Trustees & Advisory Board

Our Trustees and Advisory Board consists of six trustees who are legally responsible and accountable for ensuring our charitable aims are met and that we fulfil our obligations under company and charitable law. Our trustees are not paid but can claim expenses. The advisors act as consultants to the board and are involved in all decision-making processes but have no legal responsibilities. They are not remunerated as board members but can be paid for specific pieces of work undertaken.



PROFESSOR COLIN DIAMOND currently CoED’s chair of trustees and Professor of Educational Leadership, has worked in the field of educational leadership. He has been a Head of Faculty, Associate Headteacher, Local Education Authority Adviser, Assistant Director and Director of Education/Children’s Services. He led improvements in two local authorities taking them from government intervention to strong performance.

David Woods


PROFESSOR DAVID WOODS CBE spent twenty years of his career in teaching, senior leadership in schools and in teacher training. He has worked in local authorities in Solihull and Birmingham, and became the Chief Education Adviser for Birmingham City where he worked closely with Tim Brighouse. In 1998 he joined the DfES Standards and Effectiveness Unit as senior education adviser working closely with Ministers to develop educational policy and subsequently became the Head of the DfES Advisory Service.

He joined the London Challenge programme in 2003 as the Lead Secondary adviser and from January, 2008 became the Principal Adviser for the City Challenge. Later that year he was appointed to the role of Principal National Challenge Adviser for England. In May, 2009 he was appointed to the post of Chief Adviser for London Schools . He is currently a member of the OfSTED Expert Panel on urban education as well as a member of the National College's Steering Groups on Teaching Schools and NLE's. He is a visiting Professor of Education at Warwick University and the London Institute of Education. David has written and spoken extensively on school improvement, his first book co-authored with Tim Brighouse What Makes a Good School Now?, was followed up in May 2013 by his next publication The A-Z of School Improvement. Also co-authored with Tim Brighouse.

Rohesia Coles


ROHESIA COLES Rohesia is a Specialist Occupational Therapist in Child and Adolescent Mental Health within the West Midlands. Previously she worked in Warwickshire and Sandwell within Community Mental Health settings. Rohesia graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BSC in Occupational Therapy. She specializes in early intervention and prevention work for young people and is a trustee of the CoED Foundation.

Lara Coles


LARA FLINT is currently an Assistant Headteacher in an inner city Birmingham primary school and has worked in education for over 10 years. Born in Birmingham, Lara studied French and English at Leeds University then completed a PGCE at Newman University. Having taught English in France, China and the Caribbean, Lara then decided to embark on a teaching career in the UK, teaching in vulnerable areas across Birmingham and Coventry.

Currently, in her role of Assistant Headteacher, she is responsible for assessing and reporting and English. Lara has experience of teaching in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, leading English and phonics, Pupil Premium and has led music and modern foreign languages during her career. Lara is also a trustee governor at a Birmingham primary academy school with a high proportion of ethnic minority children where she aims to use her knowledge and experience to support another school.

Mick Waters


PROFESSOR MICK WATERS works with the schools in the West Midlands in raising standards. This work began as part of the Black Country Challenge and has continued through the University of Wolverhampton's involvement with the development of Academies and Teaching Schools. He works with schools in other parts of the country on innovative approaches to learning and on several other initiatives to push the boundaries for making learning better.

Mick is an Honorary Fellow of the College of Teachers and supports several educational causes. He is a patron of SAPERE which promotes Philosophy for Children as a route to learning. Mick is also a patron of the Curriculum Foundation, which seeks to promote a voice for the power and potential of the whole curriculum. Mick supports the National Association for Environmental Education as a vice president and is also chair of CoED which promotes compassionate education.

During his career, Mick has been a teacher and head teacher before working at senior levels in Birmingham and Manchester Local Authorities. He worked at a national level with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority where he was Director of Curriculum.

Mick recently led an Independent Review of School Teachers' Pay and Conditions for the Welsh Government with some exciting new proposals for teachers' careers and professional learning. This followed on from work he did in helping the Welsh Government to produce new Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership.

Mick believes that learning should be treasured and valued and that it needs to be shaped to fit with children's lives as well as structured to help society meet the promise of the future. People in schools need to set understandings of their children alongside the learning they should meet to create learning that is irresistible.

Mick believes in being close to teachers, children and schools, and is often to be found in the classroom working with children. He has written and contributed to books on the curriculum, teaching and learning, and leadership, as well as making presentations at numerous national and international conferences. He is passionate about the role of education in improving life chances for pupils. He enjoys asking adults to look at learning through the eyes of a pupil.

Bill Gent


DR BILL GENT After teaching in Birmingham schools for 15 years, Bill spent 20 years as a local authority school improvement adviser and inspector. In this role, he worked in secondary, primary and special schools and was an accredited Ofsted inspector. In 1997, with his wife, he wrote the two primary-age books for RE in the Scholastic Curriculum Bank series. He was editor of the journal of the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) for ten years (2006-2016) for which he was awarded the prestigious Shap Award in 2012 for its contribution to religion and education. Having gained a doctorate from Warwick University in 2006, he has continued with his research into aspects of Muslim education, particularly memorisation and Qur'anic recitation. An expanded version of his thesis was published in 2018 under the title, Muslim Supplementary Classes and their place within the wider learning community (Manchester: Beacon Books). In 2018, the same publishing company also published a book which he had collected and edited at the request of The Compassion in Education Foundation: With Warm Heart and Receptive Mind: A compendium of 101 Sayings and Quotations on the Themes of Compassion and Education. He has also had published numerous book chapters, articles, and book reviews.

A member of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, he is currently working with a group of European scholars on researching the relationship between Muslim young people's experience of secular state education and Muslim supplementary classes. He is an associate fellow at Warwick University Centre for Education Studies and, in 2012, chaired the expert panel as part of the RE Council's national review of religious education.

Khalid Mahmood


KHALID MAHMOOD delivered community capacity building and adult education programmes in Leicester until August 2004, when he joined the School Development Support Agency. As complementary schools coordinator he developed the country’s first ever independent umbrella organisation, the Leicester Complementary Schools Trust which was established to help and support complementary/supplementary schools. Seconded to ContinYou in December 2006 as a Regional Development Manager for the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education, Khalid was responsible for the national development of this programme. 2007 he returned to SDSA and took the responsibility for the Islam and Citizenship Education (ICE) Project. This project developed teaching resources which are being used by a wide range of independent Muslim schools and Muslim supplementary schools across England and in other parts of the world. Khalid is now facilitating a number of local, national and international networks that aim to improve outcomes for children and young people.

Gilroy Brown


GILROY BROWN served for 37 years in the education service which included 10 years as Headteacher of an inner city, multicultural school and 11 years as a School Advisor working as part of the Local Authority's Primary Leadership and Management Team. He has successfully delivered bespoke Leadership and Management training for school Leaders in various school networks. He also provided support and training for aspiring school leaders and newly appointed Headteachers – including the Local Induction Programme for new Heads via the National College for Leadership.

Gilroy led two local research projects on raising African Caribbean achievement in schools (RACA) which led to the publication of case studies and recommendations for best practice. He has also delivered a comprehensive training programme for Local Authority Advisors to develop the appropriate knowledge and skills for supporting schools in raising the attainment of African Caribbean pupils. His expertise in this area resulted in him being selected to work as part of a national team of Consultants commissioned by the DFES to lead on the Aiming High programmes. In this role he supported a challenged school leaders in both primary and secondary schools to develop innovative practices that would raise the attainment of BME pupils and form part of a national strategy for tackling under achievement.

Gilroy has worked extensively with parents and voluntary organisations. This included being the co- founder of the KWESI mentoring programme which co-ordinated the work of 30 mentors across 30 schools (25 primary and 5 secondary) and contributed to the reduction of exclusions. He has also helped to establish partnerships between local parents and schools which as formed the basis for teachers and parents to work as co-educators.

Over the years he has also coordinated informal coaching/ support networks for aspirant BME school leaders which led to many of the participants becoming successful Headteachers.

Gilroy is currently an independent Education Consultant offering his services in the following areas:-

  • Leadership Development & Coaching
  • Pastoral Systems / Positive behaviour management
  • Culturally inclusive Curriculum themes
  • School Improvement strategies
  • Art & Design




ANTHONY DAULPHIN CEO of Standing Ovation is renowned within the Education sector on bringing children and young people together through the creative arts and pastoral support. Anthony has extensive experience in motivational speaking around raising aspirations and challenging the status quo.



PAUL DAVIES is the Managing Director of VYKA, a Birmingham based SME specialising in the creation of digital tools and compelling television. They service the learning, cultural, heritage and communities sectors. Paul Davies is also, Royal Television Society Award winner and a BAFTA nominee.



MANJIT SHELLIS has over 30 years experience as an educationalist who has worked in a variety of settings across both the school and community sector. She began her career as a teacher and senior leader in Birmingham secondary schools working both as a pastoral head and curriculum lead. She took on the role of being part of a team developing the then, Birmingham based educational charity, UFA, into a national organisation.

Funded by the DFE, UFA went onto work with over 50 local authorities, to roll out extended learning and youth leadership programmes for over 750,000 young people and trained 7000 adults in a variety of setting. Set up by Professor Tim Brighouse in the 1990s, UFA has gained a national reputation for innovative practice in learning design and the development of young people’s leadership in both schools and community settings.

Manjit has a particular passion for understanding how humans learn, grow and flourish which she has drawn on to develop an approach to learning design which uses ‘the science of learning, the art of teaching and the ethos of youth work’ to create deeply engaging and transformative learning experiences for children and young people. After 20 years with UFA, in April 2019 she takes up the role of Wider Learning Lead, for Birmingham Education Partnership.



Headteacher at Nelson Mandela Primary and Strategic Partner of The Greet Teaching School Alliance. Azita believes passionately that all children can achieve and in order to do this it is essential that we work in partnership with our families, communities and other schools. Sharing expertise to reach the best outcomes for all is our moral purpose as leaders in education.



BEV MABEY has worked education for 33 years. Head Teacher in Birmingham for 10 years - taking the secondary school from being 5th from the bottom nationally on value added to being 13th best performing nationally 8 years later. Academised Washwood Heath Technology College in 2013 and converted to a multi academy in November 2014. Currently the MAT comprises of 3 secondary and 2 primary schools.

Chair of the Secondary Heads Forum for the city and the lead in the city for education the preventing violence strand of WMP. Chair of the city/police panels and vice chair of the east local policing unit independent advisory group.