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Business Team

Finance and Estates


Amy Taylor - Director of Finance

Having graduated from Keele University with a degree in Mathematics & Finance, Amy joined BDO Stoy Hayward (later taken over by RSM Tenon/Baker Tilly) to train as a Chartered Accountant becoming a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) in 2005. Amy remained in practice until 2016, becoming Senior Audit Manager servicing a large and varied portfolio of clients but specialising in Charities & Academy Trusts. Amy joined The de Ferrers Trust in 2016 bringing with her a wealth of experience from her client work in both the private sector and with other Academy Trusts.


Kathryn Smith - Business Support Officer 

Kathryn has worked in local schools since moving to Staffordshire nearly 30 years ago.  She now brings this extensive experience to the Trust following 15 years as an administrator then Bursar of a large, local primary school, and nearly 12 years as Bursar at The de Ferrers Academy.  

In consequence of de Ferrers becoming a single academy trust in 2011 she recommenced her studies (having previously obtained a Chemistry degree and a postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration) and gained a Professional Certificate in Accountancy from the Open University followed by the CIPFA - Certificate in Financial Reporting for Academies.  These studies have increased her understanding of academy accounts and enabled her to fully support both the Business Manager of the Academy (as Bursar) and the Finance Director of the Trust.  


Helen Denison - Senior Finance Officer

Helen has a wealth of experience in both education and employment settings. She has worked in public, private, and voluntary sectors in a variety of roles for employers including the Employment Service, Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), Amber Valley Borough Council, Staffordshire University and most recently for the JCB Academy.

For the last 10 years Helen has specialised in financial resource and operations management roles. She has a breadth of financial support and budgetary experience including management of externally funded projects (including EU sponsored programmes).

She has studied to Postgraduate level achieving both Pg Certificate and Pg Diploma in Business Administration, and has recently achieved her Prince 2 qualification in project management.


Baljinda Beesla-Wood - Academy Manager

Baljinder has worked in local schools and academies for over 19 years.  She brings a breadth of finance experience to the Trust.  She has achieved both her Certificate and Diploma in School Business Management (CSBM & DSBM) and utilises her qualifications in order to fully support the Office Managers at the primary academies across the Trust.


Nazia Odud - Finance Assistant 

Nazia has completed her AAT level 1, 2 and 3 accounting courses and will study towards her level 4 in September.  She has worked for many educational establishments including Burton and South Derbyshire college and Tower View Pre-School gaining experience of finance operations in the education sector. 

Geoff Stockle - Estates Manager


Geoff has been employed in many varying educational establishments for the majority of his professional career. He moved to The de Ferrers Trust in May 2017 having been the Estates, Health and Safety manager for Burton and South Derbyshire College for 4 years prior. Previous similar appointments have been with the Acorn Care & Education group in Staffordshire and Norfolk that supports children with additional needs, a local independent School, Birmingham Connexions information, advice and guidance organisation as well as with Kodak and the NHS. NEBOSH qualified and a technician member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (Tech IOSH) as well as member of the British Institute of Facilities Management (MBIFM) Geoff brings a wealth of experience and skills with regard to all facets of estates management.

Human Resources


Joanne Harrison - Director of Human Resources

Jo began her career in a Derby law firm.   After taking her first HR role in the private sector, she gradually gained knowledge and experience in a variety of situations whilst positioned within a medium sized software development company.  During this time she gained her Postgraduate Diploma in HR Management and became a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).  Following a number of redundancy processes and ultimately the closure of the software company, Jo assisted in the set-up of a new venture with the same board of directors.  Jo’s next move was working at The de Ferrers Academy late in 2013, and a vast portfolio of experience has followed this move.  Jo is a generalist HR practitioner covering all areas of HR.


Emma Robinson - HR and Governance Officer


Emma previously worked within Health & Safety and training prior to completing her CIPD level 3 in HR Practise in 2014 and a CIPD level 5 in HR Management in 2016.  Emma has experience of working with small and medium enterprises with employee totals ranging form 20 to 250+.  Emma joined the Trust in April 2018 and provides HR and Governance support to all academies. 

Governance, Compliance and General Support


Tammy Pyszky - Director of Governance and Compliance

Having graduated from university with a degree in Law, Tammy spent 9 years working for a Lexcel accredited law firm of solicitors that ranked highly in the prestigious Legal 500 directory.  She spent some time as a Practice Manager, before specialising in legal compliance and moving to The de Ferrers Academy in 2013. 

Tammy has undertaken the NCTL’s Clerk’s Development Programme and has a good understanding of governance in education.   She is responsible for ensuring 'Outstanding' governance across the Trust.  Tammy facilitates Governor Development Programmes on behalf of Alliance of Leading Learning in an effort to improve governance nationally. 

Tammy was the project lead for the conversion to Multi-Academy Trust status and will support schools joining the Trust with the legal process throughout their transition.   


Nicola Townsend - Data Manager at The de Ferrers Academy

Having graduated from the University of Chester with a BA.Ed degree in English, Education and Social Psychology Nicola embarked on a tour of the southern hemisphere before joining a corporate sales team within a global games technology company.  She spent more than ten years setting up a team dedicated to defining 'best practice' processes and supporting the 100+ strong sales team before moving in to a corporate account management role.

Nicola joined The de Ferrers Academy in 2011 where she has since completed her NDMA (National Data Manager Award). She has established effective target, assessment and reporting structures within the Academy and is now rolling out these structures and supporting data management across the Trust.