Who we are
Adrian Packer CBE
Founder and CEO
Adrian co-founded CORE Education Trust in 2015 after taking over Park View Educational Trust as Executive Principal in 2014. He was also Principal of Park View School (now Rockwood Academy) at that time.
Prior to this, in 2012 Adrian 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, Adrian was part of the founding team of Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA), an arts academy partnered with The BRIT School. Adrian 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, film and television industries during that time.
Adrian is currently a Member of the LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) Council and Director and Governor of the LIPA 6th Form, having previously advised on the setting up of the LIPA Primary School.
Adrian is an independent non-executive Director of ukactive and the Chair of ukactive Kids Council.
In 2018 Adrian created Echo Eternal, a commemorative arts education project, which brings together groups of schools with different characteristics and uses oral history to raise awareness of genocide whilst inspiring positive civic action. In 2019, he was awarded a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister for this project.
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 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 Deputy CEO, Chief Finance Officer and Company Secretary for CORE Education Trust.
Director of Education
Saiqa is the Director of Education for the Trust. She supports the school leadership teams with school improvement and strategic planning. She started her working career in publishing working for regional, national and international publications. She has been involved in education for over 19 years holding several senior roles including school improvement consultancy and senior management roles in schools across the UK and internationally. She has worked collaboratively with several Government agencies and has setup soft federations to encourage collaboration within education. Saiqa is driven by the moral imperative to improve educational standards and outcomes for all young people.
Saiqa is a keen skier and field hockey player and has developed a passion for photography. She is an active participant in sporting clubs in the region.
Head of Echo Eternal
Cathy's role is to lead and coordinate the Trust’s ground-breaking national project Echo Eternal www.echoeternal.uk
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.
Head of HR and Partnerships
Joanne is the Head of HR and Partnerships for CORE Education Trust, overseeing the HR function for the Trust and its Schools offering support and guidance which is reflective of the values and requirements of CORE.
Joanne has a wealth of experience in Senior Leadership within the private leisure sector and extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of Human Resources, including implementation and ongoing review of effective process and practice. She has throughout her career gained experience and sound knowledge around the operations of Charitable Trusts, safeguarding practices, managing high value budgets and ensuring compliance. In the latter part of her career Joanne formed part of the Senior Management Team with responsibility for directly overseeing all aspects of the day to day operations.
Head of Governance
Becky is the Head of Governance, overseeing governance at all levels across the trust. Prior to joining the Trust, Becky worked in school governance for a number of years, managing the regional governance network for a large multi academy trust.
Becky has spent her career working in education in the West Midlands, and is particularly passionate about working with children and young people from vulnerable or disadvantaged backgrounds. She started her career as a secondary school teacher in inner city Birmingham and has subsequently worked in a range of educational management roles, including as an Education Project Manager for a national charity, as a Head of Centre for a DfE sports based learning programme called ‘Playing for Success’ and as a School Improvement Advisor with the Local Authority.
Arena Academy Headteacher
Prior to joining the education sector Raj worked in IT as a computer programmer and computer network manager. Before being appointed as Headteacher of Arena Academy in April 2020, Raj spent over a decade as a senior leader in one of the most nationally deprived schools in Birmingham. He was an integral part of the leadership team which gained the school 'outstanding' status. Raj has supported many schools in the Midlands, both primary and secondary, with Teaching & Learning and school improvement initiatives resulting in them improving their ofsted gradings from 'requires improvement' to 'good' or 'outstanding'.
Raj has a passionate belief that a pupil's socio-economic background should not be a barrier to achieving success. Combining his love of music and a healthy lifestyle & fitness he ensures that pupils develop into well-rounded individuals equipped with the tools to achieve their goals.
Central and City Academy Executive Headteacher
City Academy Headteacher
Karen is an experienced leader of inner city schools and was, prior to joining the trust in April 2018, Headteacher of an alternative provision school in Birmingham. Over a decade of experience in senior teams, Karen was integral in leading a previous school out of ‘special measures’ as well as supporting senior teams in ‘outstanding’ schools, providing high quality education experiences for all students.
A competitive sports person, having representative honours in three different sports as a junior, Karen believes in harnessing the power of sports and other enrichment activities to raise aspirations, connect communities, and improve outcomes.
Jewellery Quarter Academy Headteacher
Before Greg’s first Headship in Tamworth, Staffordshire, he spent seventeen years in inner-city Birmingham schools. Greg has been a successful leader in many educational settings: primary, secondary and further education, taking schools from a low Ofsted rating to ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ on several occasions. He is also recognised as a proven and highly engaging speaker at conferences in the U.K. and Middle East, talking to colleagues about issues of effective governance and leadership, based on the latest research.
Greg is passionate about closing gaps in knowledge and skills between students with financial barriers to education and their peers. He has worked with experts across the country and devised plans to address this deficit. Greg firmly believes that, with help and focused guidance, a young person’s context does not have to pre-determine their life chances.
Rockwood Academy Headteacher
Sofia is an experienced Headteacher and was, prior to joining Rockwood in 2017, the Principal at Waverley Studio College, which she succeeded in taking out of special measures to an Ofsted rating of Good. 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 track record of raising standards in urban schools. She has worked as a senior leader in Yorkshire, North West England and London.
Kevin has over a decade’s worth of experience in schools at senior leadership level including six years as Headteacher at two Birmingham schools. Kevin joined CORE Education Trust in March 2018 as the Headteacher of Arena Academy and stabilised that school following the transfer from the previous failing Trust.
Kevin now oversees the Trust’s remote learning offer, with specific responsibility for increasing student and parental engagement through the use of distance/online learning and the innovative CORE Connects and CORE Extra programmes.
Kevin is passionate about providing opportunities for all students ensuring there are no barriers preventing students achieving their ambitions. 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 passionate advocate for using sport and physical activity to engage students and promote positive mental and physical wellbeing.