Shared Services team

Leadership Team

Sulina Piesse - Chief Executive Officer -

Sulina is the CEO of ODBST. She was previously an Executive Headteacher. She has held several senior leadership roles in London Schools, including another Headship. She is a former Ofsted Inspector. As a passionate French and Spanish teacher, she has had the opportunity to work in various settings, both in the UK and            abroad.

Jan Martin - Director of Education -

Jan was the Headteacher of one of the first primary schools to join the ODBST. Her journey has been a rich and varied one in education, having worked continuously in the sector for 33 years and, for 27 of those years, in Buckinghamshire.

She has worked as a Buckinghamshire Headteacher in two schools as well as spending 7 years working for the Buckinghamshire School Improvement Service as SEND adviser and as a School Improvement Partner. Her work there took her into the secondary sector, upper and grammar schools, and also into specialist SEND settings, working in multi-agency partnerships and developing inclusion for all. She has a strong background in safeguarding and is clear that in our current world a priority in this area has never been more crucial.

Alongside this work she has run her own company, supporting schools within and beyond the ODBST around inclusion and school improvement, including holding interim leadership posts and working as guest lecturer within one of the London Universities.

Rachael Hollinshead - Chief Operations Officer -

Rachael joined the team in February 2019, with 26 years of primary education experience, 9 of those in a leadership role. This includes being a primary school headteacher. She has worked in a range of primary schools in both in size, catchment and location bringing a breadth of knowledge to this role.

Gillian Nickless - Director of HR -

Gillian joined the ODBST central services team in September 2023 having previously worked at school level within the Trust. She has a Masters degree in Personnel and Development and is CIPD level 7 qualified. Her previous experience in HR stems from roles within a multi-national law firm, a pharmaceutical services provider as well as financial services. Gillian is passionate about education and believes in the power of collaborating with school leaders to ensure that through our inclusive culture we can empower everyone in our Trust to excel and offer the very best provision for children.  

Ruth Falkus - Chief Financial Officer -

Former Financial Controller with Stanley Black & Decker and other commercial companies, with a varied career in finance spanning over 30 years.  Ruth is a CIMA qualified accountant with a wide range of experience, most notably in Governance & Control; Acquisitions & Integration; and Strategic Development.  She has a keen interest in improving educational outcomes for children, having run charitable STEM events at her previous employer.

Operations and Marketing Team 

Emily Gatis - Marketing & Communications Admin -

Emily joined the ODBST team from McGraw-Hill Education. She has a 10-year background in customer services and administration. She organises the CPD and conferences and is in charge of the Trusts news, marketing and media accounts as well as completing various administration duties.

Ella Swinhoe - Operations Partner -

Ella has worked as an operations manager in the private sector for the past 7 years. She will be working to support ODBST schools with their day-to-day and long-term operations. With a background in implementing sustainability measures and a strong interest in reducing carbon, Ella will also be working to help achieve net zero across the trust.  

Finance Team 

Victoria Davies - Deputy Chief Financial Officer -

Victoria joins the ODBST central team after working as a School Business Manager for 5 years.  Prior to this she served as an officer in the Royal Air Force on a short service commission. She has a BSc (Hons) in Economics, Accountancy and Law, a MSc in Psychology and is studying towards her CIMA professional qualification.

Rachel Brown - Financial Accounting Partner -

Rachel joined the central team in January 2024 after previously working for 8 years as a Finance Manager at school level. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant, starting her career as an auditor before specialising in strategy, forecasting and budgeting at Enron and Channel 5. She enjoys the challenge of working with school leaders to create balanced budgets and forecasts while still maintaining a robust curriculum.

Christine Smith - Finance Officer -

Christine joined the team in April 2023 after joining a Trust school as an SBM in 2010.  She has 18 years school finance experience and successfully completed her SBM and DSBM qualifications.  Prior to this she worked as a Territorial Operations Manager in the Post office for 24 years.  She has a passion for ensuring that school finances are used to help every child achieve their full potential.  In her spare time she loves gardening, making jams and playing in a local brass band.

Human Resources Team 

Rebecca Hussein-Allin - HR Partner -

Rebecca joined the ODBST central team in September 2020 as a HR Officer. She is CIPD qualified with over 10 years’ experience in HR for various corporate companies, prior to this she worked in retail management. Rebecca is a community governor for her local school and support’s a local charity with HR Advice.     

Natalie Mitchell - HR Partner -

Natalie joined the ODBST in January 2023 with an extensive background in both Education and HR. With over 15 years corporate HR experience and having owned a multi-site wrap around care company, Natalie joins the trust offering full lifecycle HR and company operations experience.

Governance Team 

Deborah Stainer - Head of Governance -

Deborah has a background in education, having worked as an Early Years Leader until 2017 in both independent and Church of England primary schools, and as an LA Early Years moderator. She then moved into strategic education, first at Truro Diocese and then Oxford and Salisbury. Whilst at Truro, she developed a keen interest in MAT governance, and undertook a Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership & Governance.  In her spare time, she loves sailing and walking.    

School Improvement Team 

Lorraine Quirk - Challenge Partner -

Lorraine joined our central team in September 2023 as a school challenge partner.  She has worked in education for over 30 years in a variety of schools being a headteacher for 15years. Lorraine has a passion for school improvement and working collaboratively with schools to achieve the best outcomes for children. Having been with the ODBST since the begining, being an ODBST school challenge partner is her 'dream job'.

Rob Halls - Challenge Partner -

Rob joined ODBST as a Challenge Parter in September 2023. He has 20 years’ experience in senior leadership in schools across the primary stage, culminating in ten years as Headteacher and Executive Headteacher. Rob believes in the power of effective partnerships that enable school leaders to thrive, to create an environment in which great ideas can happen, and results in pupils and adults flourishing. Alongside his role with ODBST, Rob is a serving SIAMS inspector with the Church of England Education Office, and a consultant school improvement partner with HFL Education. He is a Member for a Church of England multi-academy trust in Hertfordshire, and a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching.