Meet the central team
Central Services provide support, regulation and expertise to our schools. Below you can learn about the members of our central teams.
Please click on the staff photographs below to learn more about our Central Services team.
Fred SharrockDirector of Operations
I've been at the Haberdashers' since 2012. Previously I worked for 12 years at the Department for Education (DfE) on a range of schools policy areas.
I'm a member of the Executive Leadership Team at HAFT, along with the CEO, the Principals and the Finance Director. I oversee the central teams that are responsible for analysis and insight and for IT services. I'm responsible for HR and for a range of policy, communication, legal, risk and compliance issues. I advise the Trustees to ensure the Trust's governance is highly effective and I serve as clerk to the Trust and Company Secretary. Finally, I manage any major projects we undertake, such as developing new schools or the recent project to disaggregate our primary and secondary schools.
One of my biggest highlights was working with colleagues to get the organisation through its most challenging recent year - 2013-14 - when we were dealing with the fallout from a major fraud, a fire that was disputed by the insurer and an adverse OFSTED inspection. It was tough, but really rewarding. I think my best moment since then was the day that Borough Academy opened, after 5 years work.
Outside work, I'm a keen runner and cyclist, which helps to offset the fact that I am also very keen on chocolate and cake. I enjoy camping and going to festivals with my family. I'm a film nerd, a science geek and a music fan. I also get a lot of fulfilment from doing voluntary work related to education. I've been a school governor in the past. At the moment I'm the chair of trustees for an amazing charity called School Home Support.
Paul AtkinsonDirector of Finance
I am a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, (FCA) having trained at Price Waterhouse in London. Additionally, I qualified as a Company Secretary (ACIS) and am a member of The Chartered Governance Institute. A substantial part of my early career was supporting entrepreneurial and smaller listed businesses which gave me the opportunity to work with a Management Buyout team as FD and to bring BSM Group plc to the UK stock market in 1993 and then to lead the business as MD for 6 years until 2006.
As Director of Finance at Haberdashers, my primary role is supporting school Principals take full advantage of their school funding from the Government and other sources. This requires both challenge and support to and from the schools to ensure the best sustainable strategy and budget plans including the best value from our key suppliers/partners at all times. I have to report financial progress against the annual budgets to Trustees and the regulator the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) on a regular basis and ensure that the compliance regime as laid down in the Academies Financial Handbook (AFH) is adhered to at all times. I take great pleasure working with a group of professional colleagues who are determined to deliver the best for pupils in the Trust.
Outside work, I enjoy food, wine, travel, Church and golf but not necessarily in that order.
Marianne NewtonFederations Operations Manager
Marie Ghansah-PokuFinancial Controller
I am a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Manager with over 12 years post-qualifying experience in Finance. I have a BA in Accounting and Finance and a Level 7 in CMI Strategic Management. I am experienced in leading financial strategies in organisations and working in organisations that are undergoing some transformational change or growth. I work to constantly challenge and improve existing systems and processes in collaboration with core stakeholders.
After working in the art and media industries for a few years, I joined the education sector in 2010 where I worked in FE colleges and recently made the move to join the multi-academy trust setting. At Haberdashers, I lead the financial reporting team and oversee the accounts payable and receivables, payroll, month-end and year-end processes. I am responsible for the year-end statutory accounts, the financial controls of the Trust and work closely with the internal and external auditors to ensure compliance and accountability across the Trust. Over the past 10 years I have really enjoyed contributing to shaping the lives of young people.
When I am not working and being a busy mother. I enjoy music, karate, hiking and long walks.
Sarah AshleyFinance Systems Administrator
Anoosh AmooieManagement Accountant
David AnkrahManagement Accountant
I have a B.Sc. Mathematical Sciences for Business, Industry & Finance and have been working in finance for more than 15 years. Prior to working at Haberdashers, I was looking after the global finance function at a firm that offered Business Management Software solutions.
At Haberdashers, my role involves supporting the Hatcham schools with their finances and liaising with the Business Managers to ensure their spending is on track. I most enjoy finding solutions and answers, while making sure all the numbers add up as expected.
Outside work, I like to be creative, and enjoy DJing, poetry and listening to the radio. I also spend time helping people with their personal finances and business ideas.
Frances Oyebanji-AdioFinancial Accountant
I have spent over 20 years in various positions in different organisations developing my accounting skills before I took on this current role as a Financial Accountant. Previously, I worked in both the private and charity sectors, so working in the educational sector is a new experience for me, which I am enjoying and has contributed greatly to my development.
As a Financial Accountant at Haberdashers, I support the Financial Controller, and Management Accountants, and I supervise the work of the Finance Officers in processing the schools' accounts accurately and effectively. I assist the Financial Controller in the day to day running of the finance department and help to provide timely and accurate financial reports at the month and year end. I love been part of a team, managing and working effectively and resolving problems at school level. I enjoy that every day is a bit challenging and I get to work with intelligent people who I can learn from.
During my spare time, I enjoy reading books, studying my bible and spending time with my families (immediate and extended) and friends. We always have something to celebrate. I also love watching films (Nollywood films), very interesting and I learnt from it.
Iulian RoscaFinance Graduate Trainee
I graduated from Ulster University Business School in 2020 with a BSc (Hons) in Business Studies and recently joined Haberdashers Askes Federation as the Finance Graduate Trainee. Currently, I am studying towards my CIMA Professional Qualification to hone my business skills and gain further core accounting, strategic and management experience.
My role involves assembling and analysing various financial reports; ensuring accuracy of billing from suppliers; and supporting the finance team in achieving short- and medium-term objectives. I most enjoy the problem-solving element of my role. I face new challenges every day and this keeps me motivated and eager to learn and develop both professionally and personally.
When am not working, I enjoy playing tennis, working out and keeping up to date with the latest finance, accounting and economic affairs.
Ed AvenellFederation IT Manager
I have over 25 years' experience in managing ICT solutions and services in education, commercial environments, and for service providers. I have gained qualifications in Prince2 Practioner for project management, and GDPR Practioner for data protection. Prior to working at Haberdashers, I was a technical consultant and delivery manager for an IT management consultancy specialising in education, with client drawn from state, independent, and international sectors across the UK and Europe.
As Federation IT Manager, I am responsible for the strategic development and management of the Federation's ICT infrastructure and support service, including day-to-day management of IT support for the Federation and its academies, development of IT resources, and strategic development of IT capacity, ensuring the Federation's resources and services are fit for purpose and support future development.
I enjoy the variety of the role, working alongside colleagues who have a passion for their own areas of expertise, and the opportunity to make (even indirectly) a difference to young people's lives.
Outside work, I am a dad, gardener, geek. I like dogs, eating spicy food and world travel (sob!).
Arran GreenoTechnical Operations Manager
I have been working in IT since 2003 where I started working in a call centre for a large broadband provider. I have worked in education since early 2005 working across primary and secondary schools in Kent and South East London. Prior to my current role I was the IT services manager at Crayford Academy. One of my biggest achievements is working for an established school in South East London and transforming their ageing IT infrastructure to a modern environment along with training students at AS, A2 and BTEC.
My role is primarily working with the local IT teams and providing technical and non-technical support across the whole range of technologies that we use including hardware, software and operations. Another part of my role is project-based work, developing and delivering new technologies to aid in the student's education and continued development of the Federation. I enjoy that my role is quite diverse from day to day as it covers a large range of challenges covering all areas of the business.
Outside work, I am a musician, playing guitar and piano, and enjoy sim racing online in my spare time.
Ian NorthFederation Systems Administrator
Insight & Analysis
Phil BourneDirector of Insight & Analysis
I have worked in the public, private and charitable sector supporting school and academy leaders to make better use of data to improve outcomes. Having started my career as a Geography teacher, I have spent my career learning how to share best practice to encourage improved processes that deliver a greater impact. In 2008, the Data Enabler programme (led by myself) was featured in Ofsted's publication 'Using Data, Improving Schools'. More recent achievements include working as part of a MAT team to help improve Ofsted outcomes from 14% 'Good or better' to 65% in under 3 years.
My work in the Federation means that no two days are ever the same. This work can include working closely with leaders to design changes, sharing processes, developing reports and training. I try and work with my eyes on the horizon to reduce surprises and to give people sufficient time to do the things that they need to do. I am particularly passionate about ensuring that everyone is able to obtain the information that they need in a user-friendly way. This doesn't mean doing everything for everyone, but it does mean enabling people to use the tools we have.
I used to enjoy country walks, gardening, cooking and home improvements. Now as a parent of two children that have spectacularly busy social lives, I sometimes enjoy closing my eyes in between taxiing them around and fixing things that they break.
Steve PaineSenior Data Analyst
Before joining Haberdashers, I oversaw Education data and operations across multiple Young Offender Institutes in the South East. I worked in the prisons, dealing with highly sensitive data in a very secure setting, with few tools that we take for granted in schools today (e.g. the Internet!). Among my proudest achievements were creating an entirely new MIS from scratch, helping design a powerful Virtual Learning Environment, overseeing the delivery of new buildings, and being asked to act as an Interim Education Manager ('Headteacher') on multiple occasions (including during an Ofsted inspection!).
Our Trust is a complex, data-rich organisation. My role is brilliant - I get to interpret vast quantities of numbers and turn them into meaningful information and insights, which are used to improve outcomes for our learners. It is a really rewarding job. I get to design clever systems (using the latest tools!) to automate and analyse the data we collect throughout the year. I also support administrative staff across our schools with statutory returns, problem-solving, and all sorts of enquiries - as well as helping teaching staff to understand and engage with their data. No day is the same.
Outside work, I have two young boys and two dogs, so I don't get a lot of free time to myself! However, I do enjoy tinkering with boats and playing with power tools in the countryside. I occasionally dabble in local politics too - for a while I was an elected councillor in my home borough.
Catherine BartlettDirector of Partnerships and Development
I am passionate about education and about supporting young people to be the best they can be and to be as happy as they can be. With over twenty years of experience working at universities and schools in the UK and abroad, I have a good understanding of the educational landscape.
My role is Director of Partnerships and Development across the Trust. This involves building external partnerships particularly working with our principal benefactor, the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers on educational initiatives such as the Livery Academy Awards and the Haberdashers' Advantage Programme. I have oversight of the communications function in the Trust and am responsible for ensuring the right messages are received by our external audiences.
Part of my role is securing strategic partnerships for the Trust - that could be an employer who wants to work with one of our schools, a company looking to offer sponsorship, organisations that want to get involved with the Haberdashers' Advantage Programme or connecting with our alumni networks.
I really enjoy working as part of the Trust Central Services team. Working across the nine schools, we get to see the best of what everyone is doing in their schools and I think that's a really special position to be in.
Outside work, I love trawling vintage fairs and upcycling furniture. I have run several half marathons (haven't quite managed a full marathon yet!). I enjoy listening to live music and spending time with my family. I am originally from the south coast so I try and get back to the seaside whenever I can.
Leena BarrettHead of Communications and Engagement
With nearly 18 years' experience in the education sector, most of which was working for a world top 10 university in London, I am hugely passionate about making a difference to the opportunities available to children and young people. During my time working in higher education, I had the privilege of developing my marketing and communications skills both to support and better the services available to students and to develop additional income streams, which in turn supported the funding for student services.
My job at Haberdashers' Federation is to provide the Trust and our schools with the right communications and marketing guidance, support and insights. This involves working on everything from websites and social media to branding, promotional work and event planning. I love being able to use my creativity to bring our schools' and our Trust's vision to life and to help showcase the amazing work being done around the organisation to make our schools excellent. I am lucky to work with very talented colleagues who are so committed to building wonderful communities of pupils, families and staff around our schools.
Outside work, I love cooking and entertaining friends and family. When I'm not busy in the kitchen, I really enjoy reading, listening to podcasts and watching films. I'm quite competitive and enjoy a good game of squash or doing a kickboxing class!
Pascale GoddardGraduate Trainee Communications & Operations Assistant
Estates and Health & Safety
Spencer Van Der WerfAssistant Director of Estates & Facilities
Spencer Van Der Werf
I am a senior Estates and Facilities Management professional, with twenty-five years' experience working both as the Client and Service Provider; delivering total facilities management (TFM); and serving public & private sector. I have gained extensive experience in managing both in-house and third party contract staff, with direct strategic and operational management responsibilities, including Space Planning, Refurbishments, Capital Investment works, M&E, Caretaking, Porterage, Signage, General Maintenance, Cleaning, Help Desk, Reprographics, ICT, Grounds Maintenance, Pest Control, Security, Relocations, Third Party Lettings, Outsourced Catering, Utilities, Tenant and Landlord liaison.
As Assistant Director of Estates and Facilities at Haberdashers, I provide strategic leadership on all matters relating to the estate to ensure the efficient and sustainable operation and management of the existing and developing property portfolio. I lead capital estates projects and, where these are managed locally, provide technical support to ensure that they are delivered on time and to budget. I like the variety of work at HabsFed with the diverse portfolio of buildings and the challenges these bring. Having worked here for more than five years, it's also important to me that I like the people.
Outside work, I spend most of my time ferrying around my children. On Sundays, I help referee my eldest son's football league games.
Gina SmithCapital Assets Project Manager
Yasmin AffumExecutive Assistant to the CEO
I joined the Trust in June 2020. Prior to this, I worked as an Executive Assistant at UCL and before that, I was Private Secretary to the Chief Executive of Merseyside Police Force.
My role entails mainly providing admin and secretarial support to the CEO in all aspects of her role. I also provide HR support to the Central Services team. I love the variation my role brings. There are lots of exciting things happening within the Federation and I enjoy assisting on projects and the cross collaborative way of working.
I have a three year old Hungarian Vizsla dog, who I enjoy taking for long walks. I also enjoy socialising with friends, cooking, keeping fit and watching crime documentaries.
Marianne NewtonOperations Director
I graduated University of Sussex with a BA Hons in History.
I joined the Haberdashers' Aske's Federation in 2014 and have over 10 years of experience working in administrative and operational roles. During my time at Haberdashers' I have worked in a number of different roles including Executive Assistant, Project Manager and now Operations Director. I work closely with members of the Central services Team as well as with members of the Executive and Senior Leadership teams within our organisation. I feel very lucky to be able to work with colleagues who all have different areas of expertise but share the passion and goal of helping our communities and pupils to thrive.
I act as a central point of leadership on administrative and project management work across the Federation and have a PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification. I am proud to have been involved in a number of key projects within the Federation including the application stage and planning of Haberdashers' Aske's Borough Academy and the disaggregation of our all through academies to separate schools. Within my role as Operations Director I oversee Governance and Compliance for our Trust, providing support and advice to the Trustees and their committees to ensure they function efficiently and effectively. Alongside the Finance Director and the Director of HR I have oversight of the administrative systems across the Federation, ensuring they have the necessary skills and training available to them to ensure the smooth running of the administrative support in the Federation. I enjoy working with colleagues to find ways to improve the efficiency and quality of the work that we carry out across the Federation, and the variety that this offers.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family - I have two young sons so most of my time is spent trying to entertain and wear them out before collapsing onto the sofa! A good thing to have come out of the pandemic has been spending more time together as a family and using our time to explore our local parks and countryside. I also enjoy cooking, watching property programmes or films and trying (and usually failing) to finish a cup of tea or coffee while it is still warm!
Tom HowellsDirector of School Improvement (Secondary Phase)
I recently joined Central Services as the Director of School Improvement for the Secondary phase. Prior to joining the Federation, I worked in a variety of educational leadership roles in inner city schools, leading on Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Staff Development and Post 16 provision. I am proud to have been part of the founding team of two outstanding all-through schools. I am passionate about ensuring pupils receive a high quality, rigorous curriculum offer which prepares our learners to fulfil their potential.
I studied English and Linguistics at the University of York, and later studied for my MA in Educational Leadership at the UCL Institute of Education. When not working, I enjoy going to the theatre and travelling.
Sarah MitchellDirector of School Improvement (Primary Phase)
I recently joined Haberdashers’ Federation from STEP Academy Trust, where I was a Headteacher for eight years, leading two schools in South London and developing inclusion strategies across the Trust.
I also support the Princes Teaching Institute as an Academic Coordinator, promoting the professional development of teachers through high quality CPD and training. Before becoming a teacher, I studied archaeology at the University of Liverpool and I have since worked in New York and London.
I gained NPQH through the Ambition Institute and I am currently studying for a MBA in Educational Leadership with the University of Cumbria.