Skip to content ↓

Meet the Central Team

CEO & Trustee - Richard Chapman

Richard commenced his career in a large urban middle school, and after four years progressed to the position of Deputy Head at a primary school in West Sussex. After four further years, at the age of 30, he was appointed as Head Teacher of a small primary school in Kent.

In September 2001, Richard moved to become Head Teacher of a larger First School in Dorset. In 2005, following a review of schooling in the locality, Dorset County Council decided to scrap the three-tier education system with Richard instrumental in a complete re-organisation of schooling in the area; this involved redeploying staff, dealing with disaffected parents, managing a significant increase in pupil numbers and overseeing several building projects. In 2007 the new Primary School that Richard was leading underwent an OFSTED inspection, with the school being judged as Outstanding in all areas.

Following the successful OFSTED of 2007, Dorset LA seconded Richard for one term to a very large and extremely challenging Primary School in crisis on the South Coast; this secondment eventually lasted for one year during which time Richard successfully brought swift improvements to teaching and learning, pupil well-being and staff morale.

In April 2009, Richard decided to make the move to Special Education and took up the post of Head Teacher at an all-age generic Special School in Wiltshire. Richard quickly realised that there were significant problems in this school and in 2010 it was placed in Special Measures by OFSTED. Following rapid improvement, the school was removed from Special Measures in 2011 and in 2013 a subsequent OFSTED report rated the school as ‘Good’.

Following the successful inspection of 2013, Richard initiated a dialogue with two primary schools with whom the school shared a site, and in January 2015 he became CEO of Somerset Road Education Trust (SRET, a small MAT of one Special School and two Primary Schools).

In 2016, Richard became Principal of Calthorpe Teaching Academy in Birmingham, and subsequently Executive Head Teacher and founding CEO of Thrive Education Partnership, a Multi Academy Trust that has specialist schools in Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire

Deputy CEO - Craig Bennett

Craig has worked in education for 20 years; starting his professional life as a Further Education lecturer and then moving into SEND 10 years ago. Craig has successfully undertaken many leadership roles including Head Teacher and is now Deputy Chief Executive of Thrive Education Partnership. Craig is a strong advocate for values-based leadership and ensuring that the young person is at the heart of every decision. Craig specialises in trust improvement, strategy planning, and academy finances. Craig enjoys travelling and is a keen sportsperson.

Director of Education - Dominic Broad

Dominic is our Director of Education. He works across the school supporting leadership, curriculum development and teaching and learning. He is the former Headteacher of a 3-19 school for students with Autism and SEMH. Dominic took his school from Special Measures to Good and grew the school significantly in preparation for the move into the £11m new build site in South Gloucestershire.

Prior to his role as Headteacher he was the strategic lead for curriculum reform in Wales.  Initially appointed as Associate Advisor to the Welsh Curriculum, a role which required Dominic to support the development and adoption of the new Curriculum for Wales. Dominic was promoted to lead the role out nationally on behalf of the region.

Previously Deputy Head Teacher of mainstream Primary school graded as ‘Double Excellent’ in subsequent inspections. Dominic was a finalist in the category of ‘Best Tech adopter’ for the National Technology Awards and became a trainer on the Outstanding Teacher Programme whilst managing the Apple Regional Training Centre in addition to his role.

Dominic is a passionate advocate of inclusivity. During his time as a classroom practitioner in a mainstream primary school Dominic featured in a Government case study for inclusion of children with Special Education Needs in a mainstream setting.

Chief Financial Officer - William Jackson

William has worked in finance for more than 25 years, first within a large international accountancy practice followed by senior finance roles across a number of industries.

A qualified accountant he brings to the Trust financial management expertise, senior management experience and leadership skills to enable him to support the Trusts future growth plans.

Trust Development Manager - Adam Miles

Adam has over 30 years of commercial and public sector finance experience, the most recent 15 years within various schools and academies as School Business Manager, Chief Financial Officer and more recently as Trust Development Manager.

Adam’s particular strengths are in budget management, but Adam has also acquired more general operational, systems and procedures management skills. With this ‘all-round’ experience Adam is well-placed to support the Trust with its future development plans.

Outside work Adam spends a significant amount of time involved in the sport of flat-water Canoe/Kayak racing as a participant, volunteer coach, volunteer official for local and national events. Having qualified as an International Technical Official for the ICF(International Canoe Federation) in 2022, he will officiate at International level for the first time at the May 2023 World Cup event in Poland.


IT Manager - Andrew Betts

After completing his Degree in Theoretical Physics and Applied Maths at Birmingham University, Andrew started his working life at Calthorpe Academy as an IT Technician.  Over the years his role changed and diversified leading to his current position of Trust IT Manager.

He enjoys walking in the local hills with his dog and has an interest in many aspects of technology.  Andrew hopes to undertake a road trip across American in the near future.

HR Manager - Jo Jackson

Jo started her career at Calthorpe Academy from 1992-1994 as an admin assistant. Jo left to raise her family before returning 4 years later. After a short spell Jo became the Office Manager. In recent years Jo secured the HR Manager position at Calthorpe before transferring to the Thrive Central team.

Jo spends a lot of time with her 3 young grandchildren and her crazy cat!

Business Manager & Company Secretary - Zoe Allcott

Zoe worked for a bank for 18 years prior to starting her career in Education 10 years ago.   Starting in the admin team Zoe quickly moved on to the Office Manager role and then School Business Manager at Kingsbury Academy.  Zoe achieved her qualification in School Business Management and secured the position of Trust Business Manager with Thrive.  

Zoe is a keen walker and an animal lover; she dreams of living in the middle of nowhere with lots of animals.   Zoe has 3 dogs, 2 guinea pigs and up until recently also had a cat and 2 hamsters!

Finance Manager - Mirela Olteanu

Mirela has worked in Multi-Academy Trusts finance for over 5 years and charity and regulatory finance prior to joining the education sector. Mirela is a mother to an amazing toddler and loves spending her free time reading, listening to audiobooks and trying her hand at various crafts


Finance Officer - Angela Creaton

Angela spent many years running her own business and working long and unsociable hours in the hospitality industry.  In June 2020 Angela decided on a career change and joined the Finance team at Thrive Education Partnership. It happened to coincide with the pandemic so proved to be a very wise decision!  Angela’s background is in Finance, and she has a Business Studies degree.  Angela enjoys running, walking, reading, and catching up with friends. Angela is currently planning a few trips to Ireland for long overdue catch ups with family!

Finance Assistant - Joao Gabriel 

Joao joined Thrive in November 2022. Throughout his career, he has worked for several companies including Mitie Plc, KBM Chartered Certified Accountants, and Direct Corporate Clothing Plc, and has advanced finance and accounting skills.

Joao is passionate about charity work, especially caring for the elderly. He also helps take care of an autistic nephew, who is the true joy of the whole family and with whom he spends a lot of time doing outdoor activities.

ICT Field Technician - Mark Clark

Mark has been working in schools as IT support for over 25 years and therefore has a wealth of experience in terms of troubleshooting, problem-solving and maintaining systems and IT equipment, as well as helping to develop IT within schools to support teaching and learning.

Mark has a great understanding of the importance and impact that technology can have on pupils and staff alike and is always keen to help where he can.

Outside of work, Mark enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports, reading, films and of course, gaming!

Head of Therapeutic Services - Katie Greenwood

Katie is our Head of Therapeutic Services. Katie’s role will be working with the central team and collaborating with schools across the trust to develop a unified approach to promote the mental health and wellbeing of our school communities, and to increase provision in this area. Katie is a HCPC registered Dramatherapist, an EMDR therapist, and Clinical Supervisor. She is currently completing her PhD, focusing on the area of Trauma and Dissociation.

Katie joins us from working in an inpatient mental health setting. Katie has 20 years’ experience working with adults, children, and young people in a variety of settings including inpatient mental health, prisons, and education. 

Katie is a Partner Assessor for the Health and Care Professions Council and has also worked as a visiting lecturer for Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, and Roehampton Universities. Katie is extremely passionate about promoting mental health and wellbeing, and a trauma-informed approach.

As a Dramatherapist, Katie is particularly interested in the therapeutic value of creativity, play and the arts. Katie believes that healthy, consistent, and supportive relationships - ones which are compassion led and invite a sense of belonging - are the foundation on which personal growth, development, and academic success can be achieved. Katie is very excited to work collaboratively with staff, learners, and families towards a holistic, therapeutic approach which supports children and young people to be the best version of themselves.follow 

Trust Governance Manager - Jo Cowles

Jo worked within the insurance industry for a number of years before moving into education and, for the last 15 years, she has been working for an organisation who provide governance advice and support to a considerable number of maintained schools and academies across the Midlands region.  This has given Jo extensive experience in all aspects of governance within schools and academy trusts.

Outside of work Jo enjoys spending time with her family, reading, baking and running. Having very recently completed her first Parkrun, she now has the running bug. (That is jogging/slogging really).

Estates Manager - Paul Crooke

Paul has worked in an education setting since 2018, initially managing compliance, H&S and estates functions at a specialist apprenticeship centre before working in schools.  His first direct school experience was in a SEMH school in Walsall, followed by leading the estates function for a large mainstream trust in Sutton Coldfield.  At his last trust Paul developed a strategic plan for the estates department, implemented the use of compliance/issue software Every and oversaw project delivery of everything from resurfacing playgrounds to the successful opening of a new senior school in Coventry.

Prior to this Paul spent 16 years organising and managing large consumer exhibitions at the National Exhibition Centre.  Outside of work Paul cooks, reads, and enjoys spending time with his immediate family; he also spends time with his extended family but “enjoys” is a bit of a stretch.

Senior Administrator - Tanya Williams

Tanya started her career at Kingsbury Academy in the administration team before progressing to Office Manager. Tanya worked at Kingsbury Academy for 7 years before transferring to the Thrive Central Team as Senior Office Administrator.

Tanya enjoys spending time with her family, friends and pets, going on day trips, reading and long walks.