The Central Education Team
Specific professional development programmes and projects are designed and offered to meet the needs of academies where evaluation of KPIs, analysis of performance indicators, feedback from headteachers and national priorities identify trends across the academies that require whole Trust strategies to support improvement.
These are led by the Central Education Team, expertise from within the system or externally led or could be research learning communities led from within the system.
Maxine Cunningham - SEND Improvement and Inclusion Lead
Maxine is our specialist in everything related to inclusion. She works across all of our academies to ensure the best outcomes for all learners, and leads on the SEN strategy to develop practice across the Trust.
Maxine is a champion for real social inclusion, and believes that all children should learn and experience what our amazing world has to offer together. These beliefs have been fostered during her 20 years in education, where she has seen the difference inclusive teaching and learning can have on everyone in a school community.
Maxine is a qualified SENCO and has worked across both the primary and secondary age ranges during her career. She holds the NASENCO award and a PgCert in Special Educational Needs from the University of Northampton.
Since joining the Trust in 2018, Maxine has also proudly represented us as a member of the Lincolnshire SEND steering group - and as a member of a national multi-academy SEN leader network.
Favourite Quote: "When everyone is included, everyone wins." - Jesse Jackson
Caroline Nixon - Attendance Lead
Caroline has worked in the education sector for the past 11 years, during which she was employed in a variety of roles before working in educational welfare.
Caroline had 5 years of experience working as an Education Welfare Officer in the Trust before being appointed as Voyage's Trust Attendance Lead in September 2022.
Within Voyage, Caroline leads on all aspects of attendance and education welfare - providing advice on all aspects of attendance legislation to our academies. She also provides training and support to academy-based attendance champions and administrators.
Caroline is particularly passionate about working with families, realising the importance of understanding the challenges they face which impact on school attendance.
This year, as part of the Education Framework, Caroline is responsible for leading the Trust Attendance Strategy.
Favourite Quote: "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Henry Ford
Dina Parla - Safeguarding Lead
Dina strategically leads, and supports, a consistent approach for Safeguarding policies to be put into effective practice through core activity within the Education Framework, providing training, advice and support for Designated Safeguarding Leads. She also gathers and analyses Safeguarding data to inform future planning, policy and procedure.
Dina has over 20 years of experience across the safeguarding and child protection arena, within the Private Sector and Local Authority Children Services - moving across to education as the Trust Safeguarding Lead in 2018.
She has been focusing on supporting both existing and prospective academies, driving consistency within the Trust, maintaining aligned autonomy, and ensuring a holistic approach while providing assurances to the Chief Executive Team.
Dina was very proud to represent Voyage as a speaker at the Optimus Education "Leading Safeguarding" Conference in 2022. She is also part of the Lincolnshire Children Services Early Help Steering group and feels passionate about working effectively within our own agency, and with others, to ensure children have the best outcomes.
Favourite Quote: "Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be." - Rita Pierson
Suzie Pell - Early Teacher Development Lead
Suzie gained Qualified Teacher Status with Physical Education as a specialist subject two decades ago. Since then she has worked within the Trust, predominately in Upper Key Stage 2, but has had experience teaching in all year groups. In her previous role she was part of the team which moved a school from special measures to ‘Outstanding’.
Before joining our Central Education Team, Suzie held a variety of roles in her previous academy - including PE, science, intervention and computing lead, and E-Safety Officer. For the last 8 years she was the academy’s English Lead Teacher, developing the English curriculum for reading, writing and phonics, as well as supporting staff with the teaching, learning and assessment of these areas. She was also a member of the academy’s Senior Leadership Team and a Specialist Leader of Education for English, Science and Behaviour Management.
Over the last 10 years Suzie has supported the Lincolnshire SCITT programme through facilitating training on effective climates for learning, behaviour management, and supporting pupils with English as an additional language. She is an experienced mentor for trainee teachers and early career teachers, and is passionate about supporting teacher development.
Educational Ethos: "I am passionate about investing time and expertise into our early teachers and believe that, in doing so, we are ensuring the education of not only those we are teaching now, but those who will be taught for many years to come. Being part of someone’s journey to achieving their goals is a privilege and one of the most incredible experiences you can imagine."
Favourite Quote: "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." -Albert Einstein
Rachel Sykes - Teaching, Learning and Assessment Improvement Lead
Rachel has been a teacher for more than two decades and has Qualified Teacher Status and Subject Leader of Education for Maths and Assessment qualifications.
She has worked for the Trust for 12 years, predominantly teaching Years 5 and 6, but also with experience in all year groups from EYFS to Year 4.
In her current role, Rachel focuses on academy improvement and teacher development, including assessment, to support high-quality education across the Trust.
She leads on Trust-wide teaching and learning strategies, as well as providing training and coaching support for Senior Leadership Teams, Middle Leaders, and teachers, using and evaluating research to develop and embed innovative pedagogical practices.
Titles Rachel has held during her career include Maths, PE, ICT and Assessment Subject Leader, Key Stage Two Lead, Deputy Head and Acting Headteacher.
She has also been Trust Maths Lead, Programme Tutor for SCITT, Mobilise Research Champion for Maths, Accredited Pupil Premium Reviewer, Lincolnshire Attaining in Maths Programme Leader, NQT and ITT Mentor, and Instructional Coach for Accelerate Coaching.
Rachel previously worked in a school that was on a journey, helping it move from Special Measures to ‘Outstanding’.
Educational Ethos: "All learners can achieve, and the key to this is developing resilience and confidence. The building blocks put in place at the beginning of a child’s educational journey are essential for success later in life. Everyone who works in an educational setting has the privilege of helping to shape this."
Favourite Quote: “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” - Marian Wright Edelman