Central Team (ID 1025)
Ali O'ConnorChief Operating Officer
Ali began her career in IT before moving to finance and administration management within the social care sector. She has worked in education since 2011, initially as a business manager in a large secondary school and has worked within the trust since its inception in 2016. Ali is a Member of the Institute of School Business Leaders and has completed the level 7 CIPFA qualification in School Financial and Operational Leadership.
Craig MorrisonChief Executive
Craig Morrison has been Chief Executive of Kingfisher Schools Trust since July 2023. He was previously Executive Principal for the five academies in the Cambridge Cluster of United Learning. Within this role he was also Principal of Parkside Community College, an 11-18 IB World School, rated Outstanding by Ofsted under his leadership in April 2023. In 2022, Parkside's rates of progress placed it as one of the highest performing schools in England.
Craig is an experienced Principal and Executive Principal and has worked in Cheshire, Norfolk and predominantly Cambridge, where he was part of the team that grew the Parkside Federation. A teacher of English, Media and Drama, Craig has visited schools across the world on study visits and was also Vice Chair of the National Association for the Teaching of English. Before returning to Parkside in 2019, Craig was Assistant Director and Secondary Adviser for the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education, supporting fifteen secondary schools and significant school changes across South London and Surrey. He also supported several primary schools in Croydon and Surrey in this role. Craig has been an accounting officer, school governor and academy trust director. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Kate CoatesDirector of Education
Kate is an experienced Headteacher and Executive Headteacher who has worked in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. She has also worked in a wide range of settings and advised leaders on behalf of local authorities and the Diocese of Ely. She has always had a passion for inclusion as well as developing curriculums that enable children to be well-rounded, highly creative and exceed their potential.
In her spare time, Kate enjoys looking after her chickens and a very lazy bulldog!
Dynah BallerDirector of Human Resources
Dynah has worked in education since 2011, firstly in a school based role and most recently in the central trust team where she has held the position of HR Director, since September 2022. Prior to this, Dynah worked in the private commercial sector, in business management, where her desire to develop a career in people management grew. She has always had a keen interest in education driven by her own thirst for learning and therefore she finds working in a people professional role in education a great fit. Dynah is a Level 7 qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.
Julia NiblockDirector of Finance
Julia has over 30 years experience working at all levels in finance in secondary schools. She led the academy conversion process at Sir John Leman High School in 2011, moving over to become Finance Director when the Multi Academy Trust was formed. She completed the CIPFA Certificate in Management and Financial Accounting in 2019 and continues to lead the Finance teams ensuring high quality support to schools.
Charlotte ReadDirector of Operations
Charlotte has extensive experience of working in both NHS and Private dental services, where she was Practice Manager of a large dental surgery for several years before moving into education as Attendance Lead at a large primary school.
Charlotte joined the central trust team in 2019 to work in operations. She has completed the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Managing Safely qualification and is in the process of completing the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety.
Daniel MayhewDirector of Community and Partnerships
Daniel is an experienced senior leader who was Principal of Alde Valley Academy in Leiston prior to taking up his new trust role in January 2024.
Helen WilsonLeadership Adviser
Helen was previously Principal of Thurston Community College before joining the trust as Director of Secondary Education. In her current role as Leadership Adviser, Helen supports our school improvement boards and works with senior and middle leaders across the trust.