The Trust central team is made up of highly experienced collaegues with a range of backgrounds in supporting schools. The Hub Leads play a key role in the support and challenge across Hub schools. Central administration and finance support is based in Cambridge and Lowestoft.


Central Team

Karen Jarvis

Company Secretary & Trust Business Manager

Having worked in education for over twenty years across three counties, Karen has extensive experience relating to governance. Although the majority of her career has been in the primary and secondary sectors, she has also worked on projects with Oxford University. Karen joined the central team in early 2015 and part of her role is to support and advise governors and staff in non-curriculum related areas. In addition to her role as Governance Lead for the Trust, Karen is Company Secretary for ALT, and acts as clerk to the Board of Directors.

Siobhan Gaskins

Professional Assistant

A qualified legal secretary, Siobhan has spent many years working in the legal sector before moving on to work for Ely Cathedral as PA to the Vice-Dean and Bursar. Siobhan moved on to work for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau before taking the leap to study for an English Literature and Language Degree with the Open University. Siobhan has worked within the Cambridgeshire community and in Cambridgeshire schools for 13 years; her previous positions have included Student Behaviour Support in both Primary and Secondary and, latterly, seven years as a Cover Teacher in Secondary. In her role with the Trust, Siobhan is able to combine her extensive school based knowledge with her wealth of PA experience, and bring that to the central team to help in their support of all schools within the Active Learning Trust.

Joy Robinson

Procurement and Estates Manager

Joy Robinson is a senior procurement professional with many years experience in both the private and public sectors. Delivering value for money (VFM) has been the primary focus throughout Joy's career. Joy has worked with the Trust since early 2014 on a number of large procurement projects across both counties, the largest being the provision of Catering services to 5 schools in Suffolk. Joy is also responsible for the ALT estate and is currently managing a number of projects to improve the condition of our buildings.

Nicki Mayne

Trust Finance Manager

Nicki has worked in finance for over 25 years, having worked in London, South Wales and East Anglia. She is a highly motivated and enthusiastic professional with a proven background in financial management, personnel management and change implementation. Having worked in education in Suffolk for the last 9 years Nicki has extensive knowledge of schools in all sectors having dealt with academy conversions and school closures at strategic and school level.

Theresa Robinson

Trust Finance Manager

Originally from London, relocating to Cambridge in 1987, Theresa has a strong background in finance in both the commercial and public sector. She has spent the last 12 years working in Adult Learning for Cambridgeshire County Council looking after Community Education, Family Learning, Adults with Learning Difficulties and the Careers Service.

Emma Pearce

Administrative Officer

Emma brings over 30 years’ experience of working in the public sector including roles in central and local government relating to business, health, and education. She joined ALT in January 2018 and provides administrative support to the central team.

Caroline Driver

Compliance Manager and Data Protection Officer

Caroline has an extensive background in risk management, governance, compliance and assurance reviews. She is a qualified internal auditor (IIA) and AAT qualified. She has been a school business manager (CSBM qualified), and was project lead on a high school’s conversion to academy status as well as school business manager of a new free school, Regeneration Funding Manager and Project Manager. She has a BSc and PGCE in Geography. In her spare time she is a Parent Governor of a High School and is chair of its Finance and General Purposes Committee. Caroline has also previously been a Treasurer of a primary school’s PTA and Trustee of a pre-school. She has a GDPR Practitioners Certificate.

Nicola Watson

Trust Data Manager

Nicola has extensive data management experience in the education sector. Before joining the Trust she worked for Ofsted in a senior regional support role, managing inspection data effectively to drive and improve operational processes. Prior to this, Nicola was the Data Manager for a secondary school and sixth form where she managed the school’s MIS, student data analysis, and school reporting processes. Nicola is equipped with comprehensive knowledge of a range of school data analysis systems and has a detailed understanding of evolving assessment policy in the sector. Nicola also holds an MSc in Social Research Methods and has conducted in-depth research within Cambridgeshire Schools. Nicola is able to combine and apply this knowledge and experience in the sector to provide quality data management to the Trust.

Andrew Redman

School to School Improvement Manager

Andy is an independent consultant and Church Schools’ Inspector (SIAMS).He has worked as a head teacher, and executive head teacher, within the Diocese of Southwark for the past 16 years and his particular experience and expertise lies in supporting schools emerge from challenging circumstances to move ‘onwards and upwards.’

Dave Baker

Professional Development Manager

Dave is an experienced leader, having been a head teacher of three Suffolk schools, and an executive head teacher. As Professional Development Manager, Dave will use his coaching experience and skills to ensure that all schools have the capacity to support and develop staff. He will also provide training opportunities across the Trust to support the professional development of staff at all levels.

Liz Tennant

Leadership Adviser

Liz Tennant is a serving headteacher in an outstanding primary school in London and currently works in an advisory capacity for a school operating below floor targets in a neighbouring borough, as an advisor for a large federation and advisor for group of successful primary schools. She has extensive experience of recruiting and retaining highly effective senior leaders and teachers and financial and resource management.

Yvonne Hunter

Ipswich Standards Adviser

Yvonne is an independent consultant. She has worked as a substantive Headteacher (5 schools) and Advisory Headteacher (5 schools) within Essex and Kent for over 20 years. She has extensive experience in supporting rapid school improvement particularly in vulnerable schools / schools facing challenging circumstances through her multi-faceted roles as School Achievement Adviser, School Improvement Adviser, School Improvement Partner, Standards & Excellence Officer, Headteacher Performance Management External Adviser across 5 local authorities and 6 MATs. In her spare time Yvonne has been both a Local Authority associate governor and a Local Authority governor of primary schools which included chairing a Standards Committee and a Princes Trust mentor. Yvonne joined the Trust in January 2018 and uses her wide experience / expertise to support and challenge schools across the Trust to rapidly improve.

Shân Oswald

School Improvement Adviser

Shân is an education consultant and one of the Secondary School Improvement Advisers in the Trust, having been a senior adviser in both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Authorities. She has worked nationally as a senior adviser for the National Strategies with a particular focus on Science, SEN and Thinking Skills. In addition, Shân has taken on a variety of senior roles in some challenging schools, written and delivered a wide variety of governor training, is a director in another Academy chain and Academy Councillor for a primary school in a different Trust. She has taught all age groups since qualifying as a teacher and is still learning! As well as having three children and two grandchildren Shân is an active member of the church, sings in the choir, has two dogs, plays piano and guitar, likes DIY and gardening.

Steve Ellison

School Improvement Adviser

Steve has worked in education for over 38 years. He has worked in 7 schools, and has held a wide range of middle and senior leadership roles, including Headteacher and Executive Headteacher. Steve has also worked as Regional Education Director for a large MAT. His key professional interests are school improvement, the curriculum, teaching & learning and leadership/ management development.

Angela Thompson

Hub Standards Adviser

Angela has almost 40 years experience in primary education and has held senior leadership positions in schools ranging from small rural primaries through to large urban junior schools. As a teacher she taught the full age range from Reception to Year 6. Angela was a successful head teacher of a Primary School in Essex before joining the Local Authority as a senior adviser, supporting a range of primary phase schools in all aspects of school improvement. Angela also held a senior management post with Suffolk Local Authority where she was the senior primary adviser and led the school improvement team for 6 years. Angela is an independent education consultant, working with a range of schools across the Eastern Region, including multi academy trusts in Essex and Suffolk as well as being an associate adviser for Cambridgeshire Local Authority.

angela.thompson@activelearningtrust.org