DEMAT Central Team
Andrew Read - Director of Diocese of Ely and DEMAT CEO
B’Ed (Hons with QTS) and M’Ed, University of Cambridge
Andrew has Cambridge degrees in education and education management, and has taught, led, and managed in all phases, and has 12 years’ experience leading Ofsted inspections. A staunch believer in formulating practice from evidenced based research, he has had extensive involvement in higher education, and is an established author. In the last decade he has acted as an advisor to government, provided management support to 80+ local authorities/academy groups, worked directly with more than 5000 schools, spent a decade serving as a director within the commercial sector, is a past and current trustee for numerous charitable trusts, and has been a governor in a number of schools of different phases. Andrew lives near Cambridge with his teaching wife and a young son. Andrew is designated as Accounting Officer of DEMAT in his role as Chief Executive Officer, as well as undertaking the role of Director of Education for the Diocese of Ely. Above all else Andrew is a passionate campaigner for the rights of all children to a good education, regardless of location, circumstance or religion.
Sarah Conant - Chief Operating Officer
Sarah Conant has been teaching for 20 years having had a previous life as a Royal Air Force officer. She has worked in Lincolnshire, Bromley and Cambridgeshire before becoming Deputy head in Chatteris in 2003. Having completed the NPQH Sarah moved abroad with her husband and became head of a new Primary School for expatriate employees children in Saudi Arabia. This was an exciting few years working for a large international company and teaching children from both the northern and southern hemispheres. At this time she also completed a Master of Science in Education Leadership.
Sarah returned to Primary headship in the UK in Jul 2011 running Peckover School in Wisbech for 2 1/2 years and taking it into academy status. Sarah then joined the DEMAT with the remit of taking on interim headships (in Peterborough and Ely) to support the schools in difficult times and to ensure that their transition to academies went smoothly. Her role within DEMAT is also to support head teachers in their complex roles.
Sarah became Deputy Director of Education in the DEMAT in January 2016, and has been Chief Operating Officer since May 2016.
Sarah is married to an aircraft engineer and has twin sons; one is a civil servant in the Cabinet Office and the other is an English teacher and Assistant Vice Principal at a large Dagenham secondary school. Her main interests are traveling and she is an avid Formula-One fan. Her dream is to win the lottery and travel to every Grand Prix around the world in one season; so far she has done four!
Nick Hills - Finance Director
Nick Hills joined DEMAT as Finance Director in September 2016 and is also designated as the Chief Finance Officer for the Trust. A qualified chartered accountant with over twenty years experience in a variety of senior executive and non-executive roles, Nick’s most recent executive role prior to joining DEMAT was as Chief Financial Officer of the Royal Society of Chemistry, one of the largest charities in the UK. Nick has broad financial experience having worked in major international organisations spanning publishing, education and membership, as well as investment management and property investment.
Nick is a firm believer in the positive role accountants can play in the wider community and as such has taken many voluntary roles over the years, such as assisting small community charities with finance matters, being a member of the Royal Institution of Great Britain Audit Committee as well being a Trustee of the Royal Society of Chemistry Pension Scheme.
Nick is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, having studied Modern Languages at Gonville and Caius College and now lives in Ely with his family and four children.
Jacqueline McCamphill - Assistant Director, Innovation and Business Development
Jacqueline joined DEMAT in November 2016 because she was attracted to the ethos, vision, values and high-quality team of DEMAT in the pursuance of improving outcomes for children and young people, which so closely aligns with her own values and approach.
Prior to this, she was the Associate Chief Executive of the Eastern Leadership Centre (ELC) a regional not for profit charity based in Cambridge providing education and professional development services to the eastern region and nationally. She successfully led the closure of the charity for the first 11 months of 2016. This executive role has followed 8 years of senior management responsibility with ELC covering voluntary sector, national charity partners and local government-related sold service provision, specifically around national school governance. Jacqueline was also a Senior School Business Leader at Hinchingbrooke Secondary School in Cambridgeshire for 8 years and a Regional Manager for the national Training and Development Agency (TDA). Jacqueline’s experience is very diverse and she started her professional career as a chartered town planner for Severn Trent Water Ltd.
Jacqueline is the Assistant Director for Innovation and Business Development for DEMAT.
Alongside her current role, she is a school governor and holds responsibility as Vice-Chair for the accountability and performance of Bar Hill Community Primary School in Cambridgeshire. She is married to Mac and has a son called Conor and daughter called Katharine at primary school.
Owen Rhodes - School Improvement Director
Owen joined DEMAT in September as School Improvement Director. He is an experienced former headteacher who has worked in primary schools in Cambridgeshire and Surrey over the last 20 years. He has successfully turned around a school in challenging circumstances, through focusing on improving the quality of teaching, and building an effective team, committed to improving children’s academic and social achievements. Owen strongly believes in the significant benefits and impact of school to school support. As Chair of the Wisbech Schools’ Partnership, he has led a number of projects aiming to improve outcomes for children across the locality. He also has previous experience as a secondary school governor, and as a mentor to newly appointed headteachers.
Jenny Daniels - Independent Education Consultant
Jenny is acting School Improvement Director until August. She recently took early retirement after fourteen years as a Headteacher, and works as an independent Education Consultant with DEMAT. Her career as a Headteacher culminated in an ‘Outstanding’ judgement from Ofsted for Leadership and Management. The inspection report identified her personal strengths as a leader and identified how effectively she set clear directions aimed at bringing about continuous improvement. During her time as a Headteacher, she was appointed to be a local Leader of Education; trained and worked as an Ofsted Inspector and supported schools as an ‘Achievement for All’ coach. In addition, Jenny trained, and still undertakes, Section 48 Statutory Inspections of Anglican and Methodist Schools.
Jenny is a highly skilled, experienced and enthusiastic practitioner with the ability to motivate and inspire. She deals sensitively with people as well as being able to deliver the difficult message. She has a successful track record of supporting schools and bringing about whole school improvement. Through clarity of vision, a sense of purpose and high aspirations, Jenny focuses on raising standards and, working alongside the school, develop operational plans and objectives that promote and sustain school improvement.
Simon Cobby - Communications Director
Simon joined DEMAT as Communications Director in September 2017. After graduating in English and Drama, Simon spent 10 years in journalism, where he held a variety of positions including news editor of the Cambridge News, production editor at ITN and night news editor of the Press Association.
Simon then joined Cambridgeshire County Council as Communications and Media Manager, where he was responsible for public relations, media management and crisis management for the authority’s 165 maintained schools. He was an advisor to the Council Leader and Cabinet on the likely impact of political and strategic decisions and a member of the silver command emergency planning group in Cambridgeshire. He developed and managed the Council’s social media channels and delivered media training courses for staff, councillors, headteachers and external partners.
Simon lives in South Cambridgeshire where he is vice-chair of the governing body of the village primary school. He is also a trustee of a fund set up for a young adult with special needs.
Joanne Patterson - HR Manager
Joanne is the HR Manager and has a wealth of knowledge and experience which supports the delivery of a high quality HR service to all DEMAT staff. She is also responsible for the Health and Safety function and strategically ensures all health and safety matters and controls are in place. Joanne’s strength is her ability to assess a situation and proactively generate and implement solutions in a professional and ethical manner. She is CSBM and NEBOSH qualified with over 16 years’ experience in the Education sector. Prior to working for DEMAT Joanne worked in industry for 18 years.
Julia Steed - Finance Manager
Julia has over 20 years’ experience within Education Finance, with all phases, prior to this a career within the corporate banking sector and holds an BA(Hons) Degree and Certificate of Accounting from Open University, and studied with the National College of Teaching and Leadership holding both CSBM and DSBM qualifications. Her role is to ensure statutory and regulatory compliance and offer support in all things financial through the management of the schools finance team and schools within DEMAT.
She enjoys working with others for a common aim, working at DEMAT is one of the best examples of this, knowing her input albeit small has gone someway to facilitate the continued success of this group of schools. The new landscape emerging in the education sector is one that is interesting and offers great opportunities for the students within education now and those in the future. It is this that drives her further to extend her knowledge and participation within the sector.
Alexandra Harrington-Rutterford - Assistant to Finance Director
Alex joined DEMAT in September 2017 to assist in the Finance function, having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in the Audit department at Deloitte in Cambridge and gained post-qualification experience at Marshall Aerospace & Defence Group. During her training, Alex had exposure to large Cambridge corporates, including working on annual audits, interim reviews and assisting in implementing control frameworks.
Alex believes that education offers the greatest opportunity for all children, collectively and individually to unlock their potential, regardless of start in life. It was in this belief that Alex joined her local school as a Governor in 2015, and so was eager to join DEMAT as she believes they share a common goal of furthering young people’s education through collaboration, support & challenge.
Annabelle Evans - Legal and Property Manager
Annabelle is a solicitor with over 15 years experience specialising in property matters. Prior to joining DEMAT in May 2016, she worked at Mills & Reeve Solicitors LLP, Cambridge within the agriculture and landed estates team dealing with a variety of property transactions involving agriculture, commercial and residential matters and acted for a diverse range of clients including charities, Cambridge and Oxford Colleges, investment companies and individual landowners. She has joined the DEMAT team as the Legal and Property Manager and is also the Company Secretary for DEMAT.
Emily Bedford - School Effectiveness Officer (Literacy)
“Words’, he said, ‘is oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life. As I am telling you before, I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiff-squiddled around.” Roald Dahl, The BFG.
How many of us and our children feel like this? Emily joins DEMAT as a literacy specialist who strives to ensure that words; spoken, read and written are the key to opening children’s hearts and minds.
It was her studies at Cambridge University and research projects focusing on ‘The effect of children’s early literacy experiences on their life outcomes’ and ‘Why some children can read but not understand?’ that sparked her passion for teaching literacy. As an outstanding practitioner, Emily provided her pupils with an inspirational literacy education and through her multiple leadership roles ensured her colleagues had the skills and confidence to deliver the same.
As a School Effectiveness Officer, Emily is committed to school improvement, supporting schools to ensure all our children are given the opportunity, drive and resilience to reach for their dreams.
Karen Tozer - School Effectiveness Officer (Maths)
‘To increase mathematical understanding, enjoyment and achievement for every child.’
When asked to write her core purpose into one sentence, this is what Karen wrote. Her vision is clear – every child should be given every opportunity to learn, understand and enjoy maths both within and outside of the classroom.
Karen took up teaching as a second career following work in both local and national government departments. She quickly took on the role of maths subject lead in a large primary school, overseeing the implementation of the new curriculum and guiding all staff on how to teach to mastery. She has taught across both Key Stages, but considers herself more of an Upper Key Stage 2 specialist. In 2016, Karen was approached by the University of Bedfordshire and asked to lecture on the Applied Education Studies course in maths – teaching adults how to teach maths to children!
Karen joined DEMAT as School Improvement Officer in maths in September 2017 to fulfil her ambition for every child to enjoy and achieve in maths.
Outside of work, Karen is married with a daughter, she is a leisurely swimmer, cyclist and walker who is a keen cook and an amateur DIYer!
Ming Wisbey - Finance Assistant
Ming has 15 years experience working within the finance departments of the NHS, Higher Education and within the commercial sector. Ming holds an economics degree and is part qualified CIMA.
Most recently, Ming worked at the Diocesan education department in Ely, helping schools obtained capital funding. Ming Joined DEMAT in April 2016.
Thecla Nchia - Finance Assistant
Thecla has approximately 3 years experience of working in Finance. After obtaining her MBA from Cardiff University in 2012, she worked as a healthcare assistant for the NHS for almost 2years; alongside being a 3days volunteer in their finance department. After 2 months of being a volunteer she landed a temporary finance assistant role with the NHS Improvement where she assisted in the audits.
Prior to joining DEMAT, Thecla worked for Zinwave Limited in Harston as a finance assistant/office manager.
Kitt Smith - Administrator
Kitt is relatively new to the Education sector, she has recently worked for 2 years at the Eastern Leadership Centre (ELC) providing support for School Governance, and then went on to work for the National Governors Association for a short time. Prior to that Kitt has had over 25 years’ experience of administration roles in many industries, among them IT, Financial and public services industries. Kitt took a short break some years ago to run a business with her husband where she gained experience in running a company, albeit a small one.
Melissa Clarke - Administrator
Melissa has worked in two schools since 2003. She has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience working with children and students across both Primary and Secondary Phases as a Teaching Assistant and Key Worker and further developed her skills working in Finance and most recently as Administrator for the School Office. Melissa enjoys working with children and truly believes that all children should enjoy a safe, happy and healthy school environment in which to flourish and grow.