John became a member of Paradigm Trust in February 2020.
John is a retired senior manager who spent his career at the leading edge of developing and supporting software solutions in the challenging environment of global telecommunications. He blends experience of organisational transformation, culture change, and project management with a very strong awareness of the challenges in Primary and Secondary schools.
John was a governor at Ipswich Academy’s precursor schools for over 40 years, with roles including Vice-chair and Chair of the governing body, and chair of the Finance Committee. He was also a governor at his children’s primary school, St Helens, from 1980 for over 30 years, many as Chair of Governors. He was instrumental in working to transform Holywells High School to Ipswich Academy and was a founder of the ASSET (IPAT) Multi-academy Trust. Although no longer a governor, John continues to help Ipswich Academy as Chair of the Community Forum and leading a team of maths mentors.
In order to tackle embedded low literacy in disadvantaged areas of Ipswich, in 2016 John set up the Let’s Talk Reading charity, which he chairs, and which now works with 15 schools, 40 early years settings and a number of partner agencies and charities. He also set up sister charity, Read Easy Ipswich in 2018 to help to deal with adult literacy problems. He has interests in an educational project involving 16 disadvantaged schools in Delhi.
John worked for BT for over 30 years, leading software engineering research and development related to new telephone exchanges, network management systems, software architectures and latterly leading BT’s UK network strategy unit. He retired from BT in 2000. In 1995, he was appointed a non-executive Director of the Indian BT joint venture company, Mahindra-BT; then became its COO in 2000 and CEO between 2001 and 2004, positioning it for its public flotation as Tech Mahindra.
John is a strong advocate of carbon reduction and is rapidly changing his lifestyle appropriately. Apart from his family, his main interest is music: playing in a woodwind quintet and a saxophone quartet.
Director and Chair of the Board of Directors
David joined the board of directors of Paradigm Trust in January 2014 and became the chair in July 2016. He is a member of the operations and finance committee and is the trust’s link director for Old Ford Primary Academy.
David is a solicitor and, prior to his retirement, he was the joint CEO at international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, where he was a member of the board and co-chaired the executive committee concentrating on the implementation of the firm’s strategy.
Prior to becoming managing partner of Herbert Smith in April 2008, he held a number of senior management positions, including leading Herbert Smith’s Asia operations (1997–2001) and Herbert Smith’s financial institutions’ group.
David joined Herbert Smith in 1981 and became a partner in 1989. Before working in Hong Kong, he advised on a series of major privatisations in the United Kingdom, including in the electricity and coal sectors. He also advised the UK government on the restructuring of British Nuclear Fuels plc and the establishment of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
David spent 8 years as a member of the Council at Queen Mary University of London and was elected a Fellow of Queen Mary in 2022; he was a member of the board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority for 6 years; and is a vice-chair of the board of trustees of United Response, a learning disabilities charity, and chair of its finance and resources committee. In 2022, he was appointed by the Secretary of State to the board of the Financial Reporting Council.
David was first appointed as a director by the members on 15 January 2014 for a four year term. He has since been re-appointed, by the members, and is currently serving his third term. Under Paradigm Trust’s Articles of Association, David is a member of the Trust while he is the chair of the board of directors. David stepped down as a member in July 2022.
Alesa joined the board of Paradigm Trust as parent director in November 2017.
Her first connection with the Trust was in 2009 when her eldest daughter started in Culloden’s nursery. Soon after Alesa was elected as parent governor, serving two terms of office before Culloden converted into an academy and the Trust was formed.
Alesa was then involved in setting up Culloden’s Academy Council and was voted in as Chair by council members; a position which she still holds today. Over this time Alesa has worked closely with the Principal and staff, trying to improve parental engagement and responding positively to feedback received.
Alesa’s eldest daughter has since left Culloden with outstanding SATs results and credits this success down to the outstanding teaching and care that she received whilst there. Her youngest daughter is still a pupil in the school.
Alesa has worked in East London schools for over 16 years and is currently Women’s Officer at a local Tower Hamlets’ secondary school. Not only has this experience given her an understanding of the challenges that face local children and parents, it has also shown her how the Trust’s ethos of having the highest of expectations for children and being committed to their education can dramatically cha
Pauline joined the board of directors of Paradigm Trust in October 2013. She is also the chair of the audit and risk committee. She was a governor at Solebay Primary Academy until the trust’s governance structure was revised in September 2015. She also acts as the trust’s link director for Solebay Primary Academy.
Pauline is a chartered accountant who recently retired as a senior partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. In her last role with the firm she was head of public policy and regulatory affairs, responsible for representing the firm in discussions with government, regulators, media and other stakeholders.
She is vice chair of the ICAEW’s professional standards board, a member of the financial reporting council’s accounting council, a member of the financial conduct authority’s regulatory decisions’ committee and an affiliate of FTI consulting. She is also a community governor of Middleton School, a special needs primary school in Ware, Hertfordshire.
Pauline’s term of office is four years. She was originally appointed as a director by the members on 10 October 2013. She has since been re-appointed for a further four year term.
With today’s news full of GCSE results, I am delighted to be able to tell you that the students at Ipswich Academy have delivered really great results. Of the 106 students who entered, 50.9% have achieved at least a grade four or above (the old A*-C) in English and mathematics – up from 48.6% last year.
The new exam formats and marking scheme make comparison with previous years difficult, but the general consensus is that the absence of course work and the exams themselves were significantly harder than before which makes these results even more impressive.
I know that I speak for everyone across the Trust when I say how pleased I am that the students’ hard work has paid off. The investment made by Helen and her team is clear evidence of the progress the school has been making since it came out of special measures earlier this year.
Chief Operating Officer
Paradigm Trust would like to invite you to attend a Memorial Event to celebrate the professional life and achievements of Amanda Phillips CBE (invitation link below).
In planning the date and time, we have tried to accommodate the needs of people who have professional and family commitments and may be travelling some distance to attend. We have chosen a venue in Tower Hamlets since this is where Amanda spent the majority of her working life.
The memorial event has been confirmed for Saturday 9th September 2017.
Please extend this invitation to friends, colleagues and associates who would like to attend.
To confirm your attendance please RSVP by 11th August 2017 to email@example.com.
I wanted to take this is opportunity to update you all on some of the decisions that have been taken during this difficult period to ensure our schools have the right support in place.
I am pleased to be able to tell you that Neil Winn has been appointed interim principal of Murrayfield Primary Academy and his appointment will run until December 2018.
Bill Holledge will continue to provide continuity and support but he has been promoted to the new role of Chief Operating Officer for Paradigm Trust. Bill has worked as a key part of the trust’s senior team since 2015, helping in many aspects of its management. His knowledge and experience will be of tremendous value during this time of transition.
This is the first time that the trust has had a chief operating officer. The creation of the role was something Amanda, Bill and I were working towards and, following Amanda’s tragic death, the board decided to accelerate this process.
Working closely with the board and the principals, Bill will assume responsibility for much of the trust’s day-to-day management while we go through the process of appointing a new CEO.
A number of Paradigm colleagues have also agreed to take on new/broader roles:
- Claire Brunning, systems and data support across the Trust
- Emma Vehit, interim company secretary
- Ian Arnold, premises support across the Trust
- Polly Jones, finance management across both Murrayfield and Ipswich Academy.
The Paradigm Board has also reflected carefully on the plans for Piper’s Vale Community Primary (Ipswich) to join the Trust as an academy. Paradigm’s strategy in Ipswich is to build a cluster of primary schools which will feed into Ipswich Academy. The regional schools commissioner/Department for Education asked Paradigm to take on Piper’s Vale some time ago and, since then, we have been working through the legal and other steps to enable Piper’s Vale Primary Academy to join Paradigm on 1 September 2017. The Board met last week and has agreed to proceed, notwithstanding Amanda passing away, in the light of a clear recommendation from Bill and the principals. We anticipate that Piper’s Vale will have its current headteacher, Paul Arch, in post when it joins the trust. The Board has asked Ben Carter to take on the role of executive principal over Piper’s Vale, working alongside Paul to ensure rapid improvements in outcomes and the quality of teaching. Ben will continue in his role as principal at Culloden, with members of his leadership team providing operational management on days when he is at Piper’s Vale.
Please join me in welcoming all the above staff to their new roles.
Chair, Paradigm Trust