Our Central Support Team
at John Taylor Multi Academy Trust

Mike Donoghue – CEO

Mike was appointed Headteacher at John Taylor High School in January 2010 and designated a National Leader of Education in March 2013. He oversaw the first change to ‘converter’ academy status of an ‘outstanding’ school in Staffordshire in November 2010 and worked alongside other professional colleagues towards John Taylor’s designation as a National Teaching School, again one of the first in Staffordshire. In 2014, Mike was elected to the inaugural Headteachers Board for the Regional School Commissioner (West Midlands) and was subsequently re-elected in September 2017 to serve a second, three-year tenure and then elected in 2021 to serve on the Regional Director (West Midlands) Advisory Board. He is a trained Pupil Premium Reviewer, a member of the Department for Education’s Secondary Headteacher Reference Group and works with colleagues to co-ordinate the Trust and School Improvement Offer across the West Midlands for the Department for Education.

Barbara Mahoney – Chief Operating Officer & Company Secretary

Appointed as Business Director at John Taylor High School in February 2013, Barbara brought 9 years of previous experience working at that level in Staffordshire schools in both the secondary and academy sectors. She was appointed as a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) in School Business Management in October 2014 and has worked closely with the CEO in developing the Multi-Academy Trust since its inception in 2014. Barbara was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer for the Trust in April 2018 and has strategic responsibility for Finance, Human Resources, Premises Management, Health and Safety and Free School Project delivery.

Sarah Boyce – Trust Development Officer

Sarah was appointed as PA to the Principal at John Taylor High School and Clerk to the Local Governing Body in 2008. Sarah became PA to the CEO and Clerk to the MAT Board in July 2015 providing advice and guidance around policy at Trust level. Sarah recently completed the NCTL Clerks Development Programme and is Chair of the MAT Clerking Network Group and the founder of the JTMAT Annual Governance Conference. In addition to this Sarah was a member of the Project Delivery Team for John Taylor Free School which opened in September 2018. In June 2019 Sarah was appointed as the Trust Development Officer.

Lisa Coop – Finance Manager

Appointed at John Taylor High School in 2005 as Finance Assistant and became Finance Manager in May 2011. Lisa completed the Certificate of School Business Management in 2010 and is working towards completing her AAT Level 4 qualification. Lisa works closely with the COO and all schools associated within the Trust.

Lorraine Godber – Company Accountant

Appointed as Company Accountant at John Taylor High School in November 2017. Lorraine became ACA qualified with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales in 2002 and has previously worked as an auditor for an accounting practice and in industry as a Financial Accountant. Lorraine works closely with all the Trust schools and manages the internal audit process.

Becky Rodi – Management Accountant

Becky was appointed in Sept 2022 as Management Accountant for the John Taylor MAT.  After leaving school she studied the AAT and progressed on to CIMA where she qualified in 2008 as a Management Accountant.  Becky temporarily changed careers to teach GCSE Mathematics in order to fulfil family obligations, but she is very happy to be back with Excel.  Becky works closely with all Trust schools, the Teaching School and the MAT finance team.

Lisa Farmer – Primary School Improvement Partner

Lisa was appointed as headteacher at Thomas Russell Infants School in 2005, after 5 years as Deputy headteacher in Birmingham’s largest Primary school. Lisa became Co-headteacher in 2009 and from September 2017 was appointed as the MAT Primary School Improvement Partner.

Lisa provided headship, via a year-long secondment, to another school in the Trust to cover a maternity absence for the then acting headteacher, and is currently providing support for a sponsored school joining the Trust. She has supported a new Headteacher through their NPQH and is a keen member of WomenEd networks.

Lisa was the co-author of a successful primary Free school submission and is subsequently a member of the Free school project delivery team.

Gill Martin – Secondary School Improvement Partner

Joining the MAT team in 2018 as part time secondary School Improvement partner for our secondary phase academies, Gill is a very experienced senior leader, a trained Ofsted Inspector and an accredited Pupil Premium Reviewer. In 2015 she became Director of the National Forest Teaching School and established the John Taylor SCITT, both of which play a significant role in securing improvement in our schools, offering initial teacher training and professional development opportunities to ensure the supply and development of teachers and leaders in our academies. As school Improvement Partner Gill’s role is to work collaboratively with the CEO and Primary School Improvement Partner to disseminate and implement the School Improvement Strategy across the trust. She is a member of the Executive Group and the Achievement and Progress Committee.

Sian Carter – HR Manager

Appointed as HR Manager at John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust. Sian is a qualified member of the CIPD, starting her career in law before moving into National Careers Service and local authority roles, gaining a wide range of generalist HR expertise. In 2014, Sian joined an HR consultancy business advising schools and academies for a number of years, including extensive delivery of professional development training. More recently she has supported a variety of SMEs on all matters HR and has qualified as an accredited coach. She is looking forward to using her experience to support all the Trust schools.

Mark Harris – Estates Manager

Appointed to the role of Estates Manager in October 2022, Mark is a qualified building services engineer with over 25 years’ experience working in local authority and healthcare property teams. He is an experienced contract administrator and has worked as part of a multi-disciplinary team responsible for the maintenance and building compliance to over a hundred secondary, primary and infant school sites. He is an experienced project manager and has worked with main contractors in the development of new schools and capital improvement works to existing sites.

Mark Crompton – Strategic Network Manager

Appointed as ICT Technician at Kingsmead School in 2003. Mark has previous IT experience within the primary sector within different local authorities. During his tenure at Kingsmead he has worked on several large project including the combining of admin and curricular network, the first in Staffordshire, infrastructure developments, bespoke web based solutions and VoIP telephony.

Joining John Taylor Multi Academy Trust in January 2016 he has overseen the development of Trust’s network, as well as negotiating reduced Service Level Agreements for our partner schools. In 2017 he was appointed as a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) and is busy implementing the Trust’s ICT vision including increasing use of Office365, SchoolIP and other innovative systems.

He has a keen member of the Executive Group and played a critical role in the configuration, procurement and delivery of the ICT systems at the John Taylor Free School.

Andrea Packer – Trust Strategic Attendance Manager

Andrea was appointed as the Trust’s Strategic Attendance Manager in November 2023 and brings 19 years’ experience working in the field of attendance in a variety of local authorities, schools, further education and a multi-academy trust.   She is experienced in supporting schools and working with children, young people, and families.  Andrea believes there is a strong relationship between child safeguarding, mental health, family wellbeing and excellent school attendance.  Due to this, Andrea’s knowledge, skills and experience revolves around working with and supporting schools and families via a child centred approach.      

Due to Andrea’s success, she was appointed to the National Executive Committee of the Association of Education Welfare Management and is a regular speaker on Attendance at conferences across the UK.  

Jo Turrell – SEND Reviewer and Advisor

Jo was appointed to the role of Leader of Inclusive Education (inc. SENDCo) at John Taylor High School in 2018. This followed a wide variety of roles including that of special needs teacher, SENDCo, advisory teacher and trained SEND Reviewer. She has worked across all phases in both mainstream and specialist settings within several counties and currently delivers the SEND Training for the Secondary SCITT programme.

Jo joined the John Taylor MAT Core Support Team in 2022 as a SEND Reviewer and SEND advisor. She will work collaboratively with schools to ensure equality of access for all of our students regardless of SEND or diversity.

Rachel Snary – Marketing & Communications Officer

Rachel joined the Central Team in October 2022, to establish Marketing and Communications across the Trust. She has significant experience in Marketing, having worked for both Global and UK businesses across Retail and several FMCG sectors. She has been responsible for creating, leading and delivering strategic brand plans as well as implementing a wide variety of integrated Communications plans across all media to step change brand performance.

Her remit in the Core Team is to develop and implement an effective Marketing and Communications strategy for the Trust, to reinforce and support the strategic direction and growth. She will also work to ensure a cohesive brand image and develop communications across the Trust.

Zahida Javid – Attendance Support Officer

Appointed as Attendance Support Officer in February 2023, Zahida has six years of experience in school attendance, which has equipped her with in-depth knowledge of attendance policies, procedures, and best practices. This has enabled her to develop and implement effective strategies to ensure improved attendance across schools. Prior to this role, Zahida has also made significant contributions to diverse business consultancy projects across various sectors. Her experience in business consultancy and degree in Management has provided her with a broader perspective on the challenges and opportunities that exist in different sectors.

Emily Baker – HR Officer

Appointed to the new role of HR Officer at John Taylor Multi Academy Trust in March 2023. Emily started her career in HR with Barclays Bank where she worked in recruitment and selection for the West Midlands and West region.  She then moved to a local authority setting where for the last 20 years she has gained generalist HR experience and supported business lines in many areas.  Emily has a Masters degree in Human Resource Management and is a member of the CIPD.  

Ian Bridgen – Estates & Facilities Officer

Appointed to the position of Estates and Facilities Officer June 2023, Ian has 12 years’ experience working within Facilities Management and Estates within the Education Sector. Originally delivering training and managing Soft Facilities Management Services for Local Authority Schools he expanded to Hard Services and Total Facilities Management for a range of contracts. An experienced project manager delivering Lifecycle Replacement and Capital Improvement projects.

Phil Eyre – Senior ICT Technician

Phil has been in the IT industry for 23 years – the majority of which he spent at Repton School. He joined as an IT Technician and was promoted to Senior Technician then onto Systems Administrator, Network Manager and finally Services Manager. He remained there until the IT team was made redundant in 2020. He then worked in the commercial sector as an IT Systems Analyst, before joining the team at JTMAT in September 2023 and is very much enjoying being part of the Trust team.

Chris Ricketts – ICT Technician

Appointed as ICT Technician in September 2020, Chris joined the Trust with 12 years of educational IT support experience. In these roles he acquired a wealth of knowledge in all areas of network administration, associated infrastructure and systems management. These experiences are put to good use as Chris’ time is split between planning technological developments throughout the Trust and directly supporting IT in partner Primary schools.

Fiona Guy – HR and Admin Assistant

Appointed to the role as HR and Admin Assistant at the John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust in September 2021. Fiona brings a wealth of experience to her new role.

Nicki Manku – Finance & Admin Assistant

Appointed to the role as Finance and Admin Assistant at the John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust in September 2023, Nicki brings 12 years’ experience from an Accounts post held within the Main Library at the University of Birmingham. Nicki works alongside Lisa Coop (Finance Manager) to offer support to Trust schools.