Trust Staff (Central team)

Mrs Annie Wiles - Chief Executive Officer

Jdrew hres 190902img 1939Annie trained as a primary teacher in the 1980s and has since taught in a range of community and church schools in the UK, Germany and Cyprus before settling in Kent. She has taught the full age range from 3-18 and TEFL. She was a Headteacher for 10 years. During this time she became a Director of Shepway Teaching School, one of the first cohort of Teaching Schools, with responsibility for leading Initial Teacher Training. She was also an LLE before being seconded to the Diocese of Canterbury part-time during the final 18 months of Headship. Initially, this was to oversee school improvement for the 103 church schools across the Diocese but the role changed to become one of developing the Multi-Academy Trust. Annie was appointed as full-time CEO of the Trust in September 2015.

Ms Marian Scally - CFO and Finance & Business Director

Jdrew hres 190902img 1956Marian was our first appointment and joined the trust in November 2014. Marian has over twenty years’ experience of finance and business within education at both primary and secondary level. She was involved in the strategic implementation of academy status in her previous role and was seconded to the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership as Interim Business Director to help set up the infrastructure of their multi-academy trust. Marian was a School Business Manager Advocate for the National College for four years and supported schools and individuals across the South East of England. She has spoken at national conferences and delivered training sessions in financial matters to aspirant school leaders and business managers. She became a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) in 2012 and continues to support individual leaders and schools in their business and financial needs, particularly exploring different models of financial sustainability and staffing structures.

Mr Nicholas Morgan - Head of Governance and Estates

01585f616c31273ca2bbf78e2839a5e23096a0746fNick Morgan joined us on 1st September 2017 as Head of Governance and Estates. A familiar face to many members of our Local Governing Bodies Nick has been involved in supporting governors and governing bodies for both the Diocese of Canterbury and Kent County Council. He comes with a decade of experience supporting Governing Bodies in understanding their roles and duties and guiding Multi Academy Trusts to better understand their lines of accountability. Nick applied for the role because of his involvement in the early days of the Trust and recognising what opportunities are available by being part of a MAT. He is IOSH trained in School Health and Safety and runs various forums for site staff and governors.

Mr Chris Clarke - Education Psychologist

Jdrew hres 190902img 1992Since completing his degree is psychology at the University of East London Chris has worked in education in various roles for the last 15 years. Chris started off as a special educational needs teaching assistant in a specialist provision attached to a mainstream school working his way towards the graduate teacher training programme. However, research and the application of psychology were at the heart of what Chris wanted to do. When he left teaching, Chris worked on two large scale research projects: researching the outcomes of all children accessing Tier 2 and 3 child mental health services and investigating the impact of the Leuven Scales on children’s development in Kent. After completing these research projects Chris was then successful in applying for the doctorate in Child, Adolescent and Educational Psychology at the Institute of Eduction, which is now part of University College London. Chris’ thesis investigated the outcomes of mental health strategies in children with autism, a topic Chris still retains a passion in. To date, Chris’ interest in research have resulted in publication in internationally respected journals such as the International Journal of Psychopharmacology and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Chris has also published in professional journals such as the Journal of Educational Psychology in Practice.


Chris’ career then took him to work for Kent County Council where he worked as an educational psychologist for nearly nine years. During that time Chris became a member of the county crisis coordinator team working with and supporting schools who had experienced sudden or traumatic events. When Chris worked for Kent he was based in Ashford and built up a strong reputation as someone who was passionate about the inclusion of all children in schools, working closely with the local health teams and specialist teaching and learning services, with whom he still retains an excellent working partnership, to build on inclusive practices in the area. In September 2018, Chris joined the Aquila team and with works with the SENDCos, class teachers and head teachers to support inclusive practice throughout the Trust and beyond. Chris has developed a SENCo Forum within the Trust which aims to support collaborative working, supervision and training with the Trust.

Mrs Lorna Priddle - Advisor to the Board

Jdrew hres 190902img 1981As an Executive Headteacher in Kent, Lorna’s ability to transform failing schools into higher performers is proven by results: from special measures to requires improvement with leadership graded as good in 16 months (Archbishop Courtenay C.E. Primary School) from Notice to improve too good in two years (St Michaels C.E .Junior School) from cause for concern to outstanding in 4 years (St Michaels C.E. Infant School). In January 2014 her Infant school gained its third outstanding OFSTED in seven years.

Lorna achieved these results by having high expectations, mentoring and coaching staff to become good and outstanding classroom practitioners, having a passion and vision for excellence in education and growing leaders to enable sustainability throughout three schools that she has led. For example, four senior leaders from her former schools have gone onto headships and head of school in Kent schools. 

As a National Leader of Education from 2008-2015, she collaborated with schools across Kent Sussex and Surrey to improve standards of achievement and attainment. Classroom practitioners, Headteachers, and LA officers came to observe outstanding practice across the three schools but especially Key Stage one. She was also commissioned through the National College to go and support schools to improve standards. She supported leadership and management and teaching and learning in several schools over a period of 7 years. This required a high level of competence in interpreting data, the ability to hold challenging conversations with leaders in vulnerable schools, to conduct work scrutiny and lesson observations and be able to change a culture in a school to one of positivity and success.

Lorna has met with the DFE to discuss how to raise standards across the country and met with a previous Secretary of State, Michael Gove, regarding educational policy. In 2012, she completed the Pacific Institute Investment in Excellence facilitator training programme. This was an initiative by Kent to deliver a world-class programme for coaching and mentoring leaders in education. She successfully completed the programme and was able to put this into practice in training sessions across four schools in Kent.  

St Michael’s C.E. Schools Federation has been recognised nationally and internationally in a historic publication on the history of Parliament (2015). This book has been distributed to all members of the United Nations, UK and overseas embassies and Members of Parliament. This recognised the performance of the St Michaels C.E. Schools Federation and the role it played in leading by using the teachings of hope, faith and charity. St Michael’s was one of only 25 schools chosen to appear in this prestigious publication. It recognised excellence in education and the impact the school’s ethos and culture had on the community. 

As a School Improvement Partner for the Aquila she provide professional challenge and support for schools. She acts as a critical and professional friend to our schools, helping leadership teams to evaluate school performance, identify priorities for improvement and plan for effective change.

Mrs Naomi Jackman - Payroll Manager

P1060201 v1 currentaquilatrustsep2018Naomi joined the trust in March 2016. Before working in education, she gained wide financial experience in various roles supporting finance operations in the private sector. She developed significant experience over 8 years in a variety of school settings. Just prior to joining the Trust team she was employed by Kennington CE Junior Academy as a Bursar supporting their financial and business management. Her experience and skills in understanding Academy finances at the front line, particularly during the transitional period of becoming a member of Aquila, has added significant strength to the team. She now supports all of our Academies with a multitude of business and finance matters.

Mrs Tracey Howard - Senior Administrator & DPO

Jdrew hres 190902img 1970Tracey joined the Trust in February 2017. Tracey has had a career in administration and secretarial support spanning more than 20 years and has worked in a variety of highly pressurised environments where outstanding skills in organisation and time management have been essential in ensuring that deadlines and objectives are met. Prior to joining the trust she created and worked as the office manager for Shepway Teaching School Alliance for 5 years. In 2018 Tracey was appointed as the DPO for the Trust overseeing 12 schools.

Mrs Lorraine Bondzie-Mensah - Business & Finance Administrator

Lorraine was appointed to the Trust in May 2017 and provides a professional clerking service to a number of Local Governing Bodies and the Board of Trustees.  Her role is to provide advice and support on governance matters, ensuring schools and the Board are compliant with Ofsted, Education Funding Agency and Trust standards, expectations and requirements. She is AAT qualified and also provides business and financial services support for 4 schools within the Trust.

Miss Daisy Cousins - Apprentice Finance & Administration Assistant

Jdrew hres 190902img 1975Daisy joined Aquila in April 2019 to complete a business administration apprenticeship. She has used the experience to learn about working environments and adapting to the needs of the central teams varied workload. Since joining, she has put her name to a number of activities including financial management, a number of important administrative tasks and being a lead in the team that delivered this year’s Aquila Cup football tournament and all of this while still receiving an education and aiming to gain a qualification. The central team has supported her with the work set by her apprenticeship tutor/assessor. Daisy feels very welcome and supported with this new challenge and knows that the skills she is learning now will stand her in good stead for her working life.

Mr Ian Young - Payroll & Finance Assistant

Ian joined the Trust in November 2020.

Mrs Sandra Morgan - HR Manager

After a career as a bilingual secretary in the legal and paper trade sectors, Sandra changed direction in 2001 and moved into education working at All Saints’ Primary School which later amalgamated and became Archbishop Courtenay Primary School in 2005.   She worked initially as a Teaching Assistant for 4 years before moving into the school office.  Sandra played a key role in the transfer of Archbishop Courtenay Primary School to academy status when it became the first school to join Aquila on 1 September 2014.  At this point Sandra moved into the role of School Business Manager and worked closely with Marian Scally to develop administrative and finance procedures to support other schools as they joined Aquila.  In 2016 Sandra gained her Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management which has further enhanced her skills and knowledge.  Sandra joined the Central Team in October 2018 where she works as HR Manager one day per week overseeing HR practices across Aquila.

Mrs Deborah Stryzyk - Local Governing Body Clerk

Deborah has worked in various areas of the education sector during her entire career.  She began working with governing boards in 2004 in the role of a Clerk.  Deborah completed the Level 3 BTEC professional qualification in Clerking in 2006/7.  From 2009 to 2011, Deborah worked with Kent County Council and Hampshire County Council as an assessor for its Professional Clerking Accreditation; she also had input in developing the training module. 

Over the years Deborah has mentored new Clerks, continued to undertake numerous training modules to keep abreast of the constant changes in the education and governance landscape and she has continued to work with several academies and schools.

Latest News

By Trust News
Posted: 22/12/2020

Speech and Language Therapist

Speech and Language Therapist Locations: Central office base – Folkestone; Schools – Kent Wide Contract Type: Permanent Hours: 37 hours/week, 38 weeks/year (Term time only) (paid 44.0869 weeks per year inclusive of holiday pay entitlement) but we will also consider part-time and job share requests. Salary Range: Aquila Pay Level i (APLi) £34,245 to £40,281 FTE (pro-rata £28,954 -£34,058) Specialist areas: Education, Paediatric, Mainstream Close date: 31/01/21 Start Date: ASAP Are you a therapist with a commitment to reducing barriers to social mobility? Are you committed to working with children from some of the most deprived areas of Kent? As a multi academy trust, we have schools in some of the most challenging areas of Kent, with a commitment to reduce barriers to social mobility. As a trust, we have moved these schools on so that they provide a good or outstanding level of education and commitment to their children and community. To build on this excellent work we need the support of an independently minded, forward thinking and dynamic speech and language therapist, who is committed to inclusion and removing barriers to social mobility for our young children. We are seeking an experienced therapist who can work with school staff from teaching assistants to head teachers, who shows excellent leadership skills, independence and strategic thinking.  Comfortable working with families, teachers, parents and children breaking down these barriers you will be able to understand the bigger picture and draw on evidence informed and evidence based intervention that can be used to support children. If you show these attributes, then Aquila may be the trust for you. Consisting of 13 school, from small rural to large urban schools, with two specialist resource provision and talks ongoing for more, Aquila are a large trust looking to expand our provision. In collaboration with an educational psychologist a specialist teacher, SENCos and head teachers, you will be at the forefront of creating and developing a service tailored to the needs of children. For your hard work, as a trust we will offer you Enrolment to the Local Government Pension Scheme Travel reimbursement Excellent CPD opportunities HCPC registration is essential to this role as is Enhanced DBS with child and adult barring. If you are interested in this exciting opportunity please contact Chris Clarke, Educational Psychologist, for a Job Description and Person Specification for further requirements for this role, at or on 07764946138.  
By Trust News
Posted: 27/10/2020


KCC announces dedicated helpline for free school meals support this half-term   Kent County Council has announced vouchers for food are available during half-term for families whose children are eligible for free school meals, so that no Kent child goes hungry.   The county’s families most in need will receive supermarket vouchers for each eligible child to ensure they are able to feed their children outside of term time.   A dedicated helpline has been set up and is now open so that Kent’s low-income families are able to quickly and easily access the help they need when they need it most, including during the school holidays. Families who apply will receive one voucher of £15 per child.    The announcement comes after KCC Leader Roger Gough pledged that no child should ever go hungry during school holidays, or at any time.   Speaking after today’s announcement, Mr Gough said: “Kent County Council and our partners in district and borough councils have already helped thousands of Kent residents, including families with school-aged children, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.   “At the weekend, with the half-term holiday approaching, I reminded residents about the help the Kent Together helpline and webpage offer and urged anyone who was struggling to contact us. This dedicated helpline will streamline and speed up the process so we can get urgent help to those that need it.   “We have now taken that offer of help a step further, setting up a dedicated helpline families can call to apply for vouchers for Free School Meals to be used in a local supermarket during the school holidays.    “This support for families in need has always been in place. I hope, though, that this helpline will enable people who need urgent help to get it, and to get it quickly.   “Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we support the most vulnerable within our community. I hope that this service will quickly provide families with the help they need and ensure that no child in Kent is left to go hungry.”    Anyone eligible for free school meals who needs extra financial support to help feed their children can now visit or call the dedicated helpline on 03000 41 24 24. You have until next Monday 2nd November 5pm to apply.   Meanwhile, the KentTogether helpline remains open for any other Kent resident who needs support with food, collection of medication and prescriptions and other urgent needs during the pandemic, 24 hours a day. You can get help by visiting  or calling 03000 41 92 92.
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