Our people

Our chair

Anne-Marie Canning Chair Bradford

Anne-Marie Canning MBE

Independent Chair of Bradford Opportunity Area and Chief Executive Officer of The Brilliant Club

Anne-Marie Canning MBE is from Doncaster, was the first in her family to go to university and has dedicated her career to opening up educational opportunity to the next generation. In 2018 she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to higher education.

Anne-Marie is the Chief Executive Officer of The Brilliant Club, an award-winning university access charity that works with schools and universities across the UK.

Anne-Marie was the Director of Social Mobility and Student Success at King’s College London between 2012 and 2019. In this role she provided leadership and strategic direction for full lifecycle widening participation across the institution. She has also served as a member of the Universities UK Ministerial Social Mobility Advisory Group and as the elected Chair of the Russell Group Widening Participation Association. 

Anne-Marie has previously worked at University College Oxford and holds a University of Oxford Teaching Award. She studied at the University of York and served a sabbatical term as the president of the students’ union.  Anne-Marie is a trustee of the Bridge Group, a policy association researching and promoting socio-economic diversity and equality.

You can follow Anne-Marie on Twitter @amcanning.

“I am passionate about working with others to make Bradford’s social mobility aspirations a reality. I grew up in one of the poorest postcodes in Yorkshire and attended a school where fewer than 1 in 5 children secured decent GCSEs. My life was transformed by a university summer school and the brilliant education it unlocked for me. I share my story because it shows what is possible when people are given a chance. It shows that talent can be found in every nook and cranny – if you look hard enough. I have dedicated my career to helping talented young people from less advantaged backgrounds to access and succeed in higher education.”

Partnership Board members


DDuncan Jacquesuncan Jacques CBE, CEO of Exceed Academies Trust

Duncan has a proven track record of leading school improvement in a variety of settings and environments. His work encompasses over 30 years of successful experience in Education, with more than half of those years as a highly successful Headteacher, Executive Headteacher and now CEO. This success has been recognised and endorsed by Ofsted on a number of occasions and in a number of settings. Duncan has directed four schools to an ‘Outstanding’ judgement, including taking a school from Special Measures to an ‘Outstanding’ National Support School and Teaching School. Duncan’s schools have always been exceptionally high performing despite the challenging circumstances of the communities they serve. His pedigree in school improvement and system leadership is exemplified through the rapid and sustained improvement evidenced in both schools within the Trust and partnership support work. Duncan was recognised and honoured with a CBE for his ‘services to Education’ in 2019.

CEO of Exceed Academies Trust

Christian Bunting


Christian Bunting, Director, Bradford Birth to 19 Teaching School Alliance

As Director of Bradford Birth to 19, Christian leads a collaborative network of 150 Bradford schools of all phases and types of provision with a diverse portfolio of work, underpinned by a commitment to making the Bradford District a great place to grow up as a child or young person. His organisation reaches out nationally through 50 Things To Do Before You’re Five, a multi-platform initiative for parents of young children which provides suggestions for exciting low and no-cost things to do in their local area. Supported by an app, website, social media campaign and a range of printed resources, it is seeing impacts in early learning and health outcomes.

Christian Bunting, Director, Bradford Birth to 19 Teaching School Allianc

Kersten EnglandKersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council

Kersten has been Chief Executive of  Bradford Council since 2015. Kersten also chairs the Yorkshire and Humber Chief Executive’s Board and is the lead Chief Executive for the Yorkshire Leaders Board and is a trustee of the Young Foundation whose mission is to develop better connected and more sustainable communities across the UK. Kersten was made a CBE in the 2020 new year’s honours list for her services to the communities and economy of Bradford.


Will Richardson

Will Richardson, Senior Partner, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC)

Will is a Partner at PwC in Yorkshire where they have almost 1,300 staff based in their Bradford and Leeds offices. Will is seen as a strong advocate for the region and was a driving force in securing PwC’s significant investment into opening a new office in Bradford in 2019 and championing their development of the Technology Degree programme with Leeds University.
He works with the City Region LEP and Councils to help encourage other organisations to move to and invest in Yorkshire. He is a key sponsor and mentor on PwC’s Leadership Development Programme, which helps to coach the region’s leaders of tomorrow across a range of public and private sector organisations.

Recognising his passion and contribution in Bradford, Will was asked by Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe to join the Future-Ready Skills Commission which helped to explore how greater devolution can create a skills system that responds to the needs of local economies and ensures people are properly equipped for the jobs of the 21st Century. Will also sits on the Yorkshire & Humber CBI Board

Nick Weller

Sir Nick Weller, CEO and Executive Principal of Dixons Academies Trust, including Bradford’s Research School

As a National Leader of Education, Nick is Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the Dixons Academies Trust.  He is a Board member of both the Queen Street Group of national MATs and the New Schools Network. He spent the first 25 years of his career in London, as an English Teacher, middle and senior leader, and then Headteacher.  He has led the expansion of the Trust from just over 1,000 students then to well over 8,000 across Bradford and Leeds today, establishing one of the very highest-performing Multi-Academy Trusts in the country, in an area of significant social and educational disadvantage. His knighthood was awarded for services to education in 2015, and an honorary Doctorate from Bradford University in 2019. 

k Weller, CEO and Executive Principal of Dixons Academies Trust, including Bradford’s Research School


Imran Khan Lab (new)

Cllr Imran Khan, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills Bradford Council

Cllr Khan is driven by a determination to get young people the best start in life. Starting out as a volunteer youth worker, he was elected a councillor aged just 24. Alongside his council duties he is the Chief Executive of a charity that delivers a range of community activities and learning courses. His previous professional roles include college lecturer and project manager and he has chaired numerous committees and panels, including a major £30m regeneration programme, been a board director of a homelessness charity, chaired a police community forum, set up a youth council and chaired the Consortium of Ethnic Minority Organisations.



Mark Mon-WilliamsProf Mark Mon-Williams, Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Professor of Psychology, Bradford Institute of Health Research

Mark is a Professor of Paediatric Vision at The Norwegian Centre for Vision, and a Turing Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute (the UK’s National data analytics and AI Centre). He leads a research group that use their fundamental scientific contributions in sensorimotor control to address applied issues within surgery, rehabilitation and childhood development, and he has responsibility for ensuring societal impact arises from research conducted within the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds. Mark leads the NHS ARC group responsible for ‘Healthy Schools, and is an executive member of the Born in Bradford.


Vicky Beer

Vicky Beer CBE, Regional Schools Commissioner for Lancashire and West Yorkshire

Vicky  started in her role on 1 November 2015 as Regional Schools Commissioner for Lancashire and West Yorkshire and was previously a member of the Headteacher Board (HTB). Vicky’s role is to monitor standards and effectiveness across academies and Trusts within the area. By doing this she works closely with a number of partners, including leaders from the education sector, Ofsted, local authorities and local dioceses. Before her appointment, Vicky was a national leader of education and Executive principal of The West Trafford Learning Partnership (part of The Dean Trust), comprising Ashton on Mersey and Broadoak schools in Trafford.
Earlier in her career, Vicky helped to establish and was Chair of the Teaching Schools Council (2011 to 2015) worked as an Ofsted additional inspector and was the Director and founding member of By Schools for Schools, a system-led school improvement body serving the Greater Manchester area. Vicky was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2013 for ‘services in education’.


Naveed Mushtaque

Naveed Mushtaque, Education Safeguarding Officer, Bradford Council

Naveed was born in Bradford and attended schools in the city. He attended St. Phillip’s Primary and went on to Daisy Hill Middle and Rhodesway Upper School and has lived his entire life within the Bradford district.
He has served a number of school communities working with all age ranges across Bradford over the past twenty years, as Youth Worker, Mentor, Extended Services Coordinator and Community Learning Manager.

Naveed is currently working within the Child Exploitation Hub along with colleagues from Police, Social Care and Health. Naveed aims to increase the awareness of all forms of exploitation young people may face and working to improve responses from all agencies to supporting victims of exploitation.

Naveed continues to promote the voice of young people and families and supports various community organisations and charities.


Matthew Langley


Matthew Langley, Headteacher, Bowling Park Primary School

Matthew Langley, Headteacher, Bowling Park Primary School


Linda Wright

Linda Wright, Headteacher, Riddlesden St Mary’s Primary School

Linda is Headteacher at Riddlesden St Mary’s primary school in Keighley. She joined the team in September 2012 as the Deputy Head and I have always been extremely proud of belonging to an excellent team of staff, despite the challenges we have faced over the years. I was appointed Headteacher in February 2015.
Linda completed her teaching training in Bradford and took up her first teaching post September 2004 and whilst her specialism was Early Years, she has taught across all year groups. In 2008, she became a maths specialist. This was a great opportunity to really get to grips with mathematical development from the Early Years into adulthood. She has always had a love of learning and finding out new things, something she and Riddlesden St Mary’s work hard to promote for all children. Linda co-chair’s BPIP (a networking platform for Headteachers in Bradford). 


IAlastair Goldman

Professor Alastair Goldman, Dean of Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Bradford

Professor Goldman obtained his first degree in Genetics at Queen Mary College, London in 1986. After a travel break, he became a research assistant at East Birmingham Hospital and undertook PhD research at the hospital’s Regional Cytogenetics and DNA Diagnostic Laboratory.
In 1993, he moved to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, Maryland, USA to undertake postdoctoral research. Five years later he returned to the UK to take up a lectureship at the University of Sheffield, before becoming head of the university’s Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in 2012, when he was also promoted to Professor.
After completing five years as Head of Department, he took the opportunity to lead the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Bradford as Dean. The faculty lead has four schools teaching a wide range of science disciplines to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The faculty’s main undergraduate programmes of study cover archaeology, biomedical science, chemistry, clinical sciences, forensic science, healthcare science, optometry and pharmaceutical science. It also offers a wide range of postgraduate programmes including a Physician Associate MSc, and is home to a bespoke STEM centre which delivers support to local schools and recently won an award to develop STEM subjects in the community.

Michelle Burton


Michelle Burton, Head of Employment and Skills, West Yorkshire Combined Authority/ Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

As Head of Employment and Skills at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Michelle leads the design and implementation of services to support individuals from all backgrounds to upskill, re-train, set up a business or access employment and apprenticeships, working closely with Local Authorities to engage diverse communities. She leads the delivery of support for schools and colleges to improve the destinations of our most disadvantaged young people and to support employers to engage with the full breadth of the education system and develop a pipeline of talent. She is responsible for the devolved Adult Education Budget.

The meetings are also attended by Lee Turner, the DfE head of delivery, Matt Simmonite, area lead and Kathryn Loftus, Programme Director who advise and support the partnership board.