About us

Kate Greig

Kate Greig has worked in a variety of school roles in East Kent for over twenty years and in September 2020 she took up appointment as Executive Head of Coastal Academies Trust. She is a Kent Leader of Education and is a strategic partner of EKLA. She is on the LLSE board and works closely with the National College to write and run leadership programmes for senior leadership and Headship. Kate is a member of the highly prestigious educational advisory committee for the Royal Shakespeare Company and a trustee of the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. Kate believes that collaboration is the key to being a successful school, she chairs the Thanet Headteachers Forum and has strong partnership links with many local schools in the area, Kent University and Christchurch as well at The Turner Contemporary and local businesses.

Heidi Russell

Heidi Russell is the Chief Operations Manager of Coastal Academies Trust. Her role is to work with the Executive Headteacher and Headteachers to ensure the central services within the Trust contribute to achieving strategic business outcomes. She advises, develops and implements policies, procedures and practices having regard to current legislation and best practice so as to ensure delivery of a comprehensive service. She is fully CIPD qualified and acts as a source of HR expertise providing advice, guidance and information on a wide range of issues affecting individual schools and the Trust.

Judy Brace

Judy Brace is the Chief Finance Officer for Coastal Academies Trust.
She co-ordinates financial reporting and financial planning across the trust. This helps to ensure that there is financial stability in the schools, so that they can continue to educate and care for young people in Thanet and provide a high standard of education. She also supports the schools to ensure that taxpayers’ money is spent transparently, honestly and with value for money.

Simon Pullen

Simon Pullen is Headteacher at the Royal Harbour Academy having previously been Headteacher at Dane Court Grammar School. He has worked in a wide variety of schools across Kent and on a number of leadership teams that have been involved in improving underperforming schools. In his career he has also taught for a number of years on the Post Graduate Certificate of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University and been seconded to Kent County Council’s Secondary Education Transformation Team which was tasked with helping schools develop and improve. He is committed to education in Thanet having taught in Thanet for 14 years and he currently serves on the Executive Board of the Local Inclusion Forum Team.

Matthew Tate

Matthew Tate is Headteacher at Hartsdown Academy. Matthew was the founding Headteacher of Trinity School, Sevenoaks opening the school in 2013. The school achieved a Good rating from Ofsted within 5 terms of opening and in 2015 was the 7th most popular school in Kent. Prior to this, Matthew has a track record of school improvement working in the Senior Leadership teams of several schools in challenging circumstances. He believes that an excellent education is a matter of justice and that working as a group of schools will ensure that all children, whatever their circumstances, can achieve.

Claire Whichcord

Claire Whichcord is passionate that all children should have the very best chances and opportunities to succeed. As deputy head of Cliftonville Primary School for 6 years and now Headteacher, she believes that through a strong value system, the whole school community can be inspired and challenged to be the very best that they can be. Claire has a long history of working in a number of schools in London in challenging circumstances and with the Youth Sport Trust. She serves on the Executive Board for the Local Inclusion Forum Team and takes a leading role with Save the Children as a Key Partner in the South East. She believes that all children deserve the very best opportunities in order to thrive.