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  • Senior Leadership Team


    Oli Knight is Executive Headteacher of Phoenix Academy. Before joining Phoenix Oli was Headteacher at Greenwich Free School (GFS) in South East London. Oli arrived at GFS after it had received a Requires Improvement judgement from Ofsted in 2014.  Over the next 18 months Oli led the school towards a Good from Ofsted and helped secure some of the highest KS4 outcomes in the region; with 66% of students achieving 5+ in English and Maths. Oli is an Advanced Skills Teacher of History and is the co-author of the book 'Developing Outstanding Classrooms', which was first published in 2014. Oli is a regular guest speaker at educational conferences, invariably discussing the importance of curriculum design and the development of teachers and subject pedagogy.


    Mike is Head of School at Phoenix Academy. After graduating from the University of Nottingham Mike spent 4 year in management consultancy before retraining in 2010 to be a teacher through the Teach First programme. Since then Mike has held a number of roles at middle and senior management in challenging schools. He is a member of the 2014 cohort of Future Leaders and is currently undertaking his NPQH with Ambition School Leadership. Mike has oversight of a number of the day to day functions of the Academy and works closely with the rest of the senior team to set the future strategic direction of Phoenix.


    After studying for a PGCE at the University of Leeds in 2005, John worked at two outstanding schools in West London: firstly at Wembley High Technology College as an English teacher, second in department and Advanced Skills Teacher and then taking up a post as a founding senior teacher and Director of English at Ark Academy in Wembley, setting up a department and curriculum from scratch. He was made Assistant Principal in 2013 and led on staff development, training and teaching and learning. Between 2016 and 2017, John was an Associate Director at Teach First where he co-designed a new national support role for trainee teachers. John brings over a decade's worth of teaching, curriculum and leadership experience to his role as Deputy Headteacher and leads on Teacher Development both at Phoenix Academy and across the Future Academies. He is excited to be working with the staff, pupils and community the school serves as it begins its journey of improvement.


    Tom joined Phoenix Academy in September 2017 following 2 years at Oaklands School in Tower Hamlets.  Arriving from the North East in 2005 following his SCITT with Northumbria University, he worked in Hackney for 10 years, moving up the ranks from NQT to Assistant Headteacher at Stoke Newington School.  He is a recent graduate of the Future Leaders programme (cohort 2014) and has experience of school leadership in 3 London schools.  Having taught PE from the beginning of his career, he most recently taught History whilst teaching in Tower Hamlets.  His current role at Phoenix is behaviour and safety lead, but he has also worked closely on achievement, leading a KS4 which oversaw a P8 of 0.74 at Oaklands.


    Corinne graduated with a degree in Physics from the University of Birmingham in 2009. After a short spell working at EADS Astrium she joined the Teach First programme and trained in the East Midlands. Looking for a challenge, Corinne moved to London in 2012 as a founding teacher at a new free school in Woolwich. As the school grew, she worked within the middle leadership team to drive improvement, resulting in some exceptional results from the school’s first GCSE cohort.  She was active in all areas of school life from leading the Science department to planning the annual school ski trip. Corinne is passionate about curriculum and assessment and through development of the Science curriculum at her previous school understands the importance of knowledge-rich, domain-specific learning. She looks forward to the launch of a refreshed curriculum at Phoenix Academy and the improved student outcomes that will come with it.

    mrs tahirah de aguiar chaves - assistant headteacher, head of sixth form 

    Tahirah has worked as a Teacher for 10 years has been an examiner for both Psychology and Religious Studies. Before taking on the Role of Assistant Head Teacher - Post 16 worked as Head of Faculty and is an SSAT Accredited Lead Practitioner with an NPQSL from the Future Leaders Trust.

    Tahirah has always been passionate about educational research and has a Masters Degree in Teaching (MTeach) form the Institute of Education and is currently doing her Doctorate in Education at UCL.

    Tahirah’s understanding of Post 16 education has meant that she has worked closely with organisations which aim to raise aspirations of students from deprived backgrounds to enter Higher Education.

    mr andy nichols - assistant headteacher, teaching & learning 

    Andy graduated with a degree in History from the University of York. He joined the Teach First programme and trained in Hull, becoming Head of History in his NQT year. In three years he improved the school’s History GCSE results from being in the bottom 10% in the country to above the national average. He then moved to London to help establish the History department at Greenwich Free School. Through a relentless focus on expert teaching, curriculum and assessment design the department grew to gain a national reputation and was awarded the Historical Association’s Quality Mark for History. He is excited to work to ensure that teaching at Phoenix Academy enables students to make rapid progress and achieve excellent outcomes.


    Roles of the Leadership Team

    Oli Knight

    Lead – Vision, Strategy and outcomes

    Oversight –
    • SLT, and senior operational staff
    • Whole School strategy and systems
    • Whole school evaluation and analysis
    • Pupil Premium provision
    • Outcomes for all pupils
    Mike Baxter

    Lead – Operational management

    Oversight –
    • Operational running of Academy
    • In-year  and day to day HR issues
    • School calendar and events
    • New staff induction and alignment
    • Careers
    Tom Phillips

    Lead – Pupil behaviour & safeguarding (DSP)

    Oversight –
    • Staff welfare
    • Safeguarding
    • Medical Health/welfare
    • Rewards
    • Pastoral system
    • Tutor programme at KS3 and KS4
    • Pupil leadership
    • Parental relationships
    Corinne Flett

    Lead – Curriculum & Assessment

    Oversight –
    • Curriculum provision and design
    • Formative assessment cycles and implementation
    • Assessment cycle systems – summative
    • Data analysis
    Tahirah De Aguiar Chaves

    Lead – Sixth Form

    Oversight –
    • KS5 Academic performance & destinations
    • KS5 Pastoral care and student support
    • 6th form promotion and recruitment
    • UCAS process
    Andy Nichols

    Lead – Teacher effectiveness

    Oversight –
    • Literacy & Numeracy support
    • Library
    • Half termly Triangulation
    • Staff Training
    • T&L
    • Leverage mentoring
    John Kirkman

    Lead – Teacher development

    Oversight –
    • Overall model of teacher effectiveness
    • Staff Training
    • Phoenix Lesson
    • Trust-wide CPD
    • Training the trainer programmes
    • Annual development plan
    • NQT development
    • TF development
    • SCITT professional Tutor
    • Succession planning for trust-wide growth

    Phoenix Academy

    Phoenix Academy, The Curve, Shepherds Bush, London, W12 0RQ
    Tel: 020 8749 1141