Our Board of Directors
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 06/01/2020 - 05/01/2024
Andrew Jolly (Co-opted) 23/03/2023 - 22/03/2027
Lee Parker 02/02/2021 - 01/02/2025
Beth Procter (Co-opted) 23/03/2023 - 22/03/2027
Peter Marland (Co-opted) 23/03/2022 - 22/03/2026
Carrie Matthews (Co-opted) (Chair of Teaching & Learning Committee) 23/03/2022 - 22/03/2026
Ann-Marie Smith 27/02/2023 - 26/02/2027
Mike Talbot (Co-opted) 23/03/2022 - 22/03/2026
Members Date of Appointment
Ian Franklin 1 September 2021
Matt Leeder 14 June 2021
Amelia Whitehouse 28 September 2022
Tom Winter 28 September 2022
Lynne Mirfin 15 July 2020 Resigned 29 September 2022
Governance Professional/Clerk to the Trust Board
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 has been 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.
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 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 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.
Pete has been Leader of Milton Keynes Council since 2014. Under his leadership Milton Keynes has positioned itself as the British pioneer in sustainable growth. Pete has spoken at events in the UK, Europe, China and Taiwan on issues such as sustainability, urban planning, infrastructure, investment and the impact of technology on growth. Pete is co-Chair of the Central Area Growth Board group of South Midlands local authorities that deliver a significant proportion of U.K. economic and housing growth. Pete is also currently a board member of Local Partnerships, an infrastructure and delivery agency jointly owned by the Local Government Association, HM Treasury and the Welsh Government. He is a member of the Resources Board of the Local Government Association and a Trustee of Helen & Douglas House Children’s Hospice. Between 2016 and 2020 he was Vice President of Energy Cities representing the interests of Energy and Climate Change transition within EU institutions. Pete was formally a finance manager for a FTSE 250 company and has worked for a HM Treasury Minister. He attended the University of Liverpool, being awarded a BA (Hons) in Politics and the University of Chester obtaining a PGCert in Business Administration
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 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 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.
Andrew Jolly is married to Abigail a teacher at New Bradwell school, and he has two daughters who also attend as pupils. He is a partner at a local independent Estate Agents in Milton Keynes, and he has a proven and successful background in sales & marketing with a great focus on fantastic customer service and customer experience. Having left school at the age of 16 he joined the British Army before moving into a sales background. He worked for BMW and MINI for over 10 years working his way up to a business/sales management role before making his way into Real Estate in 2011.Andrew has a passion for ensuring the area he lives in has a great community feel and spirit and he helps promote and sponsor local events. The strengths which Andrew can bring are having an inside knowledge of the day to day job of a teacher from his wife and he can help share those experiences to those that don’t for any decisions the trust have to make. He is also happy to help the trust grow by reaching out to schools in need and pitching to them on how being part of the trust could benefit them.
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.
Ann-Marie Smith has 17 years experience teaching in secondary schools in Luton and Milton Keynes and she is currently an Assistant Headteacher at The Radcliffe School in Wolverton, having been there for the past 10 years. I am passionate about developing equity and community relationships within education and firmly believe in schools working with their community to provide all children with the opportunities for success. She is a mother of two boys, with one of them still attending New Bradwell school. As a family they are active and enjoy athletics and hiking and often spend time conquering the peaks in North Wales, Scotland or The Lake District.