Core Education Trust
55 St Paul's Square
B3 1QS

Tel: 0121 389 2824




Who we are

Key Personnel

  • Adrian Packer CBE

    Founder and CEO

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    Adrian Packer is the founder and CEO of CORE Education Trust. He took over as Executive Principal of Park View Educational Trust (PVET) and Interim Principal of Park View School in September 2014 and guided the schools in that Trust to a successful turnaround by March 2016. In 2012, Mr Packer was the founding Principal of Everton Alternative Provision Free School and 6th Form College, the first Free School set up by a Premier League football club. From 2010, Mr Packer was an Executive Director and part of the founding team of Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA), an arts academy partnered with The BRIT School. Mr Packer was a senior Artistic Director at the BRIT School for 12 years and taught some of the country’s highest profile, award-winning talent in the music, theatre and television industries.

    Mr Packer is a Member of the LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) Council and Director and Governor of the LIPA 6th Form. He is Governor of the City of Birmingham School. Nationally, he is an independent non-executive Director of ukactive and the Chair of the ukactive Kids Council.

    Mr Packer was awarded a CBE in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours for his services to education.

  • Joanne Tyler

    Chief Operating Officer

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    Joanne is a co-founder of CORE Education Trust. She has a wealth of experience and expertise as a business leader within the public education sector. Joanne regularly deputises for the CEO and oversees the day to day running of the Trust and its schools.

    Joanne has a well-established track record in education, with considerable previous experience working as a School Business Manager in many varied and challenging circumstances. She continues to mentor and coach other leaders and works with national organisations to inform best practice.

    Before working in the education sector, Joanne had a successful career as a contract manager within the private sector.

    Joanne is the Chief Finance Officer and Company Secretary for CORE Education Trust.

  • Emma Leaman

    City Executive Cluster Lead and Director of Education

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    Emma has joined CORE as Director of Education and is delighted to be working directly with and in CORE schools after her role as Assistant Director for Education at Birmingham City Council. She started her career as a maths teacher and has an absolute passion for placing teaching and learning right at the heart of school improvement.  Emma brings a wealth of experience in system leadership and partnership working across the education landscape that will help shape the Trust’s approach to collaboration as we grow.  She has a strong track record of securing rapid and sustainable improvement in outcomes for children, with an emphasis on leaders as learners and careful change management. Emma is driven by a desire to reduce inequality and champion the marginalised through a truly inclusive and inspiring education offer.

  • Cathy O’Driscoll

    Director of Development and Compliance

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    Cathy is part of the central executive leadership team. Her role encompasses safeguarding and outward facing accountabilities. This involves the key responsibility of overseeing all the Trust partnerships and projects. She has led on ground breaking national projects such as

    Cathy has an established track record as an educational leader in a range of inner city secondary schools in challenging circumstances in London and Birmingham. During her career she has mentored and coached aspirant Headteachers and senior leaders.

    Prior to working in education, Cathy had a successful career within stage management in the theatre, working across theatres in the UK.


  • Russell Bond

    Russell Bond

    Jewellery Quarter Academy Headteacher

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    Russell is the JQA Executive Cluster Leader and Headteacher of Jewellery Quarter Academy, having opened the School in September 2014. The School was named as a model of best practice by Sec-Ed magazine for developing students’ cultural capital.

    His main areas of responsibility in the Trust are creating all-through provision, curriculum and Sixth Form.

    Prior to joining CORE Education Trust, Russell worked in a variety of roles in secondary schools and as a Governor of a primary school in Birmingham.

  • Sofia Darr

    Rockwood Academy Headteacher

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    Sofia is an experienced Headteacher at Rockwood Academy and plays a key role on the Executive Leadership Team for CORE Trust. She was previously Principal at Waverley Studio College, which she succeeded in taking out of special measures to an Ofsted rating of good. Sofia is highly regarded in the profession and is an inspirational leader.

    Sofia is a leader with over 24 years’ experience in education, she has been at the forefront of school improvement in several schools across the UK. She has a proven track record of raising standards in urban challenging schools. She has worked as a senior leader in Yorkshire, North West England and London.

    Sofia is a recognised leadership coach who has developed aspiring leaders to reach their potential. She has a strength and skills in the underachievement of boys, which was her focus of her post graduate research.

    Sofia has strengths in project management which have been evidenced in her successful work through the building schools for future programme and other transformational initiatives.

  • Kevin Rogers

    Arena Academy Headteacher

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    Kevin is the Headteacher of Arena Academy and the CORE Arena Executive Cluster Lead. He has almost a decade’s worth of experience at school senior leadership level – having held leadership responsibility for Pastoral support; Curriculum; SEND provision and for Teaching and Learning. Kevin is now in his fourth year as a Headteacher in Birmingham.

    Kevin joined Arena Academy in September 2017, and has a passion for creating an ethos within which every child can come to school feeling a sense of pride, purpose and an unbending belief in the power of their own potential. He is also especially committed to developing key partnerships. As someone who played for Notts County FC as a youth player, and who spent time on a sports scholarship in the USA, Kevin is a strong believer in using sports and activities to energise students’ mental and physical wellbeing. Kevin is a member of the UK Active Kids Council.

  • Karen Slater

    City Academy Birmingham Headteacher

  • Angela Hutchinson

    Nansen Primary School Headteacher

  • Clare Jackman

    Head of Support Services

  • Neil Limbrick

    Head of IT Strategy

  • Sara Finley

    Finance Manager