Together we Exceed


Trevor Evans (Chair)

Trevor is a senior consultant with Carnegie Leaders at Leeds Metropolitan University; his major focus is on national leadership programs including NPQH, NPQML and NPQSL. He is very much involved in the field of business enterprise promoting this national suite of qualifications within a highly competitive market.

Previously Trevor was a primary school Headteacher for eighteen of his thirty years working in this sector. As Headteacher Trevor lead the school through three successful Ofsted inspections and was invited by Ofsted to become a team inspector. He brings to the board therefore deep experience in the fields of leadership and primary education. Trevor has been an active member of the Governing Body at Horton Grange Primary School over the last three years but will move to Trustee level based on his experience.

Duncan Jacques

Duncan has 28 years’ experience in Primary Education, with 15 years of being a Headteacher and 5 years as Executive Headteacher. A National Leader in Education and head of 2 teaching Schools, a System Leader and former Chair of Bradford Primary Improvement Partnership (BPIP).  Duncan has ensured that four of the five schools he has been responsible for have achieved Ofsted rating of Outstanding, with the fifth yet to be inspected.

Saima Mahmood

Saima is an experienced governor, holding the Chair of Governor role at Horton Grange Primary School for six years. Saima has taken a significant role in developing the GB to become an effective team who are now able to confidently hold senior leaders to account through pertinent questions. By setting an example she has not only focused the GB to use effective questioning techniques in order to understand the information provided by senior leaders but also established a practice where we are no longer over reliant on this information. Under Saima’s leadership Governors are more actively involved in setting the strategic direction of the school in partnership with senior leaders.

As an NLG, Saima is involved with supporting a local school governing body in becoming a more focused group and developing a more strategic role within school. She works closely with Exceed Teaching School to develop governor training and resources.

Professionally, Saima work as VAT Specialist in Large Business within HMRC and is currently working towards a Tax Professional Qualification. Her role involves conducting business risk reviews for some of the largest business across the country, working closely with Policy on VAT liability decisions and carrying out investigations into compliance activities. Previously worked in Personal Tax and have experience of PAYE, Self-Assessment and Employer Compliance. Saima has experience of project management and has held Project Manager roles working on a cross Civil Service research project on Talent and Development.

Nadia Hussain

Nadia has been a Governor at Copthorne for 8 years, holding the position of chair for 3 years. Attending Copthorne as a child, she became a Governor so that she could get an insight into how schools are run, and to see how Parents and members of the community can have an active role in improving educational attainment and achievement.  As Chair of Governors, Nadia believes that she has a key role in ensuring the governing body effectively supports senior leadership and staff within the school to ensure Copthorne continues to provide outstanding education to our children. Nadia is passionate about her role as a governor and is also an NLG ( National Leader in Governance)

Professionally, Nadia has experience of managing finance through her role as a project manager, as well as through various voluntary projects she has managed and supported. As a governor, she has been responsible for managing the school budget, and ensuring resources are spent adequately. Nadia has attended safeguarding and recruitment training and has been involved in recruiting a number of staff in schools and through paid employment.

Sandra Whitson MA MSc PhD

Sandra brings a wealth of educational experience to the Trust and represents the Secondary sector on the Trust Board. Sandra is currently a National Leader in Governance (NLG) and previously has been a Headteacher of 2 Secondary Schools, an Assessor for Investors in People (IIP), a Lead Assessor on the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) alongside various Governor positions.

Children playing at one of our Exceed schools

“We believe that successful schools develop their own identity and individuality and are best placed to meet their own community’s needs.”