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Rebekah Iiyambo, CEO

Rebekah Iiyambo

As well as being CEO of Eko Trust, Rebekah provides high quality school improvement work to a range of schools and trusts.

Previously Rebekah has been a Headteacher, Co-headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, an advisor for Science, Early Years and English as an additional language in two Local Authorities before becoming a senior advisor for continuing professional development (CPD). This role included specific responsibility for developing leadership capacity across primary, secondary and special schools.  She has taught in schools in Britain and Namibia.    


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Philip Cranwell


Philip joined Eko Trust on September 1st 2021, having acted in an interim role since March 2021.

Philip has worked in the academy sector since 2008, initially working as a project director for sponsored academies and BSF projects. From 2013 he ran a consultancy providing strategic advice and project management to schools, academies and multi academy trusts. Philip has been involved in the conversion of nearly 300 schools and helped establish over 50 multi academy trusts.

In fact, Philip supported the three schools that founded Eko Trust in November 2016, Kaizen, Gainsborough and the then Eleanor Smith. He then supported the subsequent integration of Earlham, Hackney New, Pathways and Rushmere Hall schools.

Philip is a member of the Institute of School Business Leadership and the Institute of Directors. Philip has the post-graduate diploma in School Financial and Operational Leadership from CIPFA/Institute of School Business Leadership. He has a Masters in Marketing and a BEng in Civil Engineering.

Deborah Strain

Deborah Strain


Deborah is a Trust Leader of Education whose specialist interest is supporting teachers so all children have access to high quality learning experiences with excellent outcomes.

She has been a teacher since 1994, teaching in London and Cambridgeshire – with a claim to fame being the first Primary AST in Cambridgeshire back in 2001.

She has an absolute commitment to inclusion and leadership development.

Prior to her Deputy and Head posts she ran her own Primary Learning Support Unit for pupils with SEBD (as it was then).

Deborah facilitates on the NPQ courses with UCL Institute of Education.

Kate Fallan

Kate Fallan


Kate is passionate about developing and supporting others. She has worked in secondary and primary schools, teaching children from the age of three to eighteen, and has been an advisory teacher in two Local Authorities. She led the East London Early Years and Schools Partnership Teaching School Alliance,  which was instrumental in training over 40 teachers, delivering over 500 professional development days and 300 school improvement days over a 5-year period.

As the Trust Leader for Culture and Development at Eko Trust, she is able to ensure both the Trust professional development offer and the leadership and talent offer really support and challenge our staff. Her leadership on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion ensures that the Trust is consistently putting staff development at its core. 

Kate also partners with the regional Teaching School Hubs and facilitates programmes such as the reformed NPQs and the new Early Career Framework.


Jill Cameron

Jill Cameron


Jill joined Eko Trust in September 2020.  Prior to this she worked as a Secondary School Business Manager in Newham and Hackney for 14 years before she moved roles to focus on school governance as part of a governor services team 2012.  During her time as part of this team she developed an expertise in Academy Governance.  Since joining the Trust she has broadened her remit and now also leads on estate management, risk and compliance across the Trust.



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Barb Sims

Barbara Sims


Barbara has been teaching for 28 years. She has been at Kaizen Primary School as SENCo, Assistant Headteacher, Head of School and Headteacher for 14 years. Barbara's new role this academic year is as Executive Principal across Kaizen and Gainsborough Primary School. She is passionate about teaching and learning, curriculum development and leadership. Barbara works across the Trust supporting leaders and teachers to develop their curriculum and develop their leadership skills. She is passionate about being the best leader she can be through self development, employing coaching strategies to grow confidence and skill with all the leaders she works with. She believes children deserve the very best teaching so they can be successful beyond their primary education. She is also commissioned to work with schools outside of the Trust for school improvement projects.


Tom Neave

Tom Neave


Tom is a highly experienced and successful school leader who has been Headteacher and Executive Principal of a number of mainstream and special schools.  This has included taking two schools to a rating of 'Outstanding' under the Ofsted framework.  Tom is also currently an Ofsted inspector and a School Improvement Advisor for two schools in Kent.  He has also previously contributed to the development of behavioural strategies in secondary schools at a national level.


Philippa King

Philippa King


A Newham resident with 25 years’ experience in voluntary sector fundraising and communications, with national, local and international charities.  Currently works as a freelance fundraiser and project manager on local projects, and studies part time.

Philippa’s skills include: premises & capital projects, strategic planning, data analysis, communications, community engagement, fundraising and marketing.


Yvette Stander


Yvette trained as a chartered accountant and completed her articles at KPMG giving her a good grounding in Finance and Audit.  She then worked as a consultant specialising in change and working with businesses to make this change happen.

In her career she has led large change programmes and led teams to deliver against these programs.  It was the collaboration with the teams that she enjoyed the most.

In the last 4 years she has worked in Risk, where challenge of the business was key to mitigate key risks and move the business in the right direction. She was Co-Chair of the EMEA Business Risk Committee and a decision maker at the Business Acceptance Committee.

Julian Robinson

Julian Robinson


Previously the Chair of Governors at Earlham Primary School, with over 30 years' experience of governance in Newham. Julian is Director of Estates at the London School of Economics.

Professionally qualified in Town Planning and Surveying, Julian specialises in master planning, design and construction and property and facilities management.

He is a Trustee and former Chair of the Higher Education Design Quality Forum and Vice Chair and Director of the Northbank Business Improvement District in Westminster.

Sue Hellman

Susan Hellman


Director of UK Consultancy and Knowledge Transfer at the UCL Institute of Education. A wealth of experience within the education sector, supporting schools and developing CPD practice for teaching.

Daulat Sen

Daulat Sen


Daulat studied Aeronautical Engineering and became a software engineer in the Aerospace Industry. He has worked with technology and operating model design and management for a number of major organisations across energy, engineering, public sector and financial services for fifteen years. Currently, Daulat is with KPMG consulting where he is leading a large banking operating model transformation.


Mehreen Ara


Mehreen is a clinical hospital pharmacist and Master of Pharmacy.

She has represented pharmacy services to local college students interested in pursuing a degree in pharmacy, and undertaken undergraduate interview and examinations at the UCL School of Pharmacy.

Alex Davison

Alex Davison


Alex’s involvement in governance started in 2012 when he joined the Rushmere governing body as a parent governor. During which time as a governor he served as chair of finance, vice chair, and as chairperson. He was instrumental in Rushmere’s journey from “Requires Improvement” to “Good”. He has been a member of the Suffolk Governors Forum, including a period as chair. 

His career in educational ICT support has given him a clear understanding of how support functions are crucial to the teaching and learning taking place in schools, which he applies to his governance role.

Helen Horsley

Helen Horsley


Helen has worked in education for many years and has taught and led in both secondary and primary schools. She is currently Head of a Teaching School Alliance in Brighton and Hove.

She has also worked as a consultant for a Local Authority leading on workforce development and governance. She is a trained facilitator and regularly designs and leads development for school teachers and leaders.

Her passion in education has always been developing others so that all children are given the opportunity to learn with the best possible teachers and leaders. This has been achieved through being an outward facing leader, working and learning collaboratively and establishing effective networks.

Anne Reece

Anne Reece


Anne is a retired chartered accountant. She has had many years' experience of setting, managing and reviewing budgets within an engineering environment for various large (multi-million pound) projects and for central service elements of related businesses. As project controller she has experience of related disciplines & procedures such as internal control, audit requirements, procurement processes, HSE requirements.

She has experience of accounts preparation, VAT, spreadsheet development and software selection.


Paul Robinson


A skilled, conscientious and professional, Corporate Banker with over 30 years’ experience in Corporate Restructuring, Risk Management and Stakeholder Management.

A father and grandfather, with some experience of the education sector through family connections and client / voluntary work in schools.


Carmen Rodney


Carmen, formerly Her Majesty’s Inspector, also worked as a lead team Ofsted trained inspector. She has specialist interest in school improvement. Inspection experience covers mainstream and independent schools as well as local authorities and initial teaching training.

She has held various roles as a senior manager.

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George Malouf


George is a highly qualified and experienced interpreter, with an extensive background of living, studying and working in a conflict environment.  This led to him working with prosecutors and courts, initially as an interpreter for the International Criminal Court.   He now serves as a magistrate of England and Wales, and is a mentor for new magistrates.  He is Chair of the Northeast and East London Magistrates Association, as part of which he is particularly focused on community initiatives.

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Alex Oma Pius


Founder of IROKO Theatre-in-Education Company, Alex has 20 years’ experience providing practical creative arts activities in schools and higher institutions all over England. He has worked and continues to work as a Consultant for renowned British institutions like the BBC, the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Victoria & Albert Museum, Horniman Museum & Gardens, The British Museum and the Museum of London, Member of the Steering Committee of The British Museum Supplementary School Programme, Member of The British Museum’s Community Steering Group for Object Journeys.


Tony Oteh


A long-standing member of both Kaizen and Eko Pathways schools governing bodies; a member of the safeguarding panel for Newham; an advocate supporting families in need in Newham.

Vivienne Porritt

Vivienne Porritt


Vivienne Porritt is a leadership consultant working with school leaders on impact, vision, strategy, professional learning and development, and women’s leadership. She is also Vice President of the Chartered College of Teaching in England. Formerly, she was a secondary headteacher, Director for School Partnerships at UCL Institute of Education and a Chair of Governors in London. Vivienne is also a co-founder and, joyously, a Strategic Leader of WomenEd, a global movement that connects, supports and empowers women leaders in education.

She is the co-editor, with Peter Earley, of Effective Practices in CPD, Lessons for School (2009).

Vivienne is also co-editor, with Keziah Featherstone, of 10% Braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education (2019) Sage Education. She is the co-editor of WomenEd’s second book, Being 10% Braver, published December 2020, Corwin.

Natalie Gross (1)

Natalie Gross


Natalie is Managing Partner of one of the UK’s most respected digital agencies. Natalie is an industry spokesperson and mentor, with a specific focus on Digital Talent & Skills and Women in leadership.

She has extensive experience working on Mergers and Acquisitions, and with start-ups.  She is a Fellow of the CIM and an advisor and Fellow of the WWF-UK.


Christopher Owens


Following a career in teaching, Father Owens served for 37 years as a Parish Priest in the Church of England and is a member of SEA.  He has 11 years of school governance experience.


Jan Gillard - Trust Lead for Finance

Jan has over 24 years of experience in education finance and started as a school receptionist for a Local Authority.

One of Jan’s previous roles was Senior Business Manager for the SEN department of the Local Authority, where her expertise of SEN and High Needs funding grew.  She then moved on to Eleanor Smith Special School (now known as Eko Pathways) and is proud to say she was a key player in the conversion of the first 3 schools to convert to Eko Trust in November 2016. 

As Trust Lead for Finance, Jan strategically manages and reports on all the budgets across the trust.

Having come from specialist school and an SEN background, Jan is proud to be part of an organisation that recognises and has strong ambitions that all children have the right to have their needs met and to be the best they can be.



Teresa Rowland - Trust Lead for Finance, Business and Operations

Teresa is a qualified School Business Manager and has been involved in the education business for nearly 20 years, working across a range of schools from those with only 70 pupils to those with nearly 700.   She has been in the central team since 2022, having joined Eko Trust with Rushmere Hall in 2021, where she was the Business Manager.

Teresa has previous business experience in the financial industry as a commercial underwriter for many years and this understanding has been invaluable in her transfer roles and skills with risk and premises management. 

In her role with the Trust, Teresa strategically manages budgets, contacts and trust-wide procurement, together with supporting School Operations Managers across all the schools.  Teresa is fully committed to securing best value and using best practices, enabling our schools to provide all our pupils the best education we can provide and they deserve.

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Louise Pragnell - Trust IT Lead 

Louise has over 20 years of experience in education ICT and first started her journey as a school-based technician for a Local Authority. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to fulfil various roles within this field, such as ICT Learning and Resources Manager, ICT Operations Manager and is currently the Trust Lead for IT.

Louise joined the Eko team in 2021 and is proud to be part of such a values-driven organisation. As Trust Lead for IT, she has responsibility for the strategic and operational direction of IT across the Trust, including ICT support service delivery, and is passionate about enabling the best possible educational outcomes for our students and staff.