Meet the Directors
Before I retired I was Principal of an outstanding primary school and children’s centre in Croydon and Executive Principal at a school in Gillingham. I am currently a Governor at another local school and for many years I have served on the School Standards Board as member with responsibility for Safeguarding.
I have three adult children one of whom is teaching at a PACE school.
I was born in India and came to the UK on my first birthday in the 70s. I grew up and went to school in the Crystal Palace area and moved to Coulsdon in 2012.
I’m a Civil Engineer by profession and work for an international professional services firm who provide technical, professional and construction services.
My husband and I have two young daughters at a trust school and I have a passion for education hence have been a governor (parent governor, vice-chair and now chair) for some time now.
In my spare time I love to play netball, I play for a local team in a local league.
Additional roles: Joint Chair at Keston Primary School.
Business/Profession: Civil Engineer and Operational & Business Management.
I have strong personal connections with Croydon and Merton and have a passion for education. My mother, sister and aunt were hard working primary school teachers, and my wife worked as part of the support team at a primary school. My children attended Chipstead Valley Primary School, as do my nephews today. I have served as a school governor since 2008 and have been involved in the set up and expansion of the PACE Multi Academy Trust. I feel strongly that I have a responsibility to support our local communities through volunteering. I hope my career as a business psychologist and director of a management consultancy brings useful perspectives to our school leadership and governance. I am constantly impressed by the expertise, dedication and brilliance of all the teams across our schools. It's a wonderful community to be part of. We've come a long way but there is much more for us to do.
I have held governance roles in PACE schools since 2009 following a career in education including twenty years as a Headteacher, latterly of Keston Primary School. After my time as a Headteacher I worked both as a School Improvement Partner and as an Education Advisor facilitating the performance management of Headteachers. I am both a Director of PACE and a governor at New Valley Primary School.
I am a strong advocate of school improvement and of an inclusive approach for all children. I have a long-standing personal interest and commitment to the inclusion of children with special educational needs. I chair the Board’s ‘Educational Excellence’ committee where Directors review all aspects of school life and progress in our schools. My ambition is that these meetings enable Directors to both celebrate the diverse and stimulating work in schools in the Trust and to gain a deeper insight into the particular challenges each school faces. This enables us as a Board to provide informed direction to the Trust overall.
I am an experienced School Business Professional and Multi-Academy Trust executive leader. I have worked in finance and operations in a range of schools and academy trusts and am currently the Chief Financial Officer of the Diocese of Westminster Academy Trust. Prior to this I was Chief Operating Officer for Inspiration Trust. I was a member of the DfE Expert Group which authored the Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development and contributed to the new specification for the National Professional Qualifications. I am also a member of the Children’s Commissioner’s Audit and Risk Committee.
I hold the Advanced Professional Qualification in School Financial and Operational Leadership and am also a DfE accredited School Resource Management Adviser.
Mike is a retired group company secretary for a major national housing association for older people. Prior to this he spent time at HSBC UK fulfilling a number of management roles in operations and credit. He also chaired the Housing Association Company Secretaries Forum and is a Governor and Vice Chair at St Bede’s School in Redhill.
Mike joined Chipstead Valley as a Parent Governor prior to it becoming an Academy and has served as Chair of our Finance and Audit Committee and as a Governor at New Valley.
I am an Executive Director leading a major asset management, utilities infrastructure and critical services business across England and Wales. I am a qualified engineer by background with over 30 years of experience in businesses delivering and supporting technology and engineering solutions. I am keen to share my knowledge, experience and insight in operations, business strategy and governance, often in heavily regulated industrial sectors, for the benefit of our schools’ leadership teams.
Having been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer for PACE Academy Trust in September 2021, I feel privileged to be leading such a flourishing trust, where our schools work closely in partnership with each other, whilst remaining vibrant and creative settings in their own right. Our schools are diverse in size, context and locality and we use this diversity to learn from each other; this is what makes PACE a special place to work.
I have worked as a headteacher and executive leader in a diverse range of schools across Croydon, Surrey and Sutton, including roles within other MATs. This breadth of experience has provided me with insight into the vast achievements that are accomplished by schools, as well as the challenges that different settings face. My role as an executive leader for a contrasting Multi Academy Trust provided an opportunity to see ‘first hand’ what can be achieved by a group of schools working in partnership towards the same goals and the NPQEL qualification that I achieved in 2019 embedded this further. Having spent most of my headship years as a leader within the maintained sector, I completely understand the caution you may have as a leader when contemplating joining a MAT. However, I can absolutely assure you of the benefits that being part of a small Multi-Academy Trust bring. The opportunities, team-work, sense of security and the support available is second to none- and incredibly reassuring in a climate of educational and financial uncertainty.
I am passionate about inclusion, the UNICEF rights of the child and ensuring all learners appreciate the value of diversity and understand the importance of equality. As the CEO of PACE, I am committed to ensuring that every child receives an excellent educational experience, empowering them to achieve their full potential as learners now, but also equipping them to flourish as adults in the future.