Our Children are our Trust.
As a Trust we endeavour at all times to give our young people a highly effective education in a truly inclusive environment. We believe that all young people can succeed and we generally find that those who find success very difficult have not always had their needs met when they were younger. All of the actions of our Trust are driven to provide an excellent learning environment accompanied by a high level of care including attention at all times to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of each and every young person.
Young people within Oak learning Partnership strive to attain exceptionally high levels of academic achievement and personal development. We are committed to ensuring they leave our schools with the skills, confidence and drive to achieve their future aspirations and to make a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live. We have young people who have significant needs educated in all our schools. We teach all young people respect, care and compassion for those in our communities who need understanding and support in order to thrive and fulfil their potential.
The Oak Learning Partnership is determined to include every young person and to encourage them to excel and reach their full potential including those pupils who have found themselves on the margins of their communities and who need additional support to succeed.
Our staff are pivotal to the success of our young people.
Our staff teams are built on fantastic teamwork and passion to ensure that each and every young person is nurtured to achieve their full potential. Our schools are all very different but in each school the pupils’ welfare is the first and foremost concern.
Our staff are highly valued and they are provided with a wide range of professional development opportunities including an extensive induction programme and access to continuous professional development programmes at all stages in their career.
Staff well-being is of the upmost importance to us. We have a range of well-being initiiatives in each of our schools and ensure that at all times we adhere as a minimum to pay and contractual arrangements agreed nationally. Teaching posts are regularly incentivised to ensure we attract the very best applicants.
Each school has a substantial body of excellent teaching staff, teaching assistants, admin staff and site staff. Further details can be found on our individual schools' websites. In addition, our Executive Leadership Team work across all schools equally, responsible for devising and implementing the strategic objectives of the Trust and overseeing its core educational provision and business operations. They are supported by the Central Team who assist with the day to day application of their strategic decisions.
The Executive Leadership Team
Meet the Executive Leadership Team
James Franklin-Smith - Chief Executive Officer and Accounting Officer
James has extensive experience of leading within academy trusts. He worked as part of a team which established an outstanding Academy Trust in Halifax and he was a member of the Executive Team of a Trust which supported their eight schools to significantly improve their performance.
James has a deep understanding of what makes schools exceptional and what systems, structures and processes need to be in place to support leaders and staff to provide young people with the very best education they deserve. He has over 10 years of school leadership experience, including being Principal of a large, high-performing, and outstanding secondary school.
In Executive roles, James has worked with schools to improve from special measures to good. He also has experience across all sectors of education including Governance positions in special and primary schools. James is passionate about providing inclusive education which is aspirational for all.
Christine Reynolds - Director of School Improvement
Christine has extensive experience as a primary head teacher and in addition to her substantive post, has been seconded to lead in a number of other Bury primary schools. Christine has worked as mentor to a number of current primary head teachers and has led the Bury head Teacher Programme for new head teachers. She has had LLE commissions through Bury Teaching School Alliance and has worked as an OTP facilitator for the BTSA. Christine has also taken a leading role in BTSA programmes such as the School Partnership Programme and the SSIF Strand 2 project. Prior to her appointment as the Executive Headteacher and Director of School Improvement at Oak LP, Christine was a highly successful head teacher at Unsworth Primary School. Christine has significant experience in delivering training, leadership development and in writing CPD programmes.
Kristie Bloomfield - Chief Operating Officer
Kristie has over 20 years of experience working in the education sector with a proven background in change management, human resources, and facilities management. Throughout her career, Kristie has demonstrated a strong ability to lead cross-functional teams in achieving ambitious goals. She is skilled at creating and implementing processes and systems that streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance service quality. Kristie has managed large-scale projects, including construction, renovation, and technology upgrades, while maintaining a focus on delivering results on time and within budget. As a strategic leader, Kristie has a keen understanding of the education landscape, and she is dedicated to creating an environment that fosters collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement. Kristie is an expert in HR and facilities management, and she has a deep commitment to creating safe, welcoming, and inclusive learning environments. She has been instrumental in developing policies and procedures that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, and she has worked tirelessly to ensure that all stakeholders feel valued and supported.
Claire Ferguson - Chief Financial Officer
After qualifying as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse, Claire spent 15 years working in industry before moving into education. Working as Chief Financial Officer at three other Multi Academy Trusts before joining Oak Learning Partnership in October 2023, Claire has led teams at school and trust level and has extensive experience of managing finance, HR, IT, estates, catering and administration. With experience across primary, secondary and sixth form phases, Claire has experience of developing people, systems and financial and operational processes to support school and trust development strategies.
Jo Grundy - Headteacher and Trust Primary Lead
Jo is a highly experienced Head Teacher with 15 years of school leadership experience. She led an outstanding school for 6 years which achieved excellent outcomes for its pupils. She has a deep understanding of what makes Primary Schools great and the system leadership involved. Jo was a Specialist Leader in Education for maths and assessment working across schools in Bolton. She is also a trained Neuro Linguistic Practitioner, using her coaching skills to enhance her staff teams.
Jo is currently Head Teacher of Unsworth Primary School. She is highly inclusive, child-centred and ambitious for all the pupils and staff she works with.
She is passionate about teaching and learning to the highest standard, ensuring children learn through a broad and balanced curriculum, making meaningful memories and preparing them for life in the 21st century.
Orienne Langley-Sadler - Executive Headteacher - Special Provision
Orienne currently holds the position of Executive Head Teacher - Specialist Provision at Elms Bank School and College. She boasts 28 years of experience, during which she has worked across all phases of education, fulfilling a range of Teaching, Leadership, and Consulting roles.
Her dedication lies in enabling individuals to reach their full potential, regardless of any obstacles they may face. She is deeply committed to assisting the most vulnerable individuals and is resolute in her efforts to impact the lives of young people positively, firmly believing that education serves as the cornerstone for unlocking each person's unique contribution to the world.
The Central Team
Meet the Central Team
Georgina Barnett - HR and Payroll Manager
As a seasoned HR Manager with over 10 years of experience in the education sector, I have developed a keen expertise in change management, HR policies and processes. My ability to foster a positive working culture and provide guidance to staff has resulted in successful employee retention and overall organisational success. I am passionate about creating strategic plans and implementing initiatives that ensure a positive and inclusive work environment. My experience has also equipped me with the ability to navigate complex organisational structures, engage with stakeholders at all levels, and oversee recruitment and retention strategies. Ultimately, my goal is to facilitate growth and success for both the organisation and its employees.
Hayley Roberts - HR and Payroll Advisor
Hayley has a broad range of experience in Human Resources and Recruitment, gained initially as a member of the local authority Recruitment and Contracts Team. Hayley has been involved in the recruitment of staff across many sectors during her career. Her responsibilities at Oak Learning Partnership include supporting the HR Manager in providing the spectrum of HR functions across the Trust.
Eva Burgess - HR and Payroll Advisor
Eva is passionate about working in education, and as a qualified teacher and former Education Consultant she has supported children in the classroom as well as supporting schools behind the scenes. Eva is well-placed to support our HR Manager with the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff, in addition to taking responsibility for a range of HR functions across our Trust.
Clare Williams - HR and Payroll Advisor
Clare’s qualifications and experience in business and administration, finance and school business mean that she can provide high-quality assistance across the Trust’s Finance and HR operations. Clare’s insight into business functions within education and other sectors gives her a strong skills basis for her versatile role at Oak Learning Partnership.
Deborah Jones - HR and Payroll Advisor
Deborah has extensive experience in business administration spanning across both private and public sectors. Deborah is focused on providing excellent business support and has experience of supporting vulnerable adults and children with SEN in an educational setting. Deborah’s skill sets mean that she can provide high quality support across the Trust and her commitment to business support correlates with the Shared Principles of the Trust.
Rebecca Carney - Safeguarding Lead
Rebecca has a wealth of experience working with young people in Health and in the voluntary sector. Before dual qualifying in Learning Disability Nursing and Social Work, Rebecca worked for a national charity initially supporting young people with SEND to access inclusive short breaks and later supporting young parents to develop their parenting capacity and tenancy readiness. She later worked for the NHS as a Community Learning Disability Sister working alongside multi-disciplinary colleagues to ensure young people’s health and care needs were met. She is committed to safeguarding young people to ensure they get the best possible outcomes. Rebecca is passionate about young people achieving their individual potential, being prepared for adulthood and enabling families to thrive with as much independence as possible. She is particularly passionate about supporting the needs of young people with SEND.
Debra Hoyle - Finance Manager
Debra has a significant amount of experience in finance, with a career which began in banking and which involved gaining skills and knowledge in a variety of disciplines within this field. During the course of her career in finance, Debra has gained her ACIB and CIPFA qualifications. Debra is responsible for the management of all financial processes and transactions across the Trust and she very much enjoys using her skills in an educational environment.
Michelle Bentham - Finance Officer
Michelle has many years’ experience of working in the Finance Sector, working for a leading international bank before joining Oak LP. Her previous role involved secondments abroad, to India and Malta. Michelle draws upon her experience to support our Finance Manager by taking responsibility for several aspects of our Finance Operation.
Jacqueline Eastwood - Finance Officer
Jacqueline’s experience in the Finance sector is wide-ranging, encompassing both general accountancy practices and industry. Jacqueline has worked as a highly-successful accountant and finance manager and she now enjoys applying her skills and knowledge in an educational environment as a member of the team at Oak Learning Partnership.
Emma Llewellyn - Finance Officer
After completing her Ph.D. Emma built a career in finance and office management and administration which spans over a decade. Her skills have been gained in very diverse areas, including education. Emma is confident in providing high-level support for our Finance Manager across a wide range of functions.
Joanne Gee - Business Support Officer
Joannne is highly-skilled in the field of office administration, with particular expertise within Finance. Her training and experience encompass a range of diverse and specialised business areas. The breadth of her expertise mean that she can provide a high standard of support across all Trust business functions.
Caroline Carlon - Governance and Compliance Manager
I have over four years working as a school business manager carrying out all the non-teaching functions within a busy primary school. I also have over eight years as a school governor initially within one primary school and now in a federation of two schools. Prior to this I have worked in the insurance industry and been involved in the compliance of selling and processing insurance products.
I am hoping my varied background of industry and education will stand me in good stead as a member of the central team looking after governance and compliance.
Phil McLean - Estates and Facilities Manager
Phil has many years of buildings management experience within large organisations. He has an extensive knowledge of buildings and health and safety legislation as well as a detailed understanding of compliance requirements relating to buildings, facilities, staff and visitors. Phil is experienced in leading large teams of staff across a range of different working areas and he oversees facilities operations and building management across the whole of the Oak Learning Partnership sites.
Meet the Members
Dan is a highly experienced senior leader within the Financial Services industry and has many years’ experience of working in senior roles across a range of blue chip financial services organisations.
Dan has an excellent track record of delivering commercial change, turning around projects and introducing new systems into businesses to transform their efficiency and profitability. As well as being able to offer robust financial advice to the Trust, Dan is able to offer expertise in business and operations management.
Daniel is the founder of several companies and groups developing and promoting new sustainability technologies in industry. He has held senior international roles in buildings systems, business development, strategy, general management and sales and marketing.
Daniel has a wealth of experience in the international business world which will enable him to share a shrewd analysis of the management of the Trust.
Simon is a franchisee owner operator of several national branded restaurants having bought his first outlet in 2010. He has consistently improved his business operations in terms of profitability and customer satisfaction.
As a business owner he has made a commitment to the local area and uses his business activities to create a positive impact in the community, providing jobs, skills, and investment. Previously he worked in the newspaper industry; latterly as Group Commercial Director and Assistant MD for Guardian Media Groups Regional Media Division.
Meet the Trustees
Bernadette Garner Chair of Trustees
Bernie Garner is the Chair of The Oak Learning Partnership Multi Academy Trust. In her role Bernie draws upon a wealth of experience in Education, Business, Social Care and Local Government. Her career has been driven by her passion for equality and she has a proven track record of improving opportunities for disabled children and adults.
Bernie’s role in the trust is to ensure the development and delivery of innovative services, both specialist and inclusive, to support all children to develop and achieve.
Janet is a former headteacher with a passion for supporting disadvantaged children.
Janet is extremely well-respected, and prior to retirement she assisted local schools where improvement was required. As an experienced Trustee sitting on the boards of other MATs, Janet’s areas of expertise include school improvement, the analysis of school data, and strategic planning. Janet is a firm believer in forging links with the local communities surrounding our schools, and carries out valuable work in supporting and developing community partnerships.
Ashley is a qualified business coach and communication trainer working with and advising small and medium-sized businesses and service providers.
Ashley is passionate about improving the prospects of young people in the local area, and he is actively involved with Digital Advantage, an organisation which brings the workplace to schools to help students develop their thinking, analytical, creative, business and digital skills. His areas of interest include curriculum planning and careers advice.
Sheila has extensive experience of working as a School Improvement Officer in both primary and secondary education and she held the position of School Effectiveness Officer for Bury Children’s Services for many years. During this time her main area of expertise was in helping schools to make effective use of pupil performance data to raise standards.
Sheila also has a wealth of experience as a school governor, and has taken an active role in ensuring that governors support and challenge Senior Leadership Teams on the full range of school and Trust functions. Sheila has been instrumental in driving change so that governing boards are more accountable and effective, and more actively involved in daily school life. Sheila’s particular focus is upon raising standards, with the regular monitoring of pupil attainment and progress.
Alan brings extensive knowledge of employment law to the Oak LP Trust Board, having worked as a solicitor in various law practices since 1988.
Alan set up his own employment law consultancy in 2019 and acts for both employers and employees, advising and acting as an advocate in employment law tribunals. In addition, Alan was a governor of a local senior school for 12 years, and this involved helping the school to achieve a complete rebuild funded by PFI, dealing with appeals of pupil exclusions, and recruiting and interviewing for school senior leadership positions. He is therefore well-placed to be a ‘critical friend’ of Oak LP.
Matt is the CEO of a Students' Union, and his role involves the oversight of the organisation's finances, ensuring good governance, setting the strategy with colleagues and Trustees, and responsibility for maximising income streams.
Matt has extensive experience in higher education which gives him an insight into educational policy. He has previously been the Company Secretary, Director and Trustee at the LGBT Foundation in Manchester and a governor at the University of Salford. Matt brings to our Trust wide-ranging commercial experience within different educational settings as well as a strong understanding of Boardroom operations.
Les Windows has an impressive background in industry and management consultancy across several corporate sectors, and has more recently undertaken interim executive roles. He also has experience in school governance.
Les has expertise in transformation and culture change, governance and oversight, performance improvement, restructuring, strategic resource management and cost management. His experience and skills mean that he makes a valuable contribution to guiding the vision, strategy and growth of the trust.
Megan Burns is the HR Manager of a large Multi-Academy Trust which has academies across South Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire.
Megan has several years’ experience in the fields of People and Workforce Planning, Organisational Effectiveness and Change, People and Talent Management, Employee Relations, Strategic Leadership and Employment Law. As an expert in HR in a multi academy setting, Megan is able to advise the trust board on all aspects of HR management.
A chartered accountant and FCA with over 30 years’ experience in industry and through his own practice, MJ Goldman Chartered Accountants. Mark has been involved in several varied businesses and companies over the years and his 10-strong employee base manage over 600 clients. Complementing his strong financial and commercial skill set, Mark’s passion for education stems from close familial links in this sector. This situates him in a strong position to add value to the Board of Trustees through financial compliance, procedures and audit, as well as offering guidance on the trust’s financial standing.