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Central Services

Our expert dedicated services team works in partnership with our schools and nurseries to effectively deliver bespoke solutions to transform practice. 

Beginning with school/nursery need, high-quality support is provided. Our experts employ technology, insight and analytics to best meet the needs of each school community. Cost and time savings are substantial, enabling schools to spend more on their pupils and empowering teachers with more time to teach.



Director of Education
Alison Wilshaw -

Alison Wilshaw, National Leader of Education heads up the BEST Education Services and School Improvement Team (BESSI). This dedicated team of experts ensures high levels of attainment and accelerated pupil progress. BESSI comprises curriculum directors for English, Maths and Science, a Director of Training and Professional Development, Lead Practitioners and Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs).

BESSI also provides tailored support packages to nearly 150 schools across the wider area.



Chief Financial Officer
Kim Rowe -

Kim Rowe, ACMA is responsible for the finance function across BEST, which is centralised in order to provide the highest quality service at the lowest possible cost, ensuring that we comply with all statutory requirements and reporting. 

The central team is qualified and experienced and gives advice, guidance, training and support to the academies and local finance staff. The central team work together with local staff to ensure all tasks are completed on time and to the highest standard leaving principals and senior management free to focus on delivering education.



Chief Operating Officer
Craig Smith -

Craig Smith, BA (Hons) is responsible for a range of services within the trust which support the day-to-day running of all of our schools and nurseries. Some of the key operational areas we provide this high-quality centralised support for are outlined below:

Human Resources

A comprehensive HR support and advice service is provided. This service includes: employment law and best practice updates; policy development; trade union negotiations; performance management; TUPE transfer support and advice; dispute and grievance resolution; recruitment planning and advertising; attendance management; and, workforce planning and in-house training. 


Our ethos in IT Services is to achieve maximum value whilst reducing costs where possible, to ensure safe, user friendly environments for students and teachers to work in.

Our centrally managed team of qualified Engineers and Technicians are driven by a vision which prioritises the needs of learners, teacher and administrators. IT Services work closely with academy leaders, staff and students, to offer robust reliable infrastructures and innovative forward thinking solutions for the delivery of education in the classroom and beyond, utilising information technology to best effect. Our services include the forming strategy, large procurement management, project delivery and day to day operational support.

Project Management

The Central team provide consultancy across the Trust for admissions, school organisation and capital planning as well as procurement advice including design, planning and delivery.  The team leads on the sponsorship of new schools, the provision of free schools and significant changes, for example expansions and changes of age range.  Through positive consultant and contractor management projects are delivered at best value, on programme and on time.  The service enables individual academies to take advantage of School Condition Allocations (SCA) and other capital grants.  Partnerships, built up over many years enables the team to work effectively with national bodies such as Sport England and the Football Foundation and to apply directly for local and national funding.

Our aim is to develop outstanding teaching and learning environments for all.  


Working with the Principals and Site Managers, the Estates Team endeavours to maintain and improve the academy buildings and outdoor environments to support current and future curriculum needs. We believe that an excellent and safe teaching environment contributes greatly to helping the pupils reach their full potential.

Marketing and Communications

Working with our schools we ensure that we communicate and promote the Trust and its' Schools effectively.  Our aim is to ensure we showcase useful and accurate information in an appropriate format to all our key audiences.  We believe there is much to celebrate across the Trust and take great pride in learner achievements.