Gillian is responsible for assuring and safeguarding the standards of education across the Trust.
Gillian was the Headteacher of Cyril Jackson Primary School (2004 – 2019) and she was also Interim Executive Headteacher of Ben Jonson Primary School (2013-15) steering the school through a challenging period. Prior to these roles, Gillian gained extensive middle and senior leadership experience working in a range of primary schools. At her most recent OFSTED inspection, Cyril Jackson Primary School was graded ‘Outstanding’ in every catergory’ and very proud of the school’s journey to this achievement. Gillian mentors many team members to achieve senior leadership and headship roles and provide ongoing support to colleagues locally, nationally and internationally.
A passionate educator and school leader with a simple, person-focused philosophy: to ensure all the children and staff in her care have high aspirations for themselves (and each other) and that everyone is offered the very best learning environment to achieve success. Inclusion is fundamental to Gillian’s holistic approach and she ensures that each and every member her school community is enabled to maximise their potential.
Gillian believes all students and educators deserve excellence however recognises this can only be achieved through perseverance, commitment and high expectations. She strives to deliver the best outcomes for her school in return for a positive mindset and willingness to work together to achieve a shared vision. Her specialisms include Strategic leadership and management, whole school improvement including raising and sustaining standards and aspirations for all, Primary phase teaching and learning, Inspiring and building teams, individuals and future leaders, Data analysis and Preparing for OFSTED inspections. Gillian operates an open-door policy and warmly welcomes every opportunity to drive improvements through collaborative working and personal growth.
Director of Finance & Operations
Richard trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Touche Ross (now Deloittes), who are one of the Big Four accountancy firms in 1992. After leaving Touche Ross, Richard worked in a number of accountancy practices, ranging in size from sole practitioners to medium sized practices, gaining experience across a number of sectors including charities, housing associations, solicitors, motor dealers and metal traders. Whilst this work was mainly in audit, Richard also worked in accounts preparation, personal and corporate tax as well as running payrolls for a number of clients, which has stood him in good stead for his work in the educational sector.
Richard entered the educational sector when he joined Mossbourne Community Academy as Director of Finance in 2005. At the time the academy sector was new with just 15 academies nationally. Whilst at Mossbourne Community Academy he oversaw the finances as the academy grew from just a single year group to a full school and took responsibility for the building of a sixth form extension and a further extension for autistic sixth form pupils. As the Mossbourne became one of the country’s most successful academies, the Trust grew to a multi academy trust of four schools of which two of the new schools were new schools and Richard was responsible for the building of Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy. Throughout his time at Mossbourne, systems (finance, HR and IT) were implemented to meet the growing and changing needs of the Trust. Whilst at Mossbourne, Richard was also a member of the Hackney Pensions Board for the Local Government Pension Scheme.
On leaving Mossbourne in 2016, Richard joined St Matthew Academy and oversaw the transformation of that academy’s financial fortunes through a staff restructure. In 2017 Richard then joined the Divergent Partnership Trust which oversaw an academy and a maintained school, of which the latter was a PFI school. Richard oversaw the finances of both schools as well as the PFI contract, and the building / implementation of three successful condition improvement fund bids including replacement curtain walling and a new sports hall. Richard joined the University Schools Trust as Director of Finance and Operations in September 2019. Richard is passionate about education and ensuring that each child maximises their potential.
Elena Di Diego Hamilton
Director of Human Resources
Director of Data and Compliance
Darren began his career at Robert Clack School teaching all three sciences in 2005, specialising in physics. He completed his training through the GTP programme and has worked throughout his teaching career in comprehensive and inclusive schools for 11-19 year olds located in areas of East London with high social deprivation.
In 2013, following an Assistant Headship at the Warren School, Darren joined St Paul’s Way Trust School as Director of Learning for the School of Education where he led on the development of the NQT programme and the Summer Science School. Darren then moved to oversee the development of the Sixth Form as Deputy Headteacher helping the Sixth Form to deliver record results as well as taking on wider responsibilities involving Data, Standards and Compliance across the school.
In September 2018 Darren was appointed as Deputy Headteacher for the UST, with responsibility across the trust for Standards and Compliance. He has a proven track record of delivering strong results, developing teams and ensuring robust and effective processes to facilitate whole school learning and in September 2019 was appointed to the UST Executive as Director of Data and Compliance.
Darren has also worked for many years as a Subject Teacher Leader for the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) providing support and knowledge enhancement in physics for teachers early in their teaching careers so as to help them develop a greater range of strategies and methods for teach. In addition to this role with the PTI he is also their Associate Department Co-ordinator for Science where he oversees the PTI’s national programme supporting research projects to enhance science faculty provision and development.
Director of Education - Primary
Lorraine began her teaching career in 1998 in the London Borough of Newham before moving to the London Borough of Enfield in 1999.
Inspired by leaders who are rooted in the belief that strong foundations for learning are created in the Primary Years, Lorraine has worked throughout her career to ensure that an informed pedagogy and a dynamic curriculum drive all school improvement work.
As an Advanced Skills Teacher with a specialism in Art, the opportunity to work with teachers and schools to develop practise in partnership was a step into school leadership. Now as a serving Headteacher in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the rewards of being a senior leader in a dynamic and diverse community inform her work as Director of Education (Primary) for the University Schools Trust. The focus on improving outcomes for all children and the commitment to serving our communities as well as developing our staff teams is the key motivation for her work with the Trust.
Director of Education - Secondary
Saumi joined the University Schools Trust in February 2020. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant via the Local Government Graduate Finance Programme, undertaking her initial training within the housing sector. Further roles within the sector followed, focussing on affordable housing, funding and new build opportunities and financial & regulatory compliance. A move to the higher education sector and then to a teaching & examination board gave Saumi a passion for working in education. She brings this to her role at UST, with an emphasis on cross-functional collaboration and enabling school and trust leaders to make informed financial decisions that optimise pupils’ outcomes.
Operations Manager - Facilities, Estates and IT
Kurt began his career in the hospitality sector, after graduating with a BA in Hotel Management from London South Bank University in 1997. He spent the subsequent decade running bars, nightclubs and catering outlets in London and the south-east. In 2007 Kurt changed his career path, when he secured the role of School Business Manager at Welling School. Kurt simultaneously enrolled at University of Leicester, completing a Post-Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies 18 months later.
Over the following 14 years, Kurt gained experience in a wide variety of school settings, holding similar roles, such as Deputy Head – Business Services, Bursar & Clerk and Director of Finance & Operations. This includes a 1,600-pupil secondary and sixth form academy, an all-through independent girls’ school, a small prep school and a nursery and infants’ school. Kurt took up his current role as Operations Manager at the University Schools Trust in November 2020 and works across all the schools within the trust.
Kurt has extensive knowledge and experience in managing resources, people, facilities and buildings. He challenges the norm, with an embedded belief that historical practice is not a reason to carry on doing the same thing.
Getting involved in the wider context of school life is something Kurt enjoys and values, such as volunteering for Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, PTA camp-outs and School fetes. Supporting teaching and learning and seeing children develop into confident young adults is something he values highly.
Operations Manager - Human Resources
Marketing & Communications Manager
Chris joined UST in November 2021. He started his career working in the third sector for The Prince’s Trust, supporting its efforts to get young people into education, training and employment.
After a number of years working for charities, Chris combined his passions for communications and social mobility by joining an agency that specialised solely in the education sector. In this role he forged a strong reputation for supporting numerous schools across the country to achieve their marketing objectives.
Chris is passionate about the role that communications can play when it comes to high performing schools. From attracting the best staff to ensuring parents are fully aware of what’s happening in their child’s school, he plays an important part ensuring everyone inside and outside of UST is aware of the special things happening across the trust.
Headteacher, Cyril Jackson Primary School
Headteacher, Royal Greenwhich Trust School
Miss Longhurst joined the Royal Greenwich Trust School in September 2019. Miss Longhurst has extensive leadership experience acquired through various roles within the secondary sector including Education Consultant, Principal/Headteacher, Co-principal, Associate Principal, Deputy Headteacher and Assistant Headteacher.
As a highly motivated and innovative leader, Miss Longhurst has a proven track record for successfully leading and managing across diverse areas of responsibility. Her core talent in viewing challenges as opportunities and in achieving intended outcomes with drive and enthusiasm supports her dedication to raising standards.
Miss Longhurst is an advocate for young people who, at the heart of all decisions and actions, maintains clarity on what is ultimately of greatest benefit to the students within the learning community.
Executive Headteacher, St Paul's Way Trust School
Phil began his teaching career as chemistry specialist at Robert Clack School in 2003. He was promoted to Head of Science in 2005 and through a strong focus on staff development, creative teaching methods and quality enrichment, the science department excelled and quickly gained a reputation for innovation.
After working as Assistant Headteacher at Robert Clack (6th Form) and as science consultant for the Specialist School’s Network in London, Kent and Birmingham, Phil became Deputy Headteacher at St Paul’s Way Trust in 2012. He led teaching and learning, from 'Requires Improvement' to Outstanding (Ofsted 2013) and also headed up a range of other innovative projects before taking charge of the school’s work as a National Teaching School.
In 2016 Phil became Acting Headteacher and led the school to achieve strong outcomes at both GCSE and A level. In May 2018 Phil was appointed Executive Headteacher of St Paul’s Way Trust School.
Phil has a track record of building strong teams, effective external partnerships and creative approaches to drive school improvement. He is very much looking forward to leading a talented leadership, teaching and support team at St Paul's Way Trust to provide a truly transformational education of the young people of Tower Hamlets.
Headteacher, St. Paul's Way Trust School - Primary
After graduating from Keele University, Siobhan completed the Graduate Teacher Programme where she worked in two inner London Primary Schools before going on to teach in Hackney for 14 years. Within that time, Siobhan has taught across the primary phase, led on core areas of the curriculum, was a specialist teacher in education for early reading and has 8 years of senior leadership experience. Siobhan joined St Paul's Way Foundation School in September 2019 as an Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion. Siobhan is now the Interim Head of School supporting the Interim Executive Headteacher Lorraine Flanagan and leads on Inclusion and Pastoral Care.
Associate Headteacher, St. Paul's Way Trust School - Secondary
Firdusi Uddin graduated from the London School of Economics with a degree in Psychology and Philosophy. She has a Masters in Educational Leadership and a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Firdusi is an RE specialist by training and has been a Head of Faculty and led on the quality of teaching and learning through the School of Education. Firdusi has also held the post of Senior Deputy Headteacher responsible for Pastoral and Inclusion.