The Educators’ Trust

and its Trustees

One of the original purposes of the medieval guilds, the precursors of livery Companies, was for charity, funded by members giving what they could. This ancient tradition continues today in all the 110 Companies of the City of London. Together they donate £76 million to charities each year.

The Worshipful Company of Educators is no exception. Charitable activity is at the heart of our values. We are dedicated to support the profession of educator that is all those professionals who contribute to creating a stimulating, diverse and supportive environment in which people learn and enrich their lives.

We celebrate outstanding innovation and excellence in educational practice primarily through awards and bursaries to individual educators

The Company set up the Educators’ Trust to fund an awards programme and a Board of Trustees to manage its charitable funds and develop its charitable activities. The Trust receives no grants from government and is funded by the generous donations and legacies of Freemen and Liverymen of the Company and from other individuals and organisations which share its belief in the transformative power of education.

Our Trustees

The current Board of The Educators’ Trust consists of the Chair and seven Trustees. The Trust Board is serviced by an Honorary Secretary, who is an educational and charity lawyer, an Honorary Treasurer and a Financial Administrator.

The Trustees have three main responsibilities:

•  Stewardship in respect of the funds and expenditure of the Trust

•  Development of charitable activities

•  Fundraising to increase the Trust’s income.

Dr Jennifer Somerville, Chair

Trustee Chairman, Jennifer Somerville

Dr Somerville’s academic career as a social scientist in UK universities, led to senior leadership positions, including that of executive dean of faculty and Pro-Vice Chancellor. She contributed to national HE developments in modular structures and credit transfer systems, in competency-based curriculum and in the commercialisation of academic expertise in research and CPD. She was a HE quality auditor for the Higher Education Quality Council.

Jennie also has extensive international experience. At one time Chair of the European Deans Academic Network, she became a senior consultant for the European Foundation for Management Development designing and delivering executive leadership and management development programmes and capacity-building projects for HE in Europe, Russia, central and eastern Europe, Latin America, Malaysia and Africa.

Jennie’s commitment to education goes beyond a professional career. While working full time she participated in a volunteering scheme for disadvantaged primary schools in East London and a mentoring scheme for women managers. In retirement she has volunteered to tutor girls from low income families for GCSE and run ESOL classes for Turkish women. She is Vice Chair of the Local Governing Body of a large North London secondary academy, and is a member of the executive committees of a local branch of U3A and the Historical Association. And of course she gives a lot of her time to the Educators’ Trust and Company.

Nick Bence Trower

Trustee, Nick Bence Trower

Nick has had a life-time career in the City with Schroeder’s, a British multinational asset management company working in financial markets and ultimately managing portfolios for clients in the charity sector whilst working for its subsidiary, Cazenove Capital. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute for Securities and Investment.

Nick is passionate about livery companies and their ancient rights and traditions. 

He was admitted to the Drapers’ Company in 1982 and was elected Master for the 2014/15 company year. The Drapers’ Company has close links with Queen Mary, University of London, and they co-sponsor the Drapers’ Academy on Harold Hill, Romford.

He is currently Chairman of Governors of the Sir William Boreman’s Foundation, a charity originating from the will of this gentleman dated 1684, in which he bequeathed to the Drapers’ Company a school he founded in Greenwich. Whilst the school no longer exists, the Foundation continues to give small educational grants to students and charities located in this borough and its neighbour, Lewisham.

Nick is also on the Court of the newly established Guild of Investment Managers.

Nick is also active in charitable activities raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society and the Royal British Legion by participating in sporting events – he has run nine marathons and has cycled in the past to Paris three times!

Paul Bowers Isaacson

Trustee, Paul bowers Isaacson

After graduating from Keele University, Joint Honours in Chemistry and Education, Paul joined the teaching profession, mainly in central-city schools in Manchester and London. He became interested in the creative potential of cross-curriculum courses and developed and taught a number of innovative programmes, both in-school and as part of national projects.

Later, as a full-time curriculum developer and assessor, he contributed to major developments including A Level Science & Society (as project worker for the Nuffield Curriculum Centre and as a senior examiner) and the  Extended Project Qualification (as the senior examiner in the pilot and development phases with QCA and a major awarding body). He became one of the first Chartered Educational Assessors (CEA) with a particular interest in appropriate coursework and internal assessment.

A committed Quaker, Paul took an early career break for several years as an educational peace project worker travelling throughout the British Isles. He subsequently joined a number of Quaker-related trustee boards, including several years with responsibility for large grant awards to Peace and Social responsibility projects. He has also served as a board member and trustee of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors.

Paul has taken part in a number of clinical research trials and is co-founder of the patient-led ‘Patient & Public Involvement’ organisation TrialsConnect based at the William Harvey Clinical Research Centre. He is currently the honorary administrative secretary and during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020, he was the patient representative on the group organising all coronavirus research by the Barts Health Trust and Queen Mary, University of London. He is now co-chair of NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre.

Paul has served on the trustee groups and board of several Quaker schools and also as governor of a school federation in North London providing both mainstream, special and alternative provision.

Paul’s wife, Lisa, works for an American university programme in London and he enjoys welcoming both students and visiting staff to the city, where he was born and bred, as ‘faculty spouse’. Additional ‘spare time’ activities include riding on Wimbledon Common and, of course, service as an active Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Educators.

Dr Susan Cousin

Trustee, Susan Cousin

Susan has a degree in English and Linguistics from Nottingham University, a PGCE at the University of Durham, and a PhD from the Institute of Education/UCL.

She joined the teaching profession as an English teacher in a comprehensive school before becoming Director of English in a sixth form college where she was promoted to the Senior Leadership Team. Susan’s interests expanded to the big picture of educational policy. 

A one-year secondment as policy advisor at the DoE, led to a permanent position as the policy lead for post-14 teaching and learning, responsible for a multi-million pounds budget; 12 curriculum teams; reporting to Ministers and liaison with a range of educationalists including Ofsted, Teacher Unions, Sector Skills Councils and Examination Boards.

In 2008, she became Head of Programmes at the Specialist Schools and Academy Trust, responsible for national school improvement programmes.She led the headteacher group of regional representatives which liaised with the DfE sponsor team and external evaluators on the policy design, implementation and evaluation. In 2012 Susan returned to the front line joining Wakefield City Academy’s multi-academy trust where she was responsible for leadership training and teaching and learning across the trust’s schools

Since retiring in 2016, Susan spends her time travelling, conducting research, writing and supervising doctoral students. She is a member of the panel of judges for the Educator’s Trust Awards.

Professor Sir Deian Hopkin

Trustee, Deian Hopkin

Born and educated in Wales, Sir Deian graduated in history at Aberystwyth where he gained his PhD. A historian of the Labour and trade union movement and the press, he was an early pioneer in the use of new technologies and computers in teaching and research in history. 

In a career of over 40 years, he worked as an academic and then senior manager in six universities and from 2001 to 2009 was Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of London South Bank University following which he was interim Vice Chancellor of the University of East London; he remains an Emeritus Professor in both universities.

His many public roles have included the BBC General Advisory Council, the Learning and Skills Council and the Health Sector Skills Council. He has served as a government advisor on curriculum reform, chaired the Higher Education Progression Board (DFES), was an Apprenticeships Ambassador for HE and served on the Cabinet Office Education Honours Committee until 2017. In 2009/10 he led the inquiry for the government into the performance of the Student Loans Company, subsequently being appointed its interim Chairman. He was a member of the Corporations of Hackney and Lambeth FE Colleges, a member of the Council and Court of Essex University and for many years a Council member of City and Guilds Institute. Among many roles in the London community, he was founding Chairman of Cityside Regeneration in East London and the City Fringe, a member of the European Programmes Committee for London which managed EU funding, and Vice-Chairman of London Higher, representing 45 London universities.

In his native Wales, he was appointed as 10th President of the National Library of Wales until 2016 and was until 2020 Expert Adviser to the First Minister of Wales and Chair of Wales Remembers 1914-18. In 2019 he was awarded the First Minister of Wales’ St David Award for services to Wales and in May 2022 he was elected President of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, Wales’ oldest literary and scholarly society founded in London in 1752.

Over the years he has been a trustee or patron of a number of charities, including the Bishopsgate Institute, the Council for Academics at Risk (CARA) and the Campaign for Learning. In 2017 he was a founding partner of an education and public sector executive search company and is currently a Principal Adviser to a Melbourne-based HE consultancy and a member of the Higher Education Commission in Westminster which reports on policy issues in HE. He is an assessor for the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes and for the past twelve years has been a judge of the Times Higher Awards.

A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the RSA, City and Guilds and CIBSE (Hon) he has received honorary degrees from six universities including London, McGill and the Open University and was knighted for services to higher education and to skills in the UK in 2009.

David Skidmore

Trustee, David skidmore

Most of David’s career has been in education. He is now an Emeritus Professor having held a Personal Chair in Rural Policy, spanning the subjects of geography and biology. He is a Senior Plant Health Professional registered with the Royal Society of Biology and advises on plant health, horticulture and environmental and social issues through his membership of national, project committees.

He took his BSc at the University of Manchester and completed his PhD at Bangor University. He began his academic career at Girton College and the University of Cambridge. David went on to teach in both higher and further education institutions. He is concerned with all the levels of education that are represented across the Worshipful Company of Educators.It is essential to recognise and promote the enormous and undoubted benefits that education and training bring to both children and adults. He is a Primary School Governor where he is involved in teaching, learning and assessment and the development of its international curriculum.

David is Honorary Director of the Lovell Quinta Arboretum in Cheshire which holds National Collections of oak, pine and ash. This gives him the opportunity to work with, and support volunteers and the local community, and to encounter the complexities of administering a charity.

David values the contribution that is made to science and education, and personal development, by the learned and professional societies. He is Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Society of Biology, the Chartered Management Institute and the Linnean Society of London.

Enid Weaver

Trustee, Enid Weaver

From a very early age, I can remember always being involved with music in some form or other. I think I was one of the first to take advantage of the newly formed Junior Exhibitioner Scheme at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, now called Junior Guildhall. It was the Headmaster at my junior school who informed my father of this opening: and so I was taken up to London for an audition and awarded a place — apparently on my potential!

Much to the irritation of my games teacher at school, who had me down for the Essex Hockey trials, I then chose to attend Saturdays at the Guildhall for the next few years, eventually moving on to the senior Conservatoire to study singing and pianoforte for the next three years. During this time I taught singing and directed the choral class in the Junior school. I was privileged to be invited to teach for a short time in the senior school.

As with many performers in the arts, work is not easy to come by and I did: a fair amount of peripatetic teaching in schools near to where I lived; session work; and, for a short time, sang with the BBC Singers. I did the usual rounds of recitals and oratorio work with choirs in the London area and went over to Norway, where I recorded some Purcell songs for NRK. I gained a place at what was then called the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musicians in Aldeburgh and spent a week being coached by the late Sir Peter Pears in Bach’s B minor Mass and various cantatas. The week concluded with a performance in the Snape Concert Hall.

Teaching at Bancroft’s School in Woodford Green for a number of years as Assistant Director of Music, I enjoyed the chance to work with pupils from the prep school up to the sixth form. I also had responsibility for three choirs and an orchestra. I have lost count of the number of musicals I helped produce, but can remember the nightmare of organising large groups of very enthusiastic year sevens in their first experience on stage. It was during this time that I worked towards and secured a Masters in Performance Studies.

Retiring from full time teaching at Bancroft’s gave me the opportunity to learn more about flower arranging, a subject that had always interested me. I enrolled for a two-year course at the horticultural college, Capel Manor in Enfield. The course was excellent, and we were taught every type of technique imaginable concerning flowers. We even spent part of the course on marketing — in case we wished to eventually open our own shop. I still keep my hand in with flower arranging and am in demand for weddings of course, although the lockdown meant there have been many cancellations.

Presently, I spend one day a week teaching at Kantor King Solomon School in Redbridge and am Musical Director for the New Dimension Choir in Havering. I’ve held the latter post for a number of years and the choir keeps very busy with eight concerts a year. We perform a Summer and Christmas series, each of four concerts. Needless to say, lockdown did affect us, but we kept rehearsals going courtesy of Zoom.

With Max having been the third Master of the Company, I have been involved with the Educators for many years and have always been willing to help where needed. I feel privileged to have recently been invited to work with the Trustees, especially as this is a music-themed year. Our Chairman has already put me to work with the forthcoming annual awards in view. I look forward to making a worthwhile contribution while working on the Trust Board.

Peter Williams

Trustee, Peter Williams

Peter Williams was born and went to school in Oxford; he graduated in English from the University of Exeter. His earlier career was in the printing industry and the academic administration of the Universities of Surrey and Leicester. Between 1984 and 1990 he was the Deputy Secretary of the British Academy from where he moved to specialize in quality assurance in higher education. 

In 1990 Peter was appointed as Director of the CVCP Academic Audit Unit (AAU), one of the first higher education quality assurance agencies. In 1992 he became Director of the Quality Assurance Group of the Higher Education Quality Council (HEQC), which took over the responsibilities of the AAU. In 1997 he became the Director of Institutional Review in the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), rising to the office of Chief Executive of QAA in 2001 and retiring in 2009.

Between 2005 and 2008 he was President of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and was one of the principal authors of the original European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education. His aim was to make quality assurance a vital tool for professional academics and a means of underpinning and promoting the strengths and reputation of higher education in the UK and the European Higher Education Area.

Following his retirement in 2009, Peter took on a number of voluntary roles, including Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Cardiff Metropolitan University (2009-16), Chair of the Academic Committee and Trustee at Richmond, the American University in London (2012-19), and Chair of the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education (of which he is now President), 2012-18. He was also a member of the Education Honours Committee (2011-17) and the Treasurer of Little Malvern Priory. Current roles include Trustee of The Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation (NORAH – Chair 2017 to 2022) and churchwarden at Honing and Crostwight, Norfolk, where he now lives.

A Freeman of the City of London, he was Master of the Worshipful Company of Educators in 2014-2015, Treasurer in 2021-22, and is also a Trustee of the Educators’ Trust.

Peter holds four honorary doctorates and three honorary fellowships and was appointed CBE in 2009 in recognition of his services to higher education.

Honorary Secretary – Martha Burnige

Honrary Secretary, Martha Burnage

Martha was born and brought up in London but moved north to study for a BA (Hons) in Government and Law at the University of Manchester. She returned to London to The College of Law and joined Nabarro Nathanson (as was) as a trainee solicitor. 

Martha qualified in 2005 specialising in charity and education law. She later worked for leading law firms Stone King and Veale Wasbrough Vizards where she advised schools, universities, student unions and grant making charities. The introduction of the Academies Act 2010 saw Martha become of the country’s leading lawyers advising on the conversion to academy status and the formation of multi academy trusts

Martha remains a practising solicitor but works for a US based school management company with responsibility for schools in the UK, Switzerland, Uganda and Dubai. Martha has been involved in the opening of two free schools in the UK, including The Gatwick School in Crawley, an all-through school. She is also on the board of International School of Berne and of Academy Middle East, a US curriculum online school.She is company secretary of Aurora Academies Trust which has seven schools across Sussex and Surrey.

Martha credits her interest in education to her mother who was a school governor and teaching assistant. Her sister has also followed a career path into education and works for the University of Greenwich.

Martha has a young family and little spare time but is a fourth-generation supporter of Millwall FC where she is a season ticket holder.

Martha was admitted to the Educators in 2018, becoming a Liveryman in 2021. She was appointed as Honorary Secretary of The Educators’ Trust Fund in 2020.

Honorary Treasurer – Dr Anne-Maria Brennan

Honorary Treasurer, Martin Collins

Anne-Maria is a biologist, writer and musician with a strong focus on STEM education and multidisciplinary lifelong learning.

An alumnus of University of York, Imperial College and the University of Wales, with teaching diplomas from both Trinity College and the Royal Academy of Music, she is currently Director of Graduate Studies and Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Professional Practice in the Department of Digital and Lifelong Learning at the University of Kent.

There, she is course director for two Masters programmes, the MSc in Advanced & Specialist Medicine and the MSc in Professional Practice both of which are transdisciplinary courses with a strong research element aimed at mid-career professionals.

Anne-Maria’s field of research is public engagement with science, particularly the interface between science, technology, culture and the arts and she is a past winner of the British Science Association’s Sir Walter Bodmer Award. Author of five books (one of which formed a plotline in The Archers), she is also an acknowledged expert on the ecology of golf courses and formulated the industry-standard guidelines on their sustainable design and management. She is also a specialist in forensic biology, in particular the investigation of wildlife crime.

Dr Brennan holds a range of academic fellowships from the Royal Society of Biology, Royal Entomological Society, Linnean Society, the Royal Society of the Arts and is a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. A Chartered Biologist she was a founder member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and is the first female Chair of the Botanical Research Fund.

Anne-Maria was admitted to the Worshipful Company of Educators as a Freeman in 2017 and after being made a Freeman of the City of London later that year became a Liveryman of the Company in 2018. In addition to her role as the Trust’s Honorary Treasurer, she is the Master’s Seminar Secretary and also coordinates the buddying scheme for new members of the Company.

Honorary Financial Administrator – Jeremy Gibson

Honorary Treasurer, Martin Collins

Having completed ‘A’ levels with an OND in Business Studies Jeremy joined Leeds City Council in August 1974 as a Management Trainee with placements in a number of the Council’s departments and completion of a HNC in Public Administration.

This led, in February 1976, to his appointment as Personnel Assistant in the City’s Education Department, a behemoth local education authority with responsibility for Leeds Polytechnic, 9 FE colleges, 276 primary schools, 55 middle schools and 76 secondary schools. 20,000 employees kept the Personnel and Payroll Department busy! 

During this time Jeremy gained graduate membership of the Institute of Personnel and Development from Leeds Polytechnic, later becoming a Chartered Member of the Institute. Various promotions followed within the department, all with an emphasis on public administration and human resource management.

When the Education (No 2) Act 1986 appeared on the horizon he was moved to the Department’s Policy Division and was a key member of the team that drafted and implemented the ‘Leeds Scheme for the Local Management of Schools (LMS)’ which over a short period of time delegated many of the education authority’s responsibilities to governors and headteachers, shaping the funding and management of schools that we are familiar with today.

In January 1992 Jeremy ‘crossed the divide’ and joined Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley as Bursar and Clerk to the Governors, one of the first such appointments in a maintained secondary school. As with most bursaring appointments he had responsibility for the school’s finances and other non-academic functions including facilities management, health & safety, HR management, legal advice as clerk and catering services.  He also became involved in outdoor pursuits being a member of the Duke of Edinburgh Award team as a qualified Fell Walking and Caving Leader.

Jeremy’s career progressed with similar appointments at the Royal School for Deaf Children Margate, National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy, Harrogate Ladies’ College and ending his full-time career with the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) at Streatham and Clapham High School in August 2017. 

In April 2016 he qualified as a Compliance Team Inspector with the Independent Schools Inspectorate joining teams inspecting independent schools,a role he continues with today.

Jeremy now shares his work time between being a school inspector, charity trustee (Thomas Franks Foundation), Pension Trustee Director (GDST), Treasurer of the Worshipful Company of Educators, Treasurer of the City Livery Yacht Club (Nov 2023) and soon to become a school governor.

He is a keen sailor and cyclist continuing to enjoy the outdoor life both at home and in Spain, as well as skiing in Italy during the winter months.

Jeremy is looking forward to supporting and working with the Educator’s Trust.

The Educators’ Trust is incorporated under the Charities Act 2011 as Charitable Incorporated Organisation 1179353

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