Board of Directors

Governance Structure

Members only

Mr Zaheer Khalil

Zaheer is currently a director of a Utilities company. With a MSc in Biomedical Science, he has previously worked in the Pharmaceutical industry in roles as a Research Scientist as well as a Contract Manager. He has experience of working in the education sector through his role as Project Manager in a FE college. Zaheer has experience of governance and has been a governor at a school in Bradford. His experience  and expertise of trust boards as a Non Executive Director of the NHS and currently Vice Chair of the Healthy Living Partnership Board are invaluable.

Mrs Stephanie Handsley

Stephanie is a qualified HR professional with over 17 years working in Human Resources, latterly as HR and OD Business Partner for the north region of NHS England.  Previously Stephanie worked for Yorkshire Ambulance Service for 9 years and Calderdale Council in the Children and Young people’s service for 4 years, as a Team Leader in the HR Department for schools and has a strong understanding of educational settings.  Stephanie enjoys playing golf in her leisure time and is a committee member of a local golf club.

Mr Andrew Helliwell

Andrew is a retired Chartered Surveyor having worked for 35 years in the Civil Service.  Currently Andrew is the Managing Director of a local property management company. Andrew has a keen interest in cricket, he is an Umpire and an active member of Old Town Cricket Club.


Mrs S Hussain (Head teacher/CEO)

Shameem Hussain is currently Head teacher of Beech Hill School and founder of ‘The Family of Learning Trust’. Shameem became head teacher in 2014 following several years as the deputy head teacher. She has supported a range of schools and their leaders with School Improvement.

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’. The 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 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.


Mr David Mellalieu (Trustee/member)

David is a qualified accountant and a former Director of an International Company who spent twenty years working all over the world, acting as a trouble-shooter for various companies within his organisation. He has spent the last twelve years working for Calderdale as a Senior Auditor in schools. David has also a governor at other schools within Calderdale. He has also been a Responsible Officer for a number of schools and Academies across Calderdale. His expertise in all these areas would be helpful when supporting other schools.

Mr Nadim Najib (Trustee/member)

Nadim has over 20 years’ experience in the Financial Services industry and is currently a Business Relationship Manager for around 120 SMEs. Primarily responsible for growing his portfolio through lending and acquisition, his role also encompasses networking, data protection and adhering to strict controls as outlined by the Financial Conduct Authority. His previous experience includes line management activity, recruitment, health and safety and staff development.

Nadim has been involved with The Academy for over 5 years, having originally been elected as a Parent Governor; also chairing the Audit & Finance Committee and acting as designated Governor for Pupil Premium. Nadim is a proud and active member of the local community and he, along with his three children, attended Beech Hill before moving on to secondary education.

Mr Anthony John Hillyard

Tony Hillyard retired in 2014 after a career working for major organisations in IT, project management and business change. He is currently the Chair of the Trust.

He has been a school governor since 2000, firstly at Luddenden CE School, including being Chair for 6 years. He became a National Leader of Governance in March 2015 and has supported over 20 schools since then. In 2015 he was asked by Calderdale Council to become a Governor at Moorside Community Primary School.

He is also a member at Scout Road Academy, Mytholmroyd and currently Chair of the Interim Executive Board at St Augustine’s CE(VA) J&I School, Hanson Lane.

Tony’s other interests include being an IT Volunteer at Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees and walking both locally and in the Yorkshire Dales.

Mrs Sophie Loreen

Sofia has a BA Hons in Early Years. Along with and her extensive experience of Early Years, Sophie has a good understanding of the statutory requirements. She joined the governing body in 2013 as a parent governor when her children attended Beech Hill. She later joined the Trust Board. As a member of the local community, she is passionate about ensuring pupils are given the best possible start in life.

Sophie is a busy mum of three teenage girls but in her spare time also volunteers at a local community centre.

Mr Christopher Swallow (Chair of Trust)

Chris is currently the Market Leader for Barclays bank in the Halifax Cluster area. He has worked for Barclays in various roles across the business sector. He currently manages a team of 30 staff and has a great understanding of finance as well as HR.

He has been a school governor for a number of years before joining the Trust.