Central Team

The Trust’s ethos is underpinned by a collaborative support model, with expertise being drawn upon from across the schools – enabling people within the Trust to develop and grow with opportunities to enhance their own professional learning. This ensures that leadership development remains at the heart of Kingfisher Learning Trust, with opportunities being provided to ensure quality and growth for leadership succession and different ways of working. In developing roles to ensure that Trust Schools are well led, optimum learning opportunities are provided for all children and staff, while working across the system to develop the professional practice of others.

Schools pay a central support fee from their GAG funding to enable the Trust to run and support the Central Team. This is regularly reviewed as the Trust grows to ensure it is kept to a minimum and schools can retain as much funding as possible to enhance each child’s educational provision.

Collaborative Trust Support 

  • CEO
  • Deputy CEO
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO)
  • Director of School Improvement
  • 2 Assistant Directors of School Improvement
  • Trust Accountant
  • Finance Officer
  • Trust Governance and Executive Assistant
  • Special School Directors,  SLEs & school expertise
  • Mainstream School Directors, SLEs & expertise

The expectation of movement between schools within the Trust (where staff desire this) will produce a pipeline of future leaders, by enabling a greater array of leadership positions, with shared practice and a stronger, larger specialist team from all schools.  Staff expertise is developed across the continuum of need within a wider group of schools improving outcomes for all children within the Trust. A key design principle of the Trust is the bringing together of the best practice from the special and mainstream schools– addressing the rising SEND provision issues both locally and nationally.

Anne Redmond CEO

MA (Process Consultancy), MA (Education), B ED (Hons), NLE, NPQH, DASE (Special Needs)

Anne Redmond has worked in special education for 36 years; she was the Headteacher of Kingfisher Special School, Oldham from January 2005 to August 2021 with the highest of aspirations and expectations. During this time, Anne led the school through four Ofsted inspections receiving 4 Outstanding Ofsted judgments in 2007, 2010 2014 and 2019. Anne is a National Leader of Education (NLE) and led a National Teaching School.

With Kingfisher forming a Multi-Academy Trust, Anne’s role is now leading the Multi-Academy Trust as CEO. Anne is an inspirational leader, passionate about raising standards and achievements for all.  She has a commitment to personal leadership discovery and developing and preparing leaders for the future through coaching and self-reflection. As such, she obtained her MA in Process Consultancy from the University of Manchester in 2013. In 2015, Anne was a Fellowship Programme participant, working on a question posed by the NCTL that focused on system leadership.

Anne underpins her work on collaboration and through the building of relationships. She played an active lead in developing the Oldham Schools Alliance (OSA) in response to the changing national policy context in relation to developing a self-improving school system. Anne was a Commissioner on the Oldham Education and Skills Commission and helped with the development of the Oldham Learning Board.

Lisa Needham Deputy CEO

LLE (2012), B ED (Hons), NPQH

Lisa Needham has worked in mainstream primary schools in Oldham for over 30 years. She has had over 15 years of Executive Leadership within two MATs (Focus Trust and now Kingfisher Learning trust). She led Roundthorn Primary School through two Ofsted inspections receiving Satisfactory in October 2007 and then Outstanding in 2011 and Coppice Primary School taking the school from Serious Weaknesses to receiving a judgement of Good in 2015. Lisa’s leadership is impactful in terms of academic outcomes and personal development and wellbeing of all learners including staff and parents. She is now leading the rapid journey of improvement at Medlock Valley Primary School.

As Deputy CEO Lisa is the strategic lead for Educational Excellence. She has a strong moral imperative and a very clear vision that ensures that children receive the very best education. She is driven by a commitment that all children, regardless of their starting point, will learn more and achieving more.

As an executive coach, she is passionate about developing and preparing current and future leaders to bring about positive and impactful improvements within and beyond their settings. She is a dedicated and hardworking system leader (LLE and Executive Leader) who strongly believes that improvements come about through collaboration. Lisa was a Commissioner on the Oldham Education and Skills Commission, helped with the development of the Oldham Partnership Board and sits on the Oldham Primary Heads Executive. Lisa is also a Trustee of The Oak Trust.

Michael Unsworth Chief Operating Officer (COO)

BA in School Business Management

Michael was the School Business Manager/Director at Kingfisher Special School since 2001 and is now the Chief Operating Officer for the Trust.

Michael’s role is to lead the operations of the Trust to ensure that they are compliant, offer best value and to ensure that each school maximises its benefits from being part of the Trust. Michael firmly believes in the role of School Business Managers and relationships and collaboration with a skilled support team at Trust and school level is crucial to ensuring that pupils in the Trust have the best resources available.

Michael is a Specialist Leader of Education and has previously held roles with the National College, including working as a tutor for the CSBM Programme and the SBM Advocate for the North West of England.

Kayleigh Byrne Director of School Improvement

BA (Hons) English and Media, PGCE in Primary Education, NPQSL.

Kayleigh is the Director of Primary within the central team with a responsibility for school improvement. This includes supporting development in teaching and learning and leadership at all levels. Kayleigh has a wide range of teaching experience in different school contexts from EYFS to year 6 and leadership experience as an assistant head, deputy head and head teacher. Kayleigh has provided support for schools across various local authorities in her role as an SLE and has previously led an initial teacher training programme and worked extensively with ECTs. Kayleigh is passionate about providing an engaging and fulfilling education for all and provides support, mentoring, coaching and guidance for schools to achieve this. She is particularly interested in research around effective strategies for teaching and learning, developing the curriculum offer and crafting bespoke continuous professional learning for staff to engage in.

Becci Shorrock Trust Accountant

BCS (Hons) Accounting & Finance

Fellow Member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Becci joined Kingfisher Learning Trust in 2021 as the Trust Accountant, having previously supported the Trust since 2016 as part of the Schools Finance Team within Oldham Council. Becci has experience within the private sector as an Accountant & Auditor and supported a large retail organisation as their Financial Accountant before moving to Education 10 years ago. Becci is supported by a finance team of School Business Managers and believes a strong finance team is vital in supporting the Trust.

Becci’s role as the Trust Accountant is to lead the financial operations of Kingfisher Learning Trust and support the COO in all financial aspects of the Trust. Becci sets high standards of financial probity and financial management and ensures the Trust maintains consistent robust financial controls and processes. Becci is responsible for the delivery of high quality, timely financial reports and offers strategic financial advice to the Trustees, Directors and Senior Management Teams. Becci works with Internal and External Auditors to produce the Trust’s annual financial statements, manages the budgets across the Trust and ensures that all statutory returns required are adhered to.

Michael Ball Assistant Director of School Improvement

BA (Hons) Sport Development with Physical Education, PGCE in Primary Education, NPQSL.

Michael is one of the Assistant Directors of School Improvement within the central team. Predominantly based at Medlock Valley Primary School, he has a responsibility to drive school improvement, support teaching and learning, and continually develop the curriculum offer. Michael has a real strength teaching in UKS2 and has a passion for ensuring children are prepared to embark on the next part of their education journey. 

Michael has vast experience supporting trainee teachers, mentoring ECTs and has assisted in delivering the Trust ECT programmes. He enjoys developing new teachers and is passionate about offering them an environment where they can flourish. 

Michael has provided support to schools with their mathematics curriculum, pedagogy and assessment – ensuring colleagues have the subject knowledge and confidence to accelerate progress.  As an SLE, he recently developed and facilitated a maths group amongst a local cluster of schools, focusing on challenge, assessment and early number. 

Sian Brown Assistant Director of School Improvement

BA (Hons) English and Cultural History, PGCE in Primary Education, MA in Teaching and Learning, NPQSL

Sian is one of the Trust Assistant Directors of School Improvement. Alongside fifteen years’ experience of teaching as well as various roles within middle and senior leadership across schools in Oldham, Sian is extremely passionate about school improvement. Sian’s experience spans various subjects but her expertise lies in English and enhancing the curriculum. Her English work can be seen across Trust schools but also within other schools across the authority through her role as a SLE. Her love of reading and writing is inspiring for both children and adults alike. Alongside her Trust and school based role, Sian is a Key Stage Two writing moderator for the local authority. 

Together with Sian’s teaching expertise and ability to improve practice in English, Sian has vast experience in supporting and developing Early Career Teachers, as a mentor, an induction tutor and an expert facilitator of training.   

Karen Taylor Trust Governance and Executive Assistant

Karen is the Trust Governance and Executive Assistant within the central team.

Karen has over 30 years of administration experience in both the public and private sector and is qualified as a School Business Manager.  She has worked at Kingfisher Special School since 2005 and held a variety of different roles such as Office and Office Manager and Director of Support Services which used her skills from the CSBM qualification.

As part of the central team Karen will ensure that the governance in the Trust is delivered effectively and also ensure everything is compliant and will oversee policy management within the Trust.

Using her extensive experience she will support the Executive Leadership Team.

Stephanie Barnes Finance Officer

Stephanie recently joined Kingfisher Learning Trust in October 23 and has over 12 years’ experience working within Business Administrator roles in the private sector.

In that time, she has supported businesses in the Administration and Accounts departments, whilst developing her skills within the roles, Stephanie progressed into the credit control team over the past few years at a previous company and gained interest in the financial aspects of the business.

Stephanie’s role as Finance Officer at the Trust is to provide timely and accurate records within the invoicing systems to ensure payments to suppliers are prompt and accurate, therefore providing up to date account records which enables the schools of the Trust to work off an up to date budget for the year.

As part of the Central Team, she will also be providing support to Becci the Trust Accountant with other duties. Stephanie is welcoming any new challenges and is moving forward with innovative ways of storing and processing invoices whilst organising each school’s supplier accounts.