Who's Who


Adrian   Adrian Finn
Chief Operating Officer - C.I.T.
I became the Chief Operating Officer for C.I.T. last year. My role involves looking at all the support infrastructure (HR, Payroll, Finance, Admin & Procurement) for all schools in the Trust, and gaining the best value for money deals from our suppliers.          
I am also involved in any new school conversions that come into the Trust and will be making sure that firm foundations for growth are in place to make this happen.

I believe that through continued good practice we can achieve an effective environment that will ensure all our pupils get 100% of what they deserve from the Trust.  This will in enable us to continue to build on the excellence already established. 

james e   James Ellis
Head Teacher - Ambergate Sports College
I have worked at GANF since 2009.  I initially taught at Sandon and then over the years I have had the pleasure of teaching across most age ranges and abilities within the Fellowship.

I have a degree in History but my passion is working with pupils who have additional needs.  I feel very strongly about offering a balanced education for all, regardless of ability. I became Principal of Ambergate in May 2015. 

As part of my role I provide support and challenge to the leadership teams across GANF to ensure we maintain an exceptional offer for all of our students. 

In conjunction with our Teaching School - LEARN, I have recently been leading on Assessment Developments for students working below expected progress across Lincolnshire.  

Outside of work I enjoy taking part in extreme runs for charity and spending time with my family and friends.  

Stela   Stela Plamenova
Head Teacher - Sandon School

I was born and raised in Bulgaria.

I received my primary education at a Russian Language Grammar School till the age of 12, and then I moved to an English Language Secondary School.

I  hold a Master’s degree in Special Pedagogy and two further professional development certificates in Autism from the University of Cambridge.

I have worked in special education since 2003, starting as a class teacher and then progressing into senior leadership.

I have held senior leadership positions since 2010 with a particular focus on teaching and learning, project management and staff development.

paul      Paul Hill
Head Teacher - Isaac Newton Primary School

I have been a Headteacher since October 2005 and a teacher since September 2000.  I love working in schools and have always worked in primary schools which have faced significant challenges.  Such challenges have been due either to the needs of the school community or a rating that the school has been given by OFSTED or the Local Authority. 

I am currently the substantive Headteacher of both Isaac Newton and Caythorpe Primary Schools.  These are my third and fourth headships. 

In December 2014 Isaac Newton Primary School joined the Community Inclusive Trust and I have been a member of the Strategic Heads Committee ever since.  My role within the committee is to both support and challenge the Trust as decisions are made.  I do this particularly in respect of the impact that decisions will have on the main stream primaries within the Trust or those main stream primaries that have signalled their intent to join with us. 

The role of the Strategic Headteachers’ Committee is extremely important as it makes recommendations to the Trust Board and uses delegated authorities to ensure that the pupils within the Trust continue to make excellent progress.  With a child centred approach the committee is able to ensure that the pupils within the Trust continue to flourish despite the uncertain times faced within so many areas of education.

Claire B  

Claire Buffham

Director of Education - Community Inclusive Trust

As Director of Education at the Community Inclusive Trust, my main role is to ensure a high standard of education across the trust. To do this I run the health checks across all the schools and ensure that bespoke development packages are in place for each school.
Also as part of my role, I set up and am responsible for the Lincolnshire Education and Research Network teaching school alliance (LEARN). My vision for LEARN is to create a central hub to meet the SEN needs of all Lincolnshire schools. 
My other passion is coaching and I am an ICF registered coach. We have set leadership coaching programs but I am always happy to talk through any bespoke coaching needs.

Prior to becoming Director of Education I was Senior Principal at Sandon School and have worked within the SEN sector since 2001, prior to this I was a mainstream teacher.


Chris Armond

Executive Head Teacher - Woodlands Academy

I have worked in Special Education (BESD/SEMH) in Lincolnshire for 22 years. My previous roles include:

  • Head Teacher, Lady Jane Franklin School, Spilsby.
  • Deputy Head,  Sincil Sports College, Lincoln.
  • Assistant Head, Phoenix Academy, Grantham.
  • Senior Teacher, Stubton Hall School.

My current role is Executive Head Teacher of Woodlands Academy, Spilsby. This is a secondary special school for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties.

Peter300h400 v2  
Peter Bell
CEO - C.I.T. Academies
I have been the CEO of C.I.T. since 2014 when it was formed by Grantham Additional Needs Fellowship (GANF) - Ambergate Sports College and Sandon School. Prior to this I was the Executive Head Of Ambergate and Sandon, which were both graded Outstanding by Ofsted on 2013.
Since 2014 the Trust has grown to 10 schools, a Teaching School and has a number of other schools in "the pipeline" to possibly join C.I.T.
I am a National Leader of Education and within this role I support a number of schools who have requested support, are in special measures or causing their Local Authority/DfE concern.  I am also an elected member of the Regional Schools Commissioners Head Teachers Board.
I worked as part of the Lincolnshire “No school left behind” project board, focusing on putting into place a county wide program of school to school support and peer review. This process is now supported by the Lincolnshire Learning Partnership, of which I was a Board Member. I was also an Ofsted Inspector until Jan 2018, when I made the decision to concentrate all of my efforts into C.I.T. as we grow further.
Being a founding Trustee of C.I.T, I am fully invested and passionate about achieving our purpose of putting learners first. I bring drive, ambition and the skill set to ensure that the individual pupils across C.I.T. receive the highest levels of education and care.
Outside of work I am fully involved with my family, having a beautiful wife, 3 young boys, 2 dogs and a cat.

IMG 6313   Daran Bland
Executive Head - Spalding Special Schools
I was appointed to my first Headship in 2005 at The Priory Special School in Spalding.  In 2007 the Priory School federated with The Garth Special School and I was appointed as the Executive Head Teacher across both schools.  In 2016 my Executive Headship responsibilities expanded to include The John Fielding Special School in Boston.  Since 2005 I have led the schools through six Ofsted Inspections with judgements always being at least ‘Good’ with The Garth School being rated most recently as ‘Outstanding’. 

In January 2016 I was appointed as a National Leader of Education. I have a proven track record of supporting and improving outcomes for pupils within special school settings. 

I have three sons who keep me very busy, with weekends invariably spent watching either football or hockey in the cold and wet! In any spare time that presents itself I enjoy running and playing atrocious golf.

Paul B   Paul Boucher
Chair of The Trust Board - C.I.T.

I have been Chair of the C.I.T. Board of Trustees since it was formed in 2014.  I previously held the role of school governor with Ambergate Sports College from 2009 and then chaired Grantham Additional Needs Fellowship (GANF) governing body from 2010 until 2013. I was also an additional governor for Woodlands Academy, Spilsby for the academic year 2013/14. 

I became a Trustee because I have a strong commitment to furthering the education and welfare of children and young people in Lincolnshire.  There is a good deal of satisfaction to be gained from providing challenge and support to the schools within out MAT and to help to shape their development and progress.  It is an opportunity to continue to use the knowledge and experience I have gained throughout my career. 

My experience of working within the field of education, and particularly primary education within recent years, and especially school improvement work, has provided me with vision and insight into what is needed to establish and maintain excellent schools that will enable children to flourish.  I also bring my experience of governance and the skills that enable me to provide support and challenge to senior leaders and head teachers.  

I retired from the teaching profession with forty years’ experience in 2008.  During the course of my career I taught in a range of schools and held senior roles in a secondary and in three special schools including headship. 

Since then I have been employed on a part-time basis, firstly by Peterborough LA Children’s Services as an Education Manager, working with secondary schools, special schools and FE colleges in developing their ability to deliver new educational programmes including Foundation Learning. Dates: 2008 – 2012 

Secondly, working as a Coach for Achievement for All, (a DfE supported school improvement charity) providing advice and support to a number of primary schools, and also special schools and a secondary school helping their staff to raise attainment for SEND and vulnerable pupils.  Dates: 2012 – 2016

During the last four years I have also worked as a consultant to CfBT and Lincolnshire County Council and have produced directories of provision for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities and their parents.

I live in Sleaford with my wife Sue.  We have a son and daughter who both have their own families and we have four grandchildren.  I am the Senior Steward of the Sleaford Methodist Circuit. I am also a keen golfer and classical guitarist. 

Jenny   Jenny Wheeldon
Principal Designate - Poplar Farm School
I have been in education for over 35 years. I grew up in Lincolnshire and went to school there. I trained in Derbyshire. I then started my career in the Bahamas, teaching in an International Methodist School. I eventually settled back in Lincolnshire with my 2 children, both of whom have now grown up and moved away.
I absolutely believe in educating the whole child. Of course you want children to read and write and love numbers, understand what a healthy lifestyle is, but I want children to be confident, inquisitive individuals with a zest for learning.
I worked for over 14 years in a Lincolnshire Primary School achieving two Outstanding OFSTEDs. More recently, I have worked as an Executive Headteacher in another Outstanding Academy. I have a proven track record, and the ability to sustain this over time has given me a greater understanding of the importance of an education system that has something for everyone. 

 awaiting image   Katie Brockington
Head of School - Caythorpe Primary School
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CIT Academies is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England with the name Community Inclusive Trust. The company's registered number is 9071623 and registered office is: CIT Academies, Poplar Farm School, Helmsley Road, Grantham, NG31 8XF. Tel: 03300 585520

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