Leeds West Academy



Our Vision

To be an exceptional and responsive academy sponsor providing life-changing education, skills and experiences for individuals in our academies and in their communities.

Our Values

  • We believe that education can transform lives
  • We respect the individual, relishing the contribution that diversity brings
  • We strive to be the best we can be, actively and with pride
  • We look after our environment to keep it safe, healthy and inclusive
  • We lead by example and work as a team 
  • We take responsibility for our own actions and are active in finding solutions to any problems
  • We respond flexibly to the needs of students & take advantage of opportunities in the City of Leeds and the wider world

Leeds West Academy LAB Members

Christian Wilcocks - Principal / Ex-officio

Christian is an experienced Senior Leader who is driven by the philosophy that every young person, regardless of their background, should make progress in every lesson and benefit from exceptional teaching, consistently high standards and shared high expectations...

Kate Pearlman-Shaw - Chair 

13/01/2019 - 12/01/2023

Leadership & Governance, Equality and Finance

Kate is Leeds born and bred. She is a Clinical Psychologist who spent the  the first 18 years of her career working locally, with 5 years spent leading Psychology and Counselling services for adults in West Leeds, including Bramley and Rodley.

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Jeanne Rogers - College Nominee

01/09/2016 – 01/09/2019

Teaching & Learning
Jeanne Rogers lives in North Leeds with her family and has worked with children and young people for over 25 years. Beginning her career in Children’s Centres in East Leeds, she went on to teach students that aspired to be childcare practitioners... 

Cllr. Caroline Gruen - Vice Chair / CLA & Pupil Premium / Board Nominee

02/09/2017 - 01/09/2020

Closing the gap
Caroline has lived in Leeds all her adult life and initially trained to be a teacher at Leeds University, gaining firstly a BEd and then a MEd in Education. She went on to teach in five of the city's schools... 
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Darren Finley - Board Nominee

02/09/2017 - 01/09/2020

Staff matters, Health and Safety
Darren is a barrister at Park Square Barristers in Leeds and head of the civil team.  He practices in civil and employment law. He has been a governor at schools in Leeds for over 20 years and is a former chair of governors at what is now Leeds City Academy.


Gillian Knutsson - Board Nominee

15/01/2018 – 15/01/2021

Gill initially trained as a teacher in Leeds before moving to live and work in Sweden for ten years. Returning to Leeds with her family in the 1980s she went on to develop a long and successful career in teaching and senior leadership, including as interim Headteacher and Principal in schools in the west of Leeds...


Gemma Simmons-Blench - College Nominee

01/07/2017 – 01/07/2020

Outcomes, Curriculum and Careers & IAG
Gemma lives in the North East of England with her family and has worked in education for almost 20 years, she has extensive experience working in secondary, further and higher education...


Kim Hird - Parent Member - Elected

08/02/2016 – 31/07/2019

Kim Hird was born in Leeds and attended the Academy in 1991, which was formerly known as Intake High. As such, her she has specifically close ties with the wider school community... 

Tracey Simpson - Safeguarding / Parent Member – Elected

01/10/2017 – 01/10/2020

Tracey is a parent governor at Leeds West Academy.  Born in Leeds and married with two sons, one who has studied successfully at Leeds West Academy and one who has just commenced his journey...


Donna Hobson - Support Staff - Elected

25/01/2017 – 25/01/2020
Donna is the Support Staff governor at Leeds West Academy.  Donna has close ties with the wider school community as she has lived in Bramley most of her life...

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Claudia Gorrard-Smith - Teaching Staff - Elected

01/10/2017 – 01/10/2020

Claudia joined Leeds West Academy in January 2017 as a Teacher of Art. Originally from Essex, Claudia studied Art and Design at the University of Leeds and received a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from UCL, Institute Of Education. As a recently qualified teacher Claudia is...



LAB Register of Interests 2018-19

Download the full LAB Register of Interests 2018-19

LAB Attendance Register

View 2016-17 Register

View 2017-18 Register 

Abridged Minutes

Click here to view LWA LAB Abridged Minutes 15.10.18

Click here to view LWA LAB Abridged Minutes 20.11.18

Click here to view LWA LAB Abridged Minutes 22.01.19

Click here to view LWA LAB Abridged Minutes 12.03.19



The White Rose Academies Trust - Board of Directors / Trustees

Click here to view the full details of the WRAT Board of Directors.