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Trustees are the directors of the Trust and are responsible for conducting the affairs of the Trust to achieve its objectives.

Mr Daniel Rubin – Chair of the Board

Daniel Rubin is a solicitor and partner in the Employment Team at Knights plc. Daniel started his career at Addleshaw Goddard LLP and worked in London before returning to his native Manchester. During his career he has also undertaken secondments at AstraZeneca plc, Barclays plc, BT plc and MyTravel Group plc. He is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

Daniel’s wife is a Headteacher, having been in education for over 20 years, working in a variety of Local Authorities in the north and south of the country and in a range of diverse schools. Daniel has two primary age children therefore he is passionate about education and providing a good education for all.

Mr Iain Ashworth  – Chair of Audit Committee

Iain is the Corporate Finance Director for Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and a Chartered Accountant.  Prior to MAG he was a Director in the corporate finance team at Deloitte and also worked at Lloyds Bank within its acquisition finance team.

As well as being a Trustee at Bright Futures Educational Trust he was previously the Chair of Altius Trust until its merger with Prospere Trust, where he remains as a Trustee.

Miss Katy Clough – Appointed Trustee

Katy is the Group HR Director at Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC.  She has had a 30 year career in Human Resources working in a number of different industries including banking, health, travel, IT and Pharmaceuticals.  In her current role she is a member of both Remuneration and Nomination Committees and is closely involved in corporate governance.  Katy has four children currently in high school or higher education and is passionate about accessibility of education to all children.

Mr Robert Leggett – Appointed Trustee

Robert is a serial Entrepreneur and Chairman of Omni Resource Management Solutions. Omni, a Sunday Times Fast Track 100 company, was established in 1998 by Robert and his father, with the simple aim of changing the way in which organisations recruit for the better.

As well as a Trustee at Bright Futures Educational Trust, Robert is also an Honorary Teaching Fellow and Entrepreneur in Residence at Lancaster University Management School and a past Chair of Governors at Connell College prior to it’s transfer to The Co-operative Academies.

Mrs Maureen Whilby – Appointed Trustee

Maureen is an organisational, culture and people change expert having led significant transformation programmes for many Public Sector, leading UK and Global organisations.  She helps to shape and execute the right strategies, develop effective strategic business cases as well as facilitating the development and continuous improvement of people capability.

Currently she is Head of People Change at DWP Digital supporting major people transformation, enabling DWP to become a world class digital organisation, delivering critical systems and services through its people.

Maureen is also a member of the Black Leaders group whose vision is to enhance student, employee and economic progression for BAME communities.

Mr Michael Tonge – Appointed Trustee

Mike has taught in every year group across the primary range and has held a wide variety of management and leadership positions across the primary phase.  He became head of Prestolee Primary School in 2005. He moved Prestolee from satisfactory to Outstanding by 2011.  It is now the lead school in the Prestolee Multi Academy Trust.  The trust is built around the core value that every child deserves a first-class education.

As the Chief Executive of the Prestolee Multi Academy Trust he oversees all activity in the trust but is very well supported by a highly effective leadership team and school improvement team. Alongside his role as CEO Mike is part of the executive steering group for the Greater Manchester Learning Partnership. This works to provide system leadership coherence and school improvement across all of Greater Manchester.

He works across a number of local authorities to support school improvement and regularly leads a range of school improvement work.

Shaheen Myers – Appointed Trustee

Shaheen Myers took up post as Deputy Director of Learning for Leeds City Council in August 2021.

Prior to this she was employed by Co-op Academies Trust, first as a head in one of the Trust’s academies and then as a member of the Central Team in the role of Executive Leader supporting school improvement across the trust as well as leading on national and local professional development for newly qualified teachers, middle and senior leaders.

Shaheen has also an inspected for Ofsted and sat on the board as Trustee for 2 MATs. She has over 20 years of experience in the education sector.

Rachel Moonan – Appointed Trustee

Rachel Moonan is the Sustainability Officer at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. Prior to this, Rachel completed her MSc with distinction in Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Bristol, whilst working at Climate Action Officer for the university. She works to protect the most vulnerable members of society, who will bear the brunt of the effects of climate change, and mitigate these impacts. She is passionate about embedding sustainability in leadership in all organisations, empowering others to deliver change and act responsibility. 

Alison Gormally – Appointed Trustee

Alison Gormally is the Director for Leadershiip Ltd which is an education consultancy specializing in School Improvement, Systems Leadership and Workload and Wellbeing. Alison has worked in a wide variety of leadership posts in secondary education for over 30 years. She retired as Headteacher of Golborne High School in December 2023, taking the school to an ‘outstanding’ judgement in January 2023. Alison has vast experience of raising achievement across all cohorts particularly disadvantaged and SEND learners.

Alison founded Trinity Teaching Alliance in 2018 , offering ITT, ECF and NPQ expertise. As part of a Teaching School Hub, Alison led the Wigan cohort and has extensive knowledge and experience of the ECF and NPQ programmes. She is a coach for Headteachers as part of the Early Headship course and works as a facilitator for a variety of organizations including the National Institute of Teaching.

Alison has extensive experience of supporting schools and MATs across the North West region. She was part of the Executive Steering Group for Greater Manchester which provides leadership coherence and school improvement across all of Greater Manchester. Alison worked as part of the Wigan School Improvement Board supporting school improvement across the Wigan Borough. Alison believes in inspirational and innovative  leadership that is underpinned by research-led best practice and well-informed self-evaluation. Alison is committed to building sustainable leadership structures throughout Greater Manchester and believes in the transformational power of ‘great ‘leadership  to deliver exceptional educational provision for our young people.

Dr John Stephens CBE – Ex Officio Trustee – Chief Executive Officer

Dr John Stephens was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Bright Futures Educational Trust in January 2017.

Formerly a headteacher and director of children’s services, John spent five years as a senior civil servant in the Department for Education.

John served as a school governor in primary and secondary schools for over 20 years, 10 of them as Chair. He was also a director of an academy trust.

He is a volunteer with St John Ambulance and leads the north regional safeguarding team. He also works nationally for St John Ambulance developing safeguarding policy and delivering training. John chairs two community charities in Salford and East Manchester both of which are focused on work with people who are disabled or who are facing the challenges of socio-economic disadvantage.

In 2016 John was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours recognising his contributions to education and charity. In 2021 he was admitted as an Officer in the Order of St John in recognition of work undertaken in safeguarding.


The Members of the Trust ensure that its activities are properly directed to achieving its objectives and are responsible for its constitution and for appointing the Board of Trustees.

Mr Yakub Patel

Yakub is the Managing Director of the Cohens Group, one of the largest independent retail pharmacy chains in the country founded 35 years ago.  A qualified Accountant, he has been instrumental in managing and promoting significant growth of the business.

Yakub is a founding member and trustee of the British Muslim Heritage Centre, Founder of the Association of independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) and Member and Trustee of the Prosper Multi Academy Trust. He has been instrumental in setting up the ESSA academy in Bolton and is a member of the academy.  Yakub was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Bolton in 2009 and also an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).

Mr Justin Kelly

Justin is a senior executive at Siemens plc and non-executive board member with a passion for responsible business, a wealth of experience and insight supporting a well-balanced strategic, digital and sustainable outlook.

He has a background in operations, strategy, business development, marketing and communications roles and is now working for one of the country’s most successful industrial technology and service companies, translating innovation into tangible business performance.

Justin was appointed Director of Communications and Business Development for Siemens plc and to the Siemens UK Executive Management Board on 1 October 2017.

A Chartered Engineer with a BEng (Hons) from the University of Salford in Computers, Management and Electronics, Justin joined Siemens in 1994. He worked in engineering, product and project management roles before taking on senior marketing, strategy and business development positions within the organisation.

Justin now leads on all aspects of communications and business development at Siemens in the UK and Ireland including public affairs, research and development, the company’s roadmap to carbon net zero committed for 2030, growth of the Smart Infrastructure business and Siemens’ digital transformation (Internet of Things) consulting and solutions business.

Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski DBE

Dana taught at Manchester Metropolitan University and then at three different schools before she was appointed Deputy Head, first at Abraham Moss High School and then at All Hallows, Macclesfield. She was appointed as Headmistress of Altrincham Grammar School for Girls in 1999. She retired as CEO to Bright Futures Educational Trust on 31st December 2016.

Proud to part of the Bright Futures Education Trust
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