Central Team

Katy Stringer

Chief Operating Officer

Katy joined Leodis Academies Trust in October 2020.  With both educational and commercial experience, Katy’s role is to ensure operational efficiencies and compliance management across Trust.

Katy is a strong facilitator and relationship builder. She brings expertise to the team in relation to a wide range of business support areas. These include Strategy Management, Governance, GDPR, Communications, Policy Management, ICT, Health & Safety and Estates compliance and Procurement. She has experience of managing complex change projects in both primary and secondary settings, whilst ensuring educational requirements are prioritised. 

As well as BSc (Hons) in International Business and Modern Languages, from Aston University and the Grande Ecole de Commerce Audencia in Nantes, France, she also has several other qualifications including Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing (DipM), IOSH Leading Safely, IOSH Managing Safely, and CIEH Level 3 in Risk Management and Practice.  Katy is currently studying for her Data Protection Officer certification through Brown Jacobson, Professional Clerking Certification through Learners First, and is in training to become an SRMA through ISBL. All these courses will underpin the support Katy provides to ensure Trust operations are efficient and compliant.  

Katy is Secretary of the West Yorkshire Academy Business Leaders Network and enjoys collaborative working opportunities to share best practice across the education sector.

Wendy Beasley

Finance Director

Wendy is Finance Director for Leodis Academies Trust, holding this position since June 2017. Prior to this she was Finance Director at another local Multi Academy Trust for over seven and a half years.

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1994, she worked in a variety of Education Finance and School Business Management roles originally for a Local Authority, and then Primary and Secondary schools and academies. She has held Senior Leadership and Company Secretary roles during this time.

Wendy is a School Resource Management Advisor (SRMA) with the DfE and alongside DfE deployments, she carries out Peer Reviews to other Academy Trusts.  She is also an ISBL Fellow and a member of ESFA Academies Finance and Assurance Working Group 3 (focus on Academies Accounts Direction, ESFA assurance work, sector guidance and academy conversions).

Wendy chairs the West Yorkshire Academy Business Leaders network group and is a member of the DfE School Business Professionals Network Leaders’ Forum.

Sara Cubitt

HR Manager

Sara joined Leodis Academies Trust in February 2020. 

Her career in HR began in 2002.  Her interest in HR was sparked by a placements with Boots and a premiership football team.  She has worked for a variety of different organisations, mainly public sector, including the NHS, a higher education establishment and West Yorkshire Police.   She is experienced in employee relations matters, absence/attendance management, recruitment, creating and reviewing policies and payroll. 

She enjoys building working relationships and adding value by improving processes and delivering outcomes.

Sara is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel & Development (MCIPD).

Alison Lazarus

Deputy Principal at Westerton Primary Academy

Alison is the Deputy Principal at Westerton Primary Academy and an experienced Senior Manager and KS2 teacher. She has completed NPQH and previously was an Advanced Skills Teacher, providing support to schools across the city. Alison has also chaired the Morley Family of Schools Deputies group for two years, organising school improvement opportunities and CPD. Currently at Westerton, Alison leads Safeguarding, Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Assessment, CPD and Research and Workload Reduction.

Alison has led on many whole school development priorities at Westerton including researching and introducing new systems for assessment, Professional Growth; a method of improving teaching and learning through coaching and mentoring and more recently, working with Subject Leaders to develop the Westerton Curriculum. Alison has also worked collaboratively with other Senior Leaders to produce a Workload Reduction Plan, a whole class feedback approach and embed quality, evidence-based CPD with staff opportunities for self-initiated learning.

Alison leads the Leodis Assessment Network and is currently researching the DFE Staff Wellbeing Charter.

Michelle Cassar

Lead in Procurement

Michelle is the School Business Manager at Westerton Primary Academy and lead in Procurement for Leodis Academies Trust. 

Michelle joined the education sector in 2005, before joining Westerton as Finance Officer in March 2008.  Her role progressed in to school leadership following her successful completion of the Certificate in School Business Management in May 2012 and the Diploma in School Business Management in January 2015.  In June 2019, she was successful in her application to be recognised as an ISBL Fellow, demonstrating her professional expertise and commitment to the education sector.

Michelle enjoys connecting with other school professionals in order to promote the school business profession.  She leads the South Leeds Bursar Network Group and represents this group at Local Authority level and is also a member of the DFE’s National Network Leaders Forum.  Michelle participated in a Department of Education initiative in 2015, helping create footage for a national procurement training video.