What makes us different?
Track Record and Experience.
We have been in the education consultancy and recruitment services business for over ten years and we bring our skills, knowledge and understanding to bear on each and every assignment or project to make sure we deliver effective and efficient solutions. Most of our business is repeat business, as we are known throughout the sector for the quality of our delivery.
Our people are all from the education sector; they’re our greatest asset. To ensure up to date advice, guidance and support, where necessary we broker support from serving practitioners. Our experience makes a difference to the outcomes we can achieve with specialist understanding of the sector from all angles.
Established in 2005, Navigate specialises in school improvement and the recruitment and development of senior leaders in education. Working across the entire spectrum of providers – schools, academies, free schools, UTCs, studio schools, pupil referral units and special schools, we have supported over 3000 different education providers on a wide range of projects.
We also operate at system level, working with academy sponsors, multi-academy trusts, local authorities and other education providers. As education specialists we know the market inside out and appreciate the importance of effective practitioner-led consultancy services.
In addition to our school improvement and recruitment services, Navigate previously sponsored nine academies in South Yorkshire and the Tees Valley so we have worked with both external clients as well as our own academies to provide effective school improvement support and education resourcing solutions. Therefore, we share an insider’s view of the new agenda in education, understanding the opportunities and challenges around MAT development.
Due to our unique position, we bring a detailed knowledge of the new regulatory environment in education and a broad understanding of the specific opportunities and challenges offered through a multi-academy trust environment.
As Managing Director, Jo leads Navigate’s client work across the UK, with overall responsibility for key client management and strategic development. Jo brings particular experience in assembling strategic teams to support long-term school improvement.
A founder director of the company, Jo joined Navigate from Tribal Resourcing, where she directed a wide range of senior public service leadership appointments enabling her to develop strong links throughout the sector.
Prior to starting her consultancy career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Veredus (Part of Capita) and Tribal PLC, Jo worked at the interface between education and training providers and business and employers. She specialised in the field of research and policy in education and skills, further education and the New Deal for Communities programme.
Since forming Navigate, Jo has supported a wide range of clients nationally, working with schools, local authorities and multi-academy trusts. In addition to this she was formerly the Chair of Navigate Academies Trust, this governance role has given her great insight into the opportunities and challenges facing those the most senior levels in the sector.
Jo was also a member of the Leeds University Business School Advisory Board.
Helen brings valuable experience from senior leadership positions in education as well as the private sector, giving her a deep understanding of the challenges faced by a rapidly changing and competitive education system.
A qualified teacher and senior leader who has worked extensively on the Academies Programme since 2008, Helen has led on the delivery of over 40 successful academy projects (including PFI and Diocesan projects). She has worked directly for the DfE, local authorities and multi-academy trusts.
Prior to joining Navigate she was the Director of Development & Governance at the David Ross Education Trust (DRET), a large MAT. In this role she was responsible for the successful conversion of 32 academies as well as opening the Trust’s first Free School and submitting two further successful Free School applications.
Successfully achieving this growth involved fostering excellent working relationships with DfE personnel, at all levels, across a number of RSC regions. This recent first-hand experience of the Academies and Free School programmes is a significant strength that Navigate’s clients can benefit from.
Helen has also been a Governor at Carmel College, an outstanding Catholic Sixth Form College, for over 15 years.
Rachel brings an enviable depth of experience in schools, local authorities, national government and academies and has been at the forefront of developing sustainable and innovative models of school improvement. Rachel’s career began as a practitioner and senior leader in London in both mainstream and special education settings.
On becoming a headteacher Rachel steered a number of schools out of Ofsted category as well as supporting other schools as an associate and executive head teacher, cross phase. Rachel left her last headship in 2003 to work in her local authority as a senior school improvement officer, leading the National Strategies and eventually the school improvement team.
In 2007 Rachel went to work with the DCSF and National Strategies to develop and implement the School Improvement Partner programme before moving in 2008 to Northamptonshire County Council where she delivered rapid and sustainable improvements in outcomes for children and young people, ultimately as Chief Education Officer. During this time, she led many initiatives paving the way for school led improvement and traded services.
Rachel eventually left her post of Chief Education Officer in 2013 and worked for the David Ross Education Trust before joining Navigate Academies Trust in May 2014 as Acting Chief Executive. As such Rachel has recent and in-depth knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing the sector.
Rachel is also a trained OfSTED inspector.
Tracy has an excellent track record in leading and managing academy conversions and supporting newly formed multi academy trusts (MATs) particularly around effective financial governance and control and has mentored newly appointed MAT Finance and Business Directors.
Tracy also brings vast experience in the identification of cost efficiencies and restructuring of key services which have resulted in improved outcomes for students. Tracy brings experience of leading and advising on various significant change projects, liaising with Members, Trustees and Governors, CEOs and other key stakeholders. She is highly motivated with demonstrable impact in achieving value for money, improving key personnel’s business leadership skills and ensuring improvements and compliance in financial governance and controls.
Tracy is also a governor at a local primary trust and is committed to system leadership and the sharing of good practice within the education finance and support services sector.