Meet our Members

Dr Sarah Charles 

Sarah is the Head of the Institute of Education at the University of Derby.  She has worked at the University of Derby since 2006, having first gained employment as a Senior Lecturer in Primary Initial Teacher Education.  In 2015 she was promoted to Head of Discipline for Primary Initial Teacher Education and, most recently, in 2020, she was appointed as the Head of the Institute of Education. In her role as Head of the Institute of Education she has strategic responsibility for educational research and all education focussed undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Prior to working at the University of Derby, Sarah trained as a primary school teacher.  Throughout her time in the classroom, she taught all primary year groups and undertook a range of middle and senior leadership roles.  Drawing on both past and present experiences as a qualified teacher, she aims to motivate the next generation of educators to strive for excellence in their chosen profession.

She has sustained experience of school/Multi-Academy Trust governance, having been a school governor and currently being a Trustee of three other Multi Academy Trusts. She has extensive links, both locally and nationally, to a range of diverse educational settings.

Sarah is committed to quality, research-informed provision that encourages critical thinking and the application of knowledge and skills to real-life working.  Her doctoral research explored stakeholder attitudes towards students, with dyslexia, on Teacher Education programmes. Her current research explores trainee teacher preparedness to address homophobic bullying in primary and secondary schools.

Andrew Allsop

Andrew Allsop is founder and managing director of Morley Hayes, the popular hotel and leisure complex in Morley, Derbyshire.

Andrew and brother Robert have single-handedly transformed a collection of barns on the family farm in Morley into a bar, two restaurants and function suites, with the surrounding land transformed into two golf courses and a driving range.

Thanks to Andrew (and Robert’s) vision and dedication, Morley Hayes is now one of the UK’s most successful hotel and leisure complexes. It currently employs 195 staff and is the principal employer in the area.

The business is going from strength to strength - an extension to its driving range has recently been completed, which will see the addition of eight new bays and a new coffee and lounge area.

Alongside this, Andrew and Robert run a successful farming business

Andrew and his team have been rewarded with a whole host of local and regional awards, culminating in the Dovecote restaurant being named national Restaurant of the Year at the Food Awards England 2017.

The four-star 32-bedroom Morley Hayes hotel ranked 21st in this year’s TripAdvisor’s annual Travellers’ Choice Awards, which recognise the best hotels across Britain.

Andrew attended Richardson Endowed School, one of the founding members of Embark Federation from the age of 5 until 11.


Paul Drummond FCIPD

Paul has over 25 years Human Resources experience across various sectors including service, chemical and automotive organisations. During Paul’s career as HR Vice President of a major automotive supplier, he successfully designed and deployed meaningful HR programmes that have been implemented on a global scale.

 As an experienced HR professional and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Paul’s first-hand experience is translated into practical solutions which are tailor-made to ensure the businesses that he works with have sustainable solutions leading to tangible results.

 As the Managing Director of Consulting for the Quantum Group, he is responsible for employee engagement, human resource business partnering, organisational development and senior management coaching. Enhanced by a post graduate certificate in Executive Coaching. Paul is a Dad to two boys that have attended Primary and Secondary schools in Derbyshire and has also been a Primary School Governor for 3 years.


Sarah Armitage

Sarah has been a school governor for 12 years, a chair for 6 years and a National Leader of Governance for 3 years. She also has held the position of NLG Coordinator for Derby and Derbyshire since September 2017.  This involves supporting the work of the (currently) 11 NLGs across the county and liaising with commissioners of this work, including Teaching School Alliances, MATs and Local Authorities.

Professionally she specialises in leadership, team and cultural development and is dedicated to helping people work more effectively and collaboratively together.  She feels this is crucial for excellent governance and a productive, high-trust working relationship between school leaders, staff and governors.

Sarah has worked with over 20 schools and colleges in her capacity as an NLG and as a professional facilitator/development consultant and carried out many external reviews of governance. Her mission is to help schools/MATs/federations develop a high-performance culture and organisation built on a clear shared vision, values and a team-driven approach.

She has a degree in Educational Psychology and has worked at a senior level in Human Resources in the chemical industry (originally Courtaulds), contributing to significant organisational and cultural change.

Having established Work Vitality in 2007, Sarah now has a wide range of clients including Tarmac, the Vaillant Group, the University of Derby, Lafarge, Vinci Energies and the Volvo Group.

With a background in Human Resources, coaching qualifications and extensive experience of coaching senior leaders, Sarah brings a sharp understanding of how to develop an engaged and performing workplace to her governance system-leadership role.

Sarah’s two daughters both attended Richardson Endowed Primary school in Smalley (now within Embark Federation) and being Derby born and bred, Sarah is passionate about improving the education and life-chances for all children and young people in her home county.

House of Lords

27 Jan 2023

Our Trust Leader Matthew Crawford was asked to attend the launch of a pamphlet called 'Starting With Why' by The Confederation of School Trusts...

Aldercar High Careers Fair

20 Dec 2022

Aldercar High School held their very first Careers Fair in the history of the school this month and it was a huge success.
It created a real...


20 Dec 2022

Remembrance honours those who serve to defend our democratic freedoms and way of life. We unite across faiths, cultures and backgrounds to remember...

Pioneer Trust Conference

20 Dec 2022

Our Trust Leader Matthew Crawford was asked to speak at a conference for the Pioneer Trust alongside Sir David Carter who is the former National...

Dame Alison Peacock Visit

20 Dec 2022

We had a wonderful two-day visit from Dame Alison Peacock The CEO of the Chartered College of teaching. Alison met our Trust Leader Matthew Crawford...

Sharing the Embark story...

20 Dec 2022

Our Trust Leader Matthew Crawford has been busy sharing the Embark Federation story at four national conferences in the recent weeks for Convenzis,...

Anthony Kessel visit

20 Dec 2022

Anthony Kessel is the NHS Clinical Director and also a renowned children’s author.
He very kindly paid a visit to the year 7 and 8s at...

Embark Awards 2022!

20 Dec 2022

On October 4th 2022 we enjoyed celebrating 150 of our Embark Children at our star-studded annual awards evening!
It was fantastic to be able...

Embark Award Stars Visit The Trustees

20 Dec 2022

Our final trust board meeting of the year was a little different this year, as we invited some of our leaders, children and their families in...

Retirement Afternoon Tea

20 Dec 2022

It was lovely to celebrate the work of two very special members of the Embark team with a beautiful afternoon tea at Horsley Lodge Golf Club.