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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.

Meet our leaders

Andy Yarrow

Chief Executive

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Sheila McKenzie

Chief Operating Officer

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Marie-Claire Bretherton

Education Director, East Midlands

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Karen Walker

Education Director, Primary, London and Thames Valley

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Anne Turner

Interim 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

Education Director, East Midlands

Marie-Claire is the Education Director for Anthem’s five 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 school.

Karen Walker

Education Director, Primary, London and Thames Valley

Karen oversees Anthem’s six primary schools based in London, Reading and South Oxfordshire. She has played a pivotal role in rapidly improving schools under her care, and leading work on primary assessment across the Trust. An experienced educationalist, Karen has worked with a variety of different agencies, local authorities and communities of schools on all aspects of school improvement. With a background in primary headship, Karen is also a trained coach and mentor for school governors through the National College and an accredited School Improvement Partner.

Anne Turner

Interim Education Director, Secondary

Since graduating from Imperial College in 1978, Anne has enjoyed a career of over 40 years in the state education sector as a science teacher, school leader, governor, and latterly, lead Ofsted Inspector and school improvement consultant. In 1992, Anne was awarded a Master’s degree in Education from the Open University. Throughout her career, Anne has maintained a passionate belief that every child has the right to high quality education regardless of their ability or circumstance. She is currently working with us on a part-time basis as an interim Education Director for three of our secondary schools.

Interested in working with us?