Our Board of Trustees benefits from a robust and comprehensive skill set and wealth of experience. Since 2016 we have worked together, sharing our individual strengths and areas of expertise to forge a strong team. We recognise the importance of both business and educational excellence in schools to enable every child to thrive and fulfil their potential in their own, unique way.
Mr Giles Allen – MBA
Board Chair and Member
Our Chair of Trustees, Giles, is an expert in Change Management, Strategy, ICT and Communications and is currently a partner in the Nicholas Allen Partnership. Giles specialised in strategic finance as part of his MBA, and brings this strength to our Board, particularly in the areas of Financial and Budget Management. Giles has worked with management teams from organisations including Royal Bank of Scotland, Rolls Royce, HBOS, Interserve, Cadbury, nPower and BT on Strategy Development and Presentation and on Stakeholder Engagement. Giles is currently studying for a masters in Systems Thinking in Practice, where he is developing his knowledge of techniques to solve complex problems and bring about change. Giles brings extensive experience of working with senior management teams to the role of chairing and to the development of people and systems across the Trust.
Miss Claire Grainger - B.Ed. Hons/NPQH
Chief Executive & Trustee
Claire Grainger has been a head teacher since 2007 and is an expert in Educational Leadership, Teaching and Learning. She has led three primary schools with varied communities in rural and inner-city locations in both the South West and West Midlands. Claire has been a Local Leader of Education since 2010 and previously, she was an active member on the SACRE board for 13 years. More recently, she was invited by the local authority to be a member of an Interim Executive Board (IEB) for a Secondary School, which including chairing the School Improvement Committee. As an LLE, Claire has supported a number of schools, particularly with raising attainment in Early Years and Phonics. Claire also works in partnership with the Bournville Teaching School Alliance, mentoring newly appointed head teachers and helping them implement operational systems, such as school self-evaluation and monitoring plans. Claire has also worked to establish the SSP (St Francis & Stirchley Partnership) which develops continuous improvement strategies focussing on Peer-to-Peer reviews, moderation and effective collaboration. Claire combines ongoing, hands-on experience as an Executive Headteacher with a passion for improving leadership in education.
Mrs Deidre Leeming - M.Ed/NPQH
Deidre has over 40 years’ experience as an education and leadership expert, with a skill set including Teaching and Learning, Educational Leadership, Performance Management, Recruitment and Safeguarding. Deidre served as a head teacher in Worcestershire and Birmingham for many years before becoming a school improvement advisor in Sandwell and Birmingham. During this time she worked with various primary schools and in particular supported the development of senior leadership teams. More recently, she worked as a leadership consultant, supporting a number of schools, academies and local authorities having completed a Chair of Governors’ Leadership Development Programme with the National College. In this role, Deidre mentors and coaches other governing bodies. Deidre is currently a trustee on the Victoria Academies Trust in the West Midlands. Deidre challenges and champions educational achievement for every child in our trust
Mrs Georgina Edgar
Georgina Edgar is an Associate Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Consultant at AECOM, an international environment and engineering firm, and has twenty years’ experience of health, safety and environmental compliance and Due Diligence in both private and public sector organisations. Georgina provides technical and management support to a range of clients across many sectors. Georgina brings a wealth of experience and skills with regard to EHS legal compliance and has a working knowledge of development and implementation of effective EHS programmes which underpin strategic direction and facilitate continual improvement. Georgina is delighted to share her skills and experience to support the Trust in the development of policies associated with our activities, premises, land and buildings.
Mrs Nishat Azmat - ACCA, PGCE, SFHEA
Board Vice Chair
Nishat is a qualified accountant who now lectures in Accounting at the University of Birmingham Business School, where she has worked for over ten years. Her role at the University builds on the experience she has gained working as an accountant in both industry and private practice. Nishat has also been a trustee for a charity for the last eight years. Nishat combines in-depth knowledge of education and finance, making her an invaluable member of the Board of Trustees. She brings a wealth of educational and governance experience, along with a commitment to financial rigour and a passion of education to her role.
Mrs Karla Mulrain-Gobbinsingh BSc(Hons), PGCE, NPQSL
Karla has over 20 years’ experience working in primary education, within church schools, where she has had roles at all levels of leadership, including governance. Her skillset includes experience in Teaching and Learning, Performance Management, Recruitment, Assessment and tracking of pupil attainment and progress. Karla is also a senior designated safeguarding leader. Most recently Karla has been acting headteacher, leading throughout the pandemic and navigating a range of challenging issues including significant changes in government guidance. Karla has a passion for classroom teaching and is committed to ensuring the positive educational experiences and outcomes for all children.
Mr Muhammad Qureshi
Muhammad Qureshi is a Human Resources Practitioner and has over 10 years’ experience working in a range of public and private sector organisations. Based in Birmingham, Muhammad has taken on a number of roles providing advice and guidance to government service providers across the UK. Through his breadth of experience and rich professional network he facilitates people development, strategic human resources management and effective conflict resolution. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the area of policy review; having originally qualified as a lawyer. He has worked with management teams across the NHS for several years supporting on strategic HR matters, compliance and governance development initiatives. He is currently a HR Business Partner in the Serco Group Plc. Muhammad has a keen interest in social values with a focus on creating healthy, productive, safe and inclusive workforces and will bring valuable skills to the Trust.