Tapton School Academy Trust

Meet the Executive Team

David Dennis - CEO and Director of Secondaries

As CEO David leads the overall strategic direction for the Trust, including its vision and values, through the identification of its key priorities. He provides leadership and an accountability structure for the Trust to ensure continuing success, high quality education, standards of achievement and progress for all students within the Trust. David also takes on the key role of Accounting Officer.

David is an experienced Science teacher who has spent over 25 years at the forefront of developments in Science Education. He has been part of the leadership of Tapton since 2004, joining the school as Director of the Science College. David has developed deep experience and expertise in the key areas of Leadership development, curriculum design and assessment.

In his role leading Tapton School he re designated the school as a National Teaching school allowing Tapton’s commitment to the development of the system to continue through Fields of Learning Teaching School.

David is an experienced system leader and believes that the Trust must contribute to the development of education locally, regionally and nationally. This external focus is clear in his role as National Leader of Education and in his participation in the Building Educational Bridges programme with Singapore focussed on Mathematics education.

David is passionate that TSAT is here to make a difference. Everything that the Trust does must improve life chances, raise aspirations and allow all our learners to realise their dreams. Education has the power to transform lives. He is committed to ensuring development of everyone within our community by always being mindful of the health and well being of each individual.

David believes that our Trust is uniquely placed to make a difference. The diversity within TSAT is a real strength that encourages a rich culture of growth through innovation. 


Julia Delaney - Chief Operating and Finance Officer and Company Secretary

Julia is responsible for the strategic, financial and operational management of the Trust

Julia has over 20 years’ experience of working with Trusts to improve governance and financial controls. Her roles have included Chair of Finance for Hospice UK, Chief Executive of an Independent Trustee company and she led finance at a Children’s Hospice. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered accountants England and Wales (ICAEW) and has worked at PwC and BDO.

Julia’s experience in the education sector includes 4 years as Chair of Finance of a Sheffield primary school and 4 years as a member of the Advisory Board of Sheffield University management school.

Martin Finch - Director of Primary Education 

Martin joined the Trust in September 2021. 

Ben Purvis - HR and Compliance Manager

Ben manages the function for the Trust's schools by providing efficient, effective and high quality HR services. This involves ensuring that HR meets all statutory, regulatory and corporate requirements. Ben also provides HR guidance to the Executive Team, School Business Managers and Headteachers, whilst ensuring all advice is aligned with the Trusts aims and objectives. 

Ben joined TSAT in March 2020 and is a Chartered member of the CIPD with HR experience across the public and private sector. Ben strongly believes that the role of education is to improve the life chances and dreams of every child and he has previously led and delivered graduate, early careers and leadership talent programmes. 

Ben is passionate about ensuring everyone gets the opportunity to realise their potential and that work can and should be a force for good that benefits everyone, including their wellbeing. 

John Dean - Premises and Operations Director

John has worked in education for the past 13 years, starting his career in IT, in which his degree is based. He is currently responsible for the Business Management of the 5 Primary Schools within the Trust and in addition is the Trust lead on Facilities management, including capital projects and Catering. He is passionate about education and has worked at both Secondary and Primary level. His goal is to achieve the expectations to ensure that each setting’s support services and infrastructure operate at the highest possible standards.

 Lewis Askin - IT Director

Lewis has worked in IT for 12 years and has been working for the Trust for 5 years. He is currently responsible for the management of IT across the Trust.

Lewis has worked across Sheffield at a large number of primary schools offering support and guidance.