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.

Michael Blakey

Michael Blakey, Aldridge Education Turst board memberMichael was formerly the Chair of Governors at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, and is a specialist children’s services adviser and former Ofsted inspector of teacher training, schools and children’s centres. With a strong track record of driving highly effective service improvement in education and children’s services he is now a director of a not for profit children’s services consultancy.

Beginning his career as a science teacher Michael has also recently led two successful bids for new Free Schools in Manchester. In his spare time he’s the leader of one of the UK’s busiest mountain rescue teams.

Janie Chesterton

Janie ChestertonFor the last year, Janie has been working with Welsh Government senior officials from both Treasury and other departments (particularly Health and Transport). Prior to that she was Programme Manager, Transforming Cancer Services (TCS) in South East Wales.

A qualified Solicitor Janie sat on the Board of the Cabot Learning Federation, a group of 12 schools serving 4-19 year olds, which is the largest multi academy trust in South West England.

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.

View our Members’ and Directors’ Register of Interests.

Our governance structure and lines of accountability