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Central Team 

Nick Cross
Chief Executive Officer 

Nick is CEO of King’s Group Academies, a fourteen 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.

Sue Collins
Deputy CEO (Finance) 

Sue is the Deputy CEO 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.

Geoff Walls
Deputy CEO (Education) 

Geoff is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Education)  at King's Group Academies. He has worked across four different multi-academy trusts in Senior Leadership positions, including Headship in one of the UK's largest all-through Academies in Peterborough.

Earlier in his senior leadership career, Geoff trained as an Ofsted Inspector and has conducted training and support to UK-based and international schools using a range of inspection frameworks and methodologies.  

Geoff also served as a School Improvement Officer for  Northamptonshire Local Authority School Improvement Service, conducting quality improvement visits to Academies across the county.

Geoff is an accredited Executive Coach and has used this qualification in coaching and mentoring senior leaders and executives in education as well as the corporate sector.

Outside of education, he has served as a non-executive director for an international children's charity.

He is married to Claire, and they have a son and a daughter.  To relax, Geoff enjoys playing and listening to music and the occasional game of table tennis.

Sarah Howells
Director of Academy Improvement 

Sarah is currently Director of Academy Improvement. 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.

Paul Marks
Estates Director 

Paul is currently the Estates Director. He was born in Portsmouth, and gained a qualified trade before moving into management. He has worked in different areas of the country and now has 24 years experience of working within the Education sector, primarily in Further Education. He has been a member of Senior Leadership Teams throughout this time and has overseen and managed estates teams through change over this period. 

He has worked on several Estates Capital Projects, predominantly being the client representative and ranging in value from £10K to £10million. The latest being the complete refurbishment of Bournemouth & Poole College

Paul is a married man with three grown up children, who enjoys seeing his children succeed at whatever they do and has been known to participate in the odd game of golf or two.

Lorraine Walsh
Director of People

As Director of People, Lorraine leads on ensuring King’s Group Academies employs, nurtures and retains staff who are passionate about each and every pupil's success.  She has worked in HR for 3 decades with 20 years experience of HR leadership in the not-for-profit sector, where she has played an active role in establishing robust safeguarding and pre-employment vetting practices.

In addition to being a chartered member of the Institute of Personnel & Development Lorraine has experience as a governor for an academy in South London that provides specialist education for students with autism and has served as a trustee for a leading safeguarding network for international charities. 

Married with three adult sons, she spends most of her spare time cooking and baking with produce grown at the family allotment.

Likhon Muhammad
Director of Secondary Improvement 

Likhon Is the Director of Secondary Improvement at King's Group Academies. He has worked across three different multi-academy trusts. As a Headteacher of a variety of challenging secondary schools, he focused on improving outcomes. He received acknowledgement from Ofsted for positively impacting the culture of a large inner London School.

Likhon is a serving Ofsted Inspector. He has experience of working as a leader of the central team of a successful MAT.  Before joining KGA, Likhon coached and mentored Headteachers and senior leaders across their secondary schools. He has also served as a school governor. Outside of education, he has taken on roles in the social impact sector, including serving as a non-executive director for a social value organisation.

Likhon has co-chaired longitudinal research on social mobility, conducted by the Employers Social Mobility Alliance. He is a member of the Worshipful Company of Educators and is a Freeman of the City of London.

He is married to Sara, and they have two daughters. In his rare moments away from his family and schools, he's trying to learn golf.

Laura Phillips
Safeguarding Lead 

Laura started teaching in Surrey in 2006 and since then has carried out a range of pastoral leadership roles. Prior to joining KGA, she was a SENCO at a secondary school in Surrey. Laura has worked as a Senior Leader and DSL at King’s Academy Binfield and Oakwood since its opening in 2018.  Laura thoroughly enjoys working to support and develop staff; she facilitates the best practice network NPQML and NPQSL courses.

Laura lives in Hampshire with her two children and husband.  In her spare time, she enjoys fitness, reading and travelling.

Louisa Loney
Teaching and Learning Lead 

Louisa has worked as a Senior Leader at King’s Academy Ringmer since 2017.  Previously, she was a Senior Leader at a school in Worthing and has been a Subject Leader for English in schools in both West and East Sussex.  Louisa has extensive experience of working in underperforming schools and improving the quality of education and leadership and management.  Louisa works as a Specialist Leader of Education across East Sussex supporting schools.

Louisa lives on the coast in East Sussex with her husband and daughter.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, being outside in nature and travelling.  

Sarah Lee
Teaching and Learning Lead 

Sarah was Assistant Principal in charge of curriculum and teaching & learning at King’s Academy Binfield and Oakwood. Also, she has served as Director of Communications, overseeing English, Humanities and MFL, and has worked as Subject Leader for MFL in both Berkshire and Leicestershire. Sarah’s passion for languages stems from childhood holidays to France, and was the driving force behind entering the world of education, with the aim to pass on the same love of languages to her students. Sarah is passionate about the development of both students and staff, and has extensive experience working to raise teaching standards and develop curricula.

Living with her husband and two cats, Sarah spends her spare time gardening, reading and spending time with friends. She also enjoys cooking and is an avid watcher of Masterchef, the Bake Off and anything food related.

Louisa Perkins
International Director 

As an educator with 20 years experience both in the UK and overseas, Louisa comes to the role of International Director with a passion for enriching curriculums in ways that enable pupils to become truly global citizens. Following 7 years teaching in London and Surrey, she embarked on a solo around the world trip, which culminated in securing the role as School Development Leader at a British International School in Bangkok, Thailand. The 11 years spent in Asia gave Louisa the perfect breadth of experience required to spearhead KGA’s ambitious programme designed to prepare pupils for living and working in a diverse, multicultural world.

After returning to the UK to be close to family, Louisa worked with the wonderful children and dedicated staff at King’s Academy Northern Parade. She is now excited to be joining the central team to provide pupils across all KGA schools with opportunity and success on a global stage. 

Since moving to Portsmouth, Louisa has abseiled the Spinnaker Tower and taken up a new hobby - roller skating. She is a mother to two young daughters and a big, fluffy rescue dog from Thailand called Zephyr.


Chris Harvey
Principal, King's Academy Ringmer 

Chris is the new Principal of King’s Academy Ringmer, having worked previously as Deputy Headteacher in two Outstanding secondary schools. Chris believes that we have a moral imperative to improve the life chances of all our students, developing the whole child academically, personally and socially. He sees nurturing relationships as being at the heart of school culture, to ensure that the children, staff, parents and the wider community work together to produce well rounded characters.

Chris holds both a Masters in Teaching and the NPQH, and is currently studying for a PhD in Education. Chris is also an advocate of coaching to improve performance, and is also working towards the ILM Level 7 Senior Executive Coaching qualification.

Chris has a strong interest in sport, both as a participator and an observer. He has a desire to explore new countries and cultures, and is hoping to build on the forty two countries visited already. Chris lives in Surrey with his wife and two daughters.

David Littlemore
Headteacher, King's Academy Prospect 

David is the Headteacher of King's Academy Prospect, a large multi-cultural comprehensive school to the west of Reading which joined the KGA family in October 2020.

David is an experienced senior leader and after leaving the health and music industries for education, has always worked in schools facing challenging circumstances, where he has been instrumental in securing rapid and sustained improvements. Appointed permanent Headteacher at Prospect in January 2020, he is leading the school on a journey of challenge, renewal and significant positive change, following the school’s mantra of ‘Aspire, Believe, Achieve’. It is David’s firm belief and ambition that King's Academy Prospect will be the number one school within the local community, in terms of attainment, standards and parental choice. He is a strong advocate of partnership working and collaboration with a range of community leaders.

Originally from Cheshire, David now lives in South West London with his family, from where he follows the (mis) fortunes of Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

Kathryn Wilden
Headteacher, King's Academy Northern Parade 

Kathryn is the Headteacher of School of King’s Academy Northern Parade. She grew up in Portsmouth and has worked in the education sector for over 12 years taking on a variety of roles including Maths Lead, Phase Lead, Deputy Head and the more recent challenge of Head of School.

Kathryn initially graduated from the University of Chichester and worked a sports physiotherapist for a number of years before finding her true calling in education. She started her teaching career in Hampshire before returning home to Portsmouth in 2021.

Kathryn is extremely passionate about creating an inclusive curriculum where all children are valued for their individualities and differences. She believes that facilitating opportunities for children to learn through creativity, including the outdoor environment is pivotal to their success.

Kathryn is a mum to two young boys who keep her on her toes. In the very small amount of spare time she has she enjoys visiting the gym, paddle boarding and running.

Rachel Carlyle
Headteacher, King's Academy College Park 

Rachel grew up in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire before moving to Devon where she studied at The University of the South West. She began her teaching career in Hampshire before moving into Portsmouth.  After having her family Rachel took a step away from Leadership roles focusing on her children and being the best classroom practitioner she could be.

In September 2020 Rachel became Head of School for Northern Parade infants. After her success in this role, Rachel was appointed as Headteacher at KACP. Exciting times ahead.

Rachel is a keen runner and trains daily with Portsmouth Outdoor Fitness regardless of weather! Living by the sea has also allowed her to enjoy her new found passion - paddle boarding.

Katie Moore
Executive Principal, King's Academy Binfield & King's Academy Oakwood 

Katie Moore joined King’s Academies in September 2022 as Executive Principal at King’s Academy Binfield and King’s Academy Oakwood. Katie lives in the locality of the schools and is passionate about working in partnership with all members of the schools’ communities to support everyone to strive to be better than their best.

Katie has some 30 years’ experience in education, having most recently been Principal at Fullbrook School in Surrey.  Katie progressed her career at Fullbrook over sixteen years and was Assistant and then Vice Principal before leading the school.  Previously Katie was an Education Advisor in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead as a Secondary National Strategy Consultant in ICT, before leading 64 schools in the development of digital learning.

Katie is an enthusiastic Parkrunner and swimmer and enjoys travelling to spend time with family and friends who are spread across both the country and the world.

Liz Cook
Head, King's Academy Easthampstead Park 

Liz Cook was appointed headteacher of the school in January 2013 after serving as deputy headteacher for several years. The school joined King’s Group Academies in November 2022. Liz has always identified with the view that success is a result of hard work and a positive attitude to challenge. Liz believes our school can meet the needs of all learners and is passionate about offering students the opportunities to attain and be successful at the highest level. 

Liz’s childhood and formative years were spent in Liverpool before settling in the South of the country. However, her allegiance to the Liverpool football team continues. After leaving University Liz worked in the fashion industry before developing a career in Product Management before deciding to return to study as she wanted to use her creative skills more directly. Liz holds both a PGCE in Design Technology and a Master's degree in Design Studies.

Liz has led on school improvement and teaching and learning developments across several schools. She implemented the national strategies within KS3 and supported the development of resources for teachers on sustainability. Liz has been awarded the FCCT The Fellowship of the Chartered College of teaching as a result of her work and experience.  

Liz remains passionate about art and design and enjoys being with friends and family.

Chris Willis
Head, King's Academy Bay House

Chris is the new Headteacher of King’s Academy Bay House.  Chris has worked in several large, successful London schools. He believes we have a moral duty to enhance the life opportunities of all our pupils by fostering their academic, personal, and social development. Chris views building a strong sense of community through positive relationships as the cornerstone of school culture, ensuring that children, staff, parents, and the wider community collaborate to cultivate well-rounded individuals.

In 2022, Chris was awarded 'Income Innovator of the Year' for securing nearly a million pounds in investment for Gosport and Fareham, leading to the development of the Gosport Community Hub, which was inaugurated by HRH Princess Royal.

A family man with a passion for the great outdoors, Chris is an active member of his local church and has a particular love for Spain, enjoying its rich culture and heritage. He lives in Gosport with his wife and two children, both of whom attend KGA schools.

Georgina Mulhall
Executive Head, King's Academy Gomer & King's Academy Rowner 

Georgina is our Executive Headteacher for King’s Academy Gomer and King’s Academy Rowner. She has worked in education since the year 2000, teaching and leading in a variety of settings ranging from nursery through to secondary and settings with behaviour and social and emotional resource. She is passionate about ensuring skills and creativity opportunities feature heavily in a curriculum; providing the best possible education so that the children benefit from the opportunities, exceed expectations and leave school with the confidence to flourish on the next part of their learning journey.

Georgina is a Mum to two who keep her busy with sailing and football. She loves living so close to Stokes Bay, Gosport and typically takes a beach walk every day.

Nige Matthias
Head, King's Academy Lord Wilson 

Dr. Nige Matthias is a passionate educator with over two decades of experience in teaching English and school leadership.  He holds not only a Masters degree with Distinction in Education, but also a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) from the University of Southampton. 

Committed to furthering educational excellence, he is the only non-university member of the University of Southampton's Leadership, Effective Education and Policy (LEEP) group. He also holds the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH) and National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL). He is a regular contributor to the Times Educational Supplement (TES), sharing his insights and experiences with a wider audience.

Away from the classroom, he enjoys spending time with his two teenage sons. This passion for education and nurturing young minds extends to his family life as well.

Kerry Payne
Head, King's Academy Brune Park 

Kerry is the proud Headteacher of King’s Academy Brune Park and has been permanently in post since January 2023. When Kerry joined the Hampshire cluster of schools, she was the Headteacher of King's Academy Rowner.  She has worked in Education since 2001, working part-time as a class teacher while studying for her Masters in Education.  Following ten years working in Kent and Medway as both a member of school leadership teams and Acting Deputy Headteacher, Kerry returned to her home town of Gosport to be a Deputy Head and then Headteacher. In her (very limited!) spare time, Kerry enjoys being a Mum of two, is an avid reader and can often be found searching for treasure when searching for geo-caches.