Kathy Griffiths, CEO
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.
Dr. Ann McCarthy, Trust Improvement Director
Dr. Ann McCarthy is the Trust Improvement Director. She is a member of the Aquinas Education Scrutiny Committee and Secondary Strategy Team, chairing the Core Education Team. Throughout her long career in education, Ann has experience of both primary and secondary education, holding leadership roles. She focuses on the quality of education, leadership and curriculum development. Ann actively engages in education research and development. She has undertaken dedicated research in leadership development and the education of more able pupils. Beyond the Trust she works as an educational consultant to support school improvement. She also works for NACE as an associate and assessor.
- To lead on the quality of education, learner performance and standards across the Trust
- Monitor leadership, the quality of education and standards in schools on a termly basis
- Direct the work of the Trust Improvement Partners
- Support Headteachers and senior leaders
- Lead reporting Director to Education Scrutiny Committee and Trust Board
- Work with CFO on integrated curriculum and financial planning
- Support continuing professional development and coaching
Andrew Ferguson, CFO
Andrew Ferguson is the CFO of the Aquinas Trust and qualified as an accountant and company secretary during a twenty-five-year career in industry. He moved into the education sector with one of the country’s top academy chains twelve year ago, seeing it grow from two to thirty-three schools. Andrew has extensive experience of developing financially sustainable schools through effective integrated curriculum financial planning. He developed his interest in education as a Governor of a Kent Grammar school and as Chairman of Governors, for fifteen years, of a village primary school. In challenging financial times for schools, Andrew sees his role as ensuring that students’ needs are kept at the forefront of all our business planning.
Mary Capon, Director of Communication and Compliance
Mary Capon is the Operations Director and Company Secretary for the Trust. Mary is a qualified solicitor with over 10 years’ experience of commercial work and litigation in the private legal sector. She attends all Trust Board and Committee meetings in her capacity as Company Secretary to advise on relevant legal and operational issues. Mary supports the Chief Executive Officer in implementing Trust Strategy.
- Provides legal advice to the Board, academies and the Trust in general
- Project manages new academy transfers to the Trust
- Undertakes all Company Secretarial duties in terms of the running of the Trust and Companies House returns
- Undertakes internal audits of a non-financial nature
- Project management of EFA business cases for academy expansion and changes
- Deals with admissions across the Trust
- Trust Data Protection Officer for the Trust
- Responsible for Risk and Compliance across the Trust
Janet Vick, HR Director
Ms. Janet Vick is the HR Director for the Trust. Janet is an Assoc. CIPD specialising in policy writing and implementation and has extensive experience in leading, influencing and advising staff of all levels in matters of HR. Janet has worked in the education sector for 23 years and previously in corporate banking. She is fully committed to the Trust’s Christian ethos and has an innate sense of justice and equality for all.
- Overall responsibility for the human resource and payroll function, including safer recruitment, casework, contracts of employment, payroll and pensions
- Ensure academies within the Trust comply with employment law and on how to implement HR policies
- Understand the effects and implications of government policies and legislation for current and future initiatives and ensure that resources are organised and used appropriately
- Manage human resources, ensuring effective deployment of staff to meet the current and future needs of the Trust
- Keep up to date with developments and changes in legislation and guidance and communicate appropriate information to the Board, Headteachers, colleagues, directors and others as appropriate
- Advise on compliance with legislation and guidance including safeguarding requirements, employment law, pay and pension changes
- Assist the Trust Board, the Headteachers and senior leadership teams in formulating and establishing the policies, systems and procedures to ensure they achieve their objectives
- Provide professional leadership and management of academy support staff, to enhance their effectiveness in order to raise standards and achievement
- Improve management/employee communications, including mediating in disputes and advising line managers of procedures when dealing with grievance, capability and disciplinary issues
- Line management of the HR and Payroll function
- Day-to-day public relation issues associated to staff and the HR function
- Ensure that all aspects relating to work status and registration, immigration and sponsorship are followed including liaison with all relevant agencies
- Responsibility for the implementation and operation of all internal personnel policies, e.g. discipline, grievance, capability, redundancy, absence monitoring and equality schemes including the appeals process
Glen Day, Estates and Facilities Director
Glen has worked in education for over 25 years and has seen major changes during this time, through grant maintained, foundation and academisation. Glen was involved in the set-up of Bishop Justus School in 2004, which involved in house, payroll, catering, finance, premises and cleaning.
Glen is now the Estates and Facilities Director for the Aquinas Trust and is involved in ensuring all academies comply with health and safety and overseeing all capital projects and developments.
- Ensure academies within the Trust comply with health and safety legislation and how to implement premises, buildings and health and safety policies
- Understand the effects and implications of government policies and legislation for current and future initiatives and ensure that building resources are organised and used appropriately
- Buildings and site maintenance and development, including school expansion and new build
- Matters of insurance
- Health and safety (including RIDDOR)
- Site security
Geraldine Shackleton, Trust Improvement Partner
Mrs Geraldine Shackleton is the Aquinas Trust Improvement Partner for Cudham, Keston, St. George’s and Trinity Primary academies. She has been teaching since 2002 and prior to joining St. George’s as Headteacher in 2013, had worked in schools in areas of high deprivation with mobile populations. As Headteacher of St. George’s, pupil outcomes improved significantly and the school was repeatedly judged as one of the top 150 in the country.
Geraldine strongly believes in a holistic curriculum that enables pupils to demonstrate all their God given talents. As a leader, she 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.
As a Trust Improvement Partner, 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 as part of her NPQEL, 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 class and can often be seen modelling teaching and learning, from Nursery to Year 6.
Laura Pearson, Trust Improvement Partner
Mrs. Laura Pearson is Trust Improvement Partner, responsible for Trust continued professional development. In the past twenty-three years, she has taught across the entire age-range from EYFS to Post-16, held leadership roles in both Primary and Secondary schools and in inner-city and rural settings. Laura has a long-held interest in school improvement and has worked in a number of schools in challenging contexts, providing staff with the tools for change.
Laura is passionate about teaching and learning that deepens understanding, widens experience and fosters curiosity. She has a background in creative and performing arts and has always used this to develop innovative curriculums. As a leader, Laura believes in developing the unique potential in all staff through tailored support and training, and supporting schools to be effective learning environments. She has coached and mentored leaders at different levels and is also a governor for a local authority maintained school in Kent.
Jenni Richards, Trust Improvement Partner
Mrs Jenni Richards is Trust Improvement Partner at St. Mark's, St. Nicholas and Parish CE Primary academies. She has been teaching since 1996 and has experience in a wide variety of school contexts and holding different levels of leadership prior to joining St Mark’s CE Primary in 2012 as Headteacher. Under her leadership, pupil outcomes improved significantly and the school was judged ‘good’ by Ofsted and outstanding leadership was recognised.
Jenni strongly believes in teaching and learning which values the whole child whilst providing effective learning and giving the best possible life chances for the learners in her care. She advocates Philosophy for children, building character and resilience and the wellbeing of the school community. Jenni places great value on equality and developing the staff within her schools, she supports their professional development and how best practice can be celebrated and shared.
Through her role as Trust Improvement Partner she focuses on developing the skills, knowledge and ability of all leaders and staff to impact positively on their own development and improving school outcomes, whilst taking into account each individual school's vision and values alongside those of the Trust. Support is given through coaching, mentoring, advising and role modelling to enable the leaders to develop their own skill set. Her specialism across the Trust, outside of the standard Trust Improvement Role in compliance and improving teaching and learning, is based on improving workload, well-being, research and innovation.
Her commitment to the profession and the passion she shares with her colleagues to excel the children’s education has resulted in a growing achievement for the children, herself and all those that she works with.