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DET Members


Every Trust has Members, who have a similar role to shareholders of a company limited by shares. They:

  • are the subscribers to the Memorandum of Association (where they are founding Members);
  • may amend the Articles of Association, subject to any restrictions created by the Funding Agreement or charity law;
  • may, by special resolution, appoint new Members or remove existing Members, other than, where there is one, the foundation/sponsor body, and any Members that it has appointed;
  • have powers to appoint Trustees as set out in the Trust’s Articles of Association and powers under the Companies Act 2006 to remove Trustees;
  • may, by special resolution, issue direction to the Trustees to take a specific action;
  • appoint the Trust’s external auditors and receive (but do not sign) the audited annual report and accounts (subject to the Companies Act);
  • have power to change the Company’s name and, ultimately, wind it up.

Paul Day - Member

Paul’s career, apart from times with Christian charities, has been in the maintenance and construction of buildings, gaining extensive experience in managing employees, contractors, consultants and liaising with Statutory Authorities.

Paul was Supervisor of a Service Depot with Eastern Gas and a Technical Engineer managing district heating systems with the Greater London Council. Whist at the GLC, Paul developed a training department, teaching gas fitting to the Council’s plumbers. This involved converting an Area Office into a Training Centre, fitting it out, writing the course work and lecturing.

Then, as Maintenance Manager for Estuary Housing Association, supervising its housing stock of several thousand properties for twenty years. Paul left to take up a residential post, together with his wife, at Pilgrims Hall, Brentwood, a Christian Charity. During this time, Paul and his wife became involved in mission work in East Africa; primarily Kenya, something that they continue to be involved with to the present day.

After that, Paul formed his own company, providing Consultancy & Maintenance Services for businesses and private individuals. During this period, he took on the part-time role of Manager for Frontline, a charity supporting people with disabilities based in Sawyers Church, Brentwood.

Paul was approached by St. Martin’s School to take on a temporary part-time role supporting its Finance/Maintenance Officer. When the Finance/Maintenance Officer left, the school retained Paul’s consultancy services to manage its maintenance and buildings’ development. Paul was offered the post of Maintenance Manager and remained with the school until retirement, during which time it converted to an academy and Paul’s post became Estate Manager, as it grew into a multi-school academy trust.

Paul has had several periods serving as a school governor, first as a Parent Governor in a Primary school in Shoeburyness, then as Foundation Governor at Southend High School for Boys.

Matt Fossey - Member

Matt Fossey is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Anglia Ruskin University Veterans and Families Institute for Military Social Research (VFI). The VFI hosts the Veterans and Families Research Hub and the Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre. The VFI staff are currently researching diverse areas relating to the impact of transition on UK veterans. This work includes studies on traumatic amputation, employment, criminal justice interventions and early service separation, as well as issues relating to wellbeing and equalities.

Matt originally trained as a mental health social worker and spent a number of years working in front line services. He worked in both local government and for the UK National Health Service. In 2002, he moved from practice to strategic delivery and policy and eventually spent five years at the Department of Health as the Deputy Director of a £0.5 billion programme to improve access to psychological therapies (IAPT).

After leaving the DoH, Matt worked for a number of NGOs and Think Tanks developing work on diverse topics including: mental health stigma, liaison and consultation psychiatry, borderline personality disorder and female offenders and veterans health and wellbeing.

Matt is a member of the NATO research groups considering military to civilian transition and is co-chair of the NATO group researching sexual harassment in the military. He is a member of a number of national and government level boards focusing on the challenges faced by service personnel, veterans and their families.

In 2014 Matt was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a member of the Society for Evidence-based Policing and is a Senior Associate at Centre for Mental Health. He has previously had honorary teaching appointments at the universities of Sussex and Nottingham. Matt has held a number of national and regional charity board level positions. Matt is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Educators, one of the “modern” London livery companies.

Dave Smith - Member

Dave is a Local Authority senior inspector, providing school improvement support for schools in London and beyond, as well as leading on Traded Services for the Havering Education Services School Improvement team. He has spent the past 18 years specialising in computing, education technology and online safety support for schools and is a CEOP Online Safety Ambassador. Dave is part of the Havering team that has worked with Rising Stars to develop the Bett Award winning ‘ Switched on Computing’ series (in over 6500 schools in the UK and internationally). He recently worked on the education technology aspect of the UK Government’s Department for Education’s Workload Reduction Toolkit. He is the former Chair of the Board of Management of Naace – the UK’s Education Technology Association. He is also a judge for the Bett Awards and Education Resources Awards. Dave enjoys exploring education technology internationally – addressing Japan’s New Education Expo conference on two occasions, participating in the USA’s ISTE conference, as well as providing education technology consultancy in the Middle East and Europe. He was previously a teacher/senior leader in three schools, governor of four schools and Assistant Marketing Director/Senior Tutor at Anglia Ruskin University’s mPowerNet ICT Training for Teachers.

Kanta Wild-Smith - Member

Kanta spent 10 years working in the field of adult and children’s mental health before becoming a qualified primary teacher in 1991.  After working 3 years as a classroom teacher, she worked in an advisory and support capacity with schools cross phase throughout Essex on the education of Traveller children.. Kanta was President of the National Association of Teachers of Travellers for 3 years from 1997 to 2000, and in that capacity worked with HMI and Government Education Ministers, on national policy and guidance. From 2007 Kanta worked in the local authority children's services as a multi- agency team manager with a group of schools and agencies in East Basildon and as a Co-ordinator of Parenting and Family Support until her retirement in 2013.  As a local government officer Kanta has extensive experience of the performance management of staff and managing a substantial budget at a senior level. Using skills developed in her professional life Kanta has been involved in the use of pupil, group and whole school data to monitor school and individual performance.

Kanta has been a school governor for twenty years, thirteen of these as Chair of Larchwood Primary School. In that role she completed the Chair of Governors Leadership Development Course. In 2014 Kanta also became a Trustee of Brentwood Academies Trust (now the Discovery Educational Trust). 

Kanta was Chair of the Trust Board for the 2020/21 academic year and is also a serving Trustee.