A huge thank you to Karen Land, who retires after being with the Trust since its inception

Today is our last day working with the current CFO of Aspire Academies Trust, Karen Land. Karen is retiring after 32 years in the industry and has been an integral part of the Trust since its inception in 2014, she will be greatly missed. To say a huge thank you and to recognise her time with us, we spoke to Karen about her experience working in education.

How long have you been working in Education Finance?

I have been part of this industry for the majority of my working life. I started off as a school secretary in 1989. After 10 years in this role, I moved on to work for Hertfordshire County Council in the Financial Services for Schools team. I was promoted within this team and had responsibility for 10 financial advisers that supported schools in West Hertfordshire. I was supporting Bovingdon Primary School at the time the Academy programme started in 2010/2011. I was involved in the conversion when it became Bovingdon Primary Academy and then became responsible for Primary Academies across Hertfordshire.

How long have you been with the Trust?

I was appointed for the CFO position in 2014, starting my current role 3 months before the Trust officially opened in September 2014.

What is your best memory of working for Aspire?

There are too many to choose from, picking one memory would be too hard. I feel absolutely privileged to have worked with so many wonderful teams throughout the years, within Aspire and across all of the schools. I guess one of the very positive things that I take away from my time at Aspire, is the expansion of the Trust. We have grown from 3, to 6 schools and greatly expanded our central services Team. I have been part of a lot of development over the last 7 years.

What will you miss most about working with Aspire?

Initially it will be the contact with so many different people, I will miss that. My phone isn’t going to ring as much. It is definitely the staff and children that make the job what it is. You know that the pupils are at the heart of everything you do.

What are you looking forward to most about retirement?

I am very much looking forward to seeing more of my children and my grandchildren. I will soon be moving house and relocating closer to my family, we will only be a 15 minute drive away from one of our children, rather than 2 hours. I have been involved with many people that are part of Aspire for longer than I can remember, with CEO Vicky Parsey even teaching my daughter a long time ago. I will always feel part of the Aspire family and am thankful for the great time I had working there.