Meet the Directors

Stephen Bielby (Chair)

Responsible for:

  • Safeguarding (Wellbeing Committee)

  • Behaviour (Wellbeing Committee)

  • Governance Review (Governance Committee)

Governor, HMYOI Moorland

Stephen has 16 years experience of working and managing in a custodial setting. Currently Head of Security and Intelligence, he works with some of the most difficult and troubled Young People in the country. These young boys have issues ranging from behavioural problems, mental health issues and serious learning difficulties. He has formulated and implemented projects within this challenging setting to develop and engage the creative and communication skills of the young people with great success, working with experts such as Billy Bragg on a recent musical project.

As a father of 5, he has previous experience as a school governor at a successful local school and is fully committed to the long term future and goals of XP.

Stephen is our Link Governor to the public services community

Appointed 2nd January 2013 - reviewed annually in the Autumn Term Board meeting

Dr Richard Pountney (Vice Chair)

Responsible for:

  • Curriculum (Curriculum Committee)

  • Governance Review (Governance Committee)

Principal Lecturer in Education, Sheffield Hallam University

Richard is the Teaching Fellow for Curriculum and Professional Development in the faculty of Development and Society. His role is to support the development of learning and teaching in his faculty and specifically to work with course teams to plan their courses, make changes to the curriculum, address their own professional development and (increasingly) respond to the national and institutional drivers for change in Higher Education.

Richard is our Link Governor to the academic community and will help drive the CPD of XP staff and academically validate its practice and pedagogy.

Appointed 2nd January 2013 - reviewed annually in the Autumn Term Board meeting

Rachel Scott

Responsible for:

  • Finance (Finance & Legal Committee)

Internal Auditor, DMBC Local Authority

Rachel has lived in Doncaster all her life and after completing her degree in Public Sector Management has worked at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council as an Internal Auditor. This involves assessing organisation’s processes and procedures to give an independent assurance opinion on how these are working, as well as to add value to and help to improve the organisation’s operations.

Having 2 children of her own, when hearing about XP and its philosophy, Rachel was intrigued by project based learning and became incredibly enthusiastic about this more ‘real life’ approach. Now being part of the school herself she is even more committed and dedicated to the development of XP to ensure that the students have the best start in life by receiving a first class education.

As a Parent Governor, Rachel will be able to use her link between the school and parents to enable a balanced approach to be taken on decision-making.

Appointed 25th October 2016 - reviewed annually in the Autumn Term Board meeting

Jean Harris-Evans

Responsible for:

  • Curriculum (Curriculum Committee)

Principal Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University

Jean is a Principal Lecturer in the Department for Education, Childhood and Inclusion at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU). She teaches on Education Studies, Childhood Studies and related courses and has a background as a Youth Worker and Youth Work manager. A substantial portion of Jean’s youth work career prior to joining SHU was spent working for Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and she has lived in Doncaster for the last 25 years. Jean’s research interests include outdoor education in youth work contexts.

Appointed 1st September 2017 - reviewed annually in the Autumn Term Board meeting

Mike Dewsnap

Responsible for:

  • Premises, Health & Safety (Finance & Legal Committee)

Mike is the Chair of Governors at Green Top School, where he has served on the governing body for a number of years, working collaboratively and making key strategic decisions to improve the school.

After obtaining a degree in finance and business, Mike initially worked in the public sector in a role that required strong communication skills and the forging of relationships to drive improvement. He is now the standards and assurance co-ordinator for the supply division of a large UK based trade supply company.

Outside of work, Mike is also involved in a local community rugby club where his two sons enjoy playing.

Appointed 13th March 2018 - reviewed annually in the Autumn Term Board meeting

Nick Skelton

Responsible for:

  • Finance (Finance & Legal Committee)

Nick is a Partner at Crozier Jones LLP, a Doncaster based firm of Chartered Certified Accountants, Registered Auditors and Chartered Tax Advisers. He joined Crozier Jones LLP as a trainee in 1991 and became a Partner in 2002.

Nick qualified as member of the Association of Accounting Technicians in 1994 and became a fellow member in 1997. He qualified as a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 1997 and became a fellow member in 2002.

Nick lives in Doncaster with his wife, Christine, and their two children, Lewis and James.

He has many years of experience advising individuals and businesses on financial, accounting and taxation matters. As a Governor, he will use his experience to both support and challenge the leadership team at XP School Trust in order to assist them in achieving the Trust’s strategic vision.

Nick believes that a sound education is one of the key attributes students require in order to prepare them for their journey in life. XP School Trust provides the necessary education, support and expertise in order to give each student an opportunity to achieve their best. The standards-based and teacher-led approach to delivering the curriculum through cross-subject learning expeditions is refreshing and such a different approach to what other schools appear to offer locally.

Appointed 27th March 2019 - reviewed annually in the Autumn Term Board meeting

Alan Green

Responsible for:

  • Human Resources (Finance and Legal Committee)


A Chartered Fellow Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development, Alan is a senior HR professional with over 35 years’ experience gained in local authorities. Between 1990 and 2020 Alan worked for Doncaster Council, providing support and guidance to schools, academies and local authority support services for the majority of that time.

Since retiring in 2020, Alan has continued to provide HR advice and guidance to XP. He has also remained a governor at Green Top School – the first maintained school to join the Trust -- the HR elements of whose transition from maintained school to integral part of XP he oversaw.

Having worked for a number of years with Green Top – as both a professional adviser and a governor – and having helped to secure the successful transfer of Green Top staff from the local authority to XP, Alan is familiar with XP’s underlying philosophy and is committed to continuing to support it.

Appointed 11th March 2021- reviewed annually in the Autumn Term Board meeting

Andrew Buxton

Responsible for:

  • Performance (Performance Committee)

Andrew has over 30 years experience working in schools with high levels of depravation, both in Doncaster and the North East of England. He had almost 20 years of successful experience as a head teacher in two schools in Doncaster, with his most recent school being graded outstanding by OFSTED. OFSTED described him as an‘inspirational’ leader, and described the school as ‘a first class example of its kind’.


Having been a free school meals child himself he is very passionate about outcomes for Disadvantaged Pupils and raising aspirations for all pupils. He believes in supporting them to aspire to succeed and working towards their goals. In this he feels the XP approach to learning and the underlying philosophy are in synch with his beliefs and is excited by the potential of the approach and is fully committed to helping the Trust achieve its goals. As a father of two he can see how this approach would have benefited his two boys.


Away from education he is a passionate cricket fan, and loves to travel, as well as being a voracious reader.


Andrea Mead

Responsible for:

SEN (SEN Committee)

Secondary Special School Headteacher.

Andrea has 26 years of experience working in schools, her career in teaching starting in a middle school. However, she knew that her heart was set on working in the specialist sector and has been since 2000. In 2013 Andrea became a Headteacher at a secondary special school, where an in-house Intervention Team ensures a multidisciplinary approach can be used and has the added advantage of having expertise 'on tap'.


Andrea is a huge advocate of trauma informed practice in schools, to ensure that all young people have emotionally available adults and has witnessed the transformational impact this can have on young people. She is passionate about developing the child holistically, emotionally and academically and encourages all her staff to be professionally curious and solution focussed to remove any potential barriers.

Andrea has previous experience of being a Governor at a Pupil Referral Unit and is the current Chair of Governors at XP Gateshead. She knows that in education you are never ‘done’, but are always on a journey to get even better at what you do and feels privileged to be given the opportunity to be involved with supporting XPG as the school grows.

Andrea is delighted that her son has a place at XPG and in the one year that he has attended has seen him grow in confidence and achieve more because of the wonderful opportunities he has been given.