Sonia Johnson

Chief Operating Officer

Sonia has built an extensive career in the public sector following her initial appointment as a TYS over 30 years ago. She worked in Local Government for 26 years, across a number of departments including adult social care, central payroll, children’s services, human resources, workforce / organisational development and education. Her last role before moving to the civil service was as Warrington Borough Council’s Children’s Workforce Lead where she managed the CPD service which provided training and support for over 11,000 staff working in schools, social care, youth, police, health, CAMHS and other children’s services and build a nationally recognised integrated workforce strategy which won funding for Common Assessment Framework training for staff in public services across Cheshire and Merseyside following recognition of exemplar practice in central government scrutiny committees.

WBC was a 4-star authority for the last 6 years of Sonia’s employment with them and she held a strong role providing organisation / workforce development during this time. This included reducing staff absence in schools by over 2 days per person, saving an estimated £2million in supply costs; delivering the school reform agenda and providing new alternative support staff structures for schools.

Sonia also built a new partnership agreement between the council youth service and Connexions, developed and implemented a Looked After Children’s Apprenticeship programme (which also linked in the local housing association who provided trade apprenticeships) which still runs, enhancing the corporate parent role of the council and making good use of her skills developed when working as a youth worker at 2 local youth clubs during her time with the council. Sonia then went on to work with DfE, working directly with the National College of Teaching and Leadership supporting Initial Teaching Training, Teaching School Alliance development and other development programmes in an outward facing role which latterly also included manging the field force supporting schools in the North West, Yorkshire & Humber and London and operating as the national fieldwork lead for ITT. During this time, Sonia also managed the Teach First and TPUK contracts, creating extensive savings in high profile areas.

Prior to leaving Sonia also implemented the development of national ITT networks which led to 55 schools networks attended by over 500 schools involved in School Direct Initial Teacher Training. Ove the last year, Sonia has worked with Manchester TSA, Yorkshire Inclusive TSA and a number of other schools as well Consilium Academies; supporting their development and growth, strategic and operational business planning and providing project management support before finally answering the call of Consilium to support the development of a new innovative multi-academy trust. Sonia is also a governor at Brookburn Primary, Manchester, and is supporting with their academy conversion process and MAT developments as well as delivering Information Workshops on academy conversion (practical focus) through MTSA.