Fishermead Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK6 2LB

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MEMBERS                              Date of Appointment

Ian Franklin                           1 September 2021

Matt Leeder                          14 June 2021     

Amelia Whitehouse               28 September 2022

Tom Winter                            28 September 2022   


Trustees                                                                                             Term of Office

Andrew Brodie (Chair)                                                                                        13/07/2022 - 12/07/2026

Phil Webster (CEO)                                                                                              01/09/2017

Sumrana Akram                                                                                                  14/09/2022 - 13/09/2026

Richard Amery                                                                                                     01/09/2021 – 31/08/2025   

John Buck (Vice Chair & Chair of Resources Committee)                               14/07/2020 - 13/07/2024     

Sue Forman                                                                                                         06/01/2024 - 05/01/2028

Lee Parker                                                                                                            02/02/2021 - 01/02/2025

Beth Procter (Co-opted)                                                                                     23/03/2023 - 22/03/2027

Wayne Preston (Co-opted)                                                                                 05/03/2024 - 04/03/2028

Carrie Matthews (Co-opted) (Chair of Teaching & Learning Committee)     23/03/2022 - 22/03/2026

Bernie Naughton (Co-opted)                                                                             05/03/2024 - 04/03/2028

Mike Talbot (Co-opted)                                                                                       23/03/2022 - 22/03/2026

Governance Professional/Clerk to the Trust Board

Penny Parkin


Trustee & Member Biographies are shown below

Trustee Biographies 


Andrew Brodie (Chair)

HR professional with over 25 years experience including a decade at Board level as a Director. Andrew is currently a Board Director for Avara Foods, a leading UK food business with turnover of £1bn and over 7,000 people. His qualifications include First degree in History, diploma in HR Management and MSc in Strategy and Organisational Performance from Cranfield. He has significant experience of leading the people agenda, driving transformational change, coordinating external communications and media contact, leading large multi-location teams, setting strategic direction and managing integration and acquisition - which he has been involved in on several occasions. He has welcomed the opportunity to contribute as  Chair of the Trust having joined the Board in 2018 after the school where he was previously Chair of Governors became a part of the trust. He is supporting the trust with his expertise and advice as it continues to grow and flourish.


Phil Webster (CEO)

Phil was the Headteacher at New Bradwell School for 14 years, leading the school from satisfactory to outstanding during his first 4 years at the school. Under his leadership New Bradwell has both grown (expanding from two to three form entry) and continued to evolve and enrich the broad curriculum it offers and the way that it meets the diverse needs of children (with significant growth in the department that it runs for children with autism). He was instrumental in the formation of the Grand Union Partnership and working with the initial members and trustees to establish the Trust.

As a National Leader of Education (NLE) he has supported six schools in the local area (MK and South Northants), working with them to secure school improvement. Phil’s work has encouraged the school teams he has worked with to reflect on their practice and improve the outcomes that children in these schools achieve and the richness of the curriculum experiences that they access.


Richard Amery (Trustee and Chair of New Bradwell Local Academy Committee)

Richard is chair of governors at New Bradwell school (NBS). He has been a governor there since the eighties, serving on various committees and as vice chair for several years. When NBS converted to an academy and formed a MAT in September 2017, He became a trustee of the MAT, and was elected as chair of the Local Academy Committee at NBS.

His two children attended New Bradwell school in the eighties. One with a statement for specific learning difficulties (dyslexia) who went on to achieve a BA at university. Richard’s wife worked at the school in various roles for many years including as a TA. He is a retired building services electrical design engineer, having been responsible for teams of M&E engineers designing and supervising large systems for public buildings. Since becoming chair, he successfully undertook the NGA nine-month leading governance for schools’ course. He has also taken up many training opportunities with MKPDC, the NSPCC and in-house courses organised by the school and the trust.

New Bradwell school converted from a maintained to a foundation school when the opportunity arose in the nineties, the governing body then being responsible for its own finance, the site and buildings. Over the years the governing body have extended the school buildings several times using their own and LA funding.

Governance for schools has changed significantly in the last ten years or so. Governors and Trustees are doing their part in leading the schools that they are all very proud of, and to support the dedicated staff. The GUP trust was formed to be able to link with like-minded, child centred schools, to share and develop quality education, to expand opportunities for the staff and to obtain economies of scale. There have been successes already.


Sue Foreman

Milton Keynes and the surrounding area has been Sue’s home for most of her adult life.  Sue strongly believes that every child should have the opportunity to achieve to the best of their ability and in the role and responsibility of a School/Trust in equipping them with skills for life in a rich, inclusive and safe learning environment whilst preparing them for the next stage of their journey in life. 

Now retired from full time employment, Sue brings a range of knowledge and experience to her Trustee role through working for over 25 years in the education world:  Teaching (mainly Adult Education, Further Education, some Middle School experience) but she also worked in the Primary and Secondary educational publishing sector where her roles included those of Sales Manager, Project manager (CRM system), Event Manager.

Throughout her adult life Sue has been involved in various voluntary roles including the role of Governor in a Primary School for 11 years with responsibility for the following at various times: Committees - Chair of Curriculum/Performance and Personnel, Lead Governor for Safeguarding, English, Assessment and SEND, Vice Chair and subsequently Chair of Governors.

As a Trustee and part of the GUP team since April 2020, Sue is Vice Chair and a proactive member of the Trust Board and seeks to be involved in the Trust in the current format and in the strategic planning for the future offering support and challenge in this rapidly changing educational environment.


John Buck

John became a trustee in 2020 and is currently Chair of the Resources Committee and link trustee for SEND and Pupil Premium. After graduating in Economics, he worked for thirty-four years in financial services, carrying out a range of roles in bond trading, and risk and valuation control for leading global banks. Through his company's Corporate Social Responsibility programme, he supported the work of two charities in the education sector, providing mentoring to members of the management team of three London state secondary schools and mentoring for Into University, which aims to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attain either a university place or another chosen aspiration.

After retiring in 2016, John served as a co-opted governor at the Stockwood Park academy for three and a half years, holding various positions including pupil premium governor, safeguarding governor and was latterly Chair.

He has four adult children, who were educated within the state sector in Harpenden and St Albans, and then went on to complete degrees successfully at Russell Group universities and so John appreciates the role of education in broadening opportunity and perspective.

He sees the trustee role as an ideal opportunity to apply his skills and experience to the benefit of the primary schools within the trust, and the communities they serve.


Lee Parker

Lee has worked in education marketing roles for over 15 years, mostly within the further education sector but also for a qualification and membership organisation. 

Over this time he has gained experience of various aspects of marketing and communications, from campaigns to events, digital marketing to website creation. His current role as Director of Marketing & Communications for MK College sees him lead on strategy, customer experience and reputation, PR and comms.  

Lee is committed to helping to drive the Trust towards its ambitious aims. 


Carrie Matthews

Carrie is a passionate, experienced school leader who is determined to make a difference in the lives of children, their families and school staff. Relationships, collaboration and equity are at the heart of her personal philosophy for education.  Carrie has been Headteacher of Willen Primary School since 2017 and her skills include curriculum development, financial management, leadership, school improvement and governance.


Mike Talbot

Mike started his career in education as a primary school teacher in 1998. Mike has been a senior leader for over 18 years across six different schools ranging from primary schools, junior schools and a very large all-through 3-18 academy. Mike has worked in both LA maintained schools and within a large Multi-Academy Trust. For the last 11 years Mike has been the Headteacher and then Executive Headteacher at Greenleys Junior School (GJS). Mike led GJS from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Outstanding’ during this time. For the past six years, as an Executive Headteacher, Mike has worked extensively with two local schools in challenging circumstances to support bringing about rapid school improvement. Alongside this work, Mike engaged GJS in the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Schools Partnership Programme (SPP). SPP was developed to support continuous school and system improvement via professional peer review. This work has led to the creation of the Collabor8 School Partnership. Collabor8 is a partnership of 8 primary schools from Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire which represents approximately 2937 pupils. Greenleys Junior is the lead school in the partnership and Mike leads and chairs the partnership. Currently, Mike is also a governor of the Milton Keynes Virtual School and sits on the Management Committee of the Milton Keynes Primary PRU. Mike is also an active member of the Milton Keynes Primary Inclusion Partnership panel, the Milton Keynes Education Partnership School Improvement Board and the Milton Keynes Primary Headteacher Strategy Group.


Sumrana Akram

Sumrana Akram has more than 13 years of Senior HR experience in diverse sectors in multinational organisations, including charities, med-tech, services, hospitality and telecommunications. A Chartered member of CIPD with expertise in strategic HR, organisation development, and organisation design encompassing - job evaluations, grading systems and market compensation analysis. Performance-based management – including compensation and rewards.  Sumrana has worked extensively on preparing board proposals in all HR areas, particularly annual compensation proposals and staffing requirements. Review and revise organisation-wide policies based on board directives, local legislations and organization requirements. HR buy-side due diligence of multiple targets for M&A acquisition. She has worked in emerging markets in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the UAE. Her focus is to enhance overall organisation effectiveness in growing organisations. Born in Zambia and lived on three continents, she has enjoyed living and working in multicultural environments. She enjoys cooking, cross stitching and spending time with her two sons, who attend primary school. She has been appointed as a trustee of a charity schools' organization in Pakistan, providing free education to underprivileged children. She is a volunteer at the Windmill Children’s Centre and a member of the PTA. She is also an ambassador for Children on the Edge and has recently been recognised for her successful fundraising initiative for Ukrainian refugees.


Beth Procter

Beth Procter has worked in the GB energy industry for 20+ years’, within customer service and operational roles but mostly overseeing and performing risk mitigation and assurance activities for one of the industry’s not for profit regulatory bodies. Beth has professional qualifications in Internal Audit and Risk Management and has experience in applying these disciplines within a governance and regulatory framework. Beth has also sat on sports club management committees since 2012 in various roles and currently holds a position as a Vice Chair of her club for the sport she plays. Beth became a trustee because she has an interest in making a positive influence in the community and with her son attending New Bradwell Primary School this was the perfect opportunity.


Wayne Preston

Wayne graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree in Public Administration and entered the NHS Finance Graduate Training Scheme in the early 1990’s, successfully achieving qualified status with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, (CIPFA). He has worked in the NHS for over 30 years and has held numerous senior / Board level roles including Transformation Director, Finance Director, Deputy Finance Director, Corporate Charitable Trustee and is currently the Commercial Director in an NHS Trust.  

He is a Qualified Accountant and well experienced as a member of Boards, and sub-Board committees including Audit, Finance and Charitable Funds Committees as well as wider corporate governance structures. He has experience as an Executive, Non-executive Director and Trustee within the NHS, Local Authority and Educational Sector.

Out of work he enjoys running, and in his 50th Year on the planet ran the equivalent of the length of the Red Sea for a local MK charity (1398 miles).


Bernie Naughton

Bernie had a long career in the NHS having worked as a Director of Nursing and Senior Manager in Primary Care. She was a Governor at Farley Junior School, Luton for 10 years and helped with the amalgamation with Whipperley Multi-Academy where she became a Trustee. At Farley she was Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of the Finance committee, lead Governor for Safeguarding and a member of the Luton Governor Improvement Group (LGIG) She is a Member of St Augustine’s Academy Trust and works with Trustees to enable the children of the Downside community to achieve their full potential. She is Chair of the Dunstable u3a (previously known as ‘The University of the Third Age’) . She like's to keep active, enjoys walking and she is a member of a Philosophy group. With a large garden to maintain she battles with the weeds & the weather. She is a keen sports supporter especially during the football season. She loves the theatre and attends the local Grove theatre in Dunstable.

Members Biographies

Ian Franklin

Before Ian retired his career was in IT Support. In the late 1980s he and two colleagues performed a Management Buyout of the company they worked for. In 1999 he left that company and set up his own IT Support company which he led for 20 years. Alongside his work he became a school governor in New Bradwell School and was elected Chair of Governors in 1993, a post he held until 2017 when he stood down to become Chair of the Grand Union Partnership Trust board. During his time as New Bradwell School Chair of Governors he helped the school achieve Foundation Status and went through three Ofsted Inspections. He also led the recruitment process culminating in the appointment of the CEO of the Trust, Phil Webster.

As one of the founding trustees Ian has a strong understanding of the core purpose and charitable aims of the trust, which he now is able to draw upon in his role as a member.

Matt Leeder

Currently General Manager for the Wolverton Leisure Trust, a limited company and Registered Charity which operates Wolverton Swimming & Fitness centre on a not-for-profit basis. Matt has worked in the leisure industry for 34 years and with roles in numerous Leisure Facilities over that time. He was instrumental in establishing Wolverton Leisure Trust in 2000. He led the re-development of the site that involved a £7million capital improvement programme. Matt has a strong understanding of what it means to operate as a charity and an excellent understanding of business and facilities management.

Over his working career Matt has gained a huge knowledge base linked to Management, Budgeting, HR and site development and maintenance and of course extensive knowledge of the Fitness industry.

Matt’s experiences and understanding of the dynamics of the local area enable him to be well placed to ensure that the trust board is effective in dealing with the aims of the trust and that the charitable aims of the organisation are met.

Amelia Whitehouse

Currently CEO at Whipperley Academy Trust, Amelia is a very experienced and successful education leader. Farley Junior Academy, one of the two schools in the Trust, was rated outstanding earlier in the year. Amelia’s background, prior to whole school and trust leadership, was as an Early Years and Key Stage 1 consultant in the London Borough of Barnet. Amelia is also an experienced company director having been the majority shareholder and Director at an Italian Restaurant for a period of 8 years.

As an experienced education leader and School Improvement Consultant Amelia has a very strong understanding of the outcomes needed from a well-managed trust which is meeting its statutory and legal obligations. 

Tom Winter

As a highly successful retired Primary Headteacher Tom brings a wealth of experience to his role as a member at the GUP. He was a Head for 22 years, in 5 schools in Luton and Milton Keynes, including a secondment to a school under special measures. Tom’s last headship was at Monkston Primary School, where he established a new school from 2001-2008. Post 2008, he has worked as an education consultant supporting a number of primary schools with school improvement. During this period he had 4 years as Chair of Governors at a church school in Northampton and 3 years as a LA appointed additional governor in an another Northampton school under special measures. He was Chair of the Local Advisory Committee at Jubilee Wood that brought about key changes in relation to governance and was involved in the appointment of the current Headteacher at the school. Tom has a strong understanding of the ethos of the Grand Union Partnership and the charitable aims of the organisation.