Redhill Science Students

Stour Vale Academy Trust

Central Team

Executive Team

Rachel Salter

Chief Executive Officer

Having previously been an Executive Leader of Stour Vale since 2018, Rachel was appointed CEO of our trust in October 2021. Rachel began her teaching career in 1994, working in schools in Leeds and Sandwell before becoming a headteacher in 2009.

Steve Ralph

Chief Finance Officer

Steve is a Fellow of the ICAEW and has responsibility over the strategic, financial, HR and business operations for Stour Vale Academy Trust. He spent 18 years working in audit services before transferring to the Academy sector in 2014.

Executive Leaders

Lara Stone

Executive Leader

Before joining Stour Vale, Lara was a headteacher in Sandwell for 9 years. She began her teaching career in Essex and has worked in a range of different primary settings.

Phil Shackleton

Executive Leader

Phil is the headteacher at Oldbury Academy, a large secondary school in Sandwell with over 1350 students. He has been in post since January 2016 and was previously the deputy headteacher at the school prior to his promotion to headteacher. He has now been at the school for over 12 years. Oldbury Academy has improved significantly under his leadership and during its recent OFSTED inspection in December 2021 the school was graded as ‘GOOD’ in all areas. Phil is passionate about giving all children, both in his school and across the Trust, the very best opportunities.

He has supported a number of local schools with their own school improvement journey drawing upon his experiences from OFSTED and his own leadership development.

Before moving to Oldbury Academy, Phil worked in Walsall as a teacher of Physical Education and as a Head of Physical Education at Sneyd Community School. He also qualified as an advanced skills teacher where he supported other Physical Education departments across the West Midlands particularly focusing upon innovation and the use of information technology in PE lessons. He then moved into senior leadership and worked as a pastoral leader responsible for behaviour and attendance.

Jamie Fox

Executive Leader

Jamie has been Headteacher at The Earls High School since 2018 and has been part of the leadership team since 2008. As a Deputy Headteacher he was responsible for curriculum and raising achievement and was part of the team that secured an Outstanding OFSTED judgement for the school in 2012. In the most recent inspection in January 2020, the school was assessed as Good in all areas with significant strengths identified in Personal Development and Leadership.

Throughout his career he has supported other schools as training facilitator for OLEVI International’s teaching programmes, as reviewer for Challenge Partners, taking part in peer reviews across the country and designing and delivering bespoke training for schools and their governors.

Emma Titchener

Executive Leader

Prior to joining Stour Vale Emma was one of His Majesty’s Inspectors in the West Midlands region and is a current lead Ofsted Inspector. Emma has gained experience as a headteacher and executive headteacher. She has worked as a school improvement adviser in two local authorities in primary, secondary, special schools, pupil referral units and adult education. Emma holds a Master’s degree in business administration.

Safeguarding and Inclusion Leader

Paul Ramage

Safeguarding and Inclusion Leader

Paul has served on multiple school leadership teams since 2007 and has been a Designated Safeguarding Lead since 2016. In recent years, alongside his role as Senior Deputy Head at The Earls High School, he has led both the SEND and Safeguarding Professional Learning Groups across Stour Vale Academy Trust.

Paul is a qualified teacher of science, holds an NPQH, a Master’s in Business Management and has recently completely a Post Graduate Certificate in School Mental Health Leadership.

Leaders for Teacher Training and Development

Andy Burton

School Improvement Leader for Mathematics

Andy is the School Improvement Leader for Maths at Stour Vale. Andy has previously been a successful Head of Department and Senior Leader in different schools and is now focusing his passion for developing mathematics within the cross-phase Trust and through the local authority. Andy is part of the Secondary Maths Mastery Specialist cohort and also works with Pearson as a Senior Assessment Associate at both Key Stage 2 and GCSE.

Tom Holder

 Lead for Teacher Training and Development

Tom leads on teacher training and development at Stour Vale, working with a range of schools and HE providers to coordinate and deliver high-quality professional development for both trainee and experienced teachers. He has taught and led across EYFS, KS1 and KS2 in a variety of Dudley primary schools, having most recently been Assistant Headteacher at Olive Hill Primary Academy. Tom is also a Maths Mastery Specialist for the Central Maths Hub where he supports primary teachers and schools to develop their practice.

Vikki Harper

Lead for Teacher Training and Development

Vikki has worked as part of the Stour Vale ITT programme as Senior Mentor. She is currently a history teacher at Ridgewood High School and is Assistant Team Leader for Learning and Teaching. Vikki successfully completed her NPQ for Leading Teacher Development and is a trained Teacher Educator.

Operations Team

Louise Broxton

Director of Operations

Louise is Director of Operations at Stour Vale. She moved into the Central Team from one of the founding member schools in 2017 following several years spent working in the translation and localisation industry as a senior translator and editor for government and commercial clients.

Alison Jones

Head of HR

Alison joined Stour Vale in 2024 as Head of HR. Alison’s previous roles include a senior HR role with a MAT in the South West, HR consultancy for the Education Sector as well as HR roles in the Charity and Defence sectors. Alison is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and accredited Safer Recruitment Trainer.

Laura Braznell

Trust Business Leader

Laura has worked in the education sector in further education and primary and secondary schools for 18 years. For the past 12 years she has worked at Moat Farm Junior School Trust, a large four form entry school in Oldbury, in the role of School Business Director. Her responsibilities included the financial running of the school’s £2.5 million budget, along with the management of HR, premises and safeguarding.

Over the past few years Laura has completed various qualifications associated with finance and school business management to develop her role as a key senior leader at Moat Farm Junior School. She is currently undertaking the CIPFA Diploma in school financial and operational leadership. 

Laura was a member of the Board of Trustees at Stour Vale for five years, only stepping down when Moat Farm Junior School became a Trust member school. Laura’s role now is to support Stour Vale member schools in their business function.

Satty Bhogal

HR Officer

Satty started work at Wolverhampton City Council in 1997, where alongside work she continued to study to gain her CIPD qualification. In 2005 Satty moved to working in Education within HR roles; she worked in a SEN school and in three large secondary schools before moving to the Central Team.

Donna Thorneycroft

Trust Administrator


Kelly Glass

Administrative Assistant


Finance Team

Johanna Griffin

Head of Finance

Jo is the Head of Finance at Stour Vale Academy Trust. She is a Chartered Accountant, originally qualifying with one of the Big 4 accounting firms. Jo worked in the insurance industry for 17 years, before moving into education. Jo supports the CFO in determining the strategic financial direction and management of financial operations of the academies within the Trust and member schools. She also works with the school business managers and others within schools to provide financial support.

Sue Scott

Trust Business Manager

Sue supports the CFO with all the Trust’s finance and business operations. Particularly focusing on financial management processes and procedures, around budget planning, monitoring and final closure of the Trust’s yearly accounts. Sue has over 20 years of experience in school financial management in the Dudley Borough, having worked at both The Earls High School and Windsor High School in a Finance/Business role.

Claire Heath

Finance Assistant

Claire joined Stour Vale in 2019 as a Finance Assistant at Ridgewood High School before moving to the Central Team in May 2022 as Trust Finance Assistant. Prior to that, Claire held finance positions in the automotive and retail sectors.

For all enquiries, call us on 0121 585 5385 or email