Meet our Directors

Last updated: 10/05/2018

Alison Ashworth

Headteacher Director


Alison is currently an Executive Headteacher of two Catholic primary schools in North Yorkshire as well as being an Ofsted Inspector in the Yorkshire and Humber region. 

Alison has been a Director of the Bishop Wheeler Trust since it was formed in March 2013. In this capacity, she is included in all Trust Board meetings and in helping shape the future of the Trust from a school’s perspective.

Darren Beardsley

Headteacher Director, Accounting Officer


Darren has been a Headteacher for seven years and is a National Leader of Education. As Accounting Officer for the Trust, he is also a member of the Trust Finance and Audit Committee, HR Committee and Standards Committee.

As well as being chair of the Headteacher group within the Trust, Darren is responsible for chairing the Secondary Catholic Headteachers group for the Diocese of Leeds and is also a member of Intervention Boards for three schools within the Diocese.  As Headteacher of St Mary’s Menston, In addition, Darren is responsible for the secondary element of St Mary’s Teaching School and leading the activities of St Mary’s as a National Support School.

Marie Buxton

Parent Director

Marie became a Parent Governor at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Primary in June 2013 and was asked to put herself forward for the position of Parent Director on the BWCAT Board in November 2014, she has since become a Foundation Governor at Ss. Peter and Paul. Marie has two children who attend St. Mary's and one who is still at Ss. Peter and Paul's.  
Marie’s area of expertise is education, having taught Business Studies and Economics, been Head of Department and Assistant Head of Sixth Form. She currently works as a Teacher Education Lecturer and sits on a number of committees as a Governor; Teaching and Learning, Admissions and Head Teacher Performance Management. As a Director of BWCAT, Marie is a member of the Standards Committee. 

Eddie Diamond

Foundation Director


Eddie has been a foundation governor of St Joseph's Otley for the last 6 years and a foundation Director of the Trust for 5 years, being the Chair of the Audit Committee. Eddie’s background and experience is in finance, audit and governance. Eddie has three children at schools within the trust.

Diane Gaskin

Foundation Director


Diane Gaskin was born in Armley, Leeds and educated at St Joseph’s Primary School, Otley and Notre Dame Grammar School in Leeds before going on to study modern languages (French and German) at the University of Liverpool. Diane trained as a chartered accountant and chartered tax advisor with the Leeds office of Price Waterhouse before a career establishing in-house tax functions in Leeds Permanent Building Society, Halifax plc and running a large multi-site tax function for HBOS plc in Edinburgh. Whilst on a career break in 2006 Diane became a governor at St Joseph’s, Otley where she is currently Chair of the Academy Council and a governor at St. Mary’s, Menston where she has chaired Finance Committee and Standards Committee and played an active role in the set up and governance of the Bishop Wheeler Academy Trust. Diane is also Chair of Academy Council at St. Mary’s, Menston.

Diane is currently Vice Chair of The Bishop Wheeler Academy Trust and Chair of the Finance Committee for The Trust.

She works as the Group Tax Manager for Vp plc- an equipment hire company based in Harrogate.

Diane lives in Otley, is married to Martin who is a chartered accountant and they have three children allof whom attended St Joseph’s, Otley and St. Mary’s, Menston. 

Peter Hughes

Headteacher Director


Peter is a National Leader of Education who has been a Headteacher since 2010.  Under his leadership, St Mary’s Horsforth was graded as outstanding by Ofsted in 2013, converting to an academy in the same year.  Peter was responsible for the successful accreditation of St Mary’s becoming a Teaching School and National Support School in 2014 and has supported a number of schools as a result of this.

In January 2015, Peter was asked to support Holy Name Catholic Primary school after it was placed in special measures. He is now Executive Headteacher over the two schools.  As a Trust director, he is part of the Trust Standards Committee after previously being a member of the Finance and Audit Committee. 

Caroline Hyde

Foundation Director


Caroline has been the Chair of the Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust Board since its inauguration in 2013. She has over 20 years of experience as both a parent and foundation governor in a number of primary and secondary schools. Before BWCAT was formed she was a governor of both St. Mary’s, Menston and Sacred Heart, Ilkley. Caroline is an NLG and has undertaken a number of external reviews. With a background in NHS and public sector management, she has a particular interest in HR and safeguarding. She is an experienced panel member for school admissions and exclusions and disciplinary hearings. She is currently  Deputy Director of Education for the Diocese of Leeds. In her role as NLG she is currently supporting 2 schools intervention boards and is a member of 2 secondary governing bodies.

Bob Lavery

Foundation Director


Bob was born in a small mining village in the East Durham coalfield, and worked in the Chemical industry for 26 years before taking up is current role as Procurement Manager at the University of Leeds.  His professional skillsets are in Procurement and Finance, with  experiences including Buildings, and Health & Safety, 

All of his children attended St Joseph’s Pudsey and where he became a parent Governor, serving for a total of six years in office at St Joseph’s with special responsibilities for Buildings, Health & Safety.

Bob then became a Governor at St Mary’s Menston when his children were all going through the School and a vacancy arose in 1998, starting as a parent governor, then becoming a foundation governor. In the course of these 20 years, Bob has held office within the Governing Body as Chair of the Buildings subcommittee, and vice-Chair of Governors before becoming Chair of Governors for 12 years from 2005 until 2017.

In his role as Chair at St Mary’s Menston, Bob played a part in setting up the Bishop Wheeler Catholic Multi-Academy Trust being a Trust Director from the outset.  Bob is also a member of the Trust Finance and Audit committee.  

Alixena Lubomski

Headteacher Director


Alixena, is married with two grown-up children and has been in the teaching profession for thirty-one years, and a Headteacher for thirteen years of two very different primary schools. Her strengths lie in developing ethos and vision for schools, school-to-school support, recruitment, financial management, and strengthening teaching and learning. Alixena is also an S48 inspector for the Diocese of Leeds and an NLE. In 2017 she was seconded to work across all the Diocesan schools as an RE adviser which gave her an insight into the many challenges faced by a wide range of settings across three local authorities.

Alixena has been a Headteacher Director since the Trust started in 2013.

Joe McDonnell

Foundation Director


Joe has been a governor at St Mary’s Horsforth for 12 years and Holy Name for 3 years.  Joe is currently Chair at both schools. 

Joe is a National Leader of Governance and in that role have been part of Interim executive boards and joint review groups for Diocesan schools and Leeds schools. He has also delivered external reviews of governance.  Joe is also responsible for chairing school appeal panels for the Diocese and Leeds City Council. 

Janet Sheehan

Foundation Director


Janet retired five years ago after a 34 year career in education having spent the last 13 years of her working life in headship in a Catholic Primary school in the Diocese of Westminster, in the London Borough of Tower hamlets. 
Whilst extremely challenging, her leadership role proved to be both fulfilling and enjoyable. Wanting to remain in her school rather than applying for a second headship Janet successfully applied to join the first tranche of NLEs. This enabled her to have a positive impact across the wider system. In this role she supported and advised several schools across London as part of the London Challenge’s  drive to raise standards. 
Soon after relocating to Skipton Janet was invited to join the governing body of St Stephen’s in September 2013.  She remained in situ as the school became an academy and a SIB was put in place and is now chair of the Academy Council. 
Janet is the most recently appointed member of the Trust Board, becoming a Director in November 2017.