Executive Team

Emma Bradshaw OBE
Executive Principal/CEO


Emma is the Executive Principal/CEO of Alternative Learning Trust (multi-academy trust), having been Headteacher at The Limes College PRU in the London Borough of Sutton since 2006.  The Limes College was the initiating organisation for Alternative Learning Trust and converted to an academy within Alternative Learning Trust on 1 June 2019. 

Emma graduated as a teacher with a B.Ed. 2:1 from the University of Bangor in 1992, with a specialism in Outdoor Education, PE and SEND.

Emma holds a post-graduate Diploma in SEN/Behaviour, an NPQH, and is about to embark on studying for an MBA. She has led The Limes College in developing quality teaching and raising attainment which involved improving expectations and developing a full range of attainment and qualifications with clear pathways to positive destinations, including working with students to resolve their barriers to learning, and reintegration into mainstream schools.

Emma has introduced many interventions in the various settings in which she has worked; including writing and contributing to two books (Improving Behaviour and Raising Self Esteem in the Classroom, Walking the Talk), developing therapeutic interventions into the PRU and researching and developing evidence-based practice to address the impact of domestic violence, parenting work, multi-agency work, restorative approaches to reduce exclusion, and many other interventions.  Prior to 2006, she worked in all phases supporting, teaching and managing behaviour support services and provision for excluded pupils.  This work included a specialism in learning outside the classroom, targeted work, and training around inclusion issues for children at risk of exclusion from school.

Emma has worked in outdoor education centres and on a curriculum development project in Knowsley (supporting children at risk of exclusion through the use of outdoor education).   Emma co-ordinated the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Knowsley Local Authority and at school level whilst teaching in Hounslow.

Emma represents secondary schools, special schools and PRUs on Sutton’s Funding Forum, LSCP (Local Safeguarding Partnership), CAMHS Partnership Board and the Early Help Board and is Vice Chair of the Secondary Heads’ Group.  Emma has also led on the development in Sutton of the Vulnerable Pupils’ Panel (Sutton’s Fair Access Panel, which is the prevention and admissions panel to the PRU). 

Emma has given evidence to the Education Select Committee and the Domestic Abuse Bill, where evidence was also presented from children who have experienced domestic abuse. As 90-100% of the cohort ending up in PRUs and AP have domestic abuse in their profile. This links to trauma informed practice which is at the heart of Alternative Learning Trust. 

Emma currently represents PRUs and AP on a national stakeholder group with the Department for Education, looking at how policy and practice can be developed to support this vulnerable cohort. The group has been supporting policy and practice in response to COVID-19 and is working with the Department on developing commissioning, funding and practice for the future.

David Ward

Director of School Improvement

 BA (Hons), PGCE (ICT), MA, NPQH

David is Director of School Improvement for the Trust. He has over 20 years’ teaching experience, including 15 years in mainstream secondary schools.  In his last mainstream role, as Director of ICT, David worked on projects developing Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and SIMS for whole school use.  He has taught throughout the Key Stages, up to A Level, as well as having oversight of the Primary PRU provision.

David enjoys supporting colleagues and his interests lie in staff development, curriculum, teaching and learning, data, tracking and interventions, and assessment.  

David works directly with schools to bring about change and move settings through the improvement process with a rigorous, focused and ‘hands on’ approach.

Nigel Bennett

Director of Resources/Company Secretary/Data Protection Officer

BEd (Hons) CIPFA/ISBL Level 7 Certificate in School Financial and Operational Leadership

Nigel undertook a commercial apprenticeship and worked in training before embarking on a career as a secondary school teacher.  He has 13 years’ experience of teaching economics, business and secretarial studies to students and adult education.  He had responsibility for post-16 pastoral care and staff development.  

Since 2000, Nigel has worked in school management and administration overseeing workforce reform, the introduction of performance management for associate staff and single status negotiations.  He has managed a number of building improvement projects including establishing new primary PRU provision.

As Director of Resources and Company Secretary, Nigel is responsible for all non-teaching areas including finance, HR, administration, governance and premises management.  He will lead on due diligence and compliance for academy conversions. Nigel is also the Data Protection Officer.