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About Moorlands Learning Trust

Trustees Biographies:

Imogen Clark

Imogen is an experienced secondary school governor with a particular interest in parental and local community issues. She is a former Chair of Governors at IGS and has been at the centre of a number of significant decisions in the strategic development of the school. She has lived in Ilkley for many years and her children have all attended IGS.

She holds Honours degrees in both Law and English Literature and worked as a solicitor for a large commercial practice for many years before giving up her career to bring up her children. She is now a novelist and has sold over a million copies of her books worldwide.

David Cutter

David was Group Chief Executive of Skipton Building Society for over 12 years until April 2022, a mutual organisation with 1m+ members and a group comprising of almost 18,000 employees. He joined the Board in 2000, and previous roles with Skipton BS included Operations Director, Group Corporate Development Director and Head of Internal Audit.

He is a qualified chartered accountant, was a founding Trustee of the Craven Educational Trust (which set up The Skipton Academy, prior to merger with the Moorlands Learning Trust) and is a former Chair of the Building Societies Association.

He is a former governor of Bradley’s Both Primary School and of Malsis Preparatory School. He is married and lives in Bradley, has three grown up Sons, is a keen golfer and former international hockey player.

Alan Halsall - Chair of Trustees

After Graduating from Newcastle University in the early 1970’s with a Law Degree I qualified as a Solicitor and practised for a very short time before joining the family toy business. That business became one of the largest privately-owned Toy co in the UK before being sold to the Management in 2006.

I had by then purchased Silver Cross Ltd (the nursery business) from the Administrators after it had fallen into receivership and grew the business substantially around the world as well as opening subsidiary businesses in the USA and China. This business was sold to a Chinese conglomerate in 2015.

I have been a Governor of Craven College and was Chair of Craven Educational Trust prior to the Trust merging with the Moorlands Learning Trust.

Melanie Kirkbride

Melanie moved to Ilkley in 2015 after living in Sydney, Australia for 23 years. Her career began in technology, working for IBM in London.

For the past 20 years Melanie has run her own business offering business coaching, mentoring, and meditation teaching. In 2015 she co-founded The Soft Road working with clients around the world, to inspire, educate, and guide people to live happier lives.

Melanie was a Governor at IGS 2017-2021.

Sara Morrissey

Sara Morrissey has worked in education for 35 years, teaching for 20 years across three secondary schools and holding a range of leadership responsibilities over that time. Following a period as acting headteacher, Sara was appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors, assigned firstly to the school improvement division and then given responsibilities for schools causing concern at regional and national level. On leaving Ofsted, Sara held senior positions for school improvement in two local authorities before joining the Beckfoot Trust where she has worked as associate director since September 2016. Before entering the teaching profession, Sara worked for two years as a production manager in the pottery industry in her home town of Stoke-on-Trent after graduating from the University of Durham.

Robert Yorke

Bob has worked in technology for over 30 years, specialising in the education sector for the last 10.  With over 20 years management experience, he brings significant expertise in challenging and leading management teams to deliver strategic plans.

Currently working as Head of Education for the largest private software company in the UK, Bob was previously a Director of the Ilkley based Schools Broadband business.

After both his daughters enjoyed successful IGS experiences, Bob is keen to support the Trust through its growth and future development.


Members Biographies:

Keith Bothamley

I have spent all my working life in education. Following a geography degree at Newcastle and an earth science PhD at Cardiff, I completed teacher training at Hull and have worked for over 25 years in Leeds schools in various positions, including headteacher, a period as an acting headteacher and also supporting a neighbouring school as its Executive Headteacher. I have led Initial Teacher Training programmes at the University of Leeds and more recently at Red Kite Teacher Training and remain strongly interested in supporting new entrants to the teaching profession.  I have also acted as a Department of Education consultant on specific curriculum and recruitment programmes.  

I live in Addingham with my wife Kate, who works at Nell Bank in Ilkley, our son Matt, currently in Year 13 at IGS and our German Shepherd, who does her best to keep me fit.

Recent retirement has allowed me to pursue an academic interest in Norse archaeology and to work on renovating a property in the South Lakes.

Michael Brook

I am currently having a lot of fun working with my son (George a former IGS student) to set up a craft brewery and bar (Triple Point Brewing) and am looking forward to doing some more travelling with my wife once the world returns to some sort on normal.  Prior to all this I was a Director of Spooner Industries in Ilkley for 22 years and a Governor at IGS for 7 years.  Before that I worked in a variety of engineering and mining businesses.  I am a keen rugby follower, a hopeless golfer and a moderately willing gardener’s assistant, dog walker and 2nd chef.

Sara Morrissey

Sara Morrissey has worked in education for 35 years, teaching for 20 years across three secondary schools and holding a range of leadership responsibilities over that time. Following a period as acting headteacher, Sara was appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors, assigned firstly to the school improvement division and then given responsibilities for schools causing concern at regional and national level. On leaving Ofsted, Sara held senior positions for school improvement in two local authorities before joining the Beckfoot Trust where she has worked as associate director since September 2016. Before entering the teaching profession, Sara worked for two years as a production manager in the pottery industry in her home town of Stoke-on-Trent after graduating from the University of Durham.

Jack Rickard

Jack Rickard spent 20 years in the Armed Forces leading high performing teams in submarines, surface ships and on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was made an MBE in 2011 for contributions to operations in Afghanistan.

On leaving the Service, he spent 5 years with the Baker Dearing Education Trust where he supported the application for, and development of 17 University Technical College projects across England. He is passionate about STEM in schools and its roles in providing great and real opportunities for youngsters in the world of work.

Currently building a portfolio of businesses he spends time between USA and the UK and is an active sportsman, albeit contact sport is behind him and he his is now cycling and running.  He was a Governor at IGS from 2014 – 2018 and an MLT Trustee and, latterly, Member from 2018.

Lindsey Wharmby

I am now happily retired but in my previous life I have been a Chemistry teacher, Head of Sixth Form and Deputy Head in Leicestershire community colleges and Headteacher in two Leeds Secondary schools. I then worked for 7 years as a specialist in school funding. Now my main interest is my four grandchildren.