Part of

  • Blacko Primary School
  • Colne Park High School
  • Laneshaw Bridge Primary School
  • Lord Street Primary
Pennine Trust


The Trustees are responsible for the same three core governance functions performed by the governing body in a maintained school: setting the direction, holding the Chief Executive Officer to account and ensuring financial probity.

Marie Burnham - Chair of Trust

Marie Burnham is the Independent Lay Chair (Part Time) for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Joint Committee, which is made up of the 11 clinical commissioning groups and is part of the area’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

Marie brings with her over 20 years of leadership experience ‎from health services, charitable sector, private and public including NHS executive and non-executive roles she also has a national reputation for performance and governance management both in the public and private sector. Specialising in turning around failing organisations and delivering real measurable change.

More recent roles include National Chair for NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence), where she held responsibility for safe staffing and a part-time role until 2015 as Chief Accountable Officer for the Well Women’s Centre in Wakefield.

Before taking early retirement 2 years ago Marie was a Chief Executive for many years in the Acute Hospital Sector; over that period, she also participated in a National Enquiry with the nuclear industry, examining body parts and was head hunted to lead on Swine Flu out of Manchester, and a number of meetings in London supporting COBRA.

Marie has also been a member on the University of Lancashire research committee as well as a member of Cumbria University Board.

Emma Gauntlett

With nearly 20 years of senior leadership experience in the education sector, in her current context at a state secondary school, Emma has led on school improvement, SEND, leadership of CPD, policy development, event management and strategic building development with associated fundraising. With a background in major gift fundraising at the NSPCC and The British Red Cross, she has significant experience in bid writing. She has substantial experience with respect to harnessing parental, alumni and community engagement and support, for example, raising £1.3 million for a capital project.

Emma has sound knowledge of charity legislation and reporting mechanisms and is currently joint Regional Vice President of Institute of Development Professionals in Education for the North-West. Emma is a Parent Governor at Blacko Primary School.

Andrew Pettinger

Andrew is a solicitor and Partner at Addleshaw Goddard LLP, one of the largest major UK law firms. Andrew has worked there since 1995, and has been a Partner since 2003.  In that time Andrew has worked on many corporate and commercial transactions, recently specialising in arrangements between the public and private sectors. His clients include central government bodies such as the Ministry of Defence, local government bodies, NHS Trusts, and companies of all types who contract with them (including Serco, Capita and Carillion). His projects include public sector outsourcings and services contracts, projects to deliver social and economic infrastructure (such as schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and street lighting), and joint ventures and partnerships of all types. In particular, Andrew was heavily involved in the government's "Building Schools for the Future" programme, leading his firm's advice on the Hull and Tameside Schemes,  and acting for several consortia in the private sector bidding such schemes nationwide.

Andrew has a longstanding connection with Laneshaw Bridge Primary School.  He was a parent governor there for around 8 years as his three children progressed through the school, with his youngest daughter Anna leaving a year ago.

He is very keen on the promotion of sport for children. For 5 years he managed a junior football team at Barrowford Celtic FC, and he remains a serving committee member and junior coach at Nelson Cricket Club, which he is very passionate about!

Paul White

In addition to being a farmer, a beekeeper, and a business consultant to local small businesses, Paul is the Vice-Chair of the Pennine Trust, the Chairman of Laneshawbridge Parish Council, and Co-Founder of WW Enterprises Ltd., creating industry-transforming technology. Paul also founded the tech start-up, The Modern Milkman.

Paul is a columnist, and ambassador for the Farmers Guardian, and he hosts a live show on BBC Radio Lancashire every Wednesday morning called "Our Lancashire Farm."

Stuart Whiteley

I joined the Board of Trustees on 16th December 2020 and sit on the Resources and Nomination and Remuneration Committees. I qualified as a chartered accountant in 1965 and after professional experience in Manchester and East Lancashire, I joined KPMG in Kingston, Jamaica in 1969.  During my tenure with KPMG, I lived in both Jamaica and Belize and thoroughly enjoyed my time there.  1969 was also a big year for me, as I married my dear wife, Kathryn.

I became a Trustee of The Pennine Trust, as I wanted to give something back to the local community that I have lived in for most of my life.  Now that Covid restrictions have eased, I am looking forward to spending some time in schools.  My expertise in finance has allowed me to support the Board of Trustees in ensuring that finances are expended to progress the educational development of pupils within Trust schools.

I have a particular interest in music and have played the trumpet since 1953 in orchestras, brass bands and also traditional jazz bands.  I hope to be able to support in establishing a Trust-wide orchestra as I believe the benefits for pupils are wide ranging.

Steve Wilson

Steve retired from teaching in August 2020 after 36 rewarding and successful years in education. He started his career as a humble teacher of Mathematics in 1985, following a fairly rapid path into leadership, becoming Head of Mathematics after four years in the profession and ultimately completed the last 14 years of his career as Headteacher at Pendle Vale College.  He is very proud of the many successes in his career and was proud to have led Pendle Vale College to become the highest achieving school in Pendle.

His approach to all aspects of work is one of enthusiasm, passion, commitment, innovation, loyalty and a desire to ensure the very best outcomes for the young people in our care as leaders and teachers. These are qualities, along with a variety and wealth of relevant experience, that he contributes as a Trustee on the trust board.

Steve has worked for 33 years in Pendle schools, been a Governor, at a local Primary in Barrowford, the local Pupil Referral Unit in Burnley and currently Chair of Governors at the recently opened Alternative Provision school, The Heights Burnley. He is also currently Chair of Positive Dementia Pendle assisting in the coordination of provision, raising awareness and supporting those with dementia and their families and carers. 

Claire Clayton

Claire Clayton, a proven finance leader with over a decade of experience in retail and business transformation, is seeking to leverage her extensive background towards enhancing educational governance. With her professional foundation built at Ernst & Young and subsequent roles in international FMCG and a leading UK supermarket, Claire has developed a deep expertise in financial control, risk management, and strategic project leadership. Her notable contributions include steering complex pricing strategies during significant economic shifts like Brexit and implementing comprehensive technological upgrades, directly impacting organisational efficiency and growth.

Claire's leadership extends beyond professional settings; she is a dedicated mentor and team builder, known for enhancing team performance and fostering collaborative environments. Outside of work, Claire is an avid skier and hiker, balancing her career with a passion for the outdoors and family life with her two young daughters.

Driven by a commitment to education as a fundamental societal pillar, Claire is motivated to join the board of trustees to apply her skills in a meaningful way, especially as her daughter approaches school age. She is enthusiastic about contributing to the educational success of children in her community, aiming to support and potentially elevate the learning experiences of young people in and around Colne.

Katy Whitehead

Katy Whitehead, currently serving as a Senior HR Advisor at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, brings a wealth of public sector HR experience to her candidacy for Trustee at The Pennine Trust. Residing near Laneshaw Bridge Primary School, Katy is embedded in the local community and is committed to advancing educational and leadership excellence in the area.

With a background that spans education, NHS, and local government, Katy has developed a nuanced understanding of public sector challenges and opportunities. She holds an MSc in HR Management and a Level 7 CIPD Associate Membership, equipping her with expert knowledge in managing complex HR functions across the full employee lifecycle. Her specialties include employee relations, change management, workforce transformation, and compliance, underpinned by a strong focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Katy's strategic approach to HR includes enhancing stakeholder engagement and optimizing resource allocation to meet budgetary, risk, and compliance goals. As she progresses toward a leadership role in HR Business Partnering and organisational design, Katy is eager to leverage her skills to empower