Chris Mitchell

Deputy CEO – Secondaries

Chris joined the Trust in 2010 after a varied career in and out of education.

Whilst at university, Chris was sponsored by British Coal to work towards his degree in Engineering, After gaining his degree, Chris embarked upon the management trainee programme at British Coal which involved gaining experience in all aspects of the mining industry. Chris spent three years working across all departments and even spent a year on the coalface gaining hands on experience of the roles of which he would manage.

During the miners strikes, Chris make the tough decision to move away from the mining industry and took various roles within finance. With his keen eye for numbers and his ability to help his colleagues understand them, the most natural step was for Chris to do a PGCE and become a maths teacher.

Chris’s first role in teaching was as an NQT at Lady Lumbly’s School in Pickering, gaining Head of Year in his second year before moving to Head of Maths at Norton College within 3 years. Chris spent 16 years at Norton College working his way up through the Senior Leadership Team become Associate Headteacher.

The school quickly became outstanding and was asked to become a National Support School. Chris subsequently took on two 2 year contracts providing school improvement support at a senior level. He took two schools out of special measures before moving to what was then SPTA in 2010.  

Chris joined SPTA as an Academy Improvement Officer, working across several academies to implement and maintain systems and structures and develop school improvement. Chris successfully moved into a Regional Director role supporting both primary and secondary before his focus switched back to secondary, becoming Deputy CEO in this area.

Chris now supports multiple schools across the Trust and works closely with the CEO to support other Multi Academy Trusts in their own development. His main areas of focus are Curriculum Led Financial Planning (CLFP) linked to budgets, school improvement, developing and implementing leadership structures and maintaining relationships with our unions through Joint National Consultations (JNCs).

Of all the roles Chris has fulfilled in his career, he is enjoying his role now the most due to variety of tasks he gets involved in. Chris feels very passionate about what he does and can see the difference the Trust are making in improving the life chances of pupils. Chris genuinely believes that had he not had first-hand experience in multiple front facing roles within the coal mining industry, he would not have had the life experience which in turn shaped his future in education. 

Chris loves working with the people he does. There’s a sense of being part of a team and of all being in it together.

Outside of work, Chris is a keen golfer, enjoys watching most sports and has maintained his South Yorkshire roots by not giving up on supporting Barnsley FC! Chris loves living in North Yorkshire. He doesn’t even mind his lengthy commute to most of the schools he works with as he feels that living where he does has genuinely influenced the way in which he has lead his family life and the way they live their lives together.

The fact that such a transformational change has happened across our secondary estate over the past 4 years is something to be immensely proud of and it is all down to the people we work with.