Growing and Developing a Trust - London - Speakers

Wednesday 22 Mar 2023
ILEC Conference Centre, London

Hugh Greenway, CEO, Elliot Foundation (Chair)

Hugh has led the Elliot Foundation, which is a thriving family of 12,500 children in 29 primary schools since its inception in 2011. Over the same period, he has supported many other school trusts with their organisational design. Before Elliot he ran education businesses across Europe for the IIR Group and Reed Global, forging partnerships with Google, chartered sector bodies and leading universities. He serves on both the British Council’s and EPI’s education advisory boards and is a council member of the Federation for Education Development.

Charlotte Antoniou, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP

With 10 years’ experience in the education sector, Charlotte has recently joined Browne Jacobson LLP to head-up their London-based education practice. Charlotte specialises in advising maintained schools, academies, multi-academy trusts and their sponsors on an array of legal matters, including collaborative structures, re-brokerages, governance, data protection, admissions, exclusions and special educational needs issues. She is ranked by Chambers and Partners as a notable practitioner and has advised on over 300 academy conversions and 60 free schools to date.

John Barneby, Accounting Officer and COO, Oasis Community Learning

John oversees the national service provision of OCL and supports the CEO to deliver exceptional education. He has overall responsibility for People, Finance, IT, Communications, Property & Estates and Strategic Projects, ensuring an accountable, value for money and outstanding quality service is delivered to all Oasis Academies. John is passionate about OCL’s responsibility as an education provider to protect the environment for current and future generations. OCL are on a journey to becoming Net Zero and this is being moved forward by several initiatives including installing solar panels across the estate, moving to LED lighting and investing in sustainable food programs.

John Brennan, Director, Glove Consulting

Glove Consulting was founded by John Brennan who has over 25 years’ experience in the sector. They now work with all types of public sector and education institutions, including multi academy trusts, providing advice, direction, and insight across the full spectrum of engagement, culture, communication, reputational and brand related issues. Their mission is to use their unique combination of experience and skills to deliver a considered and strategic development solution that fits you, your organisation and your stakeholders like a glove. John is currently working with several trusts nationwide providing advice on formation, growth and narrative development strategies.

Ed Butcher, Co-founder, Habitude

Ed is co-founder of Habitude, the workflow platform for growing MATs. Since launching the Habitude platform in mid 2022 he has spent his time helping Trusts build the infrastructure they need to run consistent processes. Until August 2021, he was CEO of a London MAT, Day One Trust. He is a Founder of Outstanding 16-19 Academy, East London Arts & Music (ELAM) and was formerly a Director at Teach for All & Ambition Institute.

Paul Cook, Managing Director, Homes2Inspire

Paul is a qualified Social Worker with over 40 years’ experience in children’s services, holding Management and Senior Management roles for the majority of that time. His career spans 13 years working within Local Authorities working across Central Government, 17 years in the Private Sector, including working for large outsourcing companies and private equity backed businesses with a focus on growth and acquisition. This included spells working overseas in the UAE and USA. For 9 years Paul was Vice Chairman of the Independent Schools Inspectorate and also a non-Executive Director of Hyde Housing Group (Housing Association) and currently chairs the Board of one of the country’s largest equestrian societies. He is currently Shaw Trust Managing Director of Children’s Services sitting on the SLT joining in 2017 following Shaw Trust acquisition of The Prospects Group.

Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services, Browne Jacobson LLP

Emma is the Head of HR Services and manages the team responsible for providing HR consultancy services to a range of clients across multiple sectors.


Lee Mason-Ellis, CEO, The Pioneer Academy

Lee Mason-Ellis commenced at Stewart Fleming Primary School in 2008 as the Head Teacher.  At the time the school was in Special Measures but has since been graded as Outstanding in all categories by Ofsted. Lee has been fundamental in the development of The Pioneer Academy which was started with the prime objective of raising educational achievement for children and ensuring the highest standard of care and guidance.  Under Lee’s direction, The Pioneer Academy has developed a cluster of successful schools in Croydon, Bexley, Bromley, Kent, Surrey and Brighton.

Androulla Nicou, CEO, Connect Education Trust

Androulla Nicou is the Chief Executive Officer of Connect Education Trust. An experienced school leader with over 32 years in the profession, she is a strong believer in the power of excellent education to transform lives. The Connect Education Trust has been established since 2016 and currently comprises of six primary academies, one all-through sponsored special school, and an additional school under application. Androulla has supported a number of Heads and smaller Trusts in London.

Daniel Oakes, Headteacher, St. Bartholomew’s Primary Academy

Dan has worked in education for over 25 years. He is currently the Headteacher of St. Bartholomew’s Primary Academy in Wiltshire, a growing two from entry school which is a member of the Dioceses of Salisbury Academy Trust (24 schools). As the Digital strategy lead for the Trust and an Apple Distinguished Educator he is an advocate of how technology can make a huge difference in education when used purposely.


Hayley Porter-Aslet, Interim Business Manager, Holy Trinity CofE Secondary School

Hayley is an experienced leader and non-executive director of schools and MATs. Hayley is a chartered accountant, qualifying in the FMCG industry before joining the public sector in 2007, working as a strategic Business & Finance Lead for the largest Local Authority in the country. Hayley moved into education, as COO and CFO in academies and multi academy trusts, in 2011. During her time in education, Hayley realised there were significant gaps in the market to support the public sector in terms of property management, FM and compliance and went on to lead a large multi-disciplinary consultancy in 2019, bringing her experience of being a public sector client and understanding their needs and the challenges they face.

Anne Slade, COO, The Pioneer Academy

Anne Slade has extensive knowledge of the corporate and operational support functions of schools, having worked in this area of expertise for over ten years. Anne started working with The Pioneer Academy in 2013 when they supported a school outside of the Trust.  Her role as Chief Operating Officer encompasses strategically ensuring the most effective use of resources in the support of the learning objectives over all the schools, and the Multi Academy Trust.

Paul Stone, CEO, Discovery Schools Academy Trust

Discovery Trust is a multi academy trust of 15 schools, with 13 primary and 2 all through special schools. Paul began his career in Lincolnshire, progressing his career to become Headteacher of Kibworth CE Primary School, the founding school of Discovery Trust. Paul has a deep passion for narrowing the gap for the disadvantaged and providing the very best opportunities for learning for all children and colleagues. Throughout his career, he has chosen to work with schools where collaborative learning and the removal of barriers to support everyone to achieve are at their heart.

Helen Turner,  CFO, Shaw Education Trust

A qualified School Business Manager, Helen has experience of working with groups of schools, as well as at Local Authority level. Most recently she was working with a number of schools that are now part of Shaw Education Trust. Helen currently works as the Trust's Chief Operating Officer and Finance Director, ensuring that every operational and financial decision impacts positively on students.

Anna Upton, Deputy Trust Leader, EMBARK Federation

Anna is dedicated to improving the life of each individual child, nurturing their strengths, personalities and interests to bring out the best in them. Anna is responsible for the implementation of the digital strategy, data, safeguarding, risk, and quality assurance strategies across the trust. She plays an integral role within the Trust leading, both strategically and operationally, the support, advice and guidance that enable the academies to succeed, and ensures the consistent delivery of Embark’s vision and core beliefs.