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

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.

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.

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.

Michael Reynolds BSc (Hons), FRSA

Michael has spent over 20 years helping small to medium high tech Life Science companies grow into  global companies. The last five years have been spent in the growing world of Genomics, a branch of Molecular Biology looking at the structure, function and mapping of genomes. Currently Michael is a consultant Marketing and Sales Vice Principal for a number of companies.

Michael is also a governor of another academy where he chairs the quality assurance group.

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.

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.

Directors Minutes

    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).

    Roland Vernon ACMA CGMA April 2017
    4 years
    May 2018 None
    Brensley Taylor BEd (Hons) April 2017
    4 years
    Banners Gate Primary School IEB Member, Birmingham eLearning Foundation Director, Link2ICT/Capita employee
    Catherine Canty LLB April 2017
    4 years
    Governor Elms Farm Primary School
    David Lane BSc (Hons) March 2019 Independent Chair of WMCA’s Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee, Parish Councillor Rowington Independent Member, Governor –Chair Designate Ferncumbe Primary School, Hatton
    Gregg Barton BSc (Hons), MA, MSc, MAPM March 2019 Partner at Arcadis UK
    Helen Redican NNEB BEd (Hons) MEd April 2017
    4 years
    IEB Skilts School  –Board Member March 2019, Senior Advisor-Warwickshire County Council January 2017
    Pank Patel BEd (Hons) NPQH NLE March 2018
    4 years
    22nd Nov 2018 Director Diamond Advisory Ltd
    Surinder Kaur Dhillon BA (Hons) PGLA May 2018
    4 years
    Senior Associate Stone King Solicitors; Director Westminster Academy Trust; Director St George’s School Edgbaston (resigned 17th March 2018)
    Jane Edgerton, CEO BSc (Hons) MSc PGCE NPQH MRSC NLE PQSI April 2017 Skilts School IE , Ofsted Inspector, Executive Head Teacher at Hunters Hill College, SIP assigned by Birmingham LA.
    Mrs Maria Zywica Earl BSc (Jt Hons), FCIPD March 2019 None
    Michael Reynolds  BSc (Hons), FRSA March 2019 Ipsley RSA Academy LAGB Chair of QA Group


    Attendance Record 2018 - 2019

    Please see below our attendance record for the period between 2018- 2019


    Jane Edgerton BSc (Hons) MSc PGCE NPQH MRSC NLE PQSI 8 8 7 6
    Brensley Taylor BEd (Hons) 8 8 4 4
    Catherine Canty LLB 8 8 4 4
    Roland Vernon ACMA CGMA (Resigned 12 Dec 2018) 4 3 4 3
    Helen Redican NNEB BEd (Hons) MEd 8 7 - -
    Pank Patel BEd (Hons) NPQH NLE (Resigned 22nd Nov 2018) 3 2 - -
    Surinder Kaur Dhillon BA (Hons) PGLA (resigned Oct 2018) 1 1 - -
    David Lane BSc (Hons) ( March 2018) 4 4 2 2
    Mrs Maria Zywica Earl BSc (Jt Hons), FCIPD (March 2018) 4 3 - -
    Gregg Barton BSc (Hons), MA, MSc, MAPM (March 2018) 4 1 - -
    Michael Reynolds  BSc (Hons), FRSA (March 2018) 4 4 - -
    Anthony Greenwood (Resigned 8 Nov 18) 3 3 3 3