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

Stuart Stanley (Chair)

Stuart was appointed by the Members as a Trustee on 24 March 2022, on a four-year term of office.

Stuart has worked in the Higher Education sector for over 10 years, currently as a Senior Project Manager at the University of Warwick, but has also worked across a number of academic and support departments and on a number of cross-institutional strategic change projects.

Prior to joining the BFMAT Board of Trustees, Stuart was the Chair of the Local Governing Body of KE6 College for almost 5 years, having been a Governor at the college since 2012. During this time he was involved in the establishment of BFMAT whilst he was Vice-Chair of the KE6 Board.

Stuart has a keen interest in student voice, having started his own careers as a Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer at Warwick SU. He also has extensive experience in change management, business process improvement, and strategy formulation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Daniel Gutteridge

Daniel was appointed by the Members as a Trustee on 4 January 2022, on a four-year term of office.

Daniel is the Director of Legal at Ofqual – the qualifications and assessments regulator for England. He leads a legal team that focusses on a range of public, regulatory, commercial and information rights issues. He is a member of the senior management group, and is the legal adviser to the Ofqual Board and its Committees.

Daniel has held previous in-house roles at the RICS and the Amateur Swimming Association/British Swimming, having started his legal career in private practice in criminal litigation as an advocate in the Youth, Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.

Away from work, he has a love of sport – being a keen runner, cyclist and golfer – and is an FA licensed coach who spends most of his weekends coaching youth football.

Harminder Bains

Harminder was appointed by the Members as a Trustee on 29 March 2023, on a four-year term of office.

Harminder has always taken a keen interest in education and the impact this has on social change. She has 20 years’ private and public sector experience of which 9 years working in transformation education in the NHS. She began her career in further and higher and went onto to work on a major qualifications reform programme strategically engaging educational providers and employers on a national readiness programme.

Her current role as a Programme Lead in the Primary and Integrated care is focussed on strategically transforming Training Hubs to support the manifesto commitment delivering an additional 26,000 new workforce in general practice, and leading on securing and providing educational offers for the wider workforce.

Harminder also volunteers her time as Trustee for a charity called Black Leadership Group supporting leaders in education.

Dr Shaun Hides

Shaun was appointed by the Sponsor as a Trustee on 29 March 2023, on a four-year term of office.

Shaun originally trained in Archaeology and Ethnography, his PhD was on the expression of ethnic and cultural identity through material cultural. He trained in, and taught, film/video-making, producing short documentaries and educational programmes.

Having taught in Leicester (1988-92) and Leeds Metropolitan Universities (1992-97), Shaun joined Coventry University in 1997. He became Head of the Media Department in 2009, authoring the Department’s ‘Open Media Strategy’, championing innovation strategies, which underpinned the Department’s rise in UK Education rankings. In 2012 he led the JISC-funded ‘Coventry Open Media Classes’ project, exploring open-access, digital-media education. In 2014 he established and Co-directed the £3.4M Disruptive Media Learning Lab. which explored the effects and opportunities of disruptive technologies in Higher Education, This work was recognised by JISC, Sony Ericsson, Apple, Adobe and UK and EU Parliamentary Commissions; and informed several publications and presentations including Open Education: A Study in Disruption (2014),

In 2015 he became Deputy Dean and then Academic Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, in December 2016. Shaun is currently driving the development of a distinctive strategic vision for 21st Century Arts & Humanities education and supporting a major redevelopment of Faculty estate for 2022 – this has informed the design and realization of the £ Multi-Million Delia Derbyshire building. His interests are education innovation; Higher Education’s role in the future creative workforce; and the cultural context of technological change.

Liz Bunn

Liz was appointed by the Sponsor as a Trustee on 29 March 2023, on a four-year term of office.

Liz has worked at Coventry University for 18 years and has extensive experience of supporting collaborative education with institutions across the world. Working within the Academic Partnership Unit until 2016, Liz led a team dedicated to managing the operation of validated and franchise arrangements enabling students to study for Coventry University awards in their home countries. In her current role at Deputy Registrar (Quality), Liz has specific responsibility for the University Group’s quality assurance agenda across a wide range of provision including undergraduate and postgraduate course, apprenticeships, CPD and research. Liz serves on several University committees and deputises for the Academic Registrar of the Coventry University Group.

Paul Kendrick

Paul was appointed by the Sponsor as a Trustee on 29 March 2023, on a four-year term of office.

Paul is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) at Coventry University.

Key Information

BFMAT Trustees and Senior Leaders Declaration of Interests

BFMAT Trustee Attendance 2022-23