Meet The Oldham Opportunity Area Board

Improving Opportunity Through Education

An independent group of leading educational experts from Oldham make up the Oldham Opportunity Area board.

Independent Chair

James Kempton

James Kempton  has come to know Oldham well as the DfE appointed independent chair of Oldham Opportunity Area, and has now been appointed the independent chair of Oldham Learning.

James has spent his career focused on improving outcomes for children and young people. Key former roles include chair of Ofsted, Chief Operating Officer of the Chartered College of Teaching, Leader of Islington Council and a while back, secondary school history teacher.

Partnership Board Members

The Oldham Opportunity Area board features a varied group of experts who work hard to improve the lives of children, young people and families in Oldham.

Antony Hughes: CEO, Harmony Academy Trust

Craig Dean: CEO, Web Applications UK and a trustee of Oasis Community Learning

Dr Cathy Hamer: Lead, North West SEND regional network and an early years consultant

Dr Joanne Pearson: Research lead, Oldham Research School and Head, Teamworks Teaching School Alliance

Vicky Beer: Regional Schools Commissioner for Lancashire and West Yorkshire


Jayne Clarke: Principal, Oldham Sixth Form College, and executive principal, The Pinnacle Learning Trust

Councillor Shaid Mushtaq: Cabinet member – Education and Skills, Oldham Council. Councillor for Alexandra Ward

Gerard Jones: Managing Director of Children and Young People – Director of Children’s Services

Caroline Ledward: Careers and Enterprise Company – Regional Lead North West