South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust


Prof. Andrew Wren

Chief Executive Officer

Andrew joined Furness College as Principal and Chief executive in 2015, and also assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust on its formation in 2021. Having grown up in North Cumbria, he moved to East Yorkshire, graduating from the University of Hull in 1993 with a BA (Joint Honours) in Modern Languages. After some time studying and teaching English in Linköping, Sweden, he began a career in hospitality and retail management, and undertook part-time teaching during evenings. In 2002, he moved full time into education as a lecturer at Hull College, progressing to Curriculum Leader and then Head of School, before taking up a director post at East Riding College where he later became Vice Principal.

He completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the University of Huddersfield and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management with the Chartered Management Institute. He is also a fellow of the Chartered Institution for Further Education, a Board member of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Deputy Chair of the Board of St. Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston and Vice-Chair of the Governing Body at his son’s school.

Andrew is also Professor of Practice in Collaborative Education Leadership at the University of Cumbria. The Professor of Practice role at the University of Cumbria recognises individuals eminent in their field of practice and seeks to draw on this talent and standing (working with staff and students) to enhance the curriculum, experience and environment the University provides to its students.

During his first year in post in Barrow, he led the successful merger of Furness College and Barrow Sixth Form College, securing the breadth of post-16 education in Furness. Andrew is committed to providing the highest quality provision and believes firmly that education is at the heart of the community and has the potential to transform the lives of young people through enabling them both to excel in their future careers and to contribute to their community.

Fluent in French and Swedish, he particularly enjoys reading modern Scandinavian literature in his spare time, together with crosswords, anything related to I.T. and looking after his brood of rescue chickens. At weekends, he can usually be seen out walking on the fells with his son Jacob, and his beagles Ralph and Russell.

Nicola Cove

Chief Finance Officer

Nicola Cove joined Furness College in September 2018 and is currently Deputy Principal and Deputy Chief Executive. She also assumed the role of Chief Finance Officer of South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust on its formation in 2021.

After completing a degree in Maths at the University of York, Nicola joined the Accountancy and Audit firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1997 on its graduate accountancy training programme, based in Plymouth. During her training, Nicola worked with a broad range of clients from small farm accounts to SEC-listed companies to colleges, universities, regulated charities and other third sector organisations.

In 2000, Nicola completed her chartered accounting exams and became a Member (and more latterly Fellow) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. During her six years at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Nicola specialised in the public sector, and within that, predominantly education. Nicola then moved into the education sector, joining City College Plymouth in 2003 and rapidly rose through the ranks becoming Director of Finance and ultimately Deputy Principal.

Nicola is passionate about education and its impact on the economic, social and cultural development of the Furness area and wider region.

In her spare time, she enjoys travelling the world, reading, is an avid sports fan and an enthusiastic, but strictly fair-weather golfer.

Kathryn Kittley

Director of Marketing and Communications

Kathryn joined Furness College in 2016 when it merged with Barrow Sixth Form College where she led the marketing and communications function.

She is a third generation Barrovian and studied her A Levels at Barrow Sixth Form College before progressing to a degree in English Language and Literature at Liverpool University. She then completed a postgraduate degree in newspaper journalism at the University of Central Lancashire.

Kathryn started her career in newspapers as a reporter and senior reporter and culminating in a role as a sub-editor at The Northern Echo. In 2007, she saw the light and moved out of journalism into marketing with a role at St Leonard’s School in St Andrews where she helped recruit to the newly introduced International Baccalaureate.

She has since worked in the education marketing sector, having spent six years in New Zealand at Massey University where she led the College of Business marketing and communications across its three campuses on the North Island. During this time, she also achieved her accreditation from the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand.

Kathryn is passionate about her home town, its wonderful people, football team and amazing unspoilt coastline. She is an Evertonian, ballet dancer, hillwalker, reader and keen lover of all things floral art and, above all, mum and taxi driver for her two children Isaac and Edie.

Steve Jefferson

Chetwynde Headteacher

Steve joined Chetwynde back in 2013.  He has been part of the leadership team in the school throughout the transition to Free School, stepping up to Headteacher in 2019 and completing his National Professional Qualification of Headship in 2021. 

He is a proud Barrovian, attending school in Barrow and moving on to complete his A Levels at Barrow Sixth Form College.  Steve then moved on to Sunderland University, where he graduated with a degree in Geography and Education with Qualified Teacher Status. 

His teaching career started back in his hometown at Parkview School, teaching geography and PE, before leaving to follow his dream of travelling the world for a year in 2005.  Upon return, Steve moved to Yorkshire and was Head of PE in a large primary school in Bradford. It is here that Steve gained experience of working with children with social, emotional and mental health needs and put him on his path to becoming a SENDCo.  He completed his National Award for SEN Co-ordination whilst working as Assistant Headteacher of a residential school in North Yorkshire, before moving back to his roots in Barrow when starting at Chetwynde. 

Steve is passionate about education and developing the life chances of pupils in local area.  He firmly believes that every child has the right to reach their potential and be encouraged to explore their talents and passions so they can build a future that will bring fulfilment and success. 

In his spare time, Steve loves all things sports and enjoys watching rugby, cricket and athletics.  He grew up playing rugby league for his local club, Barrow Island, and went on to gain representative honours, touring Dubai with Great Britain over 35s and Spain with Great Britain Teachers.  Now that he has retired from rugby, you will find him on the bowling green with his teammates at West Mount Bowling Club.  Outside of sports, he is busy having fun with his three daughters, Isobel, Emilia and Freya, who all attend Chetwynde School. 

David Holmes

Vickerstown Headteacher

David completed a degree in history at the University of Newcastle before taking some time to travel the world including working for a charity in Australia.

Qualifying as a teacher in 1993, he drew on his global experiences to bring an added dimension to his role in the classroom.

He joined Vickerstown Primary School and Brambles Nursery 20 years ago, gained his national professional qualification for headship in 2009 and was co-headteacher for a year before taking on his current role as headteacher in 2019.

David aims to give all children as many opportunities as he can in their time at school, complementing their academic learning with music, art and sport.

He believes in partnership working across the sector, sharing skills and learning opportunities for pupils and staff with other schools.

As headteacher he still has an active role in the classroom and works across the school to maintain his teaching skills and continue to develop his understanding.

David has two grown up children who are both studying at university. He is a keen cyclist who enjoys the outdoor life and loves living on Walney where he walks to the beach or travels to the fells.

Vickerstown School is scheduled to join South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust in September 2022.

Mick Cull

Ormsgill School Head Teacher

Born and raised in Australia, Mick attended Deakin University in Melbourne where he gained degrees in Primary Teaching and Applied Sports Science. He began his teaching career in a large Melbourne school before moving to the UK in 2003. Originally settling in London, Mick met his now wife before moving to Cumbria to be closer to her family.  As well as teaching in Australia and South London, Mick taught in Dalton-in-Furness for a number of years before moving to Ormsgill in 2013. Initially starting there as the Assistant Head, he became Headteacher in 2015 and believes he has the best job in the world. Passionate about Barrow and Ormsgill in particular, Mick is immensely proud of the school’s role at the heart of the community. He strives to provide a rich educational experience for all children in a safe and happy environment and believes in raising the aspirations and opportunities for every pupil. Mick loves all sports, particularly cricket, Aussie Rules Football and running and runs with his local club, Hoad Hill Harriers. In his spare time, he enjoys travel and being outdoors; camping, walking and paddle boarding in the lakes with his wife Debbie and daughter Lucy. 

Ormsgill School is scheduled to join South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust in September 2022.

Other essential leadership roles at South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust will be fulfilled by postholders from its sponsor, Furness College. These professionals are experienced in all aspects of education and provide a highly skilled and cost-effective leadership function for the MAT. As the MAT continues to grow with new partner schools joining in future, exciting opportunities will arise for talented individuals to join our leadership team.

South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
c/o Furness College
Channelside, Barrow-in-Furness
Cumbria LA14 2PJ
Tel: 01229 825 017
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust