Our Team

Our Excellence Pathway

Humber Education Trust’s vision is to develop a high performing Multi Academy Trust that delivers the very best educational experience for all children and young people.

The Trustees, CEO and Headteachers place developing Learning, Teaching and Assessment at the core of our overall strategic intent. We recognise and cherish the depth of expertise at all levels across our schools. Our ambition is to identify, develop and utilise the vast array of talent and experience within our workforce in order to support and improve all schools across the Trust.

We believe in innovative staff development opportunities at all levels. S2S Support Leaders and Peers will have a unique opportunity to have an impact on children’s lives beyond the classrooms of their own school.

By working together we will promote innovation and strengthen the ethos of the Trust to ensure that we have a positive impact on all of the children and young people within the Trust.

S2S Support Photo

S2S Support Leaders

The Role: Working under the direction of the School Improvement Leader we will use your recognised expertise to support school leaders and school staff to address identifed school improvement priorities. You will lead forums and other forms of Trust wide CPD such as supporting the professional development of a small group of S2S Support Peers or aspiring S2S Support Leaders.

Skills & Knowledge Required:

  • Enthusiastic, forward thinking, ‘solution focussed’ attitude.
  • Ability to innovate, communicate effectively.
  • Build/maintain professional working relationships, respecting confidentiality.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and to meet agreed deadlines


Experience: You are likely to be a Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, Assistant Headteacher, SLT member, NLE, LLE, SLE or have experience of supporting other schools.


S2S Support Peers

The Role: You will form part of a ‘talent pool’ that schools cab draw upon. This may include, the sharing of planning/resources with another teacher, modelling practice recognised as ‘highly effective’. You are likely to participate in forums aimed at sharing best practice and ‘brainstorming’ ideas to move our Trust forward in relation to field of expertise.

Skills & Knowledge Required:

  • Enthusiastic, forward thinking, ‘solution focused’ attitude.
  • Ability to innovate, communicate effectively.
  • Build/maintain professional working relationships, respecting confidentiality.
  • Be generous with time and committed to share ideas, resources and experience.


Experience: You are likely to be a good/outstanding teacher within a recognised Key Stage, Year Group or specific subject. Perhaps you are a talented SENCO, Safeguarding Leader, Business Manager, Well Being Worker or Teaching Assistant.

Graeme BrookGraeme Brook

Graeme has spent the last 40 years working in education. He has been a teacher, deputy headteacher, headteacher, school improvement advisor for the local authority and education consultant.  Graeme has an excellent understanding of challenge and accountability within the education sector and is particularly skilled at analysing performance data and implementing national assessment frameworks and accountability measures. He has been a chair of governors at several primary and secondary schools.

Darren Downs

Darren is currently Chief Superintendant for Humberside Police. He has worked in a variety of senior management roles within the police force including the Diversity Department, large divisions and HR. Darren has a wide variety of skills and expertise to draw on including: budget management, performance management and challenge systems, key decision maker on complex issues, strategic plan development and managing large teams of people.

Stuart Spandler

Stuart is the Chair of the board for a large charitable community organisation. He has career experience as a teacher, coach driver, radio presenter and middle manager within a large rail company. Start is an ordained church minister and continues to work as a celebrant of funeral services. In his trustee role for the Goodwin Development Trust he oversees the strategic direction of the organisation and ensures that the day to day practical management of the organisation is best directed towards the achievement of strategic aims.

Leah De Vries

Leah is a fully qualified solicitor specialising in employment law and HR.  Leah has experience of working for international law firms and advising PLCs, FTSE 250 companies and equivalent institutions. She now runs her own training business operating a national portfolio of clients for a variety of law firms. Leah advises on  employment law & HR best practice and has significant sector experience in higher education, retail & banking.

Paul PlumridgePaul Plumridge

Paul Plumridge is the Strategic School Improvement Lead for Humber Education Trust. He has significant experience in this role across a range of schools and trusts and enjoys supporting and challenging colleagues in a practical and collaborative way.  Paul is an Ofsted Inspector and has gained significant experience since 2012 in this role, including leading Section 5 inspections. Paul is the Headteacher of Adelaide Primary School in Hull and also, as Associate Headteacher, helped lead his previous school to outstanding in June 2015.

Rachel WilkesRachel Wilkes

Rachel Wilkes is the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer for Humber Education Trust. Following a degree in languages, she started her career in business and then audit and risk management before training to be a teacher. As a NCTL ‘Fast Track’ teacher she has worked on school leadership teams since 2004 and completed an MA in Education. Prior to taking up headship she supported the local authority as a ‘leading teacher’ providing training for teachers and undertaking school to school support for colleagues in a variety of schools. Rachel became Headteacher at Clifton Primary School in 2011 and led the school through a period of significant change where the school expanded to include FS1 provision and increased in size from 170 to 320 pupils. In 2016 the school achieved an outstanding rating from Ofsted. Achievement at KS2 has been in the top 5% of schools nationally for the past 3 years. Rachel has recently been designated as a National Leader of Education and Clifton is now a National Support School.

Brian StillingsBrian Stillings

Brian has spent his working career employed in the education sector. He has undertaken a variety of roles comprising: teacher, deputy head teacher, head teacher, visiting lecturer at the University of Hull, school improvement advisor and is a qualified lead inspector for Ofsted.  He understands the importance of education in ensuring children have the best possible educational provision which promotes life chances to succeed, children being safe and well prepared for adult life in order to contribute effectively to society.

Gavin BarleyGavin Barley

Gavin is part of the senior leadership team of a public-private sector partnership organisation which has undertaken the building and maintenance contracts of PFI schools in Hull as well as delivering building projects for the City of Culture. He has been a director at a range of academies including special and secondary schools and has widespread experience of delivering facilities management contracts.

Gerard Gibbons

Gerard is the sales manager of a leading UK Health & Safety product and training provider. He has experience of managing large teams of people and is responsible for financial and operational oversight of the commercial business.  Gerard also has an excellent understand of risk management and health and safety legislation. He has been a long standing trustee of a local special school.

Paul BrownPaul Brown J.P.

Paul has been a magistrate since 1984 and is currently the chair of the Humber Bench. As a Justice of the Peace, Paul has a wealth of experience in tackling situations strategically and the variety of roles he has held over his working life have given him a vast experience in dealing with the public, staffing issues, diversity, training, monitoring and problem solving. He has been an Ofsted inspector, a sales and marketing manager for a large international company and the Managing Director and Chairman of the Institute of Swimming.

Steve KernanSteve Kernan

Steve is the Principal of Newington Academy in Hull and is on the board of Academies Enterprise Trust. He has held a range of leadership positions in schools since leaving industry to train as a teacher. Steve has been a team leader for end of key stage marking programmes and brings with him a range of experiences of the academies sector.

Tony WilmotAnthony Wilmot

Tony is a fully qualified chartered accountant with extensive experience in both industry and audit. He is currently employed as the Head of Finance for a housing partnership and previously worked as Finance Director for Beverley Building Society. Tony has a wealth of knowledge in financial and regulatory matters, including the requirements of internal and external audit.  He has been a governor in schools and also a non-exec director of a computer software company.

Paul StevensPaul Stevens

Paul is currently the Information Service Change Programme and Projects Team Manager for a large utilities company. He has a background in IT, property, programme and change management working across a wide range of service areas and industries. Paul has considerable procurement, contract negotiation, people, leadership, strategy and partnership working experience at both senior management and board level.

Helen Hudson

Helen is Head of HR for a leading UK food manufacturer. She has 22 years’ experience in industry and is accountable for developing and delivering the people strategy and plan for the business. She has extensive experience of change management and workforce remodelling to generate cost savings and promote efficiencies as well as overseeing training and continuous professional development for the whole workforce.