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.


Clare Thomas – Headteacher Holden Lane Primary

Clare Thomas Headteacher Holden Lane PrimaryAt Holden Lane Primary School, we believe that all children are entitled to a high quality education and should regard their school as a safe, exciting and enjoyable place to be. Every child has the right to a stimulating curriculum where they can learn from real life experiences which develop their understanding and knowledge of the world.  We strive for every person involved in our school to feel valued and special so that every day, they feel they have achieved success.

We firmly believe that each individual child should be provided with a meaningful and creative education within an effective learning community that nurtures the development of the whole child. We value each child as an individual and believe they should be provided with an appropriate curriculum to enable them to flourish and grow.

As Headteacher, I am passionate about making a difference to the lives of the children and families of the city in which I was born. I consider the role of Headteacher to be a privilege. I enjoy being with children and watching them progress. I communicate my vision, values, ambition and passion for learning, so that working together with shared goals, we can ensure that every child at Holden Lane succeeds. My ambition is to make a difference to the children in my care and the community the school serves. My vision is to provide the best educational opportunities possible for every child, irrespective of background, ability, gender or race. The children at Holden Lane learn in a positive, happy, caring and inclusive atmosphere which I believe reflects our ethos and aims.

Above all, I am passionate about achieving excellence in all aspects of school life. We are therefore extremely excited to be joining the City Learning Trust which will enhance all aspects of our school’s development, enabling our children to continue to be happy and successful learners and enabling the school to grow and excel.

Pam Keen – Headteacher, Priory Church Academy

B07A5744I have been a teacher for 18 years and have been lucky enough to teach children from the Early Years to Secondary school. I have a variety of experience leading schools at different levels. My core belief is that education should focus on the individual and be fun, exciting and challenging.

It is a privilege to be the headteacher at Priory CE Primary school. It is a joyful place to be and the children demonstrate positive attitudes and behaviours. This is due to our distinctive Christian character and our UNICEF Rights Respecting School ethos.  At Priory we focus on the whole child and treat every child as the unique individual they are. We believe that every child is gifted in their own way and everyone is capable of being a successful learner. We aim to ensure every child has high aspirations along with the skills they need to be successful adults and positive members of society.

Working with the City Learning Trust is of tremendous benefit to us. I enjoy working with like minded and forward thinking leaders to improve education for the children of Stoke-on-Trent. Staff at all levels are benefiting from working with colleagues from other schools. The children have access to additional resources and experiences. I am looking forward to this continued journey and being part of a Trust that will go from strength to strength.

Dilesh Parmar – Principal, Haywood Academy

Mike Whittingham- Headteacher, Trentham Academy

Michael Astley – Principal, St. Peter’s Academy

Diane Broadhurst – Headteacher, Clarice Cliff Primary