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Nick Cross
Chief Executive Officer, KGA 

Nick is CEO of King’s Group Academies, a seven school multi-academy trust.  Nick has worked in three MATs and has experience of building capacity and developing high performing teams across organisations.  He has introduced systems and procedures which have had a direct impact on outcomes, simultaneously developing the trust’s leadership capacity.  

Nick is a National Leader of Education and served as an Ofsted Inspector for over four years.  Additionally, he is a Pupil Premium System Leader, working with schools in receipt of a ‘Requires Improvement’ Ofsted judgement.  

He is a former Head of an ‘Outstanding’ school.  He was written to four times by Ministers of State and the Deputy Prime Minister, congratulating the school on the standards the pupils had achieved; it was regularly the top performing school in the borough at GCSE and A level and it was twice the highest performing school in the country in its category.

He led PiXL6, a national school improvement network of over 600 schools and FE colleges for five years.  At these meetings he regularly gave keynote speeches as well as running workshops for Headteachers.

Nick is married to Jane and they have two children.  He is a keen triathlete.

 

Sue Collins
Director of Finance, KGA 

Sue is the Director of Finance and Corporate Affairs for King’s Group Academies, leading on finance, legal, HR and estates. Sue is a Chartered Global Management Accountant with extensive experience in the not for profit sector – mainly in education - having worked in hospitals and independent schools since 1996 and academies since 2011. 

While the Finance Director of a single academy trust she was asked to build and lead the finance team at a neighbouring standalone academy trust, and to provide an outsourced finance function to a third, and now draws on that experience in coordinating support services across a diverse multi academy trust.

As well as helping financially secure academies to maintain reserves, Sue has worked successfully with the ESFA over recovery plans for academies in financial difficulty.

Sue is a keen musician, and a volunteer technician for a talking newspaper.

 

Debbie Anderson
Executive Headteacher, KGA Portsmouth 

Debbie is Executive Headteacher of four large primary phase schools in our Portsmouth Hub.  She has over 20 years experience of effective leadership in improving schools, including her own ‘Outstanding’ school.  She was invited to take on an additional school in ‘Special Measures’ which was judged ‘Good’ by Ofsted within 5 terms.  Debbiebelieves in growing her own staff, who have become Specialist Leaders of Education, ITT trainers, mentors and commissioned to support other providers.

Debbie leads the KGA School Improvement Offer, supporting Headteachers to prepare for inspection, delivering key workshops and leading Quality Assurance Reviews.  

As a National Leader of Education, Debbie has helped several primary schools move from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’, her work acknowledged in their Ofsted reports.  She also currently works as an Ofsted Inspector using her inspection work to enhance the progress of academies within the Trust.  More widely, she has utilised her experience to work with schools in several local authorities and London boroughs.

Debbie has been a recipient of a Teach Portsmouth Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education in Portsmouth recognising her work beyond that of her own schools.  She enjoys yoga for the benefits of a healthy body and healthy mind. 

 

Sarah Howells
Executive Headteacher King's Academy Binfield & Oakwood 

Sarah is currently Executive Principal of King’s Academy Binfield and King’s Academy Oakwood in Bracknell which she leads as one all-through school. She has over 20 years of headship experience in both primary and secondary schools, including a period of interim headship rapidly leading a school out of special measures resulting in her leadership being described by Ofsted as ‘exceptional’. 

Sarah has worked as an Associate for PiXL for the past six years. Additionally, she has led seminars and lectures for the RSA and worked with them as a consultant for their first academy opening. Sarah has considerable experience of mentoring new Headteachers; formally and informally and in supporting other school leaders with key school improvement strategies.   She leads the KGA NPQML and NPQSL programmes.

 

Sian Williams
Principal, King's Academy Ringmer 

Sian has lived and worked in Sussex for most of her life. She grew up on the Ashdown Forest and knows what it means to be a child living and learning in this inspiring county. She has twenty years of educational experience, teaching and leading high achieving schools with academic rigour as well as inner city schools, with their own educational issues.

Sian was the founding leader of Chichester Free School, when it opened in 2013, as Director of Teaching and Learning. During this time, she was the project educational consultant for the permanent site build and played a pivotal role in the ongoing recruitment and admissions drive, as the school rapidly expanded. She went on to become Head of Secondary and Deputy Principal. She also took on the role of pastoral care across the secondary phase and along with her other responsibilities, continued to teach English and Drama.

Sian is an enormous advocate of the performing arts and all sport and will be volunteering to go on the school ski trip.

 

Ali Beechurst
Head of School, Lyndhurst Junior School 

Ali is the Head of School at Lyndhurst Junior School in Portsmouth.  Prior to this, Ali trained for and worked in the secondary sector for 21 years; it was her extensive work on Year 6 into 7 transition that resulted in her decision to move to primary.  

Having been a  senior leader in four secondary schools, Ali is passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people.  Her work focuses on the development of distributed leadership throughout organisations regarding everyone as a leader in their own right.

At Lyndhurst Junior School she has had a significant impact, working with the Executive Headteacher, to move the school from 'Requires Improvement' to 'Good'.  Since the school’s Ofsted inspection in February 2019, Lyndhurst has continued its journey of rapid school improvement and works closely with the other KGA schools in the Portsmouth area. 

Ali lives with her partner and enjoys sharing her interest in roller skating, movies and laughing with her 7 year old daughter and 5 year old twin boys.

 

Jan Lathem
Head of School, College Park Infant School 

Jan has worked in a number of schools, with children in Years R to 7 from a range of backgrounds, including deprived areas, across Portsmouth and Hampshire before being appointed to Deputy Headteacher and then Head of School at College Park. 

She is an experienced leader playing a key role in helping to move College Park from a judgement of ‘Satisfactory’ to an Ofsted judgement of ‘Outstanding’ in May 2011.

Jan became a Specialist Leader of Education in 2014 and has supported a number of leaders in the city, including Headteachers.  She has devised and delivered training to staff in other organisations, including bespoke leadership training for practitioners in pre-school settings.

She is a big animal lover with an ambition to have pet pigs, she also loves theatre and the Arts.  

In the last few years she has developed a love of running and yoga.

 

Richard Hunter
Lead for School Improvement 

Richard was both a Headteacher and Executive Headteacher in a number of schools in the Midlands and converted his Outstanding school to be a Stand-Alone Academy and then a Multi-Academy Trust. During his time as a Headteacher, Richard was seconded for two years to be Education Executive at HSBC Global Education Trust and was a National Director at the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. He designed and delivered leadership programmes for NSCL and organisations in the USA, China, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia and around Europe. He is an accredited Confucius Classroom provider. Richard has been a DfE Consultant focusing on inner-city challenging schools. He has reviewed British International schools in Europe and Central America in preparation for inspection and is currently a Senior School Advisor in London. Richard delivers Governor training, is Chair of Governors in a large London school and a Member of the Board of Directors of a MAT.

In his professional life his real passion includes coaching and developing leadership styles in schools. In his personal life he loves everything Italian, is a pianist and enjoys sport.

Other Consultants Available to KGA

 

Dame Sylvia Morris
Standards and Quality Assurance - Primary 

Sylvia is the former outstanding primary head teacher of the Cathedral School of St Saviour and St Mary Overy in Southwark. Sylvia has considerable experience of supporting schools as a National Leader of Education and has been instrumental in providing fast turnaround support to schools in London and the South East. She also has extensive experience of school governance.

 

Hannah Jones
Innovation & Technology (SEND) 

Hannah has extensive experience in the strategic national integration of ICT in learning.  She has led several of the UK’s largest leadership programmes at the National College for School Leadership (NCSL), including the highly successful Strategic Leadership of ICT (SLICT) and Building Schools for the Future programmes.

During her time at NCSL, Hannah initiated, designed and delivered high quality leadership programmes for over 15,000 school leaders.  External evaluations of these programmes were extremely positive with Ofsted identifying the programmes as a strong agent for change in teaching and learning practices and for leadership and management.

Prior to her time at NCSL, Hannah was Director of the first Interactive Whiteboard Pilot at the National Strategies that was, within one year, rolled out to a National Programme, with £50M secured for schools.