Our Team - What makes us different

We talk a lot about culture. How we act with each other, what we believe in and the experience we bring to the table are all ways we know we have the best team for you.

At our core, we have the experience to understand: your challenges, your aspirations, your goals and your fears. We have great connections and a love of our industry and the impact we can all have on the education of young people.

We also believe in the personal approach. We are growing, but still at a size where we are agile, and can give you the time and dedication you need.


Our vision is for every child to receive an outstanding education, underpinned by excellent school and trust management.


To play our part towards achieving this, our mission is to provide schools and MATs with quality management services and solutions embedded in best practice and delivered by committed sector specialists.


We believe in creating partnerships with schools and trusts, and our values reflect the way that we work.

Pippa Lloyd, Head of HR talks about the Keystone values in practice

As a team and individually we:

act with
It is at the heart of everything we do and every decision we make.
to contributing towards school and sector improvement.
working together and sharing best practice.
act with
ensuring all our interactions are open, honest and accountable.
friendly and approachable, caring about the people we work with.

Meet some members of our team

Stephen Mitchell CEO and Founder

Stephen has spent over 10 years in the education sector and has held the positions of CEO, COO and CFO of a number of trusts. A qualified accountant with an MBA in which he focussed on MAT leadership, Stephen specialises in MAT strategy including growth and problem solving.

Stephen's key achievements are: supporting the rapid growth of several trusts whilst ensuring excellent educational outcomes and being a national voice for effective resource management. 

Matthew Clements-Wheeler

Matthew is an experienced school business leader with over 20 years experience in the education sector. Previously holding positions such as Chair of Trustees, Deputy Headteacher and School Buisnee Manager, Matthew is also the former Chair of the Institute of School Buisness Leadership. 

Matthew specialises in the non-teaching aspects of running schools and includes in his key achievements: supporting some of the best schools and trusts in the country and playing a significant role in turning around a number of the most challenging settings.

Pippa Lloyd

Pippa is highly skilled in complex cases and HR strategy in a trust setting, with diverse experience across primary and secondary schools as well as MATs of all shapes and sizes. With over 15years in HR, Pippa is a Fellow of the CIPD and combines a flair for making HR accessible with a tenacity for detail and a straightforward approach, ensuring that colleagues across the organisation can thrive and that schools can achieve their desired outcomes with minimum hassle and risk. 

Pippa lists her key achievements as: dealing with some very complex safeguarding cases and achieving positive outcomes from a wide variety of cases from supporting people in work through serious illness, supporting the implementation of health charters and reduction of staffing absences and setting up systems and processes that have left schools in a position to move forward smoothly for the long term.

Tracey Farwell

Tracey is an expereienced school and trust operations manager, having worked in the sector for over 15 years and holding the positions of Trust Business Manager, School Business Manager, CFO, Chair of Governors, Trustee and Trust Member. Tracey is a  Member of ISBL and an experienced and qualified School Business professional with a DSBM.

Tracey specialises in operational support and management to include HR, finance and audit, procurement, governance and clerking, hard and soft facilities management, health and safety, and responsible officer roles, and lists her key achievements as: Working with several schools and trusts to implement, improve and support effective change management within operational services. Coaching and mentoring teams and staff to achieve and improve services within schools.

Sheena Hodgson

Sheena is an experience COO with over 20 years in the education sector, including as Strategic Director of a MAT. Sheena holds a BSC in Information and Library Management, a Master’s in Education Management and Prince 2 Project Management award and she specialises in HR, marketing, findraising and large-scale capital infrastructure projects.

Sheena lists her key achivements as: Raising in excess of £3.6million in capital infrastructure grants, managing School HR restructures and managing organisational change.

Claire Bamford

Claire specialises in operational finance, including management accounts, budget setting, purchase ledger and payroll. Claire has spent her career carrying out finance functions in various sectors and is now supporting the education sector with her extensive knowledge through Keystone. 

Claire's key achievements include: solving complex payroll issues across multiple settings and working with third party suppliers to ensure efficient systems and processes are in place to support school resource management.


Les Keates

Les has 22 years’ experience in HR management. An associate member of CIPD and graduate of the City and Guilds Institute in leadership and management, Les brings a wealth of HR management skills to Keystone.

Les specialises in implementing HR processes and maximising team efficiencies and his key achievements include: supporting schools with oeople managemet to achieve their desired outcomes, developing effective operational best practice and change management processes and coaching and mentoring staff to improve HR and accounting services.

Sian Sweeting

Sian has spent much of her career working in schools and trusts, holding the positions of Academy Trust business manager, school bursar, governor, Chair of Governors and Clerk to Governors. She is a member of the ISBL and specialises in the operational support and management if schools, with experience in HR, finance & budgeting, audit work, administration, procurement, and health and safety.

With over 16 years expeirence in the sector, Sian has a common sense, calm approach to problem solving and is proud of the relationships that she has built witht he people she works with accross multiple academies and maintained schools. She holds the CSBM and DSBM qualifications and has recently achieved a Masters in Educational Business Administration. Sian is also a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute

Keystone Knowledge

Registered Office: Nightingale Way, Etwall, Derbyshire DE65 6RT

Keystone Knowledge is a Registered Company in England, no. 12092122

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