Who we are 

The Members

Sir Dexter Hutt

Member (Chair)

Dexter is a Member of the Trust. During Dexter’s 23 years at Ninestiles he was Headteacher, Executive Head of the Ninestiles Federation and Chief Executive of Ninestiles Plus. His career included working with the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, being a Board Member of the Specialist Schools Trust and the YPLA, a Commissioner for the Commission for Racial Equality and a keynote speaker on Leadership and School Improvement at national and international conferences. In 2004 he was knighted for services to education.

Alan Price

Member and Chair of Board of Trustees

Alan is a Businessman and Property Consultant, being a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and is owner and director of Cosnett Price, a long established practice of Commercial and Industrial Agents and Valuers, together with directorships of a number of property based companies.
Previously Chair of the 6th Form College Solihull, he is also Chairman of Trustees of a Charity based in Cornwall supporting overseas aid.
Alan has his own large family of 6 grown up children and 3 grandchildren and he and his wife are now involved in providing home for Fostered Children.

Karen Crowston

Member and Vice Chair of Board of Trustees

Karen is one of the Members of the Trust and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. Karen works supporting information and technical solutions for schools and the Local Authority and has been involved with technology in the education sector for 30 years. She is a very proud mother of two daughters, Samantha and Charlotte, both of whom are ex-students of Ninestiles Schools.

Rona Miller

Member

Rona works in the field of HR within the NHS specialising in the medical and dental workforce. Rona is a former local authority councillor, she has spent over 24 years as a Governor of a primary school in Solihull and was a Governor of the Sixth Form College Solihull chairing the HR committee. Rona is also a visiting speaker and lecturer to a number of organisations/institutions. Rona has travelled extensively, has 2 children and lives in Solihull.

Board of Trustees

The board is made up of a wide range of highly experienced individuals with backgrounds in education, business, and finance who bring challenge and support to the organisation. The board meets regularly with principals and the executive from the Trust.

Alan Price

Member and Chair of the Board of Trustees

Alan is a Businessman and Property Consultant, being a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and is owner and director of Cosnett Price, a long established practice of Commercial and Industrial Agents and Valuers, together with directorships of a number of property based companies.
Previously Chair of the 6th Form College Solihull, he is also Chairman of Trustees of a Charity based in Cornwall supporting overseas aid.
Alan has his own large family of 6 grown up children and 3 grandchildren and he and his wife are now involved in providing home for Fostered Children.

Karen Crowston

Member and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees

Karen is one of the Members of the Trust and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. Karen works supporting information and technical solutions for schools and the Local Authority and has been involved with technology in the education sector for 30 years. She is a very proud mother of two daughters, Samantha and Charlotte, both of whom are ex-students of Ninestiles Schools.

Catherine Anwar

Chief Executive Officer

Catherine Anwar, our Chief Executive Officer, joined us in May 2017. Prior to joining us, Catherine was a Senior Her Majesty’s Inspector for Ofsted and served 8 years as a secondary school headteacher in Hampshire. In her role at Ofsted, Catherine led focused reviews of Multi-Academy Trusts, and inspections of complex academies, and free schools.

David Werry

Trustee

David is a Trustee & Chair of the Erdington Hall & Pegasus Academy Council. David is an education consultant, working with several organisations across the midlands including the National Governance Association, Lichfield Diocese Board of Education and Entrust Education in Staffordshire. He became a Local Authority governor for Pegasus Primary School in 2011, then trustee of Ninestiles Academy Trust in 2013.
He is a former primary school headteacher and local leader of education. He represented local primary schools on the Staffordshire Schools Forum for 5 years. Before teaching, he qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse in Birmingham. He has an MSc in applied mathematics from Loughborough University.

Vrigu Dey

Trustee

Vrigu is a Trustee and also Chair of the Ninestiles and 6th Form College Academy Council. He is a long serving councillor for the Trust and was originally Chair of Erdington Hall Academy Council. Vrigu has a background in socio-economic regeneration having worked for Birmingham City Council.

Ateef Azam

Trustee

Ateef is a Trustee and Chair of the The Oaklands and Yarnfield Academy Council. He is a Dental Surgeon at Princes End Dental Practice in Tipton, West Midlands. He has been working in the West Midlands for over 5 years. He was a school governor at Lyndon School and is also a Special Constable for the West Midlands Police Force, serving the community in Central Birmingham for over 5 years. Ateef enjoys reading, running and travelling.

Neal Clements

Trustee

Neal Clements is a director of Project smart Ltd where he specialises in IT projects and training. Neal has over 40 years experience of both business and academia especially in HE and FE including lecturing and governing. His other great passion is aviation, Neal is a flying instructor. Neal chairs the Finance & Resources Committee for the Trust.

Richard Beamish

Trustee

Richard is a Trustee and Chair of Cockshut Hill & Lyndon Academy Coucnil, Richard is an education and skills consultant, most recently advising the British Council and the Korean Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE). Previously he retired following eight years as Chief Executive of Sector Skills Council Asset Skills.
A former schoolteacher, Richard spent over 14 years in two spells with The Newspaper Society. There he was responsible for establishing Newspapers in Education and occupational standards for journalists, and for new media opportunities research. He was a board member of the National Council for the Training of Journalists and Chief Executive of the Print Education Forum.

Jonathan Bridges

Trustee

Jonathan Bridges joined the board of trustees in 2017 after serving as a parent governor for the Sixth Form College, Solihull.
He attended the college as a student from 1979 to 1981 and after studying at Sheffield University has worked in the automotive industry in the West Midlands. His current role is as Product Compliance Director at Jaguar Land Rover.

Fiona Dennis-Stephens

Trustee

Shilpa Unarkat

Trustee

Shilpa is an Associate Solicitor in the Commercial Property team at Sydney Mitchell LLP’s Shirley office.
Shilpa has experience working with clients in manufacturing, engineering and retail comprising companies, owner-managed businesses, private individuals and partnerships, SIPPS and lenders.
In her spare time, Shilpa enjoys running, swimming, baking cakes and travelling and spending time with her young family.

Mary LeBreuilly

Trustee

Mary started her career in education as a science teacher in secondary schools and subsequently became a senior leader. She has extensive experience in school improvement services having worked for three local authorities in the West Midlands as a science and ICT adviser and as a school improvement partner. Her work took her into all phases of education from Early Years to Sixth Form. She is the author of the primary science scheme Engaging Science.

The Executive

Catherine Anwar

Chief Executive Officer

Catherine Anwar, our Chief Executive Officer, joined us in May 2017. Prior to joining us, Catherine was a Senior Her Majesty’s Inspector for Ofsted and served 8 years as a secondary school headteacher in Hampshire. In her role at Ofsted, Catherine led focused reviews of Multi-Academy Trusts, and inspections of complex academies, and free schools.

Gaetano Ferrante

Director of School Improvement; Secondary & 6th Form

Gaetano is Director of Improvement for Secondary & 6th form at Ninestiles Academy Trust. He has been at Ninestiles since 1993, having had a number of roles which have included, being a Deputy Head of Year, an Advanced Skills Teacher in Science supporting schools locally and nationally, Head of Science, Head of Sixth Form, Assistant Principal and Deputy Vice Principal and Principal.

Steve Ralph

Finance Director

Steve Ralph is the Director of Finance. He is a Fellow of the ICAEW and has responsibility over the finance function of Ninestiles Academy Trust. He spent 18 years working in audit services before joining the Trust in 2014.

Steve Smith

Estates Manager

Steve is the Estates Manger for the Trust and joined us in September 2016. He is a member of the British Institute of Facilities Management and has over 15 years’ experience in Facilities management, bringing extensive experience of service focused multi – site management to his role.

Komrun Bibi

HR Manager

Komrun Bibi is the HR Lead for the Trust. She joined the Trust in September 2015 to lead our HR provision. She has set up new processes and systems, using her expertise and experience, to offer a valuable service to the staff and leaders of each of our trust schools.

Kate Purchase

Executive Assistant to CEO

Kate Purchase is the Executive Assistant to the CEO. She started with us in August 2015 having previously worked as a Conference & Event Organiser. Kate offers broad and effective support to the Trust Leadership team, Trust and Councillors.

Principals

Richard Simcox

Erdington Hall Primary School

Richard is the principal of Erdington Hall primary school and has been teaching for nearly 15 years in inner city schools where the attainment and progress of pupils had been historically low. Richard was part of the leadership team that joined Erdington Hall when it was named as one of the bottom 200 schools in the country and helped to lead the school to its first ever OFSTED ‘good’ rating. Richard is an SLE for standards and assessment in the Ninestiles teaching alliance and believes that all children have the right to the best education possible as part of a genuine drive for equality for all.

Carol Phillips

Yarnfield Primary School - Interim

Carol was the Principal of Erdington Hall Primary School until July 2016 and is an SLE. After having led the school to achieve 'Good' in their Ofsted Inspection, Carol is now working on a Trust wide EAL strategy.
She has been in education for 28 years and has teaching and leadership experience in both Primary and Secondary schools. Carol has provided staff training and support in both Birmingham and Sandwell; she was an advisory teacher for science in Birmingham, and a School Improvement Consultant for Sandwell LA for five years. Carol has been actively involved in national and regional networks across the West Midlands

Dominic Davis

The Oaklands Primary School

Dominic is the Principal of The Oaklands Primary School. He was worked in schools in Staffordshire and Birmingham for over 12 years in various senior leadership roles. He has also supported schools across Birmingham in improving standards in English as an associate consultant for the Local Authority within the National Strategies ECAW programme.

David Shakeshaft

Pegasus Primary School

David is the Principal of Pegasus Primary School. He has been teaching since 1995 and has served on leadership teams across the West Midlands. An experienced Principal, David successfully led schools in Solihull and Birmingham before joining Ninestiles Academy Trust. He has been an Advanced Skills Teacher and made significant contributions to a variety of quality assurance groups and inter-school organisations focused on improving outcomes for all children. He is committed to an ethos and culture in which everyone is valued and encouraged to succeed. He has high aspirations for all children and is passionate about enabling them to thrive in all aspects of school life.

James Power

Ninestiles, An Academy

In September, we welcomed Mr James Power, an experienced and passionate educationalist, as the Interim Principal of Ninestiles, an Academy. Mr Power has a wide and successful range of previous experience as a Senior Leader in Derby, Walsall, Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester. His career began in Merseyside 23 years ago as a mathematics and computing teacher. Following relocation to South Wales, he quickly advanced to become Head of Department and then a School Improvement Adviser serving over 50 schools in 4 authorities. Mr Power has also represented Local Authorities on national forums and advised government policy and the BBC with ICT related developments. He has worked and led in a variety of schools and circumstances throughout his career. He is highly knowledgeable, and passionate about making a difference for every child whilst motivating and inspiring those around him to be the best they can be.

Abid Butt

Lyndon School

Abid is the Principal at Lyndon School Solihull. He has worked in education for nearly 18 years and for the main served in senior leadership roles including Advanced Skills Teacher, Assistant, Deputy and Associate Headteacher. His primary area of expertise is teaching school improvement and has successfully contributed to raising standards in education locally in Solihull schools. Abid has worked with the National College to pilot revisions to the National Professional Qualification for Headship. (NPQH)

Jason Bridges

Cockshut Hill School

Jason is the newly appointed Principal at Cockshut Hill. He has taught in London, New York and at Ninestiles. Originally a PE teacher, Jason has held a variety of middle and senior leadership roles including Faculty Leader, AP for Behaviour and VP for Provision. Jason has two children Daniel & Luke and spends most of his weekend taking them to various sporting events!

Martin Sullivan

The Sixth Form College, Solihull

Ninestiles Teaching School

Elizabeth Ford

Director of Teaching School

Elizabeth is the Director of Ninestiles Teaching School Alliance. Elizabeth has worked in three different schools, across three different local authorities, gaining over 10 years of experience in whole school leadership; focusing upon school led teacher training, coaching & mentoring whilst leading on programmes to structure succession planning through a school led improvement system.