About Us

As directors of a charitable trust, our Board of Trustees ensure that they comply with charity and company law. The Board is also accountable in Law and to Ofsted for the Trust’s performance.

The Board has two core functions: to set the strategic direction of the organisation and to ensure financial probity. The Board is supported by two sub-committees Audit & Risk and Remuneration.

As a multi academy trust, the Board is responsible for all academies in the Trust. We exercise this responsibility by delegating functions to the local governing body of each academy through schemes of delegation

Board of Directors

David Lane - Chair

David is currently the Independent Chair of the Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee for the West Midlands Combined Authority as well as a Chair of a local Primary School and local Parish Councillor in Warwickshire.

David is now retired, but his career was largely leading change and improvement within both Public and Private sectors, with some long standing third sector supportive roles. He has also worked with many government departments and agencies to advise them on change.

Bren Taylor - Vice Chair

Bren leads Link2ICT’s Professional Services providing support for more than 1400 schools nationally, mainly in Birmingham, Staffordshire and West Sussex.

Bren is currently the chair of West Midlands Regional Broadband Consortium (WMnet),  a board member of the National Education Network (NEN) and a director of the Birmingham eLearning Foundation (BeLF). He is also a program committee member for the annual International mLearn conference.

A teacher by trade, Bren taught in Sandwell and Birmingham.  During his time at Birmingham LA and with Link2ICT, he also led the Birmingham CLC Service and was a senior advisor to the Birmingham BSF programme. For the last six years he has  been a facilitator for the National College for Teaching and Learning’s (NCTL) leadership programmes, working for two different licensees, and during which time he was certificated in the first ever  cohort of NCTL’s Advanced Facilitator programme.

As a volunteer, Bren has worked in soup kitchens, been a school governor and has contributed as one of a couple of UK representatives to the UNESCO OER programme.  His spare time now is often taken up with keeping his classic sports car on the road and taking part in events and rallies across the UK and Europe. Bren is married with two grown up children and his wife is also a teacher in a special education setting.

Catherine Canty LLB (Hons)

Kate is currently the Clerk to the Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands which involves working with the business and voluntary sectors across the region, participating in civic activities, acting as liaison with the armed forces and supporting Royal visits to the County.

A qualified solicitor with over 20 years in commercial property law, subsequently becoming a business and property consultant, Kate has a strong background in constitutional law and governance.

Kate has had various voluntary positions in the employment and skills sector in Birmingham and is currently a director of Millennium Point which promotes education in the field of innovation and technology.

Jared Whitaker BSc (Hons)

Jared is experienced in strategic development and change management and has overseen critical areas of businesses including, but not limited to, M&A, real estate, commercials, vendor management, sales and merger.

Jared had led large project teams, exceeding 100 project resources, within high-budget projects. Jared is experienced in identifying strategic roadmaps and guiding board-level decision making.

Jared runs a successful consultancy business that supports businesses through complex mergers and acquisitions within high-pressure environments.

Patrick Ricketts FCMI, PG Dip

Patrick is accomplished at delivering strategy for sustainable business growth and people/team development. Has a demonstrable proven track record of customer service performance improvement in executive roles, including FTSE quoted PLC’s.

Patrick has extensive commercial experience leading account strategy for multi-million-pound contracts and delivering customer service excellence.

Patrick has strong strategic planning, operations, and commercial skills within UK markets in B2C & B2B markets including the public sector and has significant experience in transformation and change management.

Helen Redican

Helen has worked both within schools and as a school improvement advisor for many year supporting schools that need rapid improvement.  She has considerable expertise in the evaluation of educational standards across a range of settings, leadership and governance of schools of all phases and types, early years provision and partnership working with local authorities and officers of the DFE.

Maria Earl BSc (Jt Hons), FCIPD

Maria has worked within HR within the rail industry consultancy since 2006 currently holding the role of HR and Business Improvement Director for Arriva Traincare. Prior to the rail industry Maria held senior posts in B2B consultancy and the food industry . Marie currently represent Arriva UKT on industry forums at division and group level and is a member of the pensions reform working party.

Ayaz Hussain BSc (Hons)

Ayaz is an IT professional with 20 years of experience in ICT, BPO and aerospace sectors. Ayaz has a strong track record of delivering outstanding results in complex and highly competitive markets both in the public and private sector.
Ayaz has delivered the full product life cycle of technical solutions successfully. and has supported transformation, services, and operations for multi-user and remote environments from as little as 3000 to over 20,000.

Jane Edgerton CEO/EHT

Jane has over twenty years’ experience in education and fourteen years in headship and executive headship before becoming the Chief Executive of Forward Education Trust. Jane is an accredited National Leader of Education and a serving Ofsted inspector. She holds the Professional Qualification for School Inspectors. Jane also acts as a school improvement advisor procured to do work on behalf of schools, trusts and local authorities. This includes appointments of head teachers, carrying out pupil premium and governance reviews and work to address the underperformance of schools, governing bodies and leadership teams.

Procurement Consultant

Gregg Barton BSc (Hons), MA, MSc, MAPM

Gregg Barton is an experienced construction procurement specialist, with extensive education experience. Gregg is currently Partner and Programme Director of Arcadis leading a team of BS, PMs and QS on the Leicester City Council framework and delivering the £8m Great Central Railway museum and the National Space Centre. 

Gregg has held senior positions in the private and public sector, and held non-executive roles at schools and colleges. He has a passion for schools, and believes in the fundamental right of everyone to receive free state education in a safe, engaging and inspiring environment.

Directors Minutes


Directors Minutes 15.07.20 1.03 MB downloads


Directors Minutes 20.05.20 1,019.96 KB downloads


Directors Minutes 04.12.19 1.01 MB downloads


Directors Minutes 26.09.19 2.27 MB downloads


Directors Minutes 08.07.19 496.51 KB downloads


Directors Minutes 15.05.19 1.95 MB downloads


Directors Minutes 09.04.19 2.32 MB downloads


Directors Minutes 06.03.19 1.77 MB downloads


Directors Minutes 10.12.18 219.75 KB downloads


Directors Minutes 08.11.18 153.30 KB downloads


Register of Business and Pecuniary Interest

Please see below our Register of Pecuniary and Business Interests for all our members of the Forward Education Trust (FET).



David Lane


March 2019 4 years Independent Chair of the Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee at West Midlands Combined Authority

Chair of Governors, Ferncumbe Primary School, Warwickshire

Parish Councillor, Rowington (no political affiliation)

Jane Edgerton April 2017 4 years Ofsted inspector

Trustee and Director of Northern House Multi-Academy Trust

Associate Member Skilts Governing Board

Fellow Chartered College of Teaching

Michael Reynolds March 2019 4 years Sept 2020 Governor at Ipsley CE School, RSA Academy Trust

Mentor to an Executive Leader at Robin Hood Academy

Maria Earle March 2019 4 years Employee Chiltern Railways


Helen Redican April 2017 4 years Employee of Warwickshire Education Authority

Member of the Interim Executive Board Skilts School

Catherine Canty April 2017 4 years Governor, Elms Farm Primary School, Birmingham

Clerk to the West Midlands Lieutenancy


Patrick Ricketts September 2020 4 Years Non-Executive Director UBICO Ltd
Jared Whitaker September 2020 4 years Managing Director of Ideologic Consulting Ltd


Brensley Taylor

(Vice Chair)

April 2017 4 years Employee of Capita (Entrust/Link2ICT)

Trustee/ and Director of Birmingham eLearning Foundation

Board member National Education Network


Attendance Record 2019 - 2020

Please see below our attendance record for the period between 2019-2020