Network Support Team

Maria Phillips

Finance Manager

Maria has 13 years experience in School Administration. She is committed to developing her knowledge of School Business Administration and has achieved a Certificate in School Business Management. Maria leads Finance across the trust and her responsibilities include building and monitoring a fit for purpose budget, with input from senior leaders, ensuring that financial procedures are followed and maintained. She implements procedural changes as and when required and reports on finance to the senior leadership team and Directors . Maria is determined to help provide the best possible education for children within the trust whilst always seeking ‘value for money’ options.

Since the Trust has been formed Maria has successfully worked with the accountants meeting all given deadlines. In addition, she is responsible for meeting with the responsible office to ensure compliance. Maria works closely with the accounting officer to ensure that the financial aspects of Ventrus run smoothly and efficiently.

Sharon Samuel

HR Business Partner

Sharon is an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Psychology graduate. As an experienced business/HR professional across the private and public sector, she is used to working in a fast paced environment, working closely with senior leadership teams to support the delivery of business strategies and targets. Her experience includes employee engagement, performance management, delivery of soft skills training (transactional analysis), coaching line managers, reviewing HR policies and HR processes.
Her previous roles include HR Advisor at Landmark Information Group, a division of DMGT plc, together with extensive experience of working with schools as an Employee Reward Advisor across Devon. Sharon also worked as a Business Manager covering 17 schools in West Devon, and a governor for a large secondary school.
At Ventrus, Sharon is responsible for providing support in the various human resource functions. These may include organisational design and development, performance management, reward, diversity, employee engagement, managing staff attendance and management information. She fully supports collaborative working and is committed to the Trust's core values.

Richard Herbert

Financial Accountant

Richard is our Financial Accountant with a specific focus on accounting compliance and delivery of our payroll function. Richard is a graduate from Exeter University and became ACA qualified whilst working in the corporate sector of Francis Clark. Richard has a rich and varied experience of industry and commerce, having worked in areas as diverse as Aerospace to fruit juice sales!

Emma Emery

Compliance Officer/DPO

Emma has a broad and a varied portfolio of experience both in the public and the private sectors. She has held senior roles in finance, procurement and compliance. Emma has experience of leading teams and advising executive officers and board members both in a range of organisations. Emma has been with Ventrus for 4 years and in that time has overseen a systematic review of all aspects of Trust compliance. Emma is a highly competent and trained Data Protection Officer and also has an in-depth knowledge of health & safety issues and general statutory compliance duties for schools. She regularly offers advice to school’s outside of the Trust.

Kay Bishop

Senior Executive Assistant

Kay supports the Chief Executive Officer, Executive Leadership Team and works closely with the Board of Trustees. Kay is extremely well organised and highly experienced in event and office management having previously worked at the University of Exeter, GEC Marconi and the Environment Agency. She has been with Ventrus for 4 years and during that time worked in Woodwater Academy gaining valuable knowledge at a school wide level.