for the brewing industry. Outside of work he enjoys going to music gigs and festivals as well as being a keen sports fan.

Michael Marsh

Catering Operations Manager

Currently lives near Manchester but originally from the North East. Loves mountain biking on days off. Been working in the catering sector all his life, from running large events to joining the catering education sector over 8 years go, looking after Secondary and Primary schools over the years. Michael is now Catering Operations Manager for the Enquire Learning Trust, overseeing the day to day operation of school catering and supporting the teams on site when required. Also looking at the way the catering provision can be improved across the 29 school to make sure the children are getting a healthy, balanced menu when at school using healthy free range product and red tractor meat.