Trustees

The Board of Trustees is the decision-making body of the BFMAT and is accountable and responsible for all its Academies. The Board of Trustees operates and makes decisions to further the BFMAT’s charitable object to advance for the public benefit education in the United Kingdom.

Trustees are both the charity trustees and company directors of the BFMAT. They have a statutory duty to exercise care, skill and diligence and to avoid conflicts of interest.

Trustees have three core functions:

  1. Ensuring clarity of the vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  2. Holding the Executive Leadership Team to account for the educational performance of Academies in the BFMAT and the effective and efficient    performance management of staff.
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the BFMAT and making sure that its money is well spent.

BFMAT Trustees

Simon Wright (Chair)

Simon was appointed by the BFMAT Members as a Trustee on 11 May 2018. 

Simon is a HR and OD expert and a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD FCIPD. He has a wealth of experience leading highly engaged and successful teams, of working at Board, Executive and senior management team levels, developing organisations and leading strategy for future success. He has extensive experience in providing consultancy support, delivering bespoke leadership and management development programmes for Senior Leaders and managers incorporating MBTI, psychometrics and individual coaching support. He is a qualified and widely experienced Coach working with executives and other leaders.

Simon has experience of working in and consulting in both public and private sectors including local government, Housing associations, many civil service agencies and ministries, and the NHS. 

He is a former Chair of the King Edward VI College Corporation. Simon is proud to have led the Corporation, positively engaging across the sector and within the College and to have supported colleagues to achieve a positive and exciting outcome from the Area Based Review process.

Eileen Hartley (Vice-Chair)

Eileen was appointed by the Members as a Trustee on 6 November 2019, on a four-year term of office. 

Prior to her retirement, she had a long and successful career as a secondary school teacher,

Eileen is a former member of the Bilborough College Corporation, serving as Chair for the 6 years prior to the College’s conversion to an Academy in 2019. As such she has extensive experience of Sixth Form Education and Education Improvement and is a specialist in safeguarding.

Eileen is also the Midlands Governor Representative on the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA) Governors Council, a Member of the NJC employers side for SFCA and a Trustee for The Raleigh Trust.

Eileen’s main interests are music and sport. She has coached senior county boys’ hockey teams and latterly women’s teams. She is chorister at St Mary’s Attenborough and also sings with the Marygate Singers.

Professor Guy Daly

Guy was appointed by the Sponsor as a Trustee on 11 October 2017, on a four-year term of office.  

Guy is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) and is responsible for providing direction, leadership and overall management of the education and student experience portfolio for Coventry University Group.  Prior to taking on the role of DVC (Education and Students), he was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Health and Life Sciences).

He is currently a Non-Executive Director of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. In addition, he is a trustee of: ExtraCare, a leading not-for-profit developer of housing for over 55 year olds; RESEC (Research in Elderly and Specialist Care), which aims to improve the quality of research in specialist and elderly care; and The Human City Institute (HCI), a third sector social policy think-tank.

Guy has also been a member of various national UK and local groups and bodies including: Executive Member (International/Global) of Council of Deans of Health (affiliated to Universities UK), West Midlands Clinical Senate, West Midlands Combined Authority Wellbeing Board, Coventry Health and Wellbeing Board, and was a Non-Executive Director of Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust. He was a member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Sustainability Transformation Partnership (STP) Better Health – Better Care – Better Value Board and chaired its Clinical Design Authority Board. He is a social policy academic and his research interests are in health policy, social care (personalisation, choice, adult social care), housing policy, local government, and the governance of public services generally.

Lorraine Gearing

Lorraine was appointed by the Sponsor as a Trustee on 26 April 2018, on a four-year term of office.

Lorraine has been Director of Educational Strategies at the University since 2015. Within this role, she has specific responsibility for the development and roll-out of the education and assessment strategies across the CU Group. She is engaged in a number of cross-university networks and steering groups.

She is the Chair of the Gender Leadership and Development group (GLAD) and the Institutional Champion for the Aurora programme. Externally, she is a Local Governor at Solihull Sixth Form College. Lorraine also led on the development of BFMAT from 2016 – 2018.

Prior to her current role, she was Head of Academic Experience for CU Coventry and was part of the setup leadership team when the College (now CU) was first launched.

Kevin Grindley

Kevin was appointed by the Members as a Trustee on 28 August 2019, on a four-year term of office.

Kevin has over 25 years of experience in student services provision for 16-19 year olds and is currently Interim Head of Student Services at Hugh Baird College in Liverpool.

He has an extensive record of effective change leadership success within student support and recruitment settings.

He has worked across a number of college – including Coventry College, Harrow College of Further Education and Waltham Forest College – and served on the Executive of the National Association of Managers of Student Services (NAMSS) for 12 years until 2019.

He is an expert in the areas of safeguarding and student welfare, as well as in areas such as marketing and college admissions.

John Kirk

John was appointed by the Members as a Trustee on 1 April 2020, on a four-year term of office. 

An experienced business advisor and consultant, John has been involved in education for over twenty years as a college governor, as well as an FE company clerk, admissions appeals clerk and school business advisor.

As Chair of Governors at Gateway Sixth Form College prior to academisation, he was appointed to the Association of Colleges Regional Chairs Committee.

A varied business career has included sales and training accreditation, the founding of a government-accredited national advertising company, and infrastructure project funding.

Charity and voluntary roles have included hospital chaplaincy visiting, twenty plus years in prison chaplaincy, and continuing work with secondary schools across the Midlands.

Greg Langston

Greg was appointed by the Sponsor as a Trustee on 1 April 2020, on a four-year term of office.

Greg joined Coventry University in 2017 and is now Chief Finance Officer.  Greg is responsible for developing and driving the finance strategy across the Coventry University Group. Greg previously worked at the University of Birmingham and has over 25 years’ experience working in the Finance arena in Higher Education and previously in the NHS.

Outside of Coventry University, Greg is a non-executive director for a local authority leisure trading company, focusing on bringing financial management, strategy and governance expertise to the Board. He is also treasurer to a local youth football club.

Ulysses Lyons (CEO)

Uly was appointed by the Members as a Trustee on 28 August 2019.

Uly is the CEO of the BFMAT. He has a wealth of experience as a senior leader in sixth form provision.  He was most recently Principal at KEC 2015-19 where he set up the BFMAT with Coventry University while leading the college to another ‘Good’ Ofsted inspection in November 2017.

Previous to KEC, he led teaching & learning at Havering 6th Form College taking them from Requires Improvement to Good within 14 months. He has over 20 years’ experience in the SFC sector leading good and outstanding provision. This includes leading the project to being one of the only SFCs to achieve Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) status whilst a Senior Leader at Newham Sixth Form College.

Kate Quantrell

Kate was appointed by the Sponsor as a BFMAT Trustee on 11 October 2017, on a four-year term of office.

Kate’s responsibilities include governance, risk & compliance, Legal Services, Registry functions, quality assurance, and the Programme Management Office.

Kate is also a Trustee of the Coventry University Charitable Trust and the Coventry University Welfare Trust.

A graduate of the University of London, Kate arrived at Coventry University in 2003 after a varied career in the civil service, King’s College School of Medicine & Dentistry, King’s College London and the film industry.

Norman MacDonald

Norman was appointed by the Members as a Trustee on 25 March 2021, on a four-year term of office.

Norman was born in Edinburgh in 1953 where he worked until 1985 during which time he qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Norman moved to England in 1985 and worked in the motor trade in various organisations until 2001 when he had first role in FE. Since 2001, Norman has worked at Colleges in Coventry, Stratford-upon-Avon, Birmingham and Nuneaton at Finance Director level. His current part time role is at Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College in Central Birmingham.

Now partially retired, Norman’s outside interests are travelling, following Aston Villa, playing a few games of golf each year and enjoying spending time with his six grand-children.

Working with young people in FE has been something Norman has enjoyed and joining BFMAT is his way of giving something back to the sector.


Key Information

BFMAT Trustees and Senior Leaders Declaration of Interests