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Lee Mason-Ellis - CEO

Lee Mason-Ellis commenced at Stewart Fleming Primary School in 2008 as the Head Teacher.  At the time the school was in Special Measures but has since been graded as Outstanding in all categories by Ofsted.

Lee has been fundamental in the development of The Pioneer Academy which was started with the prime objective of raising educational achievement for children and ensuring the highest standard of care and guidance.  Under Lee’s direction, The Pioneer Academy has developed a cluster of successful schools in Croydon, Bexley, Bromley and Kent.


Jo Lakey - Director of Education

Jo Lakey joined The Pioneer Academy in November 2017 as Director of Education.  Prior to this she had a long involvement with the Trust as a Trustee.

Between 2003 - 2017, Jo Lakey worked alongside senior leaders and governors on school improvement matters; working as a seconded head teacher in Kent and then as Bexley’s Head of School Improvement.  As an Ofsted lead inspector, Jo has led school self-review visits and self-evaluation surgeries.

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Anne Slade - Chief Operating Officer/Chief Finance Officer

Anne Slade has extensive knowledge of the corporate and operational support functions of schools, having worked in this area of expertise for over ten years.

Anne started working with The Pioneer Academy in 2013 when they supported a school outside of the Trust.  Her role as Chief Operating Officer encompasses the Chief Finance Officer role, strategically ensuring the most effective use of resources in the support of the learning objectives over all the schools, and the MAT.



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Rebecca Hipkins - Head of CPD

Rebecca Hipkins has been an outstanding classroom practitioner for over 15 years.  Rebecca joined The Pioneer Academy in 2015 as a Senior Lead Academy Teacher, working in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer and Head teachers to support The Pioneer Academy Schools and to deliver high quality interventions to groups of pupils to ensure rapid accelerated progress across the curriculum.

In her role as Head of CPD, Rebecca facilitates exceptional training programmes across the academy trust.  Working in partnership with OLEVI, the International Centre for Leadership in Teaching and Learning, Rebecca ensures that all staff in The Pioneer Academy Schools access outstanding coaching and professional development, including bespoke NQT training, leadership programmes and the Power of Coaching.

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Ian McManus - Head of Assessment

Ian McManus became the Head of Assessment having previously led assessment as Acting Deputy Head at Belvedere Junior School. He joined the academy as a year 6 teacher at Belvedere Junior School in 2013.

At a time of great change in primary assessment, a key part of Ian’s role is to ensure a consistent approach is taken across the MAT, enabling teachers to make accurate judgements meaning they can fully support every child in achieving their potential.

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Carole Hitchens - Head of Educational Support Staff

Carole Hitchens has been involved with The Pioneer Academy for over 10 years, firstly as a Governor at Stewart Fleming and then as a Founding Trustee.  She joined the academy as a support staff leader in one of our schools in 2013.

She works in partnership with our Head Teachers and other senior members of the academy to ensure that support staff are effectively trained and deployed to deliver high quality teaching and learning support to our children.


Alex Weekes - Head of Pupil Welfare

Alex Weekes joined The pioneer Academy in February 2017 as Head of Pupil Welfare.  Alex's role is to compliment  the professional work of teachers by ensuring that behaviour related policies and procedures of the Academy are embedded within schools and that the provision for children with behaviour needs is of an exceptional quality.

Alex is highly experienced in her field.  She began her career as a Primary School Teacher and SENCO and for the last twelve years has run a successful consultancy providing specialist behaviour and SEND advice to schools across many London Boroughs.


Chris Money-Chappelle - Head of IT Support

Chris has worked in education for 12 years now in various roles progressing into his preferred field involving Information Technology.

Chris was the Manager of the Kent Office and IT Support Company and relishes the challenge of taking The Pioneer Academy forward as the Head of IT Support.


Karen Meredith - Central Team Assistant

Karen Meredith started working at one of The Pioneer Academy schools in 2011 as a Teaching Assistant in Key Stage One.  Prior to this Karen had worked for two large companies as a Personal Assistant. 

Karen joined the Central Team in September 2017; her role is to support the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Education.

The Pioneer Academy Organogram

operational structure Nov 18 all
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