Central Trust Team

Central Trust Team

Steve Ellis CEO

Steve worked as Principal at Boughton Heath Academy from 2010 to 2021 and led the school to an outstanding Ofsted judgement. He is a National Leader of Education and continues to support a wide variety of schools in challenging circumstances. He has experience working in four different primary schools (both rural, urban and academy) in three different local authorities. Between 2013 and 2015, he worked as an additional Ofsted inspector for CfBT inspection services.

He is the proud full time CEO for the Trust.

Luci Jones Chief Finance and Operations Officer

Luci was appointed in 2014 to support the Board in creating the Trust. She has significant experience of senior financial leadership in both the primary and secondary sectors. Her expertise includes strategic and operational management of finance and HR and extends to the areas of facilities and estate management, governance, legal matters, H&S and data compliance. Luci successfully oversees the Trusts capital development programmes. She fulfils the roles of both Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Data Protection Officer (DPO) for CAT.

Luci leads on the academy conversion process for the Trust, providing support for schools from pre to post conversion. She provides consultancy services to support governing boards and management teams in ensuring their school's business proceses can meet the demands academy conversion requires.

Luci has been a member of the Cheshire West and Chester School's Forum since 2015.

Debbie Tomkinson Governance Director

Debbie's first foray into school governance was as a governor at a local primary school where she had the privilege as serving as Chair of Governors. This provided her with a good understanding of the role governance can play in school improvement.

An experienced Governance Professional, Debbie has worked as a clerk for a number of schools across the North West, including primary, secondary and special schools.

Debbie was appointed as Clerk to the Trust Board at Cheshire Academies Trust in 2019 and was appointed as full-time Governance Director in September 2023. She is passionate about providing support and guidance to the many dedicated members, trustees and governors who volunteer their time to support Cheshire Academies Trust, its schools - and most importantly its pupils.

Sue Pomeroy Governance Professional

Sue is employed by Cheshire East Governance and Liaison team and is the Governance Professional for Manor Park Primary School and Nursery. She has been working with the school since 2018 and is proud to be involved with the school and see how it has grown and developed over this time. She greatly enjoys working with the local Governing Board and supporting their work.

Sue has a long background in education having qualified as a teacher in 1987. She taught in a range of schools, culminating as Headteacher of a small, rural Primary School from 2008-2011. In 2011 she took a career break to join her husband in India who had been offered a role there managing a factory. Sue returned to the UK in 2017 and embarked upon a new role as a governance professional.

Georgina Blake Governance Professional

Georgina first began working in the area of school governance back in 2010, as coordinator of the Knutsford Education Partnership, a cluster of nine local schools.

In 2012, after the birth of her first child, she was appointed as clerk to the governing board for Bexton Primary School, and she has remained in that role ever since, completing the NGA National Clerks Development Programme in 2018, and being part of the team who travelled to the House of Commons to be awarded Outstanding Governance (in a single maintained school) in the National Governance Awards in 2019.

Georgina joined Cheshire Academies Trust (CAT) in 2019 when Bexton Primary School became an Academy as part of the Trust.

Georgina also works with SENDIASS services, and prior to working in school governance, Georgina's background included managing family support projects, working with children with special educational needs, and managing an alternative education project for those at risk of exclusion or disengagement.

School Improvement Team

Kate Doyle School Improvement Director

Kate is an experienced and talented School Improvement Lead with a passion for enhancing the quality of education in schools. With many successful years of school leadership and improvement, Kate has a proven track record of driving positive change and achieving outstanding results.

As a Trust School Improvement Lead, Kate is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of strategies to enhance teaching and learning across multiple schools within the trust. She works closely with school leaders, teachers, and staff to identify areas for improvement, provide guidance and support, and ensure that best practices are implemented effectively.

Kate is a strong advocate for effective leadership and management techniques tailored for schools. She believes in fostering a collaborative and inclusive culture that empowers all members of a school community to excel in their roles.

Kate is known for her ability to foster a positive school culture that promotes collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement. She works closely with school leaders to create a supportive and nurturing environment where students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Andrea Curran Curriculum and Research Director

Andrea has extensive experience in education, ranging from teaching 3-11year olds in three schools in social priority areas, supporting teachers in two Local Authorities as an Advisory Teacher, leading strategically as Head of Early Years, Statutory Assessment to KS1, Curriculum & Research, interim Assistant Director, as well as supporting Local Authorities regionally as a National Strategies Regional Director. Andrea has also travelled internationally to explore world renowned practice in the Early Years and has worked as an advisor for the UAE government, Education Ministry for Northern Ireland, Morroco, and baselined schools in Malaysia.

Andrea was also involved in working to establish the largest Trailblazer SureStart and is passionate about the impact education has as a tool to transform children’s lives. She was a board member of the Curriculum Foundation and invitee to the QCDA Head Teacher board. Andrea has successfully led two schools as a Head Teacher, in two different regions, and is an accredited leadership coach and Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teachers. She works part time so support the continued professional development of educators and schools in our Trust.

Emily Armstrong Safeguarding Strategic Lead

Emily began her career in education in 2004, driven by a passion for teaching and learning. Over the years, she has had the privilege of serving in leadership capacities across various educational settings, each offering valuable lessons and experiences.

With a background spanning all Primary Key Stages including a short leadership opportunity teaching KS3 English at a British School in Bahrain, Emily has developed clear understanding of the ethos and values to support children educationally. In 2016, she became headteacher at Bexton Primary, a two-form entry school. Here, she focused on fostering a supportive learning environment and expanding the school's offerings to include a larger Resource Provision, Nursery setting (from 2yrs) and a thriving Wrap Around Care facility.

In 2019, Bexton Primary School joined Cheshire Academies Trust, providing new avenues for growth and collaboration. Emily played a significant role in this transition, contributing her insights and dedication to the school's continued development. She was promoted to the role of Trust Safeguarding Lead in 2023, ensuring the safety and security of all members within the trust.

Beyond her own setting, Emily shares her expertise as a facilitator on the Best Practice NPQEYL course, supporting aspiring educational leaders in their professional journey.

Emily embodies the values of servant leadership, leaving a positive impact on the lives of children, staff, and the broader educational community.

Katie Hetherington Equalities Strategic Lead

Katie is an experienced teacher having worked in multiple schools throughout her career, teaching EYFS through to Year 6.  She has been a subject leader across foundation and core subjects, showing specialisms in English and Curriculum Development.  She has a passion for supporting subject leaders to drive change and accelerate achievement within their subject areas, enabling them to identify the priorities of development needed within their curriculum and implement these with accountability and structure.  The systems she has used to do this have been proven across a number of subject areas.  Through her work as an English Specialist teacher and as an SLE for over 5 year, she has shown an infectious enthusiasm for improving standards and an ability to empower subject leaders with the skills and focus needed to drive change.

CLTA Training

Carole Farrell CLTA Operations Director

Carole joined CLTA in 2012 and played an integral part in establishing and managing the growth of the Teaching School.

More recently, Carole's role has been extended to include working alongside the CAT Leadership Team to maximise the training and professional development of the Trust.

Prior to joining the education sector, she worked in the professional services sector and her strengths lie in change management, operational leadership and resource planning.

Resource Team

Nathan Smith Payroll and Finance

Nathan began working at Cheshire Academies Trust in March 2022 as the Payroll and Finance Officer for the Trust's Central team. He is an Accounting and Finance graduate with previous experience working within education payroll gained at Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Nathan interfaces with both the central team and the Academy Business Managers to maintain the smooth operation of the finance responsibilities.

Claire Callaghan Trust Business Manager

Claire joined Cheshire Academies Trust as the Finance Officer for Mill View Primary School in 2019 before becoming the Academy Business Manager in 2020. Prior to this Claire spent fifteen years in Financial Services in the roles of both Project and Operations Manager where creative thinking, problem solving, hard work and determination were key to the success of her role.

As Academy Business Manager, Claire is responsible for ensuring the efficient day-to-day running of all aspects of the school including premises, HR, administration and health and safety. She also works closely with the School Leadership and Central Trust Team to accurately plan and control the school budget. Claire enjoys the breadth and diversity that the role offers and is particularly proud to have been an integral part of the team responsible for opening the Little Wren's nursery at Mill View Primary in April 2022.

Diane Walley Trust Business Manager

Diane started her time working within Cheshire Academies Trust in 2011 as the Bursar in Boughton Heath Academy. She was then recruited into the Trusts' Central Team in 2017, where she has worked as the Trust Business Manager ever since. Prior to joining the education sector, Diane worked for various police authorities around the country and has many years' experience in public sector finance.

Diane works closely with the Academy Business Managers to manage operational finances within the Trust and is proud to be working with such a committed team of school business professionals.

Contact Us

01829 752811 info@cheshireacademiestrust.co.uk
Kelsall Primary School, Flat Lane, Kelsall Cheshire