Who’s who

Who’s who

Mark Mallender


Mark has experience of teaching in a variety of Primary settings. He was Headteacher of two Church Primary Schools over a period of ten years. Both schools were placed on the outstanding provider list as result of the Ofsted grade awarded under Mark’s leadership. His schools were also graded as ‘Outstanding Church Schools’ under the Section 48 SIAMS inspection framework on three different occasions during Mark’s tenure.

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Mark has worked as a senior advisor for a local authority and has experience of working with a variety of schools, some of which are in extremely challenging contexts. Mark has previously carried out Section 5 and Section 8 inspections in a lead capacity on behalf of Ofsted.

Mark has extensive links across the East Midlands with Teaching Schools and other successful MATs and is committed to effective partnership and collaborative working. Mark has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

Sarah Ferguson

Chief Operating Officer

Sarah’s role as Chief Operations Officer is to oversee the quality of support provided to the DDAT family of schools and ensure the schools are fully supported during the conversion process and beyond. Sarah is the day to day contact for DDAT schools within the Trust and provides advice across areas such as governance, finance, HR, site and buildings, procurement, and marketing. Sarah completes regular hub visits to each school to identify issues and identify areas for collaboration and economies of scale.

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Sarah has a background in education project management and has worked with schools and Local Authorities for over 11 years. Sarah has experience across all aspects of school and MAT operations as well as in managing new school projects to opening. Sarah has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

Jo Harris

Executive PA to CEO and Chief Operating Officer

Jo has over 30 years administration and PA experience. The last 21 years of which were working for LA Children’s Services Adult Education Service. Jo has significant administrative experience working with several multi-academy trusts and their local governing bodies in South Yorkshire. Jo has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

Declan McCauley

Deputy CEO (and Head of School Improvement)

Declan has experience of teaching across both the primary and secondary sector. Throughout his career he has held a number of senior roles. He was a headteacher for 14 years of a Church School. Declan has worked as a School Improvement Partner for two different Local Authorities and as such has vast experience of working with schools in a variety of contexts. Declan has been a section 48 inspector for Birmingham Diocese.

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Declan has led section 5 and section 8 inspections on behalf of Ofsted since 2009. Before joining DDAT Declan held the position of Principal at CFBT, one of Ofsted’s three inspection service providers. As Principal, Declan quality assured inspection and line managed a team of over 120 inspectors. Declan oversaw the training of lead inspectors as well as leading his own inspections and carrying out section 8 monitoring visits. As such Declan has vast knowledge of the Ofsted Inspection Framework. Declan has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

Richard Wetherall

Finance Director

Richard has been supporting the finance team in Derby Diocesan Academy Trust over the last 2 years and has provided additional finance support to newly formed Diocesan Multi Academy Trusts across the country. Having been at Lloyds Bank for 25 years, most recently as a Commercial Director, Richard is able to provide invaluable experience and knowledge both strategically and financially. Richard is a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and holds formal Financial Planning Certificate qualifications in addition to his commercial financial experience.

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Richard has taken over the Finance Director responsibilities with Derby Diocesan Academy Trust from March 2017.

Since taking over this role Richard has managed the implementation of a new, consistent finance system across the trust and developed improved monitoring and oversight procedures relating to the financial management and governance within the trust. Richard has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

Pat Mosley

Finance Manager

Pat joined the Derby Diocesan Academy Trust’s Finance Team in the early part of 2017. He holds a full AAT Finance Qualification and has over 16 years’ experience of supporting Derbyshire Schools.

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During his time with Derbyshire he was responsible for producing and monitoring budget plans for Schools within the Nursery, Primary, Special and Secondary sectors. Pat has an excellent knowledge of school funding, and in particular, he has significant experience in assisting and advising schools which are facing financial challenges.

Pat has also played a key role in the recent implementation of a new finance system in the schools, alongside developing systems to ensure the close monitoring of budgets, so that both the Trust and the Schools have a clear understanding of their financial position. Pat has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

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Dawn Bradley

Finance Assistant

Dawn recently joined the Central Derby Diocesan Academy Trust’s Finance Team (September 2020) and brings a wealth of experience gained in commercial and education sectors. She holds an AAT qualification.

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Dawn has worked in a Primary School office for 5 years, followed by 5 years supporting Derbyshire Schools with budget setting and monitoring budget plans. Most recently she has been working within the finance team for an inner city Multi Academy Trust.

Jason Hampton

Data Protection Officer

Jason’s role as DPO is to assist DDAT to monitor internal compliance, inform and advise the Trust on its data protection obligations, provide advice regarding Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) and act as a contact point for data subjects and the supervisory authority, the ICO. Jason has worked with DDAT since its inception in 2014 providing the Trust with Company Secretary, Board clerking and support services.

Jaime Barrett

Senior HR Officer

Jaime has 25 years’ experience working in Human Resources, with over 11 years of those working within Local Authority Children’s Services HR, supporting schools across Nottingham City and more recently in Derbyshire. She has a Master’s degree (Msc) in Human Resource Management and is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

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Jaime has experience of Governance in a Primary setting, which has allowed her to gain a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of school life and the challenges that schools face.

Jaime will provide professional HR advise and support to schools within the Trust on all aspects of people and change management. She will continually review and develop best HR practices, policies and procedure alongside DDAT colleagues and our employment solicitors, to support our academies to achieve their organisational strategies and objectives, whilst protecting them from the risk of litigation. Jaime has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

Hayley Wharton

HR & Finance Officer and School Business Manager

Hayley has over 15 years’ experience working for Derbyshire County Council, 11 years of which were working with schools including training the SBMs and Head teachers on how to use Finance, HR & Payroll systems (SAP), configuring SAP to accommodate the different Terms and Conditions for Academies and presenting the Single Status in schools’ road shows. Hayley has a Masters Degree (Msc) in Human Resource Management and is an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

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Hayley is working at Walter Evans Primary School as the School Business Manager and also for the Trust on both HR and Finance elements. She will provide help and support to all Academies across the Trust whilst improving and continually developing best practice models, policies and procedures alongside DDAT colleagues and employment solicitors. Hayley also has over 4 years accountancy experience and holds an AAT qualification as well as the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) qualification achieved during her training role. Hayley has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.


Ellie Johnson

HR Assistant

Ellie joined the Derby Diocesan Academy Trust HR team in 2020. Prior to joining DDAT, Ellie completed a graduate management trainee scheme working across HR, procurement, customer service and quality improvement, having studied a degree in Business Management with a year in industry. Ellie has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.


Charlotte Feder

Central Business Manager

Charlotte joined Derby Diocesan Academy Trust in April 2021.  Charlotte has a wealth of experience of School Business Management within a variety of different settings; from the private sector, enhanced resourced mainstream within Derbyshire County Council and a large Multi Academy Trust.  With over 10 years’ experience in Early Years, Primary and Secondary settings.  Charlotte has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

Jackie Stirland

Senior School Improvement Officer

Jackie has experience of teaching in a variety of Primary settings in three different local authorities. She was the headteacher of an inner city and a large county primary school over a period of eleven years in two different local authorities.  Jackie also leads and facilitates training for Early Careers Teachers and Early Years.

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Under Jackie’s leadership, in both schools, great improvements were made moving the schools from satisfactory to good with outstanding features. Jackie has worked and led schools that have many challenging contexts and was appointed as a Local Leader of Education.

Jackie has worked as a senior advisor for a local authority and has experience of working with a variety of schools in a range of contexts. During her time as an LLE and as a Local Authority SSIO Jackie has worked with schools in Special Measures and with her support has brought about rapid improvement.

Jackie has worked across several trusts as a school improvement officer and has good links with the local authority and teaching schools. Jackie has experience of undertaking school inspections. Jackie is committed to working in partnership with schools. Jackie has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

Sue Vasey

Senior School Improvement Officer

Sue has substantial teaching and leadership experience across a variety of secondary settings in three local authorities. Sue worked as a teaching and learning consultant supporting school improvement in the primary and secondary phases.  Sue leads and facilitates training for inspections, safeguarding, disadvantaged and curriculum.

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Sue has a breadth of experience working with schools in a wide range of contexts but specifically in challenging circumstances and those with high levels of deprivation.

Sue is currently a trustee of a multi academy trust and has provided support for many governing boards both within MATs and maintained schools.

Sue has worked with many local authority schools and academies and has strong links with teaching schools, teacher-training providers and the local authority and is committed to partnership working. Sue has vast experience of leading school inspections in both primary and secondary phases. Sue has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

Joanne Harvey

Senior School Improvement Officer

Joanne Harvey is a qualified teacher and formerly worked for Ofsted as a HMI. She regularly led inspections of schools in the maintained and independent sectors and inspections of children’s centres. She has particular expertise in working with  schools causing concern and the Early Years Foundation Stage.

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Prior to joining Ofsted, she had extensive experience of inspection in a range of settings in the UK and overseas, and has provided professional leadership for inspectors. She has worked internationally as a school improvement consultant and trainer, and held senior management positions, including headship, in primary schools. Joanne has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

Clare Cosser

Senior School Improvement Officer

Clare Cossor is one of our early years and primary education consultants. Clare has had over thirty three years experience as a successful teacher, leader, trainer and lecturer working across all phases of education.

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Most recently, this has included a six year headship of a nursery school with a specialist resource base for children with special educational needs and two and a half years as an HMI for the East Midlands. She has particular specialism in the early years, communication and language, primary leadership, working with parents, and all aspects of provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Prior to joining Ofsted as an HMI in April 2014, she had extensive experience of leading professional development in other schools, early years provisions and educational services. She provided support and training for leaders and practitioners through her work as a LLE and Local Authority Early Years Advisory Teacher and a nationally accredited trainer for the National Portage Association. Other aspects of her work have included action research around communication systems for children with special educational needs and contributions to national publications regarding working with parents.

She has been subject to an enhanced DBS check dated September 2016 and has the necessary liability insurances.

Mark Emly

Senior School Improvement Officer

Mark has extensive experience of special educational needs. He has worked in special schools in three Local Authorities as a teacher, deputy headteacher and then as a headteacher in two all age special schools. He also has post graduate qualifications in this field.

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Mark worked as a Senior School Improvement Adviser over many years, undertaking all aspects associated with that role and was a qualified school improvement partner in both special and primary schools. Subsequently he moved into a strategic role as an Assistant Director for Learning, Access and Inclusion in a Local Authority. Mark has carried out Ofsted inspections for over 17 years across all phases and is also involved in Local Area SEND inspections.

Mark is currently a trustee of a Multi-Academy Trust with a predominance of special schools and support centres and is a Governor of a local Primary Church School. Mark has been a trustee for 25 years of a national charity which works specifically with professionals who work with children and young people with special educational needs in special and mainstream schools. Mark has been subject to an enhanced DBS disclosure.


Ged Philbin

Senior School Improvement Officer

Ged is a qualified teacher and holds the National Professional Qualification for Headship. Ged’s education experience has primarily been in the East Midlands. He trained as a teacher in Leicester and took up his first teaching post in Nottinghamshire over 30 years ago. Ged gained extensive experience as a subject leader, deputy headteacher and a headteacher in several primary schools across the East Midlands. Ged’s most recent headship was at a Derbyshire school and during his final years there worked as an Associate School Improvement Advisor (ASIA) for the LA and also trained as a lead Ofsted inspector. The ASIA role involved supporting and challenging headteacher colleagues along with HTPM.  In addition to Ged’s headship responsibilities he has also led on whole school assessment, raising achievement and curriculum development.  Ged leads and facilitates training for Recently Qualified Teachers and English/reading.

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Ged regularly leads  S5 and S8 inspections for Ofsted as well as undertaking  significant number of team roles. Prior to moving to work for DDAT Ged worked for  Derby City Council, as a SSIO, where he was involved with all aspects of school improvement. Ged had specific responsibilities for NQT Induction and an Opportunities Area programme aimed at reducing exclusions in key stage 3.

Ged  worked, in a link capacity, with a number of academies across Derby and Derbyshire and these have included DDAT schools. As part of DDAT Ged is adding to the high levels of expertise that the school improvement team provides for its schools and, going forward, with DBE colleagues.

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Deborah Peacock

Safeguarding Consultant Children and Young People

Debbie has recently joined us having had a 37 year social work career with Derby and Derbyshire Local authorities. Debbie is passionate about keeping children safe and has extensive skills, knowledge and expertise in safeguarding and child protection. Debbie is joining the team to assist the trust in strengthening practice and in quality assurance.

Sarah Gent

Lead Practitioner of Teaching and Learning

Sarah has substantial teaching experience in primary schools in Derbyshire. She has a strong track record of outstanding teaching, subject leadership and leading change in schools. She supports schools to improve teaching and learning across the curriculum and to increase levels of attainment.

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Her role within the School Improvement Team is to model and support good practice across the Trust. She offers mentoring, coaching, training and support with planning, assessment and curriculum to teachers.

Sarah is a qualified SLE for maths and delivers CPD courses on implementing a mastery curriculum, using manipulatives and promoting reasoning skills. As well as expertise in maths, Sarah has extensive experience in improving writing outcomes, teaching and embedding scientific thinking and ensuring progression in MFL.

Jayne Hadfield

Jayne Hadfield

Head of Governor Services

Jayne has worked in the local authority for over 20 years and was instrumental in setting up the Governor Support Team for Derby City Council in 2002. Jayne is keen to support Clerks and Governors’ to help them in their role fulfilling their core functions. Jayne is passionate about quality up-to-date training being available for governors and clerks to enable them to be confident, strong, challenging and thereby meeting the six key features of effective governance.

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Jayne manages the Governor Support and Advice Helpline, GovernorHub and the yearly training programme for governors and clerks. She has vast experience in advising schools and governors on the governance regulations, the Governance handbook and how to deal with Complaints. She has arranged and delivers a wide array of courses covering the Competency Framework of Governance and has arranged successful Conferences across Derby and Derbyshire. Jayne regularly updates Governing Bodies and heads with national governance updates.

Jayne is a member of both the National and Regional Co-ordinators of Governor Services group and is a qualified Professional Co-ordinator of Governor Services. Jayne works alongside the Senior School Improvement Officers to appropriately challenge and support schools and governing bodies. Jayne is currently a Parent Governor at a Secondary Academy and has been Chair of a Pre-School Management Committee.


Michael Ford

Director & Chair of the Board

Michael is an experienced Programme Director and Business Improvement Consultant with a background in corporate governance in the education sector.

Michael has worked within private and public sector organisations and has been involved in the successful completion of several large transformational projects including setting up and establishing Multi Academy Trusts, opening of Free Schools and Academies and implementing risk management frameworks at large organisations.

Over the past few years Michael has worked closely with Derby College Group and has managed a number of complex projects, supporting the College with its achievement of a Good OFSTED judgement.

Michael was appointed as a Director of DDAT in 2016 and is also a member of the DDAT Audit & Finance Committee.

Mark Mallender


Mark has experience of teaching in a variety of Primary settings. He was Headteacher of two Church Primary Schools over a period of ten years. Both schools were placed on the outstanding provider list as result of the Ofsted grade awarded under Mark’s leadership. His schools were also graded as ‘Outstanding Church Schools’ under the Section 48 SIAMS inspection framework on three different occasions during Mark’s tenure.

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Mark has worked as a senior advisor for a local authority and has experience of working with a variety of schools, some of which are in extremely challenging contexts. Mark has previously carried out Section 5 and Section 8 inspections in a lead capacity on behalf of Ofsted.

Mark has extensive links across the East Midlands with Teaching Schools and other successful MATs and is committed to effective partnership and collaborative working. Mark has been subject to enhanced DBS disclosures.

Sheila Lock


Sheila is an experienced senior leader in the field of public service, having been a local authority Chief Executive and a Director in a number of local authorities. Sheila has also completed assignments on behalf of central government working for the Departments of Health and Education. Having trained as a Social Worker her area of real interest is services to children and young people and she has led the transformation of Children’s Services in a number of authorities requiring improvement Delivering the best outcomes and supporting young people to reach their potential is at the heart of the principles to which she works.

Currently the chair of two safeguarding partnerships in London and the chair of a a partnership in Yorkshire, one area of expertise is safeguarding, she has given evidence to national enquiries and written extensively in this field. Alongside this Sheila runs a small company specialising in management support across the public, private and charitable sector.

Dr. Sarah Charles


Dr Sarah Charles is the Head of the Institute of Education at the University of Derby where she continues to teach on a range of UG and PG Initial Teacher Education programmes. She is an experienced Governor and Multi Academy Trust Trustee. Prior to joining the University of Derby, in 2006, Sarah worked, for ten years, in the primary education sector where she taught across the 5-11 age range, in schools in challenging circumstances, and undertook a range of management/leadership roles. She has a commitment to promote inclusive practice and is an active researcher in the field of dyslexia and LGBT+ issues.

Holly Gascoigne


Holly is passionate about children’s education which is why she chose to work at the Department for Education where she has been working as a policy advisor for the last 9 years. Holly has a responsibility of supporting the management of the Holiday Activity and Food programme which supports the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children in the country. Holly has developed numerous skills during her time at the department including programme and financial management. Holly hopes to share as much experience as she can with the team and continue learning new experiences.

Prior to this posting Holly was a medical secretary for the oncology department at the Nottingham City Hospital, here she not only gained experience in organisation and diary management skills but she first learnt what high level and effective written and verbal communication really meant.

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The Venerable Carol Coslett

Director, Archdeacon of Chesterfield

Archdeacon Carol is responsible for the northern half of the Diocese of Derby, the Chesterfield Archdeaconry, including a large area of the Peak District and the High Peak, and North East Derbyshire – a total of 131 parishes.

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Archdeacon Carol was formally welcomed to the Diocese of Derby on Saturday, 10 March 2018 at the parish church of Chesterfield, St Mary and All Saints, the Crooked Spire.

Archdeacon Carol joined the Diocese of Derby from the Diocese of Southwark, where she served as a parish priest, an Honorary Canon of Southwark Cathedral and Acting Archdeacon. She said: “I see myself being the eyes and ears of the Bishop in the archdeaconry, the diocese and the parishes – helping to work out problems, assisting with strategies and looking after church buildings and legalities.”


  • The Bishop of Derby, The Rt Revd Libby Lane
  • The Diocesan Director of Education (DDE) for Derby
  • The Derby Diocesan Board of Education
  • The Diocesan Secretary of the Derby Diocesan Board of Finance
  • Anne Martin