ϳԹ

Our Trust

Executive Team and Support

Simon Jones

CEO

Simon Jones joined ϳԹ as CEO in February 2020. Simon has a wide range of experience, having worked in and with several Multi-Academy Trusts in the Midlands.

As CEO, Simon is the overall lead for all Academies within our Trust and will work closely with the DfE, The Regional Schools Commissioner, the Heads of Academy and the Directors to ensure the Trust vision is realised.

Martyn Jobling

Director of Education

Martyn joined the Trust in April 2021 and is an experienced and successful headteacher who has spent most of his career in the East Midlands; he is now using that expertise to ensure that all FMAT academies and their students achieve their full potential.

As Director of Education, Martyn works across all sites within the Trust. He is responsible for evaluating the quality of provision and standards in each Academy.

John Fitzgerald

Chief Operating Officer

With a financial background, John was initially employed as a member of the ϳԹ Finance Department. Upon conversion to a MAT in 2014, John became Director of Finance and in more recent years he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO).

As COO, John works closely with other members of the FMAT Executive Team to map out the strategic direction of the Trust; he then works across all sites within the Trust to ensure that the strategic vision is implemented. He is responsible for line managing several business functions including HR, Payroll, Estates, IT, Finance and Design.

Michelle Dolphin

PA to the CEO & Executive Team

Michelle joined FMAT with a background in HR and Training working in the Banking and Finance Industry and more recently within the Construction Industry, ensuring training compliance with Health and Safety regulations and industry requirements. Michelle was also responsible for the implementation of the company onboarding programme to support the HR recruitment and retention plan.

Michelle will be working as PA to Simon Jones and the Executive Team in a support role to ensure the smooth running of the Trust operations.

Rachel Sullivan

Governance & Compliance Officer

Rachel joined ϳԹ in March 2021 in a General Administrative role, supporting the Executive Team and subsequently adding Clerking for the Trust Board to her responsibilities in September 2022.

Rachel moved to the position of Governance and Compliance Officer from September 2023 and continues to support the Trust Board in committee meetings and panels. In addition, Rachel is responsible for ensuring suitable governance arrangements are in place to support the on-going development and ultimate operation of the Trust Board and Academies

Our Trust

Education and School Improvement Team

Ian McNeilly

Trust Improvement Advisor

Ian McNeilly joined ϳԹ in September 2022 as a part-time consultant to add further capacity to the team.

Ian is a very experienced and highly-effective educationalist and executive leader with a long track record of successfully supporting leaders to improve their schools and trusts.

He has held several prominent roles in education, including five years as a former Senior His Majesty’s Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills at Ofsted and four years as the CEO of a multi-academy trust.

Ian supports and advises the FMAT executive and school leaders to help them achieve their vision. Improving the life chances of children, particularly those who are disadvantaged, is always at the centre of his advice and decision making

Karen Cornell

Trust Pastoral Lead

As Trust Pastoral Lead, Karen is committed to the Trust vision to enrich lives and transform futures so that all children are able to be the best they can be. Karen has dedicated the majority of her career to developing expertise in the key areas of safeguarding, behaviour and attitudes and all areas of pastoral care and she will utilise these skills to support and guide the schools within the trust so that they are able to safeguard and provide the best possible pastoral provision for our students.

Debbie Bunn

Trust Professional Learning Lead

Deborah Bunn joined ϳԹ Academy in 2012 and became Principal of ϳԹ Academy in 2014, the founding year of ϳԹ. Following eight years in post as Principal, she joined the Central Team as Trust Professional Learning and Wellbeing Lead.

As a former AST and SLE, CPD has always been a passion of Deborah’s and she is committed to working with school colleagues to ensure they have access to the best professional learning available. Along with a wellbeing offer that equips them to thrive in a busy school environment, the Trust professional learning offer enables FMAT staff to deliver the highest quality provision to students across the schools.

Rebecca Richardson-Power

Trust SEND Lead


Rebecca joined ϳԹ Trust in September 2023.  She has previously been a Head of Department in History before moving into SEND. Rebecca has been a qualified SENCO since 2013 and in her last role was a successful Assistant Head Teacher in charge of Inclusion – working within SEN and the More-Able cohort.  

She has extensive SEND knowledge and is also a qualified Level 3 Assessor for Access Arrangements, with a special interest in neurodiversity.  Rebecca also has vast leadership experience and has managed many departments, ranging from curriculum to EAL and SEND.  Rebecca has experience in advisory work, both abroad and domestically, to share strategies and support for SEND and high ability learners.

As an Academy Improvement advisor for SEND, she works across all academies in the Trust, supporting SENCos to achieve the best possible outcomes for all students. 

Michelle Rabicano

Academy Improvement Advisor - English and Literacy

Michelle has over 20 years’ experience of teaching English and has a track record of supporting English departments in inner-city schools to achieve excellent outcomes. She has extensive leadership experience, having been a Head of English for ten years and then a senior leader for five years. Michelle is passionate about equipping learners with strong literacy skills as she believes that these are key to success not just in English, but across all subjects.

As Academy Improvement Advisor for English and Literacy, Michelle works across all academies in the Trust, supporting the English and Literacy leaders to achieve the best possible outcomes for the learners.

Natalie Thompson

Academy Improvement Advisor - Maths and Numeracy

Natalie has taught maths for over 20 years, with the last 17 years in a school in Staffordshire, with the ambition that all children leave formal education with the mathematical tools needed for their next stage in life. She has a strong belief that all students can achieve in maths given the right support. Natalie has ten years of leadership experience as a head of department, six of which were also serving as a member of the senior leadership team.

In this role, Natalie works across all academies in the Trust, supporting the Math’s and Numeracy Leaders to achieve the best possible outcomes for all students.

Our Trust

Central Operations Team

Gemma Wyle

Finance Business Partner

In September 2016 , Gemma was employed as Finance Manager for Erdington Academy just as Erdington joined ϳԹ Multi Academy Trust. With a long history of retail finance experience, Gemma was able to support the transition of Erdington into Academy status and then went on to support ϳԹ Academy also. As part of the Trusts centralisation programme in 2020, Gemma secured her current role as Finance Business Partner.

Gemma’s role is predominantly to provide a proactive, forward-thinking, trust-minded, competent and consistent Finance service across the Trust and contribute to the overall success of the Finance department. To support the strategic development of each academy by working closely with the Academy and Trust Leadership to enable effective decision making and achievement of Academy aims.

Safina Mahmood

Trust Accountant

Safina Mahmood is a fully qualified member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and joined FMAT in April 2020 as a Trust Accountant when centralisation began. Safina has a wide range of experience as previously worked both as an internal and external Auditor.

As a Trust Accountant, Safina oversees and undertakes the key elements of financial administration of the Trust, produces monthly management accounts for all academies and the central function playing a key role in monitoring budgets within the Trust. Co-ordinates both internal and external financial audits and the preparation of statutory financial returns.

Claire Clarke

HR Business Partner

Claire joined the Trust in January 2023. She was previously employed in the Charity Sector for 14 years, were she worked as a HR Business Partner for the last 7 years, developing their HR department, driving process improvement, through digital and standardisation of practices centrally.Claire brings many transferrable skills to the Education Sector, having worked with safeguarding legislation throughout her previous role.

At FMAT, Claire is working with the Central Human Resources function to provide a proactive, forward-thinking, trust-minded, competent and consistent HR service across the Trust and contribute to the overall success of the HR department by leading the HR team.

Claire will truly partner with the Trust’s Academies, which is an exciting development for the Trust and our HR function.

Robert Fitzgerald

Information and Systems Manager

Rob is the Information and Systems Manager & Data Protection Officer (DPO) of the Trust. His role involves providing business intelligence and educational information to a wide range of audiences, including the Board of Directors. He is also responsible for overseeing the data protection responsibilities of the Trust.

Simone Gannon

Trust Communications & Engagement Lead

Simone joined FMAT in its founding year – 2014 and for a decade has supported three CEO’s in an Executive Assistant role . Prior to this, she had a career spanning over two decades managing events, sales and marketing in luxury brand hotels.

From February 2024, Simone moved into a brand new Trust role as the Communications & Engagement Lead, which will draw upon not only her extensive FMAT experience and knowledge , but also her previous career achievements, where she was recognised internationally for her internal and external collaboration with all stakeholders.

With clearly defined strategic aims that align with the Trusts 3-year plan, Simone will act to strengthen both internal and external communications,build a strong network within the community and increase the visibility of the Trusts achievements.

Keeley Clarke

Trust Marketing & Graphic Design Lead


Keeley is a highly experiencedGraphic Designer with over three decades professional expertise in creating solutions for internal communications and producing materials for external events and advertising.

Having previously worked at HSBC for 24 years, Keeley joined ϳԹ Academy in 2013, moving to the Central Team as the Lead Graphic Designer in 2016.

As the Trust continues to develop, Keeley’s role has progressed to Marketing & Graphic Design Lead, where she will be responsible for the production of high quality creative graphic artwork for use throughout all of the Trust’s academies and organising promotional campaigns through external media sources including print and digital channels.

Ensuring that the highest standards are always met, conveying the Trust’s ethos and vision to raise and maintain its profile, whilst complying with the Trust’s brand guidelines remains paramount.

Brian Fox

Trust Health & Safety Manager

Prior to joining the Central Office Team, Brian was Premises Manager at ϳԹ.

In his role as Trust Health and Safety Manager, Brian will manage all aspects of the day to day management of health and safety matters across the Trust.

Alison Gracie

Learning & Development Partner

Alison joined FMAT in January 2024 as a Learning & Development Partner.  The role will include a range of tasks from designing and implementing solutions for personal and leadership development to career pathways and succession planning.

Over the past 12 years she has held HR Business Partner roles within FTSE 100 Financial Services companies supporting Executive Committee members to define and implement people plans to improve the colleague experience.  She brings with her a wealth of experience and insight into working across varied client groups ranging from Customer Services to Finance and Risk with a continued focus on employee engagement, talent management and leadership development.

Alison has a passion for helping people to learn new skills and build enriching careers and will be our ambassador for continuous personal development across the Trust.  As a learning organisation, it is a key strategic aim to continuously improve our staff.