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. He is a trained Pupil Premium Reviewer, a member of the Department for Education’s Secondary Headteacher Reference Group and in January 2019 was elected Regional Lead (West Midlands) for the Teaching School Council.

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.

Melissa Gambles – HR Manager

Appointed at HR Manager at John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust. Melissa is a qualified Member of the CIPD, and started her career in the private sector, gaining a wide range of generalist HR expertise before joining Birmingham City Council in 2004 and working closely with schools as an Employee Relations specialist for a number of years. More recently she has supported a variety of SMEs on all matters HR and has maintained her interest in education through her role as a Governor at a local school. She is looking forward to using her experience to support all the Trust schools.

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.

Sophie Gallagher – Management Accountant

Appointed as Management Accountant in September 2021 at John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust. Sophie completed the AAT qualification in 2005 and has a wealth of experience as an accountant in the public sector. She works closely with all schools within the trust including the Teaching School Hub and Research School.

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.

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.

Michelle O’Dell – Attendance Intervention Manager

Michelle was appointed as the trust’s Attendance Intervention Manager September 2020.  As an experienced former head teacher, across a wide variety of settings, including both primary and secondary schools, she understands the importance of excellent pupil attendance at school not only in terms of its impact on educational outcomes but also on pupils’ emotional and social well-being.  She has worked in a supportive and collaborative way with many pupils, families and their communities to facilitate regular attendance at school and ensure positive school experiences.

Michelle works with and supports our pupils, their families and schools to further promote excellent pupil attendance within the trust.

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.