The Executive Board of PDET, fulfilling both the role of directors under company law and trustees under charity law, exercise the powers and carry out the duties of PDET. The Board of Directors is responsible to the Members of PDET as well as the parents, pupils and staff at its academies. Directors work with the local governing boards to ensure the quality of education and financial management provided at each academy.
Five committees operate under the PDET Board of Directors: The Governance Committee, the Business & Finance Committee and the Ethos, Standards and Effectiveness Committee, Audit Committee and Pay & Personnel Committee.
Dr John Herrick – Chair
John was Deputy Head of a large comprehensive school and Principal of an Adult Residential College before becoming Head of Residential Education in Northamptonshire where he was responsible for five colleges. He is involved in the local community and until recently served for six years as Chairman of Governors at his local VA Primary School. He is a Trustee of the Life Path Trust, a charity that works with people with learning disabilities.
Duncan Mills – Chief Executive of PDET
Duncan has most recently worked as the Managing Director of an academy trust and as Strategic Planning Manager for Education in Northamptonshire. Previously he was the Director of an Education Action Zone and Excellence Cluster. From a background in teaching he has also worked as an Education Advisor and in Youth and Adult training.
Helen Buckley – Legal Director
Helen is a Solicitor and National Leader of Governance. Her experience has been predominantly as a City lawyer for many years and then subsequently she undertook an in-house legal counsel role to broaden her knowledge. Currently she is the Legal & Governance Advisor to PDET and the Diocesan Board of Education. Helen has been Chair of Governors for many years of a successful small rural primary school.
Mike Cowland – Business Director
Michael has managerial experience from the public and private sectors. He led initiatives that won a National Municipal Journal award, secured £800,000 of external funding to develop a managed workspace facility and played a key role in the procurement of a leisure management contractor to run leisure centres and save £1,000,000. He then worked as the Business Manager for one of the largest Multi Academy Trusts in England at an academy rated Good by Ofsted with approximately 1,450 students and 200 members of staff. Since joining PDET, he has played a key role in the conversion of sixteen academies. He has led the procurement of back office services, has sourced a national catering contractor and has developed the financial and operational procedures of a rapidly growing organisation.
Margaret Holman – Vice Chair
Margaret was Headteacher of Bishop Stopford School, a Church of England converter academy for 16 years. During this time, she was a National Leader of Education (and Bishop Stopford was designated a National Support School). She was a member of the first Fellowship Commission of NLEs reporting to the Secretary of State, and she sat on the Secondary Heads Reference Group at the DfE for over 10 years. Margaret is currently a director of the Woodard Corporation and sits on its Education committee. She is also a director of the Woodard Academies Trust, chairing the WAT’s Education committee.
Additional Non Executive Directors:
Cathy Armstrong – Chair of Governors, St Andrew’s C.E. Primary School, Kettering
Cathy has been running a business in Kettering since 2000 and has a proven track record in facilities and administration management. She has been a Chair of Governors at St Andrew’s C of E Primary, Kettering since 2013 and as such was closely involved in the smooth conversion of the first school to join PDET in May 2014.
Greg Cracknell – Chair of Governors, St Barnabas C.E. Infant School, Wellingborough
Greg Cracknell is a retired university lecturer specialising in primary education. He is chair of governors at an infant school within the trust and a member of the Diocesan Board of Education.
Andrew Weatherill – Non-Executive Director
Andrew is “semi-retired” and now works part time for himself as a practising Chartered Accountant and consulting forensic accountant. Previously Andrew worked in senior Finance related roles for a number of large international groups, including XPO Logistics, Budget Insurance, National Grid, Barclays and Anglian Water. He sits on a number of Boards and Audit Committee - Northampton Partnership Homes (social landlord), the Learning and Work Institute (educational charity), the Association of Member Nominated Trustees (not for profit membership body) and is a pension Trustee of two schemes. Andrew is the Treasurer of his local church and rugby club and an East Midlands Rugby Referee, having recently hung up his playing boots. In his spare time he watches Northampton Saints, plays squash and walks his 5 dogs.
Kevin Binley – Non-Executive Director
Kevin is a company director with a UK based financial management software business. As director, he is responsible for the quality control and delivery of services to a global customer base. He has worked in the business management technology sector for over 30 years and has a deep experience in implementing business transformation projects across different sectors. Kevin has been involved in a number of successful business start-ups, management buyouts, acquisitions and mergers.
Gordon Temple – Chair of Governors, Welford, Sibbertoft and Sulby Endowed School, Welford
Gordon served for sixteen years as chief executive of Torch Trust, a Christian charity working nationally and internationally with people with sight loss. A chartered engineer, Gordon’s early career was in research and development, later becoming managing director of two technology businesses, both operating internationally. He has served as a foundation governor for his village school for eight years, three as chair of governors. During this period the school converted to an academy as part of PDET.