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Welcome to

Batley Multi Academy Trust

The Trust at the heart of the Batley community

Meet our Members

Ahmad Lunat OBE


Ahmad, an author and founder member of Batley’s Gujarati Writers’ Forum. He has a lifelong commitment to strengthening community services in our locality. Ahmad has worked extensively with education projects across the Batley and Dewsbury areas. Ahmad Lunat began to write creatively at the age of 15 when he was a student in his native village of Alipore. To date, he has published five collections of poems and has presented his poetry at Gujarati conferences in the USA, Canada and Belgium, among other places, of which he is very proud. In addition, Ahmad has been actively involved in community work and his contribution to community services was recognised by Her Majesty’s government in 1999 when he was awarded an OBE.  


Fazila Aswat


Fazila was born and raised in Batley and is an active member of the community. 


Fazila volunteers with Batley & Birstall Community Trust, Batley & Spen Youth Theatre, Batley Food Bank, Sisters of MPIT and RVS Batley & Spen Community Companions and has a deep passion for helping others. 


Having been involved in the education sector as a Governor for over 10 years, Fazila understands the key issues the education sector faces and is passionate about supporting our young people. 


Fazila also has great experience in the charity sector, starting at Project Management level and then as a Locality Manager, as well as a serving Trustee for a local Charity. This also extends to volunteer roles with a number of charity and community initiatives such as, Reading Friends, Scouts and various parents' forums.


Fazila has also worked in political office for MPs and briefly for the West Yorkshire Mayoral campaign too.


Fazila is absolutely committed to the local community and supporting our young people to ensure no child is left behind - ever. 


Jane Acklam OBE


Jane was the founding CEO of South Pennine Academies, having recently retired. She led a regional multi-academy trust educating 6000+ students from 2-16 years old. She has considerable experience as a highly successful CEO, Headteacher and Principal. Jane has led a range of sponsored academies to improve and opened two free schools. Jane was a National Leader of Education from 2009 and effectively supported and built capacity in a wide range of schools, locally and regionally. In addition, Jane has operated in the teaching training market for over 10 years, training and developing teachers, in all phases, through a highly successful SCITT.


As the Principal of Moor End Academy, she led them through numerous Ofsted inspections achieving outstanding in 2009 and again in 2012.


Jane won national awards for her commitment to excellence in the professional development of teachers and has been awarded a Teaching Award, as Headteacher of the Year, in the national annual awards.


She has a wealth of experience working for the Department for Education, on the Headteacher Board for West Yorkshire and Lancashire, and as a Teaching and Leadership Adviser for the then National College for Teaching and Leadership. 


Jane was awarded an OBE for services to Education in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list.


Jane is now a leadership and executive coach, coaching as part of NPQEL and The Mental Health Award for Schools. She is an ILM L7 accredited, and a qualified team coaching practitioner.

Chris Toole


Chris graduated from Oxford with a BA in English Literature and Language in 1982 and then pursued a career in the financial services sector for twenty-eight years. Chris worked as an analyst at the Bank of England and County NatWest for eight years, before joining the Halifax Building Society (latterly HBoS and Lloyds Banking Group) and held a number of roles there in sales management, strategy and programme management, working out of Halifax, Chester, Leeds and Bradford. In 2010, he changed career and fulfilled a long-held ambition by training as a secondary school English teacher via the GTP at Bradford College. Chris taught for ten years, firstly at Beckfoot School in Bingley and then at Upper Batley High School and also worked for Kip McGrath as a tutor. Chris also served for two terms as a Governor of The Crossley Heath School in Halifax.


Away from work, he has a lifelong interest in History and obtained a MA in Modern History from the University of Leeds in 2018 and is now studying for a PhD there. Since 2020, Chris has worked for The Prince’s Trust and sits as a Magistrate in the Family Division in West Yorkshire. His hobbies include running, travel, theatre and reading. Chris is married, with two grown-up children, and lives in Halifax, where he is a member of the Halifax Antiquarian Society, Halifax Civic Trust and St. Jude’s Church.


Professor John Double 


John spent his entire working career of 40 years in Cancer Research. When he retired, he was the Director of the CRUK Cancer Research Unit and honorary consultant to the Bradford Hospitals. He was also Visiting Professor of Cancer Pharmacology in Leeds.

Over his career John supervised some 30 Ph.D. students, examined many
others, and was also an assessor for Higher Doctorates. John has spoken at many national and international conferences and have been a member of several national and international committees, two of which he chaired. John was an Editor of the British Journal of Cancer for seven years and Treasurer of the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer for six years.

On his retirement John became an Emeritus Professor in Bradford and serve on the University Court. He is also a member of the University Court in Leeds, where he represents the Akroyd Foundation, an educational charity that provides undergraduate and post graduate scholarships. In Leeds, John is also a member of the University Research Ethics Committee, and Honorary Degrees Committee and the Independent Complaints Officer to the Students Union.

John is also passionate about the importance of education which is why he has been involved in governance for some 30 years ago. He believes that good schooling is absolutely essential for any career and numeracy and literacy are fundamental factors in success.