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 UOLAT 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 UOLAT. 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 UOLAT.
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 Chief Financial Officer for the Trust.
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 Trust 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 Headteachers 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 through earned autonomy, with meaningful checks and balances is fundamental to UOLATs philosophy 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 well-being of all its children and young people, secondly giving our Principals the freedom to manage through earned autonomy 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.

The University of Lincoln Academy Trust is committed to providing a wide range of high quality services to enable its academies to focus on their core business of raising standards, improving progress and supporting for all our young people. We believe it is important to have good value for money and to achieve that we use a combination of in house and commissioned service; all services are designed and commissioned with the view that they can expand with any potential growth in the Trust. Each service has a Trust employee who is the lead officer for that service.

We delegate the full budget to each academy and charge each year the direct costs of that service based on agreed criteria. This ensures full transparency to staff and governors. It is also our policy that each academy maintains its own surplus, if an academy has a deficit, then the trust would make a loan to that academy, but will not pay off any deficit.

Although the CEO has operational responsibility for running UOLAT there is a strong belief in team work in the Trust and so most decisions within the delegated powers for the CEO are taken through the Executive Board. This comprises of the CEO, DCEO, Executive Principals, Principals and the CFO who meet every 2 to 3 weeks.

The Trust has a Strategic Academy Improvement Committee chaired by the Deputy CEO which has Executive Principals but also a senior member of staff from the University and 3 external members. This reports to the Executive Board.


University of Lincoln Academy 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. UOLAT has chosen to do this by regular meetings of the Executive Board and Chair of Governors Committee

The Executive Board reviews key business matters, performance and compliance to ensure we are working together where necessary and will advise on best value for money to enable the CEO to ensure the Trust is managed effectively. The core members will be CEO, DCEO, CFO and all Principals. 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.