Our Central Team

Hardip Begol, Chief Executive Officer

Hardip BegolHardip spent two decades at the Department for Education, where his roles as a senior civil servant included responsibility for: special educational needs and disability; bill manager for the Education Act 2011; reform of curriculum, qualifications and accountability; and independent education, safeguarding in schools and countering extremism.  Earlier in his career he worked as a trainee chartered accountant, public sector consultant and at the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit.  Before joining the Trust in April 2020, he was the Director for Integration and Communities at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.  He is a former trustee and current member of the Eden Academy Trust (, a non-executive Director at the Centre for Education and Youth ( and was awarded a CBE for services to education in 2017.

Victoria Creed, Director of Corporate Services

Victoria CreedVicky joined Woodard in June 2018.  She is a Chartered Accountant, with over 20 years’ experience.  Vicky started her career as an Auditor in practice, before moving into the public sector, first at the National Audit Office and then within a series of Government Departments.  Vicky spent almost 15 years in the public sector, the last seven of which were in the senior civil service.  Since leaving, she has held roles within the Charity and Education Sectors, before joining Woodard.  Vicky holds responsibility for Finance and Procurement across the Trust. 

Hans Copas, Deputy Finance Director (Business Planning and Reporting)

Hans CopasHans is a Chartered Accountant with over 10 years of experience in the education sector.  Hans trained as an auditor in public practice and went on to work at the National Audit Office as well as the Xerox Corporation where he worked in the European headquarters for over 10 years.  Hans joined the Woodard Academies Trust in January 2019 and has helped to drive a number of key financial improvement strategies across the trust.

Carol-Anne Alcock, Director of School Improvement

CAA Temp photoCarol-Anne has extensive experience in leading the establishment of schools and school improvement.  She led Westside School, Hammersmith from 2017-19 to become the first alternative provision school to achieve outstanding under the new Ofsted inspection framework. Carol-Anne joined the Harris Federation in 2009 and was the founding Principal of Harris Academy Purley which was rated Ofsted outstanding after 28 months in 2011.  As an Executive Principal, she established a new free school Harris Invictus Academy, Croydon in 2014, which was rated Ofsted outstanding in its first inspection in 2016, and led Harris Primary Free School and Harris Academy Peckham.

Maria Roberts, School Improvement Lead

Maria Roberts1Maria Roberts joined Woodard Academies Trust in 2017 as School Improvement Lead. Originally an MFL teacher, she has over 25 years working in education – at school, local authority and university level, and as an Ofsted inspector. Maria has worked as an MFL Adviser, developing resources, assessments and training for both primary and secondary languages teachers  at a national level and local level, and also working for Chichester University on its teaching training programme. She worked as a senior adviser for West Sussex Local Authority, overseeing all aspects  of school improvement, networks and support. Maria is also Chair of Governors in a maintained primary school.    

Nicola Reynolds, Governance Administrator

Nicola ReynoldsNicola is a governance professional with experience in the Australian public service and more recently, the NHS and UK charity sectors.

She joined Woodard in January 2020 and is responsible for providing advice and guidance to the trustee board on governance, constitutional and procedural matters.

Stuart Webb, Office Manager

SW ProfileStuart joined Woodard Academies Trust in 2012.  Prior to this, he worked for the learning disability charity Mencap for several years as Office Manager for their communications and marketing department.

Stuart looks after the facilities of the central office as well as our administrative and central ICT functions.

Vic Parkinson, Executive Assistant to the Central Team

Vic ParkinsonVic is Executive Assistant to the Central Team and is responsible for supporting the senior leadership with research, projects, cross trust events and diary management (to name a few!).

Vic is also the trust administrator for our education databases. Vic has previous experience in the charity sector as PA to the CEO and other admin roles.  



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