A qualified surveyor, Sarah worked in commerce in London and the Middle East prior to teaching, managing a property portfolio of over 200 million pounds on behalf of a variety of UK and international based clientele.
Sarah holds a post graduate diploma in property investment, a post graduate diploma in special education, a master’s degree in education studies, a specialist leader in behaviour and attendance qualification and the national professional qualification for headship (NPQH) as well being a qualified lead Ofsted inspector. She has also completed the SSAT (specialist schools and academies network) executive Heads course. Sarah has worked in senior leadership for the last twelve years.
DIRECTOR OF PERFORMANCE
Chris has a passion for helping pupils and staff develop their personal and professional skills. This has been the fundamental driver for his career over the last twenty eight years. Prior to working in school education Chris worked as a management trainer in outdoor education where he helped develop leadership teams within multinational companies. Most recently he has ten years’ experience working with teams in secondary schools on a number of areas including; reviewing behaviour management policies and systems, setting up in school behavioural units, coaching and mentoring staff, providing whole school inset and running workshops on managing difficult conversations. Chris trained as a solution focused coach ten years ago and uses this approach across all areas of school support. He seeks to help empower teams, to build resilience and to provide solutions that are sustainable in the long term. He has experience ranging from individual coaching sessions to supporting teams and whole city initiatives. He is further developing his practice by completing a diploma in coaching and mentoring and is undertaking a master’s in this as well. His vision for ACE Plymouth is to be an outstanding academy where pupils and staff are empowered to create large positive change in their lives both within school and in the wider community.
DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
Paul holds an NPQH and is a qualified Ofsted inspector and training to be a lead inspector. Paul is regularly involved in school to school support and lecturing in initial teacher education. Paul started his working life running a number of restaurant businesses, employing large numbers of people and developing their skills. This led him to becoming a science teacher and subsequently putting his highly effective commercial skills to use in leading education.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
Paul has responsibility for a range of business support services including finance, HR (human resources), ICT, property and administration and is a member of the senior leadership team. His main responsibility is to lead the finance and business strategy ensuring that funding to support future growth and development is achieved and that the best use of resources and value for money is obtained.
Paul also acts as chief financial officer for the academy trust where he has responsibility for a range of financial governance and compliance matters which are required by the board of trustees, company law and the Education Funding Agency.
Paul is a chartered accountant by profession with over twenty five years’ experience in a range of organisations in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors including shipping, industrial services, media, social and nursing care, property, fitness and leisure, retail and wholesale. He has held a number of senior financial roles which have also encompassed wider responsibility including operations, ICT, HR and property.
Paul’s interest in business and finance first began at school when he took O’ levels and A’ levels in accounts, economics and business studies. He went on to take a degree in accounting & financial analysis at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne followed by a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) at the University of Durham.
Paul is passionate about education and a great supporter of life-long learning. He has recently completed a psychology degree at the Open University which he’s finding beneficial in working for a group of schools providing education for children requiring high needs support.
In his spare time Paul is interested in sport, psychology, the arts, running, cycling and real ale.
“The characteristics needed to move forward the goals of the trust are inherent in all of us at ACE.”