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.

Catherine Canty LLB (Hons) - Vice Chair

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.

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.

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.

DR Paulette Osborne MBE

Paulette has been working in Birmingham for over 27 years and is really proud to have had a long and outstanding career as an educator and mentor. She was designated a National Leader of Education in 2016 and was part of the DFE Advisory Group, brought together to reform and strengthen the structure of system leadership throughout the country.

In addition to being a NLE, Paulette is an accredited Pupil Premium and SEND Reviewer, a NPQSL Assessor, and an accreditor for the RE Quality Mark.

Currently, Paulette is the Assistant Director for School Improvement at Birmingham Education Partnership.

Board of Directors Minutes


Directors Minutes 09.02.22 289.82 KB 20 downloads


Directors Minutes 08.12.21 1.08 MB 35 downloads


Directors Minutes 15.09.21 1.08 MB 40 downloads


Directors Minutes 14.07.21 1.05 MB 53 downloads


Directors Minutes 12.05.21 284.55 KB 11 downloads


Directors Minutes 24.03.21 900.15 KB 47 downloads


Directors Minutes 03.02.21 1.01 MB 14 downloads


Directors Minutes 02.12.20 1.10 MB 35 downloads


Directors Minutes 16.09.20 1.13 MB 0 downloads


Directors Minutes 15.07.20 1.03 MB 45 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).



Register of Business Interests and Third party transactions 2021-22 - Directors
Name Term of office (start/end dates) Business Interests

(Include relevant business and pecuniary interests – if ‘none’ this should be clearly stated.  Include any other school governor posts held and any connections between governors and school staff)

Close relationship with employee or provider of services to the Trust Third party declaration Transactions with Academy Trust Names of close family with related party interests
Catherine Canty  - Member / Director


20 March 2021 –

19 March 2025

Member and Director

West Midlands Lieutenancy

Birmingham Assay Office

None None None None
David Lane  - Director

BSc (Hons)

6 March 2019 –

5 March 2023

Member of Warwickshire Police Appropriate Adult Scheme (11 October 2021)


Independent Chair of Audit, Risk and Assurance for West Midlands Combined Authority (until 29 Sept 2021).


Flick Learning, Provider to Trust of Education Training Software. Owner Known to David Personally.

None None None other than mileage claimed.








David will not have any part in decision making around procurement.

Wife is Chair of Imperial College Student Union – no related interests with the Trust.
Brensley (Bren) Taylor - Director

BEd (Hons)

20 March 2021 –

19 March 2025

Head of Professional Services for Entrust Education, a division of Capita. None None None None
Helen Redican - Director

NNEB Bed (Hons) MEd

20 March 2021 –

19 March 2025

Skilts IEB until September 2021 Member of Executive Team None None None
Mrs Maria Zywica Earl - Director

BSc (Jt Hons) FCIPD

11 January 2019 -

10 January 2023

HR Director for Chiltern Railway (CRCL) None None None None
Patrick Ricketts FCMI, PG Dip 6 October 2020 -

5 October 2024

None None None None None
Jared Whitaker BSc (Jt Hons) FCIPD 30 September 2020-

04 February 2022

Fluid Business Solutions LTD UK (CEO and 30% share holder) None None None None
Dr Paulette Osborne, MBE 15 September 2021 - 14 September 2025 Trustee at Price Albert Community Trust

Assistant Director for Continuous School Improvement at Birmingham Education Partnership.

None OE Solutions Ltd – Director BDMAT School Improvement Partner for St George’s Academy None
Simon Dilkes - Acting CEO/Accounting Officer 1st January 2022 None None None None None

Attendance Record 2020 - 2021

Please see below our attendance record for the period between 2020-2021