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Our Trust Team

Supporting the Leadership Group and the Board of Directors is the central Trust team.

The central Trust team, comprising of the Chief Executive Officer, Trust Finance Manager and Trust Administration and Governance Manager supports each member school in meeting their statutory and regulatory requirements while aiding and managing operational services outside of teaching and learning across the Trust.

Central services procured by Equals Trust;

  • Finance
  • Payroll
  • Human resource management
  • Governance, training and support for local governing bodies
  • Premises, health and safety
  • Information technology
  • Administrative support
  • Staff absence insurance
  • Legal services
  • Website management and support
  • Trust wide educational subscriptions

Philip Palmer
Chief Executive Officer
 

Email: CEO@equalstrust.org  

I have worked in a wide variety of schools and roles for Nottingham City and County Councils as a Headteacher and school leader, working on behalf of the LA to improve standards in schools. This has enabled me to continually develop my skills and knowledge. Enabling children, staff and all stakeholders to be successful, grow and develop is something I take great pride and satisfaction in.

In 1996 I was appointed as the deputy head of Brooksby Primary School in Clifton and helped the school to emerge from ‘special measures’ in record time! I then supported other schools in Nottingham City in ‘special measures’ and lectured at Nottingham Trent University, before I was appointed as Headteacher of Cropwell Bishop Primary School. We became an ‘outstanding’ school in 2005 and again in 2008; a status we retain and something of which we are very proud. Seconded for two days a week to the Inspectorate, I analysed the performance of schools, supported schools in improving through self-evaluation as well as supporting governors with their Headteachers’ performance management. During this time Cropwell Bishop Primary School became a Local Leader of Education school and then a National Leader of Education school. As a Rushcliffe school we were helped to create the Rushcliffe Learning Alliance with the majority of primary schools in the Rushcliffe area. This led to a wide range of support and collaborative learning.

In November 2012, Nottinghamshire County Council asked me and my staff to support Burton Joyce Primary School through a period of difficulty. The school was placed in ‘special measures’ with an Interim Executive Board. We brought about rapid improvement, resulting in the school being rated as ‘good’, with ‘outstanding’ leadership and management in less than 13 months. The school continues to grow from strength to strength.

Cropwell Bishop Primary School and Burton Joyce Primary School formed The Acorn Federation in 2015, which again led to improved standards for both schools and wider benefits, eg, professional development of all staff, shared learning, resources and services.

I am married with children; my daughter studying to become a midwife at university and my twin sons studying A levels. We have numerous pets, including Elsa our golden retriever. I have a passion for rugby, music and travel. I have a broad taste in music and can play the clarinet, however Led Zeppelin provide the inspiration for me and the many bands I listen to. As well as personal travel I have developed links and exchanges with a school in Japan we have visited with children, and hosting their children in return. I have travelled extensively in India and developed close links with a school in Goa. We are now creating a link with a school in Nepal and, as part of our work using technology as a learning tool, we have links all over the world including Australia, Africa and an exchange project with Brazil. Our children even tweeted a song to Tim Peaks in space!

In 2016 we formed the Equals Trust with five other primary schools and are looking forward to a very bright future in education.

Oliver Phillips MSc ACA
Trust Finance Manager 

Email: financemanager@equalstrust.org

LinkedIn

Since 2011, following a Master’s degree in Accounting and Business Finance, I have worked at a leading East Midlands accountancy practice, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 2014 whilst specialising in the academy sector. This work led to a progression into “industry” and I was delighted to begin working with the Equals Trust in September 2016 as their Trust Finance Manager.

My role is to ensure that the Trust remains compliant with the financial requirements of the DfE, EFSA and other sponsors whilst working with our schools to develop and maintain appropriate and sustainable financial practices.

I am the Chair of Finance at Claypole Church of England Primary School and am heavily involved in fundraising with the Lincoln Minster Round Table. Outside of work I regularly attend the gym and enjoy running and road cycling.

Catherine Cox
Trust Administration and Governance Manager 

Email: governance@equalstrust.org

I trained as a teacher but have followed an unconventional career path in education.  I was an Education Adviser for the RSPCA for 11 years, with responsibility for delivery of lessons to pupils, advising and training teachers, planning schemes of work for schools and resource writing.  In 2010, I began working for Nottinghamshire County Council Governor Services as a Clerk to Governors, advising 16 schools and academies, ensuring their governors were compliant with their statutory duties and their meetings were recorded accurately.  In addition, I have provided extensive support to Interim Executive Boards and am trained to complete External Reviews of Governance.  Alongside that position, I continued to teach in a charity pre-school until July 2017.

My role as Trust Administration and Governance Manager with Equals Trust builds on my experience, ensuring all the schools in the Trust have consistent governance support and planning.  I am clerk to the Members, Trust Board and Local Governing Bodies as well as fulfilling the Company Secretary role.  I also provide administrative support to the CEO and Leadership Group.  I am fortunate to work with Headteachers and senior leaders who share my ethos of fairness, equality and opportunity for all and their reputations, and presence leading the Trust, was fundamental in my decision to apply for this position.

I am lucky that my role is very diverse and I have lots of variety within it. I also oversee admissions, including first admissions to the schools in the Trust and this includes planning for the future.  

I was a governor for almost 10 years prior to working for Equals Trust, holding link responsibilities for SEND, Pupil Premium and Equality.

Outside work, I am a trustee of the Fetal Anti Convulsant Syndrome Association, providing support and advice to families and schools involved with children diagnosed with this complex condition.  I am married to Darren, an IT manager, and we have two children. Our daughter attends one of the schools in the Trust and our son attends college in Nottingham. We love spending our holidays on the islands off the west coast of Scotland, and aim to visit St Kilda one day.