Trust Directors and Associates
Directors and Associates Statutory Information
The information contained via the link below, discloses the Business and Pecuniary Interests of the Fairfax Multi-Academy Trust (FMAT) Directors and Associates, together with any governance roles in other educational institutions, in line with the requirements of the Academies Financial Handbook.
Director Pen Portraits
Please find below a list of FMAT’s Directors and a brief summary of their background and areas of expertise.
Qualified Charter Accountant and Corporate Treasurer, previously held Finance and IT director posts in HSBC and worked within a number of other financial institutions. Founding shareholder/director of school advisory business, which was contracted by the DfE to undertake the “Schools Facing Challenging Circumstances” programme and provided education consulting services to the BSF programme. Currently shareholder/director of school support organisation providing school improvement software and services in England and Wales. Former Chair of large “Outstanding” secondary school. Has been a school governor for nearly 20 years. FMAT director to support social mobility and future prospects of all our students.
Retired HR Executive for Marks and Spencer with 20 years responsibility for UK and European stores . Following relocation to the midlands, I became a Non Executive Director in the NHS taking Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust to Foundation Status .
I have been Chair of Governors for a local primary school of which I am still a Governor. I joined Fairfax Governing body in 2012 as parent governor whilst my children attended the school and joined the Trust Board in 2016.
I am passionate about education and ensuring all students are able to access a balanced and fulfilling curriculum at the same time preparing them for the next stage of their lives.
I am a qualified financial manager with more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services sector. For the last seven years I have worked in finance within schools which provides me with an understanding of current issues and the financial operation of schools. I first became a school governor in 1993 and was elected to the governing body at Fairfax as a parent governor after my daughter began at the school in 2006 and have subsequently served continuously as a director, a member and latterly as a trustee.
I have just completed 38 years in the automotive industry both as an employee, mainly of BMW UK and Sytner BMW and, since 2001 as an owner and director of Cooper Solutions Limited, which I sold in December 2019.
Founding a start-up takes a mixture of belief, persistence and naivety; you have to keep getting up when knocked down, especially in the early years, while you also need to ignore how long it will take and how difficult it will be to really succeed, otherwise you probably wouldn’t even begin.
I want to bring that drive and determination to my role as an FMAT director where I have joined a tremendous team of people currently facing unprecedented issues and challenges.
I aim to balance my time supporting day to day provision of great education and preparedness for life after school, with the development and execution of a longer term, strategic plan that sees FMAT grow into a stand out, benchmark MAT in the Midlands and the UK.
I have enjoyed time as a parent governor at two primary schools while my three children were of that age. Whilst I am by no means an expert in education, I understand the impact inspirational leadership can have on any organisation. I will continue to support all the relevant people across FMAT as they optimise their time spent leading and inspiring the students to great success at school and beyond.
After studying Biochemistry at Swansea University and then completing a PhD in Biochemistry at Bristol University I worked in a variety of industries and sectors. Interestingly, the next step was into sales and consultancy, working for corporate companies such as Fujitsu, PWC and DMR, and using my technology knowledge to write various reports for the Financial Times.
Whilst I learnt a lot from my initial work experience, the best decision I made was to become self-employed 26 years ago, as a Business, Marketing and Innovation Consultant. This was linked to having children and needing more control of my time. Since then, I have worked mainly with SME owner managers across the Midlands and have met many inspirational people who have started their successful businesses from scratch.
I have also enjoyed the opportunity of working with students at Warwick Business School, Durham, Leicester and Coventry University; it has been a privilege to be involved with their academic studies and mapping out their future career paths.
I am grateful to be part of the Fairfax Multi-Academy Trust Board, where we focus on enriching the lives and transforming the futures of the young people we serve.
As a Corporate Finance specialist, I spent 30 years working for Lloyds Bank plc in a number of corporate lending roles, the last 17 of which were spent leading the regional teams specialising in the provision of leveraged finance to support Private Equity in the funding of management and institutional buyouts, corporate acquisitions and take privates. Over the last 5 years I have worked with a leading regional law firm sourcing funding for businesses and was also an ambassador for KPMG.
I have had little direct involvement in education apart from being a member of my children’s PTA committee, but hope to bring a fresh and enthusiastic approach to the non-exec role at FMAT and helping to bring to life the mission statement of the Trust.
During my career, I have had considerable experience of managing people, change management , marketing and business development, in addition to finance skills and I hope to bring to the trust the benefit of my experience in these areas, where I feel these can add value to the individual schools and wider MAT. The recent pandemic has shone a light on the need for increasingly great education provided by dedicated and talented teachers and I look forward to working with the team in providing the best outcomes possible for all students.
I am also currently a director of my local golf club, with close involvement in the running of that business.
Originally qualified as an optometrist, I practiced for over 11 years before embracing my entrepreneurial spirit and launching my first business, Adaptawear. A string of business endeavours ensued, and I am currently the co-founder of Word360 and have recently launched a new technology business, Wordskii.
Through my work at Word360, I am actively involved in supporting and promoting equality and diversity and I hope to bring this insight into FMAT. I have held several roles including Chair of my children’s’ school PTA and Board member of the ABCC- Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce.
I strongly believe that any child can become anything they put their mind to and with two children within the age group of the children across FMAT, have first-hand knowledge of current climate of education as well as the exciting opportunities available as they grow up.
Richard’s career has taken him through a variety of industries and geographies.
His first job was at British Airways Engineering in the 1990s, where he travelled all over the world helping to fix aircrafts. He left to do an MBA and then to a variety of consultancy roles at Bain & Co and Ernst & Young, where he continued to travel and learn. At this point he started to get more and more involved in IT projects and has been involved in IT ever since. When he moved to the Midlands 15 years ago, he helped set up a household removal software company and from there took on a number of CTO and IT Director roles. He is now a fractional IT Director and CTO. This means Richard concurrently provides IT leadership for a variety of mid-market companies, providing board level IT strategy and direction.
Richard has a degree is in Aeronautical Engineering with a specialism in Space Systems Engineering, resulting in the nickname ‘Rocket Scientist’! He also has an MBA from Cranfield University.
He has previously been a governor for a local school but had to leave due to relocating to Qatar. In terms of education knowledge, he is currently the IT Director for a school in Surrey and special needs FE college in Birmingham.
As a former Facilities Manager and Operations Manager, Paul has worked on various properties including Retail, Food & Beverage and Sports Stadia. He has been influential in implementing and monitoring ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards and has led from the front in driving and maintaining a rigorous Health and Safety culture, as well as managing security and cleaning contracts and other various aspects of property management.
Paul is driven to help make a positive difference to the lives of FMAT students and staff, making their experience an enjoyable and safe one, whilst ensuring that all students have the means to achieve their life goals.
Paul is committed to promoting the values and mission statement of FMAT throughout his time in his current roles.
Whilst working with schools both nationally and internationally, Mick has extended and developed innovative approaches to learning and initiatives to push the boundaries for making learning better.
During his career, Mick has been a teacher and head teacher before working at senior levels in Birmingham and Manchester Local Authorities. He worked at a national level with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority where he was Director of Curriculum.
Mick’s experience also includes: Working at national policy level with the Welsh Government; being an Honorary Professor of Practice at the University of Wales Trinity St David; supporting several educational causes e.g. Values Based Education, SAPERE, the Curriculum Foundation, the National Association for Environmental Education and the CoEd Foundation which promotes compassionate education.
Mick believes that learning should be treasured and valued and that it needs to be shaped to fit with children’s lives as well as structured to help society meet the promise of the future. He is passionate about the role of education in improving life chances for students. He enjoys asking adults to look at learning through the eyes of a student.
Having spent 25 years working in the education sector, I was delighted to be appointed as CEO of FMAT in February 2020. Previously, I have held a wide range of senior MAT and school leadership positions, including Deputy CEO of a mixed phase MAT, Executive Head of a group of secondary academies and Principal of a secondary Church Academy. During these roles, I have led on many areas including school improvement, quality assurance, curriculum development and finance. Originally, I started out as a Chemistry teacher in Nottinghamshire, having previously honed my chemistry skills for a year at ICI.
I have always highly valued the opportunity to develop others and have also committed time and energy to coaching and delivering training sessions including some at national conferences.
It is only when we come together and combine our collective energy that we will genuinely benefit the communities we serve.