Who We Are
Hardip Begol, Chief Executive Officer
Hardip 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 (theedenacademy.co.uk), a non-executive Director at the Centre for Education and Youth (cfey.org) and was awarded a CBE for services to education in 2017.
Victoria Creed, Director of Corporate Services
Vicky 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 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
Carol-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.
Ruth Ashbee, Trust Lead for Curriculum and CPD
Ruth has worked for fifteen years in state comprehensives as a physics teacher, lead practitioner, assistant head and director of curriculum, before joining Woodard Academies Trust in 2021. Ruth is a leading education speaker and blogger, specialising in curriculum, teaching and learning, school culture and leadership. She has worked with schools across the UK to drive forward curriculum provision, professional development, and powerful staff culture, and her forthcoming book “Curriculum: Theory, Culture and the Subject Specialisms” promises to be a key addition to the education canon.
Emma Myers, Trust Governance Lead
Emma is the Trust Governance Lead who ensures the Trust meets the highest standards of governance, working closely with our Board of Trustees and the Academy Councils and clerks in each of our schools.
Emma is an accredited governance professional with extensive experience in providing services in a range of educational settings. Prior to joining the Trust in April 2021, Emma was the Assistant Governance Manager of a large not-for-profit education support services provider, where she was responsible for a large team of governance clerks providing clerking services in over 230 settings. Emma also served as the clerk to the Board of Trustees of the National Governance Association. A governor herself, Emma is passionate about improving the educational standards and wellbeing of young people by increasing the effectiveness of governance.
Stuart Webb, Office Manager
Stuart 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 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.