A skilled, professional Central Support Team works closely with the Hope Learning Trust schools to offer support with day-to-day operations, finance, human resources and school improvement. It also implements strategic decisions agreed by the Trustees.
Originally from the north-east of England, Helen qualified as a teacher after leaving university. Just three years after starting her career in Essex, she became assistant headteacher at a secondary modern, later returning to the north-east for another assistant headteacher role and then a deputy principal role. In a big departure from her vocation, she moved away from teaching in 2009 to become a consultant in the construction sector, helping firms to bid for new contracts.
In 2011, she was approached to do consultancy at Ipswich Academy when it opened. After three years as a consultant, she was appointed as associate principal and relocated to Suffolk in January 2014, before becoming first interim principal and then permanent principal in 2017.
Helen joined Hope Learning Trust as CEO in September 2020. She is also the CEO at the Sentamu Academy Learning Trust.
Wendy Munro is the Operations Director and Chief Operating Officer for Hope Learning Trust. She brings extensive commercial experience to the role having worked as an Operations Director in the IT industry until 2005 before leaving to start her own business specialising in transforming organisations to implement core systems and procedures to meet industry standard/accreditation.
After her successful time in the commercial sector, Wendy was passionate about bringing her skills and expertise into the education sector where she would be able to have both a positive and moral impact. In 2011, she joined Vale of York Academy as School Business Manager before joining the Hope Central Team as Chief Operating Officer.
At Hope Learning Trust, Wendy’s role includes: Strategic development of the operational service offering within the central team; Support to existing schools within the Trust to ensure operational effectiveness; Compliance; Procurement exercises including tendering; Due diligence process; and academy conversions.
Simon Bryan-Smith has worked within finance and forecasting in different organisations and roles across various business sectors since 1998. Qualifying through the CIMA accountancy route in 2007 Simon accepted the role of Finance Director at the Leeds based charity Caring For Life taking the charity through a period of considerable change. A 2 year contract with Defra followed before taking on the role in Manor CE School just before academy conversion in 2011.
Liz is the Executive Assistant to the Senior Leadership Team for the Hope Learning Trust. Her role includes: a full range of administrative functions, the coordination and communication of issues relating to compliance and governance across the Trust, she is the primary contact for GDPR, Subject Access Requests and Freedom of Information requests, Liz also manages the meeting calendar and schedules meetings for SLT colleagues.
Liz joined the Trust in September 2019. Prior to this Liz worked for the City of York Council as a Governance Advisor/Support Officer. Originally trained as an Archaeologist Liz started her career working in the museum sector as a Finds Specialist.
Karen is the Trust Operations Manager. Her roles includes: supporting the Chief Operating Officer; providing operational services within the Central Team; supporting the schools within the Trust; overseeing procurement, maintaining safe and healthy work environments by establishing, following and enforcing standards and procedures; complying with legal regulations. Before joining the Central Team, Karen was Premises Manager at Manor CE Academy.
Chris is an HR Officer for the Hope Learning Trust. Her role includes supporting all the primary and secondary schools within the Trust with disciplinary investigations and hearings, grievances, sickness absence, recruitment and selection, policy and toolkit development, face to face, telephone and written advice and guidance, restructures, TUPE transfers, safeguarding and child protection concerns etc.
Chris joined the Trust in March 2017. Prior to this Chris worked for Wakefield Metropolitan District Council for 14 years supporting schools and services.
Chris has a Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel Management and a BSc (Hons) in Psychology. She is an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Laura is a HR Officer for the Hope Learning Trust. Her role includes supporting all the primary and secondary schools within the Trust with a range of HR matters including employee welfare, disciplinary investigations and hearings, sickness absence management, recruitment and selection, by providing face to face, telephone and written advice.
Laura joined the Trust in June 2019 and prior to this worked within the HR function for Logistics and Hospitality companies for 11 years.
Laura is CIPD Qualified and she is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
Kim joined The Hope Learning Trust as a Finance Officer in November 2019. Kim started her career in finance in 2002, and gained a solid foundation working at Shepherd Construction for the first eight years. Since then she has worked across various sectors, with the most recent being as the Finance Manager for a Business Park in York and a Tourist Attraction in Cornwall.
Tania deals with all the Purchase ledger duties for the Trust and is responsible for payments and bank reconciliation for all schools within the Trust. Tania has a vast amount of experience working within Accounting from Military, Private Hospital, Construction to IT software company and holds Qualified Association of Accounting Technician – Level 4.
Margarita is the Purchase Ledger Clerk for all schools within the Trust and has a Level III Diploma in Manual and Computerised Bookkeeping and is a Member of The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. Before joining the Trust Margarita spent over 10 years’ working in a biotech company where she managed purchase and sales ledgers.
Megan has just joined Hope Learning Trust as an Accounts Apprentice, working with the Purchase Ledger Team. She is currently looking forward to training with the team and working towards her AAT qualifications. Prior to joining the Trust, she worked within Retail.
Katherine joined the Trust as Secondary School Improvement Lead in May 2018. She works closely with the CEO, as well as Hope’s headteachers, staff, governors, trustees and the central team, to continue to raise standards across the Trust. She supports staff and young people to exceed their potential, through access to the very best opportunities to flourish, in both their academic and personal lives.
She was previously employed as Education Adviser with the Diocese of York.
Shan Brough Jones works on a part-time basis for Hope, supporting the primary schools in the Trust. She will continue her independent consultancy, alongside her work as a Diocesan Adviser. She brings a wealth of experience and understanding of the primary and early years phase to the work of the Trust.
Anouska joined Hope Learning Trust in February 2021, as the Trust Inclusion Lead, as part of the School Improvement Team.
She has extensive experience at senior leadership level, having held multiple pastoral roles for over a decade. She has specific and specialist knowledge in safeguarding, behaviour systems and management, attendance and student personal development. Anouska is also a specialist leader in education.
Working with the Trust, Anouska’s primary focus is to work across all phases, ensuring all students can meet their full potential.
Anouska role is to provide senior and middle leaders, with the support and challenge to ensure outstanding practise pervades all aspects of pastoral care and safeguarding.
Heather Wright is acting Director of English and joins the team from her senior leadership position at Hope Learning Trust’s Barlby High School. Her role is to provide Leaders of English and their teams with the support and challenge to ensure that outstanding teaching and learning is taking place across the Trust’s secondary schools and that students leave education with their very best outcomes. Heather is a Specialist Leader of Education and, prior to working for Hope Learning Trust, she has worked with several schools in improving English and literacy provision at all secondary key stages. Heather is also experienced in working with early careers teachers and works closely with English teams across the trust to support high quality training.
Jim joined the Trust as Director of Mathematics in September 2018 and has over 20 years of experience working at numerous schools at all levels of mathematics and senior leadership. He works closely within the Secondary Schools Improvement Team to raise the teaching of mathematics standards across the Trust. He supports the schools mathematics leader to identify areas for improvement and provides quality assurance measures. He leads on providing one-on-one support for colleagues who require it and also works closely with ITT maths students within the Trust’s teaching school.
Jim believes passionately in raising standards of education thus enabling all students to achieve so much more than they thought was possible, providing them with the very best of opportunities for their future. Jim is married to Claire and has 3 older teenager girls who provide his support and drive.
Kirsty Mills is the Lead Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator for the primary sector of Hope Learning Trust. Kirsty works to ensure that all children with special educational needs or disabilities can access the high quality provision across the Trust.
Kirsty has been a primary school teacher for over 25 years in York and North Yorkshire. Kirsty has a BA Honours in English Literature and Psychology, a postgraduate certificate in Education and has recently finished her National Award for SEN Co-ordination. This has enabled her to take up the exciting post of Lead SEN Co-ordinator across the five Hope Trust primary schools.
**Hope and @sentamutrust colleagues only** We are currently advertising 15 Honorariums for Secondary Network Leads, Primary Network Leads and a Primary Network Lead - EYFS, to plan, deliver and evaluate the impact of subject networks. Find out more 👇 hopelearningtrust.org/careers…
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