Our Board Members

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CEO of the Samuel Ward Academy Trust.

Mr Mike Parish - Chair/Director/Member

Mike Parish is the Group CEO of Care UK and chairs its Health Care and Residential Care Services. Care UK is a provider of a range of clinical services for NHS patients, including much of the national 111 and primary care non-emergency service, primary care and mental health care in over 40 prisons as well as acute elective surgery and diagnostics in nine hospitals. Care UK also operates more than 120 care homes for older people, many as part of long term arrangements with local authorities.

Mike joined Care UK in 2001 following a long career with the National Freight Corporation, latterly know as Exel Logistics and now DHL. Mike was also a director and trustee of the NHS Confederation.

Mike has three adult children and lives in Sevenoaks, Kent. He enjoys the outdoors, sport and photography.

Mr Gordon Jones - Director

Gordon Jones is a qualified Chartered Accountant, he worked as a Finance Director in the City of London. He has been chair of the Suffolk Governors Forum and a member of the School’s Forum. In his business life he controlled and managed service companies as both client and provider.

In 2013 Gordon was elected to Suffolk County Council as the member for the Stamford division and was immediately appointed Deputy Portfolio Holder for CYP services. In the recent SCC reshuffle he was promoted to cabinet as the Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services. He also sits on the Suffolk Health and Well being Board, Suffolk Safeguarding Board, Layham Quarry Liaison Group and Tattingstone Quarry Liaison Group.

Mr Paul Reed - Director

Paul works for The John Lewis Partnership as a Branch Manager for Waitrose, and as an internal Business, Leadership and Development, Mentor and Life coach, a role he also fulfils externally. He is currently working with British Airways, BBC, Deloitte, GSK, MasterCard and The Civil Service, collaborating on a cross business coaching and development offer.

Paul is also Vice Chair of HBAC, Huntingdon Business Against Crime, and works with offenders at Peterborough and Bronzefield prisons, delivering employability skills to groups close to release.

Paul has two children and became a governor and subsequently Chair of Governors at Newmarket Academy following the most recent Ofsted visit, restructuring the body to ensure the correct amount of both challenge and support are delivered consistently. Paul also sits as a Director on the SWMAT board., and is a member of the Personnel Committee.

Mr Ian Jacobs - Director

A civil servant for over 20 years, Ian has worked on policy development and delivery across a number of departmental agendas, including Home Office, Communities and Local Government and Education. He has held roles within the Department for Education include Free Schools policy and implementation, Education Funding Agency oversight of the academies programme, and more recently, supporting the Regional Schools Commissioner for the East of England and North East London. This work has enabled him to develop skills and experience in financial management, legal frameworks and governance. 

Mr Dean Sykes - Director

Dean is currently Operations Director for Inchape PLC with responsibility for their Emerging Markets business which spans Europe, Africa and South America. His career has encompassed a varety of senior leadersip positions in multi-site businesses that have ranged from his current automotive role to banking, telecoms and leisure.

Mr John Smith - Director

John's last full time executive role was Group HR Director for Greene King PLC. Prior to this he held senior positions in HR for Robert Fleming and Nomura, London based investment banks and for Terra Firma, a private equity business. 

Mr Roger Quince - Director

Roger is a former Royal Marine, economist and has worked in business for most of his professional life.  Formed public policy consultancy in the 1980s of which he is  currently a non-executive director.  Been Chair of West Sufolk Hospital for the last 10 years, prior to which he was a director of a large property company.  Has been Chair of Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds for the past year and for the last four years has been a trustee of Emmaus Suffolk, a homeless charity.  

Mrs Lesley Birch - Member

Following extensive teaching experience working in schools in London, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, Lesley Birch was appointed Headteacher at Histon & Impington Junior School in 2001. Histon & Impington Junior School has an Ofsted judgement of “outstanding”. Lesley became a National Leader of Education in 2009, and subsequently the Junior School was designated as a National Support School, working with other schools to enhance and improve educational standards. As a result of the outreach work, Lesley was appointed Executive Headteacher of the then struggling Hatton Park Primary School. It has since been awarded a “Good” in 2014.

Lesley helped pave the way towards the formation of CPET on 1st December 2012 and was appointed as Executive Principal in September 2014. CPET schools have subsequently benefited from the freedoms and flexibilities of academy status, sharing best practice and working together in order to secure excellence for all pupils, all under Lesley’s directorship. Histon & Impington Junior School is also a Teaching School, part of CTSN and Lesley is a Teaching School Council Representative for the Eastern Region.

Mr Paul Marshall - Member

Paul retired from the Police Service in 2014 following a 34 year career with the Suffolk Constabulary reaching the rank of Deputy Chief Constable.  In 2015 he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished police service.

On retirement he was appointed an an Independent Chair of School Improvement Boards holding Head Teachers, Chairs of Governors and the Local Authority to account for rapid and sustainable improvements in pupil outcomes.  This led to other roles within education including being appointed as a chair of Interim Executive Boards, supporting and strengthening Governing Bodies and advising on the performance of Head Teachers.  Since 2016 he has run his own management consultancy business.

In his spare time Paul is the Chair of Governors at Norton CEVC Primary School and a Trustee of a charity linked to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Suffolk.  He has lived in Suffolk all his life.

Mr Tim Elbourne - Member