Our Teams

The Executive Team

The Executive Team delivers the work of the Trust.  

Richard Kearsey - CEO

Richard Kearsey is the Chief Executive Officer of The Thames Learning Trust having held a number of senior management positions in secondary schools. He holds the National Professional Qualification Headship and the Professional Qualification for School Inspectors. Richard is an Ofsted Lead Inspector.

Annal Nayyar - Finance Director

Annal Nayyar is the Director of Finance for the Trust. He is a qualified CIPFA accountant. His background is in local authority finance, both revenue and capital, and he has had a particular focus on education and schools. This has involved considerable experience of project management, including large capital schemes, PFI, opening free schools and academy conversions as well as securing school sponsorships. Annal therefore brings a holistic strategic and operational understanding of education and schools finance, combined with strong management and analytical skills.

The Education Board

The members of the Education Board are the Principals of each school and the CEO of the Trust. This Board has responsibility for driving improvement in achievement, attainment and performance of every school; identifying and sharing excellent pedagogy and teaching practice; identifying and sharing curriculum developments that will enhance educational opportunities and performance for children in the Trust; creating opportunities for staff development to improve performance, achieve CPD and maximise the retention of excellent teachers; conducting the educational aspects of due diligence for schools seeking to join the Trust and for schools that the Trust may sponsor.

Louise Burridge - Battle Primary Academy

Having grown up in the Reading area and attended The Abbey School, it feels like coming home to be working once again in the Reading community at Battle Primary Academy.  I grew up in a small village just outside Reading and now live with my husband, four children and menagerie of animals in Wallingford on the River Thames.  I studied a degree in Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering at The Royal Military College of Science and then had the privilege of travelling around the world with the British Forces reporting, filming and producing for the British Forces Broadcasting Services.

I started my teaching journey twenty-two years ago and have been lucky enough to work in both the private and state sector, outstanding schools and those requiring improvement.  The travel bug from moving round with the forces obviously got the better of me and I have been fortunate enough to work in British schools and international schools in Lithuania, Latvia, The Netherlands and Belgium.  I believe this has given me a wealth of experience and means that I can bring to the table the best ideas from a wide spectrum of schools and curriculums.

Before taking up the role of Principal at Battle, I was the Deputy Head of Theale C of E Primary School.  I also taught Year 6 there and was Head of Maths, Pupil Premium and Community Liaison.  Theale is the lead school in the Berkshire Teaching Alliance and I work as a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) in Mathematics within the team.  I love this role as it allows me to work with other schools and help develop their maths teaching and learning and see their children’s understanding and results improve.

Ray Hinds - Baylis Court School

Ray Hinds is the Principal at Baylis Court School. Previous to being the Principal, Ray held the position of Head of School and Deputy Headteacher. He has held a number of senior management positions in other secondary schools. He holds the National Professional Qualification Headship.

Kate Pelazza - Phoenix Infant Academy

Kate is an experienced senior leader with a passion for school improvement. Following her training at the Institute of Education, she worked in the London Boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow before joining Phoenix Infant Academy, Slough in January 2016. Kate was delighted to be appointed Principal in September 2019.  

Jon Gargan - Reading Girls' School

Jon joined Reading Girls’ in September 2017 and led the school to perform in the top 1% of the Country by September 2019.

Previously, Jon worked in four schools on council estates across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Having been made Co-Head of Department in his NQT year, Jon quickly moved onto Senior Leadership positions leading on behaviour & attendance, Teaching, Learning and curriculum and student outcomes. These experiences culminated in becoming Head of School at The Oxford Academy where he also co-led the school to performing in the top 1% of the Country.

Jon’s emotional connection with Reading Girls’ School lies in the fact that he has been a resident of Whitley for over twenty years. In taking up his post in September 2017, he pledged to reverse a historical reputation of the school and area by delivering the first ever Ofsted Outstanding grade to the school.  The journey continues.    

The Thames Learning Trust Central Services

Through a team of committed colleagues, the Trust provides Financial, ICT, Estates Management , Operational, Health and Safety and Human Resources services to its schools.  

The Finance Team

The Finance Team provides a comprehensive service of strategic and operational financial support across the Trust. Strategic financial responsibilities delivered via the Director of Finance include the provision of a financial governance framework and supporting polices, medium term financial planning & monitoring, production of annual accounts, safeguarding of assets, financial risk management, submission of annual returns to the ESFA and liaison with key stakeholders (including Trustees, ESFA, External Audit, pension agencies). Operational financial support is provided by the finance assistants managed by the financial controller. This mainly comprises the processing of transactional financial data including purchasing ledger, sales ledger and payroll.


The ICT Team

The ICT team is led by the Director of Finance  and  manage the Trust and schools ICT networks including the installation and maintenance of software and hardware, renewal of appropriate ICT licencing, advise on the necessary strategy to maintain an effective and fit for purpose ICT asset base and avoid ICT obsolescence, ensure that effective cyber security measures are in place and kept up to date and provide technical support to school teachers and pupils.


Estates Management

The Estates Management team led by the Director of Finance ,are responsible for the effective running and maintenance of the schools buildings, mechanical equipment and grounds. This includes the development and management of an effective reactive and planned maintenance programme, making recommendations, preparing briefs and specifications on all aspects of the management of the Trust estate in line with current legislative building, land and environmental requirements.


Human Resources

The Human Resources team offers day to day operational Human Resources support to schools leaders and employees across the Trust. The team offers a breadth of Human Resources experience from employee relations, recruitment & retention, training and development and compensation and benefits. Human Resources helps facilitate change in the organisation in line with the strategic goals of the Trust. This is delivered in a consultancy approach to the Trust’s leadership team.