Joshua Coleman

Chief Executive & Accounting Officer

As a child of the 70’s Joshua’s experience of school was very different from that of children today. This experience helped to shape a lifelong commitment to facilitating the best outcomes for children. Joshua’s strong moral purpose and its alignment with the aims and values of EMLC Academy Trust is what drew him to the role. Joshua has worked across the education sector at senior level for over 20 years starting his career in the further education sector before moving into working with those for whom education is a challenge. He moved into the multi academy trust sector two years ago with a belief that he could bring his broad experiences to benefit those children in the schools within the trust to ensure they have better life chances than they would otherwise have. Although a common aspiration that underpins many of the people involved within the sector, this important focus can sometimes be far from the forefront of the discussion surrounding the multi academy trust model. A married father of two he also is the chair of trustees for a small community based, service led charity, that is focused on providing communication aids for those who need them and a platform for their voice to be heard.


Michael Patrick Lavelle BA (Hons) PGCE MA National Leader of Education

Director of Education

Mike is ahead of the Trust’s education service with primary and secondary school leadership, improvement, and inspection experience. Mike works extensively with the Trust’s Principals to focus on school improvement and strong outcomes for our children and young people.  Together with over 20 years of successful Headship, he contributes an excellent understanding of the education landscape with a strong regional and national leadership profile. Mike’s recent experience includes supporting four multi-academy trusts with growth strategy and direct accountability for schools in challenging circumstances.  As a MAT executive principal, Mike led the improvement of schools that achieved amongst the best key stage 2 and GCSE outcomes in the region. This included sustaining four successive Ofsted ‘outstanding’ judgements. Mike was one of 500 NLEs and has successfully supported a number of primary and secondary schools across local authorities in this role. Mike has inspected both primary and secondary schools as an Ofsted Additional Inspector under the current framework.


Paul Wheeler

Finance and Operations Director & Chief Financial Officer

Paul joined EMLC Academy Trust in January 2018. His background is in Finance having previously worked at director level in International Mass Manufacturing; Engineering and Construction and as Finance Director in SME companies in the UK.  Paul has a successful track record of business transformation in the private sector, higher education and central government.  Paul Joined EMLC from a multi academy trust in Birmingham where as CFO and then CEO he oversaw the transition period of the trust and the re-brokerage of schools.

Paul is responsible for the oversight of the head office teams which support our academies with their Finance, Human Resources, IT and Estate Management.


Hena Mahmood

Senior Project Manager

Hena is an experienced Project Manager and is an accredited PRINCE2 practitioner.  Hena leads a project team who manage and coordinate all the activities of the Trust, including the conversion for new academy projects. As part of her work she coordinates the Directors of the EMLC Academy Trust Board of Trustees and the Executive Team.  She has played an integral part in the growth of the Trust.  Hena supports the strong relationships between the EMLC Academy Trust academies working together as a family of schools to drive forward the excellent education provided to the pupils and their parents.

Katy Russell

Maths Specialist and Data Manager

Katy leads on school-to-school support for the Trust to spread effective practice and foster strong collaboration. This involves providing evidence-based professional and leadership development for teachers and leaders across their areas of expertise and needs. She is a passionate and experienced teacher and leader with particular expertise in curriculum development, mathematics and data analysis.  Katy is a Specialist Leader of Education having developed and built direct experience of outstanding class teaching. Her teaching career has progressed to the strategic support of our academies, as well as representation on national forum for mathematics teaching as representation on the Joint Association of Teachers of Mathematics /Mathematical Association Primary Group as  Vice Chair

Debbie Woolmer

Office Administrator

I have in excess of 30 years’ experience working in administrative/secretarial roles, covering industries such as pharmaceuticals, hospitality, building services and latterly working as a medical secretary for three consultants in the NHS.  I pride myself on excellent grammar, accuracy and attention to detail.