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“Working and learning together to improve children’s lives”



Member Profiles



Peter Laurence

I am the Development Director of The Brigshaw Co-operative Trust in Leeds, and currently co-ordinating the conversion of six of our schools to multi-academy trust status. I combine this role with supporting groups of schools develop stronger collaborative working, and consultancy work with local authorities. I had two regional roles in Yorkshire and The Humber - as a National College Regional Associate from 2010 to 2013, focusing on succession planning and leadership development, and as TDA Regional Adviser between 2004 and 2006, implementing the workforce reforms and ECM extended services agenda.

I was headteacher of Brigshaw High School from 1997 to 2010, the last two years as a seconded Consultant Headteacher with the local authority. I began my career teaching English as a foreign language in Finland before teaching history at a school in Lincoln and then moving on to subject and pastoral leader roles in Leeds and then deputy headship in Calderdale.  

I’ve been very lucky to have had so many varied and fulfilling roles in our schools and education system, and to have worked with, and learned from, so many great teachers and school leaders.  I look forward to supporting the work of the schools in the Yorkshire Collaborative Academy Trust, and the children and communities they serve.

Liz Pugh

Liz Pugh is a HR professional working within the NHS, she has formerly worked in HR within manufacturing and previously spent many years in headhunting and top level executive recruitment. She has a degree in Theology and Religious studies from Leeds University and a post graduate qualification in HR. Liz is a Chartered Member of the CIPD, a qualified mediator and IIP assessor.  Liz is married with one daughter and lives in Harrogate.  


Stephen Root

Stephen is a solicitor and has practised in Harrogate since 1986 dealing mainly with family work. He particularly promotes collaborative law a non-confrontational approach to dealing with issues that arise on divorce and separation. He is also a member of the management committee of the Harrogate Chamber of Trade. All of his three children have attended local state schools and he lives in Harrogate. 


Nigel Simpson

Nigel lives in Harrogate with his wife, who is a teacher, and two young daughters.

He currently works for a global software company, TeleWare, as the Sales Manager. He is a highly experienced manager with a career spanning over 20 years in the Information Technology and Financial Service Sectors. He has worked for a number of leading international Companies including: WorldPay, BT Global Services and Cisco. Prior to joining TeleWare, Nigel was the Vice President of Corporate New Business Sales at Barclays, within Barclaycard Global Payment Acceptance.

In his spare time, Nigel enjoys exploring the Yorkshire countryside with his family, photography and skiing.
Nigel is to fully committed to supporting YCAT. 


Aiden West

Aiden West has been a Governor at Lothersdale School for over 7 years. Working in the Subsea industry for the last 32 years, as a Diver and Company Owner and latterly Director of Diving at James Fisher Subsea. “With a high degree of business, health, safety and risk experience – I will look to support YCAT in any way I can” 


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