Board of Directors: In all Academy Trusts, the individuals appointed to challenge and scrutinise the strategic direction and day to day running of the company, led by the Chief Executive Officer, have three functions:

  • They are Directors – because the MAT is a company, and;
  • They are Trustees – because the MAT is a charity, and;
  • They are Governors – because the MAT is responsible for running the schools.

This can be very confusing as the documentation used to set up the Academy Trust and the Department for Education guidance for Academies uses these three titles interchangeably, depending on the context. In Nexus, this role is simply called ‘Director’. Directors are made up of a diverse range of individuals. The Members will always appoint Directors, and Directors have the option to appoint associate Directors.

Below are further details of the Nexus MAT Directors.

Name: Mr Andy Child MBE ( Andrew Child Interests & Attendance Data-Director )

Andy has had a broad career spanning 40 years working for a variety of UK government agencies and departments.  He has been involved with school governance since 1988 and has been chair of governing boards in special, primary and secondary schools.  He has also delivered training to school governors across South Yorkshire as well as spoken at regional and national conferences on effective school governance.   Since becoming a National Leader of Governance in 2014, he has worked on a range of initiatives with schools, Local Authorities, Multi Academy Trusts and other educational stakeholders across South Yorkshire to support and improve governance.   In June 2016 Andy was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his services to education and school governance.  He is currently the Chair of Nexus Multi Academy Trust and is a member of the East Midlands and the Humber Headteacher Board.
Name: Mr John Coleman ( John Coleman Interests & Attendance Data)

John wants Nexus to ensure that our children and young people and staff are safe, happy, healthy, confident and successful, contributing to a thriving, inclusive community that is welcoming to all. John is retired now though he has been a teacher, educational psychologist and advisor in all sectors of the education service, and has significant senior management experience at local authority, regional and national levels. With forty years’ experience within the education service he has a depth of knowledge to draw upon to support Nexus to be the best it can be.
Name: Mr Peter Castleton – Named Director for SafeguardingPeter Castleton Interests & Attendance Data )

Peter is a (recently) retired, former Director of Social Work Studies at the University of Sheffield and has extensive experience of children’s social work leadership and management. Peter published papers and has undertaken research in a wide range of social work related areas and has advised local and national government on strategy.
Name: Mrs Rachel Potts ( Rachel Potts Interests & Attendance Data )

Rachel took early retirement following a 36-year career in the NHS, working in a range of operational management and senior leadership roles. Rachel was Chief Operating Officer and more recently Executive Director of Planning & Governance and has a wealth of relevant experience in all aspects of strategic planning, commissioning, performance delivery, corporate governance and leadership. Rachel has a Master’s Degree in Health & Social Care and many of her successes in the NHS have involved taking a collaborative approach to working in a multi-agency way to deliver service improvements. Rachel has been a Governor on Hilltop Local Governing Body since September 2017 and has appreciated the opportunity to bring her skills and experience to the role of a Nexus MAT Director over the last 18 months.
Name: Mr Steven Booth ( Steven Booth Interests & Attendance Data )

Steve has been involved in the governance of our schools since 2015, both as a governor and chair of governors at 2 of our schools. He continues to provide support as a Director and Trustee of Nexus, including being an active member of the Audit and Finance committee.

Steve Booth worked for 32 years in Banking. After taking early retirement in 2001 he joined an education charity, Young Enterprise, as Regional Manager, becoming C.E.O in 2005 and finally retired in 2008. Steve has accrued a wide range of business and finance experience. During his second “mini” career at Young Enterprise, Steve worked with hundreds of schools and business across the Yorkshire & Humber region.

Name: Sue Shelley ( Susan Shelley Interests & Attendance Data )

Having taught in schools, sixth form college and alternative education settings Sue then became involved in a range of educational initiatives supporting out of school activities. Before becoming a member of the Kelford Governing Body she have been a governor in both secondary and primary schools. Throughout her working life she has been committed to promoting both pupil and family voice.  Having been involved with both voluntary sector organisations and schools across Rotherham she has a passionate commitment to equality of opportunity for all young people and is delighted to be able to support Nexus and Kelford in this work through her role as a Governor.
Name: Mr Ray Palmer ( Ray Palmer Interests & Attendance Data )

Ray Palmer joined the Trust Board of Directors in 2018, having had no previous connection with the MAT or our academies. Ray is a professional and competent health and safety consultant with a wide range of experience gained whilst working in a variety of work environments across the public and private sectors. Ray is also a sitting Magistrate, a role he has held since 1998.
Name: Professor Nick Hodge ( Nicholas Hodge Interests & Attendance Data )
Nick Hodge
Professor Nick Hodge is a Director  of Nexus MAT.  Nick is Professor of Inclusive Practice in the Sheffield Institute of Education.  Nick’s research interests focus on the attitudinal and structural barriers that lead to disabled children and their parents and carers becoming marginalised, disempowered and excluded within the educational system. Much of Nick’s work has involved challenging deficit led models of disability that mark children and young people as disordered and other. A critical element of his activity is ensuring that his research impacts on school practice.
Name: Helen Bellinger ( Helen Bellinger Interests & Attendance Data)
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I am an experienced former Headteacher, Executive Headteacher and System Leader with over 20 years’ experience of working with schools across Doncaster and South Yorkshire. In addition, I have worked as a Local Authority (LA) Senior Standards and Effectiveness Officer and have been involved in the design and delivery of a number of leadership programmes, both regionally and nationally.

In September 2017, I became the Director of Doncaster Research School and have become an active member of the national Research School Network which is funded by the Education Endowment Foundation.

It is my firm belief that our education system needs to strive to be more evidence- informed, at classroom, school, trust and system level. I have been fortunate to have both led and participated in a number of International enquiry study visits, including visits to Russia and China, and more recently to Australia in November 2019.

It is a privilege for me to have the opportunity to serve as a Trustee with Nexus Multi-Academy Trust.

If you would like to make further enquiries with our Board of Directors, please contact our clerking department at or 01709 257277 and press 4 on your handset when prompted.

Trust Board Minutes

Copies of all previous Trust Board Minutes can be found here

Local Governing Body Minutes are published on the each schools’ website.

Directors that have also served in the last 12 months

Details of our previous serving Directors can be found here