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The Operations Team

Schools also look for support on the vital aspects of school operations, keeping pupils and staff safe, efficient, robust and enhancing the learning and work environment. The Enlighten Learning Trust has a comprehensive offer through its Operations Team that between them have the following experience:

  • School Business Leadership of 8 different schools across primary, secondary and special phases in Surrey and London
  • Chief Finance Officer experience across 4 Trusts
  • Numerous Accounting and Professional qualifications as well as experience delivering programmes and operational reviews to others at LA level
  • Experience in financial consultancy, induction and training working alongside the LA
  • Years of school leadership in their areas of expertise in a variety of settings
  • Proactively engaged with DfE pilots e.g Cyber Security, ensuring that all schools within the Trust have adopted appropriate practice and obtained the Cyber essentials accreditation

The Operations Team leads across HR, Procurement, the IT and Estates Strategies, Finance strategy and delivery, Heath and Safety as well as GDPR and Cyber Security. It also has associated functional delivery for the Trust. 

Through this team we can offer a fantastic range of experience through which we can support schools in different situations to develop and improve the experience of their pupils.  We are committed to making our vision a reality and know that through this diverse team, schools will find the necessary skills and credible experience to help their pupils flourish

Zoe Lever - Chief Finance Officer

Zoe had a successful career in corporate finance within a global organisation having qualified as an Accountant. After a career break, Zoe joined education as an Academy business Leader and Chief Finance Officer, and undertook this role across a Single Academy Trust and three Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) for 7 years prior to joining Enlighten Learning Trust. Zoe has experience across all educational phases, and in Special Schools. Zoe is focussed on adding value to all elements of Enlighten Learning Trusts delivery, and supporting colleagues across the Trust. 

Julie Woodley - Head of Operations

Before starting her career in education, Julie qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant working in Commodities. She began working for Esher High School in 2006 in finance and progressed to School Business Lead, managing the school’s budget and support staff departments. During this time, negotiating and monitoring contracts was a key part of the role, as well as ensuring the school received value for money.

In her Trust role, Julie supports our schools in ensuring their facilities and estates are managed to the best standard. Her procurement processes and contract management provide a way for schools to ensure they are getting the best service both in quality and price. She holds a Certificate in School Business Management and has recently completed the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Corporate Practitioner Award. 

Helen Gash - Head of HR

Helen has a background in customer service and HR.  She studied languages at university and has had a varied career, ranging from escorting groups of tourists through Europe and the Soviet Union, through  to selling educational tours to American High School students and working as a Train Manager for Eurostar.  She values the life experiences that education can open up to children and wholeheartedly supports the ELT vision.

It was whilst working for Eurostar that Helen started working in HR.  She has been a member of the CIPD since 1994 and is currently studying for the level 7 diploma in strategic people management.  In 2014, she started working in education, in a variety of settings and since 2019 she has been a member of the ELT central team, working with leadership and staff across the organisation.  Her current role is Head of HR leading the people function in the Trust, setting out the strategy and supporting the schools in fostering a high quality working environment which will attract and retain great staff as well as ensuring compliance with our statutory obligations. 

Lucy Owen - Trust Marketing and GDPR Manager

Lucy has enjoyed a career in marketing and communications for more than 25 years both on the agency and client side. Her core purpose at ELT is to provide effective and results driven marketing strategy and management across the academy trust and it's schools. As a member of the Trust’s strategic operational team, she contributes to the leadership, management and monitoring of Trust development working alongside the both the Executive Headteacher and the Chief Finance Officer.

Lucy leads on providing a GDPR service to the Trust, advising on all associated issues and administering all related matters to support the smooth running of the Trust. Having completed both a Foundation and Practitioners Certified Course in GDPR, she works across all aspects of Data Protection.

Elise Philpott - Trust Finance Manager

Elise started life working in IT, first on a Help Desk, and then in project management, until she decided to switch careers in 2000 to become an accountant. She hasn’t looked back since! 

She has predominantly worked in the public sector, first in the NHS where she worked as a Junior Management Accountant for 7 years, moving around between specialities, and then for English Heritage for a further 7 years, gaining a variety of experience managing the finances of some very well known properties such as Kenwood House and Dover Castle. 

Elise made the move into Education in 2018 working in a couple of Multi Academy Trusts as Finance Business Partner, before joining ELT in January 2023 as Trust Finance Manager. Her role is to support the Heads in keeping the schools’ finances within budget, providing various analysis, as well as supporting the CFO in delivering a variety of statutory requirements for the ESFA. 

Alison Morgan - Lead Governance Professional

Alison worked in commercial banking and the global banking regulatory sector before moving into education. She brings a wealth of experience from her regulatory work and voluntary/volunteering roles in governance, and local and national charities.

Alison’s role at ELT is to lead on governance, policies and compliance across the trust.

Since taking up the role of Company Secretary and Clerk, Alison has completed Veale Wasbrough Vizards LLP's  Company Secretarial Course for Academies and the NCTL Clerks Development Programme.