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Central Team

Jackie Waters-Dewhurst - Chief Executive Officer


About Jackie

Jacqueline Waters-Dewhurst has spent over 20 years in education starting in the primary sector. She has significant experience in leadership and the transformation of organisations having taken up the role of Diocesan Director of Education in Bristol diocese prior to being appointed as Director of Education for the Diocese of Lincoln.

In both organisations she has introduced the academy strategies, set up a Multi Academy Trust and transformed teams by increasing capacity and skills in order to better serve schools in an ever changing educational landscape.

She has served nationally on the National Society Council and locally was chair of the North Somerset Strategic Schools Forum and chair of Governors at Westhaven Special School also in North Somerset.

Jacqueline is passionate about ensuring that the wider diocese understands the gift that it has in its church schools. She worships at a local Lincolnshire church and is on the cleaning and tea rota believing that service is an important part of faith.

Jackie is an inspirational speaker and has spoken at events locally, nationally and as far afield as Dublin. 

Paul Thompson - Deputy CEO


About Paul

Paul is the strategic lead for school improvement for LAAT. Having been a successful Diocesan Deputy Director of Education since 2010, Paul has an excellent knowledge of the 141 schools in the diocese. From being in a team of two advisers when appointed, Paul has built a very strong school improvement team consisting of 14 Associate Advisers and 8 specialist advisers to work alongside the internal team of four advisers. He is able to draw on the strengths and expertise within the Diocesan schools as well as the team of advisers and key partners in education such as the teaching schools, local authorities and independent consultants. Paul’s career in education spans 24 years with the majority of that time in senior leadership positions. He holds the NPQH qualification and has been a successful headteacher for seven years achieving a good OfSTED and Outstanding SIAMs inspection during this time. Paul is also a SIAMs manager and deploys a team of inspectors. He uses his wealth of experience to lead the school effectiveness advisers and ensure the school improvement strategies bring about sustained development in all LAAT academies.

Leanne Holmes - Finance & Operations Director


About Leanne

Leanne Holmes joined the LAAT as Finance Director in May 2016. She is a qualified Accountant, having completed her qualifications in 2000 whilst working at Streets & Co Chartered Accountants.

Leanne has extensive experience in the charities field and her last role was as a Financial Controller at The Orders of St John Care Trust, a not for profit organisation caring for older people across 75 sites throughout the UK, with a turnover of c£120m.

Her aim is to ensure that the finance function is able to support the LAAT in responding to the challenges of a fast-evolving educational sector and is able to deliver a high quality service to the schools that it serves.

In her spare time, Leanne is a Treasurer and Trustee of a local Scout and Guide Association.

Laura Gregory - Finance Manager


About Laura







Mark Lunn - Business & Operations Manager


About Mark

Mark has worked as an administrator/bursar/school business manager for the last ten years.  Mark’s whole career has been about supporting the operational needs of the business, which includes Finance, HR, Payroll, Health & Safety and Estate Management.  Mark currently works as the Business & Operations Manager for the Trust and directly supports the three southlincs-hub schools.

Mark’s primary focus within his role is to drive and improve all business and operational effectiveness across all Trust schools, which should enable the core function of teaching and learning to be prioritised by school leaders.

Laura Lowe - HR Business Partner


About Laura

Laura has been working in education for the past 12 years, with experience in both private sector and local government. She is an experienced business partner with particular expertise and interest in employee relations and safer recruitment. Laura is an associate member of the CIPD.

Laura enjoys working with the schools to achieve their aims by ensuring that staff are engaged and supported in their roles. Key pieces of work include Trade union consultations, policy reviews, staff surveys, employee well-being and safer recruitment.

Sue Keen - Finance Assistant


About Sue

Sue has recently returned to the finance world after studying Maths at university and a foray into teaching.  She qualified as an Accounting Technician some years ago and has worked in local government, private business and the independent education sector.  Her education experiences also include time spent as Clerk to the Governors and as a Governor.  Sue wants to use her extensive education sector understanding to ensure that the LAAT and its schools receive the best advice, understanding and financial information in a prompt and accessible manner.

Celia Hird - Data & Information Manager


Celia joined LAAT as Data and Information Manager in November 2018. Prior to this, Celia worked for 6 years as a Data Analyst at Bishop Grosseteste University and for 11 years as a Statistician in Central Government.

Celia oversees the collation and analysis of data across the Trust, ensuring that our systems and processes give leaders the insight they need to facilitate the best possible outcomes for our schools and their pupils.


Fran Brown - Governance & Data Protection Officer


About Fran

Fran joined LAAT as Governance Officer in July 2017. Prior to this, Fran worked for 4 years as a Governor Support Officer in North East Lincolnshire, providing professional clerking, support, advice and guidance to the Governing Bodies and Senior Leaders of a number of maintained schools and academies (stand-alone and MATs).

She also supported a number of Governing Bodies through the processes of federation and conversion to academy status. Fran aims to use the knowledge and experience gained to support schools, Local Boards and Clerks to further develop governance within LAAT.

June Richardson - Schools Effectiveness Adviser


About June

June has over 26 years of primary teaching experience and has held a number of leadership roles in different contexts. June has served as headteacher of two Church schools in the Diocese of Lincoln. She has a wealth of leadership experience in the academy and maintained sector. June has worked as a curriculum support teacher, moderator and a Head Teacher Peer Leader. In this role, she supported school leaders with self-evaluation, development of effective practice and monitoring of standards. She has led planned and delivered successful CPD programmes to groups of schools. June holds the NASENCo award and is committed to schools being inclusive places of learning.

Vicky Matthews - Schools Effectiveness Adviser & Head

About Vicky

I was a deputy head, then acting head of a Junior school before embarking on my first official headship at a Church of England and Methodist Primary School in North Lincolnshire in 2011. During my time there the school progressed from Requires Improvement to Good with outstanding features and was also graded outstanding in its SIAMS inspection.

In October 2016, the Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust (LAAT) asked if I would support Ulceby St Nicholas Church of England School, which was in Special Measures. I then became permanent Executive Headteacher. The school came out of special measures with a grading of good in all areas in just 24 months (October 2018).

Since then, I have worked full time for the LAAT with a dual role as Executive Headteacher of Ulceby St Nicholas and as a Schools’ Effectiveness Adviser, where I have been working with other requires improvement and special measures schools across the Lincolnshire Diocese. Supporting schools to achieve better outcomes for the children under their care is very rewarding and I am so fortunate to work with a wide range of committed people to accomplish this goal.

As well as embracing the LAAT’s philosophy of Excellence, Exploration and Encouragement, I also endeavour to live by my own school’s vision of showing acts of kindness, being courageous and successful. These are the values that I trust to have a positive impact on the lives of the children we serve every day.

Kerrie Byers - Finance Manager (Maternity Leave)

About Kerrie

Kerrie joined the LAAT in August 2016 as Finance Manager.  She is an ACCA and AAT qualified accountant.

Her previous role was as Assistant Manager at Streets & Co Chartered Accountants, where she worked with many different charities, including numerous academies. During this time, she has developed an understanding of the complexities of this sector.

Kerrie enjoys working with and being able to provide support and assistance to the schools that the LAAT serves and is passionate about assisting the academies to provide high quality education in a financially effective way.

At present, Kerrie is on maternity leave. 

Marta Nears - Finance Assistant (Maternity Leave)

About Marta

I completed AAT qualifications in 2011 and have over 5 years of experience in the commercial sector as part of the finance team for a multinational company.

I joined LAAT in 2016 and part of my main role is to provide effective and efficient service to the schools it serves.

At present, Marta is on maternity leave.