CLT Campus Leadership Team

Carl Ward – Chief Executive Officer

City learning trust carl wardCarl is Chief Executive of the City Learning Trust.  He is also the Executive Principal of Mill Hill Primary Academy, Haywood Sixth Form Academy and Haywood Academy in Stoke-on-Trent.  In 2015 Haywood Academy won two DfE national awards for pupil premium and character education – the only school in the country to win two national awards from the DfE in the same year.  It is a high performing non-selective secondary school, which is an approved DfE sponsor.

He has been a teacher for 23 years, working in a range of schools and organisations across a number of local authorities.   He has regional, national and international experience in leadership development and school to school improvement, and has supported national projects and conferences for the DfE, the National College, ASCL and SSAT.  From 2009 to 2011 he was part of the Prime ministers Talent & Enterprise Taskforce, leading on developing the outward facing schools model.

Sharon Bates – Headteacher Mill Hill Primary

Sharon bates headteacher mill hill primary Born and brought up in Stoke-on-Trent, I am passionate about ensuring that children across our city gain the highest standard of education. I qualified as a teacher in 1994, moving quickly into middle and then senior leadership. I then became a consultant, specialising in teaching and learning, creativity and leadership development across the primary and secondary sectors. Having worked on national education programmes, I have extensive teaching and leadership experience and specialist knowledge and understanding of developing curriculum models and brokering educational partnership programmes which promote collaborative working within and across schools. This experience underpins my philosophy as Headteacher of Mill Hill Primary, and I feel privileged to be a Headteacher in the City Learning Trust Campus Leadership Team.

Exceptional, inclusive education is based upon the school being a centre of excellence in learning for all, within and beyond the curriculum, where inspiration encourages aspiration and where the wellbeing of the children, staff and the community is a priority. The highest standard of teaching, combined with highly effective relationships, clear and positive communication, and engagement in on-going collaboration, innovation and reflection are essential to ensuring our children develop a love of learning, for life. Through being in a school within the City learning Trust, our children and young people will experience an education where they feel secure, motivated to learn and able to access the highest quality teaching from innovative, forward thinking, caring and committed staff from the age of 3, through to 19 years old.

Chris Crook – Headteacher Smallthorne Primary

Chris Crook Headteacher Smallthorne PrimaryI believe that each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. It is my desire, as Headteacher, to help all children meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas. Some of the elements that I believe are conducive to establishing such an environment include the teacher acting as a guide, allowing the child’s natural curiosity to direct his/her learning, and promoting respect for all things and all people as well as ensuring, as much as possible, that all children have fun, smile and enjoy their time in my school.

Teaching should provide an opportunity for continual learning and growth. One of my hopes as a Headteacher is to instill a love of learning in all children, as I share my own passion for learning with them. It is essential that all adults in my school are compassionate, strong and dedicated individuals who are excited about working with children. In our competitive society it is important for students to not only receive a solid education, but to work with someone who is aware of, and sensitive to, their individual needs.

As a member of the Campus Leadership Team, my role is to uphold this philosophy within my own school, and promote its values across a wider network of schools, whilst also listening, sharing and adapting best practice to ensure the best for all children within the City Learning Trust.


Dilesh Parmar – Principal, Haywood Academy

Mike Whittingham- Headteacher, Trentham Academy