Leadership and Staff

Members 

The Revd. Prebendary John Allan : Member

The Revd. Prebendary John Allan

Member

I am the Vicar of All Saints Parish Church Alrewas, which means I serve the school as a Foundation Governor (representing the local parish church as well as the wider Diocese of Lichfield). I have been a Governor since 2001 and during this time I have also served as the Vice-Chair of the Governing Body, and am currently a member of the Personnel Committee.

Claire Shaw :

Claire Shaw

Claire has twenty years teaching experience. This includes two headships and twelve years’ experience as SENCO. She has worked in both inner city and rural schools. Claire was a Consultant Leader for Bristol City Council and has extensive experience of coaching in a range of school settings. Claire is completing her training as a SIAMS inspector this year and is the SIAMS manager and critical reader for the diocese.

Mrs Susan Hannam : BA PGCE (Birmingham), MA (Gloucestershire)

Mrs Susan Hannam

BA PGCE (Birmingham), MA (Gloucestershire)

Headteacher, Lichfield Cathedral School (independent, fee paying)
Qualified Solicitor
Member, Society of Heads’ National Committee (for independent school Heads)
Member of the Cathedral Foundation

Rt Revd Matthew Parker, Bishop of Stafford : BA (Cambridge), BA (Manchester)

Rt Revd Matthew Parker, Bishop of Stafford

BA (Cambridge), BA (Manchester)

Archdeacon of Stoke-upon-Trent
Member, Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education
Member, Bishop’s Council & Diocesan Board of Finance
Member of the Diocese of Lichfield’s Risk & Audit Committee
Substantial experience of school governance, including previously as Chair of St Edward’s CE(A) Junior High
School, Leek and currently as a member of the LGB/IEB of St Peter’s Academy, Stoke.

Dr Alison Primrose : Director – Chair of St Chad’s Academies Trust Board

Dr Alison Primrose

Director – Chair of St Chad’s Academies Trust Board

Former head of a co-educational day school with previous posts including senior leadership roles in a co-educational day and boarding preparatory school, a Church of England maintained primary school and a British Overseas School. Subject specialisms include primary and secondary science, mathematics, Religious Education, music and collective worship. Research work relating to worship in Church schools and a doctorate in educational assessment. Publications include a wide range of educational assessment materials.

Trustees

Michelle Painter : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Michelle Painter

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Michelle has been involved in school governance for the past fourteen years and has experience in both primary and secondary school improvement and governance. She was Chair of Governors at St Peter’s Primary Academy and was involved in them becoming part of the St Chad’s Academy Trust family. She has experience of the collaborative nature of the Trust and values the approach.

She has a strong understanding of the values that support St Chad’s Academy Trust and is committed to ensuring those values are embedded through her role as a trustee. Utilising data analysis to identify opportunities and areas of development is a key skill of hers and will be beneficial to pupil attainment and progression.

Michelle has senior leadership experience working as Head of Forensics for West Midlands Police and believes in making a difference to communities. She has a Masters Degree in Leadership and Management. She is looking forward to the role and supporting the development of the trust and herself.

Jean Jackson : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust - Vice Chair

Jean Jackson

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust - Vice Chair

Programme Manager, The Digital Academy, Rolls-Royce
A Chartered Digital Marketer and former IT salesperson, I’ve worked in technology – specifically, IT – and marketing and communications for many years. I began my career as a grammar-school teacher of English, taught computing, moved into the IT industry but always maintained a strong interest in education; I left IBM to become Director of Development for Oldham Business School, post-riots. Later I became Group Head of Marketing for Promethean, who sell technology for schools.

I moved to the Midlands from Manchester about 10 years ago and took a range of interim roles, e.g. interim head of marketing & comms for a charity, and was part of the National College for School Leadership’s first cohort of School Business Directors: I worked with a network of primary and secondary schools in Dudley for 2 years while also studying for a Masters in School Business Administration. After this I followed my interest in green energy and ran marketing for Carillion’s short-lived Energy division before joining Rolls-Royce, initially in Communications within global IT. I’m now working for the Rolls-Royce Digital Academy, promoting digital culture and competency inside and outside the company: we are developing programmes with schools and the community.

I was formerly a Trustee of the Methodist Church and briefly for the Family Justice Centre in Lichfield. I’m keen to contribute to widening children’s aspirations and helping schools to work together so that they can concentrate on what they do best, i.e. educating children.

Gareth Leverton : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Gareth Leverton

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Gareth has over 25 years' experience in business in various roles from operations through to commercial, he is a result driven leader with a record of delivering significant operations and business excellence. Gareth is experienced in building high-performance teams to maximise company profitability and efficiency whilst maintaining stakeholder and customer satisfaction.

The foundation of his achievements to date lies in his ability to organise his time effectively, prioritise tasks, and use his initiative to come up with solutions to problems. He is skilled in the Leone funnel process and DISC literacy which has given him the ability to follow proven processes which increase stakeholder relationships.

One of Gareth’s strongest points is his self-motivation which allows him to perform well under pressure and against aggressive deadlines in any pressurised environment. Being a highly analytical thinker, he is able to quickly identify, scrutinise, improve, and streamline complex work processes.

Strategically he has the ability to understand what’s important and needs focus, which drives motivation and performance delivery.

Harry Azima : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Harry Azima

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Harry Azima is a Hospitality and Retail guru who has worked and lived across the globe and has worked with some of the most iconic brands in the world. He is a family man; married to a South African and blessed with 4 kids. He is a self made business man who has founded amongst many the LoneRnager Group and South African SME Federation (SASMEF) to name a few but has been active in the Non-Profit sector and development of Youth since 2006. Although from an executive background, HA as he is called mostly is from humble beginnings and has stayed true to his roots and not only leads from the front but also has a "Can-do-attitude". He is a mentor and an inspirational speaker who believes in developing others wherever possible.

Phil Marris : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Phil Marris

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust

Phil is an experienced CEO with formal Institute of Directors qualifications and more than 25 years’ experience leading manufacturing and contracting organisations in and around the construction industry. He is now using his knowledge and experience as an SME business coach and mentor, helping leaders of small and medium-sized businesses realise their ambitions. He also chairs a peer advisory board for Midlands-based business leaders.

His energy comes from helping to build great teams and creating an environment where people feel valued and are encouraged to develop themselves to be the best that they can be.

He shares the strong values that underpin St. Chad’s, and looks forward to working as an active member of the Trustee Board to ensure good governance and supporting our “Children First” strategic focus.

Phil is married to Anthea and has 2 grown up sons away at university. He is often found on Saturdays refereeing rugby matches around the Midlands.

Dr Alison Primrose : Director – Chair of St Chad’s Academies Trust Board

Dr Alison Primrose

Director – Chair of St Chad’s Academies Trust Board

Former head of a co-educational day school with previous posts including senior leadership roles in a co-educational day and boarding preparatory school, a Church of England maintained primary school and a British Overseas School. Subject specialisms include primary and secondary science, mathematics, Religious Education, music and collective worship. Research work relating to worship in Church schools and a doctorate in educational assessment. Publications include a wide range of educational assessment materials.

Sue Wedgwood MSc : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust / CEO

Sue Wedgwood MSc

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust / CEO

Sue was appointed Chief Executive Officer in September 2016. She has been a Headteacher in three schools in the West Midlands. Sue was also an external assessor for Derby University, Associate lecturer for Manchester Metropolitan University, delivering MSc modules and a provider of PGCE modules for Keele University.

She served as a Senior Adviser for Stoke LA, responsible for CPD and community development, Assistant Managing Director for Walsall Children’s Services, Serco, responsible for school improvement 3-19, governance and ICT and then Director of School Improvement for Academy Transformation Trust. Sue is currently a school governor and Chair of Governors.

The Team

Paul Mitchell : Director of Learning

Paul Mitchell

Director of Learning

Paul was appointed as Director of Learning in January 2021. He was previously a successful Executive Principal, with a strong track record of outcomes and school improvement. During this time he also supported St Chad’s Trust as an Improvement Partner working with a number of academies. This followed many years of successful school leadership in the West Midlands and South East.

Paul was also the West Midlands Primary Ambassador for the NCETM, working with schools throughout the region on improving mathematical outcomes for pupils, training and supporting subject coordinators and teachers. Prior to this Paul worked with schools on a wide range of projects, including working with the Millennium Dome.

Sarah Preston : Senior School Improvement Adviser

Sarah Preston

Senior School Improvement Adviser

I am currently a Senior School Improvement Advisor for St Chad’s Academy Trust with responsibility for English and Safeguarding. I also lead the Primary Excellence in English Project for one day per week on behalf of the Potteries Education Trust.

Previous to this, I worked for Stoke Local Authority as a Senior School Improvement Adviser and Strategic Moderation Manager for EYFS, KS1 and KS2.

I am an accredited school improvement adviser and have worked in a number of local authorities. When I worked as an adviser in Nottinghamshire, a key aspect of this work was establishing and leading the Local Leaders and National Leaders of Education programme, focussing on delivering high quality school to school support. As a result of the high-quality impact of this programme, the authority was asked to share their practices with a number of other Local Authorities. I am truly passionate about the benefits of school-to-school support and collaborative working; alongside a rigorous quality assurance system to objectively evaluate the impact of support in raising attainment and accelerating progress of all pupils.

I am a qualified teacher and, before becoming a school improvement adviser, gained extensive school-based middle and senior leadership experience in a range of different schools.

Taslima Begum : PA to Chief Executive Officer

Taslima Begum

PA to Chief Executive Officer

Taslima joined the Central Team in September 2021 as PA to the CEO. Working part time, Taslima supports the CEO on a day to day basis completing tasks including co ordinating meetings, managing diaries and incoming communications. Taslima also provides the CEO with comprehensive project and business support including overseeing complex administrative processes.

Previous to this role, Taslima worked at the University of Birmingham as an Executive Assistant supporting the Director of Internationalisation and the Senior Leadership Team at Birmingham Medical School.

Stuart Dawson : Financial Accounting Officer

Stuart Dawson

Financial Accounting Officer

Stuart has over 20 years in finance and is nearing completion of ACCA, already being Part Qualified. For the last 2 years Stuart has worked exclusively in the education setting, mainly supporting and advising academies. This has included onsite support and training to school business managers, principals and governors.

Reena Farmah : HR and Governance Officer

Reena Farmah

HR and Governance Officer

Reena joined the team in June 2017 as HR and Governance Officer. Reena has 7 years’ experience in supporting schools and academies in all aspects of Governance including procedures, policies and Governance compliance. She has co-ordinated clerking provision and supported Headteachers/Principals and Chairs of Governors in all aspects of governance management. Reena is fully qualified CIPD level 5 Diploma in HR Management.

Anna Gordon : Financial Accounting Officer

Anna Gordon

Financial Accounting Officer

Anna Gordon joined us in June 2017 to take up the role of Financial Accounting Officer. She will be working within the team providing additional financial management support to academies. She has worked as a NHS accountant for the last 16 years, with experience of financial management and financial accounting, within provider and commissioning organisations. She is a fully qualified CIMA accountant.

Zoe Heath : Director of Operations

Zoe Heath

Director of Operations

Joining St Chad’s Academies Trust in 2015; I bring several years extensive experience in the multi-dimensional discipline of Human Resource both transactional and strategic (payroll, pensions, safeguarding, recruitment, consultancy, job evaluation and Single Status) as well as traded services and academisation through project management principles whilst employed in the public sector at local authority level, incorporating practice to support the organisation both corporately and more latterly within the education sector.

Since joining the Trust I have progressed into management of the Human Resource team through natural growth as the team has expanded before promotion to the Director of Operations post in 2019. Working strategically and operationally during this time to successfully convert 15 academies (having worked collaboratively with the original 4 academy conversions), to develop operational systems to support senior leaders in all academies through policy and procedure writing in line with employment law practice and report writing, develop working relationships with external partners at local Authority, DfE and through MAT leadership programme, project management from scope to implementation of a new Trust wide HRMS and been instrumental in developing Union relations through JNC.

Zoe is an Associate Member of the CIPD in Human Resource Management and has successfully completed the Optimus MAT Leadership programme, encompassing all elements of Trust sustainability (efficiencies, effectiveness and economies of scale), growth and stabilisation, financial management and cultural change.

Zoe has gained extensive experience in governance through representation as both a Trust representative and Chair since joining the Trust; striving to achieve the best for the pupils and communities we serve through accountability frameworks and challenging conversations to ensure we offer quality first teaching and affective governance scrutiny and assurances.

Jon Mannion : HR Officer

Jon Mannion

HR Officer

Jon joined the trust in November 2019, He is level 3 CIPD qualified and has 9 years of HR operational experience and before that educational pastoral experience. Jon has worked within the 3rd (Charity) Sector, Health Sector and Education Sector bringing a wealth of experience to the trust. Jon’s most recent place of work was at a large FE College across multiple sites dealing with all operational challenges that brought. Jon Is also a senior volunteer with a national charity and has been awarded for his charity work by Her Majesty the Queen. Jon’s key objective is to ensure we are an organisation of compassionate Leaders focusing on “Children First”.

Chloe Norton : Executive Administrator

Chloe Norton

Executive Administrator

Chloe joined us in December 2016 she is qualified in Level 3 Business and Administration as well as CIPD Level 3 Human Resources. She is often the first welcoming voice from the office. Chloe assists in general office work and offers help in other departments.

Becky Green : Payroll and Pensions Officer

Becky Green

Payroll and Pensions Officer

Becky joined the Trust in March 2022 as a Payroll & Pensions Officer.
She has over 20 years Payroll Experience in both the Public and Private Sector.
Becky has worked for both Wolverhampton Council Education Payroll and another Education Payroll Provider for the past 15 years.
She has knowledge of all aspects of Payroll and will be working closely with the schools to offer Payroll and Pension support.
She also has good knowledge of the LGPS and Teachers Pension Scheme and will administer this monthly. In this role Becky will act as a support and trainer for payroll and pension matters with the academies, developing close relations with the academy leaders and business managers.

Koffy Patel : Financial Accounting Officer

Koffy Patel

Financial Accounting Officer

Koffy joined the team in November 2019, she has 12 years’ experience in finance, and has worked as a Trust Payroll Manager for 8 years within a Multi Academy Trust which consisted of six schools within Walsall.  She will be working closely with other academies to provide financial support, monitoring, and reporting across the Trust. She is part CIMA qualified

Helen Steel : Director of Finance and Estates

Helen Steel

Director of Finance and Estates

Helen joined the team in 2014; having previously worked for two large national Multi Academy Trusts she has extensive experience of academy conversion, project management, budget setting, financial operations and reporting, statutory and regulatory compliance frameworks, contracts management, internal and external audit and financial policies and procedures.

Since commencing her role in 2014 Helen has been intrinsic in growing the Trust’s central team to provide an effective support network for the Trust’s family of academies.  Helen has devised, developed and established financial planning systems, monitoring and control procedures and risk management processes to ensure effective financial management and control with the aim to safeguard academy resources to best support children’s learning and development in both the short and the longer term.  Helen’s key objective is to ensure that all financial decision making is based on what is best for the outcomes of the children, supporting the St Chad’s ‘children first’ ethos.

Sue Wedgwood MSc : Director St Chad’s Academies Trust / CEO

Sue Wedgwood MSc

Director St Chad’s Academies Trust / CEO

Sue was appointed Chief Executive Officer in September 2016. She has been a Headteacher in three schools in the West Midlands. Sue was also an external assessor for Derby University, Associate lecturer for Manchester Metropolitan University, delivering MSc modules and a provider of PGCE modules for Keele University.

She served as a Senior Adviser for Stoke LA, responsible for CPD and community development, Assistant Managing Director for Walsall Children’s Services, Serco, responsible for school improvement 3-19, governance and ICT and then Director of School Improvement for Academy Transformation Trust. Sue is currently a school governor and Chair of Governors.