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Learn Academies Trust

Learn Academies Trust

Learn-AT Central Team

Learn-AT is a school-led Trust. Collaborative professional learning and policy development  happens regularly through a range of networks including:

  • Head Teachers' Strategy Group
  • Chairs' Forum for Chairs of Local Governing Bodies
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy Group
  • Designated Safeguarding Leads Group
  • SENCO Network
  • Business Managers and Office Managers Networks
  • Faculty and Phase Networks

Personnel across the Trust, based in schools, contribute to trust-wide leadership and management, working closely with the central team.

  • Jane Jones


    A graduate of Law from Cambridge University, Jane had a thriving 18-year legal career in both public and private sectors. Transitioning to the education field six years ago, Jane's passion lies in children's education and well-being. Her goal is to work collaboratively with the Trust's senior leaders to create a positive, nurturing, and inclusive primary school experience for students. Jane is dedicated to challenging and supporting students to achieve their full potential, empowering them to confidently pursue present and future opportunities with courage and optimism.

  • Steve Roddy

    Director of Education and Deputy Trust Leader

    As Headteacher at Church Langton CE Primary School Steve led the successful application to launch Learn-AT Teaching School in 2017, which continues to operate as Learn-AT Professional, and launched Learn-AT Associate Research School as part of the Education Endowment Foundation funded Research School Network in 2018. As Director of these two elements of the Trust, Steve has successfully launched a partnership with Church of England Foundation of Educational Leadership to deliver National Professional Qualifications. Steve has served on the Board of Education for Diocese of Leicester and Leicestershire Education Effectiveness Partnership, and has been a governor at five different schools. He completed his Masters in Educational Leadership in 2021. As Director of Education/ Deputy Trust Leader Steve works to improve outcomes and opportunities for all of the Trust's children.

  • Wayne Burbidge

    Director of Finance and Operations

    Wayne brings many years of experience working as a Finance Director and in other senior roles in the private sector with small and large organisations and a wise and sustainable approach to Trust development. Wayne’s breadth of experience, enthusiasm and drive to simplify and improve Learn-AT's systems such as IT, Finance and Operations is releasing our teachers and school leaders' administrative burdens and enabling them to focus on learning, the main thing.

  • Louise Wiltshire

    Finance Manager

    Louise has many years of experience as a School Business Manager. Louise supports trust finance and the operational areas of risk management, procurement, Human Resources and Health and Safety.

  • Rebecca Lillie

    Accounts Assistant

    Rebecca graduated with a degree in criminology and worked for several years as a buyer and scheduler for the produce and packaging department of a food manufacturer, before joining Learn-AT as the Purchase Ledger. She is based in the finance team, processing all of the trust's income and expenditure. Rebecca has three children and holds the position of chair of their school PTA. She can often be found walking her dog Maggie and listening to country music. She also loves running and travelling, and is looking forward to a road trip across France and Spain later this year.

  • Joe Bladon

    Head of Digital Strategy (Infrastructure and Innovation)

    Joe works across Learn-AT academies to build a secure and efficient network which supports both trust wide management information systems and IT for teaching and learning.

  • Phil Lawson

    1st Line Service Desk Analyst

    Phil enjoyed a varied career before joining Learn Academies Trust in 2020. He previously worked as an Architectural Technician for a firm in London for a number of years, before changing career to work within the transportation departments of two European shipping line companies. After deciding that life in London was no longer for him, he became landlord of his own public house in Cambridgeshire, followed by a complete change of scenery when he moved to Spain. After the birth of his child, he returned to the UK to follow his true love of working with computers, taking up a role with Joe Bladon in the Trust's expanding IT department where he now supports all staff, students, Governors and Trustees as the First Line Service Desk Analyst.

  • Sue Benson

    Trust Information, Data and Communication Manager

    Sue is responsible for collecting and analysing data for the Trust, including staff, pupil and parent surveys and managing the Trust’s data dashboard. She also designs and produces formal communications such as the Trust prospectus, manages Trust policies and works closely with Susie to manage the Trust website and intranet. After graduating from Oxford University with a maths degree, she had a varied career working in information management and editorial roles in the non-profit and education sectors. While on a career break, volunteering to change books in her son’s Foundation Stage class led to five years as her working as a Teaching Assistant in Foundation Stage and Year 1 at Meadowdale Primary School, before becoming a Network and Communication Manager. She has worked for Learn-AT since 2017 in various communication and information management roles. In her ‘spare’ time she runs a local music charity as a volunteer and enjoys playing the cello and singing in a choir.

  • Susie Murtagh

    Trust Communication and Marketing Manager

    Susie leads on marketing and informal communications both for the Trust and for Learn-AT Professional, which provides professional learning and fellowship for staff. Amongst other things, she is responsible for social media, newsletters, market research and promotional materials, including digital and printed content, and improving staff and parental engagement. She also supports new schools joining the Trust as part of a project team. Susie has a degree in Communications and a Diploma in Executive Marketing and brings skills to the Trust from her previous communications roles in the private sector working for several large multinational companies. She joined the Trust in 2018 as an Office Manager, enabling her to gain front of house, operational experience. Outside of work her life is dominated by sport, with a houseful of ardent football fans and grassroots players. She sits on the Committee of her sons’ football club supporting their development and recently set up a ladies' netball club for like-minded players in her local area. She plays in a ‘friendly’ women’s netball league every week and often has the bruises to prove it!

  • Pippa Darbourne

    Trust Governance and Safeguarding Co-ordinator

    After a successful career as an Occupational Therapist in both the NHS and private sector, Pippa had a change of direction to suit her family life and joined Learn-AT as the Trust Governance and Safeguarding Co-ordinator in 2020. In this role she is responsible for organising and co-ordinating governance activities across the Trust, including ensuring that all minutes and papers from local governor and Trustee meetings are stored securely, maintaining a database of Trustees and local governors and their pecuniary interests, co-ordinating governor training and arranging clerking services for each school's local governing body. Pippa supports schools with their recruitment for new local governors and she completes new governor appointments using the Trust’s Safer Recruitment Processes. Pippa also coordinates stage 3 and 4 complaints across the Trust. Her role is to be impartial and support both parents and staff through the complaints process from an administration perspective. Pippa also coordinates panel hearings for a range of purposes on behalf of the Trust Board and liaises with the Trust’s Safeguarding Lead to provide administration support for Safeguarding across the Trust. Pippa enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors walking her dog. She loves visiting the theatre and watching musicals when she gets the chance.

  • Andy Blyth

    Trust Premises Manager

    Andy is responsible for overseeing premises management and as it relates to the buildings and other assets ensuring Health and Safety/ Compliance across the Trust.

  • Kully Gill

    Trust Finance and Operations Manager

    Kully graduated from university with a degree in business management and finance and has worked in the education sector since 2007. After previously working in an independent school, she joined Learn-AT in 2015 and now supports a number of schools by leading their operational processes and financial strategy. She has also worked across the Trust delivering improved admission arrangements. In her spare time she takes part in Bhangra classes every week. She also loves cooking and travelling and is looking forward to visiting Shanghai and Bali later this year.

  • Kate Jones

    Trust Finance and Operations Manager

    Kate started her career in the banking sector. As her career progressed she had the opportunity to lead UK wide teams focussing on the delivery of improved customer experience across a multi-channel business. After 17 years in the private sector, Kate made the move into the public sector, wanting to make a difference in education. After completing her School Business Management qualifications, Kate has worked in both stand-alone education settings and multi academy trusts. Kate joined Learn Academies Trust in 2017 and has worked closely with the school and central leadership teams to deliver process, HR, premises and operational improvements. Kate also has a trust-wide role in driving improvements in processes related SEN pupils. Outside of work, Kate is mum to three girls and two cute dogs. She loves to play rounders, watch sport and renovate her home.

  • Rebecca Hawthorne

    Trust Finance and Operations Manager

    Becky works as a Finance and Operations Manager supporting Blaby Stokes CE Primary, Red Hill Field Primary, All Saints CE Primary and Learn-AT Professional. Her role covers all things Finance as well as responsibility for Administration, Premises and HR. Becky first joined Learn-AT five years ago and prior to this spent 10 years working in the charity sector supporting Non-Maintained Special Schools for RNIB. Becky qualified in School Business Management 10 years ago and prior to this was an Office Manager. She has always enjoyed working as part of the school team and is passionate about effective systems and good customer service. Outside of work Becky enjoys time with her husband, children and her dog and loves a good camping trip in her VW Campervan!!

  • Vanessa Lingley

    Trust Finance and Operations Manager

    Vanessa has worked in education since 2009, and was Business Manager at Lubenham Primary School before Learn-AT was formed in 2016. Since then, she has covered the small schools of Lubenham, St Andrews, South Kilworth, plus Market Harborough CE Academy, as Finance & Operations Manager. She enjoys the challenge and variety of the role, overseeing finance, payroll & HR, procurement, and managing business operations such as catering, afterschool clubs and pre-schools, to ensure schools run efficiently and cost-effectively. Vanessa also looks after the chickens and the garden at Lubenham Primary School, and is keen on all things outdoors, especially camping and hillwalking. In 2014 she walked the Pennine Way with a tent and her dog!