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 Education – Operations
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.
Head of Human Resources
Lynsey joined UST in March 2022, but her passion for HR began more than 20 years ago when she started her career working for the Civil Service. During this time, she has expanded her expertise into Operations and Event Management as well. Amongst the many highlights, Lynsey was part of the organising committee for WorldSkills London 2011, the largest ever international careers event for young people. Notably, this was the largest and most complex event ever held at Excel London. As well as this, she was an integral member of the Ceremonies Operations team for the London 2012 Summer Olympics, something she was particularly proud of as she grew up on the doorstep of the London Stadium. Lynsey’s people-first approach is felt by everyone she works with, her enthusiasm is guided by the firm belief that HR is a constantly evolving environment, where no two days are the same.
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
Matthew is a skilled education leader with over 25 years’ experience in the state sector and is passionate that all children should benefit from high quality learning experiences. A music graduate of Durham University, he worked as a Director Performing Arts and as an Advanced Skills Teacher for many years before moving into Senior Leadership roles.
His experience spans Local Authority, Music Hubs and Senior Leadership Teams. This has included setting up a new free school for students with Special Educational Needs in Language and Communication and working for the charity Achievement for All. Prior to his current role, Matthew was Principal of a new all through school.
Operations Manager - Human Resources
Raihana joined UST in September 2021 as the HR Operations Manager and is now working with us in the capacity of HR Consultant, 1 day per week. Raihana holds a BSC in Human Resources Management and has worked within the Education Sector for over 17 years. Whilst having had experience of working in mainstream education for 17+ years, Raihana has been working as a HR professional for over 8 years. During her time in HR, Raihana has had ample of experience of managing a team of HR professionals as well as the day-to-day aspects related to Human Resources in an educational setting.
The decision to work at UST was in line with her passion and enthusiasm of working within an evolving HR Department, the thirst to collaborate with other HR professionals, as well as the opportunity to grow within an organisation that is committed on improving outcomes for the children within the community.
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.
Operations Manager – Estates, Facilities 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.
Joyce joined UST in March 2022 and has quickly become an invaluable member of the team, supporting good data practice at both Trust level and in our schools. She has a long record of excelling in school data management and analysis. She started at St Bonaventure’s Secondary School & Sixth Form as the data manager for KS3&4, implementing assessment data capture and reporting. She then turned her attention to creating a teaching and learning reporting system. Prior to joining UST, Joyce was the Data Leader across KS3-5 at Stoke Newington School & Sixth Form, where she oversaw assessment, attendance, behavioural reporting for the whole school, construction of new assessment reporting across KS3&4, as well as training on MIS or assessment systems for new starters, HOYs and SLT.
Reporting and Systems Lead
Trevor has a deep-rooted passion for systems and development reporting. He is motivated by the desire to provide a streamlined customer service, whilst simultaneously supporting the HR and Payroll community. Trevor joined UST in August 2021 from Juniuper Ventures, where he was working with the schools Cleaning and Catering service as a Payroll Systems Lead. Prior to this he worked in local government for a number of years, working closely with both academies and maintained schools to deliver an efficient payroll service.
Payroll and Pension Services Manager
Sharlene is a part qualified accountant who first started working with UST in July 2021. Initially only intending to be with us for three months while helping to implement the new payroll system on iTrent, she quickly became indispensable and has now established herself as the UST Payroll and Pension Services Manager. She first started working in payroll in the private sector when she returned from maternity leave in 2005. After two years she successfully transitioned to working for the local authority within their schools HR team. Sharlene stayed with the local authority for 14 years, but when the opportunity came up to work with UST she jumped at the chance. The school environment is very different to what she has experienced before, but Sharlene finds it motivating to be surrounded by the children that we are all here to support.
Our School Leaders
Headteacher, Cyril Jackson Primary School
Hodo is a dynamic and forward-thinking school leader with a passion for transformational education in Tower Hamlets.
A proud alumna of SPWS, Hodo graduated from the University of Greenwich with a BA (Hons) in Primary Education and completed a Master’s degree in Education at London Metropolitan University. She worked for 10 years at Ben Jonson Primary School (LBTH) - progressing from NQT to Assistant Headteacher - before joining CJPS as Deputy Headteacher in 2017. She was appointed Headteacher at CJPS in 2020.
Hodo has a proven track record of strategic leadership development, curriculum design and implementation and creating a culture of high expectations. She believes passionately that the curriculum should be driven by a curiosity to understand the world and a desire to connect and build relationships - underpinned by a love of reading and cultural capital enrichment.
Always adapting and refining her practice in response to national developments in education, Hodo recognises the power education has in transforming the community in which she serves.
Headteacher, Royal Greenwich Trust School
Ms Toye joined the Royal Greenwich Trust School in September 2019. Ms Toye 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, Ms Toye 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.
Ms Toye 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.
Associate Headteacher, Royal Greenwich Trust School
Mr Morgan joined the Royal Greenwich Trust School as Associate Headteacher in January 2023. He has 25 years’ experience in London schools, including 13 years as a Deputy Headteacher and Assistant Headteacher, where he has successfully raised standards and transformed life opportunities for the students within each learning community.
Educated at Cambridge University and Durham University, Mr Morgan’s knowledge and love of mathematics has driven him to pass on that passion in the classroom.
As a long-time resident in the borough, Mr Morgan is excited to be part of the future of RGTS, and is passionate about ensuring the best possible outcomes for each individual student at the school.
Mr Morgan’s vision for RGTS is one that serves the local community and prepares all students successfully for the next part of their journey in education, employment or training.
Executive Headteacher, St Paul's Way Trust School
Nicholas trained as a teacher in 1998, and worked in Norfolk as Head of English before moving to London in 2009, as Deputy Headteacher in the soon to be named St Paul’s Way Trust School. During this time, he worked to set up the sixth form provision, the science research centre, and the school’s initial tennis partnership with Greenhouse.
Working as Associate Head from 2013, Nicholas took on outreach roles in the former Copland School in Brent, and in the former Royal Greenwich UTC. ???
In 2015, he was appointed Headteacher at Acland Burghley School in Camden, where he remains Headteacher. He is a director of Camden Learning, and formed a ground breaking partnership with the now resident Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Nicholas has always worked in mixed, comprehensive schools, and has a passion for ensuring that all students achieve, irrespective of any barriers that they might face. He lives in 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.
Head of School, St. Paul's Way Trust School - Secondary
Firdusi Uddin is motivated by the desire to provide an aspirational and inclusive educational experience for students, helping them to become considerate young people, as well as critical and creative thinkers who are driven to make a difference in the world.
Firdusi 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. She has also held the post of Senior Deputy Headteacher responsible for Pastoral and Inclusion.