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Meet the Board

The trustees are: Nicola Howard, Steve Secker, Tim Mottram, and the Chair, Tony Gavin. Sue Williamson (CEO) attends Board meetings also.  

Tony Gavin – BA (Hons), NPQH

From humble roots as a teacher of Physical Education and Geography in Batley and Dewsbury, I progressed through the system to become a Head of Department in Cambridge, a Head of Community Sport in Peterborough, where I was seconded onto the Leadership team and became a fascinated student of School Leadership. I was encouraged to apply for Deputy Headships and was successful in York where I stayed for 10 years, being promoted to Headteacher in my third year at Burnholme, leading the school community through many challenges and thoroughly enjoying my time there with the support of an inspirational and indomitable staff team.

My parents moved back to their beloved NE in 2007 and to spend more time with them in their ‘Twilight’ years I applied for and was selected as Headteacher at a large Secondary school in Guisborough, Laurence Jackson School in Redcar and Cleveland local authority. Whilst at LJ, I was elected Chair of the School Improvement Group and also played a key role in the design, planning and construction of a new learning environment to replace the deteriorating existing school building.

I have always been passionate about engaging, supporting and empowering children and families in deprived, challenging and vulnerable circumstances and held a keen interest in SEND + PSHE and inclusion throughout my career. My educational philosophy has always been about personalization and is completely inclusive as expressed in the mission statement for Laurence Jackson School which was to “Improve the Life Chances of ALL children, regardless of ability, background or circumstance”. This involved tough decisions about allocation of resources to reflect educational priorities, equality and access to ensure that all young people were treated as important individuals and had equal opportunity to succeed. Regular individual mentoring and constant parental engagement were key elements of this process.

I have been a long-time admirer of Tang Hall Smart, have good experience of the nature of East York from my time at Burnholme and I am excited by the prospect of working with the excellent team to provide opportunities for those currently facing disadvantage and challenge. I am highly impressed by the philosophy of Tang Hall Employment charity and believe we can work together effectively to make a real positive difference to those young lives by providing high quality preparation and support in our joint quest to integrate them into genuine and meaningful employment which will enhance their lives in so many ways.

Steve Secker BSc, MBA, FCA.

 My career in business started by qualifying as a chartered accountant. I then spent 24 great years at McCarthy & Stone, Retirement housing developers, where I progressed to Regional Managing Director. I now have a portfolio of non- exec roles spanning Housing Associations, a small housebuilder, Software companies and chair the Property Forum at York Chamber of Commerce. I am also non-executive at Tang Hall SMART CIC where my son has been one of the longest running participants in their education and support programmes and we can see how enormously he has benefited from the great work the team do. So, it’s exciting to be in involved as a Trustee helping set up Tang Hall Employment Charity so we can continue the great work and help those experiencing disadvantages with support into meaningful employment.

Tim Mottram Bsc, ACA.

I started my career working for a brewery in Brighton, followed by me qualifying as a chartered accountant in Leeds and spending 21 years at Covea Insurance where I worked my way up to being the Senior Finance Manager based near Halifax. I re-trained as a Special Educational Needs teaching assistant in 2013/14 and worked for Applefields School in York for 5 years, primarily with 15- and 16-year-olds. I now work for a charity Autism Plus supporting adults with learning difficulties. I have been Chair of Governors at a Special School for over 8 years. My son is one of Tang Hall SMART’s longest running service users and loves attending The Jam Factory. I feel very privileged to be able to support the Tang Hall Employment Charity.

Nicola Howard BSc (Hons); PG Dip.

I am a Mental Health Practitioner at the University of York, working with students in the Hull York Medical School as both a counsellor/therapist and a lecturer in mental health. I also support the school more widely regarding student support, and I offer training sessions to other professionals working with medical students. Additionally I am an EMDR (Eye-movement, de-sensitisation, reprocessing) therapist and I have extensive experience of working with trauma-based issues. Previously I worked as a social worker in a Children and Families setting, specialising in child protection, safeguarding and Looked After Children. Supporting people in challenging situations and helping them to find ways to thrive has been a life-long passion.

I consider my best achievement is being a mum to two adult children. I also love walking and hills and being in the outdoors. I play  netball and have an allotment (although, don’t expect me to know much about why some plants grow and others don’t!)

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