Leverhulme Academy Trust

Leverhulme Academy Trust

Meet the Executive Team

Paul Roach, Chief Executive Officer

Paul has worked in education for over 26 years and has spent the last 15 years as Headteacher in three schools. During this time, he has been a national leader of education and supported other schools in various contexts. He has had the privilege of working in multiple schools, including community, Catholic and Church of England. 

After joining Rivington and Blackrod High School as Headteacher in 2016, Paul worked with local governors to establish Leverhulme Church of England and Community Trust, merging Rivington and Blackrod High School and Sixth Form with Harper Green School.

Paul graduated with a degree in Biology at LJMU in 1994 and headed to Alaska for a year before he began to pursue his career in education. On his return to the UK in 1996, he completed a PGCE at Loughborough University and moved back to the North West of England to start his first teaching role. During this time, Paul completed a master’s degree and progressed to Head of Science. He quickly moved into senior management and has worked with some great leaders, including Sir John Jones and Dame Enid Bibby. 

He said, “I believe education is about providing students with the academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural education that will enable them to lead happy and successful lives. Education should allow students to make informed decisions about their lives today and in the future. Schools should be happy diverse environments where collaboration and teamwork are the norm. 

To enable children to have the best education, schools need great teachers who are happy and motivated, who have access to high-quality INSET, and who work in an ethos and culture of shared collaboration and teamwork. Quality leadership is essential to this throughout the school and Trust.

Leadership is a constant journey of self-discovery that is emotionally and intellectually challenging. Leaders need to operate in a culture of autonomy and teamwork, supported by quality coaching and professional development. By working collaboratively together with other schools, teams are more diverse, resilient, and productive. Expertise is shared and best practices are developed for the benefit of all students within the community. To ensure our communities are great places of the future, all children must have access to a great education. This is achieved through collaboration, not competition.

By discovering the dreams of young people and enabling them to achieve this, we can transform the lives of individuals and our communities.”

Carol Davies, Chief Finance Officer

Carol joined LCECT as Chief Finance Officer in 2017 and has worked closely with the CEO and Trustees in developing the Trust since its inception. She plays a major role in driving operational excellence as part of the Trust’s strategic direction and has responsibility for support services across the Trust, including finance, HR, ICT, and asset management. Carol started her finance career in 1986 and became a qualified Chartered Management Accountant in 1993. Before joining LCECT, she had nine years hands on experience as Business Manager at Mount St Joseph’s, where she was responsible for strategic budget planning, financial regulations, completion of statutory returns, policy development, and compliance with statutory health and safety requirements. She also had operational management for all commercial activities and aspects of school support functions, including HR, premises, ICT, administration, and catering. 

Carol has a proven track record of innovation and effective strategic leadership at a senior level with financial, corporate and commercial experience. From 1992 to 2008, she was Head of Finance Children’s Services at Bolton MBC and was responsible for all financial matters within Bolton’s education and social care portfolios. At the time, the Ofsted report identified the use of resources as a strength and commented that the work had made schools more informed about resourcing and, therefore, better able to manage their own improvement. 

Carol has experience working collaboratively in other roles including, Chair of Audit for Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Chair of the North West Local Management of Schools Group, and as a Specialist Leader of Education. She has been a board member of Bolton Sixth Form College for over 25 years. She said, “I am a firm believer in the power of education and the opportunities learning can provide for all children; this drives my enthusiasm to work in the field of education. I have high standards, an ambition for children, our schools and the Trust, and the drive to take the Trust forward on the next stage of its journey.” 

Sarah Mitchell, Director of School Improvement

Sarah has over twenty years’ experience working in a range of large secondary schools in the North West of England. Prior to her role as Director of School Improvement, she gained extensive experience as a senior leader, working in a variety of roles for over fourteen years. These include Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and Head of School in a range of settings, from schools in challenging circumstances to those graded as outstanding. 

Sarah has particular expertise in teaching and learning, curriculum and leadership development. In her role as Director of School Improvement, Sarah works closely with leaders at all levels to secure and maintain excellence in the education the schools provide. She believes that coaching, continuous professional development, and collaboration are the key to making this happen. 

Alongside her role as Director of School Improvement, Sarah is an Ofsted inspector and inspects across all phases, which brings invaluable experience to her role. She is also the Chair of Governors at a local primary school. 

 Meet our Central Team