Sarah Armitage (Chair of Trustees and HR Committee)
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.
Ian has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry, picking up and utilising technical, project, operational management and sales skills. Ian worked previously for IBM and Hewlett Packard and now for DXC Technology. His current job role is that of a Solution Architect working in the defence sector.
Ian has over 7 years of experience working within School Governing Bodies, ranging from being a Parent Governor, chairing Finance Committees and assisting schools in delivering a Good Ofsted report. He has also participated in the Embark Strategy Group, effectively steering the direction the Embark Federation.
On a personal level, Ian is married, with two children and lives locally to schools in the Embark Federation. He enjoys keeping fit, by running, playing competitive tennis, golf and in the warmer weather, water-skiing!
Alix has worked for 17 years at a large FTSE 100 company, working within the Public Sector Team providing a wealth of data, information and analysis to Public Sector departments. Alix is now a Senior Account Manager working within the Strategic Team and looking after 2 major banks. She manages a portfolio of £15million revenue and fosters excellent relationships with these key clients.
Alix has been a school governor for 7 years, she is currently a governor of three schools, including an Infant and Nursery School, a Junior School and she is Chair of Governors at a High School. The Infant school is an outstanding school and Alix was part of the interview process with Ofsted when the school was awarded their outstanding status. She lives with her husband and 2 children and spends her spare time supporting her son playing for his local football team and also her daughter who is a keen gymnast and ice skater.
Dr Deborah Outhwaite (Chair of Educational Standards and Performance Committee)
Deb Outhwaite runs the MA in Professional Education at the Centre for Teacher Education, University of Warwick. A qualified 11-18 teacher, Deb taught Social Sciences in secondary education for 12 years prior to coming in to university teaching and was an A-Level Government and Politics examiner for European Politics.
Deb’s Education Doctorate was on Educational Leadership in the International Baccalaureate and was awarded in 2017. Deb co-convenes the Leadership Preparation and Development Research Interest Group (RIG) for the British Educational Leadership and Management Administration Society (BELMAS), and she is an elected member and trustee of their Council. Deb is also an elected member of the International Professional Development Association (IPDA)’s International Committee.
She is also a parent governor and trustee in an 11-18 Derbyshire comprehensive school rated outstanding by Ofsted, where she is also a chair, and a trustee, of their school Foundation. Deb has authored book chapters and papers in the areas of contemporary issues in education policy; pupil premium; the deployment of Specialist Leaders in Education (SLEs); and the International Baccalaureate’s Diploma Programme in England.
As a leader, Eleanor strongly believes in the fundamental core purpose of education and the importance in the collaboration of a shared vision to the benefit of children. She offers a variety of skills and experience to the Embark trust board providing balance and passion to support school objectives and those of the community.
Originally from Canada, Eleanor offers a diverse background in a career spanning over 25 years across three business sectors in the areas of product and programme development, business administration and operations, training, customer service, safeguarding, performance management and human resources. She has been fortunate to be able to practice her knowledge across the community at local and regional level.
Eleanor holds degrees in Law and Sociology and International Management, certification in multidisciplinary rehabilitation and qualifications in education and training. Trained with the National College and as an experienced integrated centre leader she has have demonstrated practice in Early Years to post 16 and beyond. Eleanor is currently a tutor in family learning and has been a coach to many professionals.
Baby J has worked in education and the arts for the past 17 years. Founding and running Baby People, a music and arts based vocational training provider, he specialises in working with young people not in mainstream education, using music and the arts to help them rediscover a passion for learning. He has had a focus on diversity and equality particularly focussing on the rights of young people to access quality education, including new communities and young people from economically challenged backgrounds. Baby J is also a Church School Governor.
Baby J’s background as a music producer and artist manager has allowed him to pass on his experience to young people. He is an award winning music producer who has worked for Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson and Plan B. Baby People is an Arts Council national portfolio organisation and Baby J is a leading figure in the cultural sector in Derby and Nottingham.
Alix Round (Chair of Finance Committee)
Alix is a senior account manager at Experian. A more detailed bio will follow…
Matthew has six and a half years of headship experience and several years of working as a leader in schools. He is currently Executive Head of Embark Federation in Derbyshire which consists of Richardson Endowed Primary in Smalley and Kilburn Junior School. The Federation launched in January 2017 and he has been headteacher at Richardson Endowed since September 2011.
Matthew has been designated a National Leader of Education in February 2017 as a result of his work as a system leader and Richardson Endowed Primary became a National Support School.
Matthew has worked as an Associate School Improvement Adviser for Derbyshire County Council over the last three and a half years supporting nine schools and their leaders in a wide variety of school improvement activities. All nine schools now have good or better Ofsted judgements.
Matthew has also recently enjoyed working with a ‘coasting’ school in his role as NLE which was assigned by the RSC team.
He believes that schools are ‘stronger together’ and enjoys sharing practice whilst also learning from others and helping to improve the federation. He also believes that schools should be at the heart of their communities and give their children the best possible education.
Both schools in the federation have an exciting curriculum which is accompanied by a rich diet of wider opportunities in Music, Sport, Science and the Arts. The federation has excellent leadership in both schools and very good capacity to support others.
Prior to his work in Smalley, Matthew taught for nine years in two Derby City schools and then for four years as a Deputy Head in Nottinghamshire.
Matthew enjoys playing sports in his spare time and is also a member of the Parish Council Committee of All Saints Church in Breadsall Village, Derbyshire.