Achieving Efficiencies in Multi-Academy Trusts - Speakers

Thursday 9 May 2019
IBIS ILEC Conference Centre, London

Peter Ware, Partner and Head of the Government and Infrastructure Team, Browne Jacobson LLP (Chair)

Peter takes a lead on the commercial aspects of the government practice specialising in complex procurement, shared services, PFI, outsourcing and public sector joint ventures. Prior to joining Browne Jacobson Peter worked as a special projects adviser for Nottinghamshire County Council. His extensive knowledge of local authority law and his time leading major projects has given him a wealth of experience in advising all types of public bodies on commercial matters, in particular their public procurement, PPP and commercial work. He is also membership and finance secretary of the Procurement Lawyers Association and a trustee of Nottingham Schools Trust.

Tanya Arkle, Territorial Deputy Director, School Resource Management Advisors, ESFA

Tanya has been a Civil Servant for 29 years. She started her career as a microbiologist but moved to a policy role to advise and support a number of Central European countries apply to be members of the EU. Tanya then had a short spell in China assisting UK companies establish export opportunities. She worked in a number of Government Departments before joining the Senior Civil Service in 2008. Tanya currently works in the Education and Skills Funding Agency as Territorial Deputy Director (South) and has responsibility for Academy funding in the South West and South East.

Lorraine Ashover, Director, Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services Limited

Lorraine is Director of Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services Limited. Minerva helps schools reduce costs, streamline procurement practices, be compliant, get 'best value' and save time.

Paul Palmer, Director of Business Strategy, Groupcall

Paul joined Groupcall in 2010 after spending over 10 years working on large scale VLE teaching and learning projects in both the UK and U.S. As Groupcall’s Director of Business Strategy, Paul manages a team responsible for implementing core projects around the Groupcall Data Analytics solution for both multi-academy trusts and local authorities. These projects predominately focus on how organisations can greatly enhance visibility of core data, improve strategic outcomes for learners and provide a foundation for supporting new and emerging priorities around areas like safeguarding and wellbeing.

Will Hall, Curriculum Lead, CENTURY Tech

Will is Curriculum Lead at CENTURY Tech, having spent 6 years teaching mathematics at secondary school, ultimately becoming Head of Maths. Will manages relations with CENTURY’s UK state primary and secondary schools, and colleges. Utilising his teaching experience, Will also develops and designs maths content for CENTURY’s award winning teaching and learning platform.

Gavin Lawrie, Director of Operations, Shaw Education Trust

Gavin is involved in all operational aspects of Shaw Education Trust, ensuring that quality and standards are embedded within everything the Trust does. Gavin is an experienced operations manager with 20 years' experience of project management and training and development. He has the oversight of Human Resources, IT, Marketing, Data Protection and Project Development within the Trust and is also responsible for project managing the opening of a free school in September 2019.  Gavin joined SET from Shaw Trust and was instrumental in not only setting the Trust up but overseeing the Trust’s growth, school conversions and CIF building projects.


Joanna Bailey, Procurement and Contracts Manager, Brooke Weston Trust

Joanna Bailey has worked as Procurement and Contract Manager for the Brooke Weston Trust, for 3 years. Her focus is procurement of significant contracts across all categories, from asbestos to waste and MIS to MFDs. Her remit is to provide best value, quality services to support positive outcomes for children, whilst delivering and managing contracts to minimise risk and ensure compliance with public sector procurement regulations. Joanna also works collaboratively with other MATs on a range of procurement projects and with the DfE to support implementation of buying strategies.  Joanna has eighteen years’ experience managing contracts and suppliers in the IT Industry, working as an experienced senior leader with expertise in marketing, analytics, project management, financial management, and organisational transformation.

Steve Archer MCIPS, Head of Schools Engagement Team, DfE Schools Commercial Team

Steve joined the DfE Schools Commercial Team (SCT) in 2012 and leads the Schools Engagement Team within SCT. The team provides support for schools and academies, improving how they buy non-staff goods and services and helping to save both time and money. Before joining the Schools Commercial Team, Steve was Head of Commercial at the National College for School Leadership. Steve has over 20 years’ experience in a number of senior commercial and procurement roles, working in the public and private sectors. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and a governor in Nottinghamshire.

Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services, Browne Jacobson LLP

Emma is our Head of HR Services and manages the team responsible for providing HR consultancy services to a range of clients. Emma has extensive experience of the education sector having previously been HR Director for a large Academy Trust. Emma takes a pro-active approach with clients and is responsible for managing the operational lead on HR Services.

Justin Smith MInstF, Chameleon Training and Consultancy

Following a career spent in private sector business development and marketing, Justin moved into the education sector over 15 years ago. Justin is a vastly experienced bid writer with a strong track record in raising funds for schools via conventional trust funds, grants and sponsorships. To date Justin has raised over £4 million in additional income for schools.

Julie Cordiner, Education Funding Specialist, School Financial Success

Julie has worked in education for 35+ years as a qualified accountant, former Assistant Director and now independent consultant supporting LAs and schools with all aspects of education finance and funding. In 2015 Julie co-founded School Financial Success Publications and blogs regularly at

Amy Lalla, Director, Let Me Play

Amy is a co-Director of LMP Education and Sporting Education, an Apprentice Training Agency that supports employment within Apprenticeships.   Amy and her team work nationally supporting schools with their apprenticeship strategy, training and recruitment.  She is also a Trustee for a Multi-Academy Trust and the Chair of a Charity which supports positive activities and opportunities for young people.