All Academy Trusts have two layers of governance – Members and Directors. Some (like NCLT) choose to have a third, i.e., Advisory Groups. Details of Members and Directors can be found on the Trust’s website – Our Advisory Group can be found below.

All governance and financial information can be found on the Trust policies page –

Current Advisory Group members

Vicky Marks

(Ex Officio)

Principal NCP

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I am the Principal at New College Pontefract and I have Trust responsibility for Data, therefore line managing the MIS manager as well as some members of the senior leadership team and Heads of School. I started my teaching career in 1993 in the independent sector, teaching Chemistry to 11-18 year-olds. In 1998 I became Head of Lower School and was responsible for transition and pastoral care for these students. In 2001 after having my second child I took on the role of SENDCo and after a couple of years we relocated the family to Yorkshire, nearer to my family, and I taught in York. From 2006 I took a break from teaching due to my third child being profoundly deaf. After keeping myself busy with a number of projects, I returned to teaching and I started at New College Pontefract in 2013 in the Chemistry department. I have been on the senior team since 2016 with responsibility for data and curriculum – a role that has kept me busy and is constantly changing. I have also line managed the SENDCo and Heads of School in Maths & Science.

Anthony Dee

Chair of the NCP Advisory Group and Director

Board appointed 

Date Appointed: 15/03/2017
Date Reappointed: 22/03/2021

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For most of my career I have worked as a manager for bus and tourist companies. I have now retired after spending the last 4 years as a part-time driver for Poppletons’ Coaches in Pontefract. I am a member of the School Performance Review Board at Larks Hill and De Lacy Junior and Infants Schools which are part of the Pontefract Academies Trust. In the past I have been chairman of the Carleton High School Parent, Teacher and Friends Association and chairman of the Wakefield Association of School Governors. I am the Co-ordinator for the Highways and Rail Groups of Pontefract Civic Society. My two daughters attended New College, Pontefract and I am pleased to be given the opportunity to repay my gratitude for their education by giving my services to the College.

Karen Sykes

Safeguarding, SEND and LAC Link Advisor

Board appointed 

Date Appointed: 22/09/2016
Date Reappointed: 22/03/2021

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Karen is a Chartered member of the CIPD with over 30 years’ experience in Human Resources and Organisational Development; her mission is to ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive in their workplace and believes post-16 education is key to this. She has held a number of senior Human Resources positions across the public sector including with Leeds Education Authority, the National Probation Service and is currently Executive Director HR & OD at Wakefield College.

Karen has also held a range of voluntary and elected roles including Chair of Governors at Stanley Peter’s C of E Primary School between September 2011 and September 2015 and she is currently a member of the Independent Remuneration Panel for members at WDMC.

Outside work her interests centre around her family, she enjoys walking, cycling and anything outdoors!

Louise Houghton


Board appointed 

Date Appointed: 13/12/2021

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The majority of my experience in strategic leadership has come through the police service, where I worked closely with the senior command team throughout the comprehensive spending review. I am experienced in risk management, decision making, monitoring operational plans and working with stakeholders. As company director I now work primarily with volunteers and chair multiple meetings. My role in Change Management involved liaising closely with strategic leaders and subject matter experts and coordinating reports. I also led on our force’s response to several HMIC inspections and I now work for HMIC. Stakeholder management, diversity, conflict resolution and communication have been factors underpinning all my roles and remain a significant focus within Bylines Networks Limited and HMIC, particularly when working with volunteers and supervising staff. As both a former police sergeant (qualified to the rank of inspector) and an editor within the police and fire inspectorate I have many years’ experience of legal frameworks, statutory guidance, compliance, liabilities and responsibilities. I also worked within public protection conducting domestic homicide reviews, so have experience of evaluating practice in accordance with statutory frameworks.

All of the Advisory Group members (except the Principal) serve a 4 year term of office.

Advisory Group members’ attendance records and register of interests can be found on the Trust’s website –

Advisory Group members who have stepped down

Name – Date Stepped Down: 23/06/2023

Other Information

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