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Scholars Academy Trust

Scholars Academy Trust


Sam Coy - Chief Executive Officer

Sam's extensive experience in the education sector spans across a variety of primary and secondary schools and leadership roles throughout the country. He has taught students ranging from Foundation to Year 6 and has held various leadership positions in subjects such as pastoral and behaviour management, community engagement, and overall subject leadership. As a Lead Practitioner in an All-Through School, Sam played a crucial role in coaching, mentoring, and developing teachers to achieve their full potential.

Before joining Scholars as the CEO in 2023, Sam had already established himself as a Headteacher, Executive Headteacher, and most recently an Education Director across two different Multi-Academy Trusts and several local authorities. During his time as the Headteacher of Benjamin Adlard Primary School, Sam was responsible for turning around an inadequate school to become a good school in just 12 months, despite working in an area of extreme deprivation. Under his leadership, the school was later named the Pearson UK Primary School of the Year. Sam also supported leadership development in Lincolnshire as a Local Leader of Education through the Kyra Teaching School.

Sam's commitment to providing the best possible life chances for all children is apparent through his relentless dedication to making a difference in schools and beyond. He firmly believes in the importance of collaboration and sharing best practice to achieve the best possible outcomes for students. As an Education Director, Sam led the trust-wide strategy for SEND and behavior, ensuring that all students had the support they needed to thrive.

Sam's diverse experience in the education sector, coupled with his unwavering passion for creating a positive impact has been instrumental in turning around schools and improving the life chances of students.

Tanya Jones - Chief Financial Officer

Tanya has worked in the public and not for profit sector since 1993 and has been a member of the Chartered Institute for Management Accountants (CIMA) since 2010. During her career, Tanya has monitored and managed budgets ranging from £6k to £125m. All activity has been within regulatory frameworks, including Charities SORP, Academy Accounts Direction, Academies Financial Handbook, the Companies Act, the 7 principles of public life and FRS.

Tanya has worked in schools for over 10 years in a variety of senior finance roles, including Academy Finance Director, Senior Finance Business Partner and Internal Auditor.

Prior to working in education, Tanya was a civil servant for over 17 years, progressing to a senior management role in finance in 2008.


Mark Barrington - Chief Operating Officer

Mark joined Scholars Academy Trust in September 2021, having previously held the role of Head of Operations for the East Midlands region of The Prince's Trust charity. During this time, Mark worked with schools and organisations across the public sector to create opportunities to better the prospects of young people in the region. Mark has also previously held an operational leadership role with Premier Education where he oversaw a period of rapid expansion in terms of territories in which the Franchise company operated. In this role, Mark worked with primary schools from across Leicestershire & Northamptonshire. Prior to working in operations, Mark was a secondary school teacher in Northamptonshire for a number of years. 

Mark's role as COO is a strategic leadership role which provides support in many areas to the heads of each school in the Trust and the wider executive leadership team.  Mark's responsibilities are to lead and manage in aspects of estate management, health & safety, ICT, new school integration, HR and marketing. Mark also works in conjunction with the Chief Finance Office to manage the Trust's finances.

Ralph Wood - Head of Governance

An education professional with 30 years’ experience, Ralph taught and led in primary schools ranging in size from 70 to 320 pupils. He worked for 14 years as a headteacher, 4 years as a deputy headteacher and 26 years as a governor. He is also a trustee of a Leicestershire academy trust.

Recently retired from 6 years spent in a school effectiveness role in a local multi-academy trust of 14 schools, Ralph now serves as Head of Governance and Clerk to the Trust Board at Scholars Academy Trust, supporting the work of trustees and local governors to enable high quality governance, working closely with the other executive leaders to continue to make Scholars Academy Trust a success

Jason Williamson - Trust Curriculum Specialist 

Jason joined the Trust in August 2023 having previously worked in a Leicestershire Primary School for 7 years teaching across key stages and progressing into leadership positions. During that time, he was responsible for curriculum design and brings a wealth of curriculum and pedagogical knowledge. With a keen interest in ensuring equal access and representation in the curriculum, he works with schools in the Trust to develop rich and effective curriculum offers as well as improving subject leaders through coaching and mentoring. 

Alongside this role, Jason also acts as a Deputy Head at Glenfield Primary School.