Senior Leadership Team
Senior Leaders (ID 1089)
Mr K RafiqExecutive Principal
Mr K Rafiq
Kash Rafiq dreamed of playing football, but his school careers adviser told him it was very unlikely to happen as there were no Asian footballers in the top league. Kash instead decided to go to college and was the first from his family to attend and graduate from University.
During a 19-year career in education, 12 as a senior leader, Mr Rafiq has gained a depth and breadth of leadership experience due to leading on a wide range of high-profile leadership roles in schools facing considerable challenges and disadvantage.
Mr Rafiq has a proven track record of highly impactful school improvement and consistently demonstrating the ability to lead, motivate and inspire both staff and students alike - which has resulted in rapid, tangible, and sustained improvement in every school he has worked in.
Mr Rafiq was appointed as Principal of Moor End Academy in April 2018, the school he attended as a teenager. During his time as Principal, he implemented a wide range of strategies which transformed behaviour and attitudes as well as learning and teaching resulting in the academy becoming oversubscribed and one of the highest performing schools nationally with a Progress 8 score of +0.75. In addition to this the academy were appointed by the DfE to become a lead ‘Behaviour Hub’ school in 2022 as well as successfully achieving ‘World Class’ accreditation in March 2021 becoming the first and only school in Kirklees to achieve this prestigious quality mark.
Mr Rafiq was promoted to Executive Principal in February 2022 and now leads three schools providing the academy Principals with the support, challenge and strategic guidance required to maintain and improve progress to ensure all three academies always strive for excellence.
Moor End academy in Huddersfield (April 2018)
Park Lane academy in Halifax (February 2022)
Waterhead academy in Oldham (January 2023
Mr Rafiq is also a member of the Regional Headteachers advisory board for Yorkshire and Humberside which enables him to share his professional expertise and experience to support and inform regional decisions.
As an educator Mr Rafiq is passionate about the belief that all individuals need to feel valued and encouraged and he has a deep-seated belief that all children deserve an excellent education regardless of what school they attend.
Mrs N CarmanPrincipal
Mrs N CarmanNatashaCarman has been passionate about literature since a young age, and always wanted to pursue a career where she could share this love of reading to inspire others. After graduating from The University of Sheffield with a degree in English Language and Literature, she decided to embark upon a PGCE and enter secondary teaching.
In 2006, Natasha began her career in an ‘outstanding’ Teaching School where she stayed for seven years after becoming Faculty Leader for English, and a Specialist Leader in Education. Results under her leadership improved year on year, to over 94% A*-C with a cohort who started below national average.
After working as part of a school improvement team in a struggling school, Natasha joined the Senior Leadership Team in a large secondary school, leading on core curriculum strategy, and data and assessment. Over the two years she was there, results improved year on year and Natasha was asked to take a position on a new leadership team in a struggling 2-19 academy near Oxford with responsibility for teaching and learning cross-phase.Natasha returned to Yorkshire in 2017 to take up the post of Vice Principal at Moor End Academy, and in 2022 became Head of School, then in 2023 Principal. She is excited to be leading such an inspirational 'World Class' team, and looks forward to playing a key role in Moor End's continued journey. Outside school, Natasha enjoys reading and going to the gym. She also likes watching rugby, and walking her French Bulldog.
Miss V ConwayVice Principal
Miss V Conway
Vicky Conway has always been mesmerised and in awe of nature and the scientific world since a young age, and always wanted to pursue a career where she could share this inquisitive and curious approach to the world around us. After finishing school Vicky was inspired to pursue her education further, becoming the first member of her family to attend university, she attended Sheffield Hallam University and graduated with a degree in Science with Education and QTS.
Over a 16-year career in education, 12 as a senior leader, Vicky has gained a depth and breadth of leadership experience due to leading on a wide range of strategies and strategic responsibilities in schools fronting substantial challenges and disadvantage.
In 2007, Vicky began her career in a very large, “good” secondary school in South Yorkshire where she stayed for 4 years developing her practice and establishing herself as a mentor to trainee teachers and a pedagogical coach amongst peers.
Following working in a good school, Vicky took on the challenge of working in another local authority school which was of much greater challenge and disadvantage, to drive the improvement of the science curriculum and the quality of teaching and learning in school. During this time, Vicky advanced through the leadership team starting as an Aspiring Advanced Skills Teacher, then on to a post as Lead Practitioner for teaching and learning, and finally Assistant Principal leading on teaching and learning across the academy to drive school improvement.
After 7 years Vicky then left this school in South Yorkshire and joined South Pennine Academy Trust as Assistant Principal for teaching, learning and assessment in 2018, where she jointly led on teaching and learning across the trust as well as in the academy.
After a year, Vicky returned to her previous school in a promoted post as Vice Principal in 2019. Vicky led on the new school focus of personal development, in addition to strategic oversight of teaching and learning, and quality assurance. In this role over 4 years, Vicky developed personal development in school and across other schools within that trust, leading to the accreditation of several prestigious awards in this field in recognition of broad and balanced offer students received in this area of education.
Working closely with teacher training providers over this period, Vicky has been a guest speaker to ITT/PGCE cohorts at Sheffield Hallam University, Teach First, and several SCITT providers.
Vicky returned to South Pennine Academy Trust to take up the post of Vice Principal at Moor End Academy in January 2023 leading on the quality of education. Vicky is a passionate leader of high standards of teaching and learning and ensuring the academy provides an aspiring, broad, and balanced curriculum to its learners at all levels. She is passionate about leading the school forward in the pursuit of becoming a dynamic and educationally evolving school that radiates “World Class Status”, and which strives for learners to achieve their very best becoming the “leaders of tomorrow” and maintaining the high expectations embedded at the academy. Outside school, Vicky enjoys cooking and photography. She also likes watching anything linked to the natural world, and spending quality time with her family and friends.
Mr D BellanfanteVice Principal
Mr D Bellanfante
Daniel is a former student of Moor End Academy. After leaving the school as a student, Daniel went on to study at Huddersfield New College where he pursued his passion for sport and physical education at A-Level. He then went on to graduate from Leeds Trinity University with a 1st class honours degree in Sport Development and Secondary Education.
This allowed him to gain an insight into teaching and subsequently gain a role as an ETA at Moor End Academy working with our visually impaired students. This fantastic experience gave Daniel the understanding and passion for creating inclusive learning environments, rooted in mutual respect. Upon completing his year as an ETA, Daniel then went on to complete his teacher training at the academy, before honing his skills as an NQT at an alternative high performing school. Daniel’s passion and affiliation towards the Academy is emphasised with his current role as a Vice Principal, in which promoting positive behaviour around the Academy is at the forefront of his daily routine. Daniel enjoys developing students’ resilience and understanding of what is required to overcome barriers, so Moor End Academy students can become the leaders of tomorrow. Daniel also takes enormous pride in mentoring newly qualified teachers, so they too are constantly fostering positive learning environments which allow all students to maximise their progress.
As a P.E specialist, Daniel partakes in a range of different sports outside of work such as football, badminton and table tennis. He has a strong passion for music and takes pleasure from socialising with family and friends. When Daniel Is not playing sports, he loves to watch his beloved Liverpool FC and is passionate about heavy weight boxing.
Mrs L BarnettAssistant Principal
Mrs L Barnett
Lucinda Barnett left the University of Salford with a degree in English Language and Literature determined to share her passion for the written word far and wide. The following year she qualified as an English teacher from Manchester Metropolitan University and began her career teaching English in Bury, Lancashire.
Her career progressed steadily through five roles in three different schools in the Manchester area, taking English results higher and developing young people to be able to cope with, navigate successfully and contribute to the world around them.
Having recently moved to Yorkshire, she is delighted to join MEA as AP - Interventions, AtLs and Reading. This whole school senior leadership responsibility allows her to continue to indulge, develop and share her passion for learning, supporting young people, for reading and for literature.
When she isn't immersed in a good book, Lucinda enjoys cooking, walking in the beautiful local area, and enjoying live music.
Mrs H EdwardsAssistant Principal
Mrs H Edwards
Helen Edwards grew up in Northern Ireland and has always been a very creative person and passionate about art.. She decided that her career would have to involve sharing this passion with others. After graduating from The University of Ulster with a degree in Fine and Applied Arts, Helen decided to undertake a PGCE and enter secondary teaching.
In 1999, Helen moved to West Yorkshire and after completing her PGCE she began her career in a girls’ school where she stayed for four years teaching Textiles.
Helen then took on her first leadership role at Moor End Technology College as Assistant Faculty Leader for Design and Technology in 2004, and soon after became the Faculty Leader. Results under her leadership improved year on year, taking a faculty from being an underperforming department to one of the most successful performing faculties in the school.
After working as a middle leader for many years, Helen joined the Senior Leadership Team as an Associate Assistant Principal with responsibility for a part of Teaching School as well as becoming a Specialist Leader in Education. Throughout this time, Helen led on several school to school support deployments supporting a number of establishments in their own internal improvements via strategic system leadership.
Helen took up the post of Assistant Principal at Moor End Academy in 2016. She is excited to be a part of the team at such a key time, and looks forward to continuing to be part of the growth of Moor End Academy in becoming a world class education provider.
Outside school, Helen enjoys spending time with her family, and cycling. She also likes walking and creating her own textiles art work.
Miss Y AkhtarAssistant Principal
Miss Y Akhtar
Yasmin Akhtar has always had a passion for politics from a young age and even competed in the Model United Nations whilst studying at school and college. Yasmin graduated with a degree in Politics and International Relations at Aston University in Birmingham. After completing this degree, she decided to do a Secondary Schools Direct course as a teacher of History.
After graduating from Newman University as a teacher of History Yasmin went on to complete her NQT year at an outstanding girls’ school in the Hodge Hill area in Birmingham. As teacher of History Yasmin worked with the small History department to achieve amazing results with 94% of students in year 11 achieving a grade C or above.
After marrying her husband in 2016 Yasmin relocated to Leeds. Yasmin worked in one of the most deprived areas in Leeds - Seacroft. Yasmin was one of a handful of non-white teachers in a predominantly white British area. Although there were many challenges working at the school Yasmin was able to inspire students to take on a new subject called Citizenship. It was at this school that Yasmin was made a subject leader.
Yasmin decided it was time for a new challenge after having her daughter in 2018. Citizenship was a new subject introduced at Moor End Academy in 2019 and Yasmin successfully applied for the job of subject leader. Over the last couple of years, she has worked to develop the subject. It is now a popular subject in Key Stage 3 which had led to high take up numbers for the GCSE qualification.
Outside of school Yasmin enjoys her weekends with her young daughter. Yasmin loves reading biographies of political leaders and spends most of her holidays travelling to new countries.
Mr B HowittAssociate Assistant Principal
Mr B Howitt
After leaving Holmfirth High School as a student, Ben went on to study at Huddersfield New College where he pursued his passion for sport and physical education through a course in Sport Science. He then went on to graduate from Edge Hill University, near Liverpool, with a degree in Physical Education and School Sport.
Upon graduating university, Ben then went on to complete a post graduate degree at the same university, working in two schools in Preston, to fully qualify as a PE teacher, before honing his skills as an NQT at a secondary school in Halifax. Ben then worked for 7 years at this school developing his passion for physical education and establishing himself as a mentor to trainee teachers, before joining MEA in 2020 as Assistant Subject Leader in PE. He has worked in this middle leadership role for the past 4 years and is passionate about developing his career further as part of the senior leadership team. Ben is delighted to take the role of Associate Assistant Principal - overseeing the day-to-day behaviour around the academy.
He is excited to be a part of the team at such a key time, and looks forward to continuing to be part of the growth of Moor End Academy in becoming a world class educational provider.
As a P.E specialist, Ben partakes in a range of different sports outside of work with his main passion being cricket. When Ben is not playing sports, he loves to watch his beloved Huddersfield town and enjoys taking his dog on lots of walks in the countryside with his wife.
Extended Senior Leaders
Extended Senior Leaders (ID 1090)