Skip to content ↓

DET Trust Board

Role of the Trustees

The trustees should focus on three core functions:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • overseeing and ensuring effective financial performance.

 

Helen Witty - Chair of the Trust Board 

Helen has forty-two years teaching experience in secondary schools in London and Essex. 

Throughout her career she has been determined to help all children aim high and maximise their achievements.

She has spent thirty years in senior leadership roles in schools, including responsibility for Curriculum and Timetable, Human Resources and Sixth Form.

She first became a school governor in 1988. She is Chair of Governors of two local authority schools in London, one primary and one secondary.  In addition, she has been a School Governor at Larchwood Primary School since 2001, first as a parent, latterly co-opted.

Her extensive experience of governance has involved responsibility for SEND and Safeguarding, and chairing Finance & Resources, Curriculum & Development, and School Improvement Committees.

More recently she has been a member of panels to examine parental complaints and appointed to undertake an independent investigation of Governing Board conduct.

Helen was appointed as Chair of the Trust Board on 1 September 2021.

To contact the Chair of the Trust Board,  please email contact@discoveryeducationaltrust.co.uk

 

Steve Baines - Trustee

Steve has more than 25 years’ experience of senior roles in the education market, having been Head of Sales at Pearson Education and Commercial Manager and Data Protection Officer at Community Brands. He also spent several years as Chair of Governors at a large primary school.

As well as holding a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA), Steve is a qualified Lead Implementer and Lead Auditor of Information Security Management Systems.

Steve also has both ‘Foundation’ and ‘Practitioner’ GDPR qualifications and, whilst at Groupcall, he developed and subsequently delivered a full GDPR training programme to over 12,000 senior school staff across the UK, before evolving the content into an online course.

Steve has also worked internationally, managing operations and sales teams in Australia and South Africa as well as developing and managing resellers and partners worldwide.

Steve is a family man, having been married for 38 years. He has six children and five grandchildren (so far).

He is Chair of his local table tennis club, enjoys playing golf (somewhat poorly!) and is famed for his roast dinners!

 

David Cowen - Trustee

David is now semi-retired, having spent most of his career in the pharmaceutical and consulting industries.

He has held a number of senior positions including Director of Business Transformation for a medical multinational, Managing Director of a technology and consulting services Plc and latterly the UK Head of Business and Technology Consulting for a global professional services organisation.
 
David is married with two sons and a dog and is a keen motorcyclist.
 
He is motivated by the notion of improvement in general, particularly equal opportunity to a good education as a key enabler.
 
 

Ryan Duff - Trustee

Having worked in the financial markets and then the aviation industry before training as a teacher, Ryan brought his previous knowledge and skills, as well as experiences, into the education sector.

Ryan has worked across a number of schools, spanning four different Local Authorities and, in his first headship, took a school rated inadequate by Ofsted to outstanding status within three years. He spent a total of eight years as the Headteacher, which ensured sustainability and longevity for the school, and was then promoted to a new role within the Trust.

He has carried out work on behalf of Local Authorities, including a secondment to a school as the Executive Headteacher, a mentor for new Headteachers and a training facilitator for leaders and teachers.

Ryan holds the National Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH), has been involved in initial teacher training (ITT) and has established international educational links with schools in China and Hong Kong.

Now the Chief Executive Officer of the Discovery Educational Trust, his successful track record in school improvement and effective leadership ensures robust accountability across all the schools within the Multi-Academy Trust (MAT).

Zachary Glaser - Trustee

Zachary is the Lead Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner for Hounslow Talking Therapies in West London and Co-Chair of London's Psychological Professions Network PWP Community of Practice. He is also a veteran of the United States Navy, has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology with a specialisation in addictions, a MSc in Applied Psychology of Mental Health and Psychological Therapies and is currently a PhD Researcher at Ulster University.

Zachary has extensive experience working in the homeless sector as an addictions worker before transitioning to working in Talking Therapies as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner.

Zachary is married with four children and enjoys spending time with them, loves to travel and learn about other cultures, and likes to cook various types of food.

Chris Hearn - Trustee

A qualified accountant since 1992 - Chartered Institute of Management Accountants - ACMA CGMA , Chris has worked in senior financial positions throughout his career, specifically as a Regional Finance Director (not a Companies house director) from 2001 to 2009, Academy FD for ten months 2009-2010, and Chief Accountant/Finance Director from 2012 to date. Responsible for Monthly and Annual Accounts, Budgets, dealing with Auditors, etc. 

A part of the Board of Directors developing strategy, monitoring performance and ensure controls in place.Chris worked as Finance Manager at the Girls' Day School Trust, the biggest educational charity in the UK, including two academies, for eighteen months. Responsible for all finance aspects, including monthly and annual accounts.

Chris held the position of Trustee Treasurer of Centre 404 for 4 years to 2013. Centre 404 is a charity for children and adults with learning difficulties. Part of Board that developed long term strategy and ensured financial controls and best use of resources.

Married to Alison since 1991, they have two children who both attended St Martin's School and have subsequently gone on to University to study Business Management and Fashion & Textiles.

Roger Juniper- Trustee

Roger was born and raised in Essex where he still lives. His career was spent at senior and board level in advertising and marketing in the UK and Australia, culminating in him founding his own advertising agency, working with both public and commercial organisations as well as educational institutions specialising in employee and student recruitment, promoting careers and their employer brand.  
 
Raising his own children and grandchildren in local schools led to an abiding interest in the education of young people and the challenges they face today.  Joining the Governing Body of a local primary school led to becoming Chair of Governors and participating in the school becoming one of the first converter primaries within a multi academy trust. Moving on to then join the Governing Body of Chase High School, he was ultimately appointed Chair of Governors, working closely with Discovery Educational Trust to ensure Chase was given a Good rating by Ofsted in February 2022.  
 
A civil aviation enthusiast and an avid supporter of Rugby Union, Roger maintains a strong interest in careers for young people.  Roger was appointed to the Trust Board in September 2022. 

Steve Whitley - Trustee

Steve has spent almost 40 years working in Education. Initially spending nine years working within a Local Education Authority, providing teacher training, before transitioning into commercial organisations selling technology products to the education sector. 

For 26 years, Steve managed a specialist technology company that developed innovative products to support the delivery of STEM Education. He has worked with hundreds of both private and state schools and Government bodies all around the world and brings a wealth of STEM knowledge to the trust as well as commercial and management experience. 

Steve now runs his own specialist education consulting company, offering a range of services, including UK and international sales and marketing strategies, mentoring for senior leaders, company-wide CPD packages and project management, to both start-up and long-established educational supply companies.