Term of office start date: 25th April 2016
Damian’s executive career was in financial services where he worked for three multi-national banks holding board positions in two.
Throughout his career he has been involved in designing and executing many large-scale transformational change programmes and is experienced in running national and multi-site operations.
Over the last 3 years Damian has advised boards in the sectors of financial services, fintech, energy and education and currently holds Chairman position in 3 companies.
He has studied at Cranfield Business School where he is proud to be part of their alumni.
Passionate about education, striving to make a difference in the communities in which we live and do business, Damian was thrilled to be appointed as Trustee and even more excited about accepting the honour of the position of Chair from January 2018.
Damian is married to Louise and has two children Lucas and Lauren-Rae.
Term of office start date: 11th December 2015
Paul was a practising solicitor specialising in Employment Law qualifying in 2006. In 2016 Paul moved into industry joining GreenThumb Limited and after holding a number of senior roles, was appointed as Managing Director in January 2019. Paul was also a director of his own law consultancy firm and has regularly advised educational establishments including schools, colleges and academies on all employment related matters.
Paul has also advised on contentious and non-contentious pupil and parent matters such as parental complaints, data protection, Freedom Of Information Act requests, child protection and safeguarding, abuse claims, Equality Act obligations, Disclosure and Barring Service requirements, parent contract and breach of contract (independent schools).
Paul’s main interest is rugby and he has played semi-professional rugby for Sale Sharks 2nd and U21 teams, Waterloo FC, Manchester Rugby Club, Altrincham Kersal and Cheshire, winning the County Championship Shield at Twickenham.
Term of office start date: 12th April 2012
Tarun was appointed as the first NLE in the North West and since 2005 has led on many significant School to School support commissions with considerable success. Prior to becoming a Headteacher, Tarun worked in a brand new school in Warrington. As Deputy Headteacher, he helped to shape the school from inception to ‘Outstanding’.
Whilst working as Headteacher at Ashton on Mersey School, Tarun supported the development of the National College and spent some time in New Zealand researching leadership and training. He has also worked as an advisor to the DfE, notably being a member of the Steer Committee, developing the Behaviour and Attendance Strategy. He presented to the Prime Minister on the same.
As an NLE Tarun has had a significant influence on a number of (secondary and primary) schools always working towards securing better outcomes for all children. He was a key driver in the early Beacon School movement that led to Ashton on Mersey School forming a hard federation with Broadoak School. Tarun led Parrs Wood High School in Manchester out of ‘Special Measures’ and has since carried out further commissions to either support or to sponsor schools. Soon after he formed The Dean Trust (MAT) following a request from the DfE.
As CEO of The Dean Trust, Tarun leads several teams of people within the Trust from the Executive Team to teams of specialist professionals, with the sole aim of transforming the lives of all children both within our Trust schools as well as externally in schools that are being supported through commissions.
Tarun has developed a wide network of connections from the world of business and education to help to support his own organisation, but as importantly many other schools and academies. As Chairman of the FA and Premier League Facilities panel, Tarun helps to distribute £30m each year to schools and clubs across the country and has developed a key insight into the workings across several different local authorities. Tarun also supports the work of the Manchester United Foundation as one of its Trustees, an organisation dedicated to community provision in sport, education and employability.
Tarun is dedicated to improving educational outcomes in some of the most deprived and under-performing areas of the country. As a member of the Knowsley Place Board and more recently, working with the Knowsley Education Commission, Tarun is key in helping to drive forward the regeneration of Knowsley and providing all children in the area the opportunity to access high standards of education and raising attainment for all.
Term of office start date: 12th April 2012
John leads a dedicated team of 145 members of staff, who deliver football coaching, educational programmes and personal development, providing young people with opportunities to change their lives for the better.
Over the last 11 years, John has led the growth of Manchester United Foundation into one of the largest sports education charities in the UK and a leading organisation for youth impact across the North West. Each season the Foundation directly engages upwards of 16,000 young people across the boroughs of Greater Manchester.
John is also recognised for public speaking having conducted countless leadership workshops with
Manchester United icons Sir Bobby Charlton and Bryan Robson. John also undertakes speaking engagements with top business executives around the globe, demonstrating how to adapt and deploy the secrets of Manchester United’s success to competitive business environments.
Prior to leading the Foundation, John oversaw the operations of Bobby Charlton Soccer Schools and previously held the position of head coach for Manchester United’s international Soccer Schools.
Passionate about education and the development of children and young people, John, a trained teacher, with a Masters in Educational Management, uses his position to leverage collaborative working amongst multi agencies to ensure that the young people of Greater Manchester receive opportunities which they usually wouldn’t receive.
Term of office start date: 17th July 2016
Jonathan is Managing Director of TheGallery.com, a group of technology and media businesses in Manchester. Publishing and music, digital development, recruitment and business growth feature amongst their various services. Prior to this, Jonathan was Managing Director of UKFast for eight years, focusing in his later tenure on the company’s largest clients, including government departments and fast growth eCommerce websites. Responsible for day-to-day running, he focused on clients and team, and was heavily involved in education, training, recruitment and corporate relations.
While at UKFast, Jonathan transformed the standard expected of training and education in the private sector. He supported the development of an award winning and industry-leading apprenticeship and education programme. As a Trustee, he is proud to be supporting the project team building a digitally focused free school.
Jonathan believes that in order to improve digital skills in the UK there needs to be significant investment in the talent of the future and with this in mind he promotes world class training and education in businesses and champions the links between education and industry.
Term of office start date: 18th December 2017
Anna is an experienced and passionate leader with proven business development skills who enjoys inspiring and motivating teams. Anna is known for building trusted and effective relationships with team members, clients and suppliers. Anna is founder of Bexley Beaumont Limited, an innovative boutique law firm established in 2020. Anna was previously CEO of one of the UK’s fastest growing challenger law firms with offices in London and Manchester.
Anna was honoured to win Corporate Leader of the Year at The English Women’s Awards (North) in 2018 and is an alumni of Insider’s 42 under 42 (North West).
Anna has also worked as a corporate lawyer, advising on both M&A and private equity transactions. In addition to gaining extensive in-house experience at £1.2 billion turnover Enterprise plc (now Amey), where she advised on the groups acquisitions and disposals for a number of years.
Anna believes in providing brilliant client service, acting as a trusted advisor, she is passionate about innovation and creating a giving and philanthropic culture.
Anna acts a non-executive director for a number of organisations and provides support on corporate governance, risk, integration, change management, service innovation and strategic and business growth support.
Anna is married to Richard and has two young children, outside of work Anna enjoys spending time with her family and friends, long walks in the countryside and watching her daughters compete at equestrian events.
Anna is honoured and thrilled to be a Trustee at the Dean Trust.
Term of office start date: 16th July 2018
Sharon has had a varied career in the IT industry with over thirty years experience working with clients in Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals, Health & Life Sciences and during the last eight years, the Public Sector. She spent 4 years overseas in Switzerland in a global Senior Executive role, leading the team delivering tech services across 63 countries for a Health and Life Sciences client.
Prior to leading IBM’s UK Public Sector business, Sharon was the VP Executive for the DVLA delivering operational IT Services and Business Application Services in support of the digital transformation of her UK Government client.
Sharon is passionate about the development of future tech skills to support the UK and firmly believes in establishing a closer relationship between industry and education. Having joined IBM fresh from completing her A levels, she’s also a great believer in apprenticeships as a proven way to create the next generation of talent and leaders.
Outside of her professional career, Sharon is a keen volunteer for the Alzheimers society and a member of its Side by Side programme. She is delighted to be a Trustee. Sharon is married with two children.
Tarun Kapur – Chief Executive Officer
Tarun was appointed as the first NLE in the North West and since 2005 has led on many significant school to school support commissions with considerable success. Prior to becoming a head teacher Tarun worked in a brand new school in Warrington moving to deputy head as he helped to shape the school from inception to ‘outstanding’.
Whilst working as Headteacher at Ashton on Mersey School, Tarun supported the development of the National College and spent some time in New Zealand researching leadership and training. He has also worked as an advisor to the DfE, notably being a member of the Steer Committee, developing the behaviour and attendance strategy. He presented to the Prime Minister on the same.
As an NLE Tarun has had a significant influence on a number of (secondary and primary) schools always securing better outcomes for children. He was a key driver in the early Beacon School movement that led to Ashton on Mersey forming a hard federation with Broadoak School. Tarun led Parrs Wood High School in Manchester out of Special Measures and has since carried out further commissions to either support or to sponsor schools. Soon after he formed The Dean Trust (MAT) following a request from the DfE.
Tarun continues to lead several teams of people within The Dean Trust, to help support underperforming schools to improve educational outcomes and behaviour as well as developing their own leaders to be successful in transforming the lives of their pupils.
Tarun has developed a wide network of connections from the world of business and education to help to support his own organisation, but as importantly many other schools and academies. As Chairman of the Football Foundation Facilities panel Tarun helps to distribute £55m each year to schools and clubs across the country and has developed a key insight into the workings across local authorities. He is also a Director of the Manchester United Foundation and a Non-Executive Director for The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Barry Bridden – Academies Director
Barry acts as a key ‘change agent’ within The Dean Trust and is at his best when schools require a major shift in culture and ethos. He has considerable experience of ‘fresh start’ schools in both the mainstream and special sector, leading schools of varying types.
Currently he is the Academies Director for The Dean Trust and also the Executive Headteacher at Dean Trust Rose Bridge where he has been leading a transformation to improve standards across the school.
Barry has experience of supporting many schools. He worked at both Parrs Wood High School and Buglawton Hall School helping them out of Special Measures. He is an integral part of The Dean Trust’s Executive Team, leading on all matters SEND related and specialising in character building and behaviour. His experience in supporting schools in difficulty has also extended across the North West to Sheffield, Warrington, Cumbria and Knowsley, enabling them to improve their schools and then provide sustainability. His understanding of local context allows him to exploit this to the benefit of the school community that he is leading or supporting.
Nick David – Chief Finance Officer
Nick trained as an accountant with a large Manchester firm in the mid 1980’s before moving on to a position as Financial Controller of a private sector group of companies. He moved to the public sector in 1993 to become Financial Manager at Ashton on Mersey School at a time when the school had become grant maintained. Nick’s strengths in finance and business were able to complement and support the leadership team of which he was a member.
He now has 25 years of experience in education and has progressed through the role of School Business Manager of the West Trafford Learning Partnership, a federation of 2 secondary schools, to his current role as Chief Finance Officer of the multi academy Dean Trust, a £40 million income organisation comprising both education and Teaching School business activities.
Nick’s role within the senior leadership of the organisation provides a vital link between school improvement and the efficient resourcing thereof. He has a very strong understanding of education finance. His previous business and commercial experience has assisted the Trust through its development as a multi academy sponsor, the establishment of its Teaching School trading arm and the creation of central support service functions including systems and policies required to meet the significant and rapidly changing financial regulation and audit that is placed upon academies.
Andy Shakos – Operations Director
Andy Shakos joined the Dean Trust as Operations Director in April 2017 and is currently Executive Headteacher at Ashton on Mersey School after spending the last seven years as Headteacher of Parrs Wood High School. Parrs Wood is Manchester’s largest, most culturally and socio-economically diverse secondary school.
He successfully led the school to record breaking whilst establishing the Sixth Form as an excellent A-level provider within the city. Andy has a comprehensive understanding of the local and national educational landscape. He has earned his reputation as a highly regarded inspirational school leader over many years of service to the children and their families in Manchester.
Andy sits on Manchester’s Strategic Education Board alongside Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council and the Director of Education and Skills Amanda Corcoran to enhance educational experience, progression pathways and career opportunities for young people in Manchester.
As an experienced and outstanding teacher of mathematics, he understands what constitutes high quality teaching and learning. His ability to both mentor and coach colleagues has created a legacy of outstanding teachers and leaders within the profession. Andy also understands the significance of, and is highly skilled in, building effective teams to develop strong, aspirational, resilient and inspirational learning communities.
As a father of two daughters, Andy’s core belief is that “if it’s not good enough for our own children then it’s not good enough for anyone else’s”
Claire Henson – Group HR Manager
Claire joined The Dean Trust in September 2018. She has over 20 years HR experience, mainly within the private sector, working as HR Manager at Liverpool John Lennon Airport for 15 years prior to joining The Dean Trust.
Claire has experience in the full breadth of HR Management. Key areas of her experience range from employee relations, employee reward, performance management, change management and employee engagement.
Since Claire joined The Dean Trust she has been developing HR to improve the quality and professionalism of service across the Trust.
Claire has built strong working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders. This includes the Trade Unions, with whom she liaises on a variety of employee matters, as well as through the Joint Consultative Committee to discuss improvements and develop policies and procedures across the Trust
Philippa Williamson – Finance Director
Philippa joined the Dean Trust in 2016 and is currently working in the Trust’s growing West Hub, based in Lord Derby Academy and with responsibility for Dean Trust Wigan, Dean Trust Rose Bridge, Park View Academy and Blacklow Brow School. She is also an Associate member of the Executive Team.
Philippa began her career as a Trainee Accountant with the NHS before moving into the Voluntary Sector after qualifying. She describes herself as a professionally qualified “hands on” Senior Manager, with extensive experience of financial, operational and people management, strategic planning and business development, across a broad range of business areas within the Charity, Housing and Not for Profit sector.
After leaving the NHS, Philippa worked for a number of years as Director of Finance at the Manchester based charity Henshaws Society For Blind People, before moving into the role of Director of Business Support at Trafford Community Leisure Trust, where she had overall responsibility for all Corporate Support functions, including Finance, Management Information, HR and Payroll, Learning and Development and I.T Support, as well as being the Trust’s Company Secretary. In all of her roles she has worked closely with Trustee Boards of Management, Audit and Investment Committees and with senior executive and non-executive Directors from a wide range of statutory, voluntary and government bodies. She has also had responsibility for Corporate Governance, setting and ensuring compliance with approved policies, and reviewing and updating them on an annual basis for Board approval, and believes that transparency and accountability must be fundamental principals in the not for profit sector.
Philippa likes to think of herself as a “people person, loving nothing more than spending time with family and friends and she is also a Foundation Governor at her local church primary school where she chairs the Finance Committee. She is a member of a local community choir and enjoys walking, cycling, pilates and holidays in Corfu.