Daniel Copley - CSEL/CEO, NLE


Daniel graduated from Leeds Trinity University College (University of Leeds) in 2002. he has served a number of school communities across Yorkshire over the past twenty years, as an NQT, teacher, Deputy Headteacher, Headteacher, Executive Headteacher, CSPTSA Teaching School Strategic Lead and Director of Standards. Daniel was designated as a National Leader of Education in 2016/17, a role he has continued with to date. 

In July 2019 Daniel received the prestigious honour of being made a Fellow in the Chartered College of Teaching.  The Fellowship award recognised his career and leading work in wider school partnerships. Daniel was appointed to the DfE Opportunity Area Partnership Board in 2018 and is proud and passionate about this role in helping improve social mobility and developing a legacy for the children and young people across the City of Bradford for years to come.  

In April 2021, Daniel was appointed as the CSEL/CEO for the Emmaus Catholic Academy Trust and took up the role full time in September 2021. 


Helena Kelly - COO


Helena graduated from GMIT (Galway Mayo Institute of Technology) with a Bachelor of Business in Hotel and Catering Management in 2009.  Helena pursued her career in the Hospitality Industry gaining a broad range of experience in areas of reservations, front of house and sales and marketing. 

Helena moved to the catholic education sector in 2014 working in areas of Finance, Admissions, HR, PA, Health and Safety and Compliancy before gaining her senior leadership role at St Matthew’s as Operations Business Manager.

Helena join the Emmaus CAT in January 2022 as Interim Chief Operating Officer.


John Donald - Primary Director of Education

John graduated from Bretton Hall College (University of Leeds in 2001) with a BA (Hons) QTS specialising in music. John has taught in a number of Catholic primary schools across the north west of England. John has been the deputy headteacher of two Catholic primary schools and the head teacher of a large primary and nursery school. John has completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) programme. 

During his time as a headteacher in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, John trained and served as a S48 inspector of religious education. As well as this, he acted as the secretary of the Catholic Headteacher's Association. 

For the last five years, John has served as one of Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) with Ofsted. 


Nicola Godwin - CFO


Nicola graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in Social Administration, the first 10 years of her career were involved with project management for the hospitality industry.  Nicola took her CIMA accountancy exams in 2006 and upon qualifying, joined a management consultancy company specialising in the public sector.  Nicola quickly moved to the education sector, working for Manchester City Council’s retained education department on both projects and secondment, as well as for a primary school.  This led to work with an academy trust based in Leeds.  In 2013 Nicola started her own company and spent the next eight years working for a selection of maintained schools, special schools and academies on specific projects, and strategic and day to day finances.  Nicola’s area of expertise is accounting within the Education sector.  Nicola joined the Emmaus Catholic Academy Trust in January 2021.


Alison Smith - Executive Administrative Manager


Alison has over 20 years-experience of working with children and young people, and has been employed within the Catholic education sector since 2011. Alison joined one of the larger inner-city secondary school in the Emmaus CAT as a Business Support Officer, progressing through various roles at the school and gaining knowledge in the areas of HR, Governance, Recruitment, Cover, Supporting and Advising Senior Leadership, Admissions, Regulatory and Statutory Compliance, Events and Logistics.

Alison joined the Emmaus CAT in April 2022 as Executive Administrative Manager.


Robert Oakes - Head of Environment and Estates



Cathy Dell - Administrative Assistant

Victoria Humfress - Administrative Assistant


Catherine Anderson - Chair of Directors


Catherine graduated with a degree in Hotel and Catering Management from the University of Strathclyde. Since then she has been involved in education for over 30 years. She worked for Oldham Education Department for 10 years and then moved into Higher Education where she retired as the Director of Estates and Facilities at the University of Liverpool in 2014. She has been a Foundation Governor of Mount Carmel RC Primary School, where she went to school, for 27 years and is currently the Chair of Governors. She is the Chair of an Education Trust in Liverpool and is a Foundation Director of St Theresa of Calcutta CMAT. She has a wealth of experience as a Non-Executive Director and is currently a NED in an NHS Foundation Trust hospital. She is also a Director and Partner in her own management consultancy business as well as a small construction firm.

In her spare time she is a keen sailor, following in the footsteps of her father who was in the Royal Navy. She also loves cooking and entertaining friends and family.


Lynne Tommony - Director

Lynne has a degree in Modern Languages and an extensive background in education in both secondary and primary schools. She has worked as a consultant at local, regional and national level and has been independent since 2011.

A Foundation Governor since 2004, she was Chair at a Catholic secondary school for 7 years. She was also a Community Governor at a primary school and has served on two secondary school IEBs, both leading an academy conversion process. She was a Cohort 1 National Leader of Governance (NLG), and has NCTL accreditation, qualifying her to conduct External Reviews of Governance (ERGs). She now has a wide experience of these in all different school contexts, with a strong record of positive impact.

Within the Diocese of Salford, as well as her current role as CAT Foundation Director, she has served as Vice-Chair at a Catholic primary school, and as an IEB Member at a Catholic high school, where she has remained after academy conversion as Vice-Chair of the LGB. On occasion, she has been appointed as an Additional Governor to sit on a disciplinary panel. In addition, as well as being a Trustee of the Diocesan Schools Building Project, she is the Diocesan Leader of Governance and a regular trainer, presenting at conferences and providing tailored, sustained support and developmental training for governing boards.

She believes firmly in the value of faith education, and that school-to-school support and the sharing of good practice is the most effective way to improve pupil outcomes.

Chris Glennon - Director

Chris has been a qualified teacher for 25 years. During this time he has held the positions of Head of a large Science Department, Assistant Headteacher in charge of Sixth Form and he is currently the Senior Deputy Headteacher  of the largest Catholic High School in Liverpool Archdiocese. Chris has significant experience of governance in educational institutions and he has held the position of the Vice Chair of Governors in a Catholic Secondary School in Trafford. His areas of responsibility are linked with Quality of Education, curriculum development and quality assurance within a variety of different settings. Chris is also the Chairperson of a working party of Deputy Headteachers looking into curriculum innovation. As a practising Catholic Chris absolutely committed to both developing and supporting Catholic Education.


Gerard Greenhalgh - Director

Gerard retired in 2018, after over 40 years’ business experience as an accountant with such companies as Crown Paints, Heinz Foods, Interfloor and Wyndham Vacations Rentals UK. He has nearly 30 years’ experience as a school Governor, firstly at his local Primary school where his children attended and then at All Saints Catholic High School where he was Chair of Governors for the last 7 years.

He stepped down from that role when All Saints joined the Romero Catholic Academy Trust in 2020, as he was one of the initial Directors of the Romero CAT in 2016, helping with its formation. On the Board, he was also Chair of the Finance and Audit committee.

In August 2021, the Salford Diocese asked him to move CATs to the Emmaus CAT with his financial expertise, as there was a skills shortage in that particular area on the Board. 

He is an active participant in his local parish and community and is a passionate advocate of the network of Catholic schools.


Michael Jaffrain - Director

Michael joined the Governing Body in April 2020 following his appointment as Principal of Loreto College.  After a brief spell in the banking sector in France, Michael joined South Cheshire College in Crewe as a Modern Foreign language Assistant, where he stayed for 10 years, before gaining his first senior post at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College.  During his time there he covered a range of different duties over the years including strategy, development, quality assurance, curriculum and tutorial.  For a period of 3 years he was also seconded to work at Ludlow Sixth Form College to help them with teaching and learning.  During his time at Shrewsbury Michael was the college’s OFSTED Nominee and was the Post-16 Safeguarding Representative on the Shropshire Children’s Board. 

He joined St Brendan’s Sixth Form College in Bristol in January 2010 as Assistant Principal and gained the post of Principal six months later, a position he held for eight years.  During his time at St Brendan’s the College has grown significantly and has had two very successful OFSTED inspections.  The College is now the largest provider of A-Levels in Bristol and its surrounding areas and recruits from over 80 schools across 5 counties.  During that time, Michael was the Post-16 Director of the Clifton Catholic Diocesan Education Foundation, chaired by Bishop Declan.  Michael is currently the Chair of the Association of Colleges Academic and Sixth Form Colleges Policy Group and a member of the Sixth Form College Association Governance Group.

With over 24 years’ experience in Post-16 education Michael is passionate about education which he believes can truly transform lives for the better, regardless of your background.  He has experience in curriculum planning, tutorial and pastoral matters, teaching and learning, finances, marketing, HR and premises.  In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his family, doing sporting activities and is an avid reader.  He also likes to be involved in his local community and is currently Parent Governor in a local primary school.


Colin Mason - Director



Donna Allen - Director


LGB Chair of Governors

Mount Carmel RC Primary School - Mr Gerry Hodson

St Chad's RC Primary School - Joanne Meredith

St Anne's RC Voluntary Academy - Sean Thorpe

St Antony's RC High School - Mrs Pat Brown

St Matthew's RC High School - Jane Lancaster

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