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Multi Academy Trust Governance

The Trust Board has full responsibility and control of the Multi Academy Trust as constituted by its Articles of Association.  In short, all governance flows from the the Trust Board and serves as the clearing house and ultimate decision-making authority on all matters. The Trust Board is responsible for ensuring that high standards of corporate governance are maintained. It will exercise its powers and functions with a view to fulfilling a largely strategic role in the running of its academies. It delegates a number of decisions to individual Academy Councils (AC)  – or Local Governing Bodies – who act as sub-committees whose main priority is to focus on teaching and learning ensuring that the school performs well as a result of rigorous challenge and support. Each AC will draw its membership from the local community and must always include at least two elected parent governors and at least one staff governor. AC governors are accountable to the Trust Board, who in turn are accountable to the Secretary of State. An annual skills’ audit ensures that all Trustees and governors possess the requisite skills to discharge their duties effectively.

As the Trust expands, the aim is to incorporate an additional layer of governance in the form of Regional Academy Councils (RAC). Each RAC will be responsible for overseeing the performance of a number of local academies and their ACs in the form of a hub. As well as providing the necessary scrutiny and challenge, RACs will also be the conduit between the Trust Board and the ACs. Membership of RACs will include chairs of governors of each of the hub academies plus a Trustee and whosoever the Trustees choose to appoint in addition.


The Trust has five Members, all local to the communities that they serve. The Members act as the custodians of the constitution and have a number of powers. These include changing the Articles of Association, appointing Trustees, appointing the auditors and receiving the annual accounts.

The Members are:

Ayo Ajanaku, an academy governor and medical doctor practicing in Birmingham. Ayo is a university health researcher and Academic Clinical Fellow specialising in cardiovascular disease.

Ninder Johal, a founding Trustee and former academy non-executive director and local governor. Ninder is the CEO of  his own international media and events production company and former President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce.

Gurinder Singh Josan, currently Chair of the Trust Board (see below). Gurinder provides an important link between Members and the work of the Board.

Amber Marshall, an academy governor and experienced NHS professional. Amber has a law degree and background in counseling as well as running a successful consultancy business.

Lynn Richardson, a founding Member and former local governor, Trustee and Chair of the Trust Board. Lynn heads a team of risk managers in the banking industry.



The Board consists of nine Trustees. Trustees are appointed by the Members and are done so based on skill set and experience. Membership is not based on representation. Trustees are registered as Directors at Companies House and as such are required to follow the Seven Principles of Public Life, often referred to as the Nolan Principles.

In addition to the chief executive Andrew Morrish, the Board consists of the following nine Trustees (Non-Executive Directors):

Perveen Dhami

Perveen is a Commercial Contracts Lawyer with extensive experience of both private practice and working within the Her Majesty’s Court Service. Perveen has successfully managed numerous caseloads and provided assistance in relation to a wide range of disputes. As a successful lawyer, Perveen has experience of pre-litigation action and court proceedings and is expert in real estate law and dispute resolution. Perveen’s skill set includes Legal/Compliance, Property/Estates Management, Risk, General Management, Growth/Change Management and General Non-Executive Skills.

Carl Doherty

Carl is a Regional Manager for one of the UK’s largest recruitment businesses and is responsible for operations across the central region. Working as a key partner to businesses from various sectors, Carl is expert at supporting organisations to develop and expand within a changing employment market, including attraction and retention strategies. Carl is involved in business strategy, senior level sales and account management for local and national contracts. Carl’s skill set includes Human Resources, Risk, Audit, Marketing/Branding, General Management, Growth/Change Management and General Non-Executive Skills.

Noel Dunne

Noel is the founder and Director of Creative Alliance, one of the UK’s leading providers for the creative and learning sectors. Noel is a creative producer with a unique experience and skill set working between the creative and cultural; the learning and skills and enterprise sectors. This is reflected in his roles as Primary Academy Governor, Honorary Fellow to a University, Skills Ambassador for a Sector Skills Council, Board Member of a Theatre Company and Chair / Facilitator of a variety of networks / groups. Noel is a former change agent of the Creative Partnerships programme and is a Fellow of the RSA. Noel’s skill set includes Entrepreneur/Founder, Marketing/Branding, Managing Director, General Management, Growth/Change Management and General Non-Executive Skills.

Rob Elkington

Rob was former Director of Creative Partnerships in Birmingham having previously been Head of Education Partnerships at the Royal Shakespeare Company, responsible for leading a range of partnership programmes with schools, theatres and universities across the country and beyond. Rob is currently employed by the University of Wolverhampton and is Director of Arts Connect for the West Midlands, responsible for the strategic direction and development of arts and culture in the region. He also chairs a secondary academy Interim Executive Board in Birmingham. Rob is a Fellow of the RSA. Rob’s skill set includes Marketing/Branding, Managing Director, General Management,  Chair, Growth/Change Management and General Non-Executive Skills.

Luke Hill

Luke is Head of Commercialism at the University of Wolverhampton. Previously a property developer, Luke has 25 years strategic investment experience in the region. He is currently a member of several strategic advisory committees with a focus on educational and cultural sectors. Luke is currently a member of a number of investment funds and initiatives aimed at stimulating start-up, growth and entrepreneurship in the Black Country and was a member of the project board for two new University Technical Colleges. Luke’s skill set includes Property/Estate Management, Marketing/Branding, Audit, Risk, General Management, Corporate Governance, Entrepreneur/Founder, Growth/Change Management and General Non-Executive Skills.

Gurinder Singh Josan (Chair)

Gurinder has significant school governance, business and community experience. As well as Chair of the Trust Board, he is chair of governors of Devonshire Infants and Junior Academies, a governor at a local secondary school and chair of governors at a Sikh faith Free school in Leicester. Gurinder has also previously chaired an Interim Executive Board and been a management committee member of a Pupil Referral Unit as well as serving as a former Sandwell elected Councilor. His other community interests include Non-Executive Board Member of West Midlands Police Strategic Police and Crime Board (where he is also a member of the Audit Committee), a member of Sandwell Police Independent Advisory Group, a national executive member of Sikh Council UK and a Director and Trustee of ‘HOPE not Hate’, an anti-extremism campaign group and educational charity. Gurinder is a Director of a long established family business, a plumbers’ merchants. Gurinder’s skill set includes Marketing/Branding, Managing Director, Audit, Financial, Risk, General Management, Chair, Growth/Change Management and General Non-Executive Skills.

Deidre Leeming

Deidre brings over forty years’ experience as an education and leadership expert. Deidre served as a successful headteacher in Birmingham for a number of years before becoming a school improvement adviser in a West Midlands local authority. During this time she served as a school improvement partner for Victoria Park Primary School (post-conversion) and played a key role in its rapid transformation from special measures to outstanding. More recently she has worked as a freelance leadership consultant supporting a number of schools, academies and local authorities. Deidre is currently Chair of the Board of a primary school in Birmingham overseeing its conversion to a single academy trust. Deidre’s skill set includes Educational Leadership, General Management, Chair, Growth/Change Management and General Non-Executive Skills.

Shafiq Sharif

Shafiq is a Chartered Marketing and Category Management professional with over 25 years in commerce and industry and has also served as an Executive Board Member on an industry trade association. Shafiq has been an award winning Parent Governor and Chair of Governors at a  Primary School in Birmingham for 16 years where he was  instrumental in its transformation from  special measures. He is currently a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM), Master Fellow Member of the Institute of Sales Management (MISM), Non-Executive Director of a Multi Academy Trust in Coventry and Committee Chair and Volunteer of the UKIM iCare Interfaith Food Aid Hubs in Birmingham. Shafiq’s skill set includes; Marketing/Branding, Supply Chain/Procurement, Educational Leadership, General Management, Growth/Change Management and General Non-Executive Skills.

Herman Stewart

Herman is the Founder and Chief Executive of his own company Every Child Needs a Mentor Limited, a successful mentoring organisation providing bespoke programmes for primary schools. Herman and his team support school leaders both nationally and internationally to improve the well-being, resilience, and aspirations of children, parents, and staff with mentoring. As well as being an author, Herman is a Fellow of the Society of Leadership at the College of St George and a Chair of Governors. Herman’s skill set includes Entrepreneur/Founder, Managing Director, General Management, Growth/Change Management, Chair and General Non-Executive Skills.