News - 16 November 2021

Esteem Multi-Academy to discuss the importance of inclusion at the D2N2 AGM

D2N2 is delighted to announce that senior leaders from the Esteem Multi-Academy Trust will be speaking at the D2N2 AGM on the 24 November 2021.

Esteem Multi-Academy Trust currently comprises of eleven academies throughout Derbyshire, Derby City and east Staffordshire. This includes one mainstream academy (with an enhanced resource provision), seven special and three alternative provision (PRU) academies.

The Trust’s vision is to become a centre of excellence for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision.

Speakers will outline what the Trust, together with partners including the D2N2 LEP, is doing to support their young people to develop their employability skills, the challenges young people with SEND face with gaining employment, and the importance of an inclusive workplace.

Guest speakers

Speakers from the Esteem Multi-Academy Trust are confirmed as:

Michael Lucas – School Improvement Lead for the Esteem MAT

Michael is an enthusiastic and dedicated leader who is passionate about improving the life chances of all pupils, but especially those who are disadvantaged. Having held a variety of Senior Leaders posts since 2007, which include being a Head Teacher at mainstream Secondary, Primary Schools and Special Schools, Michael joined Esteem in 2021/22. He currently he oversees School Improvement Activities for the 11 Esteem Academies, the Professional Learning Offer and Learning, Teaching and Research as well as undertaking specific work to support the development needs across the Trust.

Bev Rowley – Deputy Head Teacher at Fountains High School

Bev has over 20 years of experience teaching young people with SEND. Her career started teaching geography in a secondary special school. Now, her focus is very much on  her student’s experiential learning opportunities and direct experiences to have the greatest impact on the provision for her pupil’s learning. Since Bev was appointed as post 16 lead at Fountains High School, she continued to embed experiential learning within the curriculum and recognised the value of real work experiences. She developed a curriculum where work related learning was at the heart and ensured that her students had a breadth of experiences to prepare them for their adult lives.

Recently Bev become Deputy Head and she has shaped our present post-16 provision and the MyFutures curriculum within the school.

Shafeen Akhtar – Post 16 Lead at Fountains High School

Shafeen’s teaching background has largely been in Further Education. She began teaching Business Studies at Burton and South Derbyshire College, before moving to Walsall College and becoming a pathway leader. This is where she developed her passion for SEND and realised that this was the route she wanted pursue.

Shafeen secured the position of post 16 lead at Fountains High School in 2019 and has been integral in relocating the provision to Burton and South Derbyshire College.The hugely positive relationships she has developed with the college strategic leaders has been key in ensuring our learners have the high-quality provision they deserve.


D2N2’s Annual General Meeting and Annual Conference will take place o on Wednesday 24 November 2021 from 12pm -2pm at the De Vere Jubilee Conference Centre. The event is open to members of the public.

Alongside our guest speakers, we will be hosting a panel discussion with our Advisory Board Chairs answering questions put to them by our audience on topics as varied as business, skills, and place.

Questions for the panel must be submitted in advance. Please email your questions to by 5pm on Friday 19 November with ‘AGM Question’ in the subject heading.

To book your place, click here.

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