Our Members

Chris Gray

Member

Chris Gray is Chief of Public Sector at AND Digital, a rapidly growing specialist digital transformation firm. He previously served as Managing Director in Health and Public Services with Accenture. Throughout his career Chris has worked at the intersection of public sector delivery and technology, helping clients drive digitalisation, innovation and change with a key focus on the use of data and analytics. Chris has worked extensively with UK government departments on major change initiatives as well as having several international roles during his career to date. As well as working with the Prospere Learning Trust, he also is a member of the University of Liverpool Management School’s Advisory Board. Chris is an impassioned supporter of LGBTQ+ and female leadership initiatives and works with a range of organisations in the North West to mentor and coach individuals.

Aneez Esmail

Member

Aneez was an elected parent governor for 8 years and then became a co-opted governor 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. 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. Until 2017 he served as the director of the National Institute for Health Research's research centre on patient safety in primary care. He was Associate Vice-President for Equality & Diversity and Social Responsibility from 2005-2014. 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.

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.

Helen Jones

Member & 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. Helen 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, 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.

Jane Durkin

Member

Jane is Assistant Director for Corporate Social Responsibility at the General Medical Council (GMC). Jane took this role in May 2020 to lead the GMC’s work to enhance its approach to responsible business. Early work focused on widening participation into medicine, reducing the GMC’s emissions and looking at ways to be a more inclusive employer. Jane has been at the GMC since 2008 and was previously responsible for its registration functions. These include the GMC’s Contact Centre and teams handling over 20,000 applications for registration each year. She was also responsible for the GMC’s examinations for overseas doctors seeking registration in the UK. Prior to joining the GMC Jane was Assistant Information Commissioner at the Information Commissioner’s Office in Wilmslow.

 


Our Trustees

Jenny Andrews

Chair of Trustees

Jenny has worked in the Education sector throughout her career as a Teacher, Headteacher of Piper Hill Special School, Ofsted Inspector, Deputy Director of Manchester Children’s Services and latterly as deputy to the Director of Education & Skills (Manchester City Council). Most recently 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. Within her roles within 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.

Mark Brookfield

Vice Chair

Mark worked in publishing at City Life magazine, followed by 25 years working as an Account Director and Company Director at a large independent advertising agency, he now manages a property portfolio. Mark has been a Parent Governor at Chorlton Park Primary School, Parent Governor of the Chorlton High School Governing Body and has served on the Trust Board since February 2017. With strong financial management skills he served on the Resources Committee at Chorlton High School. 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.

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. Iain is chair of the Finance and Resources committee at Prospere, as well as being a trustee. He is also a trustee at Bright Futures Educational Trust.

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. He 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.

Bev Ridyard

Trustee

Bev became a governor in 2013, starting as a link governor with over eighteen years expertise in business, sales and marketing through roles at Lloyds Banking Group, Bupa and Manchester Airport Group and most recently as Sales and Marketing Director at Classroom Secrets. 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. Bev is a huge believer in self-development and continually looking to raise her own standards as a Trustee and Governor as well as to share best practice across the Trust.

Helen Jones

Member & 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. Helen 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, 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.

Roger Griffiths

Trustee

Roger is Head of Programme Delivery within the Group CIO function at Lloyds Banking Group (LBG). He is actively involved in managing all aspects of projects in development. Roger has been accountable for the LBG Retail, Wealth & International Division Infrastructure Programmes as well as more recently the delivery of internal process change and Cloud platform decommissioning - this includes new service, product delivery, customer migration, infrastructure simplification, & functional divestment. An integral part of all these deliverables is the ownership of all financial and risk aspects, on behalf of LBG. Roger joined Prospere Learning Trust as a Trustee in 2021 and looks forward to using his skills and expertise on the Audit committee.

Ian Pickup

Trustee

Ian joined Prospere Learning Trust as a Trustee in 2022. He has sat on the Audit Committee since 2020 and was previously a governor of the Altius Trust. Ian is in the Corporate Finance team and is Head of Property Finance at Manchester Airports Group (MAG). Prior to MAG, he was Assistant Director in Corporate Finance at Deloitte, providing financial due diligence services to a diverse range of clients.

Hannah Holmes

Trustee

Hannah is Dean and Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor in Business and Law at Manchester Metropolitan University, leading one of the largest Faculties in the UK which generates c£100m income. A senior leader with experience in risk management, financial management, reward and promotion, performance management, and stakeholder engagement, Hannah works in inclusive and collaborative ways, taking a rounded business view with constructive questioning. Hannah is passionate about helping drive and deliver change which makes a positive contribution to society, particularly amongst communities which face significant barriers and brings her extensive knowledge and experience to her position on the board of the Prospere Learning Trust, joining in 2021.

Olivia Clayton

Trustee

Olivia Clayton is the Labour Relations and HR Services Director at Bentley Motors. Prior to this, she was the Group Reward, Pensions and Employee Relations Director for Manchester Airport Group having worked for MAG for nine years in a number of roles including HR Director for Manchester Airport. A graduate of Durham University, she has spent all of her career in HR working for large blue chip companies including Nestle, Novartis and MAG. Olivia first became involved with the Altius Trust in May 2012, supporting as Chair of Governors for MEA. Later, Olivia became Chair of the Directors Board. When Altius joined with Prospere, Olivia transferred across as a Trustee.

Amanda Edwards

Trustee

Amanda works in education and became a governor because she wanted to support her children’s school. Amanda has over ten years experience as a governor and in that time she has been the Chair of Governors at three different schools and a Trustee for the Prospere Learning 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.

Graham Whitham

Trustee

Graham leads one of Lloyds Banks IT Engineering Labs in Manchester. Previously, he worked as Head of Multichannel Innovation with Barclays. He was involved with the Altius Trust before they joined the Prospere Learning Trust having set up mentoring, Duke of Edinburgh and Code Club schemes.

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