Leodis Academies Trust

'Forging Young Futures'



The Central Team

Executive Team


Joe Barton – Chief Executive Officer 

Joe joined Woodkirk Academy as Deputy Head in 2010 and became Principal in September 2015. She was appointed full time CEO Principal for Leodis Academies Trust in September 2021.

During her career, Joe has held both curriculum and pastoral leadership posts working in five different Local Authorities. She has also led on HR and estate development. This variety and range of experiences has allowed her to develop the knowledge and skills required to be the CEO of a multi-academy trust.

Joe’s degree is in Music and this was the main subject that she taught in secondary schools. She also has a Master’s degree, the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) and is committed to continuous professional development for all.

Joe is passionate about serving the needs of the community by providing a first class education for all, both in and beyond the classroom, which shapes young people to become successful adults who make a contribution to society.


Kate Davison – Chief Financial Officer

Kate joined Leodis Academies Trust in September 2022 as Chief Finance Officer. She has worked in education finance, predominantly in south Leeds, for almost 20 years. Kate’s role is to ensure the Trust is financially security and compliance of the Trust.

Kate has a BA (Hons) in Music from the University of Leeds and is also an ACCA qualified accountant. She worked as a School Finance Officer at Leeds City Council for 9 years. During this time she supported a wide range of schools across the city with all aspects of financial management. In addition to this, she supported several convertor academies from the financial aspects of conversion and to managing the additional responsibilities that come with academisation. She has then worked a School Business Manager and member of leadership teams in both maintained and independent schools. As well as leading on finance, she is experienced in all other aspects of school resource management.


Katy Stringer – Chief Operating Officer 

Katy joined Leodis Academies Trust in October 2020. With both educational and commercial experience, Katy’s role is to ensure operation efficiencies and compliance management across the Trust.

Katy is a strong facilitator and relationship builder. She brings expertise to the team in relation to a wide range of business support areas. These include Strategy Management, Governance, GDPR, Communications, Policy Management, ICT, Health and Safety and Estates compliance and procurement. She has experience of managing complex change projects in both primary and secondary settings, whilst ensuing educational requirements are prioritised.

As well as BSc (Hons) in International Business and Modern Languages from Aston University and the Grande Ecole de Commerce Audencia in Nantes, France, she also has several other qualifications including Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing (DipM), IOSH Leading Safety, IOSH Managing Safely, and CIEH Level 3 in Risk Management and Practice. Katy is currently studying for her Data Protection Officer certificate through Brown Jacobson, Professional Clerking Certification through Learners First, and is training to become an SRMA through IBSL. All these course will underpin the support Katy provides to ensure Trust operations are efficient and compliant.

Katy is Secretary of the West Yorkshire Academy Business Leaders Network and enjoys collaborative working opportunities to share best practice across the education sector.



Other Central Team Managers/ Leads

Sally Adkin – HR Manager, leads HR Team 

Sally joined Leodis Academies Trust in March 2018, working as a HR Administrator based at Woodkirk Academy. Sally has varied background in HR working in banking, manufacturing and charities before joining the Trust.

Sally became a HR Assistant at Woodkirk Academy before joining the Central Team as HR Officer to implement the HR System across the Trust in September 2022. This role has enabled her to use her skills and knowledge within HR to work across all schools within the Trust.

In July 2023 Sally took up the role as HR Manager, with a goal of strengthening the collaboration between the Central HR Team and the schools in the Trust by embracing the challenges that the HR Manager role can bring.


Craig Allen – Trust IT Manager, leads IT Team 

Craig joined Leodis Academies Trust in October 2021.

His career in IT began in 2011 and has worked in the education sector for 11 years. He has gained qualifications and extensive knowledge throughout his career by taking part in 2 apprenticeship schemes. Most recently completing his Level 4 Network engineer course with QA, where he also gained qualifications in Networking, Cloud Storage and Windows Server 2019.

Craig looks forward to building relationships with the IT leads and working to improve Teaching and Learning across the trust, through IT developments.



Traci Wright –School Business Manager/ Trust Compliance Lead 

Traci joined Leodis Academies Trust as School Business Manager for Woodkirk Academy in December 2018.  More recently, she has expanded her role into Trust Compliance Lead, managing Catering and Premises across the Trust.

As well as a BSc (Hons) in Business Studies, Traci has undertaken a significant range of health and safety training including IOSH Managing Safely. From a higher education background, Traci has strong management experience in people, facilities and services.


Jayne Courtney – Primary School Improvement Lead 

Jayne began her career as an NQT at East Ardsley Primary in 2001 and developed her leadership skills and experience across Key Stage 1 and 2 during her 14 years working in the school. Before being seconded, Jayne was an Assistant Principal. In 2019, she was seconded to Blackgates Primary Academy, our sponsored school within the Trust, as Deputy Principal where she is now permanent.

She has played a key role in school improvement, developing all aspects of the academy. Having worked with other leaders in the academy to write a new school curriculum and improve teaching and learning, the Quality of Education judgement at Blackgates Primary moved from inadequate to good. Jayne has responsibility for teaching and learning, attendance, Pupil Premium and writing at school level. She is also out Trust Assessment Lead and Primary Improvement Lead, researching best practice and providing CPD across the primaries to further develop the quality of education offered to our pupils.