Allie Majer : Executive Education Support Partner

Allie Majer

Executive Education Support Partner

“Children do learn what they live. Then they grow up to live what they've learned.” Dorothy Nolte

Allie has spent her career providing children with the support and opportunities to thrive whether that be as a volunteer, teaching assistant or senior leader. She is passionate about children’s development and has put her learnings from neurosequential development training and trauma-sensitive approach into practice, looking at what strategies practitioners can put in place to support children who have been impacted by life experiences. In both her senior leader and headteacher roles, Allie has led on inclusion as Designated Safeguarding Lead and SENDCo, holding the National Award for SENDCos. Allie has also strengthened schools and colleagues as a Leading Teacher in a Local Authority, School Improvement Advisor and mentor, devising and leading on professional development programmes and facilitating school-to-school support.

Before joining St Lawrence Academies Trust in January 2023, Allie was a Headteacher in North East Lincolnshire for 14 years. She led a Church of England Primary School through conversion to a Single Academy Trust before taking up headship at Signhills Infant Academy in January 2014. She was attracted to SLA Trust because of how the Trust celebrates and cherishes the individuality of partner schools and has full faith and trust in Headteachers to champion their pupils and community.

As part of her role, Allie will be working in partnership with senior leaders to find ways to give them the time to lead their schools and provide the best opportunities for their children. She will be a critical friend, offering them challenge as well as support and will make sure they are always up to date with the latest training and educational knowledge. In doing this, she is demonstrating the Trust’s value of integrity.

“I am excited to be part of something new and to grow this unique MAT. Together, we will work hard to continuously shape it into the MAT our schools, children and communities deserve. Joining SLA Trust is also benefiting my own professional development as I am gaining experience working within the secondary sector – it has been really interesting understanding the teaching and learning challenges secondary schools face and I look forward to putting strategies and procedures in place to support them.”

George Blake : Trust Accountant

George Blake

Trust Accountant

“Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations or algorithms; it's about understanding.” William Thurston

The Trust’s values of community and aspiration are important to George because they represent how he is working together with the central team and finance leads to create and implement the best finance systems and procedures for the Trust and partner schools.

George has always had a passion for mathematics and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the finance industry. He completed his AAT qualification in 2017 and then moved on to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in November 2020, at just 22 years of age. He specialised as an internal and external auditor for academies for six years before joining the St Lawrence Academies Trust in June 2021. George also sits on the Board of Governors at two primary schools in North East Lincolnshire of which he is a Chair of Finance for one.

The chance to work alongside others to build and develop SLA Trust from the beginning was an exciting challenge George couldn’t resist – he wanted to be part of the change. He is looking forward to supporting senior leaders with financial responsibilities, freeing them up so that they have the time to focus on improving outcomes for the children they serve.

“Being a part of St Lawrence Academies Trust has allowed me to push myself more and progress my career by further developing my knowledge, skills and experience. I have recently been offered the chance to complete the School Resource Management Advisers (SRMAs) qualification where I will work with the DfE and schools who are struggling financially.”

Garry Drinkall : Systems and Data Protection Officer

Garry Drinkall

Systems and Data Protection Officer

“Technology can become the ‘wings’ that will allow the educational world to fly farther and faster than ever before – if we allow it.” Jenny Arledge

Following a career as a Quantity Surveyor, Garry pursued a new path as an IT technician in a school where he enjoyed the challenge and the difference that can be made to the lives of young people. Fast forward 20 years and Garry has supported numerous schools at individual school, Trust and Local Authority level.

After leaving the Local Authority where he had been a member of the Schools IT Support team and Senior IT and Broadband Implementation Officer, Garry joined The St Lawrence Academy in 2008 as Network Manager. His role has been varied and has included the integration of new IT systems in the management of the school building and also becoming the Data Protection Officer following the introduction of GDPR.

To further his career at the Trust was an easy decision, particularly as Garry loves to work with different schools who each have their own unique identity. He will be assisting partner schools to ensure they have the most effective and innovative systems in place, which will enable the students to maximise their potential and leave with the knowledge and skills that will best serve them in the future.

Garry also has a number of years’ experience within primary governance helping to establish a new primary school; and is hoping to use this experience when new schools join the Trust.

“The support I have received from the senior team has been invaluable, helping me to develop professionally and personally over the years. The Trust’s value of hope is therefore important to me and I wish to give students and staff within our Trust hope for the future.”

Hannah Johnson : Finance and Administration

Hannah Johnson

Finance and Administration

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." Coretta Scott King

Hannah was inspired by a Business unit in her Travel and Tourism course at North Lindsey College, and so when the opportunity arose to join The St Lawrence Academy in 2019 as an Admin Apprentice, she knew this was the right path for her.

Hannah has been provided with the time and opportunities to develop professionally whilst at the academy. She passed her Level 2 Administration and Business Apprenticeship in December 2020; and since then she took on numerous responsibilities, expanding her job role to include finance and administration.

Hannah has now joined the Trust and is currently studying to become an AAT qualified accountant. She is looking forward to supporting all schools and the SLA Trust team with admin and finance queries as well as to continuing her professional development. She praises the Trust for being incredibly supportive and for recognising and celebrating its staff for what they do.

“Our value of community is a strong one – for me, I strive to source and support local suppliers and small businesses to ensure we are being sustainable whilst bringing the community together.”

Helen West : Executive Education Support Partners

Helen West

Executive Education Support Partners

“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connections and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” Rita Pierson

Helen not only attended The St Lawrence Academy (formerly High Ridge School) herself but has remained a pillar of the school and wider community throughout the last 18 years she has worked within education.

Helen was inspired to enter the teaching vocation as a result of her own education and did so with a determination to ensure that no child is left behind. She has spent her career supporting children to shine, instilling a sense of self-belief in them and raising their expectations of what they are capable of and what they can achieve. That’s why the Trust’s values of aspiration and hope are important to her, stating: “I believe I am a good example of not giving up and having high aspirations and hope for the future. I want to inspire our students to be ambitious and to believe in themselves that they can achieve their dreams too.”

Helen has held a held a number of positions over the last 18 years including Mathematics teacher, Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Curriculum Area Lead for Inclusion, Designated Teacher for Looked After Children, Assistant Principal and currently Deputy Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead at The St Lawrence Academy. She hopes to use her passion and wide range of experiences within Safeguarding, SEND and Inclusion to advise and support partner schools to further strengthen their offer to children and families.

“I understand that leading in SEND and Safeguarding can be a lonely role, so I look forward to mentoring others and being there when they need to reach out for support. I know it is something I would have valued. We are dedicated to going the extra mile here at SLA Trust, and understand that bespoke support, opportunities and guidance will enable all our students (and staff!) to make great progress”.

John Peckham : Executive Support Partner

John Peckham

Executive Support Partner