In this section...

The BET Board

As directors of a charitable trust, our Board ensure that they comply with charity and company law.

The Board of the BET has two core functions: they are to set the strategic direction of the organisation and to ensure financial probity. The Board is supported by the Executive Group (comprising the CEO, the joint Chief Operating Officers, the Chief Education Officer, the Education Directors and all the headteachers in the Trust).

As a multi-academy trust, the Board is responsible for all of the academies in the Trust. We exercise this responsibility by delegating functions to the Local Governing Committee of each academy through our scheme of delegation.

Chair of the Board    Andy Field
Chief Executive Officer  Alex Russell
Joint Chief Operating Officers Kate Sanders/Rob Isaac
Chief Education Officer Penny Alford
Chair of Resources Committee    Audrey Wade
Chair of Performance and Standards Committee Peter Deane
Chair of Audit and Risk Committee Doug MacLennan
Governance Professional (Clerk) to the Board Alison Watts


Board membership



  • To maintain oversight of the Board of Directors.

Andy Field, Chair of the Board (member and director)

  • Former Chair of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Experienced executive and a former partner at Deloitte Consulting
  • Chair of social enterprise CSH Surrey
  • Chair of learning management system provider Think Learning.
Sally Brooks
  • A serving executive principal in London
  • Over 20 years of experience in schools
  • NPQEL and Masters in Education.

David Burr

  • Experienced governor and chair of governors
  • Qualified Actuary, with significant senior management and local board experience in insurance and pensions
  • Former Surrey Area Manager for The Prince’s Trust.

Roger Evans

  • Former science teacher
  • Experienced education officer focussing on school governance, human resources and special education services
  • Former school governor (and chair) in both the maintained and independent sectors
  • Education consultancy.

Tony Oakden

  • Chair of governors at Jubilee High School (2014-17) and school governor for 10 years
  • Consultant for the Diocese of Guildford
  • Extensive experience in social services including management of residential care services
  • Qualified social worker
  • Diploma in management studies.
  • Directors (Trustees)


  • To oversee the strategic direction of the Trust, ensure full compliance and hold its executives to account.

Peter Deane

  • Specialist in business development, mergers and acquisitions, change management, global strategic partnerships and sales strategy

  • 30 years managing businesses within the IT and telecoms industries at managing director and VP level

  • Executive MBA from INSEAD.

Stephen Dennison
  • Business transformation leader within education and assessment, specialising in business development, organisational and cultural change

  • Delivered multiple assignments for International Baccalaureate, University of London, General Dental Council, London Gifted & Talented, learndirect and The Royal Horticultural Society

  • Cumulatively, more than 30 years governance experience in further education, vocational training; and charities in education and the arts

  • Fellow of Chartered Management Institute.

Susan Gibbin
  • More than 30 years extensive experience working within the NHS both nationally and locally in senior leadership and management consultancy roles

  • Expertise in strategic planning, critical thinking, facilitation and stakeholder management, governance and organisational structures and partnership working

  • Experienced chair of governors and local leader of governance; specialising in strategy, governance and raising standards.

Douglas MacLennan
  • Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience as both a Chief Financial Officer and Chief Risk Officer in the financial services sector
  • Over 10 years’ experience supporting schools in the special educational needs sector as a governor and trustee.
Alex Russell, CEO
  • CEO of Bourne Education Trust, initially establishing the Trust to work with schools in challenging circumstances
  • Successfully led the Trust from 2 to 21 schools, plus a further 2 associate schools) and taken 9 schools out of category or requiring improvement to be good or outstanding
  • An experienced and widely skilled senior leader with over 17 years of education management, strategic planning, business execution and people leadership gained in state education 
  • National Leader of Education
  • Chair of Teach SouthEast Teaching School Alliance and experience of several non-executive roles across the education sector including mainstream schools and a pupil referral unit as well as leading key local authority strategies on equality, diversity and inclusion and post-COVID recovery with a particular focus on mental health and well-being
  • Awarded an OBE for services to education in 2021.
Ruth Simpson
  • Former Governor and Chair at Sythwood Primary School, Woking
  • Over 25 years’ experience as coach and facilitator, with both corporate and consulting background
  • EMCC accredited coach to Master Practitioner Level
  • Conducting PhD research exploring coaching for leaders stepping up into senior positions.
Robert Ukiah
  • Chief Operating Officer of the Royal Grammar School, Guildford
  • Experienced governor of maintained and private schools
  • Inspector of independent schools
  • Significant experience in strategic leadership, including the merging, founding and development of schools.
Jane Vaughan
  • Certified company director (IOD) 
  • Experienced governor of both special and mainstream schools
  • Masters degree in autism and former executive director of the biggest autism charity in the UK
  • Former education consultant and school improvement partner. 
Audrey Wade
  • Qualified CIMA Accountant with 20 years’ experience in FMCG and retail businesses

  • Worked with the Global Property at Prêt-á-Manger, supporting its global expansion

  • Managing Director of Citywide Financial Partners

  • Worked with small businesses as Finance Director of several investee businesses in Unilever’s start-up and early stage venture capital fund and through various consultancy roles.

Sarah Wild
  • Headteacher of Limpsfield Grange, the UK’s only school specialising in educating autistic girls

  • 18 years of experience in school leadership, strategic planning and people leadership, gained in the state special and mainstream education sectors

  • Founding member of National Autism and Girls Forum and the National Association Advancing Autism Education

  • Member Autism Champions (Oxon) Advisory Board.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now