Our Senior Leadership Team

Emma Hadley

Chief Executive Officer

Emma Hadley joined the Trust as Chief Executive Officer in January 2020. Previously working as an Education Director in a large national MAT, Emma has extensive experience of the leadership of Primary, Secondary and Special Schools and has always worked in schools in challenging circumstances. Emma is from Lincolnshire and recognises the privilege of serving learners and families in her local community. She is passionate about education, equality and social mobility and ensuring all students have the education and life opportunities that they deserve. Emma is responsible as CEO for the strategic direction of the Trust and for leading it forward into the next exciting stage of its development.

Jonathon Jackson

Finance Director

Jon joined the Federation in 2014 and is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. He has worked in the accounting profession since completed his A-Levels having previously worked for a local firm of Chartered Accountants, specialising in the education sector. Jon is also a governor of a local Federation of schools and Chair of its Finance committee.

Wayne Oldfield

Chief Operating Officer

Wayne Oldfield joined the Trust in August 2020 having worked in the public sector since 2004.  In his previous role, he was a Director in a large national MAT, having been a senior leader in a Lincolnshire secondary school prior to this. In formal recognition of his extensive experience of both strategic and operational leadership within the sector, Wayne was awarded a Fellowship by the Chartered Management Institute in January 2020. As Chief Operating Officer of the Trust, Wayne will take responsibility for several of the non-educational operational functions of the organisation, such as Human Resources, Estates, IT Services, Catering, Data Protection and Media and Communications.

Our Central Team

Darren Rushby

Trust Data Strategy and Computing Curriculum Advisor

Darren has worked in education for more than 20 years. His specialisms are maths and computing and he has taught from Y3 to Y13, holding positions in leadership roles (including Deputy Headship) within small, medium and large primary schools and secondary schools. He is also experienced in governance.

Hayley Kita

Trust English Advisor

Hayley joined BWAF as Primary English Education Advisor in 2018 after 12 years as a primary teacher teaching across a variety of settings. These included schools ranging from Special Measures to Outstanding. Hayley has held a number of posts at both senior and middle leadership level and is a Lincolnshire County Writing Moderator for Key Stage 2. She is a Specialist Leader of Education in English and English as an Additional Language.

Claire Needham

Trust Curriculum Advisor

Claire has over 18 years’ experience of teaching and leading in schools, where she has held a variety of posts – most recently as Director of the Connect TSA, establishing and leading the Trust’s Teaching School Alliance. The role involved identifying expert practice to deliver support, challenge and school improvement both within the Trust and the wider alliance. Recruiting, training and establishing high quality new teachers in our schools has been her driving passion, with Claire successfully leading and implementing a SCITT programme at Connect.

Rebecca Hales

Trust Early Years and Key Stage 1 Advisor

Having worked in primary education specialising in EYFS for twenty years, Rebecca has had a range of roles within a variety of schools. She has experience of working as a SENCO, EYFS and KS1 lead as well as subject specific roles with ICT and PE. Alongside this she has been an NQT and HLTA mentor and is currently a Programme Tutor for SCITT.

Rachel Sykes

Trust Maths Advisor

Rachel is an experienced primary practitioner who trains, coaches and mentors primary school teachers in all areas of mathematics across Lincolnshire. She provides high-quality CPD at all levels, on each aspect of the primary mathematics curriculum. As an experienced SLE, Rachel has delivered specific training for Maths Leaders across the region and has more recently become a Research Champion and Hub Lead for Mobilise Maths and the Lincolnshire Attaining in Maths Project (LAMP).


Rachel Chatterton


Rachel has lived and worked in the local area all her life. Working at Boston Borough Council for over 15 years within Finance, she was appointed parent director in early 2020.

Christopher Penney


Locally born and educated, after graduating from Trent Polytechnic, Chris has worked in the construction industry in the area for over 30 years. He is now running his own quantity surveying and project management consultancy having retired from the construction business he owned and managed in the 2011. He has been involved in the management of schools as a governor, chairman of governors and a director of an academy trust for 25 years and joined BWAF in 2015 when he became a governor at Wygate Primary Academy. Apart from his voluntary work in the educational sector he is involved in many charities in the Holbeach area, where he lives, and is currently chairman of trustees/directors at the Holbeach and East Elloe Hospital Trust. He is married with two daughters both of whom work in the educational sector.

John McGarel

Vice Chair

John started his teaching career in 1970 at Cardinal Wiseman RC school in Greenford as a teacher of physical education. He took up a number of positions within the senior leadership team of schools before becoming Headteacher of St Bedes RC School, Boston in 1992. In 2000 John moved to a position within the Education Welfare Team at Lincolnshire County Council concentrating on safeguarding and school attendance. John is a governor at St Marys RC School and Haven High Academy. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family and cricket, including coaching of junior teams.

Jodie Wrigglesworth

Appointed by the Members

Jodie is local to the area having grown up in Lincolnshire, before leaving the area to commence her Law Degree at the University of Central Lancashire and thereafter her Post Graduate Degree at the Nottingham Law School. Having returned to the locality, Jodie completed her training in July 2013 with the local Lincolnshire legal firm, Ringrose Law, where she practised areas such as childcare law, family law and mental health law. In 2016, Jodie progressed her career further by joining the Legal Services Department at Lincolnshire County Council where she specialises in Childcare Law, in addition to recently commencing her training within the area of Immigration Law. Jodie has been a school governor within BWAF for a number of years, before joining the BWAF Board of Directors in early 2017.

David Radford

Before retiring as a Salvation Army Officer, David Radford was a former leader of the Boston Salvation Army with his wife Ann. He has a background in education, is experienced in Safeguarding and is the Chair of Governors at Pioneers Academy. He has been co-opted onto the Board of Directors for this academic year and leads the working party formed following the external review of governance which the Trust commissioned last academic year. He has many interests including a keen love of local history and has recently co-edited a new book entitled  ‘Boston: A Small Town with a Big Story’. David and Ann have two grown up daughters.

BWAF Headteachers

Sarah Gray

Headteacher, Park Academy

Sarah studied at Lancaster University, which included a year abroad at Wellesley College in Boston, Massachusetts, to gain her BA History (Hons) degree. In 1997 she achieved her PGCE at the University of East Anglia, before teaching in the secondary sector initially, then moving to the primary sector in the year 2000. Sarah has taught pupils from ages 4 to 18, from Reception years to ‘A’ Level. She has been a literacy lead, EYFS and phonics lead, Sendco Head of School at 4 different schools in Lincolnshire – and has a history of working in schools judged by Ofsted as moving from ‘Requiring Improvement’ to ‘Good’. Sarah gained her National Professional Qualification for Headship in 2013. Born and raised in Lincolnshire, Sarah’s career has seen her teach in London, Somerset, Warwickshire, and over the past 16 years in her home county. She is passionate about improving pupils’ life chances – and giving children and staff opportunities.

Teri Brown

Headteacher, Carlton Road Academy

After teaching across all age phases of primary school, Teri became Head of Academy at a small village school before taking over as Head at Carlton Road Academy. Throughout her career she has held several leadership positions across contrasting schools, where she aims to coach and support other staff within the school in order to deliver the best outcomes for everyone. During her time within schools she has experienced many Ofsted cycles and played a key part in leading change. Early in her career she was selected to be a Literacy Lead Teacher for the county and has continued to have a keen passion for developing English language and learning in the varied roles she has held. As an SLE for the Connect Teaching School, various work was delivered to ensure that other people can develop their teaching styles and passion for learning. Children are at the heart of all the roles that Teri has held, with setting high aspirations and expectations for all children to achieve their full potential the key aim. She believes that all children deserve the best start in life so that they can go on and develop as educated, well rounded, resilient individuals.

Jo Bland

Headteacher, Boston Pioneers Academy & Fishtoft Academy

After studying for her Post Graduate Certificate in Education in York, Jo returned to her home county of Lincolnshire and has worked in the education sector there for the last 20 years. In 2003 she was appointed as one of the youngest Advanced Skills Teachers in the country and, alongside her teaching role, provided outreach for other schools in relation to curriculum development and quality first teaching. In 2006 Jo was appointed Head of School at Park Academy and her relentless focus on creating engaging learning opportunities led to her receiving the ‘Judge’s Distinction’ for ‘Primary Teacher of the Year’ award at the National Teaching Awards. Passionate about changing children’s life chances through providing them with an innovative curriculum model, Jo has undertaken research into a variety of cutting-edge instructional strategies, about which she has spoken at regional and national level. In 2013, after leading several local academies to success, Jo orchestrated the opening of Lincolnshire’s first Free School.

Matthew Van Lier

Headteacher, Haven High Academy

Matthew leads an excellent team to support over 1,300 students in achieving their academic potential. Prior to joining the teaching profession he was Managing Director of a large produce company. He has also worked as Retail Manager and Food Buyer for Marks and Spencer, and, after looking for a new challenge, was encouraged by his wife to join the teaching profession. He has a degree in Chemistry from Cardiff University and still loves teaching chemistry to the Triple Science students at Haven High Academy. He has taught science and mathematics in several different schools in Lincolnshire, and his vision to become a Headteacher and make a difference for students was supported by the Future Leaders Trust. Following success in gaining the National Professional Qualification for Headship, Matthew was appointed as the leader of Haven High Academy. The Leadership Team has transformed Haven High into an ‘above average’ academy where students are at the centre of all decisions and their education is the total priority. Matthew is determined to continue the improvement agenda to provide all students with a world class education, with his ethos based around core set values gained in a variety of settings – including the military – and all of which underpin his commitment to high standards and opportunities for all, regardless of background or heritage.

Rachel Hydes

Headteacher, Staniland Academy

Rachel is entering her 20th year as an educator, having started her career as a class teacher with a PE and Science degree. She went on to develop her senior leadership knowledge and became Deputy Head, then Headteacher at Staniland Academy. Rachel’s understanding of the education system and supportive, holistic, approach to headship has enabled her to drive improvements and raise standards. At Staniland, together with the leadership team, she took the school from special measures to the grading of ‘outstanding’. In recent years Rachel has been recruited to support and develop two further schools, with the focus on rapid school improvement and providing stability for growth. Rachel has also become a Local Leader of Education, focusing on driving school improvement and raising standards in the quality of education children receive. She is committed to ensuring all children achieve, with access to high quality education daily, believing the root to success is creating strong relationships between school and family, promoting excellence for all. In any setting that Rachel has worked in it has been recognised that her humour and power of collaboration ensure children have been at the heart of everything she does. She strongly promotes a curriculum that is relevant to the world children live in, and that has authentic outcomes and high expectations for all.

Craig Early

Headteacher, Wygate Park Academy

Craig studied Medicinal & Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Loughborough University before embarking on his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. Following a spell in Bournemouth as a Sales Executive, Craig moved into teaching after successfully completing his PGCE at the University of East Anglia. His first teaching job involved improving science teaching at a large 3 form entry primary school, taking the school through numerous awards and being recognised as a ‘hub of science excellence’ within the area during his 8 years there. He was awarded Primary Science Teacher of the Year in 2015 and has written numerous primary science materials for websites, such as for the BBC and Teachit Primary. Craig has also written supporting documents for 137 primary resources on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Learn Chemistry platform, and articles for Association of Science Education publications. Craig leads the science vision and implementation across the Trust’s 7 primaries, and is involved in delivering training for ITT students – as well as being an SLE in Science Education for the Teaching School Alliance. He has presented at numerous conferences, as well as delivering CPD through the STEM learning network. Craig sits on the strategic vision group for the Science Learning Partnership in Lincolnshire, as well as being an elected member of the Education Division Council within the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Tom Baxter

Headteacher, Gosberton Academy

Tom joined the Trust in 2008 as a Teaching Assistant, before starting his teacher training while continuing to work at Carlton Road Academy. Upon achieving his qualified teacher status, Tom started working as a class teacher at Carlton Road Academy. In 2015 Tom was appointed Maths Lead at Carlton Road Academy, before the expansion of the Trust in October 2016 saw Tom move to Gosberton Academy as Key Stage 2 and Maths Lead. After two years of working at Gosberton Academy, Tom was appointed as Head of Academy there. Tom is an SLE for Connect Teaching School and has supported a number of schools through the LAMP Project, as well as working alongside the Maths Hub to deliver Bar Model and Manipulatives training.