Our Members & Trustees

Jenny Collinson – Trustee (Chair of Prospere Learning Trust)

Recently retired, Jenny has worked in the education sector throughout her career including as a teacher, Headteacher, Ofsted Inspector, Deputy Director Manchester Children’s Services and latterly as deputy to the director of Education & Skills (Manchester City Council).  Jenny was a member of Manchester City Council’s Senior Management Team from 2004 – 2014; prior to this she was Headteacher at Piper Hill Special School from 1991 – 2004. She has been a governor of William Hulme Grammar School Academy for the last six years and since retirement at the end of March 2014 has taken on a role as Chair of an Interim Executive Board of a secondary school. Jenny has specific experience and expertise in quality assurance and school improvement.
In the area of special educational needs, she has experience as a Headteacher of a special school and was the former Ofsted inspector of special schools and SEN provision in mainstream schools. For the last 18 months Jenny has been working in collaboration with Headteachers in Manchester to establish the Manchester Schools’ Alliance (MSA) – a partnership led by schools, for schools, to support the self-improving school system. In this role she has been involved in the development of the bid led by Piper Hill and Loreto 6th Form College to establish the MSA Teaching School.
Within her roles in the Council, Jenny has been responsible for managing teams to deliver a range of work and developing a number of city wide strategies including School Improvement, Special Educational Needs and Inclusion, Attendance, Early Help, School Place Planning and Capital Investment and Early Years.
Jenny is a trustee of Prospere Learning Trust and has taken on the role of chair.

Aneez Esmail – Member

Aneez was an elected parent governor for 8 years and then became a co-opted governor 2 years ago, at Chorlton High School.   He was Chair of Governors for 7 years and also sat on the Scrutiny and Finance Committees.  Aneez joined the Trust Board at the formation of the CHS Learning Trust until it merged to form the Prospere Learning Trust in September 2017.
In his work life Aneez is a Professor of General Practice at the University of Manchester and until the end of 2014 was part of a senior management team at the University. He also continues to work as a clinician, working as a GP in central Manchester.   On a personal level, Aneez has enjoyed working alongside the Governing Body and Trust Board. He has learnt a lot about data monitoring, how schools are assessed and about education in general, which has also helped in his management role at the University.
Aneez is a member of Prospere learning Trust.  

Liam Cowell – Member

Liam is the Office Managing Partner at DLA Piper, a global law firm.  He has been at DLA Piper for 20 years and has experienced the firm's growth from a regional UK firm to the largest law firm globally.  This progress has involved the firm constantly adapting to change, as well as setting and achieving new standards.
He has been a member on the governing body at Piper Hill and was also a member of the Finance, Staffing and Resources committee.
Liam is a member of Prospere Learning Trust.  

Mark Brookfield  - Trustee

In his professional career Mark worked in publishing for 7 years at Manchester’s City Life magazine, followed by 25 years working as an account director and company director at a large independent advertising agency. Mark now works from home managing a property portfolio.
Mark has 6 years’ experience as a Parent Governor at Chorlton Park Primary School.  In 2015, Mark was elected as a Parent Governor of the Chorlton High School Governing Body and has served on the Trust Board of the CHS Learning Trust since February 2017.  Mark has strong financial management skills and he served on the Resources Committee at Chorlton High School since his appointment to the Governing Body.  To this role, he brought a strong degree of challenge and scrutiny to the financial management of resources across the school and wider Trust.
Mark uses his wealth of business skills and expertise as well as his strong understanding of the local community to ensure that the leadership of the school are constantly reflecting on the success of their actions and leading the school strategically to ensure that they deliver the very best outcomes for students in its care.
Mark is a Trustee of Prospere Learning Trust.

Helen Jones - Trustee

Helen retired from the role of the Head of Manchester Hospital School and Home Teaching Service in 2006.   The Hospital School was a varied and innovative learning environment for students out of school because of ill-heath, including mental health. As Helen had a forward-looking approach to her work she recognised that there were similarities with the work of Piper Hill and felt she had much to give.
She became a governor of Piper Hill High School 10 years ago, eventually becoming Chair of Governors, as well as being Chair of the Finance and Staffing Committee.  She is currently a Trustee of Prospere Trust, this is a role which is fast moving and requires an open–minded approach to stay ahead of developments. Helen feels this is an exciting time with many opportunities for growth and co-operation across schools.
Helen believes that the experience she has gained from her many varied roles within education have helped her to provide a strong contribution in her role as a Trustee.

Bev Ridyard – Trustee

Bev became a governor in 2013, starting as a link governor with over fifteen years expertise in business, sales and marketing through roles at Lloyds Banking Group, Bupa and Manchester Airport Group.
In September 2017, she became a Trustee of Prospere Learning Trust and is Chair of the Local Governing Body of Piper Hill High School.  She enjoys the combination of challenge and support and feels that her authenticity stands her in a good position to fulfil these roles.  She believes that she brings a different dimension to the committees through her skills and experiences as  her education ‘lens’ is so different to others.
She is a huge believer in self-development and continually looking to raise her own standards as a Trustee and Governor.  She is keen to know more, and utilise all channels available to Governors.

Amanda Edwards – Trustee

Amanda works in education and became a governor because she wanted to support her children’s school. She was a Governor at her children’s primary school and played a part in the strategic direction of the school.  She believed in the ethos and felt that she could support and challenge the school as a governor.  She ultimately became the Chair of Governors at Chorlton Park Primary School and during her tenure was inspected twice by OFSTED.   Both inspections were rated as outstanding.  When her children moved up to the high school Amanda was keen to continue to be involved a strategic level.  She became a Governor at Chorlton High School in December 2013 and went onto become the Chair of Governors.  She is now a Governor at Newall Green High School and a Trustee for the Prospere Trust.
Amanda’s professional background is in Special Educational Needs.   She has over 25 years’ experience as an Advisory Teacher for SpLD.    She has a Masters in Autistic Spectrum and Masters in Management and Education, as well as an Advanced Diploma in SpLD.  The knowledge she has gained from being a Governor and Trustee has supported her own professional development and given her greater insight into the strategic management of a school.

Dr Ben Ramm – Trustee

Ben has worked in central Government for the Department for Education (DfE) and its agencies for almost fifteen years, and has a strong interest in different aspects of education policy, in recognition of the role that education plays in helping people to realise their full potential and maximise their contribution to society.  

Ben is currently an assistant director in the DfE's Higher and Further Education directorate. His current focus is on delivering the package of support for FE teaching recently set out in the Government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper. In previous roles he has been head of school teacher supply policy, and has worked on 14-19 qualifications and employer engagement in education. Ben's principal interest is in the supply and quality of the education workforce - including initiatives to recruit and retain high quality teachers, teachers' standards and professional development. 


Olivia Clayton – Trustee

Olivia is the Group Reward, Pensions and Employee Relations Director for the Manchester Airport Group.

Iain Ashworth – Trustee

Iain is Manchester Airport Group’s Corporate Finance Director. He joined the Group in 2012 to lead the equity investment process into MAG and the subsequent acquisition of London Stansted Airport. Prior to MAG, he was a director in the corporate finance team at Deloitte, as well as spending a year at Lloyds Bank, on secondment.  He is chair of the Finance and Resources committee at Prospere, as well as being a trustee.  Iain is also a trustee at Bright Futures Educational Trust. 

Graham Whitham – Trustee

Graham leads one of Lloyds Banks IT Engineering Labs in Manchester and has worked in the north-west for many years, joining Lloyds in 2011. He was involved with Altius since 2014 having set up mentoring, Duke of Edinburgh and Code Club schemes.

Chris Gray – Member

Chris is a Managing Director in Accenture’s Health and Public Services and is responsible for helping clients drive digitalisation, innovation and change with a key focus on making effective use of data and advanced analytics to enable these changes.

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