our system leaders

Martin Fitzwilliam (NLE)

Martin is the current Director of Performance and Standards for the eighteen primary schools within the St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Multi-Academy Trust and is accountable for their learning outcomes.  He was recruited to the role of Headteacher of Christ the King Catholic Primary School in September 2007, just after a disappointing Ofsted inspection during which standards and leadership was highlighted as a weakness.  After a successful and improved inspection in 2010, during which the Headteacher was identified as being 'outstanding', the school was judged to be outstanding in 2014.  Standards have continued to improve and attainment is now 30% above national averages and progress identifies the school as being within the top 5% in the country.  As a successful National Leader of Education (NLE), Martin has a proven track record of school improvement across the country. He is also a Lead Ofsted Inspector.


Karen McVea (LLE)

Karen took on the post of Headteacher at St Joseph’s, Market Harborough in August 2010. She has been in primary teaching for 25 years and prior to becoming a Head, she had the opportunity to lead across most primary subjects. Her particular passion was for maths and assessment.  At St Joseph’s, Karen has successfully implemented a mastery focus to the national curriculum, which has gone from strength to strength.  Karen has recently completed her masters in Catholic Leadership which has helped to strengthen the Catholic Life of the school. As a senior leader, she has a wealth of experience and regularly coaches other senior leaders and schools, and is currently supporting schools in her role as school improvement head.


Gail Neill (LLE)

Gail is currently the Headteacher at Holy Cross Catholic School in Leicester. She joined Holy Cross in September 2016 as Interim Headteacher, taking the substantive post in March 2017 following a period of over six years as Headteacher at Bishop Ellis Catholic School in Thurmaston, Gail had worked as the Director of Education for the Diocese of Nottingham, a post which she held for over five years.  As such, Gail has a wealth of experience in educational leadership and is passionate about spotting and developing leadership potential in others. 


Judy Beer (SLE – Science)

Judy is the Director of the Leicestershire Catholic Teaching School Alliance.  During her five years of leading science at Christ the King, she led the school to achieving the Gold Primary Science Quality Mark, the Gold Space Education Quality Mark and the Eco Schools Green Flag Award. In 2017/18 she was awarded a Primary Science Teaching Award by the Primary Science Teaching Trust and was made a fellow of the college – she is one of only two fellows in Leicestershire.  Judy has supported schools across the Challenge Partner network with science, including guiding them towards achieving the Space Education Quality Mark.  She is also an active member of the local science subject leaders’ network and has provided bespoke support to leaders across Leicester City.


Peter Connor (SLE - Pupil Premium)

Peter is currently Head of PE in a department that offers a broad and balanced curriculum across key stages 3, 4 and 5. They offer examination PE at GCSE and A level PE (AQA) and Cambridge National and Cambridge Technical level (OCR). His particular interests include setting and maintaining high standards of behaviour and participation in PE, producing resources to engage learners and developing long term memory strategies to free up information processing capacity for exams.


Gillian Kotarba (SLE - CPD/Maths)

Gillian has been in primary teaching for 24 years and a senior leader for 15 years. She has successfully developed a range of skills through various leadership roles, such as Key Stage Lead, maths co-ordinator and an acting deputy headship, enabling her to support and develop others as well as the schools in which she has worked. In her present role she is a senior leader responsible for the quality of teaching and learning, coaching and has overall responsibility assessment across the school. Gillian regularly coaches teachers at all levels of experience and stages of career on a variety of areas and needs within her own school and has worked more widely across the Trust, which the school is part of to develop middle leaders and deliver moderation for Year 3. Gillian’s specialist subject is maths having gained the MaST qualification. Gillian has also had experience as a consultant delivering training to NQTs and on Talk for Learning to other teachers.


Stuart Myles (SLE - Maths)

Stuart is an experienced Head of Maths with a successful track record in high progress results.

He stepped down as Head of Maths in September 2019 to become Director of Mathematics for the St Thomas Aquinas Multi Academy Trust.

Stuart is an experienced Assistant Principal with responsibility for Data and Curriculum. He has designed and built a successful data system which;

  • reports what parents need to know.
  • delivers accurate predictions of exam performance.
  • gives teachers, SLT, Governors and other stakeholders accurate information on the in-year performance of students and student groups.

Stuart is the school timetabler and has recently had the privilege of being co-opted onto a DfE project to look at Timetabling of schools with over 50% part time staff. 

He is a key member of the curriculum design team at St Martin's which means that he is familiar with the KS3/4 curriculum and has had significant exposure to the KS2 curriculum, especially in mathematics.

This combined with his Timetabling skills means that he can design and implement a curriculum strategy across a broad range of situations.


If you are interested in becoming one of our system leaders, please contact us.