Governors

Our Governors support our continued development, and are passionate about helping us to achieve our vision of an outstanding education to young people. They provide a wealth of skills to help us develop and growth To read more about each of our Governors and their backgrounds, please see the information below.

John Hanson

Chair of Governors

I have first-hand experience of the difference positive and challenging learning opportunities can make to young people

Having worked as a teacher in a number of schools and as an Advisory Teacher for Wakefield authority, I have first-hand experience of the difference positive and challenging learning opportunities can make to young people. I retired from full-time teaching in 2004 and since that time I have worked in teacher training and have become a national leader in governance. I retired as a magistrate and family court judge in 2018 and since then I have expanded my work in school governance. I passionately believe that access to the right education sets a young person on the correct path for life. With experience of training teachers, I am particularly interested in how Cathedral Academy can attract the very best staff in order to ensure the best possible education for learners. I am the PCC secretary of a local Church, lay chair of the Wakefield Deanery and a member of the Diocesan Synod. As a committed Christian I also enjoy seeing how the values of the academy are supporting young people in developing the right outlook and attitude for life.

My interest and passion for education is reflected in my role as a national leader in governance and I am also Chair of Governors for three Church schools and two local authority schools in the Wakefield district.

Shabana Ali

I am passionate about learning and development and I have been involved as Mentor to trainee solicitors and students

I am a solicitor working for a law firm in South Yorkshire. I studied my law degree at the University of Leicester and then completed my legal practice course in Birmingham. I spent a few years gaining my experience in the legal field and then completed my two years training contract and qualified as a solicitor. I am currently studying for my Diploma in Leadership and Management.

I have spent a lot of years studying to obtain my qualifications and I have lived in the East and West Midlands however my heart was always in Wakefield and I returned here after my studies.

I became a school governor as in my view, an effective governing body is vital to a schools' success and I wanted to become a part of this and to contribute to the school and the community.

The knowledge that I have the opportunity to play a part in improving children’s education in Wakefield is a fulfilling feeling as I believe that giving children the best start in the education is one of the most important roles a person can play in a child's life. I am passionate about learning and development and I have been involved as Mentor to trainee solicitors and students. I have always been interested in helping people to develop and that is one of the reasons I became a school governor. I believe time and commitment should be invested in a child's education at an early stage and by contributing my knowledge and skills to the school I hope I can contribute to encouraging staff, mentoring and participating in school events.

Shelagh Wing

I thoroughly enjoy being a Governor at Cathedral Academy and being part of the schools exciting journey into the future.

My background is in Education, Art and Enterprise in particular, having taught Art and Design up to ‘A’ level in the South Yorkshire area for many years in some quite challenging schools. Currently I am a senior GCSE examiner for one of the examination boards, training teachers how to mark their students work, overseeing a team of moderators and visiting a number of schools in June where I moderate their GCSE Art and Design work, which all helps to keep me thoroughly up to date with changes in secondary education.

I am an active member of the congregation at Wakefield Cathedral, having worshipped there for 25 years, serving as a Church Warden for six years and currently a lay member of the Cathedral Chapter, a role I find especially rewarding as we plan Phase 3 of the Cathedral’s development.

Outside of work and other interests, I am a ‘paper sculptor’, creating figures from white cartridge paper in sizes ranging from 30cms up to life size, leading workshops in schools, W I’s, Flower Clubs and working on individual commissions.

I thoroughly enjoy being a Governor at Cathedral Academy and being part of the schools exciting journey into the future.

Lou O'Brien

I am determined to offer my experiences as a parent and from the education sector to ensure that Cathedral Academy can provide the very best experience for all students.

As parent and recently retired education professional, I bring the views of both parties to the group. I have been in teaching since 1979, and my roles have included senior leadership, headteacher, Local Authority mathematics consultant adviser and school improvement adviser.

Although all my professional experience has been in primary education, I have been a Governor at Cathedral Academy for the past 4 years and so know some of the challenges that secondary education faces for both staff and youngsters alike! I am determined to offer my experiences as a parent and from the education sector to ensure that Cathedral Academy can provide the very best experience for all students.

Richard Fox

I developed a passion for teaching and supporting troops ready for operations overseas

With a military background, I developed a passion for teaching and supporting troops ready for operations overseas. When my full time military career came to an end, I decided to look into working in the civilian education and training sector. Where I’ve had both delivery and managerial roles, working mostly with children and young people but also adults.

Having specialist responsibilities on the Governing board for Safeguarding, I take this very seriously and firmly believe everyone should work hard to ensure children and young people are kept safe from any form of harm.

Being a qualified and current Designated Safeguarding Leader and also the Safeguarding Governor for a number of years now. This has helped me gain a very firm grasp of the safeguarding requirements needed at Cathedral Academy at both a ground and also strategic level.

As well as being the Safeguarding Governor, I’m also involved in other important matters with regards to the development and success of the school. I have thoroughly enjoyed this role over the last few years and there’s a fantastic team of professionals working at Cathedral Academy who have done wonders for the school.

Mark Dillon

My daughter is a pupil in CAPA Juniors and I want to ensure that she and all of our children are taught in a safe and happy school

My working life has been within the electronics assembly industry in European sales and marketing management.
After serious illness in 2009 I completed an MBA at Sheffield Business School and decided to offer myself as a volunteer in areas that I felt passionate about and where I could make a positive impact.

My daughter is a pupil in CAPA Juniors and I want to ensure that she and all of our children are taught in a safe and happy school that challenges them to exceed their potential. It is essential that the Cathedral Academy board of governors have a clear understanding of what it is like to be a parent or guardian at our school and I am delighted to do this as your parent governor.

Heather David

I am really looking forward to doing my bit to help Cathedral Academy continue to move forward into a bright and stable future.

My involvement as a Governor came about as a result of an appeal for interested parties after a service I attended at Wakefield Cathedral and I thought about what I could offer the Board by way of expertise. My husband and I owned and ran a well respected domiciliary care business in Wakefield until we sold it in 2015, so I have experience in many fields to do with business, including finance, budgets, HR and, because of the nature of our business, safeguarding the vulnerable. I sat on the Wakefield and District Safeguarding Adults Board from 2007 to 2016 as the independent sector representative which kindled in me a desire to protect the vulnerable, no matter what age.

I became a Governor in 2015 and was a member of the Finance and Personnel Committee and was also the Governor with responsibility for safeguarding. I stepped down for eighteen months to enable me to move to York to care for my mother in the last months of her life. I was invited to re-join the Board in January 2018 on my return to the Wakefield area and am really looking forward to doing my bit to help Cathedral Academy continue to move forward into a bright and stable future.

Sarah Trout

I decided to become a staff governor because I wanted to become actively involved in improving the academy and helping with its development

I am the Transition Manager t Cathedral Academy and I have been involved with the governing body for a number of years. I decided to become a staff governor because I wanted to become actively involved in improving the academy and helping with its development. I am the SEN governor and and very passionate about helping the academy meet the needs of all its students and through my role in the academy I have an active role in helping the students achieve their potential.

I ran my own business before I came to work at the school and I am actively involved Rugby league and I am member of the Yorkshire juniors Rugby League management team who work with all the rugby league grass root clubs in Yorkshire to enable them to offer all ages the opportunity to play Rugby league.

Danny Wilks