NGA trustees are volunteer governors/ trustees from across England who are ultimately responsible for directing the affairs of NGA, and ensuring that it is solvent, well-run and delivering the charitable objective: improving the educational welfare of pupils by promoting high standards and improving governance in state schools.

The board comprises a talented mix of experienced school governors/trustees/clerks who bring to the table a wide range of valued business, education and charitable sector skills and knowledge. NGA’s board of trustees meets five times a year – four formal trustee meetings, and one strategy day. 

There are nine places on the board which are filled by election by NGA members on the basis of nine regions (East of England, East Midlands, London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire & the Humber).  Up to four more places may be filled by co-option by the board to fill any identified gaps in skills or knowledge. Elected members take their place from the AGM in November of each year.  Their terms of office are three years, with a maximum of three continuous terms of service.

Lynn Howard, Chair

Lynn Howard

Lynn Howard was elected to NGA’s board in November 2019. She was elected chair in December 2020. 

Lynn is the chair of the governing boards of Lyng Primary School and Hamstead Junior School in Sandwell in the West Midlands and first became involved in school governance in 2007. During this period she has supported a number of different schools within the primary sector and was a National Leader of Governance from 2017 to August 2021. Lynn’s professional background is in law, something that she feels has given her a multitude of skills useful to her in her various roles within school governance.

Lynn is passionate about governors working together to support each other and this year is co-chairing the Association of Sandwell Governing Bodies to try and help make that a reality within her own area.

Brent Fitzpatrick MBE, Vice-chair

Brent Fitzpatrick MBE

Brent has been an NGA Trustee since November 2013 and was re-elected to the board in November 2014 and again in November 2020. He was honarary treasurer from 2014- 2016 and served as vice-chair in 2017 and elected as vice-chair again in December 2020. 

Brent has been a school governor in a wide range of schools, including secondary, primary, special, and academy schools as well as pupil referral units, and he sits on his local schools' forum. He has developed his skills with a diploma in school governance from Bradford University. With a particular interest in finance and experience being a member of the Audit Committee Institute, Brent sits on the finance committee at each of his schools.

In the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours, Brent was awarded an MBE for services to education.

Rachel Wilson, Vice-chair

Rachel Wilson

Rachel Wilson was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2019.In December 2020, she was elected as vice-chair of the board. 

She is Chair of Governors at a North East recently amalgamated Primary School.

Away from the governing body, Rachel is Managing Director of her own training company which gives her great insight to the education sector in the north east.

One of her greatest professional achievements is working as a school governor. She is passionate about her role in school.

Alastair Cowen, Honorary Treasurer

Alastair Cowen

Alastair was co-opted to the NGA Board in May 2019 as a young trustee and has been honorary treasurer since December 2019.

Since 2015 he has been a trustee at James Brindley - a special academy school in Birmingham with sites across the city -  where he is Vice-Chair. He also chairs the Finance & Audit committee, and a sub-committee for the school’s provision in hospitals and specialist units.                                                                                                                                         

He is a chartered accountant, and trained while working on and managing external and internal audits of public sector organisations, notably in the NHS, local government, and education sectors. This included audits of value for money arrangements, and regularity.

Lawayne Jefferson, Honorary Secretary

Lawayne Jefferson

Lawayne was first co-opted on to the NGA board in October 2018 and then successfully stood for election to the board in November 2020. She was elected as Honorary Secretary in December 2020.

She is an experienced governor and trustee and currently the chair (Interim) of trustees at Gatehouse Green Learning Trust.  She was also a National Leader of Governance until August 2021 and has worked with governing boards across Bristol to improve practice. Lawayne has completed the NCTL Chairs Leadership & Development Certificate Programme

In her professional life she is Communications specialist, and has worked in a variety of organisations supporting disadvantaged children. Lawayne speaks four languages.

Duncan Haworth MBE,

Duncan Haworth MBE

Duncan was elected to the board in November 2015 and was elected as treasurer in December 2016 and again in December 2017.  

He is currently chair of governors of a two form entry primary school in Cheshire West and Chester Local Authority and a governor at a large convertor academy secondary school. He is also a governor at a primary school in Wales. Since 2001 he has been an officer of the local association of governing bodies and is currently Secretary of this thriving organisation.

He was a National Leader of Governance until August 2021 and in 2010 became a Lay Inspector of schools in Wales. These positions give him a good knowledge of how governance works in practice across many schools.

Originally trained as a polymer chemist he was a senior operations manager for a subsidiary of a multi-national chemical organisation, before becoming a self-employed consultant in the human resources field. He is now semi-retired.

Tim Brock,

Tim Brock

Tim was elected to the NGA board in November 2020

Tim leads Oxfordshire County Councils Governor Services team, manages their traded offer and is responsible for supporting governors and improving leadership in maintained schools. Previous roles with Beam Suntory, Bass PLC, The Forestry Commission and as a Policy Advisor to The Under Secretary of State for Employment have helped to shape his career.  

Tim is a Trustee at the Diocese of Gloucester Academies Trust and chairs their Standards & Ethos Committee. He was a governor at St James’ Church of England Primary School Cheltenham from 2009 to 2018. Tim chaired their Ethos Committee before becoming vice chair and was Chair of Governors for four years. The school became an academy and joined DGAT in 2017.

Tim was born and educated in Worcester and now lives in Cheltenham with his wife and two children.  He is happiest when inspiring others and cherishes honesty, passion and integrity.

Anthea Kenna,

Anthea Kenna

Anthea was elected to the NGA board in November 2020.

Anthea holds a number of governing posts including Chair of Bewick Bridge Community Primary School, Chair of governors at Kettlefields Primary School and is also a Cambridgeshire Leader of Governance.

Anthea had a career in headship spanning 25 years. During her time as a headteacher she was appointed as an Associate Adviser to Cambridgeshire’s LA, was a member of the Local Authority Creativity Steering Group and Chaired HuntSNet, the Learning Network of two Secondary Schools, one Special School, 19 Primary Schools and the Regional College. She also served as a member of Cambridgeshire SACRE and The Cathedral Council (Ely). 

Since retirement she continues to work as an Education Consultant and is a trustee of The Hockerill Education Trust (Chairing the Grants Committee), The Keswick Hall Trust and The RE Council (Education Committee).

Howard Davies,

Howard Davies

Howard Davies was elected to the NGA board in November 2020.

Howard is an experienced governor/trustee with experience in primary and secondary schools, maintained schools and multi academy trusts. In his roles he has served as a finance committee chair, vice-chair and now is the chair of two governing boards. Most recently Howard led the work to federate the junior school he chairs with its neighboring infant school and is now the chair of this newly formed Queenswell Schools Federation.

In his professional life, Howard has worked mostly in financial services, specialising in Public Policy and Government relations. He also set up The Standard Life Foundation, a charitable foundation and served for six years as a board trustee at learning charity The Whitehall and Industry group.


Bobby Thandi,

Bobby Thandi

Bobby is a serving trustee at Learn Academies Trust and deputy chief executive and chief financial officer at L.E.A.D. Academy Trust, both in the East Midlands. 

He leads the business support functions and commercial operations for the trust. Over his career, Bobby has been involved in business development, change management, mergers, charity law and governance across a range of settings which include the following sectors: education, social care, local authorities, police, NHS and the audit commission.

He is also the Network Leader for the East Midlands Finance Directors Forum facilitating collaboration across the sector.

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