Meet the Team
Paul Harris - Chief Executive Officer
Paul has spent all of his teaching career in the east end of London, leading two of our schools in his then role of Executive Head Teacher, to Outstanding with Ofsted. Paul is passionate about ensuring that all children are given the very best life chances and has a proven track record of tackling key contextual issues to lead schools rapidly and sustainably to being outstanding in all categories.
Awarded Head Teacher of the Year in 2015 by TES, Paul is also a National Leader in Education (NLE) and school improvement advisor working with schools in challenging circumstances. Paul is also a regular speaker at educational events, particularly after his involvement as a member of the DfE’s Rochford Review.
Karen Shirt - PA to the CEO and Company Secretary
Karen joined Curwen Primary School in 2015 as PA to Paul Harris. Over the last few years, her role changed drastically in line with Paul’s own growing and developing role, and she was the Head of Governance and Compliance for 8 years until she retired in 2023, Karen has continued in her role as PA to Paul and the Company Secretary.
Ben Levinson OBE - Executive Head for Growth, School Development, Safeguarding and Assessment and Executive Head of Kensington Primary School
In his previous role as Headteacher at Kensington Primary School the school was recognised for its innovative work and held flagship status in all manner of areas from inclusion to wellbeing. The school launched Curriculum K, an innovative new curriculum specifically developed to provide the best outcomes for children and prepare them for life in the 21st Century. Kensington was Primary School of the Year and Mental Health and Wellbeing School of the Year in 2020 and Ben was awarded an OBE in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to education.
Ben has advised the Department for Education on workload and wellbeing and was part of the Expert Advisory Group responsible for the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter. He is a National Leader of Education, Chair of Well Schools, a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching, a Board member for Thrive at Five and an ambassador for the Youth Sport Trust, the British Council, and TeachActive.
Taz Mansuria - Chief Finance Officer
With a Level 7 in Strategic Management and Leadership and 15 years Management/Leadership experience in varied industries and fields, Taz's current role is in management of the Finances at Trust level, working closely with the Finance Director to deliver effective support to the schools within the Trust, enabling them to deliver the best opportunities for our pupils.
His spare time is spent enjoying writing and being around his loved ones, whilst getting a great deal of job satisfaction knowing he is able to give back to the very Education Sector that provided him with the tools to be successful.
Shazidur Rahman - Executive Business Manager Operations
Shaz has been working in the London Borough of Newham since 1997 in various capacities. He started working at Kensington Primary School in 2011 as a School Business Manager. The school became part of The Tapscott learning Trust in 2017 and Shaz's current role consists of supporting the schools in the Trust with Operation, Health and Safety, Facilities and Data Protection as well as continuing his role as School Business Manager at Kensington Primary School.
Helen Harris - Equality, Diversion and Inclusion Officer
Helen believes that people should come first and endeavours to understand the individual pupils, parents and staff she works with in order to support them to overcome any challenges to learning and accessing the workplace and the school community. She aims to continuously reflect in creative and innovative ways on the working practices across the trust so that as much time as possible is spent on working with people; this is whilst maintaining the highest standards of practice in regard to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice and other statutory requirements.
Helen takes the lead in equality, diversity and inclusion, inc. SEND, across TTLT. She started her teaching career in 1994 and undertook the NASENCo in 2001 during its first round; since then she has worked in several London boroughs focusing on developing effective SEND practice. During her time in Newham, she has had extensive experience working with pupils on the autistic spectrum and supporting their families. In the past, she oversaw the running of an ASD Resource Provision and for many years was the SENCo at Kensington Primary School. She has been part of the successful leadership teams of several schools throughout their improvement journeys. She now draws on her many years of experience to deliver Autism Educational Trust training, support other SENCOs to develop the SEND practice and ensure equality, diversity and inclusion within our schools.
Helen has received the Pearson National Teaching Silver Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education and is an assessor for the Inclusion Quality Mark.
Birte Brosig - HR & Payroll Officer
Birte joined The Tapscott Learning Trust in March 2019 as a Payroll & HR Officer, with more than 16 years payroll related experience, in both, the private and education sector.
Birte has been a Newham resident for 25 years and has worked in the Borough for the past 9 years, with maintained schools and Academy Trusts, acquiring specialist Schools Payroll & HR knowledge, with a focus on Newham specific subjects.
Her current role includes facilitating payrolls for all five Establishments of The Tapscott Learning Trust; working closely with the HR Manager, the School Business Managers and the Trust finance team.
In the past year, Birte has successfully completed the migration of the Trust’s payroll data to a new payroll provider.
Alice Thomas - Specialist Teacher Assessor
Alice works with the SENCO's across our 4 schools to assess children's learning needs. She is an associate member of the British Dyslexia Association and a member of the Professional Association of Specialist Teachers (PATOSS).
Keith Boothe - ICT Learning & Resources Manager
Keith comes from a background of computer aided graphics, working abroad for clients such as MTV, The International Boat Show, Barclays European Properties and The Cannes Film Festival. Years later he joined London Borough of Newham as a service ICT Technician and held various roles and responsibilities which included supporting 68 primary schools across the borough.
Keith then joined The Tapscott Learning Trust and is responsible for the smooth running and fit for purpose network infrastructure of the schools within the Trust. He brings over 17 years hands on experience of working within schools, ensuring that the ICT networks deliver a first class teaching and learning experience for all staff and children.
At present, he is migrating our schools to cloud based technology via Google to equip our children with skills for the future.
Clare Debenham - Governance Officer
As one of the Trust’s governance officers, Clare plays a key role in ensuring the Trust’s schools and governing bodies function efficiently. Since working for NPW in 2015, she’s taken a keen interest in ‘all things governance’ and, as part of the governance team, works to ensure that the Trust’s schools and governing bodies meet their statutory and legal obligations.
Georgina Neil - Head of Governance & Compliance
Georgina joined the Trust in April 2023 to support the effective organisation of governance within the Trust.
Georgina previously spent 8 years with The Education Space providing clerking services to multiple schools, both in Newham and surrounding boroughs.
Shella Lawrenson - Executive Head Teacher
Shella is the Executive Head Teacher for North Beckton and Ranelagh Primary Schools. She has worked in Newham schools since 1994 and has ensured that the children have been provided with the best opportunities possible. Shella is passionate about education being the stepping stone for future successes in life.