Leeds West Academy




Andrew Whitaker
Chief Executive Officer - The White Rose Academies Trust

Andrew joined the White Rose Academies Trust in September 2016 as Executive Principal, securing the role of Chief Executive Officer in December 2019. From the outset, his ambitions have been made clear to his staff: ensure that our academies provide high quality education throughout the incredible communities they serve. Andrew is also a member of the Executive Leadership Team for Luminate Education Group, a Fellow of the Institute of School Business Leadership, and acts as a Trustee for the community charity Hamara. In 2018, he was awarded with a Churchill Fellowship which he will use to fund a fact-finding mission and research Charter Schools in America.


Senior Leadership Group

Dan Whieldon - Principal
Dan Whieldon began teaching at West Leeds High School in 2002 after a number of years working in television production at ITV in Manchester following his graduation from Staffordshire University in English, Media and Cultural Studies. After working as intervention lead and Head of Media Studies at West Leeds he left to start work as an...

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Sam Pocock - Senior Vice Principal - Standards

Sam Pocock graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA (Hons) Secondary Physical Education, leading to QTS with placements at Roundhay, Royds, Carr Manor and Ermysted's Grammar School...

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Beth Sanderson - Vice Principal - Inclusion

Beth Sanderson is originally from the USA, and graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in English Teaching and graduated summa cum laude. Shortly after, she earned her Master of Arts in Teaching: Secondary Education.


Aimee Hanson - Vice Principal - Quality of Education

Aimee Hanson joined Leeds West Academy in June 2017 as Director of English within the Senior Leadership Team after a 17-year career at Colne Valley High School, where she was a highly successful Curriculum Leader for English.


Ben Lyons - Vice Principal - Positive Behaviour and Attendance

Ben Lyons graduated in 2013 with a BA Joint Honours Degree in Economics and French from the University of Leeds. Fresh out of University, Ben applied to be part of the TeachFirst Maths cohort for the Yorkshire and Humber region 2013...


Bethany Hall - Assistant Principal - Positive Behaviour and Safety

Bethany Hall began working with young people in 2008, supporting a number of children across the city of Leeds. Bethany has experience in neighbouring schools, she started working in Early Years specialising in Child Protection and students with Special Educational Needs (SEN)...


Rachel Kilburn - Associate Assistant Principal - Curriculum Implementation

Rachel Kilburn graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2012 with a BA (Hons) in English language and literature. The following year, she completed her PGCE in Secondary English at Leeds Trinity University.


Laura Singleton - Associate Assistant Principal - Personal Development

Laura Singleton graduated from Leeds Beckett University in 2010 with a BA Hons in Physical Education. Following this, she went on to study a master’s in Education.  


Josh Gray - Acting Associate Assistant Principal - Curriculum Design & Systems

Josh Gray joined Leeds West Academy in 2018 as a Director of Achievement after starting his career as a Teacher of Mathematics in 2014, working in the surrounding area of Kirklees. 


Rob Cross - Associate Assistant Principal - Achievement

Robert Cross graduated in 2007 with a BA Joint Honours Degree in Economics from the University of Leeds. He decided to take a gap year following University and followed his passion for skiing to Canada. 


Lucy Paddy - Business Manager

Lucy Paddy has extensive leadership and management experience in both educational and commercial settings. Lucy has worked for one of the largest construction companies in Europe working on major projects throughout Yorkshire & Humber as a Project Lead.  

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For White Rose Academies Trust Leadership and Deployments please click here.