Helen Pratten

Helen became Co-CEO in January 2020 following twelve months in the role of interim Co-CEO. Helen also retains her post as Executive Principal (Primary) within Abbey MAT.

In her role as Co-CEO, Helen is responsible for leading the regulatory and operational arm of the organisation through her strategic leadership of the corporate services team (finance, governance, HR and IT). Helen is also the accounting officer of the Trust ensuring that governance arrangements are in line with the requirements of Companies House and the ESFA and to ensure the sound financial management of the Trust. Key responsibilities of this role include:

  • Ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Master Funding Agreement and Supplemental Funding Agreements for the Multi Academy Trust in conjunction with the Trust Board
  • Overseeing the planning of the Trust budget and the deployment of resources across the Trust, including the use of the Pupil Premium to ensure value for money and evaluation of impact at all times
  • Maintaining a robust but flexible organisational structure which is responsive to the changing needs of the organisation and the changing operating environment
  • Working closely with the Chair of the Trust Board and Trustees ensuring the development and implementation of the strategic vision, associated business plans and controls, risk and assurance processes
  • Ensuring compliance with the Multi Academy Trust Scheme of Delegation
  • Monitoring and advising on the governance and organisational structures of the Trust to best meet its strategic and educational objectives.
  • Ensuring the Trust Risk Register is kept up to date through the governance structure
  • Ensuring that the organisational values are consistently applied and drive business-planning processes

In her Executive Principal role, Helen works across the five primary academies in the Trust to ensure progress has been made on Trust wide priorities, to drive improvements to secure improved outcomes and to support leaders in building professional cultures within their academies. Working in partnership with the Co-CEO/Director of Education, Helen supports leaders in ensuring that they have robust academy development plans with clear actions and supports with the academy annual reviews which provide the opportunity to evaluate the quality of education.

Prior to becoming Executive Principal, Helen was the Headteacher of St.Chad’s CE Primary one of the founder primaries within the Trust. Helen is passionate about providing children with as many exciting experiences as possible and in maintaining a positive, caring and stimulating environment for staff and children whose ideas and creativity are valued. Helen ensures that leaders fulfil the Trust’s core purpose to educate the whole child; uniting excellence and academic rigour with spiritual, social, moral and cultural development promoting ‘life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10).

In addition to her role within Abbey MAT, Helen is a local leader of education for Teamworks Teaching School Alliance, is a pupil premium reviewer and is a foundation governor at a diocesan Church of England primary school.