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Brigantia Learning Trust

Trustees and Directors

David Drayson - Trustee (Chair)

David Drayson has been on the Board for seven years and is our current Chair. Inspired by the support of his own teachers with their encouragement and belief in him, David pursued a career in Pharmacy. He became a Trustee in order to give back to the children of Sheffield, just as his teachers did, after a 40-year career as a registered pharmacist.

For David, the aspect of his role that he enjoys most as Chair is the impact he and his fellow Trustees have, whether directly or indirectly, on delivering life-changing chances and aspirations of the young people in their care. Throughout his time on the Board, Trustees have never compromised their fundamental mission, vision or values in the pursuit of excellence, and have always adhered to the values with integrity and honesty, even when under pressure. A highlight for David over the years is his pride in the Trust for supporting Yewlands’ students and staff following the dissolution of the WCAT Trust, and the rapid growth and recovery it has seen since joining Brigantia.

One of the Trust’s key values is Ambition and David sees this as having an uncompromising focus on achieving sustained success. He anticipates this to be achieved through a clear intent to improve life chances and aspirations of the Trust community, becoming a civic structure working alongside organisations to advance education as a public benefit in the local community, and a demand that all of the academies are consistently graded Good or Outstanding by Ofsted. For David, the Trust and its academies must strive to be the centre of choice and excellence by all – parents, families, pupils, students, communities and organisations alike.

“I wanted to be a Trustee to give back to my community, and to continue on my personal life-long journey of learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. Now as Chair, I see it as my responsibility to continue leading the Trust through a period of innovation. With the support, honesty, experiences, knowledge and collaboration of my fellow Trustees, I look forward to continuing our relentless focus on the quality of teaching and learning, that in turn will result in positive outcomes for those in our care. We want to continue our upward trajectory of success by delivering upon our mission, vision and values with a focus on internal growth, be seen as the local academies of choice and to witness pupils and students across North-East Sheffield experience a seamless 2-19 journey of the highest quality.”


Dr Julie Edwards - Trustee


Dr Julie Edwards brings with her a wealth of experience and achievements including professionally, earning a doctorate in Medical Ultrasound, undertaking a National Study on Medical Ultrasound whilst in her role as a Consultant for Public Health England, and in her personal life, raising £100k for local charities during her year as Mistress Cutler.  She has also worked within many young people’s organisations, including, assisting in the delivery of the “Expedition” section of the Duke of Edinburgh Award within a local Secondary school setting. Julie enjoys sharing in the students’ joy of success and achievement as it reminds her still, of her own joy and self confidence that she felt when she was awarded her Gold award

As a member of the Hinde House alumni and with fond memories of her time at the academy, Julie was keen to give back to her community after she retired from 40 years of service, working for the NHS. Her ambition for the future of the academies is that they each grow in strength and are valued by the communities they serve, particularly Longley Park as she hopes the student intake will widen geographically, as the academy promotes the vast enriching opportunities that it has to offer.

“Our value of Confidence has two strands – gaining the community’s confidence in the Trust’s ability to deliver for pupils/students and growing every young person’s self-confidence. As the community gains confidence in our ability to deliver strong curriculum teaching and life skills to our young people, this will have a domino effect: promoting our good reputation and subsequent level of success. Developing the students self-confidence is also important to our young people’s health and wellbeing as it enables them to be successful in both their personal and professional life.”

Rizwana Parveen - Trustee


Rizwana Parveen joined the Brigantia Learning Trust in 2021, with a determination to give back to her community and a passion for working with an organisation that served its community with a vision which aligned with her own personal ethos. A great believer of life-long learner, Rizwana is in the midst of completing a Major Project Leadership Academy Course through Oxford University and is passionate about ensuring an inclusive and empowering approach to leadership within her role as Deputy Director in Post 16 Skills and Strategy within the Senior Civil Service, to enable people to achieve high quality outcomes for the diverse communities they serve.  


For Rizwana, one of her greatest achievements was completing further and higher education, whilst being from a community that was once categorised as disadvantaged. As a result, she takes great pride in representing BAME Civil Servants, having created a BAME Network in Sheffield to inspire and increase aspirations in the region talent pipeline, and within her role as a Princes Trust Mentor. Following University, Rizwana progressed quickly through the civil service. Rizwana sees her position on the Brigantia board of Trustees as a privilege and a responsibility and looks forward to supporting and challenging the Trust to achieve its shared vision, to creating a culture that enables it to grow from strength to strength and embed the outstanding learning and pastoral care that was implemented during the pandemic. 

Mary Pepper - Trustee


Mary Pepper has over 40 years’ experience working in the education sector; in teaching, subject leader and consultancy roles. Following a successful career as a teacher, Mary joined Hull City Council as a consultant, before progressing and working as part of a national team of experts as part of the National Strategies programme; a change management programme in education.  Mary was influential in creating and developing the National Challenge Programme; offering practical advice and strategies for schools in challenging circumstances.

Mary joined the Brigantia Board of Trustees in December 2019 following her support for Yewlands Academy whilst in her role as a private education consultant, specialising in Leadership and Maths.  Since then, she has come to appreciate the Trust values in her role, especially Creativity, which she cites as the source of finding innovative solutions and offering the courage to move forward with hope and confidence for the future.

For Mary the future of the Trust lies on capitalising on strong parental relationships and support, to break down any barriers, and for the academies to become a trusted authority. She also hopes for the academies within the Trust to be first choice among young student teachers to start and develop their career, due to the excellent CPD and emphasis on wellbeing across all the academies within the Trust.

“I accepted the invite to join the Board of Trustees because I believe in what the Trust sees as its core purpose – enabling pupils and students to access the highest quality education and experiences and supporting communities in areas of high deprivation.”

Jane Robinson - Trustee

Jane works as a freelance interim manager supporting businesses and solving their problems. After over 20 years in engineering and manufacturing, in 2018 Jane successfully exited the laser cutting and engraving business she co-founded in 2003, during which time she also served as a Regional Advisory Board Member of the EEF (now Make UK). Jane is also a Member of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. In her role of Trustee with Brigantia Learning Trust, she continues her work to promote STEM subjects and encourage young people to think outside the box in their career choices.

Mark Sherburn – Trustee


Mark Sherburn is a highly experienced HR professional, who has held senior roles in a number of well-known organisations, including Canon, DFS and SCS. Currently, alongside his role on the Brigantia Board of Trustees, he is leading the Culture and People Development Function at BW Integrated Systems, a global provider of packaging solutions.

Joining the Board in August 2020, Mark is looking forward to contributing to the governance of the Trust, providing challenge and insight to the Executive Leadership Team, to enable the educational experience to be of the highest standard and quality for all those accessing it.

Mark joined the Trust during the Covid global crisis and is proud that throughout periods of closure and challenging situations, the Trust academies and staff continued to deliver the highest levels of education.

During his time on the Board, Mark has relished the opportunity to contribute across a variety of issues and forums and has enjoyed working together with other Board members to bring added value to and make a difference to the education and life opportunities for all pupils, students and staff. In the future, Mark will continue to embrace ideas and initiatives that support the Trust’s vision and would welcome new academies to the Brigantia family when there is the opportunity to do so.

“Our value of Integrity is fundamental to the Trust and how we operate, forming part of the guiding principles for the Trustees, the Leaders and all members of our team across all academies. By leading and working in this way, our young people have role models they can learn from. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to be a part of a forward-thinking and positive group of Trustees, who have a relentless focus on continuous improvement.”

Nicola Shipman - Trustee


Nicola Shipman is one of Brigantia Learning Trust’s longest serving members. With a career experience spanning Headship, Executive Headship, NLE as well as leading inspections in the region, Nicola has a wealth of knowledge within the education sector. Her greatest achievement to date is her role as CEO of Steel City Schools Partnership, the largest primary MAT in Sheffield, providing education to over 3,000 pupils and employment to over 500 staff in the area.

Within her role as Trustee, Nicola enjoys supporting collaboration across the academies and the development of the Trust to include new schools, as well as working alongside other local Trusts for the greater benefit of more children and their families.

For Nicola, the position she holds as Trustee means she must always consider the actions taken and how decisions may impact on others, with due regard for all members of the Brigantia community. She embodies the Trust value of Respect in her everyday practices as Trustee.

“I am incredibly proud of the amazing work our leaders and staff have undertaken in designing, planning and managing an education strategy which forms part of each academy’s offer to children and young people. I enjoy working alongside like-minded volunteers who want to make a difference to the people we serve, and I believe this, alongside the challenge we provide to executive leaders is strong and making a difference.”

Alison Warner - Trustee


Alison Warner has 30 years’ experience in the education sector, including governance, teaching and consultancy roles. The first phase of her career saw Alison working as a secondary teacher of Science, where she was soon promoted to Pastoral Head and Head of Sixth Form. Following this, Alison was involved in the establishment of a tertiary college and subsequently became Director of Organisational Development in a FE college. Over the years, Alison completed consultancy work for examination boards, for QCA, for a London borough on establishing a sixth form college and took an interim role in a large FE college.

Throughout the years, Alison has supported students in their development, involving academic, personal support and strategies to enable them to achieve their goals and worked in governance roles across a breadth of educational institutions. However, it was the Brigantia offer of enabling the progression of all pupils and students, regardless of their starting points that appealed to Alison. Her ambitions for the Trust are to fully exploit the 2-19 age range by developing the curriculum, with pathways for all pupils and students to enhance the offer and develop confidence. For Alison, Confidence is a key Trust value, enabling all members of the community to have high aspirations, be independent, have the ability to establish new friendships/partnerships, relate to people and develop empathy as well as judgement, and take on new challenges throughout life.

“I have worked for the Brigantia Learning Trust as Trustee for six years and in that time, I have relished the opportunity to discuss, reflect and explore the best we can offer our young people, and through meetings with the executive teams and young people across our academies, evaluated the impact of the decisions we have made. For me, this has been the highlight of my role.”