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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, all the headteachers in the Trust and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

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    Sara Lipscombe
Chief Executive Officer  Alex Russell
Chief Operating Officer Kate Sanders
Chair of Resources Committee    Audrey Wade
Chair of Performance and Standards Committee Chris Munro
Chair of Audit and Risk Committee Sarah Pittam
Clerk to the Board Roger Evans


Board membership


To maintain oversight of the Board of Directors.

Sara Lipscombe, Chair of the Board (member and director)
  • Former governor and vice-chair at Epsom and Ewell High School

  • Communications director with 30 years’ experience of project management and marketing

  • Currently leads team of 150 communications professionals in a FTSE 200 organisation employing 18,000 people worldwide

  • Visiting professor, INSEEC Business School, Paris, lecturing on its MBA programme.

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.
Chris Marston
  • Over 25 years’ experience of business development in publishing and advertising

  • Specialist in multi–site business management across the UK

  • Leader of programs focussing on employee engagement and change management

  • Extensive experience of performance management and developing high performance teams.

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.

John Stockley
  • Governor at a local primary school

  • Chair of governors for Englefield Green

  • Over 50 years’ experience in business.
Directors (Trustees)
Role: To oversee the strategic direction of the Trust, ensure full compliance and hold its executives to account.
Charmain Browning
  • Business and HR leader with over 20 years’ experience
  • Chartered fellow of the CIPD
  • Expert in HR Strategy, OD, change management, talent attraction and retention, employee engagement, employment law, pay and reward and employee benefits and succession planning.
Peter Deane
  • Specialist in sales leadership, business development, strategic partnerships and sales strategy

  • 30 years within the IT and telecom industries at VP, managing director and CEO level

  • Executive MBA from INSEAD.

Stephen Dennison
  • Business transformation leader within education

  • Specialist in business development, organisational and cultural change

  • Extensive experience within education services, including assignments for the Director General, University of London and International Baccalaureate

  • Fellow of Chartered Management Institute.

Susan Gibbin
  • Management consultant with extensive experience within the NHS both nationally and locally

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

  • Experienced chair of governors and additional skills governor; specialising in raising standards and strategic awareness.

Chris Munro
  • Chair of governors at Epsom and Ewell High School (2013-17)

  • School governor with 6 years’ experience and advanced skills governor

  • Business development manager for a major US listed company for the UK and Ireland

  • Chair of Sutton and Epsom Rugby Club.

Sarah Pittam
  • Former director of operations within an education trust now specialising in consultancy and project management for the state funded education sector

  • Former local councillor and cabinet member for Children’s Services in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

  • Experience of governance both at school and trust level

  • Regional advisor for Academy Ambassadors. 

Alex Russell, CEO
  • Highly successful headteacher with 12 years’ experience of transforming schools

  • Executive headteacher of Everest Community Academy

  • National leader of education

  • CEO, Bourne Education Trust.

Catherine Twomey
  • Business transformation leader within the healthcare sector
  • Finance specialist with over 15 years experience in strategic planning and implementation at CEO/CFO level
  • Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
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.


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