We will recruit, train and retain the very best staff driven by a strong culture of professional development and mutual support in the pursuit of highly effective teaching and the highest levels of student progress, (Trust value)

As our Staff Charter states, ‘you will be supported to grow and develop as a great professional’, employees have access to development opportunities in their school and across the Trust in a culture of collaboration and teamwork.  Case studies of staff who have progressed their careers within the Trust can be found below.  


Robin Anthony - Deputy Headteacher, Prospect House


2014 - HTLA
2015 - Special Education Teacher 
2018 - Associate Assistant Headteacher
2019 - Assistant Headteacher
2021 - Deputy Headteacher


Robin joined the Trust with Piper Hill High School in 2014 as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA) following the DfE’s implementation of computing into the National Curriculum.  With a background in computing, Robin is interested in developing and utilising IT within specialist schools, upskilling, and using computing to support severely autistic students.  Working within the cluster of special schools in the Trust and gaining support from key specialist staff, Robin gained his QTLS and became a Special Education Teacher with Piper Hill in 2015, progressing to Associate Assistant Headteacher in 2018. When Prospect House Primary School opened on the Grange School site in 2019, Robin took on the role of Assistant Headteacher and has led on the development of Prospect House’s brand new specialist support site which is due to open Summer 2022.  Continuing to progress his career within the Trust, Robin achieved the appointment of Deputy Headteacher in 2021 and looks forward to growing and developing Prospect House in their brand new North Manchester location.

Reflecting on his progression in the Trust, Robin believes that the key to his success was gaining knowledge and skills whilst learning on the job. Having started his journey as a TA, Robin has the ability to understand the needs of colleagues across all levels allowing him to be an empathetic and effective 

Sam Rushton - HR Business Partner 


2009 - Administration Assistant 

2011 - Admin Co-ordinator / PA to Headteacher

2016 - HR Manager

2021 - HR Business Partner


Sam is a HR Business Partner for the Trust and the dedicated HR link supporting Piper Hill School, Grange School and the Central Teams – IT, Catering, Finance, and Estates.  She liaises with each team supporting employee lifecycle from recruitment, through development to end of employment.  

Sam’s journey:
I started my Trust career in Piper Hill High School in 2009 as an Administrative Assistant in the main office.  Working in the hub of the school enabled me to gain a good understanding of all school processes and develop good relations with students, parents/carers, colleagues as well as outside agencies and professionals.  My own personal core values very much matched those of the school to respect, to value wellbeing and to value working together and through working closely with the admin team I used my skills to progress to PA to the Headteacher. I supported the headteacher and senior leadership team with  management of performance, attendance.

I wanted to further develop my supportive skills and attended professional development training with the Chartered Institute of  Personnel and Development to progress to HR Manager for the Special schools with responsibilities for recruitment, attendance and reporting to governors.  I collated and shared evidence with organisations such as Investors in People, Ofsted Inspectors/ pre-opening Ofsted meetings,  Safeguarding Audits and also presented evidence to support the Gold Wellbeing One Education Award 2021 for the Special Schools.

With the expanding Trust came the development of the HR Team we have today.  I now work closely with a team of 7 colleagues and together we manage the HR function for the whole Trust.  We are now able to bring together the individual school values and share our Trust vision to provide exceptional education for all.  Our team play an integral part in ensuring  there are opportunities for all in recruitment and development as well as retaining our staff to ensure we have the best team to support young people in our schools.

Apprentice Case Studies

Did you know that apprenticeship opportunities are available within the Trust?  Supporting vocational training fits into our role as an employer and education institution.  We have a number of staff currently working though their apprenticeships and colleagues who have progressed their career following the completion of their course. Please explore the case studies below:


Jordan Howarth - Senior Engineer 


2018 – IT Engineer and ICT Infrastructure Apprentice
2021 – Senior Engineer


Why did you choose an apprenticeship? 
I knew I wanted to work in the IT sector and I wanted hands on experience to support my learning, university didn’t seem like a good fit for me.  

How did you make the journey from being an apprentice to your current position? 
My current role is Senior Engineer.  Since I started the apprenticeship, I have been learning new skills in the job regularly over the last 3 years and gaining experience working with my team.  Now that I have built up my skillset, I can have the ability to carry out work that is more technical.  When a position for a Senior Engineer came up, I believed I had progressed enough to be suitable for the role and was successful in being appointed.

How did the Trust support you during the course of your apprenticeship?  
The Trust gave me as much time as I needed to complete training courses and coursework for the apprenticeship, the IT team also helped me hit the criteria that was needed by giving me training for different situations.

What are the rewards of doing an apprenticeship? 
You get experience and qualifications; this really helps you grow your career and is a great kick-starter.  I would 100% recommend taking this route.

Kay Brownlie - Head of Catering


2019 –  Catering Group Manager for two schools, began Operations Departmental Manager Apprenticeship (Level 5)
2021 – Head of Catering for the Trust

Why did you choose to start an apprenticeship?
I was aware that the Trust could offer apprenticeship training and I was looking to grow my career and wanted professional and personal development. Doing an apprenticeship meant that I could so this alongside my job and get support from my employer.  It’s important to me as a manager to lead by example and encourage other staff to take up courses.

How did you make that journey from being an apprentice to your current position?
Previously I worked for the catering service who provided for some of the Trust schools, my role was Group Manager for two schools.  As I took on the apprenticeship and the Trust centralised it’s services, I was able to take on the role of Head of Catering for the Trust and manage a team who deliver a high quality service to all our schools.
How did the Trust support you during the course of your apprenticeship?
The Trust provided study time, and resources, such as access to computers and printing.

What are the rewards of doing an apprenticeship?
Developing the discipline required to complete the course has helped in my job.
The knowledge gained has given me confidence in my new role with the Trust and sharing new skills with the team has been very rewarding.
Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?
I cannot recommend it highly enough, both personally and professionally.


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