ABOUT US

meet the team

Central Team


Executive Leadership Team
Jackie Waters-Dewhurst
Chief Executive Officer

About Jackie

Jacqueline Waters-Dewhurst has spent over 20 years in education starting in the primary sector. She has significant experience in leadership and the transformation of organisations having taken up the role of Diocesan Director of Education in Bristol diocese prior to being appointed as Director of Education for the Diocese of Lincoln.

In both organisations she has introduced the academy strategies, set up a Multi-Academy Trust and transformed teams by increasing capacity and skills in order to better serve schools in an ever-changing educational landscape.

She has served nationally on the National Society Council and was chair of the North Somerset Strategic Schools Forum and has chaired a number of governing boards of both schools and academies including; Westhaven Special School, Weston St Mary Church of England Primary school and St Lawrence Academy Trust Scunthorpe.

Jacqueline is passionate about ensuring that the wider diocese understands the gift that it has in its church schools and her dedication to the work of LAAT is an outworking of the belief that church schools are stronger together.

Having overseen the development of LAAT from 4 schools to 18 whilst also working for the Diocesan Board of Education Jackie feels that the time is now right to move over and concentrate solely on LAAT. As of September 2021 she will be stepping back from her role as Diocesan Director of Education to concentrate on being CEO of LAAT.

Tamara Allen
DEPuty CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

About Tamara

Tamara is the Deputy CEO for LAAT and joined in January 2020 from Cambridgeshire where she was an Executive Headteacher within a Diocesan Multi Academy Trust after working for Cambridgeshire for 15 years prior.  She has a wealth of experience in the sustainable improvement of schools, putting the quality of teaching and learning at the heart of this.  With eighteen in years in primary education, Tamara brings this extensive knowledge of the sector to  LAAT. She is a passionate advocate for teacher professional development and the development of strong collaborative networks of teachers to improve the life chances of children.

LEANNE HOLMES
FINANCE & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

About Leanne

Leanne Holmes, BA ACA – Finance and Operations Director, LAAT. 21 years post qualification experience across a wide range of sectors and a proven track record of delivering transformation in the finance function.

Gained chartered accountancy qualifications with Streets Chartered Accountants, where areas of work covered included both internal and external audit, statutory accounts preparation and taxation.

Before joining LAAT, Leanne worked as Trust Financial Controller at The Orders of St John Care Trust, a leading national care operator and registered charity, with a turnover of c£130m and c4500 employees. Responsible for a finance team of 40, overseeing all transactional and group accounting functions.

Joined LAAT in May 2015, initially when the Trust comprised of 5 schools. Since her appointment, has overseen the conversion of a further 15 schools. Responsible for overseeing back office support functions across the Trust including Finance, HR, Estates, Health and Safety and ICT.

NICOLA BAILEY
director of GOVERNANCE AND COMPLIANCE

About Nicola

Nicky was appointed to the LAAT team in October 2022 as Governance and Compliance Lead. She has over 20 years’ experience of working in the education sector and 15 years working in a Governance role. Before joining the LAAT, Nicky was employed as Strategic Director for Governance in a primary and secondary Trust in South Yorkshire where she served as a member of the Executive Leadership Team contributing to the Strategic Direction of the Trust and leading on Governance at a Board and school level. Nicky is passionate about education and improving the life chances for all children and is delighted to be part of the LAAT family.

LAURA LOWE
DIRECTOR OF COLLEAGUE SERVICES

About Laura

Laura joined the LAAT in April 2016 to work within HR. Laura is now Head of HR for the Trust and a Chartered member of the CIPD.

Laura has over 15 years’ experience in local government HR, Recruitment and payroll. Over this time Laura has developed an understanding of the sector and has knowledge and expertise to really support our schools grow and develop. She works closely with trade unions to ensure that our HR processes and policies are in place to support our employees as well meet our business needs. With a keen focus on wellbeing, Laura is passionate about providing our employees with a safe, nurturing and supportive working environment.

Governance and Compliance

Nicola Bailey
director of Governance and Compliance

About Nicola

Nicky was appointed to the LAAT team in October 2022 as Governance and Compliance Lead. She has over 20 years’ experience of working in the education sector and 15 years working in a Governance role. Before joining the LAAT, Nicky was employed as Strategic Director for Governance in a primary and secondary Trust in South Yorkshire where she served as a member of the Executive Leadership Team contributing to the Strategic Direction of the Trust and leading on Governance at a Board and school level. Nicky is passionate about education and improving the life chances for all children and is delighted to be part of the LAAT family.

Emma FairhAll
Governance and Compliance Assistant

About Emma

I joined the LAAT in January 2018 to support St Peter’s Primary School, Cleethorpes. I was previously at Ulceby St Nicolas Primary School as their Business and Operations Partner

Although I’ve worked in education since 2018, I do have a wealth of experience as a school governor for both Primary and Secondary schools in Lincolnshire.

Before my time with the LAAT I worked predominantly in marketing, organising events all over the world for corporate and private clients.  

Educational Development Team

TAMARA ALLEN
DEPUTY CEO

About Tamara

Tamara is the Deputy CEO for LAAT and joined in January 2020 from Cambridgeshire where she was an Executive Headteacher within a Diocesan Multi Academy Trust after working for Cambridgeshire for 15 years prior.  She has a wealth of experience in the sustainable improvement of schools, putting the quality of teaching and learning at the heart of this.  With eighteen in years in primary education, Tamara brings this extensive knowledge of the sector to  LAAT. She is a passionate advocate for teacher professional development and the development of strong collaborative networks of teachers to improve the life chances of children.

Vicky Matthews
Educational Development Advisor

About Vicky

I have over 12 years’ experience and a proven track record in church school leadership and improvement, including outstanding SIAMS inspections and taking on a special measures school, turning it into a securely good school in all areas in under 24 months. I have been part of the Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust (LAAT) since 2016, first as an Executive Headteacher and now as an Education Development Adviser. My particular areas of expertise are quality of education,  Pupil Premium, curriculum development, as well as training and coaching leaders at all levels. I am also a qualified coach for NPQH participants through the Chartered College of Education.  

As well as embracing the LAAT’s philosophy of Excellence, Exploration and Encouragement, I also endeavour to live by my own values of showing acts of kindness, being courageous and successful. These are the values that I trust to have a positive impact on the lives of the children we serve every day. 

Sam eden
Educational Development Advisor

About Sam

Having successfully led headships and executive headships of Local Authority maintained schools for over 10 years, I am proud to be an Education Development Advisor at LAAT. Most recently, I have completed the NPQEL qualification and during my time within educational leadership, I have been fortunate to work as a Local Leader of Education (LLE) as well as explore many other opportunities that promote purposeful collaboration for all. I am driven by a profound belief in the transformative power of education and my educational ethos aligns perfectly with the vision and values of LAAT. In my role as EDA, I am keen to support, guide and challenge our schools to provide the very best educational offer for all our learners.

sam mccormick
educational development advisor

About Sam

Sam joined the Trust in April 2024 as an Educational Development Advisor. He brings a wealth of experience to the role and has spent over a decade in secondary school leadership in London, Surrey, and Lincolnshire. He is driven by a desire to improve the life chances of young people through transformative education and believes that high quality teaching and learning is central to this. Sam has a keen interest in the use of technology for learning. He is particularly passionate about the KS3 curriculum and its importance in helping students transition between primary and secondary education. 

charlotte hickerton
Trust headteacher

About Charlotte

Having worked in education for 22 years, I am delighted to join the LAAT team as the Trust Headteacher from September 2023. Having worked in headship for the last 10 years in both rural and inner-city settings, I hope to bring a wealth of experience as a successful school leader, LLE, values ambassador, diocesan associate advisor and pupil premium reviewer. I am particularly passionate about high quality outcomes across the full curriculum for all children, especially disadvantaged and those with SEND. Inclusion for all is my core principle, as well as promoting equality and diversity through a values- based approach. I love being a Church of England school leader and genuinely believe that there is no more rewarding job, working collaboratively to transform children’s lives. In my new role, I will be working alongside headteachers within the trust to provide additional capacity to support school improvement where needed. I’m looking forward to serving the LAAT schools and their communities, promoting excellence, exploring together, and encouraging all to flourish.

Iqbal Hussain
Trust Data Analyst

About Iqbal

I joined LAAT in March 2022 as the Trust Data Analyst. Previously I worked in a secondary school as Data Manager for over 8 years.

Prior to working in the education sector, I worked as a Data Coordinator for the Children’s Society. I also enjoyed my time working as a Marketing Officer at Revitalise, a charity that provides respite holidays for disabled people and carers.

I have now joined the school improvement team at LAAT to support my colleagues with data analysis for all our schools and to provide an overall trust overview.

KATHERINE TICKLER
TRUST SENCO

About Katherine

With 14 years of diverse educational experience, I’ve journeyed from primary and secondary teaching to becoming a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) in both state and independent sectors. Prior to education, I was a specialist in medical disciplines in the business sector. My passion lies in advocating for inclusive education, ensuring every child, regardless of their challenges, has access to support and resources. I am delighted to be serving as Trust SENCO for LAAT since November 2022. In my role I’m dedicated to fostering a culture of inclusivity and providing opportunities for all our pupils to thrive.

dee goodwin
education welfare officer

About Dee

I have been a qualified Education Welfare Officer for over 15 years.

I have worked within all schools including primary, junior, secondary and specialist secondary schools.

I joined LAAT in November 2022.

I support all LAAT schools with attendance and work with my colleagues, parents, careers, students and outside agencies where there are attendance concerns to look at the barriers and to raise attendance.

I really enjoying working across different schools in the trust and supporting pupils and their families.’

Prior to working with Education, I spent a number of years working with Social Care.

Finance Team

Leanne Holmes
Finance & Operations Director

About Leanne

Leanne Holmes, BA ACA – Finance and Operations Director, LAAT. 21 years post qualification experience across a wide range of sectors and a proven track record of delivering transformation in the finance function.

Gained chartered accountancy qualifications with Streets Chartered Accountants, where areas of work covered included both internal and external audit, statutory accounts preparation and taxation.

Before joining LAAT, Leanne worked as Trust Financial Controller at The Orders of St John Care Trust, a leading national care operator and registered charity, with a turnover of c£130m and c4500 employees. Responsible for a finance team of 40, overseeing all transactional and group accounting functions.

Joined LAAT in May 2015, initially when the Trust comprised of 5 schools. Since her appointment, has overseen the conversion of a further 15 schools. Responsible for overseeing back office support functions across the Trust including Finance, HR, Estates, Health and Safety and ICT.

Linda Ashworth
finance manager

About Linda

Linda joined LAAT in March 2023 with a wealth of experience from all three sectors: public, private and charity.

Prior to joining LAAT, Linda worked as Group Financial Controller at UK Addiction Treatment Group, a leading private rehabilitation provider and was a key member of the senior strategic management team with the accountability of finance reporting and functionality.  

Linda’s current role at LAAT is responsible to oversee all transactional and trust accounting.

Gill Fitzgibbon
Senior Finance Business Partner

About Gill

Gill joined LAAT in July 2023. With over 20 years’ accountancy experience from manufacturing to service industries in the private sector, to large public sector entities including The Orders of St John Care Trust and the NHS.

More recently Gill’s experience includes time spent in Lincoln College as Finance Manager and Finance Business Partner. In this role, Gill was responsible for and had knowledge of ESFA funding, multi-site organisations, capital revenue projects, budgeting and forecasting, KPIs and benchmarking.

Gill is driven to provide a true partnership between finance and educational operations, and to advise and support schools’ leaders, putting pupils at the heart of decision-making.

Frances White
Finance Business Partner

About Frances

I started working in Education in 2012 and joined the LAAT in 2014 when Canon Peter Hall CE Primary School became part of the Trust.

I have worked across various schools, in which, I have had vast experience working with senior leaders, administration and site teams.

I have recently transitioned to the central team, as a Finance Business Partner.  I am now supporting various schools on financial management and maintaining a sound financial position, putting pupils at the heart of decision making.  

Alex Stoker
finance business partner

About Alex

Alex joined LAAT in March 2020. Prior to this Alex worked as a finance assistant at Spalding Parish CofE Day School for 3 years before the school joined the LAAT. Alex has worked in various roles for the Trust’s central finance team and currently works as a Finance Business Partner providing direct support for schools. Alex is a MAAT qualified Accountant.  

aaron spikings
trust accountant

About Aaron

Aaron has a wide range of experience from his time working in multi site and charitable organisations. Having worked in all areas of the finance function, from ledger work all the way to year end audits, group consolidations and long term forecasts, Aaron comes with a wealth of knowledge giving him a great insight into how finance interacts with other parts of organisations and people skills that enable him to explain financial concepts to non finance specialists. He brings strong technical finance skills and qualifications and will be an asset to any already strong finance team.

Cherry Gilchrist
Finance Clerk

About Cherry

I have worked in Finance for 7 years, between the Motor Trade and the Education sector. I am currently studying to become AAT qualified; I am looking forward to progressing both with my qualifications and career with LAAT. I support all of our schools as well as our Central Team with all the day-to-day finance functions and queries.

helen curuk
Finance assistant

About Helen

Helen joined LAAT in March 2022. Prior to this Helen spent over 20 years working for a refrigeration & commercial vehicle company in their finance team. She is looking forward to using her skills and experience in her role as Finance Assistant. Helen supports all of our schools as well as our Central Team with all the day to day finance functions and queries.

OPERATIONS

Rachel Street
Business and Operations Manager

About Rachel

Rachel has been with the LAAT since 2014. She transitioned to the Central Team within the Trust in 2020, as a Business and Operations Partner prior to securing her position as Business and Operations Manager, playing a pivotal role in shaping the operational direction of the trust and ensuring its efficient functioning.

Through her previous positions, Rachel gained a deep understanding of the inner workings of educational institutions, including the challenges and opportunities they face.

With a strong emphasis on collaboration and teamwork, Rachel is dedicated to supporting schools within the Trust to enhance the opportunities for all students. Additionally, she is committed to fostering the professional growth and development of staff members, striving to help them reach their full potential.

Rachel’s current responsibilities involve various central support functions across the Trust. This includes managing aspects such as school administration and office support, Health & Safety and ICT. Playing a crucial role in ensuring the smooth functioning of essential support services that contribute to the overall success and effectiveness of the schools within the LAAT.

 

Shelley Rix
Operations Business Partner

About Shelley

I started working in education in 2013 and joined Whaplode CofE Primary School in 2014. In 2017 I joined the LAAT when I started working across both Weston St Mary and Whaplode CofE Primary Schools. I am now Operations Business Partner across seven trust schools but enjoy collaboratively working across all of the schools within our trust.

Prior to working in education, I worked for a national charity initially in finance and then as a Contracts Manager.

Collette Hunter
Operations Business Partner

About Collette

I joined the LAAT in January 2022, and was based at Spalding Parish Church of England Day School.  I have over 20 years’ school business management experience working in primary schools for a Lincolnshire Local Authority school and, more recently, a small MAT in Peterborough.

Before joining the education sector I worked for 14 years in the Ministry of Defence in finance, HR, planning and procurement roles.

Pamela Jenkins
Operations Business Partner

About Pamela

Pam was a School Business Manager at a Lincolnshire primary school for 8 years before moving into an Academy Operations Manager role in a large secondary school. Pam also has previous experience as a Financial Advisor and Operations Manager with a large insurance company. She has the SBM qualification as well as Leadership and Management qualifications and a wealth of education specific and Health and Safety CPD. Pam is an experienced school governor and will bring a wealth of knowledge in both primary and secondary school operational management to the Trust.

Jo Campbell
Health and Safety Business Partner

About Jo

Jo joined LAAT in September 2022 and moved into the role of Health & Safety Business Partners in January 2024. Prior to this she was a Business and Operations Partner responsible for Coningsby St. Michaels and Tattershall Holy Trinity Primary Schools.  

Prior to joining the LAAT Jo worked for a global Fast Moving Consumer Goods corporation. Gaining over 30 years’ experience of facility management, environmental, health and safety; quality and food safety and leading the development and development of capital investment projects.  

estates Team

Julian Coles
Estates manager

About Julian

Julian joined LAAT in March 2021 as Property Surveyor, after 15 years working for The Orders of St John Care Trust. With over 35 years of Property Maintenance experience Julian is looking forward to bringing some in-house Property expertise to the Trust, and to working with all the schools on all aspects of the Property Maintenance and Refurbishment.

Paul smith
Senior Area Site Manager

About Paul

I started working for LAAT as a Site Manager in 2014 when The Magdalen C of E and Methodist Primary school joined the Trust. I joined The Magdalen in 2008 as a Part Time Caretaker eventually becoming a Full Time Site Manager in 2010. I then progressed to become an Area Site Manager when Friskney All Saints C of E Primary School joined the Trust over seeing both sites.

On 1st September 2023 I joined the Central Team as The Senior Area Site Manager to work alongside the Estates Manager Julian Coles. I’m really excited about my new role and looking forward to working closely with the other schools within the Trust and their Site Teams.

After leaving school I qualified as a Carpenter and Joiner and for 15 years worked within various sectors plying my trade. I am also into my 22nd year serving as an on-call Fire Fighter at Wainfleet Fire Station. Both roles have provided me with vast experiences that have given me the tools I need to enable me to progress in my roles and career within the schools.

Colleague Services

Laura Lowe
Director of Colleague Services

About Laura

Laura joined the LAAT in April 2016 to work within HR. Laura is now Head of HR for the Trust and a Chartered member of the CIPD.

Laura has over 15 years’ experience in local government HR, Recruitment and payroll. Over this time Laura has developed an understanding of the sector and has knowledge and expertise to really support our schools grow and develop. She works closely with trade unions to ensure that our HR processes and policies are in place to support our employees as well meet our business needs. With a keen focus on wellbeing, Laura is passionate about providing our employees with a safe, nurturing and supportive working environment.

Nicola Southwell
Senior Colleague Services Business Partner

About Nicola

Nicola joined the LAAT in April 2022 to work within HR.  Nicola is the Senior Colleague Services Business partner for the Trust and is qualified as an associate for CIPD Level 5 Diploma in Human Resource Management.  

Nicola has over 12 years’ experience in HR, coaching and leadership.  Over this time Nicola has advised, coached, and guided leaders to enhance their practical application of people functions, from succession plans to disciplinary, grievance and trade union negotiations.  

Nicola is passionate about people and the HR strategies that unify business ambitions with winning people processes.  She has a keen focus on health and wellbeing providing a great place to work for all our employees.  

Nicola enjoys sharing her knowledge of employment law and HR best practice, and helping to steer improvement in colleagues, people processes and performance across the Trust.

Laura Gill
Colleague Services Business Partner

About Laura

Laura is an experienced team manager from a commercial retail background and supports her area in HR casework and advice. Previous experience involves coaching leaders through sickness absence and capability processes and both supporting and leading disciplinary investigations and hearings. Laura has also taken the lead in succession planning and business support in the area of recruitment and retention and coached leaders to investigate skills gaps, training plans and areas for professional development in teams. Laura has almost completed her CIPD Level 5 and brings a compassionate and pragmatic approach to colleague management, well supported by practical knowledge and experience.

Claire Stimson
Colleague Services ASSISTANT

About Claire

Claire comes to us with over 4 years’ experience in recruitment administration in a commercial but highly regulated environment. She has held responsibility for overseeing and administering all recruitment, personnel files and payroll information for a large business. Claire has taken on coaching and training roles in the area of recruitment, leading out a change to people management software. Claire also has experience of supporting HR casework so will bring some well needed additional capacity to support our proactive approach to colleague management.

Melanie Fletcher
Colleague Services ASSISTANT

About Melanie

Mel joins LAAT, after working as a HR Administrator for a large and regulated medical devices consultancy, where she worked for 6 years. Her work involved recruitment, managing onboarding, contractual guidance, managing training and being the first line of advice and support for policy and process and processing queries. She has experience of recruitment, compliance checks, implementing a recruitment tracking system and proactive absence management. Mel brings further strength to a strong Colleague Services Team, along with a sense of humour.

ADMINISTRATOR

Kim Smith
ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANT

About Kim

Kim joined the LAAT in September 2022 and works within the Central Team as an Administrator.

She brings with her a wealth of experience gained from 24 years in the Military. During this time Kim had numerous roles in the UK and overseas ranging from personnel administration to supporting the delivery of community support.

She enjoys utilising her skills to provide administrative support to the central team and LAAT schools.