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Board Of Trustees
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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; he and his wife are now involved in providing a 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 Council, 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.