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Pontefract Academies Trust

Our School Governors

Tim Craven (Chair)

I have lived in Pontefract all my life, and I am married with two adult sons. I have worked for Wakefield District Housing for over 30 years in a variety of roles, currently working with children and young people, helping them to maximise their potential and I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.  I was previously a governor at a school in Airedale, however I moved to Halfpenny Lane in order to work with the community I know best.  I play football every week, enjoy running, having completed the London Marathon and the Great North Run seven times, and I am a keen supporter of Featherstone Rovers.

Linsey Hodgett (Vice chair)

I moved to Yorkshire from Scotland 14 years ago and have lived in Pontefract for almost 6 years. I am a qualified Nursery Nurse but have been a full time parent in recent years to my three children, who have been enrolled at Halfpenny Lane but two have now moved on to the Kings school. 

I have been a parent governor here for two years and I am responsible for overseeing attendance and early years. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and going to the cinema. 

Jeff Allinson 

I was born and educated in Castleford.  After working as a foreign languages teacher across the Midlands, I  completed 15 years as a secondary headteacher in Cheshire and Wakefield then worked until retirement as a part-time tutor for both Wakefield Adult and Community Education Service and for Leeds University Dept of Education.

Following semi-retirement in 1992, I started as a  volunteer in my local Pontefract community, serving as  a  governor for 23 years at Larks Hill J& I School – 19 of them as Chair.  I was a founder member of the Pontefract Education Trust and the Pontefract Academies Trust.

I've been a governor at De Lacy Primary since 2013 and at Halfpenny Lane J&I since May 2017.  I've served as an elected member of the Wakefield Schools Forum since 2006.

Dave Harrison 

Ian Brown

Though I was born in York, I went to school at Normanton Grammar School and have spent nearly the last 50 years living in Pontefract. I have two children, who have now grown up, and successfully came through the schools that are now part of Pontefract Academy Trust.

My professional career has been mainly based around finance as I was a qualified accountant. I worked for Yorkshire Water Services in many different accounting roles however they developed into other aspects of management within the company.

Since my retirement, I became local magistrate and was a governor for other schools within the Yorkshire region. I enjoy gardening, going on holiday and spending time with my grandchildren.

Christina Twist

I went to Larks Hill Primary School, and The King’s High School, and have lived in Pontefract all my life. I am married, and have two daughters, who both attend Halfpenny Lane.

I am an Early Years teacher and have been for 16 years. I have always worked in the same school (Snaith Primary School), and have taught in both the reception and Nursery classes.

I really enjoy music and singing, and playing the piano. I also like to go on bike rides with my family.

Amanda Small

I have lived in Pontefract for the last 10 years. I have two young children at Halfpenny Lane School and now that my youngest is at nursery I have more time to allow me to get involved with the school.

I am a qualified Accountant and have worked for the NHS for 17 years in various roles. I currently work at NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group as Senior Finance Manager supporting their NHS Contracts.

In my spare time I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy swimming, music and theatre.