Trust Staff (Central team)

Mrs Annie Wiles - Chief Executive Officer

Annie Wiles   CEO

Annie 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 - Chief Finance Officer

Marian Scally   Chief Financial Officer

Marian 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.

Mrs Lorna Priddle - Advisor to the Board

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As 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 Jenny Ashley-Jones - Head of Academy Improvement

Jenny Ashley Jones   Head of Academy Improvement

Jenny is a highly motivated and experienced school leader who is able to work as an effective partner with all our academies, building on the excellent progress that the trust has made to date across our successful schools, and supporting those schools who have further challenges to overcome. She has many years of experience as a headteacher and executive headteacher as well as wider experience leading school improvement beyond her own school. This has included working as an LA specialist maths teacher, leading cohorts of ‘Every Lesson Counts’ (designed to move teachers from good or better). More recently, she worked as a Kent Leader of Education and has supported leadership teams in non-Aquila schools through this role. Jenny also works as an OFSTED inspector and can bring her experience and the associated ongoing training from this role to identify areas for improvement within Aquila schools, supporting the development of strategic planning and providing consultation on their journey to further improving the quality of education within the school.

Miss Claire Beyzade - Primary Education Advisor

Claire Beyzade

Claire joined the trust in 2015 as a Deputy Headteacher. Since this time she has had a focus on driving up standards by ensuring consistent high quality teaching through an engaging, relevant and progressive curriculum. Claire has worked to develop ECTs throughout the Aquila Trust and is currently a lead practitioner for the DfE Behaviour Hubs program, supporting schools across London and the South East. Claire has a passion for a values-led approach to raising school standards and is committed to supporting schools across the Aquila Trust to be the best that they can be specifically for the children in their care. 

Dr Chris Clarke - Educational Psychologist

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Since 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.

Miss Isabelle Bowey - Assistant Educational Psychologist

Izzy Bowey 2

Izzy completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology with Education at the University of Sussex, gaining deep understanding of the psychological theory underpinning best practice for supporting the development, learning and well-being of young people.  

Izzy joined Aquila in 2022 as a Teaching Assistant at Reculver CE Primary School, taking on an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant role as well as coordinating their new OPAL (outdoor play and learning) project.

Now as an Assistant Educational Psychologist in the Trust, Izzy will be working collaboratively with schools and families to support positive learning experiences for young people. Adopting an empathetic, person-centred approach with inclusive practice at the heart of her work, Izzy is committed to removing educational barriers and creating opportunities for all children to flourish in school and beyond.

Mrs Tracey Howard - Head of Compliance, Data Protection & Administration

Tracey Howard   Senior Administration & DPO

Tracey joined the Trust in February 2017. Tracey has had a career in administration and secretarial support spanning more than 30 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 16 schools.

Mrs Jessica Jeffries - Office Administrator

Jess Jeffries   Office Administrator

Jessica joined the trust in October 2023, bringing a wealth of experience in administration with her. A highly organised individual, Jessica has worked in many industries from corporate business, to the hospitality and event industry. Often working in high-pressure environments, she is used to working to tight deadlines and using her keen attention to detail.

Mrs Abbie Snelling - Head of Estates and Facilities

Abbie Snelling   Head of Estates

Abbie has worked within the Estates and Facilities sector for over 26 years. Starting her career as a Maintenance Administrator, she progressed through gaining experience in associated roles and studying part time. Abbie has worked for Local Government, Housing Association and NHS and has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience whilst managing different property portfolios, Health and Safety and IT. Abbie joined the Trust in October 2023.

Mrs Naomi Jackman - Head of Payroll

Naomi Jackman   Payroll Manager

Naomi 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.

Mr Ian Young - Assistant Payroll Manager

Ian Young 

Ian has had extensive experience working in the education sector both as a qualified secondary teacher of Mathematics and working within the finance operations for both an independent school and a state school.  Prior to this, Ian ran a successful children’s holiday camp for seven years

Ian joined Aquila in November 2020 as a Payroll and Finance Assistant and currently provides financial support for one of our schools and supports payroll for the wider trust.  Ian is currently completing an AAT Level 4 apprenticeship which he will complete in July 2022.

Mrs Emma Garlick - Pensions Administrator

Emma Garlick   Pensions Administrator

Emma began her career in the Civil Service over 20 years ago and has extensive experience in a variety of mostly IT and Finance-related roles within the public sector, most recently for KCC.  Following a career break to focus on her young family, Emma joined the Trust in January 2022 as Payroll Administrator and provides daily support to the Payroll Manager and central team.


Mrs Angela Sutton - Head of Human Resources

Angela Sutton   Head of HR

Angela completed a degree in Sport Science and Recreation Studies and originally worked in the fitness industry, where she enjoyed helping others to develop themselves with their fitness and health.  She then got her CIPD qualification and started her career in Human Resources and has worked in this field for over 25 years.  She joined the Aquila team in March 2024 and has experience in the public, charity and private sectors.  Her previous role of nearly 18 years was working in an operational and strategic HR Director role for a company that were involved in professional education, further education and higher education.

Mrs Alison Morris - HR Manager

Alison Morris   HR & Finance Assistant

Alison initially trained as an accountant, but then moved into customer facing roles.  Having given up work to raise her family, she became a school governor, and then Chair of Governors, for an Outstanding Church of England primary school.  When it was time to return to work she realised that she wanted to use the experience she had gained and stay in education, and has worked in the offices of schools of different sizes and in different locations. Alison joined Aquila in 2018 in the office of one of their schools, and transferred to work for the Trust’s central team in October 2022.

Mrs Sarah Halliday - HR Officer

Sarah Halliday   Finance, Payroll & Personnel Assistant NEW

Sarah is a seasoned professional with an extensive background in retail and hospitality. With over 20 years of experience, she has honed her expertise in training and developing teams, and Sarah's exceptional contributions to a prominent restaurant chain's HR department consistently drove growth and success. In 2019, Sarah embarked on a new journey at an Aquila school, where she utilised her skills to elevate the school's presence through captivating social media content and forging strong local partnerships. Sarah played a pivotal role in the growth and development of the school's office, witnessing a doubling of pupils during her four-year tenure. In 2023, Sarah joined the central team as a Finance and Personnel Assistant, expanding her proficiency in financial management. Driven by an unwavering passion for growth and learning, Sarah is dedicated to expanding her skill set in the realm of finance. 

Mrs Lorraine Bondzie-Mensah - Head of Finance & Governance

Lorraine was appointed to the Trust in May 2017, she is a Fellow of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and provides business and financial services support for schools within the Trust using the centralised finance function. She has 20 years experience in educational finance and audit, and holds Business Management degrees from the Universities of Greenwich and Kent. She also has extensive experience in professional governance within the sector, and she leads our team of in-house finance and governance professionals.

Mrs Julie Lowe - Governance Manager

Julie Lowe   Governance Manager

Julie has been involved in education in one form or another since 1995, when she qualified as a teacher. Her school-based experience included class teaching across the Early Years Foundation Stage and in Years 1 and 2, as well as in the role of Head of Pre-Prep in two local independent schools. Julie then went on to become an Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) inspector, before moving away from teaching in 2015 and training as a Reporting Inspector in 2016. Julie has also been a School Governor for a Kent based independent school, as a member of the Curriculum Committee and the named SEND Governor. Julie joined the Trust in January 2024.

Mrs Kerry Spendiff - Trust Finance Integration Manager

Mrs K Spendiff

Kerry started her career in Barclays Bank progressing through all roles ending in securities and investments. She moved onto a sales role within a large manufacturing company supporting aerospace and defence clients across the country.  After starting a family she decided to find a career compatible with family life and found herself in Reculver Primary school, eventually playing a key role in the transfer to academy status on 1 July 2015.  Kerry advanced to the role of School Business Manager and in 2018 gained her Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management which has further enhanced her skills and knowledge.  Kerry joined the Central Team in September 2021 to assist the Trust in the implementation, development and training on the new finance system, along with offering support to the CFO on a daily basis.

Miss Daisy Cousins - Finance Officer

Daisy Cousins   Finance Assistant

Daisy joined Aquila in April 2019 to complete a business administration apprenticeship. She used the experience to learn about working environments and adapting to the needs of the central teams varied workload. Since then Daisy has completed her business administration apprenticeship, a level 3 AAT apprenticeship and is going on to AAT level 4. Using these skills Daisy provides financial service support to a school and helps to support all the members of the finance department.

Mrs Laura Voicu - Finance Officer

Laura Voicu   Finance Officer

More to follow

Miss Melissa Fellows - Finance Officer

Miss M.Fellows   Finance Officer

Melissa has worked in Education in a Finance Role since 2004 after qualifying as a Fellow of the Association of Accounts Technicians (AAT).  In 2016 Melissa joined the Aquila Trust School Kingsnorth CEP, and has worked within several of the Trust schools as a Financial Officer. In February Mel moved to the Central Team to continue offering financial support in a centralised capacity.

Miss Kellie Hocking - Senior Finance Administrator

Kellie Hocking   Finance and Business Administrator

Kellie joined the trust in November 2022 as a Finance Administrator, supporting the finance team. She was quickly promoted to Finance and Business Administrator due to skills and knowledge from previous roles, including finance & payroll and office management. Kellie has achieved level 3 in AAT and looking to start level 4.

Miss Emma Hunt - Finance Administrator

Emma Hunt   Finance Administrator

Emma worked in the hospitality industry from for 17 years for Whitbread. After deciding to change career, she completed an early years educator level 3 apprenticeship within a nursery, and an online course AAT Accounting level 2 also whilst she was there. Emma then moved to a local secondary school working in the student office and then finance department whilst completing level 3 business administration apprenticeship. She loves problem solving and a challenge, and joine the trust in October 2023. 

Miss Megan Green

Megan Green   Finance Administrator

More to follow

Mrs Kerry French - Local Governance Professional


Kerry joined the Trust in February 2021.  Kerry had an extensive career in Sales and Purchasing within the Publishing and Print industry, and holds many industry related qualifications including CIPs accreditation.  After leaving full time employment following the arrival of her youngest daughter, Kerry joined St Georges Primary School as Clerk in December 2018.  She is currently studying for the NGA Development for Clerks qualification, and also works for a local Charitable Trust.    

Mrs Louise Barr - Local Governance Professional

Louise Barr   Local Governance Professional  (3)

Information to follow 

Mrs Lynne Bright - Local Governance Professional

Lynne Bright   Local Governance Professional

Lynne joined the Trust in 2023, after four years being employed by Kent Police organising and monitoring the  MARAC meetings for victims of Domestic Abuse across Ashford, Canterbury and Folkestone.  Lynne’s background prior to Kent Police is predominately within Education and she  worked within this sector for over 30 years.  During this time her employment ranged from Education Welfare Officer through to Student Welfare Officer/Designated Safeguarding Lead in a Further Education College.  Lynne has gained many qualifications during her employment and is also a qualified lecturer

Jessica Shepherd - PR & Communications

Jessica Shepherd

Jessica helps public, private and third sector clients from across the education and culture sectors to raise their public profile, manage their reputation, formulate their communications strategy, optimise their content for SEO and successfully influence their stakeholders. She also trains leaders for media interviews and difficult stakeholder meetings and will carry out reputation audits and write speeches, opinion pieces, articles and reports.
She has worked with some of the leading universities in the UK, high-profile independent and state schools, global education technology firms, household brands with education programmes and some of our most loved national cultural organisations.
She is the Guardian's former Education Correspondent and has worked in communications at the Home Office and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. She has also been Head of Communications (Education and Student Affairs) at University College London and Head of Communications and Campaigns at national youth charity The Challenge.

Latest News

By School News
Posted: 12/06/2024

Aquila pupil aged 11 makes five years progress in four months

A pupil at one of Aquila, the Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust, schools has made an astonishing five years’ progress in his reading in just four months. Luke Rogers, 11, went from reading only 143 words per minute to a fluent 309 words per minute in only 16 weeks after his school, St Clement's Church of England Primary School in Leysdown, adopted a new approach for some pupils. The school experimented with Reading Plus, a programme that encourages healthy competition among pupils and uses AI to improve reading fluency.  The primary school already has a strong emphasis on reading, with a dedicated daily time for pupils to read each day and reading challenges and competitions over the holidays.  Kelly Lockwood, St Clement’s Headteacher, said Luke had “worked his socks off” and was “a model of persistence for his classmates”. She said the 11-year-old, whose favourite author is David Walliams, is “highly motivated, persistent and has an excellent work ethic”. She said the school had found a number of its pupils were highly motivated by the Reading Plus programme “because it seems to provide a different approach to reading, which has helped some of our more reluctant readers, as well as those who were already enjoying a good book”. “Luke really wanted to be top of the leaderboard in reading,” she said. Gemma Rogers, Luke’s mum, said her son now has “much more enthusiasm for reading, especially with the friendly competition between him and his classmates about who can read the most words”. “It has really increased his motivation and his reading ability.  We are very proud of him and his dedication to his reading," she said.
By School News
Posted: 29/04/2024

Ofsted inspectors say Kent junior school is 'rapidly improving'

Ofsted inspectors say Kent junior school is 'rapidly improving' A Kent junior school has been judged 'outstanding' for its pupils’ personal development and 'good' in all other areas. Ofsted inspectors visited St Laurence in Thanet Church of England Junior Academy in Ramsgate last month. The school, whose pupils are aged seven to 11, was previously judged 'good' overall in 2018. The inspectors said that since a new leadership team took over, the school has been on a 'rapidly improving trajectory', with 'much achieved in a relatively short period of time'. In their report, which has just been published, the inspectors found the school’s governors and the academy trust that the school is part of - Aquila, The Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust - have played a 'significant [role] in supporting leaders at all levels to improve the school'. “Large-scale changes in the way mathematics is taught and how pupils who struggle to read are supported is proving effective,” the inspectors said. “The significance of this is clear to see … it is impacting positively on the wider curriculum and helping to build the confidence and resilience of pupils, the large majority of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds.” The inspectors described pupils’ personal development as “strong”. “This does not happen by happy coincidence,” they said. “Much of this work is based on the reality of pupils’ everyday lives and mitigates the challenges they face outside of school.” The inspectors had some suggestions of how the school could further improve, including by continuing to raise expectations of what pupils can achieve and by continuing to reduce absence rates. Sarah Graham, the school’s Headteacher, said: “St Laurence in Thanet offers a supportive, inclusive, nurturing and inspiring learning environment where children are encouraged through an aspirational and engaging curriculum to develop their knowledge, skills and character. It’s a privilege to work here.” Annie Wiles, Chief Executive Officer of Aquila, The Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust, said the school’s improvement was “down to the hard work, enthusiasm and experience of its inspirational team”.
By School News
Posted: 29/04/2024

St Mary of Charity Primary School "brings maths to life"

St Mary of Charity Primary School "brings maths to life" Ofsted inspectors have praised an outstanding Kent primary school for “bringing maths to life”. Inspectors visited St Mary of Charity Primary School in Faversham last month. Ofsted return to outstanding schools approximately once every four years to check they are keeping up their high standards in what are called ‘ungraded inspections’. In their report, which has just been published, the inspectors said the school had “rightly prioritised the development of an ambitious and well-planned curriculum”.  “Staff are trained and supported well to implement the new curriculum successfully. This is especially evident in mathematics, where teachers bring the subject to life,” they said. The inspectors praised the way teachers break down and explain mathematical concepts to pupils and ensure they develop fluency in the subject. The inspectors were also impressed at how the school had “created a culture where books are shared and enjoyed by all”. They said pupils are “polite, thoughtful and caring to each other”. “Pupils enjoy being at school … expectations are high and classrooms are calm and purposeful places to learn”.  One parent told inspectors that “teachers have been thoughtful about the support they provide and have enabled my child to be a successful and happy member of the school community”. There were three suggestions to further improve the school, which include giving extra support to pupils in the early stages of learning to read. Louise Rowley-Jones, the school’s Headteacher, said: “We are all so proud of our school. It is a safe, lively and purposeful place to work and learn. The staff team work relentlessly to ensure that children have the very best educational opportunities. In the last two years there have been big developments in our curriculum to ensure that children achieve the very best in Reading, Writing and Maths. We welcome the opportunity to showcase the school further at our next graded inspection”. St Mary of Charity is part of Aquila, The Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust. Annie Wiles, Chief Executive Officer of the trust, said the inspectors’ comments were “testament to the enormous dedication and high-quality of the school’s staff and the strong relationship between the school and its local community”.
By School News
Posted: 26/03/2024

Schools Minister praises two schools in our Trust for exceptional results

Schools Minister praises two schools in our trust for exceptional results The Schools Minister Damian Hinds has praised two Kent primaries in Aquila, Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust for being in the country’s top 1% for reading, writing and maths. Hinds sent letters of congratulations to Charing Church of England Primary School, which is near Ashford, and Temple Ewell Church of England Primary School, in Brookside, for their “very high standards of achievement”. Both schools are part of Aquila, The Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust. Some 16 primary schools across Kent are part of the trust. At Charing, 100% of pupils in Year 6 have reached - or exceeded - expected standards in reading, writing and maths, while 94% have at Temple Ewell. In his letter, Hinds said: “The government wants to ensure that every child has the fluency in reading, writing and mathematics necessary to prepare them for a successful secondary education and beyond, which is why I was delighted to see your results. “Thank you for your work in continuing the drive towards higher academic standards, and congratulations again to you and your staff for your commitment and success.” Annie Wiles, CEO of Aquila, The Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust, said: “Our schools provide exceptional learning experiences and we are so proud of Charing and Temple Ewell for this achievement. “Our schools design their coverage of the curriculum to provide challenging and exciting learning experiences in a caring and nurturing environment which is based on our strong Christian values.” Angela Matthews, Headteacher of Temple Ewell, said: “These results have been achieved through a tireless and unwavering focus on ensuring that each and every child receives an outstanding education, and by providing a rich and varied curriculum that enables pupils to progress and achieve their very best, whilst still retaining a thirst for knowledge and an enjoyment and love of learning.” Tom Bird, Charing’s Headteacher, said: “This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our wonderful pupils and our caring and committed staff. “Every child in our school is valued and we have a supportive, nurturing team to make sure that each one of them feels supported and happy at our school.”
By School News
Posted: 21/03/2024

Inspectors praise Kent school where 'pupils greet everyone with a smile'

Ofsted inspectors have heaped praise on a Kent primary school for being a “caring and kind community” where “pupils greet everyone with a smile”. Inspectors visited St Georges Church of England Primary in Sheerness last month. The school has retained its overall ‘Good’ rating in its latest Ofsted inspection, but it has been upgraded to ‘Outstanding’ for the behaviour and attitudes of its pupils and its leadership and management. Inspectors said the school, which is part of Aquila, the Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust, was “welcoming and inclusive”. “Pupils are proud ambassadors … and show impeccable manners, politely welcoming all, as they open doors and greet everyone with a smile,” the inspectors said. “They speak with delight and enthusiasm about how much leaders and staff care about them. If they have any worries, help is never far away.” Ofsted praised the curriculum, which they said had been “designed with precise knowledge from early years to Year 6”. “Pupils become confident mathematicians, writers, and scientists as they move through the school,” the inspectors said. They added that the school had taken “robust action” to improve achievements in maths and writing after results were weaker than the national average last year. The inspectors also said the school’s leaders were “inspirational, compassionate and successful, always leading by example”. “They embody the school values every day, showing deep care for pupils, families and staff.” Howard Fisher, St Georges’ Headteacher, said: “We pride ourselves on providing a caring, happy and positive atmosphere for all our children to fulfil their potential and grow in self-confidence and respect for the people and environment around them. “We agree with Ofsted that our pupils greet everyone with a smile - it’s part of what makes working at the school so rewarding.” Annie Wiles, Chief Executive Officer of Aquila, the Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust, said: “Ofsted has rightly acknowledged that St Georges is a highly successful school and that is down to the hard work, commitment and excellent leadership of the school’s community.” Click here for the OFSTED report.
By School News
Posted: 15/12/2023

St Nicholas CE Primary Academy praised by Church of England inspectors

New Romney primary school praised by Church of England inspectors   Church of England inspectors have heaped praise on St Nicholas CE Primary Academy in New Romney, describing it as having “life-changing impact across the community” and “inspirational leadership”. A quarter of all primary schools are Church of England establishments and St Nicholas is one of 16 academies that are part of Aquila, The Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust. All Anglican and Methodist schools are inspected by the Church of England; this is separate to Ofsted inspections. A Church of England inspection focuses on the impact of the school’s Christian vision and is called a Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools Report (SIAMS). There are no gradings - inspectors simply state whether the school is living up to its foundation as a Church school. Inspectors, who visited St Nicholas in November, said the school was more than achieving this aim. They said the school had “exceptionally strong partnerships” which “impact positively on people’s lives producing lasting change”. “The school values of ambition, community, friendship, perseverance, respect and trust are intrinsically woven through the vision,” inspectors said. “Pupils rightly explain how these values support all to thrive. Everyone in the school aspires to ‘be a Barnabas’, creating a culture of kindness and support.” The inspectors particularly praised how the school’s more than 400 pupils look for opportunities to make a positive difference to the world. “Writing to the prime minister, older pupils show a mature understanding of the plight of child refugees arriving on boats,” the inspectors said, while other pupils have requested a ban on laminating in school after learning about climate change. “Pupils have also worked together to set up a permanent community food cupboard within the school … after recognising that food poverty was an ongoing concern not limited to the season of harvest.” The inspectors praised the school’s curriculum as “exciting, fun, imaginative” and linked to local history and issues. “Leaders ensure that the wide and varying needs of the pupils are met through the broad and rich learning on offer,” the inspectors said. Christopher Dale, St Nicholas’s Headteacher, said: “We are proud to be a welcoming, inclusive and aspirational learning environment with our community at our heart. “We are delighted that the inspectors recognised our many strengths. We will continue to do our very best for our pupils and our wider community.” Annie Wiles, CEO of Aquila, The Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust, said: “This is testament to the hard work and committed and excellent team at St Nicholas’s who put the needs of pupils at the centre of everything they do.”   Notes to editors:   The SIAMS report can be found here: file:///C:/Users/jessi/Downloads/SIAMS%20report%20St%20Nicholas%20Church%20of%20England%20Primary%20Academy,%20New%20Romney%20142814%20301123.pdf   Please find attached an image of the school attached.   For any further information, please contact Jessica Shepherd on or 07957147308    
By Trust News
Posted: 9/05/2024

Vacancy - Finance Administrator - Central Team

We are looking for an organised, efficient and motivated candidate to join our central team at our Head office in Folkestone from June 2024. This is an entry level position with scope to develop. The successful candidate much demonstrate flexibility, confidentiality and a positive ‘can do’ attitude. A basic understanding of financial concepts, such as debits/credits would be an advantage. We are a small and friendly central team supporting 16 primary aged schools across the Diocese of Canterbury.   Main Duties (for full job description, please go to Kent Teach) Undertake a range of financial procedures, including placing orders, accounts payable, preparation of BACS payments, preparing sales invoices and credit card reconciliations. Enter transactions into cash book including online payments and occasional cash deposits Liaise with school staff re orders for goods and services achieving best value where possible Provide administrative support duties such as answering telephone and directing calls to the correct department. General photocopying, filing and scanning of documents to support both finance and administrative functions of the Trust Some procurement duties – Research alternative goods to obtain quotations & best value purchases across the Trust. Knowledge of audit and compliance and ensuring schools adhere to requirements of Academy Trust Handbook, Trust Finance Policy etc. All applications to be made via Kent-Teach Applications close at 12 noon on 31st May 2024 Interviews w/c 3rd June 2024
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