Meet the Central Team
Kathy Griffiths, CEO (ID 1006)
Kathy is the CEO of the Aquinas Trust and was previously the Headteacher at Bishop Justus Church of England Academy. Before founding Bishop Justus School in 2004 Kathy spent sixteen years as a teacher and senior leader in a range of London schools. During this time, Kathy developed a passion for educational change and development and is totally committed to the education of all children and young people, irrespective of their start point.
James is the CFO of the Aquinas Trust. He is a qualified accountant and has worked in the education and not-for-profit sector for over 10 years. He began his career in practice, working for a leading provider of audit and advisory services to academy trusts in the South East and has held senior finance roles for some of the country’s largest Multi Academy Trusts (MAT).
James is a firm believer in the benefits that being part of a MAT can bring to a school. He works to ensure that the finance provision at Aquinas supports educational objectives in an effective and efficient way as possible. As CFO, he has responsibility for all Trust finances, including external compliance and the internal financial control environment.
Matt RobinsHR Director
Matt became HR Director for the Trust in September 2022. He is an Associate member of the CIPD and has experience working in Human Resources for both the public and private sectors.
Matt believes that engaged and well-supported staff are the key to building outstanding schools and is committed to helping make Aquinas an excellent employer. Matt works to uphold the principle of employees being treated fairly, equally and with compassion by their employer and is also interested in how employers must change with the times in order to attract and retain the best talent. In his role, he has overall responsibility for writing policy, employee relations, recruitment and contracts.
Geraldine ShackletonPrimary Education Director
Mrs Geraldine Shackleton is one of Aquinas' Primary Education Directors. She has been teaching since 2002 and has led schools in a variety of different contextual areas. Geraldine believes that the community is at the heart of every school and has worked across schools to develop community engagement to support school improvement and strengthen the community.
As a leader, Geraldine has developed curricula that embrace the local environment and enable pupils to be artistic and creative, whilst continually developing their academic prowess and improving their life chances. Geraldine has responsibility within the Trust for pupil outcomes and is currently working across the Trust to ensure all pupils have equal access to the curriculum.
As a Primary Director, Geraldine utilises her coaching skills to develop all staff to be the best they can be whilst securing outcomes for all pupils. Geraldine is passionate about improving outcomes for all pupils in the Trust and she is currently running the Aquinas Leaders in Education programme to offer support across the Trust whilst developing staff leadership opportunities.
Geraldine is happiest when in the classroom and can often be seen modelling teaching and learning from Nursery to Year 6.
Laura PearsonTraining and Development Director
Mrs. Laura Pearson is the Training and Development Director for the Aquinas Trust. She has held successful leadership roles in both primary and secondary education including Executive Headship. She has taught across the entire age-range from EYFS to Post-16, and in both inner-city and rural settings.
As a leader, Laura believes in developing the unique potential in all staff. She has a long-held commitment to teacher training and continuing professional development as a key driver for school improvement. She has worked in a number of schools in challenging contexts providing staff with the tools for change through coaching and mentoring teachers and leaders at all levels. Laura is also the Chair of Governors at a state school in Kent.
Simon MurphySecondary Education Lead
Simon Murphy is Executive Headteacher at Bishop Justus Church of England School. Simon joined Bishop Justus in 2005 as Assistant Headteacher. Following a period as Deputy Headteacher, he became Headteacher in November 2015. Simon has worked in teaching for over twenty years in Bromley; he is committed to ensuring that all students progress and succeed and that they are fully prepared for life beyond Bishop Justus. Simon is also the Education Lead within the Aquinas Trust working on Trust-wide strategy.
Barry BlakelockEquality Lead
Barry Blakelock is Executive Headteacher at Rye College and Rye Community Primary School. Prior to this he was headteacher at Trinity Church of England Primary School and a senior leader at Bishop Justus Church of England School. The focus of his work has always been ensuring the child is placed at the centre of provision. Barry believes the best education is an inclusive education - where the diversity of the real world is reflected in every classroom to the benefit of all learners.