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Our Trustees

This is the Compass Partnership of Schools’ inaugural Board of Trustees, based on the founding group of schools in the Compass Partnership. The trustees have been appointed for the variety of skills and expertise that they bring to a charitable trust.

Mary Whitehead

Chair of the Board of Trustees
Retired head teacher, national leader of education and school governor

Mary has taught in early years and primary settings and became a head teacher in Greenwich in 2000. Mary established the Royal Greenwich Teaching School Alliance, and became a national leader of education, before retiring in 2014. She is passionate about education in school and wider educational issues.

Hugh Lewis

Chair of Business Committee
Partner, Kirk and Partners

Hugh is a qualified solicitor of 37 years’ standing, and a partner in a high street practice specialising in land law and trusts, with knowledge of company and charity law. Hugh has a wide private client base that includes local charities. As a business owner, Hugh possesses key financial and analytical skills to ensure that his practice meets and satisfies ever-changing economic and regulatory demands. Having been a school governor for 16 years, Hugh possesses a good knowledge of the requirements of school governance, including the need to challenge and support school leaders, while always focusing on the well-being, safety and development of each pupil.

Orla Ralston

Managing Director, Head of Investments Tax, OMERS

Orla qualified as a solicitor in 1998, having graduated with a joint honours' degree in Law and Accountancy. Orla practised as a corporate tax lawyer in a City of London law firm from 1998 until 2005. She then worked at Goldman Sachs, advising on corporate tax matters in relation to various corporate mergers and acquisitions and lending transactions across Europe, where she remained for 11 years. Orla recently joined the London office of a Canadian pension fund to advise on the tax aspects of their various European investments. Orla was elected as a parent governor of Halstow Primary School in January 2011 and was first elected as Chair of Governors in the autumn of 2013. The Halstow governing body was selected as one of six finalists for the National Governors Association Outstanding Governing Body Awards in 2013.

Louise Rea

Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee
Employment law specialist

Louise specialises in employment law and has 15 years’ experience advising a wide range of clients, most recently as senior associate at the law firm Bates Wells. She has a breadth of experience in advising on employment issues arising from academy conversion. She is an experienced tribunal advocate and has successfully defended employers against trade union detriment, unfair dismissal and discrimination claims.

Nathalie Fitzgerald

Chair of Standards Committee
Head Teacher, Hawkswood Primary School

Nathalie has a strong background in education, across both primary and secondary phases.  Nathalie is passionate about improving educational outcomes, experiences and life chances of disadvantaged children, and is the Headteacher at Hawkswood Primary PRU and SEMH school in Waltham Forest.  Her experiences in education have shaped and developed a strong moral purpose, which enable to her to champion the importance of holistic approaches to teaching, learning and the curriculum. Nathalie has nine years of experience as a governor and is passionate about supporting schools locally as a resident of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Susan Skidmore

Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Pay & Personnel Committee
Retired head teacher

Susan’s background is in education, working with both children and adults. She has taught the whole primary age range, led maths and English, and been a special educational needs co-ordinator. After becoming a head teacher 15 years ago, Susan led the development of federating two very different schools, managing change for two sets of staff. This included managing a high level of external scrutiny, developing teamwork across the federation, and a robust framework of support and challenge for all staff, pupils and governors. She also secured significant funding for developing the leadership and infrastructure of the federation. Susan was appointed as one of the first consultant leaders, taking part in the national initiative and training programme, and was an assessor for the Quality Mark, working with the local authority inspection team. Her practice as a consultant working on strategic leadership has been influenced by the model of coaching and mentoring, using reflection and peer coaching to enable schools to successfully develop individually, as well as the precision of working to key criteria and standards. Susan has been a governor at South Rise since 2011 and was elected Chair in 2012.

Rupinder Bansil

Head Teacher, West Thornton Primary School

Rupinder has recently become Head Teacher of West Thornton, having previously been Head Teacher at Foxfield Primary School from 2014. She was part of the leadership team that transformed the school from inadequate to Outstanding in just 16 months. Rupinder previously worked at Bannockburn Primary school, leading on the expansion of the site. She enjoys creating wonderful spaces for children to learn and for staff to work in, and always has culture and climate at the forefront of her mind. She has taught in all year groups and held many different leadership roles across the schools she has worked in. Rupinder is passionate about diversity and inclusion.

Alex Wasik-Hyde

Head of Region, Academies and Maintained Schools Directorate, Department for Education

Alex is Head of Region in the Academies and Maintained Schools Directorate at the Department for Education. Her team deals with complex casework, particularly on financial viability and governance, and provides advice on compliance for open academies based in Northwest London and the South-Central area. Alex has worked in the Department for Education for the past 10 years, mainly on the academies programme, and has also built experience in areas such as pupil place planning, capital development and funding, and educational improvement. She has extensive experience of working with trust leaders to develop, challenge and monitor improvement plans. As a civil servant, Alex is guided by values of impartiality, honesty, integrity and objectivity. Alex was Chair of Governors at Wingfield Primary School from September 2019 until December 2021. She is a local parent and is committed to ensuring the best educational opportunities for our children.

Simon Hayward

Programs Director UK portfolio, London & Continental Railways
Associate Partner, Parceman Hill Associates Consultancy

Simon is an accomplished C-suite appointee, NED and experienced Board member across the nuclear, aviation, heavy engineering, retail, hospitality and education sectors where he is recognized for his independent perspective and diligent ability to balance corporate governance and regulatory compliance with the difficulties of operating in complex business environments.

Simon is both a polymath and experienced consultant who is frequently called upon for his broad knowledge of leading and mentoring senior management and boards of directors in the transition of complex business strategies and organisational change, intuitively seeing the threads of opportunity that wind through an organization. He brings them together into a coherent whole, helps others extend their thinking to provide better visibility of key resources and capabilities to deliver significant asset growth.

A respected international speaker within the nuclear sector, Simon holds a degree in linguistics and economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Simon is a keen sportsman and advocate for modern dance and the arts.

 

 

Sajni Shah - Stood down 10th April 2022

Paul Brightly-Jones - Stood down 5th November 2021