Our governance structure reflects the needs of running a multi academy trust and meeting the needs of the children and communities we serve.

Our governance structure is flexible to meet the needs of the Trust and the individual schools for example some schools do not have local committees and manage governance through the full governing body meetings.

We are always keen to hear from anyone who may be interested in being part of our governance whether as a Trust Member, Trustee or as a Governor.

If you would like to find out more about any of our roles please contact our clerk:
Helen Turner – info@vennacademytrust.org.

Trustees & members

Established in 2015 Venn Academy Trust  has ensured its governance structure reflects the needs of running a multi academy trust and meeting the needs of the communities we serve.

The knowledge and understanding across our Trustees and Governors is vast ranging from educationalists, parents and local residents to those with legal, finance and HR skills – all with one goal in mind of making a positive impact on the lives of the children we serve.


Dr Simon Witham2021-02-03T17:02:06+00:00

Simon was formally headteacher at Thorpepark Academy, one of the four founding schools within Venn Academy Trust. Simon then became the executive headteacher at Thorpepark, working with the head of school and has developed it into a national support school with an emphasis on reading and learning behaviour.

Despite being in one of most disadvantage areas in the country the school has performed consistently highly in reading and mathematics.  As the trust lead Simon has supported the growth of the trust from four settings to ten, with the inclusion of Euler Academy.

His vision is to support every school to be the best that it can be so that every pupil benefits from a quality curriculum and learning experience.  For the past six years Simon has undertaken a doctorate in the impact of low-level disruptive behaviour in classrooms.

He demonstrated how pupils could be taught to self-regulate their learning behaviour using specific processes.  As a National Leader of Education Simon supported a wide range of schools, including some in very disadvantaged areas.

Susan Brummitt2022-01-13T13:33:43+00:00

Sue has vast experience of primary education having served as a Headteacher since 2001. Currently the Executive Headteacher of two large primary schools within the Horizon Academy Trust she started her teaching career in Nottingham before returning to her native Hull and East Yorkshire.

Sue’s career has seen her teach in a wide range of different schools, in rural and urban settings.

As headteacher of Gillshill Primary School she has led it to be successfully judged as Outstanding by Ofsted. Working in partnership with Spring Cottage and White House she formed Tidal, a successful Teaching School.

A designated National Leader of Education, Sue has successfully supported many schools in a variety of settings and categories. She has specialisms in curriculum development and extensive expertise of developing and leadership teams.

Term of office 13.12.21 to 12.12.25 – Trustee appointed

Terry Johnson (Chair)2020-01-27T10:04:07+00:00

Terry retired in 2013 having worked for Hull City Council and Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals. He was heavily involved in the design and delivery of national accredited courses. Terry also worked for the Home Office in major incident and mass fatality planning.  Terry strongly believes that all children should have the best education possible and if he can help and support the Trust academies to deliver this he will be achieving his ultimate goal.

Term of Office : 29 June 2019 to 28 June 2023 – Members Appointed

Mel McAlindon2020-01-27T10:05:01+00:00

Mel spent 6 years in the Police before moving into a High Street retailing environment, working with Bhs and Specsavers where he has focused on Risk, Audit and Governance both within the UK and globally. Most recently Mel has set up his own company which manages corporate risk. Mel believes passionately in education having seen his three children all educated in Hull schools and Colleges.

Term of Office: 20 October 2019 to 19 October 2023 – Members Appointed

Sheila Wallace-Marshall2021-01-14T02:11:05+00:00

Proud to have been born and educated in Hull, Sheila has a vast experience in primary education.  Sheila’s teaching and leadership career was in challenging and exciting schools. As a headteacher she became a Local Leader of Education, supporting other schools and worked with the local authority on a wide range of teaching and leadership projects.

After a successful career in schools she became self-employed and started her own business, ‘Educational Excellence’. Sheila is a very experienced and successful governor and Chair of Governors. In these roles she has used her skills in school finance, curriculum planning, behaviour management, special educational needs and recruiting to benefit pupils.

Term of office: 13th November 2020 to 12th November 2024. Co-opted by Trustees

Chris Fenwick (Vice Chair)2022-01-13T13:25:46+00:00

Chris is a retired computer auditor and has 40 years experience in a variety of governor roles. He believes all children should have the opportunity to achieve their potential irrespective of their background and starting point.

Term of Office: 29 June 2019 to 28 June 2023 – Member Appointed


Marc Cooper2022-01-13T13:32:20+00:00

Marc has significant experience of governance within education and the community voluntary sector.  He has held senior positions in education and local authority Children’s Services including previously having been a secondary school Headteacher for six years.

He is a serving trustee at Hull Kingston Rovers Community Trust and also a volunteer on the committees of Friends of Alderman Kneeshaw Park and Barton Inclusive FC.  Marc has also held the positions of parent governor and staff governor on different governing bodies.

Michael Dodd2022-01-13T13:29:49+00:00

Michael has a wide range of experience in school leadership and primary education, having worked as a senior leader in Hull schools for over a decade.  Michael is currently the Chief Executive Officer of an academy trust in Hull and brings a strategic understanding of the operation and governance of trusts and an understanding of the local context in which trusts work.

Michael is also an experienced Executive Headteacher, with an understanding of Executive Leadership and the running of more than one school.  He has also recently trained with Ofsted.

Michael is a National Leader of Education and has supported school improvement across a range of schools in different contexts and settings.  As part of his systems leader role, he has also facilitated the training of the next generation of leaders through delivering national professional qualifications for Leeds Beckett University.

Clive Opie2021-01-14T02:10:12+00:00

Clive has vast experience in education. He has worked in schools, colleges and universities for over 40 years. Previously a secondary Science and ICT teacher at two Sheffield schools (1978-86) he became a teacher trainer (1986-2002) at Sheffield University. He then became the Deputy Director of Education (2002-08) at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and Dean of Education (2008-15) at Bradford College. He has spent the last five years as a supervisor/examiner at Hull University.

Neil Catterson2020-09-07T14:51:11+00:00

Neil Catterson is a senior manager in the probation service and was previously a manager in local authority social care. As a senior manager he knows when to operate at a strategic level and when to be operational. He has gained extensive experience working with people feel marginalised and socially excluded so has an extensive understanding of the often complex social, psychological and personal factors which are at play. He is committed to recognising and celebrating diversity and understands and believes in the importance of equality of opportunity for our staff group. All skills that will allow him to understand the complex range of settings and schools within Venn.

As a practitioner and manager he has a significant and extensive experience in areas of child and adult safeguarding. As a manager in social care and probation he has extensive HR and staffing experience including recruitment, staff supervision and support, following and implementing disciplinary proceedings, undertaking investigations concerning, complaints, grievances and professional practice issues. He has extensive experience of managing budgets and facilities. These are essential strategic skills required to ensure good value for the public purse.

Mike Dickinson2019-09-24T10:06:50+00:00

Mike is a professional engineer with over 50 years experience. Having spent the first 30 years in the Royal Air Force before seeking a new challenge, Mike has since worked for a number of international companies managing large infrastructure and rail projects all over the world. Mike believes that all children should have the educational opportunity to explore their true potential.

We are always keen to hear from anyone who may be interested in being part of our governance whether as a Trust Member, Trustee or as a Governor.