Central Team

Nav Sanghara
Chief Executive Officer

Nav Sanghara

Before joining the Trust in January 2021, Nav was an executive leader of a nine-school trust founded in Greenwich. She has gained significant experience in the UK education system beginning her career as a teaching assistant, experiencing school leadership in a range of contexts and becoming a Headteacher in 2012.

Throughout her career, Nav has been driven to serve schools with ambition, equity and excellence firmly at the heart of her vision for children and communities. She is passionate about high-quality professional development and building inclusive, learning communities that are underpinned by relationships and connection.

Nav is recognised as National Leader of Education, working with schools to drive forward improvements in challenging contexts. She is a member of The Headteachers’ Roundtable-a non-party political headteachers’ group operating as a think-tank providing a vehicle for the profession to influence national education policy. She is also a trustee for STEP Academy Trust.

Nav hugely enjoys speaking publicly on a range of educational themes including curriculum, leadership development and diversity and inclusion.

Yong Liu
Chief Finance and Operations Officer

Yong Liu

Since relocating from China to the UK in 2008, Yong has been actively involved in the UK education sector, assuming leadership roles in functions such as Finance, HR, IT, Data, and Estates. In 2013, he was selected as one of 100 professionals in the UK to undergo specialised training as a School Business Director, as well as becoming CIPD qualified.

After qualifying as a chartered accountant with CIMA, Yong served as Finance Director at The BRIT School, one of the top performing arts colleges in the UK. He was fully sponsored by the UK Cabinet Office to become an accredited contract management practitioner in 2022. 

Yong’s enthusiasm for education originated from his own educational journey across different continents, which has profoundly shaped his life and career trajectory. This journey instilled in him a deep appreciation for the power of education to positively impact individuals and communities. Yong finds immense joy in witnessing children thrive and succeed, driven by a strong belief in the transformative potential of quality education. He is dedicated to leveraging his expertise and experience to support initiatives that empower young minds, enhance community relationships, and pave the way for a brighter future. 

In Yong’s role as the CFOO at the Trust, he leads the Trust Central Services team, overseeing Finance, HR, Estates, Health and Safety, Compliance and Risk and Communication and Marketing. He is dedicated to driving forward the Trust’s mission of delivering the best possible outcomes for our children. 

Julie Carson
Director of Education

Julie Carson

Before joining Woodland Academy Trust in 2017, Julie had been a Headteacher for 11 years in Salford, in the North West of England. In her role she led a group of schools on curriculum design, working across different local authorities; chairing a cluster of 7 schools to improve outcomes in the geographical area; and being the Primary Headteacher representative on the Local Safeguarding Children Board. She made effective use of strategic leadership to lead an opening of a children’s centre and worked with the local authority in supporting schools and in setting up a school improvement system.  After relocating, she joined Woodland Academy Trust as Headteacher of Peareswood Primary before taking on the role of Executive Headteacher and then Director of Education. She strongly believes in continued self-development and holds a distinction for an MA in Educational Leadership and Improvement and has achieved her NPQEL.

Julie’s passion for social justice is her drive in ensuring that all children have the same opportunities in life, regardless of their starting point and she also strongly believes in the benefits of collaboration to ensure best practice inside and outside of the classroom. She is also committed to ensuring that our approach to mental health is the right one for the pupils, families and staff and is delighted that this has been recognised through each school being awarded their Wellbeing in Schools Award.

In her role as Education Director, Julie is accountable to the outcomes of our schools, along with the Headteachers of those schools. She works in partnership with the Trust’s Executive Team and leads on the strategic developments of education and inclusion  as well as ensuring that the quality of education leads to the best outcomes for the pupils. This includes ensuring that the structure of the curriculum is appropriate for each school and meets the needs of the schools communities and that the Trust’s educational staff receive continuous professional learning to ensure high standards and best practice. Underlying all this is her drive for wanting every child, through the Trust’s educational offer, to find that hidden talent that no one knew they had, and develop it into a clear strength for their future selves.

Chloe Cunningham
Trust Business Manager

Chloe Cunningham

Chloe joined our trust in 2013 as the Finance Manager at Northumberland Heath Primary School, progressing to School Business Manager on completion of the Level 4 Certificate in School Business Management. Chloe has extensive experience of school office operations and financial management and works alongside the Central Team to support the Trust in their operations.

Chloe thrives on working in a fast-paced environment with a wide range of jobs and responsibilities and enjoys working in a constantly evolving profession which allows for career and professional development. Working in education gives the opportunity to positively influence children and staff and support in the shaping of a child’s future.

In her role, Chloe has a focus on delivering on financial management and procurement, budgets, internal audit, compliance with the Financial Academies Handbook and supporting the School Business Managers across the Trust.

Karys Eagle
Human Resources Manager

Karys Eagle

Having been born and raised in Bexley, Karys has always had a passion about the local area and wanting the best for its communities.  Before joining the Trust, Karys worked for Bexley Children’s Services working with families living in the local area who benefitted from additional support.  When the opportunity arose with to work with Woodland Academy Trust, Karys jumped at the chance to work with the schools she had built relationships with and had grown to care for through her work with the local authority.

Karys joined Woodland Academy Trust in 2016 and has thoroughly enjoyed her time working in the role of HR Assistant, Recruitment Manager and now as our Human Resources Manager.

Karys is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and is qualified in HR practice and management as well as ILM leadership and management.

Karys’ focus within the Trust, centres on the people working within the organisation, ensuring that the teams across trust have the knowledge, tools and skills to function effectively, feel supported and provide the best possible education for our children.  A key driver for the Trust is focusing on equality, diversity, recruitment and retention of our staff.  Kary’s main ambition for the Trust is to become recognised as an employer of choice, where the culture is strong and shared across all staff and all schools in our small but ambitious Trust.

Suzanna Pearce
Compliance, Asset & Risk Manager

Suzanna Pearce

Suzanna has a background in the financial services industry working for global investment houses. Following a career break to raise her children, she decided to repurpose the skills she had gained working in the city for her unrealised passion – working with children.

She has worked for two Local Authority maintained schools, the most recent of which, in the role of School Business Leader, where her area of responsibility included strategic and operational management of finance, human resources, facilities, compliance, IT infrastructure and marketing and communications. 

Suzanna is thrilled to have joined Woodland Academy Trust as our Compliance, Asset & Risk Manager and looks forward to drawing on her previous experience to support the Trust in realising its ambitions and values.

Joanne Ashton
Marketing & Communications Officer

Joanne Ashton

Joanne has worked in primary education since completing her Post Graduate Certificate in Education in 2006. She has had the privilege of teaching across EYFS, KS1 and KS2 and in leading on various roles in different schools across Bexley and Medway for a multi academy trust and has experience in teaching English as a foreign language to primary and secondary age pupils in Turkey.

She joined Woodland Academy Trust in 2019 supporting initially with Human Resources and Trust research. She then went on to become a Strategic Coordinator for the Trust supporting the Trust’s Core Strategy Group. In this role she was able to transfer the skills that she had developed from her teaching career and thrived on the new challenges and in being able to support and contribute to the Trust's developments from various perspectives.

Joanne now leads on the Trust's marketing and communication as our Marketing and Communications Officer and is responsible for coordinating and delivering effective marketing, communication and social media strategies. Her role also supports the Human Resources Manager with the HR functions of the Trust and in supporting the Chief Executive Officer in developing key Trust wide improvements and in delivering the strategic vision of the Trust.

Gillian Vieira
Data & Administration Officer

Gillian Vieira

Educated to degree level, Gillian has more than 15 years experience in working in the retail and food-manufacturing sectors, both for large multi-national companies and smaller growing businesses. From these roles she brings a wealth of data handling and administration experience. Gillian joined the Trust in January 2022 and looks forward to developing in her role here.

Gillian has a passion for education, both for her own improvement and to facilitate others to achieve the best that they can. She has grown up in Bexley and Dartford areas and is now raising her own family in the area. Having worked mainly in the private sector, she was looking for a way to make a difference. She hopes that working in an education setting she will be able to transfer some of the key skills she has learned in her previous experience and in some way make a difference to the children and the community.

As our Trust Data and Administration Officer, Gillian supports the team with key administrative functions and to aid with data management.

Claire Ingrams
Trust Inclusion Lead & Headteacher Lime Wood Primary

Claire Ingrams

Education is Claire’s second career following success as a Wish Coordinator for a children’s charity, which granted wishes to terminally ill children. This role involved meeting with children and their families and inspired her to pursue a teaching career so that she could continue giving children wonderful memories of their time in school, whilst preparing them academically and socially/emotionally for their futures.

Claire started her teaching journey in 2005 at Northend Primary (now known as Peareswood Primary) and has had the opportunity to teach children across EYFS, KS1 and KS2. During her teaching career, she developed her leadership experience, specialising as an ‘Every Child Counts Teacher’ and a ‘Making Good Progress’ tutor as well as taking on the role of SENDCo. Claire also led inclusion across the trust and played a significant role in improving outcomes at Northend in her roles as an Assistant and Deputy Headteacher. Claire has also provided leadership at Willow Bank Primary ensuring leadership capacity was developed and that the best outcomes were achieved for all children. She has successfully completed the NPQEL (National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership) as well as being accredited with the National Award for SEN Co-ordination.

In her role as Executive Headteacher, Claire worked in partnership with the Director of Education to support and lead on the Trust’s vision for education. Her main focus was developing leadership capacity, improving teaching and learning and ensuring the best possible curriculum opportunities are in place for all the children. 

Claire is committed and passionate about the communities that the trust serve – children, parents and colleagues alike, and strongly believes that she has stayed true to her initial dream of being someone that can work with a fantastic team to make a difference to the lives of children that we teach.

Claire is the Lead for inclusion across our Trust and also the Headteacher of Lime Wood Primary which opened in September 2023.

Paul Anderson
IT Manager

Paul Anderson

Paul joined Peareswood Primary School in June 2007 as a Teaching Assistant/IT Technician when the school was known as Northend Primary School. On federating with Northumberland Heath Primary school, Paul shared the journey as the school became renamed as Peareswood Primary through to the set-up of a Multi Academy Trust when Willow Bank Primary came on board in September 2011. With an increase in IT demands across the Trust, and having achieved Higher National Diplomas in computing, Paul became a full-time IT Technician for the Trust in 2012.

Having attended Peareswood Primary school as a child (under its former name of Northend) Paul has always felt a strong link to the school and as the Trust formed, the schools within. He enjoys seeing how IT is evolving across the Trust and the role he plays in ensuring that the systems the Trust have ‘just work’.

As the IT Manager, Paul is responsible for the computing infrastructure of the Trust to ensure there is high quality information technology, computer literacy and computer studies through high-functioning requisite hardware and software resources.

Daniel Davies
Trust Assistant Headteacher
Charlotte Vale
Trust Deputy Headteacher