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Trust Central Services

We have developed a strong and skilled central team to provide specialist support to our schools enabling them to have a greater focus on the teaching and learning to support our children and young people to achieve their potential. 


Our Central Finance Team provides comprehensive support to our academies, organisations and central departments in the areas of budgeting, financial reporting, purchasing, and invoicing. They work closely with responsible staff within our academies and organisations to ensure we maximise the Trust’s resources available for teaching priorities and pupil experiences, whilst maintaining strict compliance with statutory and best practice regulatory guidance. The Finance Team also provides regular performance reporting to individual academies and the Trust Board, supports academies with capital investment spend and manages all regulatory financial returns. 

Meet the team: 

Sarah Murray - Chief Finance Officer

Sarah Elsley - Senior Management Accountant

Shazia Ghauri - Senior Finance Officer

Amanda Hutchinson - Finance Administrator

Emily Jarvis - Trust Management Accountant

Jayne Rowe - Finance Administrator

Stacey Slaughter - Finance Administrator

Vicky Verdeyen - Payroll Officer

Sarah White - Finance Assistant


The Central HR Team has a wide remit that covers all areas of HR and employment law, including: 

  • Short term and complex employee relations cases
  • Employment law advice 
  • Policies and procedures 
  • Employee wellbeing agenda 
  • New starter onboarding and contracts 
  • Central support team payroll queries and Trust wide payroll issue escalations 

Working closely with Leaders and Office Managers, our HR Team are on hand to provide support and advice as and when required. They are focussed on ensuring the best possible outcomes for all stakeholders, as well as enhancing the Trust’s reputation as an employer of choice.  

Meet the team: 

Emma Hendry - Chief HR Officer

Laura Armitage - HR Business Partner

Sienna Budge - HR Assistant

Emily Smith - HR Officer

Rachel Walters - HR Advisor

Premises and Estate Management

All academies within the Trust have their own Site Manager who works closely with the Headteacher and Senior Leaders on the day-to-day security, maintenance and management of the school site. The Trust's Chief Estates Officer supports the School Leadership Team and Site Manager to provide strategic oversight and project delivery in the areas of health and safety compliance, contract management, repairs and maintenance and building improvements.  The Chief Estates Officer leads on Trust-wide estate development and maintenance, managing use of the Trust's School Condition Allocation to develop individualised five year development plans and provide regular updates and performance reporting to the Trust Board.

Meet the team: 

Richard Crabtree - Chief Estates Officer

Ben Batty - ICT Technical Lead

Nadia Connor - Estates, Compliance and Safety Officer


Our Chief Operating Officer provides Trust-wide support, ensuring compliance and best practice in a variety of areas, including:

  • Risk Management
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Data Protection (The COO is the Trust's named Data Protection Officer)
  • Procurement
  • Contract Management
  • Academisation Process
  • Strategy
  • Internal Scrutiny

Meet the team: 

Ruth Jarvis - Chief Operating Officer  


Our Governance Professionals work with our Members, Trustees and across all of our schools and organisations to support the local governance. The Governance Manager and Governance Officer attend all Members, Trustees, and Local Advisory Board meetings between them and provide advice and guidance on procedural matters. They also ensure that the processes and procedures of governance are administered efficiently enabling Members, Trustees and Local Governors to make more effective use of their time and focus on strategic matters.   

Meet the team: 

Peter Taylor - Governance Manager

Paul Hart - Governance Officer

School Improvement

Our school improvement team consists of central team colleagues and some of our very best school leaders and teachers. We support schools to undertake a supported self-evaluation approach to reviewing their provision, strengths and areas for development. We broker support for schools from within and/or beyond the trust as required. Teacher development is an important part of our service, including via Exceed SCITT and Exceed Teaching School Hub. We also facilitate internal curriculum networks for our schools.

Meet the team:

Paul Butler - Director of School Improvement

Emma Dobson - Director of Exceed Teaching School Hub

Duncan Jacques CBE - CEO

Angela Rhodes - Director of Exceed SCITT