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Executive & Core Team

Executive Team


Catherine Anwar
Chief Executive Officer
Catherine Anwar, our Chief Executive Officer, joined us in May 2017. Prior to joining us, Catherine was a Senior Her Majesty’s Inspector for Ofsted and served 8 years as a secondary school headteacher in Hampshire. In her role at Ofsted, Catherine led focused reviews of Multi-Academy Trusts, and inspections of complex academies, and free schools.
Usha Devi
Director of School Improvement, Primary
Usha Devi is the School Improvement Director, Primary. She joined Ninestiles Academy Trust in April 2018. Prior to joining the Trust, Usha had a number of local and national roles. Usha was one of Her Majesty’s inspectors for Ofsted. During her time with Ofsted, she led inspections and monitoring visits in primary and secondary schools. Prior to joining Ofsted, Usha had extensive leadership experience in schools and was a successful headteacher in the West Midlands. Usha has also held a number of additional roles, including working as an educational consultant, an advisor to the Department of Education, a member of the General Teaching Council, a community governor, and a visiting lecturer at a university.
Steve Ralph
Finance Director
Steve Ralph is the Director of Finance. He is a Fellow of the ICAEW and has responsibility over the finance function of Ninestiles Academy Trust. He spent 18 years working in audit services before joining the Trust in 2014.
Steve Smith
Estates & Facilities Director
Steve is the Estates & Facilities Director for the Trust and joined us in September 2016. He is a member of the British Institute of Facilities Management and has over 15 years’ experience in Facilities management, bringing extensive experience of service focused multi-site management to his role.
Costas Tzartzalis
IT Director
Costas Tzartzalis is our IT Director. He is an IT professional with over 25 years’ experience in Education, managing high quality and extremely successful projects. He has a proven track record of delivering IT services and ensuring strong alignment with organisational goals and increasing value, while maintaining high standards within budget and tight timescales.
Kate Purchase
Executive Assistant to CEO
Kate Purchase is the Executive Assistant to the CEO. She started with us in August 2015 having previously worked as a Conference & Event Organiser. Kate offers broad and effective support to the CEO, SIDs and Executive Team and leads on Trust-wide events such as conferences and awards evenings.
Donna Farrugia
HR Director
Donna joined the Trust in February 2018 as the newly appointed HR Director. Having worked in the education sector for over 25 years she brings a wealth of experience in providing strategic and operational support on a range of HR areas. Prior to joining the Trust, Donna has had extensive HR leadership experience working within the Further Education sector, and more recently she has worked in a number of educational settings as an HR Consultant undertaking specific project based work.
Clare Sutton
Strategic Business Director
Clare Sutton leads the Procurement Team for the Trust. She has recently joined the Trust to implement and extend best practice in procurement across our schools. Her aim is to secure the maximum quality and quantity of resources for our pupils whilst eliminating any waste and inefficiency in buying the Trust’s goods and services. Clare is also Finance Director at The Sixth Form College, Solihull.

Core Team


Komrun Bibi
HR Business Partner
Komrun is a HR Business Partner and has been employed at the Trust since September 2015. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and provides professional HR advice, support and guidance to staff and leaders of our trust schools. Komrun has previously worked for a local authority and in the FE sector, bringing the Trust valuable experiences from the field of HR. She is also particularly experienced with the Single Central Record and provides our schools with effective support in this area.
Elizabeth Ford
Director of Ninestiles Teaching School Alliance & South Birmingham SCITT
Elizabeth is the Director of Ninestiles Teaching School Alliance. Elizabeth has worked in three different schools and across three different local authorities, gaining over 10 years of experience in whole school leadership; focusing upon school-led teacher training, coaching & mentoring whilst leading on programmes to structure succession planning through a school led improvement system.
Christa Vines
Trust SENDCO
Christa is the Ninestiles Academy Trust SENDCo. She is a Specialist Leader in Education and has extensive SEND experience having been a SENCo for over 10 years. Christa has worked collaboratively with various local authority services and has been involved in delivering whole school training, NQT sessions, induction training for ITT and is actively involved in supporting all of our leadership teams across the Trust in evaluating provisions and improving outcomes for pupils with SEND.
Jayne Smith
Trust Director of Maths
Jayne is the Trust Director of Mathematics with responsibility to develop the high quality provision across all phases. She has over 20 years of teaching experience, undertaking various roles within the two secondary schools in which she has taught. Jayne is a Specialist Leader in Education, an AST and has led mathematics as a Subject Leader and as an Assistant Principal for over 10 years. Along with her strategic leadership, Jayne's adaptability sees her working with Primary and Secondary colleagues, trainees and experienced teachers, to develop their subject knowledge and pedagogy. Her experience in subject leadership has seen her support mathematics departments in other local and national secondary schools; school to school support has been a major focus of her work.
Jacqui Collins
Trust Administrative Assistant
Jacqui Collins joined the trust in November 2017 as Trust Administrative Assistant. Jacqui uses her administration expertise and experience in both education and industry to offer valuable support to our trust executive team and schools.
Louisa Wilcock
Trust Administrative Assistant
Louisa joined the Trust in January 2018 as a Trust Administrative Assistant, having formerly worked at The 6th Form College Solihull for 18 years as the Administrator for IT Services. Louisa was previously a Learning Assistant at the college which involved training and supporting students and staff with the use of IT. Louisa provides effective support to the Trust Executive Team.
Jenny White
HR Business Partner
Jenny is an experienced HR Business Partner, providing professional HR advice and guidance across a variety of employee relations matters. Jenny is CIPD qualified to Level 7 and has worked in the education sector for over 15 years, gaining comprehensive experience across all aspects of the HR function during this time.
Paul Elmore
Management Accountant
Paul Elmore is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and joined the Trust in June 2018 as the Management Accountant. His role is to support the schools and college across the Trust with financial budgeting, reporting and procedures. He is primarily responsible for the compilation and distribution of Managements reports.
Daniel Knight
Trust Data & Insight Analyst
Daniel joined the Trust in August 2018, with responsibility for developing the systems and processes we use to identify areas for improvement, raise standards and improve outcomes for pupils across the Trust. He has 9 years’ experience in data analysis, research design and policy development at a range of public and third-sector organisations, and 4 years’ experience in school governance.
Sharon Pearson
Trust Payroll Manager