Who we are

Key Personnel

  • Adrian Packer CBE

    Founder and CEO

    Read profile »

    Adrian Packer founded CORE Education Trust in 2015. Immediately prior to this, he was Executive Principal of Park View Educational Trust and 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, film and television industries during that time.

    Mr Packer 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. He is also a Governor of the City of Birmingham School, the largest PRU in the country. Nationally, he is an independent non-executive Director of ukactive and the Chair of the ukactive Kids Council.

    In 2018 Mr Packer created Echo Eternal, a commemorative arts education project delivered on behalf of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation (UKHMF). The project brings together groups of schools with different characteristics and uses survivor testimony to raise awareness of genocide whilst inspiring positive civic action.

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

  • Joanne Tyler

    Chief Operating Officer

    Read profile »

    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.

  • Cathy O’Driscoll

    Director of Development and Safeguarding

    Read profile »

    Cathy's 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 echoeternal.org

    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.


  • Saiqa Liaqat

    Director of Academic Progress

    Read profile »

    Saiqa is the Director of Academic Progress for the Trust. This executive leadership role encompasses the use of data, curriculum planning and achievement of students. 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.

  • Jon Cale

    Finance Director

    Read profile »

    Jon is the Finance Director for the Trust. He is responsible for strategic planning of the Trust finances to ensure that resources are deployed effectively, funding is used for the purposes intended and the Trust secures Value for money from its spending.

    Jon has extensive experience in financial management and accountancy within the UK public sector. This includes, but is not limited to, auditing schools and working in the education finance sections of two large Local Authorities.

    Prior to joining the Trust, he spent over five years working in academy schools, as Finance & Facilities Manager, Strategic Business Manager and Finance Director. Jon also has a proven track record of implementing change to business processes to ensure compliance and improve performance.

  • Becky Perkes

    Head of Governance

    Read profile »

    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.

  • Angela Hutchinson

    Nansen Primary School Headteacher

    Read profile »

    Angela is an experienced Headteacher, having started her teaching career in the London Borough of Merton before becoming deputy then head of Bournemouth Park Infant School in Southend on Sea. She was instrumental in supporting Bournemouth Park Junior School out of Special Measures before successfully amalgamating both schools together into Bournemouth Park Primary School.
    Driving towards excellence has been an underlying principle for Angela as well a fundamental belief in education being a vehicle to promote equality and opportunity for all.

  • David Bailey

    Central Academy Headteacher

  • Karen Slater

    City Academy Headteacher

    Read profile »

    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.

  • Kevin Rogers

    Arena Academy Headteacher

    Read profile »

    Kevin has almost a decade’s worth of experience at school senior leadership level. He joined Arena Academy in September 2017 after guiding his previous School to an Ofsted rating of Outstanding. He has a particular interest in developing key partnerships across the Trust and for innovations within Alternative Provision. 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.

  • Russell Bond

    Russell Bond

    Jewellery Quarter Academy Headteacher

    Read profile »

    Russell was the founding Headteacher of Jewellery Quarter Academy which opened in September 2014. The School was named as a model of best practice by Sec-Ed magazine for developing students’ cultural capital. 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

    Read profile »

    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.