Lesley Gwinnett - Chief Executive Officer

Lesley is the CEO of Endeavour Learning Trust. She is passionate about ensuring that every child in our schools achieves their full potential regardless of their background. She promotes happiness and aspiration for all and has a strong commitment to the workload and wellbeing of staff.

 Lesley became Head at Tarleton Academy in 2011. Under her leadership the Trust has grown from a Single Academy Trust to now include 2 primary schools and 3 secondary schools, with an additional secondary maintained school under Trust leadership. In addition, it also leads a thriving schools’ alliance (previously a Teaching School); an extensive extended schools programme, which includes school sports games for 80+ primaries, and is also an accredited School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) provider with School Direct partners across the North West.

Lesley has considerable experience of leading and shaping the school improvement process in a wide range of schools, including those in challenging circumstances. Lesley is also a National Leader of Education who has contributed significantly to system leadership, including currently as the Chair of the BBL (Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire) CEO Network. She also currently sits on the multi-agency Lancashire Children and Young People Partnership Board and was an established member of the LWY (Lancashire and West Yorkshire) RSC Advisory Board for three years (2019 – 2022).

John Shannon - Deputy CEO

John joined ELT as Deputy CEO in September 2022.  Prior to his appointment he taught in six schools across the country and led four of them, including an Executive headship in a school facing challenging circumstances.  He has also supported a number of other schools to improve. His approach to transformation is empowering staff and engaging students and parents and believing that schools should be at the heart of their community. He is research driven and has been fortunate to speak at events regionally, nationally and internationally.

During his 25 years in the education sector John helped write, pilot and launch a new Financial Studies Level 2 course; opened a new sixth form and co-created a post 16 federation.  John has been awarded LLE status; completed his School Improvement Partner training at NCSL; spent time on the Lancashire Authority sounding board; became an associate advisor; delivered lectures at Cumbria University and mentored NPQH candidates and those new to Headship. He has also completed his NPQH, NPQEL and holds an MBA in Educational Leadership. 

Judith Perry - Chief Finance Officer 

Judith leads the finance team, ensuring we are fully compliant, adding value for money and maximising resources for all of our schools.  

Judith is a CIMA qualified Chartered Management Accountant and holds the Level 4 Certificate in School Business Management. She has over 25 years experience working in finance across IT, Retail and Education sectors of which 10 years is experience in Education, with experience of primary, secondary, maintained and academies.  

She has considerable experience of maximising income for schools, achieving best value and ensuring school’s remain financially strong and is passionate about ensuring finance supports our schools to provide the best possible outcomes for our students 

Christine Adams - Executive Primary Lead 

Christine works alongside the headteachers and senior leaders in our primary schools as a school improvement partner promoting collaboration between colleagues to develop best practice. She also is strategic lead across the Trust for Special Educational needs, reading, marketing and the school centered initial teacher training programme. (SCITT) 

Christine began her career working for ICI in marketing and PR roles and in 2000 made a career change into education. Christine has worked in a range of primary schools, and been a senior leader in 5 different schools, including Headteacher in two and Executive Headteacher in a further two, in which she has gained significant experience of successfully leading and developing whole school improvement and managing change. She has led schools to improve their curriculum and develop effective teaching and learning and implemented effective SEND, pastoral and nurture provisions. 

Joanna Bacon - Executive Director of School Improvement

Joanna is responsible for the analysis of data, cross-trust teaching and learning and staff development. In 2017 Joanna oversaw Tarleton Academy’s successful application for Teaching School status and since has developed the Endeavour Learning School Alliance into the vehicle for collaboration and school improvement for over 15 Primary and Secondary Schools.

Joanna has successfully led teams to improve teaching and learning, curriculum and assessment and was Deputy Headteacher at Tarleton Academy before joining the Executive Team of ELT. 

In addition, she is a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE), an NCTL accredited Pupil Premium Reviewer and a trained facilitator for Coaching in Schools. She has a breadth of experience in supporting colleagues in other schools, developing leaders and leadership systems and coaching and mentoring staff at all levels.

Nikki Fairhurst - Executive Director of Student Services

Nikki leads the student services team which includes the safeguarding teams, family support workers, pastoral teams, attendance and behaviour leads across all of our schools. 

Nikki has considerable experience of developing effective pastoral systems which provide support for our students. She is also responsible for overseeing safeguarding across the schools, leading training and ensuring our processes and systems are compliant.  She has supported schools in auditing and developing their own safeguarding, attendance, behaviour management and pastoral systems. 

Duncan Baldwin - School Improvement Associate

Duncan provides advice and support to Endeavour Learning Trust on all aspects of assessment and performance and ensures heads, governors and trustees are provided with accurate information.

He qualified as a mathematics teacher in 1983 and has many years’ experience as a teacher, senior leader and head in a range of schools. Duncan was previously the Deputy Director of Policy for the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL). In this role Duncan was acknowledged as a national authority on school performance and accountability, supporting headteachers and senior staff in a range of areas including inspection. He is widely experienced as a trainer and public speaker.

Duncan has been a school governor and was previously a Trustee at Endeavour. Currently he works part time for the Trust and continues to support other schools and trusts around the country.

Heather Fowler - Senior Safeguarding Lead 

Heather leads on safeguarding throughout our schools. She is responsible for training staff and supporting schools on all aspects of safeguarding. 

Heather brings a wealth of experience from 20 years working in education in safeguarding and pastoral roles. With experience of both primary and secondary, special and mainstream, Heather has worked across the North-West developing strong safeguarding cultures to a threshold above compliance. After building significant experience in day-to-day practice, Heather worked for Lancashire Local Authority in the School Safeguarding Officer role, advising and supporting all schools in the county with their practice before taking up a role for a senior post with a national safeguarding company. 

In addition to the above, Heather has worked closely with prominent leaders from public services to develop internationally recognised resources around supporting children experiencing adversity and acted as a Civic Commissioner for the Poverty Truth Commision.

Roger Gwinnett - Director of SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training Programme)

Roger leads our SCITT provision for primary and secondary trainees. He is responsible for the recruitment of trainees and supporting them whilst on placements in our Trust and partner schools. He also leads on the professional development conferences each week for the trainees. He is passionate about working with skilled mentors in committed partner schools to provide the high-quality teacher training that produces outstanding teachers who are ready to face the challenges of the classroom and with the potential to become the school leaders of the future.

Roger became Director of SCITT in 2018 after a successful career in a number of schools throughout the country. In addition to his career in teaching and school leadership, he spent three years working for Edge Hill University, initially supporting school improvement in schools across the country, and then as PGCE, teacher training Lead for History. Roger is a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) for History and has held a number of senior leadership roles, including Head of History, Head of Foundation Faculty and Lead Teacher for Teaching and Learning and Director of Sixth Form. 

Ludi Jones - Director of Professional Development

Ludi is the Director of Professional Development for Endeavour Learning Trust. Her role is to support schools with their Teaching and Learning and CPD provision working with leaders and teachers. She conducts observations and reviews as needed and helps schools with their professional development of staff. She also works on the running of Endeavour Learning School Alliance (ELSA).

Ludi is an accredited trainer for the Coaching in Schools programme and the Walkthrus. She is a Specialist Leader in Education as well as an Evidence Lead in Education for the Research Schools network. She delivers training to schools in the Trust, Alliance and local area.

In her roles, Ludi has developed her knowledge of Teaching and Learning trends as well as Educational Research and works to implement these in the schools within the Trust. She has experience in working in ITT and leading on the Early Career Framework as well as being an Expert Support for NPQs having worked in collaboration with our local Teaching School Hub.


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