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

Dan Whieldon - Acting Principal / Ex-officio

Dan Whieldon began teaching at West Leeds High School in 2002 after a number of years working in television production at ITV in Manchester following his graduation from Staffordshire University in English, Media and Cultural Studies. After working as intervention lead and Head of Media Studies at West Leeds he left to start work as an...

Kate Pearlman-Shaw - Chair 

13/01/2019 - 12/01/2022

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.

Read more >> 

Carol Layall - College Nominee - Quality of Education 

01/09/2020 - 31/08/2023

Louise Turner - College Nominee - SEND

01/09/2019 - 31/08/2022
Louise is Director of Inclusive Provision and SEND at Leeds City College and has gained a MA in Education from the University of Leeds. 

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... 
Read More >> 

Darren Finlay - 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...


Donna Hobson - Support Staff - Elected

28/01/2020 - 27/02/2023
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...

Read more>>

Josh Gray - Staff Governor - Teaching

30/09/2019 - 29/02/2022

Joshua is the Director of Achievement at Leeds West Academy.

Jane Brown - Parent Governor 

19/11/2019 - 18/11/2022


Jane brings varied experience and valuable skills to the board , having worked with children and young people for many years, including looked after children and young people with learning and physical challenges.  Jane is experienced in safeguarding and restorative practice and is currently working in adult social care.


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 

View 2018-19 Register

View 2019-20 Register

LWA LAB Member List

Click here to view LWA LAB Member List - 2020

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.