Staff Testimonials


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.”


John Richardson

Deputy Headteacher at The Bramble Academy

John joined the Evolve Trust in January 2019 to establish and lead the Nurture Unit at The Beech Academy. He had previously worked in Primary Schools across Nottinghamshire but jumped at the chance to work for Evolve. “The Evolve Trust is unlike anywhere else I have worked before. I am consistently challenged and developed. Opportunities have been given to me that have pushed me out of my comfort zone – but that is where you learn!”

John is now Deputy Headteacher at The Bramble Academy. After successfully establishing the Nurture Unit at The Beech Academy, John moved to Bramble to support the Leadership Team and when the chance came up to join the team there permanently, he had a tricky choice to make. “I really enjoyed working at Beech. It was unlike anything I had done before and I learned a huge amount in a short space of time. The opportunity to take what I had learned and put it into practice at the Trust primary was too good to turn down.” John is already looking for the next challenge in his Evolve Career: “Since working at The Evolve Trust I have developed myself more than I had in the previous 13 years of working in education. I’m excited to see what comes next…”


Nicola Gibson

Early Years Lead at The Bramble Academy

Nicola joined the Evolve Trust almost two years ago as a supply teacher working in the Bramble Academy and is now the Early Years Lead in the academy. “Since working at the Evolve Trust I can honestly say, I am the happiest, most challenged and driven as I have been in my entire career”.

The systems and processes within the trust are robust and expectations are high – “I remember the feeling of upmost dread before my first formal observation during a due diligence review, however the whole process was very supportive and developmental, in fact the organisation is extremely supportive both personally and professionally”.

Professional development is a focus at the trust with inspirational sessions and thought provoking workshops offered to all staff as part of their individualised professional pathway, including whole staff inset days led by Evolve Executive Team and/or outside Agencies. There are a variety of opportunities for staff to develop their careers and staff are well supported to do this.

The wellbeing of staff is really important to Evolve who regularly recognise their staff for going the extra mile. The Trust believes in nurturing its employees and treating them with respect – the staff really do matter to the Trust Executive Team and Academy Senior Leadership Team. Teachers will find themselves opening thoughtful emails from colleagues or seeing a friendly face after a tough lesson.

The values are at the heart of Evolve and Bramble – everyone works together for the good of our children and will consistently go above and beyond to ensure our children become the best versions of themselves. Our Trust CEO, Claire-Marie Cuthbert regularly visits EYFS to talk to the children and will also read to the children with Mabel, the Trust Reading Dog - a Bramble Legend.

Joining The Evolve Trust was the best decision that Nicola has made, she loves her job and feels that the opportunities available to her both develop her career and support others in their careers. 


Craig Foster

Teacher of Drama at The Brunts Academy

Craig joined the Evolve Trust in September 2018 as an NQT of Drama. Craig is now entering his third 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.”