Meet Our Team

Mark Bailie

Executive Headteacher

Headteachers

Chris Bishop

Headteacher, Finham Park School

Theresa O'Hara

Headteacher, Pearl Hyde Community Primary School

Kathryn Wright

Headteacher, Whitley Academy

Sarah Bracken

Headteacher, Finham Primary

Paul Green

Headteacher, Lyng Hall School

Russell Plester

Headteacher, Finham Park 2

Victoria Wallace

Headteacher, Lillington Nursery and Primary School

Finham Park MAT Leadership

Rachel Canning

Business Director

Laura Slaymaker

Deputy Business Director

Brian Naweji

Head of Finance

Bernadette Pettman

Senior School Improvement Leader

Emily Bench

Head of HR

Jason Hart

Head of MAT IT Services

Mark Bailie

Executive Headteacher & Trustee Education, Leadership

Mark has worked in schools for over 25 years and has been in leadership positions for 22 years. He has been a Headteacher for over 11 years (7 years at Finham Park School). National Leader of Education (NLE); has significant Ofsted experience and is a qualified Ofsted Inspector; he has taken different schools from 4 to 3, 3 to 2 and 2 to 1 in Ofsted terms. Specialist knowledge: Educational leadership; marketing, finance, operations; Human Resources, including recruitment; estates, curriculum; business; strategy. Relevant interests: National Leader of Education Ofsted Inspector – West Midlands Regional Team Member Director for Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Headteacher Steering Group for Confucius Institute based at IOE, UCL Trustee of Central Academies Trust, West Midlands

Chris Bishop

Headteacher, Finham Park School

I am headteacher Finham Park School, a large comprehensive secondary school in Coventry that strives to inspire students through the delivery of an innovative ‘World Class’ education. Our school strives to be a beacon of excellence for the community where everyone feels safe, valued, included and proud. As a parent with a young family, I appreciate personally the importance of nurturing every learner’s natural curiosity, providing them with life enriching opportunities to develop socially, academically and morally.

Students are given opportunities to develop in the ‘5 Finham Values’ that we hold most dear – courageousness, perseverance, integrity, humility and kindness. Learners become valued members of the Coventry community and contributors to both the national and international stages. I am passionate about seeing the life chances of young people improve as a result of receiving a high quality, free education.

This cannot be delivered in isolation but has to be done through supportive partnership structures; a joined up approach that is sustainable for the long term so that we can provide an environment that enables young people to not only have the ‘time of their lives’ but to also leave well equipped for life and the world of work.

Theresa O'Hara

Headteacher, Pearl Hyde Community Primary School

Prior to entering the teaching profession, Theresa worked for a number of years in the world of Graphics and Illustration. Theresa then entered the world of education and taught in three primary schools in Coventry prior to becoming the Headteacher at Pearl Hyde Community Primary school. One of her areas of expertise is in the development of a curriculum designed to embrace all learners, adapting provision to suit the needs of each cohort. “By playing to the strengths of our young people we aim to provide them with a purpose for learning and help them to believe in themselves as learners.”

Kathryn Wright

Headteacher, Whitley Academy

Kathryn has dedicated over 20 years’ service to Whitley Academy, as a teacher, a middle leader, then taking on several senior leadership roles, before being appointed to Headteacher. The school is a welcoming community school that endeavours to support everyone to be the best that they can be; a school that not only strives to achieve positive outcomes for young people but also provides opportunity for them to be creative, innovative and become resourceful citizens. Whitley Academy provides a safe yet stimulating environment and is staffed by a dedicated and committed team who uphold high expectations of and aspirations for every child.  Their focus is to support students to develop into responsible young adults, with high self-esteem and the skills and competences to equip them for success in the future.

Sarah Bracken

Headteacher, Finham Primary

Sarah is the Headteacher of a Finham Primary School with27 years of teaching experience, and has taught across the entire Primary school spectrum, from Nursery to Year 6.

Sarah graduated with honours from Birmingham University with a Bachelor’s degree focused in Education as an Early Years specialist. From time to time, this does make her smile as she never imagined when she first started teaching, that Early Years would become her home and her passion…

Sarah is driven to make sure that children enjoy their education and receive the support they need to make the most of their time in school. She believes that teaching should leave a memory that lasts forever.

Sarah promotes a holistic approach to education, that nurtures children’s’ unique skills and talents to deliver a bespoke, values led, inclusive education and an excellent start in life.

Paul Green

Headteacher, Lyng Hall School

Paul worked as a Research and Development Chemist before completing a degree in Natural Science at Canterbury Christ Church University. He began teaching in 1986, while considering taking up a post with the British Antarctic Survey, studying molluscs. 25 years later he is still teaching. Following Head of Science, Advisory Teacher and Deputy Headteacher roles in two schools, Paul became Headteacher of Lyng Hall in 2004. Since becoming Headteacher, he has also supported other schools in Birmingham and Coventry. Paul is a member of a European Agency Working Group which is exploring best practice across Europe for raising the attainment of vulnerable students and those with SEND. More locally, Paul is a member of the Local Children Safeguarding Board, the Children Services Improvement Board and is currently Chair of the Secondary Headteachers’ Partnership.

Russell Plester

Headteacher, Finham Park 2

Russell has more than 15 years’ experience in educational leadership roles in London, Birmingham, Solihull & Coventry. He was Deputy Headteacher at Finham Park School for 6 years before taking up the position of Headteacher at Finham Park 2.. With a core team Russell has been key in setting up a brand new school in Coventry- (currently oversubscribed and fully staffed) in newly refurbished, high quality buildings. Specialist knowledge: Educational leadership; marketing- including social media, operations; recruitment; estates, strategy, Free Schools, teaching and learning, student support.

Victoria Wallace

Headteacher, Lillington Nursery and Primary School

Victoria has been in Education now for over 22 years and has spent the last 10 in Leadership, she has taught in a variety of areas including London, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire. Her previous role as Head teacher was at a school in Northamptonshire where the team and Victoria successfully moved the school from an RI school to a Good school within a very short time scale. Her passion is for teaching and learning, children of all ages deserve the very best education, ensuring the learning and experiences they have not only meets their needs but spins curiosity, develops reflection and open doors through which they may choose to enter later in life.

As a parent herself she has always strived to nurture a love of learning within her own son as well as the children she works with. Being inspired, excited, and having a real sense of curiosity is key to children loving school and wanting to learn new things.

Rachel Canning

Business Director

Rachel is responsible for managing the strategy and operations of the non-teaching functions of the Trust including: financial management; health and safety; human resources; estates; IT; compliance and administration. A former pupil of Finham Park School, Rachel joined the Trust in September 2018 as Head of Finance and was promoted to Business Director in September 2019. Rachel has many years of experience in financial roles in the public and private sector including, ten years employed as Finance Director for a successful SME in Coventry. Having three school-age children Rachel appreciates the importance of ensuring that all of the pupils within the Trust receive an outstanding education and that the school estate should be maintained to the highest possible standard.

Laura Slaymaker

Deputy Business Director

Joining the Multi Academy Trust in 2015, Laura has over 15 years of Human Resources experience across the public and private sector. Her broad experience includes employee relations, payroll, recruitment, policy development and management. She has experience in various industries including engineering, banking and healthcare. Laura has a BA in Business Administration from Coventry University and is qualified with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Laura is responsible for developing human resource management strategies that enable the Trust to recruit, train, and retain a high performing and motivated workforce that will facilitate the high standards of education to be maintained.

Brian Naweji

Head of Finance

Bernadette Pettman

Senior School Improvement Leader

Bernadette joined the Trust in 2017 leading School Improvement. She began her teaching career in 1993 in Primary Education and went on to teach in a range of primary and secondary schools on the South Coast and in the Midlands. She has extensive Senior Leadership experience across primary and secondary, covering all aspects of School Self-Evaluation and School Improvement; school management and governance; inspection readiness; Quality Assurance; School to School Support; Safeguarding; Teaching Schools; policy writing and strategic vision. As Senior School Improvement Leader for the Trust, Bernadette leads on School Improvement, together with Teaching and Learning (including our 3-year Teaching and Learning Cycle); Continuing Professional Development; and Co-construction across the Trust. Bernadette provides School to School Support, including peer reviews, ‘deep dives’, and more intensive support for school senior teams for schools both in and outside of the Trust. Passionately committed to ensuring students achieve their full potential and are provided with the skills, opportunities and support to prepare them as ‘World Class’ citizens for the 21st Century, Bernadette enjoys working with schools both within the Trust and beyond.

Emily Bench

Head of MAT HR

Emily joined the Multi Academy team in 2021 as Head of HR. Emily has a built a wealth of experience within HR, including but not limited to employee relations, change management, recruitment and policy development. After graduating from Leeds University, Emily continued her studies completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management; she is also an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.  Emily is passionate about creating and delivering a HR Strategy that supports the Trust in their vision to deliver world class education for their students.

Jason Hart

Head of MAT IT Services

Head of IT Services at a successful Multi-Academy Trust across Coventry and Warwickshire with 19 years’ experience working within challenging environments. Supporting more than 3,800 students, 400 staff and members of the public users on the trusts network. A member of the SLT and leader of IT network managers and dedicated teams of IT Technicians, playing a key role supporting multiple education establishments. Responsible for driving the on-going improvements and daily operations of the trusts network infrastructure. A key leadership member shaping and formulating a three to five-year strategic vision with a supporting plan of action across all education sites. I was nominated by the trusts colleagues and won the ‘Staff Excellence’ award in 2016 for the most supportive staff member at a formal event in attendance with the Lord Mayor of Coventry.