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.