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.
Maggi Bull, Chair
Maggi has been an NGA Trustee since November 2011 and was re-elected to the board in November 2014 and 2017. After serving 3 years as vice-chair, Maggi was elected as honorary secretary in December 2016 and as chair of NGA in December 2017.
Maggi has been a governor for over 24 years in both primary and secondary schools and is currently acting chair of an IEB, a governor in a primary school and a member of a Local Committee of a primary in a MAT, all in High Wycombe. Her professional background was in sales marketing in the computer industry and training, and for a number of years she has delivered governor training in a number of Local Authorities. She is a previous chair of the Buckinghamshire Association of School Governors and chairs the Buckinghamshire County Council’s School Governance Consultative Board. Maggi is also a Trustee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Northampton and a member of the Diocesan Education Committee.
Katie Paxton, Vice-Chair
Katie was elected as vice-chair of the board in December 2017.
Dual-qualified as a Solicitor and Chartered Company Secretary, she has extensive experience of working with single academies and Multi-Academies dealing with a range of issues relating to corporate governance, company secretarial guidance and support. She is also Chair of Governors of a Voluntary Aided Primary School in Didcot, Oxfordshire.
Katie is an author and regularly writes features for trade press and other national and local publications as well as appearing as a speaker at education events.
Niki took office on 16 November 2013 and was re-elected to the board in November 2014. Niki was elected as vice-chair in December 2016 and again in December 2017.
Niki has been a school governor since 1999, governing a high-performing grammar academy, and now chairing a large inner city primary school. She is also the chair of the Southend School Governors' Association, sits on the local Children's Partnership Board, and is involved in the Young Carers Development Group. Niki is committed to championing vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, to ensure equality of opportunity and to narrow the achievement gap.
Although recently retired from hospital medical practice, Niki continues as Vice-Chair of the Essex NHS Research Ethics Committee, and is one of three NHS representatives on the Association of Research Ethics Committees (AREC) Council. From her experience of practical evidence–based medicine, she supports the movement towards evidence-based education and is keen to promote informal collaborations and sharing of good practice between professionals, local schools and associations.
Duncan Haworth MBE, Vice-Chair
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 2 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 is a National Leader of Governance 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.
Ian Courtney MBE,
Ian has been an NGA Trustee since November 2011 and was re-elected to the board in November 2015 for a three year term. He was chair of the board between December 2014 and December 2017. In the 2015 Queen's New Year Honours, Ian was awarded an MBE for services to education.
He is currently chair of governors of a cross-phase federation of six schools in West Devon and chair of the Co-operative Trust that they, along with two other local schools, sit within. Ian’s federation is at the centre of a new MAT which is working to set up from January 2018 with seventeen schools.
He was chair of the Devon Association of Governors for several years and chairs the Devon Education (Schools) Forum. He is also a National Leader of Governance which gives him a good knowledge of how governance works in practice across many schools.
Brent Fitzpatrick MBE, Honorary Secretary
Brent has been an NGA Trustee since November 2013 and was re-elected to the board in November 2014. He was honarary treasurer from 2014- 2016 and served as vice-chair in 2017.
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.
Dave was elected to the NGA board in November 2014.
Dave has been a governor for 10 years at a secondary academy and more recently became chair of a junior school.
He has been a director of risk as well as a finance director. He has also been an non-executive director of an IT reseller. More recently, he has been working to support the development of a number of smaller businesses predominantly in the media sector. This often involves business strategy, finance, capital raising and creating an efficient yet effective operation. He has also set up a golfing sports academy in Essex, where potential tour golfers aged 16-19 can enjoy a structured golf coaching programme alongside a recognised apprenticeship qualification giving them something to fall back on if they do not make it as a professional golfers. He regularly supports other charities and recently undertook a charity bike ride through Cambodia and Vietnam.
Lawayne was co-opted on to the NGA board in October 2018.
She is an experienced governor/trustee and currently the chair (Interim) of trustees at Gatehouse Green Learning Trust. She is also an NLG 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.
Alastair Cowen, Honorary Treasurer
Alastair was co-opted to the NGA Board in May 2019 as a young trustee.
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.
Currently Alastair works in management consultancy, within data and analytics, with a focus on financial and operational modelling.
Rachel Wilson was appointed to the Board of Trustees in November 2019. 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.