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Meet the Trustees and Members

Dorota Pawlowski - Member

Dorota is a senior associate in Trowers & Hamlins' Birmingham office which she joined in July 2011 from Shoosmiths.  Dorota specialises in all areas of housing management for registered providers and private residential landlords including homelessness, anti-social behaviour, illegal evictions, disrepair, leaseholder issues, general tenancy advice, possession, and housing–related court proceedings. She regularly represents clients in the County Court in various applications. She has advised extensively on the drafting of tenancy agreements and has reviewed registered providers' policies and procedures. Prior to working in private practice, Dorota spent 7 years working in-house at Birmingham City Council where she again specialised in housing management issues.

Dorota also speaks and trains regularly on all aspects of housing management issues. She is a Committee member of the Social Housing Law Association and joint chair of the regional branch of this organisation.

Professional qualifications, 1994- Admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of England and Wales. 1990 LLB Law – University College of Wales, Aberystwyth

Languages, Polish (fluent both written and spoken)

Gordon Tyler - Member

Gordon has worked for Marriott for almost 16 years.  Gordon spent most of this time in Finance, initially starting in a Shared Service Centre role in Luton before becoming a property DOF.  Gordon took on 5 different DOF roles becoming Cluster DOF for 8 Hotels in the UK before working as a GM for 4 years in Birmingham.  When he returned to finance again, it was in an above property role as Integration manager working on OFB rollout, then as Program Manager for Tetris and Orion deployments for Europe.

Lorne Pearcey - Member

Lorne has lived in Birmingham since 1989 and has been a school governor since 2008.  Lorne was initially elected as a parent governor at Colmore Infant & Nursery School and became Chair of Governors one year later, a position Lorne held until 2016. Following an ‘outstanding’ judgement from Ofsted in November 2011, at the suggestion of the Head, Lorne applied for and was appointed as an NLG, a role this continued until 2021. As an NLG Lorne has had the opportunity to work with a range of Chairs and governing bodies across the city and have enjoyed being able to share ideas and experiences.  Lorne has also carried out a number of External Reviews of Governance, and these have often led to further opportunities to support and give advice to fellow governors on other governing bodies.  Seeing a school improve and develop is definitely the most satisfying aspect of the role.  Lorne was involved in selecting the founding trustees for the College of Teaching and most recently have completed a position chairing an IEB.

Elizabeth Morgan - Member

Liz has been teaching for over 24 years, firstly in mainstream and 20 years in a Special School for pupils with Physical Disabilities and Complex Needs. Liz is originally ‘Primary’ trained but have taught across all departments and subjects; this has more recently included establishing a ‘19 to 25’ provision. Liz has also been responsible for developing the new Careers and Enterprise Strategy programme.

Liz’s previous responsibilities have included being a Director of Sports College, Head of Sixth Form, Health and Safety Manager, Manual Handling trainer and leading on work with families. Liz enjoys developing new and exciting projects/innovations in the curriculum, sourcing the funds, and then supporting staff to flourish.

Liz enjoys family holidays in Cornwall and hobbies include walking, glass fusing, and when she can, relaxing with a ‘G & T’ and a book or magazine.

Liz is passionate about helping people to develop their strengths, skills and ideas in order to provide the very best opportunities for pupils with SEND.

Andrew Simpson - Member

Andrew was born in Solihull and now lives in Coventry, near the Coundon Wedge, and just a stone's throw from Kingsbury Academy. Andrew is a RIBA Chartered Architect, and has have been working in the Midlands for over a decade now. Andrew has designed and built projects across the United Kingdom, but his career highlight has been working on SEN school buildings, including the new Tiverton SEN School in Coventry.

Andrew’s area of expertise is the building and maintenance of school premises. However, he has a number of interests outside of the construction industry. As well as hiking, camping and tending to his allotment, he especially enjoys volunteering; he has carried out a number of workshops with students from primary to university age, including pupils at Calthorpe Academy, and enjoys his time as a local Cub Scout Leader.

Julia Davey - Chair of Trustees

Julia has lived and worked in Birmingham since 2004.

  • 1:1 teaching for permanently excluded children and young people with a diagnosis of Autism.

  • School Advisor for the Communication Autism Team

  • City CAF coordinator

  • Strategic lead for SEND

  • National Educational lead for Tourette’s Syndrome

  • Head of Service, Education Safeguarding

Across all the above roles Julia has developed staff training programmes alongside coaching and supervision for individuals and teams.

In Sept 2020 Julia left Birmingham City Council to develop “Supervision in School”. Julia is currently working with an executive coach and a media consultant to create accessible and effective solutions to safeguarding supervision in educational settings. Julia is also working with Services for Education on a consultancy basis to support training and development for new Designated Safeguarding Leads.

Julia brings to Supervision in School over 20 years’ experience in Education and Social Care. Her roles have included school advisor, national safeguarding programme developer, strategic leader in SEND and safeguarding and qualified systemic supervisor in multiple contexts. With understanding of the daily challenges of a DSL in a school setting and wider safeguarding considerations Julia brings knowledgeable and sensitive insights alongside practical tools, to generate solution focused actions for individual cases and the whole school safeguarding system.

Paul Haggett - Vice Chair

Paul was born in Kidderminster and served his "Articles" with a small local firm of Chartered Accountants before moving onto a National firm of Chartered Accountants in Birmingham. After a number of years Paul moved back to a small firm of general practice Chartered Accountants advising on audit and taxation, but this is where he had his first experience in the "World of Insolvency", helping clients who were experiencing financial difficulties.

As a result Paul then moved to a specialist Insolvency Firm where they dealt with a whole range of corporate and personal insolvency solutions. Giving clients the appropriate advice to suit their needs. An opportunity arose to assist a trading company that were experiencing financial difficulties and required a "hands on" financial approach to be able to move forward successfully.

Paul assisted them in securing a major supply contract with the NHS which guaranteed the future of the business.  After his role there was completed, various other opportunities presented themselves amongst which was advising a Plc Debt Collection company that resulted in a move to London when they relocated their operations there. Returning to Birmingham, some years later he re-established his insolvency contacts and for the last 20 or so years,  has been involved with an insolvency firm in Sutton Coldfield.

Patricia Smart - Trustee

Pat has taught in five local authorities and an international school.  Having led Ofsted inspections and taken over the leadership or support of schools in crisis, Pat has wide experience of successful school improvement.  Pat has been designated as a National Leader of Education since 2009, with Greet named as a National support School.

Pat is currently a member of the Primary Head Teacher Reference Group at the DfE.  Pat has also served as a Member and Trustee on the Boards of a number of schools in special measures.

Dorota Pawlowski - Trustee & Member

See above profile

Richard Chapman - Trustee

Richard commenced his career in a large urban middle school, and after four years progressed to the position of Deputy Head at a primary school in West Sussex. After four further years, at the age of 30, he was appointed as Head Teacher of a small primary school in Kent.

In September 2001, Richard moved to become Head Teacher of a larger First School in Dorset. In 2005, following a review of schooling in the locality, Dorset County Council decided to scrap the three-tier education system with Richard instrumental in a complete re-organisation of schooling in the area; this involved redeploying staff, dealing with disaffected parents, managing a significant increase in pupil numbers and overseeing several building projects. In 2007 the new Primary School that Richard was leading underwent an OFSTED inspection, with the school being judged as Outstanding in all areas.

Following the successful OFSTED of 2007, Dorset LA seconded Richard for one term to a very large and extremely challenging Primary School in crisis on the South Coast; this secondment eventually lasted for one year during which time Richard successfully brought swift improvements to teaching and learning, pupil well-being and staff morale.

In April 2009, Richard decided to make the move to Special Education and took up the post of Head Teacher at an all-age generic Special School in Wiltshire. Richard quickly realised that there were significant problems in this school and in 2010 it was placed in Special Measures by OFSTED. Following rapid improvement, the school was removed from Special Measures in 2011 and in 2013 a subsequent OFSTED report rated the school as ‘Good’.

Following the successful inspection of 2013, Richard initiated a dialogue with two primary schools with whom the school shared a site, and in January 2015 he became CEO of Somerset Road Education Trust (SRET, a small MAT of one Special School and two Primary Schools).

In 2016, Richard became Principal of Calthorpe Teaching Academy in Birmingham, and subsequently Executive Head Teacher and founding CEO of Thrive Education Partnership, a Multi Academy Trust that has specialist schools in Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire

In 2015 Richard was designated as a National Leader of Education and since 2018 Calthorpe has been named as a National Support School.

Lucy Bennett - Trustee

Lucy has been working within the HR profession for nearly 20 years as a fully chartered member of the CIPD and is currently working as a People Partner for the General Dental Council in Birmingham. Over the years Lucy has undertaken roles within the public and private sectors via employers ranging from the NHS to Accenture and in addition to generalist HR has specialised in graduate recruitment for several organisations.

The best thing about HR for Lucy is the variety, 'you could be interviewing for a Head of Comms at 9am then advising a manager on how to support an employee diagnosed with cancer at 10am, followed by giving an employment law update at 11am. There’s no greater satisfaction than seeing people thrive at work.'

Lucy ended an eight-year term as governor of Kidderminster College last year and really enjoyed her time there where she was the EDI lead governor. During that period the college went from being a stand-alone to merging with Newcastle Colleges and a complete change of governance structure, so there was plenty of learning and new challenges for all involved which was a fantastic experience.

Lucy has a passion for developing young people and supporting them into employment in whatever they want to do.  Lucy has worked with EY Foundation in the past on their Smart Futures scheme and have mentored young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who were undertaking A-Levels and hoping to go onto university. Lucy has also most recently developed a resourcing strategy for the GDC which includes the aim to start to attract and develop young people within the organisation via apprenticeships and other non-traditional routes.

Lucy is originally from Shropshire and still lives in the county with her husband Pete and dog Boris, a miniature schnauzer with plenty of character and a rather unkempt look, Lucy will leave you to make the link there!

Lucy lives in Ironbridge which is a beautiful town if a little wet in the Winter due to the good old River Severn.

Lucy loves to travel or did pre-COVID and spend a lot of time in Spain, mainly due to the fact her parents live there.  Lucy is also food obsessed and Boris and her like nothing more than a long walk followed by some good food with her husband.

Sid Hopper - Trustee

Sid is a seasoned Business Transformation Specialist with over three decades of diverse industry experience. He regularly contributes to innovative projects, leveraging his extensive background in strategic planning, stakeholder management, and financial forecasting. Having held influential roles at organisations like BDO LLP, BNP Paribas, and EY, Sid has driven transformative initiatives and led many corporate finance transactions.

Sid is the founder of a business dedicated to revolutionising wholesale and connecting local shops to big brands. He also has leadership positions as a Non-Executive Director for two motor dealerships, providing strategic insights. Beyond his business ventures, Sid played a pivotal role in guiding a domestic abuse and modern-day slavery enterprise through its transformation into a charity, highlighting his deep commitment to social impact. In all his endeavours, Sid focuses on fostering positive change and good outcomes across a diverse range of business landscapes.

PJ Davies - Trustee 

PJ has had a career in fund management in Tokyo, Paris, London and Dublin. He used to lecture part-time at a French business school in London. He lives in Ireland but has strong connections to the Midlands: he was born in Cannock, his sister lives in Warwick, and he used to be a director of a Leicester-based MAT. His three adult children live in London and one of his partner's children is at university there.

He has a degree in modern languages from Oxford University and an MBA from Bayes Business School. He is currently enrolled in the FT Board Director Programme.  

Pastimes include sailing, motorcycling and occasional sea swimming.

Languages: fluent French, good German.

Selina Stewart - Trustee

Selina has taught across secondary, FE and sixth form colleges.

Selina started her teaching career as a History teacher at Great Barr Comprehensive School.  After the birth of her first child she then taught at Solihull College, Matthew Boulton College and then at Joseph Chamberlain College where she progressed from part-time A level History teacher to Assistant Principal for Adult and Community Learning. 

Selina was then appointed as programme development manager governance at the Learning and Skills Improvement Service and subsequently Director for Governance at the Association of Colleges. In both roles she supported governing body development across the FE sector in England.

Selina then worked with the Education and Training Foundation leading their work on Prevent duty support from 2014 to 2020. In the last three years she has been working with ETF on leadership development and support for strategic leadership including the Principal leadership programme and Preparing for CEO programmes. 

Selina has also been active in her local community. She took a leading role in campaigns to:

• stop the destruction of local suburbs and shopping areas through building fast roads through Sparkhill and Kings Heath.

• stop Moseley Rd swimming pool being closed

• to make all Birmingham schools comprehensive and so end the 11+

She was also a governor at Queensbridge School, which three of her children attended.

Adesina Shobanke - Trustee

Adesina is a certified Accountant with more than two decades of career in both public and private practices. His experience includes overseeing financial statements audits for large multinational non-profit organisations and listed business entities. Throughout his career, he has played important roles in helping several organisations to strengthen their financial processes, leading to proactive cost savings and sustained profitability. Adesina served as an Associate Partner of a mid-tier firm of Chartered Accountants in Nigeria and currently holds an audit managerial position at a multinational accounting firm in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

He is an Associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. Adesina specialises in internal control evaluation and process improvement support; budgeting, forecasting and strategic financial management; financial reporting; and financial analysis. Beyond his professional expertise, he is passionate about nature and environmental conservation, an advocate for global warming awareness and environmental preservation.”

Janet Smith  - Trustee

To follow

Sushma Maharaj - Trustee

Sushma is a highly experienced commercial contracts lawyer advising client boards in the energy industry on regulatory and market structures, on how future regulation will impact them and on how to frame their contractual arrangements so as to mitigate risks and liabilities for their businesses within the regulatory regime that applies to them.  

Sushma graduated from the London School of Economics with a Bachelor of Science in Economics (Government and Law) in 1994 and subsequently qualified as a barrister in 2000 and then as a solicitor in 2001.  She is also a qualified company secretary (accredited by the Chartered Governance Institute).  Sushma has worked for many of the premier City law firms based in London, and was recently a junior equity partner at Shakespeare Martineau LLP where she continues to work as a Consultant. Her experience also includes secondments to the Northern Ireland electricity regulatory and UK electricity suppliers.