The Executive Officers and Trust Office Team
Marcus Berdo Compliance Administrator
Marcus joined KCSP in February 2021 where he previously worked at the Charities Aid Foundation, as a Customer Service Advisor, dealing with all contact and queries regarding charitable donations. Marcus began his working career within Contact Kent, Kent County Council, where he undertook the role of Contact Point Customer Service Advisor and studied for a Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner qualification.
Michelle Boniface Company Secretary and Data Protection Officer (Executive Officer)
Michelle joined the Trust in May 2018 and began her career working with British Gas and Lloyds TSB Life, Pensions and Investments. She spent a number of years working for Cabot Credit Management and OneSavings Bank plc, a FTSE 250 company. Michelle holds a bachelor of laws degree from the University of Law, London and has worked within company secretarial functions in the financial services industry. She was formerly Senior Assistant Company Secretary at OneSavings Bank, where she acted as Secretary to subsidiary companies in the UK, Jersey and Guernsey, the Board Risk Committee and Risk Management Committee. Michelle also has experience of undertaking governance reviews, implementing authority matrices, has managed corporate insurances for subsidiaries in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and India and has experience of implementing new policies and procedures, privacy notices and information security requirements in line with the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.
Rachel Bushell Policy and Projects Manager
Rachel is a former pupil of two KCSP schools: St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary and St Gregory’s Catholic Secondary. Rachel worked for the Department for Education (DfE) for over ten years in a variety of roles from policy making to project & programme management. She works closely with academy leaders, so that academies can be reassured about policy compliance and reduce valuable time previously given over to policy production and review. Rachel also supports academies with safeguarding, HR matters and other cross-cutting projects.
Catherine Fearn Executive Assistant to the CEO and Executive Team
Catherine joined the Trust in November 2018 having worked as a Personal Assistant at Board level for over 13 years. Catherine worked for Time Inc. (UK) Limited, the UK’s largest magazine publisher, for a number of years as Personal Assistant to the Managing Director of Advertising; prior to this Catherine was Personal Assistant to the Finance Director of the British Museum and she also spent a number of years in a senior operational role at The London Dungeon.
Catherine is passionate about ensuring the efficient organisation of the Central Trust team so that they operate effectively and successfully at all times.
Sarah Flight CPD Coordinator
Sarah joined the Trust in May 2020 from a Teaching School and Academy Trust in the Midlands. In her previous role as Teaching School Manager Sarah took responsibility for the day to day management of the Teaching School including overseeing the delivery of CPD and large scale conference and events. Prior to this, Sarah worked for the National College of Teaching and Leadership where she managed a number of leadership development programmes. Sarah is passionate about ensuring all of the Trust’s staff are able to work to the best of their abilities and strongly believes that this can be achieved by providing outstanding CPD that is accessible for all staff.
Kirsten Hardman Clerk to the Trust Board
Biography goes here
Mark Harris Director of Finance and HR (Executive Officer)
Mark joined the Trust in September 2013. Beginning his career with British Coal, where he qualified as an Accountant, and was finance lead on a £500M project to sink the last deep mine in the UK. Moving into the education sector, Mark spent a number of years at Further Education establishments, leading on College new builds and re-location projects before moving to Northamptonshire County Council to work on school support services and academy transition. Prior to joining the Trust, Mark was Finance Director with an academy sponsor on the South Coast. Having worked in the academy sector for over 10 years, from both a local Authority and a Sponsor perspective, Mark is an avid supporter of the advantages that academy status can bring to schools. Mark was appointed a Fellow of the ICMA.
Emma Johnston Finance & HR Assistant
Emma joined KCSP in September 2017 from the National Trust where she had been providing finance and administration support across three sites. She began her career at Kent County Council where she worked for 15 years, including 8 years supporting schools with their finances in the Schools Financial Services team. During her time at KCC she qualified as an Accountant and worked across several other departments, including Landscape Services and KCC’s central finance systems team.
Heather Leatt Director of School Improvement (Executive Officer)
Heather joined the Trust in September 2016, moving from the London Borough of Lewisham where she was the Service Manager for School Improvement and Intervention, with responsibility for Early Years through to Post-16 standards and outcomes in the Borough. Heather has a wealth of experience in secondary and Further and Higher education and was a senior leader in one of Kent’s most challenging schools, with responsibility for raising standards in teaching and learning. She worked for Kent County Council for more than 7 years as a National Strategy English Adviser and School Improvement Partner. Heather was also a Lead Ofsted Inspector for a number of years. As Director of School Improvement Heather challenges and supports the Academies within the Trust to improve and provide the very best outcomes for the children and young people entrusted to the Trust’s care.
Anouska May Finance & HR Manager
Anouska worked for Kent County Council for 15 years, supporting Kent’s schools with all aspects of their finances. During this time she qualified as an Accountant. More recently she has been a part of Kent’s Schools Financial Services Training Team, providing training to Schools Finance Staff, Senior Leaders and School Governors.
Anouska is passionate about helping academies to make the best use of their funding to benefit the children’s education.
Sarah McBennett Senior Primary School Improvement Adviser
Sarah graduated with a B.Ed. Hons degree from St Mary’s College, Belfast in 1988. She was Headteacher of Our Lady of Victories Catholic Primary School, Kensington, London, where she led the school for almost 9 years taking it from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ both in respect of Ofsted s5 inspection and s48 inspection of Religious Education. As a committed, practising Catholic, Sarah brings a wealth of teaching and leadership experience and expertise. Sarah held leadership positions in several Catholic primary schools in Kent as well as spending 7 years in senior positions overseas before taking up her headship in London. She has also experience of Executive Headship.
Sarah is passionate about enabling all children to reach their full potential and firmly believes that having the highest aspirations for all, regardless of their starting points, is paramount to achieving better outcomes for all pupils.
Deborah Wakelin Primary School Improvement Adviser
Deborah has held several leadership positions across two large Local Education Authorities, Kent and Bedfordshire. She commenced teaching for ILEA, in Southwark in 1985, moving to the Far East in 1989, where she taught for several years in British and International schools, leading on Curriculum Development. Deborah undertook her Masters in Curriculum Management in 1996 and is currently studying for her Doctorate.
Deborah previously worked on a large-scale International School Development project in the Middle East, where she held an advisory role, working with Head teachers on Leadership Development and capacity building. Deborah has worked at Canterbury Christ Church University, having held the position of Director of PGCE and leading on Professional Studies for post graduate students.
Deborah is passionate that every child should experience an exciting and stimulating curriculum, that enables them to achieve to their very best.
Annemarie Whittle Chief Executive Officer
Annemarie began her career in publishing following completion of a History degree at London University. Later, Annemarie took a PGCE at the Institute of Education and became a Primary teacher in London, later moving to Kent. Annemarie has been a Catholic Headteacher for the past 18 years and has been an Executive Headteacher with KCSP since September 2018.
Throughout her teaching career Annemarie has been fortunate to carry out a number of roles including an Acting Local Education Officer, an Executive and Associate Headteacher supporting Catholic schools in Kent, a coach and mentor, and External Headteacher Examiner for Christchurch.
Annemarie is passionate about ensuring the provision of excellent Catholic education of the highest quality and standard for all of the Trust’s pupils and young people.
Chris Wright Primary Lead Expert
Chris graduated in 1998 with a BSc Hons degree in Science & Geography, and then went on to complete his PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church University in 1999. Chris has worked within schools for over two decades, both in the UK and internationally, and Chris retains a keen interest in developments in International Education. In 2007 Chris took up a teaching position at KCSP’s St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Whitstable, serving as Deputy Headteacher, Headteacher and then progressing to the role of Executive Principal of a cluster of 3 KCSP primary schools located in East Kent having been awarded the NPQEL qualification.
Chris has recently taken up the role of Primary Lead Expert with the Trust Executive team, and his wealth of knowledge and experience enable Chris to provide support & assistance of the highest level to the Trust’s school leaders in the delivery of improvement priorities in KCSP’s 19 primary academies.