Our Executive Team

Our Executive Team

The Executive Team

The Executive Team is responsible for the strategic development and leadership of Vision Academy Learning Trust.

They promote a culture of excellence in everything the Trust does.

Mr Simon White

Mr Simon White was appointed as CEO and Accounting Officer of Vision Academy Learning Trust on 1 August 2016.  He is an experienced educationalist with over 35 years within education and 20 in Headship.  He was appointed as an NLE in 2015 and has been pivotal in the expansion of the Trust.


Mrs Jill Turner

Mrs Jill Turner was appointed as the CFOO on 1 August 2016 and has been part of the Executive team since the start of the Trust.  She is a part qualified accountant with experience in both the public and private sector.  For the last 18 years she has worked in the educational sector in both Local Authority and Academies.


Mrs Karen Norton

Appointed as Headteacher of Junction Farm in 2008 and Primary Executive Headteacher for the Trust in 2016. She was appointed as NLE in 2015 and is also School Improvement Advisor for local primary Schools.


Headteachers / Heads of School


Mrs L Lidgard – Headteacher (Chandlers Ridge Academy)

Information coming soon.


Mrs L Oyston – Headteacher (Egglescliffe School and Sixth Form College)

Information coming soon.


L Wilkinson – Head of School (Huntcliff Secondary School)

She has worked in education for 22 years; 18 of those within Redcar and Cleveland. Senior Leadership roles during that time have included teaching and learning, curriculum, and pupil progress. In 2015 she completed the Future Leaders Programme prior to commencing the role of Head of School.


Mrs K Norton – Headteacher (Junction Farm Primary School)

Appointed as Headteacher of Junction Farm in 2008 and Primary Executive Headteacher for the Trust in 2016. She was appointed as NLE in 2015 and is also School Improvement Advisor for local primary Schools.


Mrs C Juckes – Headteacher (Laurence Jackson School)

Information coming soon.


Mrs C Chadwick – Headteacher (Saltburn Primary School)

She holds the NPQH qualification and has over 20 years’ experience within education; 12 of those holding Senior Leadership roles. From 2016-2018 she was also seconded two days a week to lead and coordinate meetings, networks, initiatives and CPD across 11 primary schools within the East Cleveland Cooperative Learning Trust.


Mrs L Daly – Headteacher (The Links Primary School)

Information coming soon.


Mr M Poppitt – Headteacher (Whinstone Primary School)

Information coming soon.


The Central Service

Directors are responsible for the strategic development, data, IT infrastructure, compliance, HR, Finance, Capital, Health and safety, Risk Management across the Trust.

Director of ICT, Infrastructure and Data

Information coming soon.


Capital, Facilities and Health and Safety Director

Information coming soon.


Human Resources

Information coming soon.


Compliance Officer

Information coming soon.


The Education Improvement Team

The Education Improvement Team comprises of experienced education leaders, all of whom have an outstanding track record in school leadership, education management and improvement.

Director of School Improvement

Mr Danny Yates was appointed as Director of School Improvement on 1 January 2019 as the secondary branch of the Trust began to expand. He holds the NPQH qualification and has over 25 years experience within education including 15 in Senior Leadership and Headship.


Director of SEN/D

Dr Caroline Lear holds both NPQH and NASENCO qualifications and has many years’ experience of leading succesful SEND provisions at school and Trust level – she is an expert in this field. She also has a PhD in Chemistry and has had significant experience of teaching Chemistry/Science across the age and ability range.


Secondary Sector

Director of English

Miss Zarah Ahmed has over 10 years’ experience in education. Prior to her appointment to the School Improvement Team at VALT, she held position of Lead Practitioner for English in a local Multi-Academy-Trust and is an examiner for AQA. She has particular strength in research – informed curriculum planning and development.


Director of Maths

Mrs Sue Down has lead Maths departments in a range of schools in both the North East and Essex for over 20 years. She has significant experience of transforming underperforming departments and is an examiner for GCSE Maths.


Director of Science

Mrs Alison Gerrard has worked in several different schools during her career to date, as an Advanced Skills Teacher of Science and Biology. She has extensive leadership experience, at both department and whole-school level, including leadership of Pupil Premium provision.


Lead Practitioner for Literacy

Mrs Jo Parnell is an experienced English teacher and SLE. Prior to her appointment to the School Improvement team at VALT, she was Literacy Coordinator in a large Multi-Academy-Trust and Chair of a Regional Literacy Working Group.


Lead Practitioner for History

Mrs Helen Ward


Primary Sector

Trust Deputy Head Teacher

Mrs Carly Briston was appointed as Assistant Head in September 2018, before becoming Trust Deputy Head in September 2021, with specific responsibility for English and School Improvement. Completed NPQH – November 2021. Acting head of Saltburn two days per week to cover maternity leave (Sept 21 -Feb 22).


Director Primary Maths

Ms Amber Lawrence was appointed as Mathematics Lead (September 2015) and UKS2 Lead (September 2017) at Junction Farm Primary. Mathematics SLE for Stockton schools. Completed NPQSL June 2020. Appointed as Director of Primary Maths in September, with specific responsibility for school improvement..