Hugh Hegarty : Chief Executive Officer

Hugh Hegarty

Chief Executive Officer

Hugh brings extensive experience in strategic leadership and financial planning and delivery to his role.

He has led a range of educational reform programmes in his previous position as director of academic programming and school operations, as well as developing and opening schools across the world.

He also has a comprehensive understanding of school governance, having been both a school governor and teacher governor for many years.

Hugh was pivotal in developing one of the leading school improvement agencies in the Middle East and his school improvement teams worked in nursery, primary, secondary and all-through schools.

His passion for quality schooling is inspired by a commitment to Catholic education and every child and staff member throughout NPCAT’s 27 schools and our sixth form provision.

He firmly believes in the power of collaboration, combined with strong direction, to help achieve the highest aspirations for young people.

Jim Farquhar : Chief Operating Officer

Jim Farquhar

Chief Operating Officer

A qualified accountant, Jim previously held senior management positions in both the academy sector and within local government.

As a former chief internal auditor to both Gateshead Council and Northumbria Police, Jim brings to the trust an analytical and challenging mindset, coupled with an understanding of the benefits of strong governance and effective risk management as a foundation for achieving strategic goals.

As COO, Jim is the trust’s chief financial officer and leads the finance, HR, governance, estates and information and communications technology functions, ensuring our schools access exceptional business support services that also represent value for money.

Rebecca Chambers : Executive Assistant

Rebecca Chambers

Executive Assistant

Rebecca spent more than 20 years within the hospitality industry before moving into education with NPCAT.

Duties in her previous roles included sales, administration support, revenue reporting, research analysis and maximising revenue to its full potential.

Rebecca takes the lead in the design, management and co-ordination of administrative systems across the trust.

Karen Clarke : Head of HR

Karen Clarke

Head of HR

Karen is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has more than 20 years experience in areas including performance management and organisational change.

She worked initially for Cleveland County Council and later Middlesbrough Borough Council before moving into the private sector with Mouchel and then Kier.

Her work has mainly been within education, managing a complex HR professional service and delivering advice, policies and processes to ensure schools, academies and academy trusts are up to date with changes to legislation and safeguarding.

She has a key role in consulting and negotiating with trade unions and supporting headteachers, governors and the trust board.

Angela White : Senior Standards Officer

Angela White

Senior Standards Officer

Angela began her teaching career in Catholic education and has extensive senior-level experience in raising standards, enhancing teaching and learning and ensuring outstanding governance.

She also has experience of working with and supporting other schools, including those judged to be Outstanding and those in more challenging circumstances.

Angela is a practising Ofsted inspector for both primary and secondary phases and has substantial knowledge of all areas of school accountability, including leadership at all levels and governance.

As a governor herself, she understands the importance of this role when offering support and challenge.

Nicky Jamalizadeh : Senior Standards Officer

Nicky Jamalizadeh

Senior Standards Officer

Nicky brings wide experience of working collaboratively to improve standards of teaching and learning.

She has been a headteacher and senior leader for more than ten years and has a passion for Catholic education and the communities served by NPCAT.

She works in partnership with schools to improve outcomes, maximise opportunities and enable our pupils to be the best that they can be.

Lisa Marron : Head of Finance

Lisa Marron

Head of Finance

Lisa has been an ACMA qualified accountant for more than 20 years and also has a Diploma in Management Studies.

She has spent the majority of her career working in audit, accountancy, capital finance and debtors role in local government departments including housing, property, leisure, libraries, culture and corporate finance.

Her most senior local government role was as strategic accountant for the Regeneration Service.

Lisa has wide experience of large capital projects and housing market renewal schemes and in managing multi-funded projects and grant regimes including European funding. She has led accountancy teams and been a key member of leadership teams.

She entered the education sector in 2014, joining the original Nicholas Postgate Academy Trust as head of finance and corporate services, developing governance, procurement and HR skills.

Lisa, who holds a PGCE qualification in the lifelong learning sector and has taught accountancy at local colleges, is also a member of the North East Directors of Finance Forum.

Dan Jackson : Head of ICT

Dan Jackson

Head of ICT

Dan has more than 17 years' experience within education and information technology, where his roles have ranged from technical server systems and networking to strategic planning and management.

He has worked within a number of educational establishments in the North-East, including Middlesbrough College, Heaton Manor School in Newcastle, St Peter’s Catholic College and St Oswald’s Catholic Academy Trust.

Nick Doy : Head of Data Quality

Nick Doy

Head of Data Quality

Nick's role is to centralise data for the trust to facilitate strategic understanding and enable intelligence-led decision making.

He makes information accessible through graphic visualisation, as well as ensuring it is interactive and easy to manipulate.

In his previous role with the British Army, Nick conducted intelligence analysis at levels from ground patrols in Afghanistan through to international strategic planning at the UK’s NATO headquarters in Gloucester.

After leaving the military, Nick worked with Thames Valley police to trial advanced analytical techniques within the field of child exploitation and safeguarding.



Jill Benson : Head of Attendance, Safeguarding & Welfare

Jill Benson

Head of Attendance, Safeguarding & Welfare

Jill has wide experience of working with children and their families and an appreciation of cross-service collaboration to support and safeguard children.

She spent 11 years as a Cleveland Police officer, where her roles included sexual offences liaison officer, before working in law and then for two local authorities, supporting children in accessing education and attending school.

Her work has included the alternative education sector and engaging the most hard to reach pupils and their families.

More recently Jill developed and implemented the Troubled Families agenda and managing a developing stronger families team for North Yorkshire County Council.

As a school governor, Jill has undertaken responsibilities in pupil welfare, developing learning partnerships and building schools for the future.

Jill returned to Teesside with St Oswald's Catholic Academy Trust and now implements a strategy to enhance each NPCAT school community with a pastoral structure that meets the needs of every child.

Matthew Laverick : Head of Estates & Compliance

Matthew Laverick

Head of Estates & Compliance

Matthew began his career a commercial heating apprentice and spent 15 years with Kirklees Council, progressing to become a mobile gas and electrical engineer.

A period as engineering supervisor gave Matthew vital experience of managing a team of maintenance engineers and technicians before promotion to assistant mechanical engineering manager, with responsibility for the maintenance and planned project works to schools and public buildings.

Matthew's most recent role before joining NPCAT was regional contract manager NG Bailey Group, where he was responsible for staff employed on-site and contract compliance, including Health and Safety and statutory inspection.

He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team and leads the estate and compliance management strategy that will be consistently applied across the trust.

Jacqui Hutchinson : Director of Careers

Jacqui Hutchinson

Director of Careers

Jacqui has worked in schools since 2004 but before that gained extensive experience in the banking and financial advice industries.

This combination of skills is invaluable in helping her ensure pupils receive appropriate information, advice and guidance relating to future careers choices. 

Since joining NPCAT schools in 2011, Jacqui has undertaken roles including data and exams and careers advisor and lead, gaining invaluable knowledge of our students and the obstacles they face in achieving their career dreams. 

Within her first year, Jacqui reduced the number of NEETs (former students who are Not in Education, Employment or Training) from 11 per cent to zero, where it has remained for seven years.

She has worked with local authorities to deliver work experience programmes and helped the Institute of Civil Engineering offer career learning activities to primary schools.

Jacqui recently achieved a Level 6 Career Leadership and Management qualification and is closely working with Tees Valley Combined Authority as a career hub school careers’ lead.

Her vision is to embed a progressive and aspirational careers programme across our schools, enabling pupils to prepare for the world of work and achieve their full potential.

Angela O’Brien : Lead Lay Chaplin

Angela O’Brien

Lead Lay Chaplin

After graduating in Theology from Birmingham University, Angela taught RE in the Manchester area.

She became active in the Young Christian Workers and was regional president in the Diocese of Salford and acting national secretary before joining the movement as a development worker.

Her role involved helping young people across the country to make real changes in their own lives and those of their local communities by using the see, judge, act method to put faith into action.

Angela later worked as chaplain at St Dominic’s Sixth Form College in Harrow on the Hill, before joining NPCAT in 2019.

Lisa Gosnay : Head of Communications

Lisa Gosnay

Head of Communications

With a wealth of experience in both marketing, communications and education behind her, Lisa’s role involves supporting schools and the Central Team in developing high quality, consistent communications that reflect the trust’s mission, ethos and values.

After growing up in Catholic schools within the NPCAT family, Lisa gained a first class Honours degree in Marketing, specialising in communications and PR, and then spent two years as an account handler in a full-service marketing and design agency.

She moved into education 2005 and most recently spent more than a decade at Trinity Catholic College and Sixth Form, where her roles included pastoral support, ICT and Business teacher, attendance lead, head of department and a member of the senior leadership team.

Lisa is now responsible for building the profile and reputation of the trust and its schools both within and beyond the NPCAT family.

Stephen Monan : Director of Sport

Stephen Monan

Director of Sport

Stephen’s background in sport, education and the military makes him the ideal person to head up NPCAT Sport.

After cutting his teeth as an elite Royal Marine Commando leading teams within hostile environments both in the UK and abroad, he then gained extensive experience working in a school setting as a PE teacher and then director of PE.

He also competed in a range of sports including swimming, biathlons and triathlons at local, regional and national level. 

Stephen has an impressive track record in sport and has managed teams of competition managers and implemented a programme of quality inter-school competitions across the Tees Valley, as well as delivering CPD to help primary school teachers deliver high-quality PE lessons. 

His vision is to provide children with equal opportunities to gain the benefits school sports can offer, including improved physical and mental health and key life skills.