The Members of Aldridge Education are:

The Board of Trustees is comprised of:

  • Up to nine Trustees appointed by the Members
  • Three appointed by the Aldridge Foundation
  • The Trust Chief Executive (if the Members so decide)

The current Trustees are:

Brent Thomas – Chair

Brent ThomasBrent’s career has spanned two sectors. His first was with the oil and chemicals company Burmah Castrol plc where held a number of international operational and HR roles including as Chief Executive of Castrol Denmark and Norway, and as the Group HR Director. He held this last role until 2001 when the takeover by BP hastened a decision to try something completely different. In 2002 he started work on a project linking business executives with the charity sector, where there was a growing need for their skills.

From this emerged his second career as a social entrepreneur and founder of Primetimers. Today Brent is the Deputy Chief Executive of Eastside Primetimers, a management consultancy that works with charities on strategic change and social investment, and a Trustee of the Eastside Primetimers Foundation, that provides professional development support to talented people working in the charity sector.

Brent’s educational and governance experience includes as a Board member of the Copenhagen International School, as a pensions trustee and as a Trustee of the charity Family Action, where he was the Vice Chair.

Sir Rod Aldridge, OBE

Sir Rod Aldridge at UTC@harbourside

Sir Rod established the Aldridge Foundation in 2006 to further the work of his charitable trust. As the Founder of the Capita Group in 1984 until his retirement in 2006, Rod led the company from start-up to becoming a FTSE 100 company, with Capita thus becoming the market leader in the provision of support and professional services to the government and private sector in the UK. Capita Group is now the 50th ranked company in the FTSE 100, with a market capitalisation of over £8billion.

Prior to Capita, Rod worked in local government for ten years with East Sussex County Council, Brighton Borough Council, Crawley District Group and West Sussex Council, becoming a qualified account with CIPFA in 1970, joining CIPFA in 1974, and ultimately becoming its Technical Director. Sir Rod was awarded an OBE in the 1994 New Years Honours List, for services to the computer industry, and was given the freedom of the City of London in 1996. In 2006, he was elected fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 2012, he received a knighthood for services to young people.

Sir Rod is Chair of The Lowry arts and entertainment venue in Salford; Patron and former Trustee of The Prince’s Trust, former Chair of Acorn Care and Education, a provider of special schools across England, and a Founding Member of the Prince’s Charities Council.

Anand Aithal

Anand Aithal Aldridge Education TrusteeAnand is an entrepreneur with a particular interest in the training and skills development of young people. Anand spent 12 years at Goldman Sachs, working as a Managing Director in areas related to economics and financial analysis. He then co-founded and ran a B2B services company, Amba Research. Amba was a pioneer of Knowledge Process Outsourcing, an innovative and disruptive method of re-engineering business processes across a wide variety of functions in the financial services industry. Critical to the success of the business was Amba’s ability to hire and train young people from a wide variety of backgrounds. After 10 years, Amba was sold to Moody’s Corporation in 2013.  Anand is now an investor in a number of start-up businesses, a charity volunteer and a non-executive director of Lifescale Ltd, a company whose financial analytics software helps people identify, understand and manage the risks to their future plans.

Anand has lived and worked around the world in places as diverse as Hong Kong, the US, Costa Rica, India, Sri Lanka, the UK and Singapore.  He has an MA in Economics from Cambridge University.

Rich Benton

Rich Benton

Rich is an entrepreneur who has enjoyed a successful business career in the UK, and has driven the development of social entrepreneurship worldwide. After qualifying as an accountant he joined Rod Aldridge as Founder Director of Capita, and was Sales Director for 14 years. ‘Retiring’ to become primary carer for his young family he then became Chair of Mouchel plc, a private engineering consultancy which listed as a public company in 2001.

Rich has founded two other start-up businesses, one a teacher supply agency which was sold to TES in 2014, and one just started, servicing the public sector supply chain. He is an angel investor in three other companies and has served as Chair of Eastlea Community School in Canning Town and of the S W Newham Education Action Zone. Rich was Chair of UnLtd, the UK’s leading supporter of social entrepreneurs. Through this role he became an active supporter of and fundraiser for UnLtd South Africa. He is also a Founder Member of the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network. Rich’s current passion is the development of Kwasa College, a 2-18 pre, primary and secondary school in the informal settlement of Daggafontein 30 miles south-east of Johannesburg.

 

Janie Chesterton

Janie ChestertonJanie studied Geography and African & Asian Studies and undertook a law conversion course at the University of Sussex in Brighton. She trained as a solicitor with Bevan Ashford, (now Bevan Brittan), in Bristol, before qualifying there, specialising in representing largely public sector clients in the field of commercial, contract and procurement law.

In 2001 Janie moved to work as a senior solicitor for Bristol City Council, acting as lead negotiator on the Bristol Schools PFI scheme for the rebuilding 4 schools before writing the business case for and again acting as lead negotiator for the Bristol BSF scheme which led to the rebuilding of all the remaining community maintained secondary schools in the city.

After the Bristol BSF scheme was signed Janie was asked to move to Partnerships for Schools, (now part of the Department for Education and Skills), and worked there for some time, working alongside such diverse authorities as LB Newham and Hackney, Birmingham, South Tyneside and Durham. After that she worked for an IT company as well as for a management consultancy.

In 2011 Janie then moved to a newly created role of Education Sector Director for Willmott Dixon, a large construction contractor. Willmott Dixon undertook a significant number of education projects every year, remodelling and building educational facilities ranging from simple 1 classroom extensions to full rebuilds of an entire local authority estate. During that time she was asked to be the Employer Director for the West Midlands Construction UTC. Janie worked with the co-sponsors -University of Wolverhampton, Walsall College and the trade body for the Construction Industry as well as other large employers eg. Lovells and Morgan Sindall, the Baker Dearing Trust and the Department for Education- to establish a regional, highly aspirational school with a quality, diverse curriculum grounded in real life learning but with an equally strong emphasis on rigorous academic standards. At this time Janie was also a member of the board of the Cabot Learning Federation – a multi academy trust of primary and secondary schools in SW England. Janie was Chair of Governors at Begbrook Primary School, one of the largest primaries in Bristol and was Chair of the CLF’s Property Premises and ICT Sub-Committee. During her time CLF expanded and also had a successful proposal for a new studio school accepted by the Department for Education.

In 2014 Janie moved to work with Welsh Government as an infrastructure and commercial adviser on their £1bn MIM programme, working on the standardisation of robust  procurement approaches and associated contractual documentation for a variety of projects including the dualling of sections 5 and 6 of the A465, £500m of new schools and a new tertiary cancer centre for SE Wales. She continues to undertake work for Welsh Government,  specialising as a MIM Transactor for the new Velindre Cancer Centre scheme.

Janie lives in Bristol and has two daughters, both of whom attend state schools in the city.

 Caroline Sheridan

Caroline SheridanCaroline joined the Board in 2017 and brings a wealth of commercial and transformation experience from the corporate world. She has held a number of senior positions with BT including the Director of Group Corporate Responsibility where she developed the 2020 strategy and launched the first UK major no fee online fundraising service to enable charities grow their online donations.

As Director of Consumer Broadband Caroline developed and delivered a significant growth programme and as the CEO of BT Payphones Caroline drove transformation, improving financial and business performance across the portfolio. As Vice President of Customer Experience for BT’s Global customers Caroline focused on customer advocacy, creating an improved end to end customer experience to underpin the development of partnerships with major clients.

Caroline is a qualified marketer and also has an MBA. Her current interests include developing a property portfolio.

Tunde Banjoko, OBE 

Tunde Banjoko, Aldridge Education TrusteeTunde Banjoko is Making The Leap’s Chief Executive and Founder. The organisation is an inspirational youth and social mobility charity that makes a positive impact to thousands of young people every year.

In 2017, Tunde founded the UK Social Mobility Awards, an initiative to further advance social mobility as a priority for large employers. He is involved in mentoring young people and is passionate about equality issues.

Tunde has an MSc in Urban Regeneration from University College London and was awarded an OBE in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Rob Wye

Rob read Law at Cambridge and then joined the Civil Service in 1976. He worked first in the Department of Employment in London; then moved to Sheffield and the Manpower Services Commission, where he was responsible for Skillcentres, Internal Training, Open Learning and Learning Technologies. He then worked on Modern Apprenticeships, Youth Training, those young people not in education, employment or  training and links between schools and business.

By 2000 Rob had become a Director in the new Learning and Skills Council (LSC), first  locally in Northamptonshire and then in the head office in Coventry, covering Strategy; Communications and Marketing; and Youth and Adult Learning. He oversaw the ambition to find all 16-19 year olds a place in school, college or an apprenticeship. When the LSC split in 2010 into the Young Peoples Learning Agency (YPLA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) he was interim CEO of the YPLA.

In 2011 Rob left the Civil Service to run the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, whose role was to help colleges and training providers better serve their customers and improve their management and staff training. The Service was abolished by the Government in 2015, and after a spell as a consultant (including with the Aldridge Foundation), Rob went back to the Civil Service, heading up the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Office for the West Midlands, where he became knowledgeable about academies and multi-academy trusts. Rob retired in January 2018, and joined the Aldridge Enterprise Board in September 2018.

Rob lives in Leamington Spa with his wife.  He has two sons and two grandsons.

View our Members’ and Directors’ Register of Interests.

Our governance structure and lines of accountability