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About us

We have been improving schools since 2011

Our multi-academy trust was founded 10 years ago by Education Development Trust, an international company with charitable status that has been providing a range of education services all over the world for over 50 years.

Since starting out under the name CfBT Schools Trust with just three schools, Anthem now serves over 8,000 children and young people in 16 schools across the East Midlands, London and Thames Valley. 

All our schools are unique, and each has something special to offer. This rich diversity is what inspired us to change our name in the summer of 2019. We are no longer simply a ‘Centre for British Teachers’ (CfBT), but a place where everyone, wherever they are from, has an opportunity to learn and grow, and to be valued for what they bring to our community of schools.

Together, we create ambitious and successful schools where every child thrives.

Our executive team

Andy Yarrow

Chief Executive

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Sheila McKenzie

Chief Operating Officer

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Marie-Claire Bretherton

Director of School Improvement and Education Director

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Jane Coley

Education Director, Secondary

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Andy Yarrow

Chief Executive

Former Headteacher Andy joined Anthem (formerly CfBT Schools Trust) in March 2017 having spent three and a half years at Oasis Community Learning as a Regional Director for the London and South East Region. During this time, he was responsible for primary, secondary and all-through academies, including Fresh Start and converter academies and newly established free schools. Prior to joining Oasis in 2013, Andy was Founding Principal of Chelsea Academy and Headteacher at Hornsey School for Girls in Haringey. Both schools achieved outstanding Ofsted judgments during his tenure.

Sheila McKenzie

Chief Operating Officer

Sheila joined Anthem (then known as CfBT Schools Trust) as Finance Director in February 2014, becoming COO in November 2017. A qualified accountant with 15 years’ experience in the voluntary sector, Sheila’s previous roles include senior finance positions at an organisation that supports people with learning difficulties, and a membership organisation that supports the NHS. Sheila also acts in a voluntary capacity as trustee of SOS Sahel UK, a small international development charity that works primarily in Sudan, and the National Deaf Children Society.

Marie-Claire Bretherton

Director of School Improvement and Education Director

Marie-Claire is Anthem's Director of School Improvement. She is also Education Director for three of our primary schools based in and around Lincolnshire, and for The Deepings secondary school near Peterborough. In addition to being a National Leader of Education, Marie-Claire chairs the Lincolnshire Teaching Schools Together board, a coalition of six teaching schools working to secure transformation school improvement in Lincolnshire schools.

Jane Coley

Education Director, Secondary

Respected educator Jane Coley has been teaching for 18 years, most recently as Principal at Brakenhale School in Berkshire, which was transformed under her leadership. In her various leadership roles, Jane has earned a reputation for working at a rapid pace to improve progress and standards in her schools. She is also well known for her work as a national lead for PiXL6 (Partners in Excellence) where she works alongside over 500 schools to lead improvement for Sixth Form students.

Interested in working with us?