Trust Central Team

Central Executive Team

Shameem Hussain
Trust Chief Executive Officer and Headteacher at Beech Hill School
Shameem Hussain is currently Headteacher of Beech Hill School and Chief Executive Officer of ‘The Family of Learning Trust’.  In 2003 she gained her MSc in Education and in 2006 she became the Deputy Headteacher of Beech Hill School with responsibility for Achievement, Behaviour and Parental Engagement.  Following this she was appointed the Vice Principal, responsible for the day to day management of the school and after gaining her NPQH, Shameem successfully became the Headteacher of Beech Hill School in 2014. She has also lectured at Leeds Beckett University and delivered IT training as an Intel Trainer.

In 2016 Beech Hill School achieved Ofsted ‘Outstanding ‘and in 2017 Shameem led the Academy through to gaining Multi Academy Trust status as ‘The Family of Learning Trust’. In addition, Shameem carried out School Improvement work as an NLE in Calderdale supporting other schools with improving achievement.

The Family of Learning trust sponsored Dean Field School in January 2018 and Shameem led the school through its conversion to joining the trust. This gave her, as CEO, the opportunity to strategically lead the development across the MAT and Dean Field’s school improvement. As CEO, her role is to strategically develop the trust, ensuring systems are in place for the trust to expand and realise the trust’s vision on ensuring that all children have the best possible start in their life.


Fiona Pether
Headteacher at Dean Field Community Primary School
Mrs Fiona Pether graduated from Huddersfield University with BA Hons in English Studies. Following a year out to gain experience in different primary schools working as a Teaching Assistant, she then went onto to complete the employment based Graduate Teacher Programme with QTS in 2005.

Fiona has worked in a number of schools in Calderdale and has a proven track record for school improvement.  As English Coordinator and year 6 teacher she was part of the team who were judged Outstanding at Whitehill Community Primary School in 2007. She then went on to be seconded as an Assistant Headteacher to Mount Pellon Primary School in 2008 and during her time there the school came out of Special Measures. In 2010 Fiona was appointed Deputy Headteacher at Beech Hill Primary School.  During her time as Deputy at Beech Hill the school was judged Good with many outstanding features in 2010 and Outstanding in all areas in 2016.

As a Deputy Head, Fiona led on many school improvement initiatives with a focus on attainment in Key Stage One, Phonics, Behaviour and Attendance, implementing the new National Curriculum and the development of middle leaders. Fiona has completed various National College leadership programmes and more recently gained the NPQH in 2014.

In 2018, Fiona took on the Headship at Dean Field Community Primary School, a ‘failing’ school judged by Ofsted to be Inadequate in 2017. Fiona reorganised the staffing structure, established new expectations for teaching and learning, revised the systems for behaviour and attendance, increased parental engagement, made improvements to the curriculum and developed a team of subject leaders who focus on relentlessly improving the quality of education. Although currently not yet externally verified, this rigorous approach has led to considerable improvements in standards at the end of each key stage, improvements in behaviour and attendance and the perception of the school within the community.

Fiona is responsible for the development of leaders within the MAT and is also a trained facilitator in mentoring and coaching in schools.


Darren Senior
Trust Finance Director
Darren is a qualified accountant with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies and has 30 years of experience as an accountant of which nearly 20 years is with working in schools across Calderdale and Bradford. He trained as a Senior Auditor at a Chartered Accountants in Huddersfield, then moved to be an Office Manager for a firm of solicitors before moving to Headingley to be the Assistant Club Secretary for both Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket Club where he organised match days and the subsequent financial reporting for various bodies.

In 2003 he moved to Calderdale MBC to be a peri bursar for a number of schools in Calderdale but in 2008 moved to a school within Calderdale whilst continuing to support many of these schools. Since 2008 he has been connected with Beech Hill, then the Family of Learning Trust.  Darren has performed all areas of finance during his time, his main roles being financial reporting, budgets, processing and training new school bursars. From 2011, Darren also performed most of the work for conversion to an academy and led on subsequent reporting and all strategic elements involved in running an Academy and, more recently, a MAT. From 2018, he has helped four schools convert and still does most of the financial work needed for the ESFA regarding all the various reports.

He is currently working with the Trustees to help expand the MAT, develop staff and current systems as the MAT hopes to grow to five schools within a couple of years. Darren is also a Governor at Dean Field school and is on the School Forum at Calderdale.


Joanne Lawless
Trust HR Director
Joanne joined Beech Hill School in September 2013 having previously been contracted to supply HR services to the school when she worked at Educate HR Ltd.  Previous to that, Joanne spent ten years working for Calderdale Council and was responsible for all aspects of HR services for schools across the Calderdale region.

Joanne is an extremely respected member of the management team at the Family of Learning Trust and has been integral to its success, specifically delivering many key initiatives in her seven years.  These include changing the payroll from an external provider to in-house management, resulting in a financial savings for the school, as well as streamlining HR processes through the use of technology. Joanne is passionate about mental health and employee wellbeing, is the key driver in implementing staff wellbeing initiatives and has introduced an employee assistance programme.  Joanne also has responsibility for health and safety and facilities, improving record management and onsite processes.

Joanne is highly qualified with a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management and continually keeps updated on latest employment law, practice and policies through CPD and as a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Joanne is also well versed on employment law, school teacher and local government pay and conditions, managing and conducting investigations and recruitment and selection.


Senior Leadership Team

Mrs Sara Cockroft
Deputy Headteacher at Beech Hill School

Mrs Sara Cockroft graduated with a PGCE in Primary Education from Bradford College in 2003, following completing an English BA degree at the University of Liverpool.  She began her career at Field Lane Primary School in Rastrick where she worked for 11 years and became Assistant Head of School.  During her time here, she was responsible for managing a range of subjects, including French, PE, English and Maths and also mentored student teachers and NQTs.  The majority of her teaching experience was in Upper Key Stage 2.

Sara began working at Beech Hill in 2014, initially as Maths coordinator.  She took on the additional role of associate lecturer at Leeds Beckett University for two years.  In September 2015, she became the English coordinator.  Sara’s expertise in this area of the curriculum also led to her being a member of the Calderdale KS2 writing moderation team.  Within the trust, Sara supports the reading and writing subject managers with their responsibilities, as well as mentoring/coaching individual teachers/year group teams in order to plan their English units of work and ensure all children are making good or accelerated progress.

Sara was selected to become a Senior Leader in Education in July 2016 and since then has worked with various schools in Calderdale in order to provide support for English teaching and learning, including organising the sequence of lessons, teacher/coordinator subject knowledge, assessment of writing and teaching reading comprehension.

The most successful SLE work has taken place in schools who fully committed to the collaborative sessions and a consistent individual class teacher or subject manager worked alongside Sara with the full support of their SLT.  At one particular school (over two academic years), this led to a new whole-school approach to teaching reading skills and a significant increase in the number of children achieving age related expectations in writing at the end of key stage two.

Sara also delivers lectures for students on the Teamworks SCITT programme and has previously worked as a link tutor for students on placement in schools.


Mrs Samantha Bowling
Deputy Headteacher at Beech Hill School

Mrs Samantha Bowling graduated from Leeds University in 2010 with a BA Hons with QTS in Primary Education.  She started her career as an NQT at Beech Hill and has progressed during her time at the school to the role of Deputy Head for Inclusion and Head of Lower School.

Two years after qualifying, Samantha became the Maths Lead before becoming the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator in 2013.  The following year, she completed her National Award in Special Educational Needs and her National Professional Qualification in Middle Leadership.

In 2015, she became the Team Leader for Year Two before being promoted in 2016 to Assistant Head for Lower School and then eventually the Deputy Head for Lower School and Inclusion.

Samantha is a Specialist Leader of Education for Special Educational Needs and over the past few years, her role has allowed her to work alongside other professionals in local schools and support them to develop Special Educational Needs within their settings.

Samantha is highly regarded within the local authority and her specialist role not only helps to support teachers but most importantly, improving the outcomes for children across Calderdale who have additional learning needs and/or a disability.  In 2019, alongside her Deputy Headteacher role at Beech Hill School, she took over the role of Special Educational Needs Coordinator at Dean Field Community Primary.


Katie Fudge
Deputy Headteacher at Dean Field Community Primary School

Miss Katie Fudge is an experienced EYFS teacher and leader. Since joining the Trust in 2019 she has accelerated through various leadership roles to becoming the Deputy Head at Dean Field. She has a great passion, knowledge, understanding and experience of the EYFS, which began when she first studied and worked in a variety of different nurseries. She has successfully improved results, enhanced the learning environment, raised the profile within the local community and ensured the parents and families were engaged in all that was done in each setting.

In March 2019, Katie’s previous setting received RI for the majority of the school but the EYFS achieved ‘Good’ – this is the area Katie was solely responsible for. The reports states that ‘the early years leader has a good understanding of the needs of the children. She ensures staff plan and deliver learning in consistent ways that help them to learn well. Parents [are kept] well informed of the progress their child is making.’

Katie’s skills mostly surround the EYFS. She has redesigned outdoor learning areas and sourced and provided training on how best to use the space to staff surrounding the local community.  After completing her dissertation on ‘the impacts mastery maths has on an EYFS setting’ during her Masters Degree in Childhood Studies and Early Years, she embedded this style into multiple settings and became a host to other staff in the local community to observe and support their teaching.

Katie also has great strengths in Phonics. In multiple settings Katie has increased EOY Phonics and Reading data in Nursery, Reception and Years 1 and 2. She has followed Ofsted guidance and revamped schemes in multiple settings, ensuring staff, children and families are well supported in teaching and learning Phonics.

Katie is currently completing her NPQSL through the Ambition Leadership Programme.


Lewis Hoyle
Assistant Headteacher at Beech Hill School   

Mr Lewis Hoyle began his journey into education through a BA Honours degree in Physical Education and then went on to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and gained QTS qualification in September 2014. During his PGCE, he embarked on a teaching placement at Beech Hill School, which is where his teaching journey started 7 years ago. He has worked in KS1 throughout his time at Beech Hill, but works predominately in year 2, where he was Team Leader. Lewis has ensured that all children are achieving their potential in the core areas and across the curriculum.

Lewis used his passion for physical education and became the PE lead and led successful change around health and wellbeing across the Trust. He has co-ordinated successful sporting programmes as well as whole school healthy eating and fitness initiatives. Lewis has supported children and staff with their mental health over the past few years, and he successfully achieved the Carnegie School Mental Health Award in 2021 achieving bronze status. He has now enrolled on the Senior Mental Health Lead training to support staff and pupil’s mental health and wellbeing.

In 2020, Lewis was successful in completing his NPQSL where he led a whole school project to increase the percentage of children achieving greater depth in maths. This experience and others helped him to progress to become an Assistant Headteacher in 2021. Following this new role, Lewis was appointed the new Science lead and head of year 1 and year 2.


Becky Creighton
Assistant Headteacher at Beech Hill School

Miss Becky Jordan completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology at Leeds Metropolitan University and followed this with gaining a PGCE with QTS from Bradford College, graduating in 2010. During her PGCE, she embarked on a teaching placement at Beech Hill School, which is where her teaching journey started 10 years ago.

She was appointed at Beech Hill in September 2010 and, in her early career, followed her passion for science and led the subject successfully as an RQT. This was soon coupled with leading Design Technology, in which she helped to develop a new way of teaching the subject across the school. She lectured in primary science at Leeds Metropolitan University as an associate lecturer, teaching undergraduate students. She has taught in all year groups in KS2 progressively from year 3 as an NQT and is currently teaching year 6 as well as being the year group Team Leader.

In 2018 she led an EEF funded research trial at Beech Hill around Metacognition and growth mindset. The data collected from this study fed into the results of the nationwide trial.

Her next role was leading maths and parental engagement as part of the role of Assistant Headteacher, which she embarked on in September 2018. She introduced and embedded the use of Seesaw throughout Beech Hill and more recently the newest school to the Trust, Dean Field, to improve the involvement of parents in their children’s education and give them a window into the classroom. She has been a Seesaw ambassador for the last 3 years, which has enabled her to train colleagues in other schools and settings in how to use Seesaw effectively.

Becky’s other role in school is leading computing and she has provided computing lectures for Teamworks Teaching School Alliance for the last 3 years as well as writing a bespoke computing curriculum for the Family of Learning Trust.


Laura Brambani
Assistant Headteacher at Beech Hill School

Miss Laura Brambani began her journey into education through a BA Honours degree in Education Studies and then went on to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and gained QTS qualification in September 2011.

‘Home grown’ as a trainee teacher at Beech Hill, she has now taught at the school in both Key Stage One and Two for just over ten years. During her early career, Laura led various subject areas such as the arts. In this role, she facilitated the school in gaining Artsmark Gold status twice and used the work done in the arts to help initiate change and best practice across other subject areas.

In 2014, Laura gained the National Professional Qualification in Middle Leadership. Over the years, Laura has been heavily involved in Initial Teacher Training, being lead mentor for the school and working closely with teacher training providers. In 2014, she coordinated a partnership between Leeds Metropolitan University and Beech Hill. This involved facilitating the training and placements of ten trainee teachers, two of which were then recruited by Beech Hill upon qualifying. Coupled with this, Laura annually lectures for Teamworks TSA on providing education for children with English as an Additional Language, another area of her expertise.

Laura’s skills in managing the various areas of school were recognised in September 2018 when she took up the post of Assistant Headteacher for the curriculum. Here, she has led change across both schools within the MAT. Laura has supported curriculum leaders to make sure their subjects are sequenced and built upon in terms of skills and knowledge and that each subject has a breadth of coverage whilst meeting the needs of the children.


Greg Armitage
Trust Management Accountant

Greg is a qualified accountant (ACCA) with 20 years’ experience. He started at a local manufacturing company as a fitter before working his way up to a British Standard welder then through Huddersfield University qualified as an accountant. In 2019 he aided in the due diligence and sale of the manufacturing company to a large multinational and spent the next year introducing new systems and hitting targets for the final transfer of ownership.

In 2020 Greg joined the Family of Learning Trust to expand his knowledge and face a new challenge. His aim is to bring in monthly reporting for governors and trustees plus to oversee a review of all finance systems. He is planning to have a solid structure in place that will benefit an expanding trust.