Meet Our Team
The St Christopher's Multi Academy Trust senior management team take responsibility for the day to day running of the Trust and each member academy in partnership with the Headteacher. The senior management team implement the policies laid down by the Trustees and report back to them on performance.
Since starting as CEO in 2017, Jo has been re-energising the organisation to work collaboratively, operate effectively and continue to grow in a sustainable way. Jo has a very strong research informed background, being part of the Cambridge Primary Review Board of Directors. She has been a leader in a range of rural and city schools, taking two schools to ‘Outstanding’. Jo has written a book chapter for Routledge, “Aims into Practice” and was involved in the creation of the Church of England Professional Qualification for Headship.
Julia qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 1994 and worked in private practice specialising in the not for profit sector, and advising commercial organisations. Julia left practice in 2013 to work for a charitable trust in the leisure industry. This was a great learning opportunity to put her advisory accounting skills to practical use and be part of the SLT, supporting the CEO and Board in the operational aspects of the business; it was also a great place to keep her fit with the organisations focus clearly on getting everyone in the community to become more active! This led Julia to look to expand her skills in a different sector and joined St Christopher's in 2016 to work as part of the central team supporting the strategic aims of the Trust and individual academies. Much of her role involves compliance and supporting academies particularly around budgeting, premises and H&S. As part of a previous role in practice Julia supported a number of academies in their earlier days of conversion so is well aware of the challenges faced in the sector. In her spare time, Julia is happiest in her garden or body boarding in Cornwall!
Rachel qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2006 and moved from the charitable sector to education in 2012. Rachel is responsible for all finance operations, including systems, budgets, reporting and audits for the Trust as a whole, as well as the individual schools. Rachel works closely with the central team, headteachers, pupil services and other leaders, giving guidance and advice, supporting the outcomes for all our pupils and maintaining the Trust’s values and ethos. Rachel is an active member of a local Baptist church, and lives with her husband and two children.
Sean leads the team of School Improvement Leaders. With over 15 years experience in school leadership he has been the headteacher of two schools, leading one from satisfactory to outstanding. Sean has worked in rural and urban contexts and was seconded to teach the core English element to PGCE students at The University of Exeter. As well as the leadership and teaching of English and History, Sean’s particular interest and passion lies within curriculum design and development. His work has featured in several publications, most recently in ‘Talk for Teaching’. In his spare time Sean enjoys travel, the beach and attempting to get fit!
Claire has a passion for building relationships and school systems that support, challenge and help to get the best out of others, to make a difference for the hardest to reach families. In her 15 years of senior leadership experience, Claire has led one school out of special measures, and supported another through lockdown. Claire has also worked as an independent education consultant and has been the Chair of another Multi Academy Trust’s Standards Board. When not at work, Claire can be found in her garden with her children and chickens, or exploring the wonderful Devon surroundings.
Iain joined the Central Team in 2017, having helped to lead St Michael’s from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘outstanding’ in two years. He leads on assessment, inclusion and pupil welfare for the Trust, using streamlined data reporting to enhance schools’ capacity for supporting our most vulnerable learners. He has studied SEN and Dyslexia at Master’s level, and has completed Headship training with the CofE. He is a regular contributor to PGCE and SENCO award training locally. Outside of work he devotes his time to family and church life in East Devon.
Catherine has been an educator for over twenty years, mainly in London, but also abroad. She has taught all ages from 3 to 18, and has held a wide range of posts, including Inclusion Coordinator and lead for the Visual and Performing Arts. She was a Deputy Head in South London, before moving to Devon in 2007. She was a Head Teacher of both a rural and city school, achieving improved Ofsted outcomes in both. Trained in mediation, coaching and mentoring, she is particularly passionate about finding creative ways to engage all children in a rich, exciting and varied curriculum, that enables every child to flourish. Catherine has always worked in close collaboration with other partners, including health and social care and recently helped shape the Emotional Wellbeing Service for children and young people across Devon. Before becoming a Headteacher, Catherine ran a charity called Face2Face, providing emotional support for families of children with disabilities. Out of work she enjoys playing the piano, wild swimming, dancing and photography.
Jenna supports our schools to understand and put into action the Trust’s HR policies. Jenna grew up in Cornwall and has been in HR for over 10 years, starting her career with a car manufacturer before moving back to the South West. Jenna has a Masters in HR and is a Chartered Member of the CIPD. She has also served as a governor of a trust school. Jenna is an actively involved member of a local CofE church in Exeter. When not working, you'll find Jenna in a tea shop, at a National Trust property, at church or out walking with friends or family.
Steve joined the Trust in 2016 and prior to his current role worked as the central business manager. Steve has now moved into the role of Operations Manager with an emphasis on finance, largely focussing on payroll, monthly financial reporting, procurement projects and IT systems. Steve has a background in managerial roles in the supportive employment sector and is a member of a local Baptist church where he is part of the youth leadership team. If he's not at work, you will usually find him at the beach with his wife and children or with a rugby ball in his hands.
Jo is very experienced in administration and is qualified in school business management. She provides financial admin support and advice where needed as well as providing operational support to the central team and their activities. She is the data protection officer for the Trust, providing school support and overseeing the data protection strategy and implementation to ensure compliance with GDPR requirements. Outside of work Jo devotes her time to her very active family and church life including being a street pastor in Exeter.
Kirsty is very experienced in local Governance and her advisor skills are wide ranging. She is the first point of contact for the Board and works closely with the Chair and the CEO to prepare focussed, strategic director meetings and is invaluable in helping the board understand it's role, functions and legal duties. Kirsty is highly regarded by Babcock and has supported many schools in getting their Governance back on track.
Cressida, who joined the Trust in 2020, previously held similar roles at two Cathedrals, including responsibility for the internationally recognised Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market. Specialising in multi-media marketing, Cressida supports the central team and our 18 schools in their publicity, websites and communication and oversees the administration of the extensive programme of CPD. Cressida enjoys creating content and finding innovative ways to engage across sectors. In her spare time you’ll find her choral singing or paddle-boarding.