Alan Gray – Chief Executive Officer
After graduating from the University of Exeter with a degree in Chemistry, Alan completed his PGCE at the University of Kent before entering the teaching profession. He has worked in six schools in London and Hertfordshire before moving to headship at The Hemel Hempstead School.
In 2005 Alan moved to Sandringham School and has led the school since then. He has been a National Leader of Education since 2010, chaired Hertfordshire Schools Forum for many years, and scince 2018 had also been Chief Executive Officer of the Alban Academies Trust. He supports the Alban Federation (ITT provider) and the Alban Teaching School Hub based at Sandringham School and served for 6 years on the DfE Secondary Headteacher Reference Group. He has re-joined the ranks of Ofsted as an Inspector and has many years of experience helping schools to deliver high-quality education for all.
Amy Barclay – Chief Finance and Operating Officer
Having graduated from Newcastle University in 2009 with a BA (Hons) in History, Amy joined the Civil Service as a Trainee Management Accountant for the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Based in Bristol, Amy worked on numerous projects from small fast paced operational delivery projects to large flagship deliveries, such as the QE Class Aircraft Carriers. Amy also completed a 6 month operational tour in Afghanistan as the senior finance lead in situ. Whilst working in the MoD Amy completed her Accountancy qualifications through the Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) becoming a fully qualified Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA ACMA). Once qualified, Amy moved across a number of Central Government departments in both project delivery and Head of Finance positions, building a breadth of experience.
Amy began volunteering as a Governor at a local Primary School which inspired her move into the education sector, believing that some of the skills and qualifications she has acquired would be valuable in a school setting.
Originally from Nottinghamshire, Amy now lives in St Albans with her young children and Partner.
Michele Geddes – Director of Education
After graduating from the University of Hertfordshire with a B.Ed (hons) degree, Michele began her teaching career working in a London Borough. Since then she has worked as a teacher, senior leader and headteacher in a range of schools across Hertfordshire and as a Local Authority School Improvement Adviser. She has extensive experience of Curriculum Design, Leadership Development, Coaching and Mentoring, Strategic Planning, SEND, Early Years and Improving Standards and Outcomes for pupils in all phases of school settings.
As Director of Education for the Trust Michele works as part of the core executive team, setting the strategic vision and priorities for the Trust and leading and co-ordinating the Trust’s school improvement plan.
Michele is an OFSTED inspector, working in mainstream, special and independent school settings across the South of England. Michele is passionate about making a difference to children and young people by removing any barriers to achievement and ensuring that all have access to an excellent education as part of a learning community.
Siobhan Shury – Director of HR
Siobhan joined the Trust in March 2022.
Having graduated with a degree in Business Studies and Human Resource Management from the University of Hertfordshire, Siobhan embarked on her career in Human Resources and gained further qualification with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Her 16 year career has been spent within the Logistics industry, working across numerous diverse business contracts serving major high street department stores and food retailers. As a strategic HR partner to business leaders, Siobhan works collaboratively to deliver people solutions aligned to organisational priorities.
Siobhan’s passion lies in generalist HR and the variety it brings. Her experiences encompass organisational design and development, cultural change, employee engagement, local and national TU relations and talent and succession management.
Siobhan leads strategic HR for the Trust ensuring we recruit, develop and retain talented teaching and support staff to create the best possible outcomes for our students.
Claire Oakes – Director of School Improvement, Secondary
Claire’s role is centred around working collaboratively with school leaders to improve the experience, outcomes and progress of learners across Alban Academies Trust.
After graduating from Warwick University with a BA in English and American Literature, Claire began her career as an English teacher. Since then she has been a highly successful middle and senior leader; as Strategic Lead for the Alban Teaching School Alliance, she grew the organisation from drawing board to working with more than 40 primary and secondary schools, before becoming Director of School Improvement for the AAT. She is also a Governor at her local primary school. Claire’s experience in educational collaboration, sharing good practice and as a classroom teacher and senior leader now inform her role in reviewing, supporting and challenging school performance and practice across Alban Academies Trust.
Penny Laskar-Brown – Director of School Improvement, Primary
After graduating from University of Surrey, Roehampton with a BA (Hons) in Teaching Studies with Theology and Religious Studies, Penny began her career working in Primary schools in London. In 2008 she moved to Japan to take on a role in the British School in Tokyo and worked supportively as a middle leader to ensure that teaching and learning aligned with the British curriculum and pedagogy. Penny returned to London to start her family, whilst completing her MSc in Psychology and continuing to develop her teaching practice and experience of leadership, including successfully being awarded her NPQH. She is currently Assistant Headteacher at Wheatfields Junior School responsible for the development of Teaching and Learning. With 20 years of classroom experience and leadership, and a passion for school improvement Penny’s experience of working collaboratively, supporting teachers to enhance practice, and working strategically now supports her role in reviewing, supporting and challenging school performance and practice across Alban Academies Trust.
Marianna Ring – Director of Operations, Secondary
After graduating Sheffield Hallam University with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies with Italian, Marianna started her career in the production department at Dorling Kindersley (DK) facilitating print runs between their global markets. When Marianna left DK she went to work in the heating and renewables sector where she spent over a decade working in both the public and private sectors for both SMEs and large public corporations predominantly in a business support role focussing on operations, finance and HR.
Marianna took a career break to spend more time at home with her young children. During this time she volunteered and helped at numerous events at her children’s school being an active member of the parent association and fulfilling the role of Treasurer. Following her career break Marianna joined Ridgeway Academy as the School Business Manager in 2020. Marianna now works as the Trust’s Director of Operations (Secondary) leading on the strategic implementation of finance and operations ensuring a consistent and cohesive approach across the secondary schools.
Luke Harman – Director of IT
Luke joined the Trust in November 2022 as Director of IT. He is responsible for the strategic development and management of the Trust’s IT infrastructure and support services. This includes ensuring that the provision of technologies within schools is fit for purpose with teaching and learning and supporting both the current and future aims of the Trust.
After graduating from Oxford Brookes University with a BA in Communications and Technology, Luke has previously worked as the Head of IT within schools and IT Manager at a Trust. Prior to joining AAT, Luke was working on DfE school projects designing and implementing ICT from conception through to delivery for new school builds and refurbishments. He has worked closely with Academies and Trusts helping them to develop their IT Strategy and advising on implementing EdTech and ICT in the classroom to help achieve best practices and value for teaching and learning.
Sarah Warren – Project Manager
Sarah oversees projects across the schools within the Alban Academies Trust.
After graduating Leeds Metropolitan University with a BSc in Information Systems for Business Sarah started a career in IT at EDS where she trained as a Systems Engineer and then worked within their Customer Relationship Management team implementing CRM and telephony software in a large European call centre. Sarah then went to work for PeopleSoft as an IT Consultant and worked on numerous projects implementing CRM software across many different customers. In 2003 she decided on a career change and completed a PGCE at Middlesex University and gained Qualified Teacher Status as a secondary school ICT Teacher. During her teaching career she was responsible for leading KS3 ICT in a large secondary school whilst teaching a variety of ICT courses at KS3, KS4 and KS5. Sarah held a Community Governor post at a local primary school for 5 years where she took on roles such as the Chair of the Curriculum Committee and vice-Chair of the full governing body.
Sarah now combines all of her skills and knowledge from the above as the Project Manager of the Alban Academies Trust.
Nina Gallagher – Finance Lead
Nina joined the Trust in September 2022 as Finance Lead.
After graduating Southbank University with a BA (Hons) degree in Accounting and Finance, Nina started her finance career working for a large magazine company in central London. Nina spent many years working for private sector companies broadening her experience in various finance/payroll roles including Management Accountant, Finance & Intellectual Property Accountant, Finance Manager and Payroll Manager.
In 2010, Nina moved into the public sector and education. During her time in education, she has worked for a single academy and then a Multi Academy Trust of 3 schools which developed her knowledge of school finance. Nina brings to the Trust, a wealth of financial experience, especially in academy finance and the financial requirements of the DfE.
Ceri Chaudhry – Attendance Lead
Ceri has worked since May 2021 as Attendance Improvement Officer for schools within the Alban Academies Trust.
Ceri has a BA in Modern Languages from The University of the West of England and an MA in Technical and Specialised Translation from The University of Westminster. After graduating, Ceri started her career working for several large media organisations in London before relocating to Tokyo and working in an international school for several years. After a career break to raise her three sons, Ceri spent several years working as a marketing manager for a best-selling author. She developed an interest in education through her role as a Governor at Garden Fields School, where she was Chair of the Curriculum Committee and vice-Chair of the full governing body. Ceri decided to pursue her interest in education, working for Scholars Education Trust and following that taking on a role with The Good Schools Guide.
Ceri brings together her skills and experience in her current role as Attendance Improvement Officer where she is responsible for working with families and schools across the Trust in order to identify barriers to attendance, analyse latest attendance data and implement strategies to improve attendance.
Jennie Clarke- Safeguarding Lead
Jennie joined the Trust in January 2023.
Having graduated from the University of Reading with a degree in History, Jennie’s passion for safeguarding children began through her work with the children and young people she met as a youth worker.
Jennie then began working in a pastoral role within education settings before moving to a safeguarding role within a school nine years ago. Jennie has extensive experience of managing safeguarding within schools and has supported other designated safeguarding leads, providing guidance and quality assurance for safeguarding practice in their schools and settings.
Jennie has acted as an education representative on cross-authority strategy groups, using her expertise to develop and improve local safeguarding practice related to the engagement of a range of stakeholders within safeguarding partnerships. She currently sits on a local authority Children’s Safeguarding Partnership as an education representative.
Over the past 19 years Jennie’s career has brought her in contact with some of the most vulnerable children and families in communities across England and these encounters have given her a drive to ensure that all children are safe and achieve positive outcomes.
Jennie’s role as Trust Safeguarding Lead at Alban Academies Trust is to ensure high quality safeguarding practice across all academies within the Trust through strategic oversight.
Tina Crafford – Administrator
Tina has worked in the educational environment for over 17 years in both the public and private sector. She is experienced in co-ordinating communication across a range of organisations and has extensive experience in administration and secretarial support. Tina co-ordinates the AAT Conference and AAT publications and her broad skills and expertise are an asset to the organisation.