Central Management Team
Co-Founder and Managing Director
Steve is a Trustee, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Aspirations Academies Trust. Between 2008 and 2012, Steve was Principal of one of the best schools in the country, Harris City Academy Crystal Palace, which, under his leadership, achieved a 'perfect' Ofsted with Outstanding in all categories and 99.4% GCSE 5+ A*-C including English and Maths grades in 2012. Prior to this, he was Headteacher of Callington Community College in Cornwall for 10 years, where he led its transformation into a high-performing school. Steve, as an educational innovator, devised the Space Studio and Post-16 Leadership Incubator Programme concepts.
Co-Founder and Deputy Managing Director
Paula is a Trustee, Co-Founder and Deputy Managing Director of the Aspirations Academies Trust. Until September 2015, she was also Executive Principal of Rivers Academy West London, which was graded Outstanding by Ofsted (2015). Paula has led significant improvement in two schools over the past 6 years. Between 2010 and 2012, Rivers Academy West London achieved its best ever results, 56% 5+ A*-C including English and Maths at GCSE, a 16% improvement on its previous best. In May 2012, the leadership and behaviour of the academy was judged to be Outstanding' by Ofsted. Prior to Rivers, Paula was Headteacher of Goffs School in Hertfordshire, improving the 5+ A*-C including English and Maths GCSE performance from 52% to 72% in one year (2010).
Director of Finance and Operations
Simon joined the Aspirations Academies Trust in 2013, having previously spent five years as Chief Operating Officer at ARK Schools, one of the larger and more successful multi academy trusts. Prior to joining the education sector Simon spent an enjoyable five years at the Wallace Collection, one of our national museums. He started his professional career at the National Audit Office, where he qualified as a chartered accountant whilst auditing government bodies, including the Department for Education (and Skills as it was then). Simon also enjoyed a two year secondment to HM Treasury where he worked on projects relating to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Simon therefore has a strong grounding in finance, project management, governance, IT and HR and is highly experienced in opening and running academies and free schools.
Director of HR
John is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has over 20 years' service in senior professional HR roles. Before joining Aspirations, John worked as Head of Schools' and Children's Services HR at Hounslow Council (1998-2010) and Director of HR at Richmond upon Thames College (2010-13). While at Hounslow, John was a key member of a cross-London schools' HR network including 2 years as chair of the group.
Director of External Relations
Caroline has a vast amount of general management experience in implementing new systems and procedures having been involved in setting up new companies both in the UK and overseas. Alongside a first class business degree, Caroline also has over 17 years of experience in Marketing Communications and Event Management. She joins us after seven years of being a department Deputy Head in a London University. Whilst in this role, Caroline, both as an individual and representing her department, won various industry awards. Caroline also sat on the Board of Directors of a national Marketing Consortium that represented almost 100 Universities throughout the UK.
Executive Assistant to Managing Director and Central Leadership Team
Jennifer joins Aspirations from another London-based multi-academy trust, where she led the legal and communications functions. Hailing from sunny Florida, Jennifer previously taught history and worked in international student affairs for a mid-sized university. She holds a master’s degree in social science education and has a special interest in cross-cultural experiences.
Agi joined Aspirations in April 2016 following several years working for the European Commission and European Parliament in London. Agi holds an MA in Marketing and Management from Rzeszow University in Poland. Her main responsibilities are to manage the day-to-day running of the head office and to provide administrative support to the Central Management Team.
Central Team Finance Manager
Amanda joined the Aspirations Academies Trust in 2016, having previously spent eleven years in senior finance roles in the NHS. Prior to joining the education sector Amanda started her professional career at the National Audit Office, where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant whilst auditing government bodies, including the Department for Education (and Skills as it was then) and the Department of Health. Amanda therefore has a strong grounding in project management, governance, and HR and is highly experienced in all aspects of financial accounting, management and planning.
Andrew joined the Aspirations Academies Trust in September 2017 having previously spent 18 months as Commercial Manager of the Atlantic Academy, Portland and previously at Sherborne School for Boys. Prior to entering the Education Sector, Andrew held senior regional and national positions in a range of Private and Public Sector Partnerships within the business, tourism and leisure sectors, leading the establishment of sustainable financial operating models, developed around a commercial business framework, which were less reliant on public sector funding.
Director of Estates
Raj joined the Aspirations Academies central management team in September 2017. He comes to the Trust form the NHS where he held senior positions within the estates teams. Previous roles have seen him manage the estate at Guys & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, one of the largest acute NHS settings in the UK. He also has several years experience working in senior positions within private sector for large multi-national organisations. Raj is a member of the British Institute of Facilities Management.
As a recent graduate, Felix started his career with Aspirations at Magna Academy. He soon moved on to providing design and media support throughout the South Coast District, until eventually becoming a part of the Central Management Team. His responsibilities include supporting all academies in the Trust with their marketing, branding and design needs.
Deputy Director of Finance&Operations
Fokuo joined the Aspirations Academy Trust in September 2017, having previously worked as a School Business Manager for 9 years with experience within secondary, primary and an all through school. Educated to a degree level, with a PGDip in School Business Management and IOSH qualification. Fokuo has an excellent understanding of finance, human resources, health & safety and business continuity. He has led on numerous budget setting and financial reporting programmes and has solid experience of working within education. Fokuo is accomplished in school leadership and development.