Driving Sustainable Growth in Multi-Academy Trusts 2020 - Digital - Speakers

Thursday 26 Nov 2020 - Wednesday 2 Dec 2020

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.


Ian Buss, Managing Director, Education Banking Company

Ian is the Managing Director of the “Education Banking Consultancy”. His previous 30 Years in the Banking industry with over 15 years focused on the Education and Not for Profit Sector (with the last 10 years focused exclusively on the Academy and Independent School sectors) has given Ian a unique insight into the Academy sector. He built the Education team and proposition for Academies at a major Bank in 2010 and lead the team to grow market share from 12% of Academies in 2010 to over 70% by the end of 2018. His expertise can significantly improve financial efficiencies, returns and risk management in Multi Academy Trust’s. Ian is married and his children attend schools that are exploring becoming an Academy. He has held voluntary posts as both a School Governor and a Trustee at an Education Governance charity.


Matthew Crawford, CEO, Embark Federation

Matthew is chief executive of Embark Federation which is a trust of 9 schools across Derbyshire. He was designated a National Leader of Education in 2017 for the work he has done as a system leader. Matthew supported over a dozen schools across Derbyshire who are now all judged to be good or better by Ofsted. He believes that schools are ‘stronger together’ and enjoys sharing practice whilst also learning from others and helping to improve the federation. He also believes that schools should be at the heart of their communities whilst providing their children with the best possible education. All schools in the federation have an exciting curriculum which is accompanied by a rich diet of wider opportunities in Music, Sport, Science and the Arts. The trust has used sponsorship opportunities and grants to fund aspirational events for the children. A keen sportsman, Matthew now enjoys a game of golf at weekends and supporting the Welsh rugby team! Family is very important to Matthew. He is father to Sophie and Daniel who are the most precious things in his life.


Claire Delaney, Managing Director, Schools’ Buying Club

Claire Delaney has held a number of board level positions, most recently as owner/director of Schools’ Buying Club Ltd and as the Chair of the Bellevue Place Education Trust (she has founded seven primary free schools). As Managing Director of Schools’ Buying Club, Claire leads an education procurement company; helping educational institutions focus on optimal back office delivery, efficiency and compliance. Claire brings strategic knowledge of the education sector as well as in depth commercial and business experiences.

Watch Claire introduce her session: Smarter procurements in uncertain times


Clive Hammond, Head of Procurement, Academies Enterprise Trust

Clive is Head of Procurement for Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) which has 58 academy schools throughout England. Clive joined in April 2015 with the focus on bringing together procurement across the trust and leveraging efficiencies in their procurement spend. Prior to joining AET, Clive had over 30 years working for in local authority starting as a YTS Trainee and then through various positions in the Procurement Department to finally becoming Managing Director of the Council owned Facilities Management Company. Clive is a firm believer that every child deserves the right to lead a remarkable life, and the savings that he delivers allows the trust to invest  in the classroom to support and achieve this.


Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services, Browne Jacobson 

Emma is the Head of HR Services and manages the team responsible for providing HR consultancy services to a range of clients across multiple sectors.


Rosie McLaughlin, Marketing, Funding and Events Manager, Embark Federation

Rosie studied acting at Liverpool John Moores University before receiving the Sir John Mills scholarship for the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London. She has five years’ experience of event co-ordinating and management and has organised a number of high-profile events for Embark schools. Rosie is proud to be representing Embark as the four core beliefs mirror what she stands for. She has a passion for providing children with opportunities they may never have experienced. Family is very important to Rosie and she aims to provide the same for Embark children that she would want for her own and looks forward to work with the team to achieve this. Rosie is playing a key role in helping the trust and schools achieve their vision and will add to what is already a rich curriculum. Rosie is a talented actress and musician and loves to sing! She is Mum to Ruby and Ralph who are her world.


Lee Miller, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Thinking Schools Academy Trust

As Deputy CEO of The Thinking Schools Academy Trust Lee is responsible for the strategic operational functions of the organisation.   He is an experienced Business Manager/Finance Director with over 12 years of experience, supporting both primary and secondary schools.   Recently, he has been working as a Specialist Leader of Education and, as result, has been deployed in a number of Trusts that have required support or intervention. In addition to his Business Management experience, Lee is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has completed a PGCE in Business Management.   Through his work he has become well versed in some of the challenges that face the education sector in areas that include: financial planning; HR management; legal issues; site and IT strategies.


Stephen Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer, Spencer Academies Trust

Stephen is the Chief Operating Officer of Spencer Academies Trust, with 16 schools, across both primary and secondary with a budget of £90m.  His MBA focused on improving the quality of management in schools, identifying 5 key traits which lead to success. He has delivered training programmes for the UN, EU and World Bank in 17 counties.


Emily Richards, Founder, The Stickman Consultancy

Emily is Founder and Director of The Stickman Consultancy – school marketing & research specialists. Stickman empowers schools with revenue-generating pupil recruitment & retention strategies. The company’s mission is to make marketing as simple and effective for as many schools as possible around the globe.


Tommy Cullen,  Chief Operating Officer, The Stour Academy Trust

Tommy has been with the Trust since 2017. Beginning his career in education in 2009 as a Finance Assistant, by 2016, he was acting as Finance and Business Manager for a MAT comprising of 9 schools. Tommy has worked closely with the DFE and ESFA on high profile Trust rebrokerages in recent years and continues to support these departments regularly.


Simon O’Keefe, CEO, The Stour Academy Trust

Appointed as a substantive Headteacher in 2002 and Executive Headteacher in 2009, Simon has many years of experience in leadership. In 2003 his school was top of Kent’s performance league table, in 2006 recognised as the second most successful school in the UK, with this achievement repeated in 2009 in another school. In 2012, following the establishment of the Trust, the sponsor school was amongst the top 100 schools nationally for sustained improvement and judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in February 2015. His leadership has been described by Ofsted as “inspirational”, “passionate”, “very effective” and as having a “strong sense of ambition” Simon is as a National Leader of Education and his Trust identified as one of the top performing Trusts in the country.