Head to Head with Tommy Cullen, Director of Finance at The Stour Academy Trust
Your current title / role:
Multi Academy Trust Director of Finance
Brief career background:
I started working in education the day after I left school in 2009, acting as the Admin/Finance assistant in a 2FE School. Within 18 months, I became the acting Finance Manager of the school and brought forward a large revenue surplus. In 2013 I began working across two schools whilst converting to academy status and running the academies finances. In January 2016 I began working in the central team as Academies Finance Manager in a Kent and East Sussex based Multi Academy Trust (MAT) which grew from five to nine schools over the summer of 2015. Here, I started to work closely with Antony, Russell and Laura from Michelmores' Education team.
I have recently joined The Stour Academy Trust, a MAT ranked within the top ten in the UK (Key Stage 2 results) as the Director of Finance. The Trust currently comprises seven Kent academies. I am really enjoying the job so far and have taken Michelmores' services with me!
What does a typical working day look like?
I'm always in the office by 7.30am to respond to emails and write my 'to do' list for the day ahead. Of course no day is ever the same but this is what makes the role exciting!
What did you have for dinner last night?
Mexican… a family meal for my Mum's birthday.
What was the last piece of music you listened to?
Ed Sheeran's latest album.
What was your favourite and most hated subject when you were at school?
My favourite Subject was History and my least favourite was English Literature.
What is the best thing about your job?
Making a difference and ensuring that all schools can achieve what they want with their funding to improve outcomes.
If you could change one thing about the current education system what would it be?
So little of the actual budgets are spent on educational resources as there is always a focus on buildings, further development and beyond. The new National Funding Formula (NFF) needs to be looked into to ensure future success across all academies.