Strategic Leadership and Improvement Team

Andy has vast experience in education. He was Director of School Improvement at CfBT, and Assistant Director of Education in Lincolnshire for 11 years, leaving when awarded School Improvement Service of the Year 2012.

CEO of an Educational Charity for 8 years, Ofsted inspector and Chief Examiner at A’Level for 21 years. Chair of a successful IEB for 5 years and Chair of the Improvement Board for Leicester. He has published 8 books and 25 research papers.

In his role as CEO, Andy leads the LET and advises the Trustees and Members with regard to the strategic direction of the Trust.

Steve has 20 years of headship experience across three academies, with a proven record of school improvement and curriculum innovation. Taking UAH from 420 pupils to 1366, introducing a sixthform which now has over 300 students and being accredited provider of apprenticeship and “T” Level qualifications.
He is the Executive Principal of UAH and UALS and was recently appointed as the Deputy CEO for the LET. He is currently completing he NPQEL.
His passion is addressing social mobility and student progress.

With 15 years’ experience of successful Primary school leadership across two academies, Sue is now the Executive Principal of HPA and HBA.   With a proven track record of sustained school improvement, Sue has taken HPA from “RI” to “Good” and is now leading the improvement and development of HBA at pace.
Sue believes strongly that pupils are at the centre of our work and that the involvement of the wider community in this develops positive working relationships with our parents and carers.

With a proven record of leading her school through Ofsted Outstanding and Investors in People Platinum awards, Louise is passionate about improving outcomes for our children with SEND. She is an active member of the NAS, sitting on the Development and Moderation Board and leading her school and outreach service to ‘Advanced’ status.

Sheila Paige is the Principal of the University Academy Holbeach.
Now in her second Principal’s role, she has many years of experience of leadership and successfully driving sustainable improvements in secondary schools within Lincolnshire.
Sheila is particularly skilled in the use of CPD and assessment to deliver improvements in Teaching ad Learning and pupils’ attainment.

Liam Davé is the Principal of the University Academy Long Sutton.
Now in the second year of his current role, Liam is leading the rapid improvement of UALS making use of his extensive previous experience in delivering improvements in teaching and learning across schools, curriculum design and assessment.
Liam leads on the use of Technology to support learning across the Trust.

Operational Manager for Working Together Team, Lincolnshire’s Autism/Social Communication SEND outreach service who hold Advanced Status Autism Accreditation for working across Lincolnshire schools. Vicki is also a vice principal for GHA, leads the Autism Education Trust Hub for Lincolnshire, is a member of the NAS Accreditation review team and serves on the Lincolnshire Autistic Society Committee.

Marion is the Finance Manager for the LET.
She has 40 years experience of accounts management and audit, 8 of which in academies.
She leads the Trust’s Finance teams and coordinates all financial reporting matters to external agencies and the Trust Board.

Ben is the Assistant Finance Manager for the Trust and Compliance Officer.
A chartered certified accountant, Ben assists the Executive Team in all compliance matters regarding Charitable Status, ESFA and DfE returns.

Nicola has been a senior leader since 2013, initially as a SENCo and then taking on deputy headship. As Holbeach Bank joined the LET in June 2018, Nicola became Executive Vice-Principal. A key role adopted more recently, is as safeguarding lead for the Trust, working in partnership with all the other academies.

In creating the Academies Act in 2010 and the subsequent changes in the 2011 Education Act a prime rationale was to allow Principals to manage their institutions free from the bureaucratic local authorities; giving heads the freedom to innovate and get best value for money. Giving Principals this freedom with meaningful checks and balances is fundamental to LETs thinking and we have found it to be very effective in running the Trust.


In establishing the Trust there were three key principles. Firstly the Trust must focus on the progress and wellbeing of all its children and young people, secondly giving our Principals the freedom to manage and thirdly holding them to account for their academies performance whilst ensure we had best value for money with maximum resources available for teaching and learning.


In some areas we must have a common approach for example finance and HR, because of the requirement for the Trust to have a consolidated budget and common employment policies because the Trust is the employer of all staff. Our academies vary significantly in size from 56 primary pupils (HBA) to over 1300 students aged 11 to 19 students (UAH), with primary, secondary and special academies the service provision needs to be flexible and tailored to meet the needs of our academies, rather than centrally imposed service provision, and where we have service contracts these often have flexibility to suit the specific needs of an academy’s context. The cost of services is frequently benchmarked against other trusts locally and nationally, although few if any trusts of comparable size to the LET have such a diverse mix of academies. 


The Trust does not take an annual top slice cut of academy funding to manage its central services, it simply charges actual costs of the services provided to each academy. This means central costs are clear transparent and attributed to each academy allowing each academy to challenge specific costs, a good discipline for any organisation. The Board has allowed the Executive team to determine how to structure its central service and the CEO has established the Operations Board with the core function of ensuring that the Trust has the efficient and effective services it needs. LET has a company address, which is the University of Lincoln, but has no base for its executive staff. This means there is significant cost savings related to overheads. Staff are based in individual academies as they all have dual responsibilities or are home based, using technology for communication.


In reviewing the different services, consideration is given whether where to have specialist in house staff or whether to go to tender. Ensuring the correct specification for contracts is critical whilst at the same time ensuring the contractor has the capacity to manage the activity and the ability to absorb any increased activity from us in the future; the potential risks associated with failing contracts are a concern with key services such as payroll and HR. The Trust is also determined that a contract that is not being delivered to our satisfaction will be terminated, a process which we have demonstratively carried out.


The Trust has sought to develop talent and expertise from within where possible, but also willing to buy in highly talented specialist staff when that is considered the best solution. The two new Principals at UAH and UALS are excellent examples of developing talent from within.


In contracting work the Trust will usually seek to align contract dates and then to set a contract for all our services at the same time; this can take time when the Trust acquires additional academies. The procurement of supplies uses exactly the same processes, be it oil or electricity; paper or photocopiers. Detailed analysis has shown that growth in the number of academies has not always demanded the same incremental growth in services, however it has become clear in certain areas the demands from the ESFA have placed greater demands on our infrastructure. This has resulted in us appointing a full time assistant finance manager and compliance officer who is ACCA and MAAT accredited.


It should be noted in terms of all service provision HPA and HBA are run as one academy in terms of leadership, governance and service provision.

The Lincolnshire Educational Trust sets the level of delegation to its executive staff and its Academy Governing Committees. It believes in delegating to the lowest level where accountability can be secured ensures that the structure is flexible enough to move quickly and address issues effectively.  The Trust has a very experienced CEO, DCEO and Executive Principals and many more very experienced staff at various levels in our academies. The Trust’s high level of delegated authority to its senior staff has been very beneficial to the Trust because of their commitment, skills and performance. Thus the Trust wishes to continue to support that philosophy. The Trust firmly believes the scheme of delegation should vary and depend upon the performance of any academy in the Trust and they expect the CEO to implement changes where necessary and report back to the Trust. The scheme defines where responsibility lies for decision making; this does not preclude discussion or engagement at other levels where the decision maker feels they can benefit from additional advice or guidance.


The CEO will if necessary also place constraints of budget spend where overspends are starting to occur. Executive staff are expected to draw up their own plans for major maintenance or new buildings and after discussion at the AGC, will seek approval by the Trust Board. These plans will not just appear they will have been discussed at length over a period of time.


The government’s decision to totally separate Trustees from AGC’s membership means finding a method of engaging Chairs of Governors in the management of the Trust is challenging. LET has chosen to do this through its Operations Board. This was introduced in 2017 and has proved to be a useful forum for working together and discussing key issues.

The Operations Board is the senior committee of the Executive and is a mixture of the senior executives and the Chairs of AGC’s who are non-executives. The CEO chairs the Operations Board, which will review key business, ensure we are working together where necessary, will advise on best value for money and will advise the CEO so the Trust is managed effectively. The core members will be CEO. DCEO, all Principals, Chair of AGC’s, in addition business managers/finance officers may also attend for parts of the meetings. This group will coordinate meetings, agree agendas, review contracts, and agree any joint ventures. The meetings will last for approximately 2 hrs. with 2 per term.


The CEO, DCEO and Executive Principals will meet once per term as a group to overview performance, compliance and other key issues.