Meet the Team

The Two Counties Trust is very lucky to have a growing team working behind the scenes, striving to make the Trust the best we can be. At the Trust, we focus on working with the teachers, the leadership teams and the students, across all our academies, to do the best they can. We are there to aid the teachers and leadership in providing a first-class education for every student at The Two Counties Trust.

The Executive Team

Wesley Davies, Chief Executive Officer

Wesley joined The Two Counties Trust in the role of Chief Executive Officer in January 2021. He works closely with leaders across the Trust to continually improve the outcomes of our students in order to ensure they have improved life chances and choices once they have left our care. Wesley also ensures that Trust has a clear operating model which is both healthy and efficient to deliver the Trust’s vision. Prior to joining the Trust, Wesley was an Executive Principal at Dixons Academies Trust where he enjoyed a highly successful career spanning almost 20 years. He was part of three different outstanding academy leadership teams and has led on all areas of school leadership. Wesley has a wealth of experience and credibility having led his own school to an outstanding Ofsted judgement along with supporting various schools to secure improvements. Wesley is a Theology and Sociology graduate from the Leeds University where he studied a variety of religions with a particular focus on Islam and the philosophy of religion. He has led various Religious Education networks, examined to A level standard, spoken at various conferences and been a guest lecturer on PGCE courses. Wesley remains passionate about ensuring high quality experiences for all students.

Debbie Duggan, Operational Resources Director

Debbie joined The Two Counties Trust in April 2017. Initially responsible for establishing the Human Resources function, she now fulfils the role of Director of Operational Resources. She is the Executive Team lead for a range of business functions including Human Resources, Payroll, Procurement, ICT, Governance and the Trading Company’s Nursery. Prior to joining the Trust, Debbie held the role of Vice Principal for Organisational Development at Central College Nottingham where she enjoyed a successful career. As part of the senior leadership team she led a range of areas including Human Resources, Quality Assurance, Training and Development & Learning Technologies. As the Ofsted nominee she led the College from Requires Improvement to Good prior to joining the Trust. Debbie is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development from Nottingham Trent University. She has worked in the education sector for over 20 years in both Secondary and Further Education, specialising in the field of Human Resources in large employers for over 30 years. One of Debbie’s key drivers is to ensure that she delivers high quality, customer focussed business solutions through her teams.

Natalie Palmer, Corporate Services Director

Natalie joined The Two Counties Trust in the role of Director of Finance in March 2020. She is responsible for Finance, Health and Safety, Estates Management and is the Executive Team lead for the Trading Company Leisure Operations. Prior to joining the Trust, Natalie was Director of Compliance and Technical Services and latterly Director of Operational Finance at a large Social Housing provider where she led large scale operational change projects across their Supported Housing and Property offerings. Natalie is an International Management graduate from the University of Manchester as well as a Chartered Management Accountant. Before joining the Education sector, she has worked across Health, Social Care and Housing in a variety of business partnering roles in finance, property and health and safety. Natalie enjoys sharing her wide commercial experience with all departments across an organisation to deliver value while maintaining high quality customer outcomes.

Marie Sly, Curriculum Director

Marie joined The Two Counties Trust in the role of Director of School Improvement in September 2020. She supports and coaches school leaders to raise standards of attainment, teaching and learning in the classroom and school effectiveness. Her aim is to ensure that all students achieve their full potential. Prior to joining the Trust, Marie was an Assistant Principal and Teacher of Business and mathematics at Outwood Grange Academies Trust. She enjoyed belonging to a successful leadership team for over 8 years and headed many areas of school leadership including teaching and learning, curriculum development, attainment and progress. Marie is a Administrative Management graduate from the University of Humberside where she studied business, finance, economics and law. Prior to teaching, Marie worked in the financial services industry for 18 years, mainly in the role of developing and delivering training for professional and technical qualifications in line with strategic national initiatives. Marie brings a diverse range of transferable skills and knowledge to her role, ensuring that students receive the best quality education.

Deb Elsdon, Pastoral Director  

Deb joined The Two Counties Trust in the role of Pastoral Director in September 2021. She supports and coaches school leaders to develop and embed high-quality pastoral systems including SEND, safeguarding, behaviour and attendance, PSHE curriculum and careers. She is passionate about inclusion and ensuring that all students’ needs are met and benefit from a range of support and positive relationships. 

Prior to joining the Trust, Deb worked for LEAP Trust in Rotherham leading on behaviour and attendance, safeguarding, SEND and inclusion as a Deputy Headteacher. She developed a range of SEMH interventions and established an inclusion resource base to re-engage the disengaged students and to give all students the tools to access mainstream school in a positive way. Deb graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in Urban Studies and completed her PGCE at the University of Leeds in Geography.  

Deb’s key driver is inclusion and supporting students, families, and communities to ensure that students achieve their very best. 

Central Middle Leadership Team

Martin Hough, Premises and Estates Manager

Martin joined The Two Counties Trust in April 2018 as Premises and Estates Manager to deliver and support all capital & refurbishment projects and to assist School Site Managers with all aspects of site maintenance including replacement of plant and equipment.  

For the previous 25 years Martin occupied a leadership role at Ashfield School as School Business Manager, where his responsibilities included budgeting and finance HR and payroll,  Site Management and the management of external contractors. 

Throughout his career Martin has successfully undertaken relevant training & qualifications to ensure that he maintains and extends his own personal skills and develops the necessary understanding and knowledge to meet the changing and expanding demands of the teaching and learning environment.  

His main focus was, and still is, to provide quality teaching and learning environments for all users and to update and expand existing provision to meet the changing needs of students. 

Rich Minshaw, Head of ICT

Rich joined the Two Counties Trust in the role of Head of ICT in October 2020. He is responsible for setting the Trust ICT infrastructure and support strategy and implementing it across the estate, in order to provide the best possible learning environment for students. Prior to joining the Trust, Rich was Business Continuity Manager for a French multinational, ensuring IT service delivery for a variety of household name brands. Rich has previously worked in a multitude of private industry sectors, ranging from construction to software design, for SMEs and enterprises. He is a Geophysics graduate from the University of Liverpool, and is certified in ITIL service management and PRINCE2 project management. Rich is passionate about delivering a high quality of service and believes that IT is an enabler for the consistent delivery of all business services. 

Clare Stockdale, Head of Health and Safety and Risk

Clare Stockdale joined The Two Counties Trust in the role of Health and Safety Manager in November 2018 progressing to Head of Health, Safety and Risk in July 2021. She is the Trust lead responsible for providing professional health and safety leadership and risk management advice within the Trust at all levels. Prior to joining the Trust, Clare was Environment, Risk and Health and Safety Manager at Manor Aacademy. During this time she was responsible for the facilities management of the site, statutory compliance,health and safety and was involved in major buiding and refurbishment projects.

Clare has a deep understanding of legal health and safety regulations along with experience in operational workplace safety and inplamenting safety programs. Qualifications to date, NEBOSH National General Certiicate in Occupational Health and Safety and is due to complete NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety in November 2021. Clare brings a wide range of skills to the Trust which will assist her to deliver and maintain a health and safety change programme to embed and drive a positive safety culture across the organisation

Claire Harrison, HR Manager

Claire joined The Two Counties Trust in the role of HR Officer at Ashfield School in March 2019. She is the HR Manager responsible for leading the Human Resources function. Prior to joining the Trust Claire worked in a HR Business Partner role in further education and the care sector. Whilst working in further education Claire supported the merging of two Colleges and support leadership in harmonising terms and conditions, and creating a positive culture. Since joining TTCT Claire has worked with leaders within schools to ensure a high quality HR service is delivered. Claire is fully qualified and holds the Level 7 HR Diploma in Human Resources Management. One of Claire’s drivers is her belief that delivering a first class HR service will support the success of The Two Counties Trust and by working in partnership with Headteachers and Senior Leaders TTCT can be an employer of choice.

Sarah Huddleston, Finance Manager

Sarah joined The Two Counties Trust in late June 2021 in the role as Finance Manager and is responsible for Finance across the Trust. She aims to bring cohesion across the various finance departments within the trust and improve financial information to enable school leadership teams to make considered decisions about the most effective and resourceful way to manage their budget and achieve the best outcomes for the school and its students. Before joining the Trust Sarah was the financial controller for a leading global Sports apparel company based in Derby and was responsible for all aspects of finance involved with the running of an international business. Prior to that Sarah has worked for a number of large household names business’, local government and a charitable trust and so brings with her a wealth of accounting experience. Sarah is a Chartered Management Accountant with 20 years Post Qualification Experience.  Sarah enjoys being part of a team and supporting non-financial colleagues in understanding the impact and benefits of their financial decision making.