Leverhulme Academy Trust

Leverhulme Academy Trust

Central Team

The infrastructure of LCECT allows our schools to focus on effective teaching and learning and provides interaction and mutual support with like-minded colleagues. We firmly believe in the importance of working with autonomy and recognise the importance of ownership in inspiring our schools to achieve beyond their previous best. 

Our Business Support Offer is designed to effectively address the business operation needs of the school with a strategic, carefully planned, high quality and timely central service provision. This will allow leaders within the school to focus more of their time and energy on school improvement priorities and securing opportunities and excellence for our children.

Human Resources 

Charlotte McCool, HR Manager

Our central HR Team work closely with each school to develop and deliver the HR strategy and policy framework. They provide timely, professional support and advice on the full range of Human Resources, including; employee relations, policy implementation, trade union liaison, investigations, hearings, casework, and the delivery of other key HR projects. 

Charlotte has worked in the education sector for ten years and has experience in primary and secondary schools. She has a bachelor’s degree and a masters in Research and is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

She said, “I am proud to be part of the HR department at LCECT - we are a friendly, supportive, and proactive team dedicated to providing an outstanding HR service across the Trust. I enjoy working for a truly forward thinking organisation where I have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference supporting our staff.”


Sue Whittaker, Finance Manager

Our central Finance Team carries out the day-to-day finance functions and maintains the Trust’s accounting system. They provide timely professional support and advice, and offer support in developing strategic plans to meet the teaching and learning needs of the school. 

Sue joined Rivington and Blackrod High School in 2011 and became the Trust Finance Manager in 2017. She said, “I enjoy the variety of work involved working across the Trust and the challenges of working in education. I have the satisfaction that I’m contributing towards the best outcomes for our students.”


Emma Stoddard, Clerk to the Trust / PA to Executive Leadership Team

Our central team support the development of effective governance as well as ongoing training and provides timely expert and professional advice for any legal matters. Emma has worked in school governance for 14 years and was previously a Governance Support Officer at Bolton Governance Services. In this role Emma worked closely with primary and secondary schools and academies throughout the borough.

Emma has a degree in Media and Professional Writing and holds a Level 4 Management qualification. In addition, Emma has completed the Level 3 Clerking qualification.

She says: “Working closely with the CEO, Head Teachers, Trustees and Local Governors, I provide comprehensive clerking support and procedural advice for the Trust Board and Local Governing Committees. Being the central point of contact for governance, I co-ordinate wider governance support for all Trustees and Local Governors including recruitment, induction, training and development to ensure effective governance across the Trust”.

ICT Support

Richard Pycroft, ICT Manager

Our central ICT Team are primarily responsible for the smooth running of our ICT systems across our schools. They have a large focus on a high level of system uptime combined with security and ease of use for all colleagues, students and guests and ensure stability across our systems. 

Richard has worked in education for almost 20 years. He started his career working in local primary schools and transitioned to working in secondaries after several years. 

He said, “I joined LCECT in 2017 and am incredibly proud of the work we have achieved since then. We have brought together various systems that allow our staff and students to flourish. I really enjoy the autonomy that being part of LCECT brings us. It allows us to think outside the box and discover the most effective ways to support students and staff across the Trust.” 

Data and Analytics

Dean McDonagh, Head of Data and Analytics

Our central Data & Analytics Team works with our schools to ensure high quality data analysis and intelligence is available for areas such as academic attainment, pupil attendance and behaviour. Dean recently joined LCECT in December 2023 and is a specialist in education data analysis with over 10 years experience across all areas of the education sector, including primary and secondary schools.

He said “I am delighted to join LCECT and the challenge of ensuring that our schools have cutting-edge intelligence to ensure the best outcomes for our pupils is one I am excited about”.

Marketing and Communications

Jennifer Ledwards, Marketing and Communications Manager

Our central Marketing Team works closely with school leaders to raise the profile of the Trust both internally and externally. They provide advice, guidance, and support to schools on developing their individual brands and provide strategies for student recruitment and retention and parental engagement. 

Jennifer has worked in marketing for ten years and has a degree in Media and Communications and a ILM qualification in Leadership and Management. 

She said, “LCECT has seen a huge transformation since it first launched in 2017 and I am proud to be a part of that journey. I am passionate about using my skills and experience to support young people and am pleased with the work we have already achieved, including a complete rebrand of the Trust. 

I am responsible for developing and delivering an effective marketing and communications strategy for the Trust to support its strategic direction and growth, and work closely with each school to build their own brand image.” 

Health and Safety

Lorraine Jackson, Health and Safety Manager

Our Health and Safety Team is responsible for delivering the health and safety strategy across our schools and ensuring compliance with all statutory requirements. 

Lorraine joined Harper Green School in 2005, where she became a member of IOSH. After returning to university, she completed a NEBOSH certificate in Health and Safety, followed by a Level 4 qualification in Occupational Health and Safety. 

She said, “From the investigation of any accident or incident to the completion of risk assessments for school subject areas and staff, every day is different. I love the variety and importance of my role in ensuring a safe workplace for students and staff across the Trust.” 

Premises and Estates Management

All schools across the Trust have their own Site Team who works closely with their school Director of Resources/Business Operations on the day-to-day security, maintenance and management of the school sites. 

We use a central compliance system to ensure that our estates are maintained to the highest standard and so that our site teams can quickly respond to and resolve any challenges that occur during the school day. 

Our Director of Resources/Business Operations provide strategic oversight and project delivery in the areas of contract management, repairs and maintenance and building improvements, and health and safety compliance. They lead on estate development and maintenance and work closely with external strategic support to develop and deliver detailed CIF applications and individualised plans for the schools. 

Meet our Executive Team