Meet Our Team
Chief Executive Officer
Julie has significant experience of effective school improvement and as an NLE has previously been deployed as interim Headteacher in schools causing concern. She is passionate about the school led system and formed Extol Trust to further enhance system leadership in the North East. Julie has experience of working with primary and secondary Leadership Teams to promote effective and sustainable change management. She has been deployed through the DfE School Improvement initiative in both primary and secondary school settings.
Julie currently sits on TeachFirst's North East Strategic Board and has supported their development of the Early Careers Teaching programme. Julie also sits on another MAT Board; Galileo's Trust, where she chairs their Education and Standards Committee.
As CEO, Julie has developed a different professional skillset than that of a Headteacher. She has gained insight into project management, managing change, talent strategy, financial predicting and metrics around financial sustainability within a complex organisation of a Trust, thus creating a sustainable community of improvement.
Teaching and Learning Lead
Deb has worked in education for 29 years. She started her teaching career in Sunderland, moving to Hartlepool after three years to lead a key stage. She has led many subjects across the years, including English and Maths. Leadership experience was gained as a Deputy Headteacher for several years and acting Headteacher. Following this Deb moved to work as a Primary Mathematics Consultant/ Adviser for Hartlepool Local Authority. Working across 31 primary schools supporting leadership teams and driving school improvement, as well as leading central and school based professional development. This work afforded her the opportunity to lead Moderation in Year 2 and Year 6 both across Hartlepool and Darlington. She led a team to verify standards of writing, reading and mathematics.
As Teaching and Learning Lead for Extol Trust she is able to utilise her skills and experience to support our passion for teaching and learning and raising expectations in our schools. Coaching staff, and supporting them to be a better version of themselves, forms a large part of her work. Networks are used across the Trust to share research, experience, and enhance our curriculum offer to our community of pupils, all voices are heard within these, all opinions count, ECTs to Headteacher. Through working with schools on an individual basis, and as a collective, she can support and advise on their bespoke developments to secure improvements in each school.
Chief Finance Officer
Elliot is Extol’s lead on both finance and accountancy. He has a number of years experience of working within the public sector, this included supporting schools within a LA and gaining experience of different streams of funding.
Elliot manages our finance team and ensures quality of service to our schools, this is evidenced in feedback from one of our Headteachers:
Working with Elliot, CFO, has given me the knowledge and skills to proactively address budgetary issues faced by the school. Clearly, he has a wealth of experience to draw upon. Decisions are made in partnership, they do not take away from the children or staff but uphold our core principle of putting our children first. Children remain at the heart of our community, ensuring they have the resources available to them allowing them to learn and thrive. Wendy Nelson Headteacher Thorntree Academy
Elliot is a fully qualified chartered accountant having undertaken the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Professional Qualification, we believe this enhances the service to our schools in terms of clarification over such things as National Funding Formula and responding to ESFA announcements in a timely manner.
Elliot is also an accredited School Resource Management Adviser (SRMA) and undertakes deployments commissioned by the ESFA across the North of England. His work supports schools and local authorities to look at efficiencies within their budgets.
People and Culture Manager
Chris comes to Extol as our People and Culture Manager and brings with him over 5years of HR experience from Further Education as a Senior HR Business Partner. Chris also has Management experience from the retail sector prior to this and understands the importance of providing a customer focused service for all.
Chris enjoys working collaboratively with stakeholders and much prefers alternative dispute resolutions over the more traditional HR processes.
Senior Finance and Compliance Officer
Emma worked for Hartlepool Borough Council for over 14 years in a variety of finance roles, the majority of which were linked to education finance.
Emma has experience of working closely with Headteachers and School Business Managers, providing support and advising on support and advising on sound financial management procedures in the education sector
Prior to joining Extol Trust Emma was the Lead Business Manager in a busy secondary school for over 10years.
Emma is a part qualified accountant, having completed CIMA Diploma in Management Accountancy
Emma is looking forward to applying her knowledge and skills within the Extol Trust.
Darron joined Extol Academy in April 2020 and is the strategic lead on all estate operations.
He has a background of more than 30 years in the construction industry. For 19 years of his career, Darron worked for Hartlepool Borough Council as both a Project Manager and Principal Architectural Technician working on various new build, refurbishment and maintenance projects across the local authorities portfolio of buildings, providing design, project management and technical input into all of the schemes, this included many educational settings.
Darron liaises with the management teams at each academy site offering input into all estate functions.
Trainee Accounting Technician
Jordon is a key member of our finance team which operates a fully centralised finance function; from placement of purchase orders, invoice processing and BACS payments.
Jordon joined Extol Trust as an apprentice, and is currently undertaking the AAT qualification at Hartlepool FE College. These studies have helped Jordon quickly develop his skills and knowledge of Accountancy which he has been able to transfer into Trust operational financial procedures.
Jordon has developed positive working relationships with both schools and Trust suppliers.
Ethan is the most recent addition to the Extol Trust Central Team assisting with the daily finance function of the Trust.
Ethan has joined Extol as an apprentice and is currently working towards his AAT qualification at Hartlepool College of FE, and the same time gaining lots of practical experience workingin a busy finance team.