Executive Leadership Team

Paul West

Paul is the Chief Executive Officer and Accounting Officer of Spencer Academies Trust, one of the leading multi-academy trusts in the UK with 21 Academies and over 16000 students. Spencer Academies Trust also features a multi-structure Teaching School Alliance, and one of only 22 Research Schools in the UK. Spencer Trust provides educational leadership development programmes for all levels of leadership including executive leadership.

Paul was previously the Executive Director of Education and Executive Principal for Delta Academies Trust, an educational charity and one of the UK’s largest Multi-Academy Trusts with 40 primary and secondary academies and three Free Schools. Paul’s career covers significant experience in school and system leadership as a Principal, Executive Principal and Director in a range of schools in the UK and internationally.

Paul is a trained Ofsted Inspector and in 2011 was recognised as an outstanding system leader through his designation as a National Leader of Education. In 2012 Paul was invited to participate in the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s flagship Fellowship Programme, working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to look at curriculum driven solutions to enable all children and young people to access learning and progression to drive social mobility.

Paul has spoken at national conferences on the impact of System Leadership and improving education outcomes and standards through multi-school collaboration. Paul regularly works with the DfE at a regional and national level supporting the development of effective Multi-Academy Trust strategy structures and operating procedures. Paul is a member of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Stephen Mitchell

Stephen joined the Trust in 2019 as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He has spent the majority of his career in not-for-profit organisations, leading financial and operational teams across the world since 2004, and in education specifically since 2012.

Stephen regularly writes for sector publications, and delivers sessions at national conferences on a wide range of topics across the operational sphere.  He works closely with the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL), chairing their Fellowship Assessment Panel for the last few years.

Stephen has a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance, qualified as an accountant in 2004, completed his MBA (Distinction) from the University of Nottingham in 2017 and conducted his thesis on Improving the Quality of Management in Education.  This work has led him to develop his belief in the Learning Organisation concept and underpins how this approach can rapidly improve operational and educational outcomes in schools.  Stephen is also a Member of the Institute of Directors, a Fellow of the Institute of School Business Leadership, a Fellow of the Chartered Managers Institute, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, as well as a Professional Associate of the Chartered College of Teaching, and has just started working on a Doctorate, building upon the research from his MBA.  Stephen also holds a Level 7 qualification in School Financial and Operational Leadership.

Angela O’Brien

Angela is a National Leader of Education, Executive Headteacher and Director of Primary in The Spencer Academies Trust. Many of the nine primary schools currently in the Trust serve disadvantaged communities including Wyndham Primary Academy, an outstanding school which has recently been awarded Research School status in the Derby Opportunity area.

As Director of the Research School, her purpose is to engage and train Primary and Secondary schools in the locality to ensure that evidence based practice and innovation is at the heart of each schools education strategy.

Angela took Wyndham from a bottom 200 school to Outstanding in three years through transforming the culture to one that places an exciting relevant curriculum and shared vision at the heart of everything at the school. Angela is passionate about values based leadership and using coaching to develop leadership.

Fraser Mitchell

Fraser Mitchell is a National Leader of Education in the UK, responsible for overseeing secondary delivery across the Trust. He has 20 years’ teaching experience and 15 in leadership roles, including in Ofsted outstanding schools.

Fraser Mitchell now leads eight UK secondary schools, six with sixth form provision and holds responsibility for the attainment of nearly ten thousand students and young people across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire in the heart of England.

Lynn Cox

Lynn is a school improvement professional with over thirty years’ experience in evaluating and supporting education delivery. Having worked both as a Teacher of English and Lecturer in Adult Education, she subsequently became an Area Education Officer and was responsible for resource management, education policy and strategy.

Having worked with primary and secondary schools, nursery and special schools and across regions with a broad deprivation profile, Lynn then became a school improvement advisor for secondary and primary schools in the Nottinghamshire local authority area. Lead roles included the support and challenge of identified schools and targeting of schools’ support services. A designated DFE School Improvement Partner and National Challenge Advisor, Lynn held responsibility for all aspects of schools’ performance data (3-18) across a large local authority and had oversight of school effectiveness in determined areas.

Lynn has been a practising Ofsted inspector since November 2010, inspecting secondary schools under Sections 5 and 8.

Since September 2016, Lynn has held the role of Director of Quality and Standards within The Spencer Academies Trust Executive Leadership Team, with a remit to contribute to the development and effectiveness of the Trust, providing the combination of support and challenge to assist all Trust primary and secondary phase schools on the journey to outstanding education delivery. Her role includes supervision of data collection and analysis, interpreting performance data and building leadership capacity across Trust schools to sustain improvement. Lynn has been part of the team which has overseen some very significant improvement in quality and standards over the last two years in a Trust which has a strong reputation for excellence.

Ryan Metters

Ryan is the Director of Professional Partnerships in the Spencer Academies Trust Executive Leadership Team. His responsibilities include all aspects of educational system leadership, teacher recruitment and retention, and continuous professional development.

Ryan works in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, including the government, several universities and over 500 schools (and thousands of teachers) to develop the very highest calibre entrants into the profession, through to outstanding executive leaders of the future.

He is passionate about making a real difference to the life chances of every child and has spent time working in challenging schools in England, together with building schools and educating disadvantaged children in several west-African countries.