Associates | newschoolsnetwork.org

Associates

Our network of Associates bring additional expertise to the Delivery Programme team. Their experience and knowledge cover all aspects of pre-opening, such as governance, finance, admissions, site and education.

Overview

Anne has over 30 years of education experience as  a teacher, Principal, Local Authority officer and senior civil servant Her career spans education and industry. Anne is Director of her own company ACE limited an educational solutions company supporting MATs, Free schools, Universities and School Boards. She is also a part time DFE Education Adviser. Anne is an adviser to the London leadership strategy. Before taking up her role with Academy Ambassadors, Anne was Deputy Director to the RSC (Lancashire and West Yorkshire) developing the education landscape of the region, challenging underperformance, assessing free school capacity and working with academies and trusts on governance and growth strategies. From 2013-2016, Anne was the Principal for the UTC in Media City UK taking it from vision to oversubscribed reality. 

Free school pre-opening experience

Prior to 2013 she was Head of ICT at the Education Funding Agency (EFA), part of the Department for Education. Anne managed a national team of ICT Advisers providing expert ICT educational procurement support to all capital programmes. She advised free schools, UTCs, academies and Studio Schools on the development of the ICT aspects of their school development, and ensured that the first free schools, UTCs and Studio Schools opened with ICT partners in place. Prior to working in the EFA Anne was Education ICT Adviser for the South of England at Partnerships for Schools where she worked supporting and challenging local authorities and schools as they developed their aspirations for educational transformation through ICT investment. Anne has organised major DfE exhibitions at the BETT show, and developed ICT network events in London.

Other school experience

30 years as teacher, senior leader and principal. Extensive successful experience of school improvement through teaching and Leadership in London Schools.

Director of Camden City Learning Centre from 2001-2006. Responsible for the establishment of the CLC from curriculum design, building design, equipment tendering and staff recruitment. I established the CLC as a model for new ways of learning, for developing effective subject based CPD, for innovation and for analysing the impact on environment on learning.

Key skills

All aspects of Academy and pre-opening project management, governance, education, admissions, pupil recruitment, marketing, policies, consultation, staff recruitment, ICT procurement and site-related activities.

  • Chair, Freebrough Academy
  • Non-Executive Director, Rosebridge Academy
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Overview

 

Aredi has project managed and worked as part of a team that has delivered 22 new academies and free schools, the majority from application phase through to opening. Having worked as a key site representative for several schools, Aredi continues to advise open schools on capital projects. As a qualified Prince 2 Practitioner, the project management qualification used by the Department for Education (DfE), Aredi has worked as a Project Management Director for: primary, secondary, all-through and faith schools, within both single and multi-academy trusts and has been working with NSN since 2012.

Free school pre-opening experience

Aredi has worked as a Project Management Director for the Chapel Street Community Schools Trust, working full time to open their first seven free schools, which included Atherton Community School and Tyndale Community School (both rated Good by Ofsted in 2014 and 2015 respectively). 

Other school experience

Aredi has project managed the opening of 12 new academies and set up an in-house project management facility for Oasis Community Learning (a multi-academy trust of 48 academies). She has advised three other trusts on the development of their free schools (including two single academy trusts).

Key skills

All aspects of free school and pre-opening project management, governance, education, admissions, marketing, policies, consultation, headteacher recruitment, ICT procurement and site-related activities.

 

"Aredi is extremely knowledgeable in all the processes and requirements from the DfE to navigate successfully through the bid stage, funding agreement, readiness to open meeting and the pre-opening Ofsted visit. She has been a key contact for us with the ESFA on all site/building-related matters and has a detailed understanding of legal, design development, planning, ICT, and FF&E requirements. She knows the right questions to ask to make sure that the programme is met and final designs of the building deliver our ethos and curriculum vision."

Member and Trustee, Chapel Street Community Schools Trust

 

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Overview

Antony has a proven track record for demonstrating sustainable school improvement, HMI say he provides ‘Outstanding’ leadership, thoroughness and professionalism in the most difficult of circumstances. He reads free school and academy settings well.  He is comfortable working with ambiguity and complexity. He is tenacious and unflagging in the pursuit of excellence and integrity. He enjoys chairing Appeal and Grievance hearings, through which he often learns what typifies ‘working life’ in a school.  

Free school experience

Antony is engaged as a free-school improvement partner for a multi-academy trust. He has implemented a unique evidence based approach to performance management for free school leaders. Free school governors and senior staff like his approach to accountability, because his questioning is all about impact. He also inspects free schools. He knows what an outstanding free school should look like and uses this as a benchmark in his work.

He is also designated by the National College as a Specialist Leader in Education for maths. His strategies for enabling pupils to make at least good progress are a significant feature of his teaching school activities. He completed a post graduate diploma in understanding radicalisation in 2018 with the University of Derby for which he gained a distinction. This qualification, together with his accreditation as a Home Office facilitator, assists his work with governors in ensuring free schools have a strong safeguarding culture and are ‘on message’ about preventing extremism.

School experience

Antony has spent his entire career leading schools in areas of extreme disadvantage from failure to at least Ofsted Good.  The most effective turn around, was as Executive headteacher of Harrop Fold School in Salford from 2004 to 2010, which was labelled the ‘worst in the country’ in 2004 by David Bell, the then HMCI.  Antony received a letter of commendation from the Secretary of State and Downing Street, because after six successful years, behaviour, attendance and results continued to accelerate rapidly. Since then, he has adopted a different profile, working with and through others, to improve free schools and academies by spreading good, and cost-effective, practice ‘behind the scenes’ to help secure provision that is at least good. He craves accuracy in his editing and proof reading of masters and doctoral theses, as well as journal articles, prior to publication.

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Overview

Emma Perkin is a school governance specialist with 20+ years' experience working with free schools, academies and the maintained sector. Emma has a strong track record of working with schools to establish and develop tailored governance arrangements, and ensuring that the governance requirements and practices needed for a successful pre-opening phase are fulfilled.

Free school pre-opening experience

Emma led on the pre-opening governance for the St Marylebone CE Bridge School, a Speech, Language and Communications Special Free School, running the project through to the first Ofsted inspection in which governance was judged as Good. During her time as Head of Governance at Ark Schools - which runs 10 free schools - Emma then oversaw the establishment of 17 governing bodies, two of which were free schools. Emma worked on all aspects of pre-opening governance including setting up the composition of governing bodies, recruitment and induction of new governors, supporting new Chairs and clerks, developing a range of resources and training, and overseeing arrangements for admissions, key policies and fulfilment of statutory requirements.

Other school experience

Emma is founder and lead consultant of an education governance consultancy working with a range of academy trusts, as well as several education sector bodies, to develop and promote good governance models. In addition to her role at Ark Schools, Emma has also worked as Strategic Governance Advisor to the UK's largest group of Foundation schools, was Governance Manager at St Marylebone School, and led governance and Executive support to the Headteacher at Camden School for Girls.

 

Key skills

Free school and pre-opening expertise in development of stakeholder relationships, senior leader recruitment, admissions and all aspects of governance.

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Overview

Ghulam has supported over 30 free school projects to date in a variety of capacities from being a project director and project manager, to general advice and troubleshooting. He has over 13 years’ experience working at the DfE on a range of education policies. Prior to leaving Ghulam spent three years working within Free Schools Group at the DfE (Assistant Director: Capital and Sites), and has since been supporting projects from the private sector using his skills, extensive knowledge and networks. Ghulam has been working with NSN since 2017.

Free school pre-opening experience

Ghulam was the project manager for the Meridian Angel Primary School and the project adviser for the Chapeltown Academy supporting both schools through to opening. He is currently the project manager for Hujjat Primary School, a free school in pre-opening, and supported the proposer group to engage effectively with the ESFA when securing a site. In addition, Ghulam project managed and supported Endeavour MAT in the development and submission of its recently approved free school application. At the DfE, Ghulam led a team responsible for capital funding, site and buildings and all free school applications and projects in South London. He led a team to open 15 schools, including; ARK Conway, West London Free School, London Academy of Excellence and School 21. Separately, he has provided consultancy support to eight new free school projects nationally. Separately, at Floreat Montague Park, Ghulam oversaw completion of the temporary accommodation in pre-opening, including FF&E support.

Other school experience

As Academies and Free Schools Director of Kier (formerly Mouchel) Business Services, Ghulam provided support to 14 academy projects nationally.

Key skills

All aspects of free school and pre-opening project management, governance, finance, education, site and buildings, stakeholder consultation

 

"Ghulam is an effective Project Manager. He maintains excellent relationships whilst being demanding on behalf of the client with other organisations. Ghulam is pro-active, efficient and very professional."

Floreat Education Academies Trust

 

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Overview

Jane is a qualified school business manager with SLE (Business Management) accreditation from the DfE. Having held several roles overseeing the financial and business operations at pre-opening free schools, an academy and a large MAT. Jane has acquired experience in MAT conversion, HR, legal and governance administration, risk and compliance management, due diligence and budget planning/monitoring and multi-million building projects. Jane has been working with NSN since 2016.

Free school pre-opening experience

In her role as Chief Operations Officer at Lionheart Academies Trust, Jane worked on the free school applications for a new sixth form (Beauchamp College) and a primary presumption school (Hallam Fields Primary School). As well as working on every aspect of the bids, Jane worked as the Project Lead in pre-opening, creating and overseeing the pre-opening budget, project plan, legal documentation, and marketing plan. She also worked closely with the ESFA on site acquisition and the build process.

Other school experience

Jane held the role of Assistant Principal at Beauchamp College, where she worked on: the academy conversions, leading on the operational business functions including the HR functions, outreach work and extended services, including the community learning programme. At William Bradford Community College, Jane worked as a School Business Manager and has held previous school bursar roles in all phases from primary to secondary schools including sixth forms.

Key skills

Finance, governance, project management, staffing, education, due diligence, site and buildings

 

"I worked with Jane on a very complex conversion process that involved age range changes, ‘merger’ and capital projects. Jane was a tower of strength through this entire process. She had a rare ability to ‘see the big picture’ whilst retaining an absolute focus on the necessary mechanics and details within the process. She engaged very effectively with a wide range of stakeholders that included. Amongst others, school leaders, parents, student representatives, the LA, DfE and private contractors. In all cases she was never less than thoroughly professional."

 Senior Education Adviser, Department for Education 

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Overview

John has built his career in corporate sales, business development, product and marketing leadership. He has worked for technology and business innovation firms, including Microsoft. For the past five years John has been involved in large commercial property projects, mostly in high pedestrian traffic environments spanning new build and redevelopment projects, working with design and construction teams. John has been working with NSN since 2017.

Free school pre-opening experience

John is the premises lead for all site-related tasks for The Charter School East Dulwich and is the vice chair of governors. The new 11-19 years free school in London is one of the largest school construction projects, being delivered with close cooperation with the local authority and the NHS. Pre-opening included: liaising with the ESFA; engaging in negotiations on complex, phased temporary and permanent sites construction; chairing a development steering group with Southwark Council and NHS, among others, to achieve the best possible outcomes in site design and facilities. The school, which opened in 2016 on PAN and has attracted significant community interest, receiving over 900 applications for the second cohort of pupils.

Other school experience

John had previously served as a school governor of a large London primary school, successfully securing a sizable refurbishment budget following many years of under investment in the fabric of the school.

Key skills

All aspects of free school site and buildings, project management, risk management, stakeholder engagement, marketing and communications and pre-opening project governance.

 

"John has made an invaluable contribution to our school by leading on what is, for most new schools, an area of significant challenge: the identification and development of the school’s permanent site. His assiduous piloting of this process has enabled the school to retain its essential focus on the development of an exceptional educational offer."

Head Teacher, The Charter School East Dulwich

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Overview

Justin has been involved with free schools, academies and Building Schools for the Future (BSF) since 2003, directing teams and sponsors on over 100 projects. Justin has been working with NSN since 2016.

Free school pre-opening experience

As well as holding a trustee position in a free school, Justin has delivered education briefs and a range of policies for several schools. He has provided project management and education consultancy services to several free schools and multi-academy trusts. He has written education proposals for ten open free schools of varying phases and types and provided ad-hoc advice to several free schools from proposal to opening. Free schools which Justin has worked with recently include: Drapers’ Maylands Primary School, Kingston Community School; Tyndale Community School and Cobham Free School.

Other school experience

Justin has worked on academy conversions, University Technical Colleges (UTCs) and studio schools and is a former head of learning centres in Salford. He worked as a Business Director for both Tribal PLC and Cambridge Education.

Key skills

All aspects of free school and pre-opening project management, governance, staffing, human resources, marketing and communications, finance, education, admissions, site and buildings

 

''Justin supported the project team throughout the pre-opening journey, preparing many of our documents, meeting with the appointed Education Advisor and supporting the Principal Designate to review and refine plans, before collating the documents for submission to the Department for consideration. Justin was a significant contributor to the project team for our free school.''

Chief Operating Officer, Drapers’ Multi-Academy Trust
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Overview

Lisa’s career spans 20 years in professional marketing across a range of projects. Her PR, marketing and communications skills are well honed, resulting in raised profile and increased business, an example being the memorable ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ campaign.  Lisa managed the communications and admissions of a major new secondary school in London, The Charter School East Dulwich. Lisa has been working with NSN since 2016.

Free school pre-opening experience

Lisa delivered the bespoke marketing and student recruitment programme for the Charter School East Dulwich through its pre-opening phase. This involved engaging with a wide range of external sectors; stakeholder management and team development; media relations; brand building and designing, building and managing marketing platform databases. Through running the stand-alone admissions process, the school achieved a six-time oversubscription of applications for places in its opening year. 

Other school experience

Lisa is a qualified primary school teacher and also works for Education DataLab.

Key skills

Marketing, communications and admissions in mainstream free schools

 

"Lisa acted as a marketing and admissions manager during our pre-opening phase. She was responsible for developing the marketing strategy and managing all events targeted at student recruitment. She was also extensively involved in press strategy, public relations and our social media campaign. Lisa also managed our admissions process virtually single-handedly. She did a spectacular job and contributed very significantly to our being heavily over-subscribed and full on opening. I received many, many calls and emails from parents praising their interaction with our ‘admissions team."

Head Teacher, The Charter School East Dulwich

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Overview

Mark is a former headteacher of alternative provision (AP), special and mainstream schools, with particular expertise in working with pupils with SEMH, leadership coaching and staffing. Mark has been working with NSN since 2011.

Free school pre-opening experience

Mark has supported various special and AP free schools during their application and start-up phase. At The Campus free school, Mark acted as project manager, including drafting the successful application to set up an AP for young offenders. He has acted as the education project lead for The Heights Free School and Stone Soup Academy, rated Good and Outstanding by Ofsted respectively. Mark has also supported Orchard Hill Academy Trust with their two successful free schools which are currently in pre-opening.

Other school experience

Mark’s most recent full-time post was as Executive Headteacher of the West Sussex Alternative Provision College and before this was a Headteacher for 12 years at The Alternative Centre for Education (ACE), a 5-16 Special School & PRU in Brighton and Hove. During his tenure, Ofsted consistently rated both facilities as Good with Outstanding features. Mark has also worked as an Education Consultant at Bedford Borough Council, reviewing and supporting AP developments in the borough.

Key skills

Alternative provision and special: staffing, finance, education, admissions, marketing and communications, staffing

 

"Mark provides expert support and advice which helps school leaders, staff and local authorities throughout London and the South-East. Mark is in the unique position of being one of the highest qualified experts in the field of alternative provision as well as being a vastly experienced school leader and I would highly recommend him for his excellent work." 

Mark Vickers, CEO Olive Academies

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Overview

Philip is an experienced project manager of special, alternative provision (AP) and mainstream free schools and academy conversions, and has supported multi-academy trusts in their development. He is a specialist in the development and review of governance arrangements for free schools and has comprehensive knowledge of free school and academy funding; revenue and capital processes and local authority (LA) commissioning. As well as this, he has a track record in undertaking Chief Operating Officer functions in free schools. Philip has been working with NSN since 2011.

Free school pre-opening experience

Philip worked as the Chief Operating Officer for The Autism Schools Trust. He was responsible for overseeing the development of the trust’s first free school, The Rise, which opened in 2014 has since been rated Good by Ofsted. Responsibilities included: overseeing client-side design and construction phases of the school’s new build and liaising with the Education and Skills Funding Agency, developing trust governance, leadership capacity, finance and back-office functions, and all aspects of the staff and pupil recruitment.

Other school experience

Philip has worked as a project manager for a range of academy conversions and transfers. Additionally, he has supported local authorities in developing strategic commissioning processes for special schools and high needs funding provision and has experience of working in local and national government. Recently, he undertook a review of governance for Floreat Academies Trust.

Key skills

All aspects of free school and pre-opening project management, governance, finance, admissions and commissioning, site and buildings, stakeholder consultation

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Overview

Steph has over twenty-five years of teaching and school leadership experience, predominantly in the independent school sector. Steph has been working with NSN since 2012.

 

Free school pre-opening experience

Steph has advised City Gates School, a free school in pre-opening, on the refinement of the pre-opening curriculum plan.

 

Other school experience

As an NSN Associate, Steph has supported the development of hundreds of free school applications. As Headmaster at The Royal Wolverhampton School, Steph instituted systems for academic accountability, data tracking and target setting along with staff professional development which, in 2011, led to outstanding success at A-level. He also led the school through a number of successful school inspections with Ofsted and ISI. Steph is a qualified Independent Schools Inspector and an Associate International Schools Inspector with Best Practice Network, currently working in Spain and Mexico.

 

Key skills

Free schools staffing and education plans.

 

"Steph provided excellent support to the trust in developing the education element of our application to the DfE to open an all-through free school, including identifying any weaknesses that needed to be addressed and providing a mock interview before our DfE interview.  This ensured that our application was successfully approved by the DfE in March 2015."

 Lead Proposer, City Gates School Trust

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Overview

Stephen has worked with free schools since 2013, working in both the application and pre-opening phases. With a background in secondary school headship, Stephen has successfully supported free schools and studio schools to develop education and staffing plans. Stephen has been working with NSN since October 2013.

Free school pre-opening experience

Stephen has worked with a number of academy trusts to develop their free schools in pre-opening. For example, Stephen, as Lead Consultant supported the development of the Cathedral Primary School Bristol, by supporting the recruitment of staff, including the principal designate; developing the education plan; and managing pupil recruitment and admissions, marketing and consultation. Stephen has also worked with Shirelands Academy Trust, ‘A new School for Harrow’ and Hope Community School, Sidcup.

Other school experience                                                                                                      

Stephen was a successful principal of two secondary schools, one of which he led out of special measures, leading to it becoming one of the most improved schools in the country. As an NSN Associate, Stephen has supported the development of hundreds of free school applications. With over 20 years of school leadership experience, Stephen has also worked with Capita-Symonds, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Learning Futures Programme, the Studio Schools Trust, the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency and Knowsley Education Authority.  

Key skills

Admissions and pupil recruitment, education plans and policies and free school staffing.

 

"We found the seminars and training we attended that Stephen provided very helpful. Stephen has helped us on a couple of occasions, we have had a phone consultation meeting, plus Stephen has helped with our head teacher appointment and process."

Chairman, New Generations School Trust

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Overview

Susan has been involved with the free school movement since 2011, with experience as a founding member of Hatfield Community Free School. Susan has project managed the opening of three primary free schools. In addition to this, she has experience of free school governance as both a governor, director and member of both a single academy trust and multi-academy trust. Susan has been working for NSN since 2015.

Free school pre-opening experience

Susan was a founding member of Hatfield Community Free School which has since been judged Outstanding by Ofsted in 2014 and now sits as a board member of the trust. Since that time, she has opened three primary schools in temporary, refurbished and new builds, as a project manager. Those schools were: Ascot Road Community Free School, Jupiter Community Free School and Lanchester Community Free School.

She is currently project managing the creation of a multi-academy trust for Saracens, which includes the opening of Saracens High School and Saracens Primary School in Barnet. In addition, she is providing project management support to Katherine Warington School in Harpenden.Susan is currently working on three new free school proposals, some for Wave 13.

Other school experience

Susan is a trustee of the West Herts Community Free School Trust, where her role focuses on recruitment of trustees, governors and the senior leadership team. She is also a member of the Hatfield Community Free School Trust and a member and governor at Onslow St Audrey School. 

Key skills

All aspects of free school project management, governance, HR

 

Susan was a first-rate project manager who worked with minimum supervision

CEO, Multi-Academy Trust

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