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.

Catherine Morley - Director of Education (Primary)

Catherine Morley is Director of Education (Primary) for Thames Learning Trust. She has been a Headteacher and Executive Headteacher across several schools. A passionate AST (Advanced Skills Teacher), from early in her career Catherine has provided extensive school improvement support in many schools. Always ensuring children remain at the heart of all decisions, she has led an outstanding teaching school and worked for over ten years as a National Leader of Education.

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.

Kirsty Kingham- Ashford Hill Primary School

Kirsty is delighted to have been appointed as the Principal of Ashford Hill Primary School. Previously, she has had a successful career in senior leadership within the retail and health care sectors.  As she  started my own family, she decided that it was time to follow her dream and become a teacher. Coming from a family of teachers and spending the majority of her summer holidays as a child setting up classrooms, she understood the hard work, but privilege that it would be to work with young people and inspire them in their learning for years to come. She has taught across all year groups within primary school and believes that each and every year group has their own special qualities which make them unique and fascinating to teach. 

Academically, the teaching of maths is Kirsty’s passion. She has travelled to Shanghai with the Department of Education to work on their maths mastery research project and has worked as a professional development and school improvement lead for both the National College of Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics and the Local Authority.  She believes that these opportunities have allowed her to observe and develop mathematics across the country with a talented team focused on improving outcomes for all children.  A particular highlight for her was filming the lockdown videos that were used nationally to teach children from home.

As well as empowering children to achieve their best academically, Kirsty advocates that building confidence, self-esteem, and cultural capital is fundamental to the development of all children and is dedicated to ensuring that Ashford Hill continues to develop a nurturing, ambitious and thought-provoking curriculum that inspires all children.  Children’s social and emotional wellbeing is at the forefront of the Ashford Hill ethos to ensure that all children flourish as confident and happy young people.

Kirsty is proud to be the Principal of Ashford Hill, and believes that having such wonderful children, a supportive and forward-thinking Trust, an experienced staff team and dedicated parent community means that there is no limit to what we can be achieve together.

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.

Christine MacInnes - Baylis Court School

Christine MacInnes is Principal at Baylis Court School. Before joining Baylis Court she gained extensive experience in school leadership in a range of maintained schools as a senior leader and co-headteacher. Christine enjoys the work involved in school improvement. She has demonstrated a career-long passion for making a difference to the lives of young people, working in a range of diverse, comprehensive schools in London, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Christine’s educational philosophy is firmly centred on personalised, lifelong learning and securing inclusion. She is completely committed to ensuring that the community at Baylis Court work collaboratively to ensure that all students have a positive experience and to support all to achieve success.

Serraphina Robinson- Highwood Copse Primary School

Serraphina is an inspirational, visionary, and dedicated headteacher who aims toward uncompromising distinction for herself and her whole school community. Emotionally intelligent, relentlessly ambitious, and a supremely effective organisational manager, she works with stakeholders to ensure that all children make outstanding progress and receive education of the highest calibre. Being, when hired, one of the youngest headteachers in the country, she's passionate about professional development and outcomes: she's led teams to achieve outstanding results above the national average for consecutive years in multiple year groups, and has engaged in discussion with the Secretary of Education about NPQs. Her particular interests lie in fostering competencies and character qualities, teaching and learning, and the curriculum area of English. She played a founding role in the opening and running of Highwood Copse, and has been proven to be an effective communicator and motivator, who understands the importance of working in partnership. She's committed to ensuring the safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children

Amanda Jarrett- Phoenix Infant Academy

Amanda is Principal of Phoenix Infants. With a career spanning two decades, Amanda has cultivated a wealth of experience, particularly through her time teaching abroad in America, Japan, and Dubai. Her international exposure has not only broadened her perspectives but has also enriched her understanding of diverse educational systems. In her previous role as the Head of Primary in Dubai, Amanda demonstrated her leadership acumen, steering the Primary section towards new heights of excellence. Her commitment to fostering a holistic educational experience is evident in her collaborative efforts with educators, parents, and students alike.

One of Amanda's defining characteristics is her unwavering love for reading and her firm belief in its transformative power. She views reading not only as a source of knowledge but as a gateway to empathy, creativity, and critical thinking. Her passion for literature extends beyond personal enjoyment; she is a vocal advocate for integrating reading into every facet of education. Amanda firmly believes that a robust reading culture is foundational to nurturing well-rounded individuals equipped to face the challenges of the 21st century.

Throughout her career, Amanda has consistently maintained a focus on early years education. Recognising the formative nature of these crucial years, she has championed approaches that cater to the unique needs of young learners. Her commitment to providing a nurturing and stimulating environment for the youngest members of the school community is a testament to her dedication to fostering a strong educational foundation.

Having proudly served at Phoenix Infants for over 8 years, Amanda feels a deep sense of connection and commitment to the school community. As Principal, she leads with a blend of experience, passion, and a keen understanding of the unique strengths and challenges that define Phoenix Infants.

Marika Farrugia - Reading Girls' School

Marika Farrugia has held various Senior Leadership positions in secondary schools, more recently in two all throughs schools in London.  She has a passion for school improvement and pupils’ wellbeing, as well as providing young people with the opportunities to broaden their experiences through working and communicating with young from all over the world, through establishing links with schools in China, Europe and South America. Her work with the British Council facilitated pupils exchange visits to China and European countries.


Marika graduated with a History Degree, followed by her Masters, at the University of London.  She completed her teacher training at the Institute of Education, over 20 years ago,  and then proceeded to work in a number of inner-city schools in London, and the South East.  Marika was proud to have been appointed as Principal at Reading Girls’ School.

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.