The Trust’s Executive Team is the executive management arm of the Academy Trust, focusing on operations and the educational performance of the Academies. The Executive Team work directly with the Academy Improvement Forum, staff in each Academy and the Academy Councils to ensure that the required outcomes are achieved in accordance with the direction and vision of the Trust Board.
Gemma is a Leicester based creative producer specialising in culturally diverse community settings. Her work is predominantly based around festivals, education establishments and community settings, with a wealth of experience within participatory and combined arts. Currently working with The Spark Arts for Children and Leicester Belgrave Mela, Gemma regularly identifies possible opportunities, creates partnerships, supports artists, leads on planning, sources funding and manages project delivery. Gemma has a passion for the arts and endeavours to introduce people to the possibilities that the arts offer, while steering new collaborations and embedding quality arts practice.
Rachael graduated from the University of Leicester in 2009, achieving a Foundation Degree in Management of Voluntary and Community Organisation. Rachael has considerable career experience creating exciting and successful links between local businesses, schools and colleges and developing inspiring personal and social development programmes. Currently, Rachael leads the National Citizen Service programme across Leicester and parts of Leicestershire with LEBC. The flagship youth development programme provides over 1,000 16-17 year olds’ each year with the opportunity to develop skills and confidence for the future helping them to develop into role model citizens.
Colin, a trained Mechanical Engineer by profession, has worked closely with Rushey Mead School for a number of years, as both a Site manager and governor to Rushey Mead. Prior to joining the Rushey Mead family, Colin was a Production Manager at Universal Conveyors. Colin has considerable expertise in premises management, school finances and Health and Safety. Now retired, Colin indulges his avid passion for sports as a retired football referee, Chairman of Mountsorrell Juniors Football Club and as a seniors’ golf captain at the Birstall Golf Club.
Tony now a retired National Leader of Education and Headteacher, graduated from the University of Manchester and subsequently achieved a PGCE from the University of Leeds and MA from the University of Kent. Tony was appointed Headteacher of The Becket School in Nottingham and led the school to its highest Ofsted rating of “Outstanding”.
Tony’s retirement has provided him with the opportunity to indulge his passions for sport and music. This phase of his life is also hugely enriched by the variety of educational projects in which he is engaged in, including support for schools in difficulties and presentational work with regard to leadership and approaches to learning.
Tony has continued working on a variety of educational projects particularly with regard to school improvement and academy conversion, including working as an Educational Consultant with Browne Jacobson, working alongside the DfE and working as a Consultant to the Diocese of Nottingham. He is also a regular presenter to international educators in Ontario, Canada, and has had papers published on approaches to learning and on school collaboration.
Deepak, a former pupil of Rushey Mead Academy, graduated with a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from Nottingham Trent University and is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts.
Deepak, who currently works as an IT Controller at an international energy utility company, has over 30 years’ worth of experience as an accountant and over 20 years’ worth of experience of working with strategic and financial planning, performance management and assessing the performance of organisations.
Hetal graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Banking, Finance and Management from Loughborough University in 2001 and subsequently graduated with a Professional Postgraduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Hetal has over 15 years’ experience of working in financial services and is currently Head of Banking and Savings at Santander UK, having held a number of leadership roles. Hetal is involved in community volunteer work as well as coaching and mentoring people.
Elaine graduated with a BA (Hons) German and French at Newcastle University and taught modern languages for over thirty years, with her teaching recorded for use as good practice material for the National Strategies website and for the Open University’s ITE course. Elaine is a recently retired HMI of eight years, who undertook inspections of schools, teaching training providers and local authorities and was the National Advisor and subsequently the National Lead for Modern Languages. Before joining Ofsted, Elaine was the Director of Specialism in a training school, responsible for initial teacher education and staff professional development. Elaine represented the school on the management board of an independent provider of ITE and on the partnership steering committee of a University teacher training partnership. She was also the secondary strategy manager and 14-19 coordinator for a local authority as well as acting as link adviser to a portfolio of secondary schools.
Carolyn graduated from Durham University in 1975 and subsequently achieved a PGCE and M.Ed. from The University of Leicester. She has taught in several Leicestershire and Leicester City schools and is a National Leader of Education. Until recently, Carolyn was Executive Principal at Rushey Mead Academy, which has achieved an Ofsted rating of ‘Outstanding’ three times. The academy also featured in Ofsted’s publication of ‘Twelve Outstanding Secondary Schools – Excelling against the Odds’ and has been awarded the International School award three times.
Carolyn’s extensive school improvement experience was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, 2013.
Azam has over 25 years of experience as a strategic adviser. He is a chartered accountant with a MA (Hons) in economics from Cambridge University and a fellow of the ICAEW. As one of the leaders at M Cubed Chartered Accountants, his focus is on mobilising teams to get step changes in results for clients including: building strategies for step improvements in profitability, advanced tax planning and robust compliance and cashflow enhancement techniques. Azam specialises in delivering measured results, empathy and finding the common ground, corporate finance, accountancy, cash flow & business planning, advanced tax planning and HMRC investigations.
Azam is also a Member of the Board of Phoenix Arts in Leicester, chairing its Finance Committee and a Member of the Board at the University of Leicester and chaired its audit committee . He has also been a member of the Board of the Curve theatre and Chair of its Finance and Strategy committee. He has been a member of the Advisory Board of OFCOM which regulates Media and Communications in the United Kingdom.
Azam has passion for education and the arts. His other personal interests, besides spending time with his family, include authentic travelling, advanced scuba diving and mountain trekking.
Kishor is the Chief Executive of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership with over 20 years’ experience of developing, leading and implementing strategies for business and economic growth.
Kishor’s role is to provide strategic leadership to the Board and drive forward the growth of the Humber economy for the benefits of the communities in the four local authority areas of Hull, East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.
Kishor’s career has spanned the public sector and he was the chief executive of two regeneration partnerships involving public and private sectors. Prior to moving to the Humber LEP, Kishor was the Economic Development Director at Partnership for Urban South Hampshire. Between 2002 and 2009, Kishor was the Chief Executive of Leicestershire Economic Partnership, a sub-regional partnership of public and private sector that led and delivered economic growth for Leicester and Leicestershire.
One of the areas of Kishor’s specialities is in the area of Employment and Skills and in the Humber has been leading on developing strategies for improvement of skills, involving private and education sectors. He has been involved in a number of new pilot initiatives including developing gold standard for Careers advice. He works with Head teachers in Education, Principals of Colleges and Vice Chancellors of University. Kishor sits on a national steering group guiding government on future funding strategies for Adult Education. Kishor is interested in education and is keen to see the standards improved to support future skills needs of the economy.
Kishor has served a number of voluntary organisations and is a Trustee of a community organisation. Kishor is also a freelance broadcaster in Leicester.
Prof. Chris Wilkins
Professor Chris Wilkins is currently Director of Teacher Education at the University, responsible for the strategic leadership of Initial Teacher Education and postgraduate professional development programmes. Prior to joining the University, he worked in both London and Leicester as a Primary school teacher, as well as the validation and quality assurance of School-Centred Initial Teacher Training programmes (Grand Union Training Partnership and Leicester Teaching School Alliance).
Professor Wilkins has an international reputation for research in Initial Teacher Education, teacher development and educational policy, and has advised on a series of European Union programmes supporting teacher education reforms in Eastern Europe, Turkey and countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. He has also gained widespread recognition for his work in citizenship education and social justice issues in education, serving on bodies such as the EU Comenius Network Steering Group on Global Education, DfE Racial Equality and Education Strategy Group and Diversity and Anti-Racism Project Steering Group and was the UK education representative for the European Union Civil Society Dialogue Project.
Jill has extensive experience in the establishment of new, and the development of, existing academies and schools. Jill is currently the project director within another multi-academy trust in Nottingham and is the Chair of Governors of two schools (one primary and one junior in Nottingham and Derby Cities). She was a chief operating officer for a medium-sized multi-academy trust in Nottinghamshire and a former Primary Headteacher for the same trust. She was nominated as an inspirational headteacher by her local MP, and a former vice principal at an outstanding secondary school. Jill has also worked as a self-employed consultant, and project manager, commissioned by a number of schools, local authorities and private sector organisations across the East Midlands supporting education, learning and training across all age ranges.
In a former role for a local authority, Jill helped to secure collaborative and partnership arrangements with a family of seven schools to support school improvement, teaching and learning as an education improvement partnership manager and has undertaken improvement programmes in social care and youth offending teams as part of the Joint Area Review (JAR).
She has been awarded the NPQH, NVQ Level 5 Operational Management and has a post graduate certificate in Education Leadership and Management. She has also undertaken the NCTL’s Leadership Development Programme for Chairs of Governors.