Meet the team...

Shelley Whitehead

Shelley Whitehead

 Shelley Whitehead - Director, Lock House Consulting

Shelley specialises in partnership development, stakeholder engagement and strategic change leadership within Education, the Public sector and the Not-for-Profit sector. She has been personally responsible for shaping a range of significant and innovative academy partnerships - such as:- initiating the academy partnership between the Diocese of Salisbury and Mott MacDonald; leading the successful development of a number of mixed age and mixed category multi-academy-trusts including - the 7 school partnership in Wimborne Dorset, the 4 school Salisbury Plain Academies partnership and the 3 school Magna Learning Partnership both in Wiltshire, and all of which are operating very successfully and have grown to encompass new schools. And most recently she has led the projects to establish the 4 school Attenborough Learning Trust in Leicester and the 6 school Equa Multi Academy Trust in Wiltshire.

Shelley has also been actively involved in recruiting senior business executives for non-executive roles at academy trusts, recruiting over 140 business execs into academy NED roles. She is also a former advisor to the DfE on academy sponsor development. She has over 14 years experience in education leadership as an organisation leadership consultant and project manager, a leading Governor and winner of Governor of the Year for the West region (2009) and a national finalist for the October 2009 Teaching Awards. Additionally, Shelley has over 25 years commercial business experience in leading successful business change and development.

Read about Shelley's recent experience and successful assignments here:

  • Partnership Facilitator and Project Manager for the development of a 4 primary age school multi-academy-trust in Leicester. Led the project from school brokerage through design, consultation and successful MAT set up and conversion, successfully recruiting over 10 high calibre Members and Trustees from business and the community
  • Project manager for a 6 school primary and secondary phase new multi-academy-trust in Wiltshire. Brought in to reshape the redesign the project and trust, securing successful conversion and start-up
  • Partnership Advisor and Project Manager for the development of a 3 secondary age school multi-academy-trust in Wiltshire, incorporating an existing academy, CofE and foundation schools, successfully securing sponsorship status and associated support grants, and now supporting the trust’s growth strategy through the successful project management of a 4th school transferring to the trust
  • Successfully supported over 45 academy trusts to recruit more than 130 non-executive directors/trustees over a 3 year period, and typically supporting the recruitment of up to 20 trustee roles at any one time
  • Free School Bid Advisor to Wellsway Multi Academy Trust, successfully securing the free school approval
  • Advised and Project Managed a 4 school multi-academy-trust in Wiltshire, covering primary, secondary and infant age ranges, as well as mixed community and CofE categories. Led the project from initial concept through brokerage, successful MAT set up and conversion
  • Project Managed 2 large multi-academy-trusts each with 7 schools, covering primary, secondary, first and middle age ranges, as well as mixed community and CofE categories. Led each project from initial concept through brokerage, successful MAT set up and conversion
  • Education leadership and partnership consultant for a south west Diocese - successful in supporting a number of new school academy partnerships to develop
  • New Provision bid consultant to a newly established academy provider in London/SE - provider successfully secured the new provision opportunity
  • Academy Sponsor Development Advisor for the DfE - working to support sponsors and underperforming schools to achieve strong partnerships for raising attainment and student outcomes.
  • Governor Consultant for a south west Local Authority. Developed and delivered a Governor training programme on Managing Strategic Structural Change. Successful launch delivered to over 40 schools; plus 1-on-1 individual partnership evaluation and structural change support for a number of rural primary schools.
  • Project Consultant for the stakeholder consultation of a range of Free School projects in both north London and the south west.
  • Led and successfully managed the stakeholder engagement requirements for a new Academy in the South West delivering a strong and creative campaign resulting in a highly commended results pack.
  • Instigated the innovative collaborative partnership between a primary and secondary school creating a rural partnership 'all-through-school' to improve student achievement levels and secure sustainable community education - partnership has now become a high performing academy sponsor.
  • Successful negotiation of changes in a rural catchment area to improve school sustainability and community cohesion to drive added opportunities for 'beyond the school gate learning and development'
  • Creation of a 'Governor Development Programme' and methodology to improve the performance of a Governing Body, increase skills and develop succession planning
  • Number of successful speaking engagements at school leadership and governance conferences

Shelley is also an advocate for children and young people's mental health where she supports a number of local and national organisations such as YoungMinds in raising awareness and challenging improvements in the systems and services. Shelley is also an Associate Non-Executive Director for the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership. Use the button below to email Shelley, or call her on 07790 613590. 

Victoria Fitzgerald

Victoria Fitzgerald

Victoria FitzGerald ACMA MBA - Associate, Lock House Consulting

Victoria has over 20 years experience as a professionally qualified accountant with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Her strategic and operational business experience is drawn from a range of sectors including, multi-academy trusts, higher education, independent schools, the arts, manufacturing and aerospace. 

Victoria began her career in the National Health Service, qualified as a CIMA accountant with Radiodetection, a global multi-technology company in 1998, and went on to hold senior finance and leadership roles with organisations such as:- UK Chief Financial Officer for Magellan Aerospace Corporation, a global supplier of aerospace systems and components; Finance Director of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, a conservatoire level higher educational establishment; Interim Head of Finance for Learning Partnership West, a community interest company which trains and supports young people in work, education or further training. Victoria took time out of an executive role, to focus on her non-executive roles with The Olympus Academy Trust, gaining the position of Chair of Directors. During which time Victoria, alongside the CEO, led the Trust from secondary only to a 4-19 multi-academy trust, of 2600 pupils, and 450 staff and drove the centralisation of procurement and services that was key to the sustainability of the trust. Victoria now works as a successful finance consultant in the education sector, advising academy trust and independent schools on financial planning, growth and business sustainability. Victoria is currently a Member of a Bristol multi-academy trust, and Trustee of a Bristol cultural charity.

Read about Victoria’s experience and successful assignments here:

  • Interim Bursar (Director of Finance and Operations) for the recently merged independent day school Redmaids’ High School.
  • Partnership Business Director with the unique new multi-academy trust in Wiltshire, Magna Learning Partnership during and after conversion. She then supported the trust in the next stage of growth, in bringing in a sponsored academy, and overseeing a recovery plan.
  • Strategic financial consultancy to Cathedral Schools Trust a Bristol multi-academy trust during a key stage of its growth, including financial modelling and a financial efficiency overview.
  • Interim Bursar (Director of Finance and Operations) for Badminton School, a top 10% independent boarding and day school for girls, with an excellent academic reputation.
  • Interim role of Head of Finance for Learning Partnership West. She coached and mentored the Executive Team to engender greater confidence in strategic financial planning and control and was the financial lead on a bid team that won a major 5-year contract from Bristol City Council, which secured the future of the company.
  • Finance Director Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. As a member of the senior management team she drove the strategic direction of this internationally renowned drama school and led the support team that included, finance, human resources, administration, and other business support functions, including co-authoring the School’s first Carbon Reduction Policy and subsequent implementation plan, which was in turn, shared more widely in the sector as a model policy.
  • Chief Financial Officer of the UK operation with Magellan Aerospace Corporation.
  • Radiodetection, senior financial positions in the Bristol head office of the international group, covering commercial, group and operational roles.
  • National Health Service supporting hospital and community managers to interpret financial information and control costs.

More information on Victoria’s activities and experience in the education and charities sectors can be found at

Email Victoria via the button below, or call her on 07903 437905.



JOHN TURNER BA M.Ed - Associate, Lock House Consulting

John is a highly experienced education consultant with a background in supporting schools and governments to support school leaders and improve outcomes for children. He has a background as an Assistant Director of Education in a large local authority where he was responsible for school improvement and special needs. He has been a senior education adviser to two secretaries of state for education and later established and directed a £38m education consultancy business involved in establishing the first wave of academies in London and other major cities. He was the Business Development Director for the International Business Unit of the National College for School Leadership where he led a number of major international school leadership programmes. He currently works with a large multi-academy trust in the midlands where he has supported the restructuring of the central team, helped to shape the vision of the MAT and reviews the performance of the MAT CEO and secondary academy principals. He has also led the reorganisation of the SEND service provision of a large local authority, advised on the behaviour strategy of a northern metropolitan authority and the SEND services and funding of another LA. He is currently a trustee on the board of a newly established MAT.

Read about John's experience and successful assignments here:

  • Trustee for the newly established multi-academy trust in Leicester, with oversight of the school improvement workstream
  • Director of International Leadership Associates working with the University of Nottingham in the development of an international system leadership offer
  • Director of Education Consulting for Mouchel, leading on 26 academy programmes and ten local education authority interventions
  • Consultant to a 13 school multi-academy trust, involving strategic planning, visioning, performance reviews and restructuring of central trust SLT team roles
  • International Business Development Director, NCSL, involving development and leadership of school leadership programmes in Australia, the Middle East, Brazil and Brunei
  • Led a SEND and behaviour review for a northern local authority
  • System leadership DCS Programme content writer for NCSL/Deloitte
  • Reviewed and recommended changes to the Behaviour Service in a northern metropolitan authority

Email John via the button below, or call him on 07966 310543.

Keith Clover

Keith Clover

Keith Clover - Associate, Lock House Consulting

Keith Clover is currently the Chair of an Interim Executive Board; Chair of Governors at a VA Primary School; a National Leader of Governance; a Consultant Governor and trainer, for both Wiltshire Local Authority and the Diocese of Salisbury; and an Academy Consultant for the Diocese of Salisbury. Since becoming a School Governor Keith has led a number of challenging initiatives of which one culminated in one of his school's attaining an Outstanding judgement in 2010 having been in Special Measures in 2004 and converting to an Academy in 2012. As Chair of an IEB of a secondary academy Keith is actively leading the improvement of governance at the Academy. Keith's role as a National Leader of Governance is to support other Chairs of Governors to develop their practice in supporting and challenging to ensure that all children receive the best possible education. In 2013 Keith became a National Leader of Governance Advocate, and is tasked with identifying potential National Leaders of Governance in the South West and was appointed to the position of Governance Expert on behalf of New Schools Network. In 2008, Keith's work as a governor was recognised by the National Teaching Awards when he received a Distinction in the regional finals.

Read Keith's full profile here:

  • As Chair of Governors, Keith has led an amalgamation process, strategic leadership change and the development of a range of initiatives to enable children to reach their full potential in school.
  • Keith has delivered a series of governance training sessions for NSN, supported existing GBs to understand their role as Academy governors and worked with potential Free Schools to develop the governance section of their DfE applications.
  • As an Academy Consultant for the Diocese of Salisbury, Keith delivers information and support for Church Schools exploring Academy status or actively joining Multi Academy Trusts.
  • As a Consultant Governor for Wiltshire Local Authority Keith is called upon to support Governing Bodies in schools which are requiring improvement or inadequate. Keith has successfully worked with many Governing Bodies to enable them to progress and achieve good gradings at subsequent inspections. Keith also works with schools to advise on Academy status and alongside Governing Bodies as they convert to an Academy.
  • Keith has led and co-led many training programmes including New Governor Training, Structural Change and Ofsted Briefings for Governors, as well as bespoke training and motivational courses for individual governing bodies.

Keith is also able to undertake External Reviews of Governance following or in advance of Ofsted inspections.   Email Keith via the button below, or call him on 07889 811174. 

Julie Farrell

Julie Farrell

Julie Farrell - Associate, Lock House Consulting

Julie specialises in supporting education establishments and businesses in administration, project management and finance. She has a financial background with 13 years experience in banking and has spent many years in the volunteer education sector - most recently as a Primary School Governor, taking on the roles of Vice-Chair and Chair of a Finance and Premises committee. She has helped oversee the formation of a primary/secondary school partnership for an all-through school, and has recently worked as a Clerk to 3 Primary Schools and a Secondary School Governing Body under an Academies Trust.

Read about Julie's recent experience and successful assignments here:

  • Recently a Clerk to 3 Primary Schools and a Secondary School Governing Body under an Academies Trust.
  • Providing interim clerking services for a primary school that has recently joined a newly formed Multi-Academy Trust
  • Providing a project support role in stakeholder areas and with document reviews of two newly-formed Multi-Academy Trusts
  • Providing stakeholder consultation administration for Free School applications and Academy conversions; building stakeholder distribution maps and negotiating consultation distribution; questionnaire response collation, analysis and report production.
  • Maintaining the Lock House Consulting website.
  • Marketing Administrator for EMPRA24 with its contract at an FE College; successfully managing document control and client request management; maintaining required processes; acting as the marketing service Help Desk; market and competition research and product quality control - proof reading and reviewing.
  • Volunteer work in the education sector, which includes 4 years experience as a Primary School Governor taking on the roles of Vice-Chair and Chair of the Finance and Premises Committee overseeing budget monitoring and preparation of annual budgets and being lead governor for FMSiS. Successful role in support and overseeing the formation of a primary/secondary school partnership for an all-through school.
  • A Company Secretary for a small IT company, maintaining the accounts and company records.
  • 13 years experience at a High Street Bank in various roles leading to Principal of a Financial Services Department, which covered financial reports for loan applications/overdraft extensions/ annual reviews to Local Head Office for customers, extraction of company and self-employed end of year accounts, cashflow forecast - monitoring actuals against budget, charges over land, personal guarantees, mortgages, buying and selling stocks and shares, foreign currency and transfers, and International Trade.

Julie is also currently a consultant supporting Lock House Consulting in a range of school projects.

Anne Casey

Anne Casey

Anne Casey - Associate, Lock House Consulting

Anne is a Department for Education Adviser, a New Schools Network Education Adviser and Regional Director for Academy Ambassadors for the North and West Midlands, works directly with the RSC in the North engaging business leaders to become non executive Directors on Trust boards.

She is Founding Director of ACE, an Educational Solutions Consultancy that provides innovative approaches and methodologies that address critical educational and social mobility issues.  Anne sits on 3 Education boards and also leads on procurement across Free schools, transport, IT and Buildings. 30 years  as teacher, LA  Adviser, Principal and Deputy Director to the RSC  with an impressive portfolio of program and policy work spanning local, national and international work.

Read about Anne's recent experience and successful assignments here:

  • Founding Principal for the UTC in Media City UK taking it from its vision to an oversubscribed reality;  UTC@MediaCityUK
  • Established Camden City Learning Centre in 2004; Camden CLC
  • Deputy Director to the Regional Schools Commissioner (Lancashire & West Yorkshire)
  • Programme of Governance, Performance and Growth Strategy
  • Head of ICT at the Education Funding Agency (EFA), part of the Department for Education
  • Educational Transformation (ICT Introduction) Programme
  • Keynote Speaker in the UK, China, Canada and the US; Linked In - Anne Casey

Email Anne via the button below, or call her on 07514 471495.

Sarah Pittam

Sarah Pittam

Sarah Pittam - Associate, Lock House Consulting

Sarah is an executive, non-executive director and adviser within the education sector. She is a Regional Director for Academy Ambassadors and advises RSC offices in governance and financial turnaround situations. She has expertise across finance, operations, governance, capital projects, free school application writing, procurement and HR. She has successfully project managed the set up of three new primary schools in London from writing the application to welcoming children on their first day. She has been the Vice Chair of an Interim Executive Board; a member of a LGB and is currently a non-executive director of Bourne Education Trust, a growing multi-academy trust of 14 schools. Sarah has an MBA from INSEAD.

Email Sarah via the button below, or call her on 07711 179719


Cambridge Education-Working in partnership with Lock House Consulting to increase capacity.

The demand for Lock House Consulting's academy partnership services has recently increased. To support this, Lock House Consulting has entered into a partnership with Cambridge Education (part of the Mott MacDonald Group) to deliver and enhance the project management services on offer.

Cambridge Education has been involved in academies from the outset of the programme and has a successful track record in both project management and educational support. They have significant experience of single and multiple sponsored academy conversions and have recently been supporting Salisbury, Bath & Wells and Rochester dioceses on MAT development / sustainability and academy conversion processes.

Lock House Consulting has worked with Cambridge Education on a number of projects over the past 3 years including Salisbury Diocese MAT, Wimborne Academy Trust and the Academy Trust of Melksham. Both companies understand each other and share the same values, methodologies and practices. The partnership brings enhanced experience, capability and capacity to provide schools with flexible and targeted support, advice and guidance. It ensures that Lock House Consulting maintains its personal quality service to its clients whilst increasing the capacity available for schools and for larger projects within its portfolio.

Read more about Cambridge Education here:

Cambridge Education has provided award winning education services for over 20 years in the UK, America and around the world. The organisation was formed when Cambridge Education Associates (CEA) and Cambridge Education Consultants (CEC) merged. The consultancy is a member of the Mott MacDonald Group, a leading management, engineering and development consultancy with nearly 16,000 staff, 180 offices in nearly 50 countries and projects in 180.

The company provides support to all aspects of services to children and young people and believes passionately in giving children and young people the best possible start in life. Cambridge Education has a strong record in supporting schools, academies, local authorities, central and local government in doing this and is continuously developing and improving its services to provide clients with new and innovative support. Following a successful corporate career Shelley set up Lock House Consulting in early 2009 to focus on providing services to education by combining her stakeholder engagement and commercial business skills together with her education leadership.