Staff Testimonials

Our brilliant teachers, support staff and leaders share a commitment to providing a first class education to the children within their schools and as a Trust we strive to ensure that our provision enables every child to fulfil their potential. As an employer we know that our people are the key to our success and for this reason believe in creating great places to work where people feel supported and encouraged to be the best they can possibly be. Staff within our schools can expect to be challenged and motivated to achieve their ambitions, and such is the scale and scope of the Trust’s school-to-school support work, successful candidates can expect to receive rapid promotion either through direct placement or via secondments from their home school.

Emma Emery

Trust Director for Mathematics

Emma joined The Brunts Academy, a school within the Evolve Trust, 17 years ago as a Newly Qualified Teacher after spending 5 years working in industry alongside securing a first class honours degree. Now the Trust Director of Maths, she coordinates the Maths provision for the schools within the trust and supports staff development. More recently, she has become a NCETM Professional Development Accredited Lead and a Secondary Mastery Specialist. “I have always been passionate about developing the teaching and learning of mathematics and staff development, “ explains Emma. “At Evolve I have been given the opportunity to pursue this interest from completing my Master’s degree to my most recent activities with the NCETM and the East Midlands Maths Hub supporting colleagues within the Trust and within schools in the wider community.”

Emma has seen many changes during her teaching career and was apprehensive about what life would be like working for the Trust. “Having taught at Brunts, a mainstream secondary, for so long, I was sceptical when we became a Trust with the addition of a special and primary school.” said Emma. “But I was very wrong. This has provided tremendous opportunities for staff to develop themselves and to extend their understanding of the way children learn within their subject areas. At Evolve, staff are encouraged to move out of their comfort zone and to keep learning, to challenge, take risks and innovate.”

Radiating throughout the heart of Evolve is the mission to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to, “believe in themselves, achieve their potential and develop the skills needed to succeed and enjoy life.” As Emma describes, “it is this unfaltering resolve that ensures we continually keep ourselves in a position to do the best thing for the children within our community.”

Craig Foster

Trust Lead for The Arts

Craig joined the Evolve Trust in September 2018 as an NQT of Drama. Craig is now entering his fourth year of teaching with The Evolve Trust and has never felt more at home. “The Evolve Trust is a great way to develop your practice through research, opportunities and a support network that encourages you to stretch yourself to the highest of standards.”

Craig was nervous about joining a new school for his NQT year but this was soon remedied. He explains that “The NQT development pathway is very thorough and supportive and allows you to focus on your own practice through many different lenses. The programme capitalises on the strengths of existing members of staff who run sessions depending on their strengths.”

Further to completing his NQT year Craig has been given opportunities within school to stretch and develop a wide range of skills in the Education Sector. “The opportunities that I have been presented with have allowed me to, not only develop my own educational practice, but they have allowed me to see the Evolve Trust as a place I want to further my career in and become a well-established member of the family.”

When speaking about the trust values Craig said “I have not worked in a place with such strong values before and the value driven culture that the Evolve Trust upholds has become a day to day part of my teaching.”

Natalie Aveyard

Principal of The Bramble Academy

Natalie joined Brunts school, now an Academy within the Evolve Trust family, 13 years ago initially as a PGCE student on her second teaching placement before securing an NQT position. Natalie retrained to be a secondary maths teacher following 3 years in personal and corporate banking. She has a degree in Accountancy along with a Masters in Business Management where she secured a Distinction.

Natalie has successfully enjoyed many roles within the Trust including; Inclusion leader for maths, Head of House, Head of Year, Assistant Headteacher for behaviour and attendance, Assistant Headteacher for Sixth form and Assistant Headteacher for Scholastic Excellence. Currently Natalie is one of the Trust’s Deputy Headteachers placed at Brunts with responsibility for the Quality of Education. “I am extremely appreciative and grateful for all the amazing opportunities I have had at the Trust to develop and grow. Ambition is one of our core values and I feel it is imperative our students see that in staff also, as you can see from my career journey we are all encouraged to step outside of our comfort zones and learn.” Natalie’s latest role is certainly a challenging one as we look to design and plan a curriculum that is fit for purpose in the 21 stcentury.

The Trust is the place to be to get fully involved in having an impact in shaping young people’s lives. Natalie explains, “Over the past few years it has been fabulous to be part of something that truly puts pupils at the forefront of everything that we do. I am born and bred within the local community and am proud to be part of a team giving something back to the local area, raising the pupils aspirations and helping them to go on to have ambitious futures.”

Yasmin Ensor

Trust Lead for The Arts

Yasmin joined the Evolve Trust in June 2018 as a teacher of Art and Photography. She has a first-class degree in Photography, has exhibited her artwork in various shows including in an international photography festival and has had her research published in academic journals.

“I was drawn to apply for my role after reading The Evolve Trust’s core values and mission statement, as I believe that Inclusivity within education is of fundamental importance”. Within a few months Yasmin had joined the Fellowship research program, which allowed her to carry out research-based practice in supporting pupils who speak English as an Additional Language. She then went on to disseminate her findings at the NIoE Research Partnership Conference as well as within the trust, and they have since funded Yasmin’s Masters in Education at Nottingham Trent University. She explains: “The Evolve Trust knows the strengths of their staff, recognises their passion and provides opportunities for them to develop as teachers and researchers”. Yasmin has also mentored PGCE students and supported Newly Qualified Teachers within the faculty.

Yasmin values the opportunities and challenges presented to her over the past 3 years and looks forward to the path ahead. She has been really grateful to work as part of a dynamic and supportive faculty, who often work collaboratively on performances and events. “We have been fortunate enough to work on outside opportunities with partners from local creative educational partnerships, including the Emerge festival. We also recently secured a bid through Age of Revolution that has been used to buy Surface Pro tablets for students to produce digital art with. This is fantastic as the students already have access to industry standard materials including Photoshop, a photography studio and VR headsets”.

Thomas McDermott 

Trust Director for English 

There is something about working for the Evolve Trust that just clicks with me. The culture centred around doing the best for the young people and the communities we serve; the opportunities for development and the absolute belief in the core values are all part of what makes being here incredible.

I have never worked in an organisation where I have felt so… what’s the word? At home. I will admit in the short time I have been here I have learned so much and already have had meeting time with educational and culture developing luminaries such as Andreas Schleicher (one of the founders of the PISA Programme) and Bretton Putter (founder of CultureGene). Working with Claire Cuthbert the most values driven CEO, well person, I have ever had the pleasure of meeting has been transformational. To put it simply Evolve has realised that quality training (I refuse to call it CPD) and driven people can effect positive change. It all comes down to: why are doing this? Is it having an impact on our young people? How can we make it better?

I totally espouse the values at Evolve and know it has changed my entire perspective on education, giving me more drive and purpose and feeling of value than I have ever had. So yes, you can easily say I am an ‘Evolver’ and proud to be so. I consider it a privilege to come to work everyday for this Trust.

Kate Loach

Trust Lead for PE

Kate joined The Brunts Academy, a school within the Evolve Trust, 5 months ago as a Teacher of PE after spending 9 years working in the British Army as a serving soldier: serving on various operations and tours around the world. In September 2021 Kate will be taking up the role as Trust Lead for PE, coordinating all PE within the Trust whilst also supporting staff development, “I am very excited to take up the new role, the belief that the Trust has shown in me already has been incredible”. Kate has recently been accredited the Alignment Pin for her amazing work within the Trust so far, and has supported teachers who are new to the Trust acting as a buddy. 

Even though Kate has not been with The Trust long she has already been given numerous opportunities that have allowed her to grow and gain a place within the family of Evolve. 

The Trust has enabled Kate a natural development from her previous background, she explains that “coming from the Army who follow a defined set of values and standards, I instantly felt a connection with Evolve.  I felt completely at home knowing that I was still following a set of values that I am aligned to both inside and outside of school, I  cherish the sense of belonging that I get from being part of the Evolve family”. 

Kate is looking forward to the new challenges that lay ahead in September.