FET Directors

As directors of a charitable trust, our Board of Trustees ensure that they comply with charity and company law. The Board is also accountable in Law and to Ofsted for the Trust’s performance.

The Board has two core functions: to set the strategic direction of the organisation and to ensure financial probity. The Board is supported by three sub-committees in addition to the Local Academy Councils: Education, Audit: Risk & Finance and HR & Remuneration.

As a multi academy trust, the Board is responsible for all academies in the Trust. We exercise this responsibility by delegating functions to the Local Academy Councils, Executive Team and Headteachers through the Scheme of Delegation.

Board of Directors

David Lane – Chair

David is currently the Independent Chair of the Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee for the West Midlands Combined Authority as well as a Chair of Governors at a local Primary School and local Parish Councillor in Warwickshire.

David is now retired, but his career was largely leading change and improvement within both public and private sectors, with some long standing third sector supportive roles. He has also worked with many government departments and agencies to advise them on change.


Catherine Canty LLB (Hons) – Vice Chair

Kate is currently the Clerk to the Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands which involves working with the business and voluntary sectors across the region, participating in civic activities, acting as liaison with the armed forces and supporting Royal visits to the County.

A qualified solicitor with over 20 years in commercial property law, subsequently becoming a business and property consultant, Kate has a strong background in constitutional law and governance.

Kate has had various voluntary positions in the employment and skills sector in Birmingham and is currently a director of Millennium Point which promotes education in the field of innovation and technology.

Kate is currently the Chair of the Audit: Risk and Finance Committee.


Bren Taylor

Bren leads Link2ICT’s Professional Services providing support for more than 1400 schools nationally, mainly in Birmingham, Staffordshire and West Sussex.

Bren is currently the Chair of West Midlands Regional Broadband Consortium (WMnet),  Chair of the National Education Network (NEN) and a director of the Birmingham eLearning Foundation (BeLF). He is also a program committee member for the annual International mLearn conference.

A teacher by trade, Bren taught in Sandwell and Birmingham.  During his time at Birmingham LA and with Link2ICT, he also led the Birmingham CLC Service and was a senior advisor to the Birmingham BSF programme. He has also been a facilitator for the National College for Teaching and Learning’s (NCTL) leadership programmes, working for two different licensees, during which time he was certificated in the first ever cohort of the NCTL’s Advanced Facilitator programme.

As a volunteer, Bren has worked in soup kitchens, been a school governor and has contributed as one of a couple of UK representatives to the UNESCO OER programme.  His spare time now is often taken up with keeping his classic sports car on the road and taking part in events and rallies across the UK and Europe. Bren is married with two grown up children and his wife is also a teacher in a special education setting.


Patrick Ricketts FCMI, PG Dip

Patrick is accomplished at delivering strategy for sustainable business growth and people/team development. Has a demonstrable proven track record of customer service performance improvement in executive roles, including FTSE quoted PLCs.

Patrick has extensive commercial experience leading account strategy for multi-million-pound contracts and delivering customer service excellence.

Patrick has strong strategic planning, operations, and commercial skills within UK markets in B2C & B2B markets including the public sector and has significant experience in transformation and change management.


Helen Redican

Helen has worked both within schools and as a school improvement advisor for many years, supporting schools that need rapid improvement.  She has considerable expertise in the evaluation of educational standards across a range of settings, leadership and governance of schools of all phases and types, early years provision and partnership working with local authorities and officers of the DFE.

Helen is currently the Chair of the Education Committee.


Maria Earl BSc (Jt Hons), FCIPD

Throughout her career, Maria has held senior HR positions across the transport and food industry as well as B2B consultancy, with her last role as an HR Director within Arriva. She has been a non-executive Director / Trustee at FET since March 2019 and chairs the HR and Renumeration Committee as well as sitting on the Education Committee. Additionally, Maria holds a non-executive Director position for Stockport Homes Group.


Paul Roberts BA, PGCE, M Ed.

I was a teacher and head teacher for many years in special schools. Having been a National Leader for Education I have carried out school improvement consultancy in several special schools and several SEND reviews in mainstream schools on behalf of Brays Teaching School Alliance and the Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP). I served on the BEP School Improvement Advisory Committee for six years. I joined the Hallmoor IEB in 2015 and have chaired the Hallmoor Local Academy Council since 2017. I have also served as a governor in two other special schools.

I believe in the values of the Forward Education Trust and want to help it to raise the aspirations of our pupils and their families and to support them in achieving them. I also want to contribute to empowering staff and governors in our schools.


Susan Mary Casey

Until spring 2022, Sue was the Delivery Lead for Governor Services, at Warwickshire County Council, where she worked with and supported several governing boards. She is now an associate Trainer for WCC and writes and delivers training to governors and trustees. She also offers a consultancy service to multi academy trusts and local authority maintained schools on a variety of governance issues.

Sue has been a school governor since 2005 in both primary and secondary phases and has chaired committees and full governing boards.  She was also a National Leader of Governance.

Sue has a thorough understanding of school finances and the difficulties of ensuring that schools and academies remain sustainable whilst driving school improvement and delivering their vision.

She is passionate about the positive impact that good governance can have within a multi academy trust and is looking forward to being part of the Forward Education Trust Board

Register of Business and Pecuniary Interest

Please see below our Register of Pecuniary and Business Interests for all our members of the Forward Education Trust (FET).

Attendance Record 2021-2022

Attendance Record 2020 – 2021

(Click image to view at full size)

Board Minutes

×