Chief Executive Officer/Chief Financial Officer
Sarah has experience of working for a large Multi Academy Trust operating across 30+ schools across the East Midlands where she held responsibilities for Inclusion, and shaping the future direction for vulnerable young people, considering provision and organisational requirements, supporting and holding Principals to account around quality of leadership, teaching and learning, curriculum development, student outcomes and financial resourcing.
Sarah has completed her National Professional Qualification for Executive Leaders and is a qualified facilitator for coaching, specialising in educationally leadership although has supported global business leaders.
Sarah has experience of leading whole school and Local Authority training and development programmes at a local and regional level, with findings being reported into the DfE. Additionally, Sarah has lectured on the National SENDCo Award.
More recently Sarah has gained Local Leader of Education status and works for Matrix Teaching School Alliance. Sarah sits on several Executive Boards and several strategic groups helping shape practice within Derbyshire. These Boards include Health Commissioning, P16 into adulthood and the current ‘Shaping Futures’ for Derbyshire working group (response to COVID19).
Director of Development
Alison brings unique blend of education, business and economic development experience to the Trust. She has worked as a senior leader in education for over eleven years with practical experience of teaching, leading academic departments, supporting school improvement and leading the administration/community engagement within a large secondary academy school in inner-city Nottingham. During this time, Alison has worked as an adviser to local and national Government to influence policy supporting student progression and education: business partnerships. She is an experienced speaker providing a voice for education at business events. Alison was awarded the Business in the Community’s Sieff Award in 2013, and is a graduate of Common Purpose and led the Bulwell Academy’s School of the Year award in 2013 and 2015.
Alison is a qualified careers practitioner and has received many accolades for her work creating business to education partnerships and community engagement; she is also accredited for the design, delivery and leadership of innovative careers programmes. Alison has led a number of international education and enterprise initiatives having previously worked for the regional development agency leading on enterprise skills.
Alison’s business experience was honed as she ran her own business for eight years before selling it and moving into the field of economic development. She also maintains active involvement in her family’s farm in North Nottinghamshire and the local farming community.
Alison’s key skills include education improvement, business management, marketing/communications, project development & management, careers management and community/parent engagement.
Director of Education & Achievement
Rachel has worked in education for the last 15 years, and in that time has enjoyed supporting a range of students with Special Needs to grow and develop. In addition to this Rachel has used her talent to coach and mentor other teachers both in the Special and Mainstream sectors to improve their quality of teaching and thus the outcomes of their students.
Rachel has a BA Honours in Primary Education with a Specialism in Science, and an MA in Autism. In 2015 Rachel was designated a Specialist Leader of Education working for Synergy Teaching School Alliance. Rachel continues to take part in continual professional development activities and remains keen to develop her own skills and knowledge whilst supporting others. Rachel has recently successfully completed her National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership, leading on a whole school project around the use of Coaching to improve the quality of Teaching and Learning and reduce the variation in pupil outcomes.
Chief Financial Officer
Nicola Cook is a dedicated finance professional with over 20 years’ experience in senior financial management and operational roles.
She has been instrumental in achieving the continued growth of existing companies in a range of sectors and in setting up new companies and offices, both in the UK and overseas. Key to this was implementing procedures and software to ensure the smooth and efficient running of all aspects of the finance and administrative functions. With a degree in Applied Accounting, Nicola is proficient in dealing with purchase and sales ledger, payroll, budgetary control, financial planning, forecasting and cashflow management. She has also been responsible for implementing, documenting and monitoring policies, procedures and processes and ensuring compliance with statutory and legal requirements.
Experienced in identifying and securing funding for growth, procuring equipment, asset management, and negotiating on pricing enables Nicola to add value and identify cost efficiencies.
Nicola is patient, has a hands-on approach, and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. This has proved successful in team building, staff mentoring, leadership and motivation.