Karen Burns

Karen Burns

Chief Executive Office and Executive Principal, Victorious Academies Trust

Karen was appointed to the post of Executive Principal for Inspire and Discovery Academies in April 2015 and subsequently took on the role of Chief Executive from January 2016.   The Chief Executive role entails being ultimately responsible for all day-to-day management decisions between the Trustees and Members ensuring that their vision and aims are realised. Following a successful Deputy Headship involving the amalgamation of two schools in Stockport, Karen’s position before joining the Trust was as Headteacher of a Primary School in Ashton.

During her first 18 months at St Peter’s Primary in Ashton, it rose from being in the bottom ranking for English to be in the top 1% of the country for progress across all subjects.  This achievement was acknowledged and celebrated by the Minister for Schools, David Laws MP.  In 2013 the school was selected as one of only 50 early year’s settings in the UK to take part in an Ofsted ‘Best Practice’ survey and as a result, their systems and structures featured in an Ofsted school improvement document highlighting best practice for school readiness.  Following a recommendation from an Ofsted, Lead Inspector Karen has taken part in discussions with Ministers and the Chair of Ofsted regarding the way forward for improved practice for early years’ pupils.

After joining the Trust Karen continued to work for Tameside supporting schools as a Schools Performance and Standards Officer. She still provides support as necessary in the role of a consultant  Associate Headteacher for the LA. Karen is also Chair of the Tameside Schools’ Forum Committee.

Karen has had an active role in many all-party parliamentary group discussions and was a member of the multi-academy trust advisory body for Prospects Education. She has been a guest speaker at several national conferences, including the Daily Telegraph Education Festival and Optimus MAT Summit. She co-facilitates NPQEL training in the role of ‘expert practitioner.’

During 2017 Karen led discussions with the DfE, Regional Schools Commissioner and former sponsor to relaunch the Trust without a commercial sponsor.  Victorious Academies Trust was subsequently launched in January 2018 with new Members and Trustees.  The Trust currently comprises six primary academies with an additional two schools under application for whom Karen is Executive Headteacher.

Our Team

Sally Bishop Sally Bishop
Director of the West Hertfordshire Teaching Schools Partnership and Chair of the OLP Board
Sally Bishop is Director of the West Hertfordshire Teaching Schools Partnership, part of the Aspire ...
Andy Samways Andy Samways
Director of Research School and Teaching School, Unity Schools Partnership, and OLP Board Member
Andy has extensive experience of school and system leadership gained from senior leadership in secon...
Kylie Spark Kylie Spark
CEO of Inspiring Learners Trust and OLP Board Member
Kylie Spark is CEO of Inspiring Learners Trust and Executive Headteacher at Tyntesfield and Bollin p...
Nick Parry Nick Parry
Director of Teaching, Learning & Leadership, The Dean Trust at Ashton on Mersey School, and OLP Board Member
Nick has taught for 25 years and over the last 10 years, he has predominantly focused on staff train...
Dr. Lynn Sampson-Chappell Dr. Lynn Sampson-Chappell
Head of Professional Partnership Development, Liverpool Hope University, and OLP Board Member
Lynn is Head of Partnership for Professional Programmes at Liverpool Hope University, working in col...
Sue Tunnicliffe Sue Tunnicliffe
Senior Trust Improvement Officer - Leadership and Governance, Kent County Council and OLP Board Member
Sue has over 30 years of experience in education as a primary school teacher, Headteacher in three s...
Tim Warren Tim Warren
Director of Education for the Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool and OLP Board Member
Tim Warren has been the Director of Education for the Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool since Februa...
Amanda Griffiths Amanda Griffiths
Director of L.E.A.D. Equate TSA and OLP Board Member
Amanda Griffiths is the Director of L.E.A.D. Equate Teaching School Alliance. The Alliance includes ...
Shaun Monaghan Shaun Monaghan
Director of the West Cumbria Teaching School Alliance and OLP Board Member
Shaun is Director of the West Cumbria Teaching School Alliance based at Keswick School in the Lake D...
Roger Purdy Roger Purdy
Director of Teaching School at St Bede’s Catholic School and OLP Board Member
Roger Purdy is Director of Teaching School at St Bede’s Catholic School and Sixth Form College, La...
Yvonne Gandy Yvonne Gandy
Director, Leadership NPQs and NPQEL/NPQH Lead Facilitator, and OLP Board Member
Yvonne is a leadership coach, National College associate, lead facilitator, assessor and mentor who ...
Dean Boyce Dean Boyce
Director of CPD & Accreditation, and OLP Board Member
Dean has worked across early years, primary, secondary and HEI sectors gaining a wealth of experienc...
Simon Little Simon Little
Managing Director, and OLP Board Member
As Managing Director of Best Practice Network, Simon oversees a network of 150+ partners and 500+ fa...
Andy Hodgkinson Andy Hodgkinson
NPQ Lead Facilitator, CQI and Partnership
Andy has worked across a range of education contexts from executive headteacher to university fellow...
Vanessa Macdonald Vanessa Macdonald
NPQML and NPQSL Lead Facilitator
Vanessa is an experienced headteacher, Ofsted inspector, facilitator, coach and subject matter exper...
Simon Lockwood Simon Lockwood
Programme Lead, NPQEL
Simon has worked in Education for 40 years as a teacher, leader and local authority school improveme...
Karen Burns Karen Burns
Chief Executive Office and Executive Principal, Victorious Academies Trust
Karen was appointed to the post of Executive Principal for Inspire and Discovery Academies in April ...
Phillip Naylor Phillip Naylor
Lead Online Learning Specialist
Phil has worked with the widest range of schools and groups of schools as a senior leader responsibl...
Gary Broom Gary Broom
Director, Marketing, Partnerships and Development
Gary has worked in marketing and business development roles in the education sector for 17 years. He...
Neil Gillard Neil Gillard
Director of Finance and Operations
Neil is a qualified accountant with over 25 years’ experience of managing multi-disciplinary teams...
Joanna Hawkins Joanna Hawkins
Strategic Projects and Operations Manager
Joanna has worked in education for over 10 years. Having worked across a variety of programme specia...
Chris Ludlow Chris Ludlow
Partnerships Manager
Chris is responsible for the growth of our school/ setting partnerships, helping extend delivery of ...