Members are custodians of the governance of the Trust. They are independent of the Board of Trustees and their role is to provide oversight and challenge.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for setting the Trust’s Ethos, Vision and Strategy.
Chris Howorth (Chair)
Chris is a senior lecturer in the School of Business and Management at Royal Holloway, University of London. In this role he has served in a number of school, faculty and college leadership roles. Chris has previously worked at Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, London School of Economics and Political Science and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Away from the university Chris has served as chair of governors in two schools and is also a Non-Executive Director in a small Luxemburgish training company, as well as serving as a governor at Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust.
Hugh has been CEO of the Elliot Foundation since its creation in 2011. The Elliot Foundation is a growing family of 13,500 children and 2,000 staff in 32 thriving primary schools. Before Elliot, he ran education businesses across Europe for the IIR Group and Reed Global. Hugh volunteers as a trustee at BCS the Chartered Institute for IT and at two other Multi Academy Trusts. He serves on the British Council’s and EPI’s education advisory boards.
Jeremy McIlroy is a chartered accountant and spent his entire professional career with EY where he was a partner in their London office until his retirement from the firm in 2012. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
Since his retirement Jeremy has undertaken a number of roles in the education and charitable sectors. He has recently stepped down from the Council of Royal Holloway University where he chaired the Finance Committee, he is a governor of Charterhouse School and has been chair of governors of Edgeborough prep school. Outside the education sector Jeremy is also a trustee of a large family foundation and of another charitable trust. His primary roles cover finance and investment, and the management of financial risk and he has considerable experience in ensuring appropriate governance of charities.
Gavin runs a Sustainability, Cost, Procurement and Net Zero Consultancy, helping companies and organisations integrate sustainability, profitably.
He has over 20 years’ experience at a senior level in commercial, marketing and leadership roles for media, marketing and digital companies including BBC Worldwide, Universal Pictures, Dialogue Content Agency & Ultima Media, a global B2B media, insight and intelligence business.
An avid fan of Continuing Professional Development, he is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Marketing, has an MBA from Durham University Business School, Course Director for Sustainability at The Chartered Institute of Marketing and recently completed the Cambridge University for Sustainability Leadership programme.
Robin Kent (Vice Chair)
Robin spent the majority of his 30-year career in the international energy trading industry. He held senior management positions with both major energy companies and management consultancies. He has particular expertise in risk management, financial and business strategy, organisational design and large deal structuring. Robin has been a Trustee at UST for over 6 years and Vice Chair for 3 years. He is also Vice Chair of Governors at a secondary school near Kingston.
Jane qualified as an accountant in the NHS where she specialised in management accounting. Following a career break on the birth of her daughter she turned to an academic career teaching at all levels from BTEC to PhD supervision. She researched the implementation of Local Management of Schools when it was first introduced and has retained her interest in this field. Jane held senior management positions in Higher Education, first as Senior Vice Principal at Royal Holloway University of London and then as Deputy Vice Chancellor at Roehampton University. Since retiring Jane has been a trustee of a number of institutions aligned to her academic interests.
Michael del Río (CEO)
Michael has worked in a number of different roles during his career, the majority of which has been spent in or around the world of education. He joined UST in September 2021 following eleven successful years working in south London where he led improvements that turned two special measures schools into successful, high achieving, academies. He is passionate about creating the right environment in which children and young people are able to flourish. In addition to his educational oversight responsibilities Michael’s particular areas of expertise include project direction and financial leadership.
Ben is an executive coach with a focus on executive team cohesivity and high performance and strategy development, as well as supporting senior leaders to develop their roles and impact. Prior to coaching Ben held senior leadership and general management positions, sustaining and growing professional services companies in London, Stockholm and Helsinki, for 20 successful years. His first degree in engineering and second in psychology, reflect his analytic approach and recognition that people are the highest potential, and most complex, ingredient of every system. Ben has been a Trustee at UST for five years. He is also a Governor at a primary academy in Surrey.
Through her career Frances has held a number of executive roles in education, she was National Director of Education for AET, one of the largest multi-academy trusts in the country. Prior to this Frances was Vice President at Pearson where she was responsible for the efficacy and improvement of their products and services internationally. Previously Frances was Programme Director for the DfE National Strategies, leading a team of school improvement professionals responsible for improving outcomes nationally. Frances is also trustee for two education charities, Coram Life education and Future Frontiers.
Richard has spent his entire career in the Corporate and Commercial Banking sector, working for four major financial institutions. He has occupied senior positions in areas including client relationship management and service, business development, risk management and regulation. He is now a partner with Bank Brokers Ltd where he is Head of Debt Advisory for the UK and Ireland. He is also a Trustee member of Cricket Builds Hope, a charity promoting social change through sport and an Executive Committee member for a local Scout Association. In addition, he remains an active volunteer at Ashford and St Peters NHS Trust and a Mentor for Young People.
The Board of Trustees uses the services of the following three committees:
Finance, Audit and Risk Committee
The Finance, Audit and Risk Committee will exercise responsibility for, and oversight of, the auditing of UST financial matters. It will also hold oversight of the management of Risk across the Trust. The committee also monitors the staffing complement and recruitment processes of the Trust, operations and marketing.
Curriculum and Standards Committee
The Curriculum and Standards Committee will exercise oversight of policies and procedures, and monitor implementation, in respect of safeguarding, pupil achievement, learning and teaching, student discipline and personal development, community relations and curriculum. It is the interface between the Local Governing Councils (LGCs) and the Board of Trustees.
The Pay Committee will convene annually to review and approve any proposed pay awards for staff following the completion of the Performance Management cycle. They will also be directly responsible for undertaking the annual review and performance management of the Chief Executive Officer.
Local Governing Councils
Each constituent academy within the Trust has its own Local Governing Council (or LGC). The role of the LGC is to provide support and challenge to the Head of School at a local level, monitoring progress and outcomes against the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) agreed for any one academic year. The LGC also supports the Head of School by nominating a Safeguarding Governor to oversee the policies and procedures in place at the academy.