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Mark Blois, Partner and Head of Education, Browne Jacobson LLP (Chair)
With over 20 years' experience as an education lawyer, he has been recommended as a leader in his field. For the last eight years, Mark has been the Chair of the L.E.A.D Academy Trust, a large multi-academy trust in the Midlands. He is a Trustee of NASEN and also a non-executive legal advisor to the National SEND Forum. He has been interviewed by BBC Panorama, Radio 4 and Sky News, and has contributed over 100 papers, articles and book chapters to education literature on a variety of aspects of education law. 'Insightful, highly responsive and knowledgeable. His understanding of issues in the education sector is second to none,' Chambers 2020.
Liz Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Djanogly Learning Trust
Liz Anderson is CEO of Djanogly Learning Trust, a multi-academy trust based across Nottingham and Derbyshire. A former headteacher, her mantra is “children first” and all decisions are filtered through this belief. It is her passion to make a difference and ensure that all children get the same opportunities to succeed at a high level, whatever their starting point. Her positive impact on school improvement and system leadership has been recognised through her designation as National Leader of Education and Pupil Premium Reviewer.
Louise Bennett, Senior Associate, Browne Jacobson LLP
Louise works within the government and infrastructure team at Browne Jacobson and specialises in high-value transactional matters public procurement matters. She provides advice to public bodies on their duties and obligations under the public procurement regime and how to run successful and compliant procurement exercises; and managing and mitigating the risk profile of a procurement process. Louise has also successfully defended a number of potential challenges to the award of public contracts avoiding the need for clients to engage in costly procurement litigation. Louise regularly provides training to the public sector on the public procurement regime, in particular around mitigating and managing risk situations in public procurement.
Karen Burns, CEO, Victorious Academies Trust
Karen is an experienced school leader having worked in a multi academy trust since April 2015, taking on the role of CEO in January 2016. During 2017 Karen led discussions with the DfE, Regional Schools Commissioner and former sponsor to relaunch the Trust. Victorious Academies Trust was launched in January 2018 and currently comprises of seven primary academies with additional schools under application. Subsequently Karen has supported a small MAT in Cumbria in the role of interim CEO and is currently mentoring two MAT CEOs in Greater Manchester and supporting a local primary school, as a School Improvement Officer
Ian Buss, Managing Director, Education Banking Consultancy
Ian worked for 30 years in the banking industry, prior to becoming managing director at the Education Banking Consultancy. This included more than 15 years focused on the education and not for profit sector (with the last 10 focused exclusively on the academy and independent school sectors). This has given him a unique insight into the academy sector. He built the education team and proposition for academies at a major bank in 2010 and led the team to grow market share from 12% of academies in 2010 to more than 70% by the end of 2018. His expertise can significantly improve financial efficiencies, returns, and risk management in multi-academy trusts. Ian has held voluntary posts as both a school governor and a trustee at an Education Governance charity.
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.
Chris Jermy, Head of Business Development, Zenergi
Since joining Zenergi in 2013 Chris has undertaken a number of roles, predominantly focused on supporting education, I&C and Local Authority customers fulfil their energy needs better. Chris has covered most roles within the sector at some point, including account management, energy procurement, leading a complex query specialist team, compliance (Chris is an accredited public buildings and domestic energy assessor), energy auditing, renewable feasibility studies, and project management. More recently Chris has taken on the position of leading the business development team. Chris’ broad understanding of the energy world helps to bring a well-rounded understanding to any customer enquiry.
Will Jordan, CEO and Co-founder, IMP Software
Will Jordan FCCA has worked with Academies and MATs since the first ‘phase two’ Academies opened in September 2010. As a qualified accountant and financial technology specialist, Will now works with established Multi Academy Trusts to strengthen their financial planning and reporting processes by replacing legacy software with MAT specific, agile tools.
Stephen Mitchell, Director, Keystone Knowledge
Stephen has a background in strong educational management, now working with several organisations across the country, as well as being CEO of a high performing Trust. He is a Fellow of the ISBL. He completed his MBA with a thesis on Improving the Quality of Management in Education. Stephen is an accredited SRMA, supporting schools across the country, and helping schools put into place action plans which improve the use of resources and focus on ensuring better provision of services to children. Stephen is an advocate of the Sustainable Schools System, ensuring that Excellence in Teaching and Learning is paired with Operational Effectiveness and Financial Efficiency.
Stephen Morales, Chief Executive, Institute of School Business Leadership
Stephen has a 20-year career history in operations and finance, working at a senior level in the public and private sectors, both in the UK and abroad. Stephen presided over the development and implementation of nationally recognised school business leadership professional standards and led the transition from the National Association of School Business Management to the Institute of School Business Leadership. Stephen works closely with the Department for Education in areas of policy reform, and his commitment to research to aid our self-improving system includes ongoing engagement with international jurisdictions including Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the US.
Patrick Ottley-O’Connor, Executive Leader and Leadership Development Coach
Patrick has been a Headteacher/Executive Headteacher for 18 years across secondary, primary and special schools. He has facilitated on the National Professional Qualifications (UK) for Middle Leaders, Senior Leaders, Headteachers & Executive Leaders. In addition, Patrick has worked alongside many MAT CEOs & Directors in redefining their values-based vision, structures & creating their MAT growth strategy. He coaches many aspiring, new and experienced SLT, headteachers and CEOs, particularly those facing significant challenge both in the UK and internationally. He was recently included in the ISC Research Edruptors 2021 list of top 75 international education influencers of the past year.
Stephen Sanderson, Chief Information Officer, Greenwood Academy Trust
Stephen is responsible for Information Technology and Business Systems, delivering a service designed for both staff and students. His overall strategy is to continuously develop a platform that enables educators and learners to collaborate, communicate, learn and achieve safely without boundaries. To accomplish this the team have developed a fully cloud based solution to embrace all IT systems whilst enabling significant financial savings for the Trust. The service allows users to securely access their applications and data from any location with a web enabled device and is a vital tool for MATs in the support of their strategic outcomes. Taking this knowledge and expertise, Our Learning Cloud was formed, and the team now deliver their services to multiple MATs and schools across the UK.