Valley Learning Partnership - Our people
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Our people

Above all, as a partnership we value our people; the leaders, teachers and support staff that are responsible for the success of our schools.

Whilst formally we hold regular headteacher/principal meetings, beneath this is wealth of knowledge sharing by those who are the experts in their field including subject departments working together, Key stage 2 & 3 collaborating, SLT /Curriculum development, collaborative 6th form offer and expert support staff securing excellent services and value for money.

Formally, the Valley Learning Partnership is led by a Board of Trustees who bring a range of skill sets from a variety of settings including education and higher education (University of Huddersfield), health, finance and business.

The trustees share a common purpose of working to further the educational opportunities available to the young people of Calderdale and West Yorkshire and to supporting partner schools to maintain excellent standards.

Key personnel

Ruth Baldwin, Chair of the Valley Learning Partnership Board

Ruth Baldwin

The Valley Partnership is privileged to have Ruth Baldwin as the founding Chair of Trustees. Formerly an Executive Director for Children's Services, Ruth's career moved from teacher and Head Teacher into Local Government as an advisor and inspector for Early Years and Primary Educattion. Following a one year secondment to OFSTED to assist with the quality of inspections and monitoring, she then took on the roles of monitoring manager and then second tier posts leading on school improvement in two different authorities. In addition she worked in Youth Services as a centre manager; as a consultant for the National College for School Leadership and with the Greater Manchester Challenge "Good to Great" project. Her passion for ensuring that children and young people always have a high quality education still fuels her passion as a volunteer.

Marion Bain, Trustee

Marion Bain

Marion Bain is chair of the Governing Board at The Brooksbank School. She has 40 years experience of school governance across both primary and secondary sectors, having also been a governor at Bowling Green Primary School and Park Lane Academy. She has considerable experience of recruitment and appointments in schools, has chaired disciplinary hearings (both pupil and staff) and investigated complaints. Marion has been a governor representative on LA panels, including recruitment of senior LA personnel and the Chairs/Members Forum. In the local community Marion is a member of the Inner Wheel Club of Elland, Elland Golf Club, and the Calderdale branch of NSPCC.

Amanda Kenningley, Trustee

Amanda Kenningley

Amanda has worked in the Schools & Colleges Liaison team at the University of Huddersfield since 2006 and been Deputy Head of the Service since 2017. Her job is varied and she enjoys working with young people, especially when it is possible to see how the work done may change their perceptions of Higher Education! Amanda says “Encouraging young people to enter into Higher Education through the work I do gives me a great sense of achievement”. In addition to the work she does at the university with schools and colleges, Amanda is the UK Vice Chair (Group Development) for HELOA (the professional association of staff in Higher Education who work in student recruitment, outreach and marketing) which allows her to keep up to date with current issues in the Higher Education sector and to liaise and collaborate with staff from various universities across the UK. Amanda has just completed the CMI Level 5 Certificate in Management & Leadership and is currenlty studying CMI Level 7 Strategic Management & Leadership.

Amanda’s role as a trustee of the Valley Learning Partnership allows her to input ideas from a Higher Education perspective and enables her to work collaboratively with all partners.

Outside work Amanda likes walking challenges, having undertaken the Yorkshire 3 Peaks a couple of times, the Ullswater Way and next years’ challenge is the Northumberland Coast Mighty Hike, if COVID restrictions allow it! Amanda has two boys who keep her very busy, particularly with their various sporting activities, in her spare time.

Norman Barton, Trustee

Norman Barton


Norman trained as an auditor in London and as a management trainee with an international travel company before becoming a secondary school teacher. He spent more than 30 years working in education as a teacher, headteacher, inspector and advisor. Norman has been a governor at Savile Park since 2007 and loves every minute.

Professor Jane Owen-Lynch, Trustee

Professor Owen-Lynch




Professor Owen-Lynch joined Huddersfield from Lancaster University where she was the first Head of Biomedical and Life Sciences in the Faculty of Health and Medicine, a new Faculty at Lancaster set up in 2008. Under Jane’s leadership the Department achieved a rapid period of growth, almost doubling in size, income and student numbers and achieved a research excellence rating placing it within the top three departments in the subject area in the country.
Jane has a distinctive multidisciplinary portfolio of research activity based in Biochemistry but spanning across collaborations in Physics, Psychology and Biology. Her current work is based around biomarker analysis in physiological conditions including cerebrospinal fluid function in brain development, renal function in cardiovascular disease and biochemical markers of stress responses in acute stress. In conjunction with collaborators in Physics she has just completed an ESRC funded project looking at the dynamics of cardiovascular ageing and this work is continuing at a cellular and clinical level.
Jane also has a wealth of experience linked with student facing activities primarily in admissions but including development of international courses and acting as project lead for building projects including multidisciplinary teaching laboratories. She is also an active supporter of the Athena Swan agenda and orchestrated the Faculty Athena Swan submission at Lancaster which gained the Silver Award.


Kevin Jones, Trustee and Vice Chair of the Valley Learning Partnership

Kevin Jones


Kevin is a Governor and Vice-Chair at Brighouse High and was previously Chair of Governors at a Brighouse Primary School. Through his association with BHS Kevin became a Trustee and Vice-Chair of the Valley Learning Partnership.

Kevin spent the majority of his career from school with a a large international Investment Company in a number of disciplines covering Reserach, Legal, HR, Project Management and ending as Head of Learning and Development. After the company was taken over he took the opportunity to set up and run his own locally based business  for 10 years. Kevin was fortunate to sell his business in 2015 and retire at an unusually young age.

Kevin and his partner have 3 children who have attended Brighouse High and the 6th Form College. He has also been involved with a number of local charities and youth music groups.

Kevin uses the experiences and knowledge gained in  previous employment and also as a Governor, for the benefit of all the member schools of the Valley Learning Partnership.




Liz Cresswell, Director 

Liz is a visionary leader and an outstandingly successful former headteacher with many years of experience in educational leadership and management, governance and inspection. She has an incredible level and depth of experience and knowledge. With a passion for best practice, she is always researching and seeking ideas and solutions both locally and internationally. Liz is renowned for her approachability, her positivity, welcoming manner and exceptional communication skills. She has always believed firmly that schools can achieve more when they work together as a community; her role as our Director allows her to continue to pursue and facilitate this approach with all our partner schools.

Executive Leadership Team

Jane Boylan, Headteacher, Savile Park Primary School, Halifax
Heidi Higgs, Headteacher Moorside Community Primary School, Halifax
Richard Horsfield, Headteacher, Brighouse High School, Brighouse
Kevin Mc Callion, Consultant Headteacher The Brooksbank School, Elland
Andrew Taylor Headteacher of The Brooksbank School Elland

Meet our Headteachers here