The Trust Board is responsible for all the schools within the Trust. This means that Trustees govern in the interests of the Trust as a whole. There is no ‘lead school’ even though Denbigh School initiated the formation of the Trust. The Trust Board sets the vision for the Trust and holds the Chief Executive Officer to account for delivering the Trust’s Strategic Plan.

The Board has robust, standardised and efficient processes for effective governance with the aim of:

  • Ensuring the highest standards and quality of education.
  • Overseeing and performance managing Executive leaders and other key staff.
  • Receiving management information that enables comparison of the performance of schools across the Trust.
  • Ensuring continuing robust financials, regularity and probity.
  • Managing risk, including setting and managing risk appetite, tolerance and mitigation strategies.
  • Ensuring compliance, regularity, propriety, prudence, care and value for money.
  • Providing accurate and up-to-date documentation and effective communication of the Board’s decisions and the impact on relevant parties e.g. parents, the community, local school boards etc.

Trustees must become directors and comply with directors’ responsibilities within the Companies Act 2006. Trustees are considered to be critical colleagues to the CEO and CFO and their role is to direct and support those decisions delegated to the CEO, CFO and Heads of School, ensuring the continuing success of the Trust.

Mr John Cove, Chair of the Board of Trustees

John Cove is an accomplished, well-organised and innovative professional that has acquired valuable, transferable skills within the public, private and voluntary sectors, notably around education, community and sports developments. John is a Director at MK Dons and Chair of MKDSET. John maintains personal networks and profitable relationships to provide advantage and has developed successful partnerships at all levels. A proven leader who has developed, established and reinvigorated many services and facilities and who uses strong interpersonal skills to liaise with people at all levels up to and including Board and Government. John has been a Trustee since 2018.

Mrs Maureen O’Brien, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees

Maureen joined the Trust in 2018 and is an experienced Programme Manager and Business Transformation professional. She has a degree in Commerce, a Masters in Business Studies, and is also a qualified accountant. She worked for many years for global organisations such as GlaxoSmithKline, Lloyds Banking Group, and Barclays Bank. Maureen has over 25 years’ experience in managing business change and transformation, mergers and acquisitions, and enterprise systems implementations programmes. Maureen has a demonstrated track record of successfully delivering mission-critical, global initiatives from inception to closure. She has an exemplary record of achievement with the ability to set objectives, define deliverables, prepare plans and budgets, manage teams, and consistently deliver complex global programmes on schedule and to budget, sometimes with limited resources and aggressive timelines.

Mr William Butler

William Butler is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and served as Chair of the Denbigh Governing body from 2003 until our conversion to a Single Academy Trust in 2011 and then as Chair of Trustees until the Multi Academy Trust was established in March 2017. He was a social and community worker in Northern Ireland until 1986, when he moved to Milton Keynes to work for the Development Corporation. In MKDC he led a social development team that worked with colleagues in other statutory and voluntary organisations to develop MK’s social infrastructure, including the health, education, social and other community services required to meet the needs of a growing population.

A former director of the UK’s largest mental health charity, Chief Executive of a membership disability charity, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive of a major voluntary sector provider of substance misuse treatment services, he is an experienced and innovative voluntary sector leader who has particular expertise in stakeholder engagement, social value analysis and change management. Currently a charity management consultant and trustee of a number of local and national charities, he has well developed senior leadership, corporate governance and risk management skills and is keen to work with all of the MAT’s stakeholders to ensure that our structure and working relationships are fit for purpose and the future. William chairs the Opportunity Committee.

Mr Jonathan Giles

Jonathan joined the Trust in the Summer of 2021, and with a successful career in education both as a school leader and Headteacher, Jonathan provides secure educational expertise on the Board. A strong background in school improvement in different settings, and experience in mentoring other leaders means that Jonathan’s appointment further broadens the Board’s skill set. Having previously worked as a senior member of staff at Denbigh School (between 1991-2002), Jonathan is very familiar with the ethos and values of the Trust. Jonathan is currently a Regional Field Officer for the Association of School and college Leaders (ASCL) and is an NPQ facilitator and assessor. Although based in Milton Keynes, Jonathan is a keen world traveller covering almost all 6 continents. Jonathan Chairs the Education Committee.

Mr John Hand

John joined the Trust in February 2021 with a strong background in Financial Services and Information Technology, having initially trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant following a degree course in Finance with Accounting. He spent over 25 years as a Senior Executive in Technology working for the HSBC Group both in the UK and abroad in a variety of roles from CIO in Argentina to the Global Head of Data Architecture and Information Services. John now retired offers the Trust expertise in building shared services, performance evaluation, IT Strategy and data analysis. Living locally and having experience of local schools both for his own children and now grandchildren, John has a keen interest in education provision in Milton Keynes. John chairs the Operations Committee.

Mr Warren Preen

Warren joined the Trust in February 2021 having recently completed the FT Non-Executive Director Diploma strengthening his experience at Board level. With a degree in Engineering and Management, Warren offers the Trust strong management skills having worked in globally diverse teams and has a history of delivering large-scale projects. Working across Asia, the Americas and Europe in the finance industry, Warren has experience of operational controls, business strategy, and regulatory adherence. He led the team that defined the post-Brexit Business strategy and Operating models for Investment Banking, Asset Management and other divisions within the Nomura group and now provides independent management consultancy to a number of blue-chip financial firms. Warren enjoys cycling and is Captain of a large local cycling club. Warren chairs the Audit & Risk Committee and Care Committee.

Mrs Meanu Bajwa-Patel

Meanu recently joined the Trust having once been an Assistant Headteacher at Denbigh School. Since then, Meanu has worked as a senior researcher in higher education, travelling and presenting across the world. Meanu also runs two successful businesses providing her with a wide variety of skills including recent doctoral studies in Education (SEND).

Mrs Elizabeth [Lizzie] Bancroft

Having enjoyed a close professional relationship with the Denbigh Alliance as former Headteacher of Loughton Manor Primary School for over 23 years, Lizzie brings a wealth of specialist knowledge to the Trust supporting growth and development of the primary and nursery phase. Lizzie has a keen interest in performing arts and music, being an amateur musician and chorister herself and has collaborated on many projects in Milton Keynes.

Miss Naomi Lewis

Naomi is Director of Marketing and Fundraising at Toybox charity. With experience in almost every area of running a business and facing daily challenges, Naomi particularly brings her experience in strategic planning, and income growth to the Board. Naomi was keen to give back to the community in which she lives and joined the Trust at the end of 2022.

Daniela Thompson

Daniela has been a teacher working in two infant and nursery schools for the past 24 years. She has direct experience of Nursery through to Year Two and a solid understanding of primary education. First an Assistant Head at Loughton Manor from January 2009, Daniela became Headteacher in September 2020. She is a governor, lives in MK and is passionate about education in this area.
Daniela has an MA in Primary Maths Education and was employed by Denbigh Teaching School as an SLE (Specialist Leader in Education). Daniela was appointed by the Trust Board in December 2023 and strengthens the primary specialism on the Board as we continue to expand in this area. Daniela will sit on the Education & Ventures Committee.