CORE EDUCATION TRUST LEADERSHIP

Our executive leadership and management team lead our whole Trust education faculty, as well as oversee policy and administration. Their diverse range of skills and backgrounds represents many years of cross-sector experience. This team drive the CORE vision and maintain strong links with all our valued stakeholders.

CORE Education Trust CEO

Adrian Packer CBE

Adrian Packer CBE

CORE Education Trust CEO

Adrian was appointed Executive Principal of Park View Educational Trust (now CORE Education Trust) in 2014. He was also Principal of Park View School (now Rockwood Academy) at that time.

Prior to this, in 2012 Adrian was the founding Principal of Everton Alternative Provision Free School and 6th Form College, the first Free School set up by a Premier League football club.

From 2010, Adrian was part of the founding team of Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA), an arts academy partnered with The BRIT School. Adrian was a senior Artistic Director at the BRIT School for 12 years and taught some of the country’s highest profile, award-winning talent in the music, theatre, film and television industries during that time.

Adrian is currently a Member of the LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) Council and Director and Governor of the LIPA 6th Form.

Adrian is an independent non-executive Director of ukactive and the Chair of ukactive Kids Council.

In 2018 Adrian conceived the Echo Eternal project, a commemorative arts participation project, which brings together groups of schools with different characteristics and uses Holocaust survivor testimony to inspire community integration and empathy. In 2019, he was awarded a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister for this work.

In March 2021, Adrian became a Board Appointed LTA Councillor.

Deputy CEO

Joanne Tyler

Joanne Tyler

Deputy CEO

Joanne is a co-founder of CORE Education Trust. She has a wealth of experience and expertise as a business leader within the public education sector. Joanne oversees the day to day running of the Trust and its schools.

Joanne has a well-established track record in education, with considerable previous experience working as a School Business Manager in many varied and challenging circumstances. She continues to mentor and coach other leaders and works with national organisations to inform best practice.

Before working in the education sector, Joanne had a successful career as a contract manager within the private sector.

Joanne is the Deputy CEO, Chief Finance Officer and Company Secretary for CORE Education Trust.

Director of Education

SAIQA LIAQAT

SAIQA LIAQAT

Director of Education

Saiqa is the Director of Education for the Trust. She supports the school leadership teams with school improvement and strategic planning. She started her working career in publishing working for regional, national and international publications. She has been involved in education for over 19 years holding several senior roles including school improvement consultancy and senior management roles in schools across the UK and internationally. She has worked collaboratively with several Government agencies and has setup soft federations to encourage collaboration within education. Saiqa is driven by the moral imperative to improve educational standards and outcomes for all young people.

Saiqa is a keen skier and field hockey player and has developed a passion for photography. She is an active participant in sporting clubs in the region.

Head of Governance

BECKY PERKES

BECKY PERKES

Head of Governance

Becky is the Head of Governance, overseeing governance at all levels across the trust. Prior to joining the Trust, Becky worked in school governance for a number of years, managing the regional governance network for a large multi academy trust.

Becky has spent her career working in education in the West Midlands, and is particularly passionate about working with children and young people from vulnerable or disadvantaged backgrounds. She started her career as a secondary school teacher in inner city Birmingham and has subsequently worked in a range of educational management roles, including as an Education Project Manager for a national charity, as a Head of Centre for a DfE sports based learning programme called ‘Playing for Success’ and as a School Improvement Advisor with the Local Authority.

Head of People and Organisation Development

Emma Ruffinato

Emma Ruffinato

Head of People and Organisation Development

Emma is the Head of People and Organisation Development for CORE Education Trust and is responsible for the design and delivery of our people and organisational development strategies. Emma also leads on the management of change in support of the Trust’s strategic and operational plans.    

Emma has worked in the education sector for the best part of 20 years and has a wealth of experience in delivering a pragmatic, professional and operational HR service to support managers and leaders on all people matters.    

Throughout her career, Emma has brought her professional experience to support programmes that guide students in their learning journey, whether as a Parent Governor in a primary school, providing support in a higher education setting or offering advice to young offenders. 

Most recently, Emma has taken on the role of an Enterprise Advisor, working with the CIPD, in partnership with the Careers & Enterprise Company, to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. She also provides advice and support to Senior Leadership teams, in schools and colleges, to help them develop their career strategies.  

Head of Stakeholder Engagement

Katie Reid

Katie Reid

Head of Stakeholder Engagement

Katie is Head of Stakeholder Engagement for CORE Education Trust and is responsible for marketing, engagement and reputation strategies across the trust.  

Prior to working for the Trust, Katie worked for several arts organisations, where she specialised in marketing and communications. Working across the marketing spectrum, she has led on numerous campaigns at a local and national level.  Katie has a passion for the arts and is inspired by the positive impact they can have on our lives.

Outside of the arts, Katie has worked with several commercial organisations to develop and grow reputation strategies.  

Head of Student Leadership

Fela Lufadeju

Fela Lufadeju

Head of Student Leadership

Partnership Officer

Clara Matty

Clara Matty

Partnership Officer


HEADTEACHERS

Raising standards in the classroom, leading by example and ensuring great communications - meet our Headteachers.

Arena Academy Headteacher

RAJ MANN

RAJ MANN

Arena Academy Headteacher

Prior to joining the education sector Raj worked in IT as a computer programmer and computer network manager.

Before being appointed as Headteacher of Arena Academy in April 2020, Raj spent over a decade as a senior leader in one of the most nationally deprived schools in Birmingham.  He was an integral part of the leadership team which gained the school ‘outstanding’ status. Raj has supported many schools in the Midlands, both primary and secondary, with Teaching & Learning and school improvement initiatives resulting in them improving their ofsted gradings from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

Raj has a passionate belief that a pupil’s socio-economic background should not be a barrier to achieving success. Combining his love of music and a healthy lifestyle & fitness he ensures that pupils develop into well-rounded individuals equipped with the tools to achieve their goals.

City Academy Headteacher

DAVID BAILEY

DAVID BAILEY

City Academy Headteacher

David is considered a values-driven, transformational leader who believes passionately in making a difference and changing the lives of the young people whom he serves.  He has an overwhelming commitment to ‘achievement for all’ and placing educational matters at the heart of community development.

David’s passion for sport was evident at an early age and represented the county in several sports.  He started playing American Football at 15 and was selected to represent Great Britain, this culminated in being awarded a scholarship to a college in Wisconsin, USA.

After completing a PGCE at the University of Birmingham (Physical Education) he went on to teach physical education securing a pastoral role shortly afterwards. David was given the opportunity to take a secondment which he spent in the Cape Verde Islands largely involved in voluntary work in local schools.  Before returning to school leadership David successfully set-up and led a national property services company; working closely with a multi-national property development company gaining important experience of financial, human resource and project management.

In 2014, he began the 2-year programme for Future Leaders.  As a Future Leader he has been committed to improving the life chances of young people; particularly to eradicate educational disadvantage, promote diversity and steadfast in the pursuit of excellence.  David also currently sits on the Headteachers advisory panel for The Talent Foundry and supports them with achieving their mission to increase social mobility by helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds discover what they are amazing at, develop valuable new employment skills and take that first step into the world of work.

Jewellery Quarter Academy Headteacher

GREG WILLIAMS

GREG WILLIAMS

Jewellery Quarter Academy Headteacher

Before Greg’s first Headship in Tamworth, Staffordshire, he spent seventeen years in inner-city Birmingham schools. Greg has been a successful leader in many educational settings: primary, secondary and further education, taking schools from a low Ofsted rating to ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ on several occasions. He is also recognised as a proven and highly engaging speaker at conferences in the U.K. and Middle East, talking to colleagues about issues of effective governance and leadership, based on the latest research.

Greg is passionate about closing gaps in knowledge and skills between students with financial barriers to education and their peers. He has worked with experts across the country and devised plans to address this deficit. Greg firmly believes that, with help and focused guidance, a young person’s context does not have to pre-determine their life chances.

Rockwood Academy Headteacher

SOFIA DARR

SOFIA DARR

Rockwood Academy Headteacher

Sofia is an experienced Headteacher and was, prior to joining Rockwood in 2017, the Principal at Waverley Studio College, which she succeeded in taking out of special measures to an Ofsted rating of Good.

Sofia is a leader with over 24 years’ experience in education, she has been at the forefront of school improvement in several schools across the UK. She has a track record of raising standards in urban schools. She has worked as a senior leader in Yorkshire, North West England and London.