RET Executive Leaders

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Rachael Warwick: CEO, Accounting Officer and Executive Headteacher

Rachael holds a degree in English Literature and Language from Oxford University and, following a first career in children's fiction publishing, gained a PGCE from Goldsmith's College, London University. 

Rachael worked in several schools in London, Sussex and Oxfordshire before becoming Headteacher of Didcot Girls’ School in September 2010 and Executive Headteacher of Ridgeway Education Trust in September 2015. She has spent the last seventeen years as a senior leader and is a National Leader in Education (NLE). Rachael is this year's Immediate Past President of ASCL (Association of School and College Leaders).

Away from work, Rachael enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage sons in their home in west Oxfordshire.

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Chris Powell: Chief Finance Officer and Director of Finance & Services

Chris is a qualified accountant with a diploma in management and considerable experience in the education sector, having operated as Chief Finance Officer for a multi-academy trust in Norfolk.

Prior to this he was Head of Finance at Hertfordshire Police and has held other leadership roles within the police service, local government and with a government agency.

Chris has strong links to the area and was educated at St Birinus School. He is a keen runner and is married with two children.

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Georgina Littler: Headteacher of Didcot Girls’ School

Georgina graduated with a Degree in French and German from Nottingham University in 1998 and completed a PGCE at Oxford University shortly afterwards.

Following several years teaching in Oxfordshire she worked in International schools in Egypt and in the Philippines before returning to the UK to start a family. She then worked in the Cotswolds as Assistant Headteacher before taking on the role of Deputy Headteacher in Tewkesbury. She truly loves working in education and passionately believes in its power to affect the life chances of young people for the better.

Georgina loves to travel but also enjoys spending time at home in the Cotswolds with her family and two dogs.

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William Manning: Headteacher of St Birinus School

William graduated from Kings' College London with a degree in French and Latin in 1994 and left university to pursue Arabic studies in Egypt and then work in industry before completing a PGCE with Oxford University in 1999.

William worked as a teacher of languages and a Head of Year at the Marlborough School, Woodstock and then subsequently as a Head of Year and Assistant Headteacher with pastoral responsibilities at Tanglin Trust School, Singapore. Before being appointed as Headteacher at St Birinus School, William was a Deputy Headteacher at Didcot Girls’ School.

A keen sportsman, William lives with his wife and three children in Freeland.

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Rachel Hornsey: Headteacher of Sutton Courtenay CofE Primary School

Rachel holds a BA (Hons) degree in Politics from Leeds University and a Master’s degree in Education from York University.

She has thirty years’ experience working in primary schools across the country, teaching children of every age. Prior to headship, Rachel led English in three Outstanding schools and has been a Local Authority and freelance consultant in literacy and learning.

Rachel lives in East Hagbourne with her husband and two teenage daughters.

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James Cross: Director of Didcot Sixth Form

James Cross graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Literature and Language, before completing a PGCE at the University of Keele and teaching in the West Midlands. He returned to Oxfordshire in 2014 to work at Didcot Girls’ School, where has held a variety of roles, most recently as Head of English and Associate Senior Leader. He has also worked across a number of schools as a Specialist Leader of Education, supporting English departments with curriculum development and raising standards.

James is responsible for the Didcot Sixth Form, working across both St Birinus School and Didcot Girls' School. He lives in Didcot, though hails originally from the North, and enjoys anything that takes him to more mountainous terrain.

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Catherine Steele: Operational Services Lead

Catherine Steele holds a Diploma in School Business Management and has worked in numerous primary schools within Oxfordshire after re-training from her career in Pharmaceuticals.

Prior to working at RET, she was the School Business Manager at Sutton Courtenay CofE Primary School and was extensively involved with the school becoming an academy and joining Ridgeway Education Trust.   Catherine has operational responsibility for IT, Premises including Health and Safety, Catering and Transport.

Catherine lives in Oxford with her two teenage boys and enjoys walking her dog by the river, appreciates all forms of live music and has recently taken up running.

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Sophy Parkin-Haig: Company Secretary

Sophy holds a BA (Hons) degree in History from the University of Warwick and has worked in education, training and project management for the past 20 years.

She joined Ridgeway Education Trust in 2018, having previously worked for a leading UK awarding body and in schools in Warwickshire and Buckinghamshire. She is currently undertaking the Certificate of Clerking of School and Governing Boards offered by the National Governance Association and accredited by The Chartered Governance Institute.

Sophy is married and has two daughters, and enjoys long walks with the family whippet in the Oxfordshire countryside.

 

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