Chair of Trustees
With over 30 years’ experience in UK education and children’s services, Elaine is an influential figure who has achieved positive change in how regional and national education is delivered, managed and perceived. Her career has spanned public, private and third sectors, with her last executive role being at Serco. Since leaving her executive roles, Elaine has held a portfolio of board roles including chairing Minerva Education, Chairing the National Children's Bureau, being Non-Executive Director for Acorn Care and Education, Non-Executive Director of Birmingham Children’s Hospital and a Governor at Staffordshire University.
Vice Chair of Trustees
Ian was formerly Finance Director of The National Lottery Community Fund and continues to act for the fund in an advisory capacity. He represents the Fund’s interests as Director of The Oversight Trust (formerly Big Society Trust) which safeguards the funding and approach of four organisations distributing monies under the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts scheme. Ian’s role at the fund encompassed responsibility for all Corporate Services including Finance, Technology, HR, Legal and Property.
Ian is also a Non-Executive Director of Beatfreeks arts, a Birmingham based social enterprise supporting young people into employment through Arts activities. He also acts as an advisor to a number of organisations on finance related matters.
Dr Sue Soan
Chair of the Strategy and People committee
Dr Sue Soan is a part-time university lecturer, working with doctoral students on studies relating to additional educational needs. She is also an educational adviser for fostering organisations and schools and undertakes consultancy and supervision work with school leaders.
Prior to 2003 Sue taught in nursery settings, primary mainstream and special schools for over 25 years, as a classroom teacher, a subject coordinator (mathematics) and a special educational need’s coordinator (SENCO).
Her areas of expertise and research interest are special educational needs and the SENCo role, motor and coordination development, multi professional working, Looked after Children, autism and clinical supervision.
Chair of Finance Risk and Audit Committee
Simon is an experienced NED and Consultant. He spent his executive career in Chief Financial Officer and Financial Director roles in Financial Services for Skandia, Aegon and L&G.
Jeremy is a senior civil servant with many years of experience of digital service transformation. An early member of the Government Digital Service, Jeremy has worked with public sector organisations including the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy, Department for Education and Foreign and Commonwealth Office to deliver better public services that are digital by default and build user centred design capability across government.
Lisa is CEO and College Lead, established post 16 alternative provision, Specialist College for Creative Education. 20 years’ experience of teaching and leading, 10 being senior management and Designated Safeguarding Lead, within areas of high deprivation and high SEN need.
Mark is Head of the Education Team at Browne Jacobson. Mark has over twenty years’ experience as an education lawyer. He is recommended as a leader in his field in the industry bibles Chambers UK and Legal 500. Chambers UK has dubbed him “an industry leader” and Legal 500 has entered him into their 'Hall of Fame'.
Penny is CEO at The Bridge London Trust, and is currently a member of the Specialist SEND Reference Group, chaired by nasen. She was also a founding trustee for the Chartered College of Teaching (CCoT).
Phillipa Sherlock Lewis
Phillipa Sherlock Lewis is the CEO of PACT, a multi academy trust in Birmingham. PACT is dedicated to providing an excellent education especially for those with special needs. With two decades in education, her leadership in inner-city communities has offered a unique perspective. Under her guidance, PACT has grown significantly, recently opening five resource bases for 150 SEND pupils. Beyond her role, Phillipa champions inclusion, embracing diversity of thought, especially neurodiversity. Overcoming dyslexia, she sees it as her superpower. Her journey also involves raising awareness about alopecia, fostering an inclusive society.