South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust


Prof. Andrew Wren

Chief Executive Officer

Andrew assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust on its formation in 2021. This was further to his role as Principal and Chief Executive at Furness College, a role he held since 2015. He moved full time to South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust in September 2023. 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 foreign language 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 in 2004 and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management with the Chartered Management Institute in 2006. He is also a fellow of the Chartered Institution for Further Education, a Board member of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Chair of the Board of St. Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston.

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. This was his motivation to form the Academy Trust in 2021.

Fluent in French and Swedish, he particularly enjoys reading fiction and non-fiction in his spare time, together with completing other people’s crosswords, anything related to I.T. and looking after his menagerie of animals including a dog, a cat and a growing brood of chickens. Andrew is passionate about individuality and he is also an advocate of vintage fashion as anyone who knows him will recognise. At weekends, he can usually be seen out walking on the fells with his young son Jacob and his dachshund Enzo.

Ian Harris

Chief Finance Officer

Ian joins SCMAT as Chief Finance Officer having worked in various parts of the public sector since graduating from Teesside Polytechnic with a degree in business studies.

Having worked for 12 years at a large teaching hospital in London, during which time he qualified as a chartered management accountant with CIMA, Ian moved to the Isle of Man. There he worked as the Clinical General Manager of Women and Children’s Services at Nobles Hospital and then, after three years, moved back into finance as the hospital accountant.

There followed seven years as Director of Finance at the Isle of Man’s Department of Infrastructure before returning to Health and Social Care as Head of Financial Improvement. After spending eighteen months leading on financial restructuring as part of the creation of a new arm’s length delivery body for Health and Social Care, Ian took a short break before working with Oldham CCG planning for the dissolution of CCGs in 2022.

In his spare time Ian enjoys working with his hands and motorcycling – two interests he is combining by rebuilding his Triumph Bonneville. He also enjoys sailing whenever he gets the opportunity.

Ian has three children, two have completed their degrees and are living their own lives in the UK while the youngest is studying for her A levels on the Isle of Man.

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.

Sue Harkins-Andrews

Operations Manager

Sue joined the SCMAT as Operations Manager in September 2022. She grew up and was educated on Walney Island before joining Barrow Sixth Form to do A Levels in law, history and languages.

Sue commenced a law degree at university before deciding to travel the world heading the length and breadth of America and the top to the bottom of the Nile to Israel, Palestine, Latin America and Europe. 

On her return home, she worked in hospitality and catering and eventually as head chef at the Mill at Ulverston. She took a role with Whitbread in 2013 and was quickly promoted to general manager, where she had a UK-wide role including helping with new openings and brand conversions.

Having held every position in the hospitality industry at some point, she joins the Trust with a vast range of people experience and organisational skills. Sue’s aim is to have a ‘strong influence on the SCMAT’s smooth and effective running allowing the schools to focus on what they do best, teaching and growing small humans’.

She has a black belt in Wado-Ryu karate, is a fan of video games and comic books and restores retro console systems and computers in her spare time. As well as around 3,000 games, programs and software – ranging from 1970s to present day – she also owns 800 comic books.

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.

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. 

Gary Birkett

Newbarns Primary and Nursery School Headteacher

Gary is a Barrovian, a former student of Barrow Sixth Form College and an experienced educator.

He studied a degree in English and Education at university in Lincoln and spent the third year of his four-year degree at the University of Hull. 

He returned to Barrow to take up his first teaching post at Newbarns School and Nursery in 1996, and became Headteacher there nine years ago, having completed his headship qualification in 2003.

Gary has always been active in promoting a positive network of like-minded schools working together for the good of all children, not just within a local authority or multi-academy trust but, as he says, ‘everywhere’. 

He is a strong collaborator and works with Headteacher colleagues across Cumbria, as well as Lancashire, Cheshire and as far afield as China.

He believes in the education offered at Newbarns and committed to moving house so his two children could attend the school saying, ‘if I want Newbarns to be the best school it could possibly be, why would I want to deprive my own children of the chance to attend there?’.

Gary is also a Magistrate in the Family Court in Barrow.  This is a role he relishes and, with his extensive experience in education, he feels he brings a unique perspective to the Bench. His experiences in court now help inform a deeper understanding of the challenges many families face.

Jenny Lavery

Headteacher at Cambridge Primary School

Jenny grew up wanting to be a teacher. She began her teaching career at Abbotsmead Junior School as a trainee teacher in 2000 and was employed there as a teacher as it merged with Priory Grove, becoming Cambridge Primary School in 2003. Since then she has moved through the school in leadership roles of PE lead, English leader and Assistant Headteacher before becoming Co-Head and then Headteacher seven years ago.

Living in South Lakes since the age of 11, Jenny studied English and French at the University of Hull, volunteering support in the local primary schools, and teaching as a language assistant while on her year abroad in France, before returning back to St Martin’s College, Ambleside to complete her PGCE.

Jenny is a strong believer in collaboration. Passionate about inclusion and the whole child, she believes that schools should go ‘above and beyond’ to support every pupil’s academic and personal development.

Now living in Ulverston with her husband Craig, she is Mum to two young girls, Maisy and Kitty. Jenny spends her free time with her family, enjoying walks around the South Lakes with their dog, Teddy.

Zena Lines

Headteacher at South Walney Junior School

Zena has lived in Barrow for most of her life. She studied at Barrow Sixth Form College before successfully completing a four-year degree course at St Martin’s College, Lancaster. She studied Mathematics and Primary Education and graduated with a BSC (HONS) with QTS in 1996.

After her degree she began her teaching career at South Walney Junior School and led the school through developments in maths.

Keen to progress into a leadership role, Zena completed her NPQH qualification in 2003. During this time, she took a secondment to the local authority in a role as a maths consultant supporting maths leaders and schools with their provision.

She was then seconded to Coniston Primary School to gain experience in headship and, together with the team, elevated the school out of special measures within a year. She returned to South Walney Junior School and in 2015 became the substantive head.

As a ‘Walneyite’ she has a strong sense of community and feels a huge sense of pride when talking about South Walney Junior School. She is mum to a grown-up daughter and a son who currently attends South Walney Juniors. She enjoys taking walks around the local area and supports her son’s football team on the island.

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.

As an academy trust, we are duty bound:
1) To report the remuneration of any employee with a salary in excess of £100,000;
2) Gain extraordinary permission from the Secretary of State for any salaries in excess of £150,000.
For the academic year 2022-23, no individual meets either of these criteria and this is reflected in the published financial statements for the year ending 31 August, 2023. For 2023-24, one employee will meet criterion 1, and this will be published here in conjunction with the publication of the financial statements when they are approved by the Board later in the calendar year.

South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
c/o Chetwynde School Croslands
Rating Lane, Barrow-in-Furness
Cumbria LA13 0NY

Tel: 01229 824 210

Company number 13414087 registered in England.
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust