This is what Ofsted said about our governors and their excellent work:

“The governing body effectively supports and challenges the academy’s leaders at all levels. The governing body knows about the academy’s performance and its strengths and has an accurate understanding of what needs to be done to improve the academy further. Governors check on the quality of teaching well and use performance management to set appropriate and challenging targets. They give appropriate attention to the connection between the quality of work that staff do and the arrangements for pay. They have a good understanding of the school’s finances, including pupil premium spending, to provide additional teaching and learning opportunities to improve the English and mathematical skills of pupils who are at risk of falling behind. Safeguarding policies and procedures meet the statutory requirements.”

In you wish to contact our Chair of Governors please do so using the school address:

Rev Howard Astin

c/o Bradford Academy

Teasdale Street




Our Governors

Howard Astin  – Chair of Governors (DBD – Sponsor)

Chair of Governors

Howard Astin

Until April 2017 I was the minister at St John’s Bowling Bradford having been there since 1988. I was previously at Kirkheaton Parish in Huddersfield. I have now retired from the post of Vicar.

I now oversee the leadership of twelve congregations across Bradford that each have their own leaders and leadership teams. This is within an informal working network called Outworks:Bradford whose membership have common vision and values. I also coordinate a network of church leaders called ‘Prayer For Bradford’ that meets fortnightly to support the city of Bradford.

I have been the chair of a number of charities including Olive Branch Trust and BD4 Community Trust, from both of which I have now resigned. Olive Branch Trust has a support function to see other charities, enterprises and social action projects start up and flourish and to give help in the employment of their workers. BD4 Community Trust delivers programmes for families and the older generation in the South Bradford area. I remain chair of E:merge which is a youth charity that has contracts with various schools and community groups to provide quality youth provision in various locations across Bradford and in south west London.

Many years ago I practised as a Solicitor in the Bristol and Bath area, specialising in crime and matrimonial issues.

On a personal level, I have five children and eight grandchildren. I have always enjoyed reading and many sports – now only participating in golf! I am a life-long Burnley FC supporter as this was the home town of both my parents even though I was brought up in London.


ManojJoshiManoj Joshi – Vice Chair of Governors (DBD – Sponsor)

Chair of Finance Committee

A Pharmacist of Ugandan/Indian origin, I came to the UK in 1973 as a refugee during the Idi Amin Crisis. I have lived and worked in inner City Bradford for 35 years. I retired after 27 years in the pharmaceutical industry. My life’s struggles and successes identifies with diverse communities of Bradford. I have a proven track record in delivering successful outcomes making a huge positive difference to all concerned.

I have led, chaired and managed a variety of organisations eg. business (30 staff with £770K turnover), a statutory organisation (660 staff and £150million turnover) and a voluntary organisation (0.5 part-time staff with £8K turnover).

I am a Sponsor/Founder Governor of Bradford Academy, Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors and a Chairman of the Finance Committee.


Bridget Pearson

Bridget Pearson – Governor (DBD – Sponsor)

Chair of Curriculum & Community Committee

Originally from Worcestershire, I have lived and worked in Yorkshire for the last 17 years, 12 of which in Bradford. I am married to Karl and we have one daughter.

After a number of years working in Politics, I have worked in the field of Education & Skills for the last 15 years first within the Life Long Learning Team of a Trade Union and now as a Civil Servant for the Skills Funding Agency.

I have been an elected Parent Governor since 2010 when my daughter joined Bradford Academy as the first intake of the Primary stage. I currently sit on the Curriculum and Community Committee.


Jan De VilliersJan de Villiers – Governor (DBD – Sponsor)

I have pioneered sustainable grass roots and church-based projects in Bradford for over twenty years. In 1994 I established an innovative model of youth work development in one of the most deprived wards in the UK, the result of which was the thriving youth organisation, e:merge, which now supports over 1500 disadvantaged young people in school, at home and on the streets. The story of my journey in youth work was published in a book called ‘just walk with me’ in 2008.

I have been engaged in creating church for the un-churched, developing faith-based community hubs, and pioneering social enterprises. Presently I head up my own development company, supporting organisational and business development of churches and voluntary sector organisations.

Over the years I have been involved with many charities and charitable companies at board level and am presently Chair of Bierley Community Centre and trustee for BD4 Community Trust and director of ASH C.I.C. and Our BD4 C.I.C

Together with my wife, Sharon, we have fostered children for the last 6 years.

On a personal note I love running and you can often find me somewhere in the Dales gasping to stay up with my running partners.


Darren Metcalfe – Governor (Community)

Standards Committee

My name is Darren Metcalfe and I have been working at Yorkshire Water for the last 16 years. My career has predominantly been working in Information technology and my current role is manager of the Clients Infrastructure Team. In my younger years, I did spend some time as a member of the Royal Navy which I look back on with pride.

I was born in Bradford but I now live in Leeds with my wife Caroline and our two children, Poppy and Oliver.

My personal interests include Football and Cycling which as I get older, seem to get much harder. I am season ticket holder for Bradford City therefore regularly endure the ups and downs of a football supporter.


Michelle NealeMichelle Neale – Governor (DBD – Sponsor)

Curriculum & Community Committee

I’m 43 years old. I have been married for nineteen years and I have two children age 14 and18.

I’m a qualified Nursery Nurse and I have worked in various special schools across Bradford. For the last ten years I have been employed at The Bradford Toy Library, a registered charity for children and young people with disabilities.

My hobbies are cooking and reading.

I have been an active parent throughout my children’s schooling and I continue to support them, their studies and their social activities.


Rob Taylor – Governor (DBD – Sponsor)/Chaplain, Bradford Academy

Personnel Committee/Finance Committee

I have been married to Georgina for 25 years and we currently have 3 + 1 children (more at times, including *mum & baby placements):-

Jemimah (home grown), 21, back from Oxford, currently Coordinating STEM Ambassadors at the National Science & Media Museum

Evie (home grown), 18, Doing a Foundation Art Degree in Leeds

Joseph (home grown), 15, in his GCSE year at Bradford Academy

Holly (pre prepared – long term foster daughter), 16, doing A Levels at Notre Dame 6th Form College in Leeds

Previous jobs include 10 years in industry with a military electronics company; I left there to head up Youth Base, a local relational youth work project for 11 years, which was started by my wife Georgina.

After merging Youth Base with another youth work agency called e:merge (who do a lot of great work in ours and other schools), I then began half time as Chaplain when the Academy opened – I greatly enjoy this challenging and developing role.

For the first 5 years of the Academy, I also worked part time as a Curate for St. Paul’s Church in Wibsey, leading to my becoming a fully ordained Priest in the Church of England. From our 6th academic year I went to full time in school, but still fulfil some ‘churchy’ style roles like weddings, funerals and baptisms, mostly now linked with the families of our students, or Academy colleagues or adults who used to attend Youth Base when they were younger.

In school I have a constantly changing case load of young people, who I work with for a wide range of issues and it is my role to raise the awareness and profile of God, faith and spirituality in school.

I love the cinema and watching films and toy with various forms of keeping fit.


Steve WalkerSteve Walker – Teacher Governor (Teaching)

Finance Committee

Originally from Middlesbrough, educated in Bradford and York now living in Rochdale with my partner of 14 years Andrea. No children but all of my hair.

My teaching experience over the last 20 years has been focused in schools in challenging circumstances throughout England. I am an Advanced Skills Teacher for History, a Lead Practitioner, subject lead for History and an Assistant Principal with the Visible Learning Team. I have been at the Academy since its formation.

My interests other than History are travel, outdoor pursuits, technology, film, Middlesbrough FC and good wine.

I have been an elected Teacher Governor since 2015. I currently sit on the Finance Committee.

Cllr Adrian Farley – Governor (LEA)

Chair of Personnel CommitteeAdrian Farley

I am councillor on Bradford Metropolitan District Council and represent the Keighley West Ward. I was first elected in 2012. By profession, I am a practising solicitor and specialise in employment rights and discrimination matters. I am a magistrate on Leeds Bench.

I am passionate about equalities and human rights. I am a Champion for the Charity Remembering Srebrenica. I have visited Bosnia on two occasions and led a delegation of community activists from the Bradford and Keighley District. This charity raises awareness of the genocide that took place in 1995 where thousands of Muslim men and boys were killed because of their faith.

I am the Fairtrade champion for Bradford District and work with various Fairtrade groups across the District to promote Fairtrade practice to support a more sustainable and fair world.

When time permits, I enjoy walking in the Yorkshire Dales, travel and theatre.


Jagdeep KainthJagdeep Kainth – Governor (Co-opted)

Personnel Committee

I am a Director of a Specsavers practice located in Idle, a small village in Bradford and have been a practicing Optometrist for over 10 years.

I started my journey growing up and being educated in a local school right here in Bradford. After attaining my A levels, I decided to move forward with a degree in Optometry and studied right here at the University of Bradford. In 2005 I graduated with Honours and went on to begin my journey in becoming a professional Optometrist.

I was employed by Specsavers and had been accepted onto their Pre Reg training program down south in Chippenham for which I was trained and educated in my field for 2 years. After my time at the Chippenham Practice I moved around and was an optometrist for a number of Specsavers practices in the Nottinghamshire area before returning back to Bradford in 2010, taking up a senior Optometrist position at the Bradford, Idle Practice.

Since then I have gone on to becoming a Director of the store, looking after many people for their eye care and spectacle needs. Its important to me that being honest, professional and trust worthy comes as part of my job.

I am part of the Local Optical Council (LOC) for which we discuss issues raised about concerns on eye health in local communities.

We work with very many charities, especially guide dogs and in the last 2 years have raised over £5000 from local charity events held at our store.

On a personal note, I have been married for 4 years, live in Bradford and have a keen interest in music and playing the guitar. I am the youngest of three and have a keen passion for leadership and group motivation. I enjoy socialising and meeting new people.


Ruth Leetham

Ruth Leetham – Parent Governor (Secondary)

Curriculum & Community Committee

I have been married for 20 years and have five children, two of which have left the Academy and one at university or working.

I also have one in primary, one in Year 9 and one in Post 16. This has helped me to have a good understanding and knowledge of the Academy and education in general, and how it can benefit our children.

I worked in catering management for over 20 years and ran two businesses of my own, which has enabled me to meet and work with a diverse group of people. I have also fostered and mentored children and young adults throughout my life.

This means I have a wide variety of life skills and understanding of children that I can bring to the role of Parent Governor.

I believe strongly in supporting children throughout their schooling and supporting the school to enable it to provide the best possible education for our children.