Headteacher of Sandringham School since 2005 and previously Headteacher at The Hemel Hempstead School for 6 years. Alan is a National Leader of Education and has experience of working with a number of secondary schools in this capacity to support leadership. Alan has trained and served as an additional OFSTED inspector and chairs Hertfordshire Schools Forum, the Alban Federation (ITT provider) and the Alban Teaching School Hub. He has previously chaired local and Hertfordshire Headteacher groups. He is a member of the DfE Secondary Headteacher Reference Group, supporting the DfE with guidance on education matters.
Alan has worked closely with governing bodies for over 25 years and has significant experience of school leadership and how to create an outstanding learning environment for all.
Julia Shaw – Chief Operating Officer
Julia Shaw has worked at Sandringham School as School Business Manager for over 10 years, having started her career working within global finance in London before starting a family. She operates at a strategic level and has considerable business acumen.
After graduating from Bournemouth university with a BA in Business Julia started a career working in finance at Saville and Holdsworth Ltd and latterly The Wall St Journal. She subsequently joined Accenture where she qualified as a management accountant and spent 10 years + in their finance team. In 2007 she decided on a career change and took up a Business manager role at Sandringham School. During her time at Sandringham she has seen the school move from maintained school to an academy and finally to a multi academy trust and has gained significant experience in operating school budgets and managing the operation of a large institution.
Appointed as Chief Operating Officer and Company Secretary to the Trust Board.
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.
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.
Dion Keyser – Director of IT
Dion started working in networking whilst lecturing in the civil engineering department at a university in South Africa in the early 90’s he subsequently has obtained formal qualifications in Networking and has been working full time in this field since moving to England in 2001.
Dion started working at Sandringham in 2012 as the Network Manager and before that he worked as the IT Manager for a manufacturing business in Hoddesdon.
Appointed as Director of IT for the Trust his key responsibility is to oversee the strategic development of all IT assets within the Trust to ensure all schools maintain outstanding IT services that fully support teaching and learning outcomes and other business applications.
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.
Lesley Dunkley – Executive Assistant to CEO/Clerk to Trust Board
After completing the London Chamber of Commerce Private Secretarial Diploma, Lesley worked for 14 years as a P.A. to a Partner in a firm of London Solicitors. Subsequently, Lesley has worked as P.A. to the Headteacher / Clerk to the Governors at Sandringham School for 15 years and also as E.A. to the CEO and Clerk to the Trust Board. Lesley has extensive administrative experience and is a well-experienced, knowledgeable clerk providing support and guidance at both local governing board and trust board levels and is a key member of the support team.
Ceri Choudry – Attendance Improvement Officer
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. Following graduation, Ceri started her career working for 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 many years working as a marketing manager for a best-selling author and went on to develop 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 has worked as an Attendance Improvement Officer for schools within the Alban Academies Trust since May 2021. Ceri brings together her skills and experience 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.
Siobhan Shury – HR Lead
Siobhan joined the Trust in March 2022 as HR Lead.
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.
Michelle Ready – Finance Manager
Michelle started her career working in the publishing industry, moving on to the construction sector where she progressed to Group Accountant. Whilst in this role Michelle studied and gained her AAT (Association of Accountancy Technician) and ACCA (Association of Chartered and Certified Accountant) professional qualifications. Through company expansion Michelle was involved in the integration and reporting of the combined financial accounts. Due to family commitments, Michelle moved to a part time position as Finance Controller at a division of PHS Group Inc.
Michelle has worked as the Finance Manager at Sandringham School since 2012, and now has a dual role as the Trust Finance Manager. She is involved in supporting, monitoring and consolidating the finances for all the schools in the Trust.
Louise Stuttard – Finance Officer (Trading Company)
After graduating from the University of Hull with a BSc in Accounting and Finance Louise began her career working for KPMG in London. Louise qualified as a Chartered Accountant whilst working on the audits of a broad range of clients within the Information, Communication and Entertainments industries. After five years at KPMG, Louise transferred to the Financial Services industry where she worked within Equity Product Control for Credit Suisse for almost ten years. Louise then had a career break to raise a family, joining the AAT in July 2021 as Trust Finance Officer working with the Trust COO and Trust Finance Manager to set up the trading subsidiary. She currently works to ensure accurate recording of income streams.
Emma Walker – Website and Communications
After graduating with a degree in Design from the University of Plymouth in 1994, Emma worked as a Designer then subsequently a Project Manager at Communications Consultancy Hill and Knowlton in London before moving to Landor UK Ltd to work on large scale branding projects. She subsequently worked exclusively on digital projects as Client Services Manager for a web development agency gaining significant expertise across a wide range of sectors and projects, as well as responsibility for all corporate communications and publicity.
Emma joined Sandringham in 2016 as Resources Manager : Digital and Print, where she looks after much of the, print, web and social media output of the school
Alban Academies Trust | Sharing educational excellence