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Our People

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Experienced and Valued

At Vantage Academy Trust, we put people at the heart of what we do and are incredibly proud of the work of our outstanding practitioners working both within school environments and as part of the Trust central team.

The central team is a hub of expertise, supporting schools from their base at Gorton Primary School, Manchester. The central staff consists of our school improvement, finance, HR, estates and communications teams, who work to provide our schools with specialist advice and are answerable to our board of Trustee at termly meetings.

Our nine school Principals are a group of outstanding leaders, based as heads of school in each one of our primary schools, some of whom take executive leadership responsibility over more than one site. Our Principals meet on a regular basis with our School Improvement Directors to share ideas and disseminate best practise across the Trust.

Simon Bramwell OBE

Simon Bramwell OBE

CEO, Vantage Academy Trust

Simon has held three substantive and five executive headships over the last twenty seven years. He has removed four schools from special measures, including SS Simon and Jude CE Primary, which achieved an outstanding judgement under his leadership as Executive Headteacher. Appointed NLE in 2011, he was awarded an OBE for “Services to Education” in 2017.

Lead Officers

Liz has over 23 years of primary teaching experience and is passionate about making a difference to the lives of the children in her care. Liz was the driving force in overhauling the curriculum provision whilst at SS Simon and Jude, which, under her leadership, moved from special measures to outstanding. Liz provides specialist support to many schools across the North West. She sits on the Education Strategic Advisory Board for Fieldwork Education, and is an IPC accreditor, inspecting schools across the international circuit. As the Trust Education Director, she provides support and challenge to leadership teams in driving forward learning and teaching.

Liz Peacock

Trust Education Director

Rhian has over 17 years experience teaching across the Primary phase, and 6 years experience as a Principal in Manchester schools. As an LLE, Rhian has had experience in supporting schools in need, working in education settings across the North. Rhian is a Pupil Premium Reviewer and specialises in Safeguarding and Child Protection. Throughout her career, Rhian has continued to work in areas of significant need, determined to make a positive impact on the lives of the pupils in her care. As Executive Principal and Education Director, Rhian provides support and challenge to schools in the Manchester area as well as serving as the Principal of the Free School in Gorton. 

Rhian Williams

Education Director and Executive Principal

Kerry was a police officer in GMP before her career change to business and finance. She then worked in in the private sector for 10 years, before joining SS Simon and Jude Primary, in 2006. Starting as finance officer, she progressed to School Business Manager, following the completion of the NASBM qualifications: CSBM, DSBM and ADSBM, she has also completed her CIPFA Level 7 in Academy Finance and Governance and is now the Chief Finance Officer, working across all schools within the Trust. Kerry is an SLE in SBM and is able to support schools with all aspects of school business management.

Kerry Stanford

Chief Finance Officer

Lesley has worked in finance and HR for 24 years, within the local authority, and then as school secretary at St Barnabas Primary School. Lesley shortly excelled into the school administrator role, then on to the Business Manager position, when the school academised in 2012. She was able to draw on her previous experience in supporting the Headteacher with the business element of managing a school.

As HR manager for the Trust, Lesley has completed a variety of courses to maintain an evolving knowledge-base, including the CIPD HR associate course.

Lesley Tait

HR Lead Officer

Terence started his working life in logistics, then moved into manufacturing and site management of factories. The past 27 years in the industry have allowed him to understand, learn and gain experience in new builds, compliance and health & Safety. 

Terence says that ‘I do not want to change the world – but the future environment our Vantage children learn in.’

Terence Johnson

Estates Manager

Christina started working with the Trust as Governor, and then Chair, of the Local Advisory Board at Knowsley Lane Primary, which moved from requires improvement to achieving an outstanding Ofsted judgement in 2019. Christina is now utilising her prior expertise of managing and marketing educational businesses for the Trust’s central team, leading on communications and co-ordinating our School Direct programme.

Christina Derbyshire

Business Development Lead

School Principals

Rhian Williams

Principal, Gorton

Linda Lord

Principal, Knowsley Lane

Katie Jones

Principal, SS Simon and Jude

Jane Murphy

Principal, St Augustine's

Charmain May

Principal, St Barnabas

Carla McCoy

Principal, St Hilda's

Gill Mangnall

Principal, St James'

Wendy Budsworth

Principal, St Paul's

Emma Riley

Principal, Willow Tree