The BEP Board

BEP exists to be of potential benefit to all Birmingham Schools, not just paid up members. We think it is vital that everyone knows where to find help and who to talk to. Birmingham Education Partnership has a small core team serving a very large community of schools. In addition to all the school improvement resources that exist in our schools, BEP’s key resources include its Board, an Advisory Group (formerly our commissioners), District Leads and a central team. This increasingly skilled team works closely with Headteachers and Governors, always keen to learn, listening to feedback to understand changing needs and to improve our service.

The Board

Baroness Estelle Morris, Chair

Estelle started her career in education as a teacher in an inner city multiracial comprehensive school where she taught for 18 years. In 1992, she entered Parliament, becoming the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in 2001. She followed this with 2 years as a Minister at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and left Parliament in 2005.

Since then, she has combined a career that includes senior posts both in education and the arts, as well as being a member of the House of Lords. She now works at the Institute of Effective Education which aims to transform the relationshipbetween education research and practice so that policy making and teaching can become more evidence based.

She is a trustee of The National Poetry Archive and chairs the Council at Goldsmiths College, and is also a regular contributor to Guardian Education.

Tim Boyes, Chief Executive

Formerly the first Chair of the Birmingham Education Partnership, Tim has been an NLE and a Birmingham Headteacher from 2003 to 2016. He led three very different schools in Birmingham. At Queensbridge School his leadershipyielded a rich legacy of innovative curriculum contributing to it being one of the first Character Award winners in 2015. It specialises in visual and performing arts and leadership. Tim was seconded to a local school needing rapid improvement for 2.5 years. He has also led on the setting upof an alternative provision Free School, serving 14 secondary schools in the south of Birmingham.

Tim has lived and worked in Pakistan and India where he learnt Urdu. He is a senior sailing instructor, and chairs The Enterprise Sailing Trust.

Pat Smart, Vice Chair & Director

The Executive Head of the Greet Teaching Schools Alliance and current Chair of Birmingham’s Association of Teaching Schools. Pat Smart currently serves as Vice Chair (Primary) of Birmingham Education PartnershipBoard and has taught in five separate Local Authorities, in an international school, and in urban and rural schools, including work as an advisory teacher and lead Ofsted inspector.

Pat acts as National Leader of Education with Greet at a National Support School and Teaching School, a member of the Headteacher Reference Groupat DfE, and Trustee for Park View Education Trust/CORE Education.

Pat is experienced in school-to- support and leadershipof schools in crisis.

Andrew Hodge, Director


Nick Scully, Director

Nick joined the BEP board as a Director in the summer of 2016 having previously worked with the leadership team in developing the business plan and implementation approach for BEP’s launch.

Nick has over 20 years commercial and programme delivery experience gained with clients from across the private and public sector. In recent years Nick’s consulting work has focused in Local Government including several years working with Birmingham City Council.  Currently Nick is working for Capita on a new Digital platform looking to connect social care users with local provider organisations.


James Howse, Director

James worked in the PwC Government and Public Sector practice for 20 years advising clients from across the public sector on accounting and audit, project and programme management, financial management and also risk management. During this time James was responsible for taking a leading role in PwC’s school engagement programme in Birmingham. James has also led high profile projects and programmes within central and local government (including managing the creation and development of the West Midlands Combined Authority), and has led the delivery of back office professional services to the NHS in Staffordshire. James is currently Corporate Director (Resource) at South Staffordshire Council.

Jo Jones, Director


Jo has taught in Birmingham for over 30 years, the last 14 years as a Headteacher in two very deprived areas of the city. Jo’s current school was barely satisfactory when she started and within 5 years had moved to outstanding. Having since supported a number of schools in challenging circumstances, Jo has a proven track record of leading and managing schools required to make rapid improvement. Jo champions a systems leadership model for school improvement and firmly believes the journey of improvement this offers ensures sustainability for the future.

Mark Gregory, Director

Regional Director for Secondary (Birmingham), Ark Schools. 

Mark Gregory has worked in Birmingham’s schools for over 20 years, working with disadvantaged and disenfranchised communities for the duration. For the last 11 of these he has worked for Ark Schools, first as a Senior Leader and then Principal at Ark St Alban’s Academy, and more recently as Ark’s Regional Director for Secondary Education. Mark is also a Platinum Faculty Member of the Leverage Leadership Institute having completed his fellowship with the Relay Graduate School of Education.

As a leader at Ark St Alban’s, Mark was part of the team that led the school to its first outstanding Ofsted result and to a sustained improvement in student outcomes, with the academy routinely in the top decile for student progress. As Principal, Mark saw the school ranked #20 in the country for student progress, continuing the delivery of exceptional outcomes for the young people it serves. This success was built on strong student culture and a rigorous focus on teaching quality and response to data.

Steve Munby, Technical Advisor to the Board

As CEO of Education Development Trust (formerly CfBT Education Trust), Steve leads an organisation that operates in diverse environments around the world to transform lives by improving education. Working with governments at national and regional level to improve education systems and with school clusters to raise standards, Steve manages an internationally based workforce in India, the Middle East, South East Asia, Africa, the UK and many other localities. Education Development Trust is a charity and its commitment is to sustainable, high quality self-improving education systems.

Steve began his career as a secondary school teacher in Birmingham, later moving to the north east of England where he worked as a teacher and then as a lecturer. In the late 1980s and the 1990s he worked in school improvement roles in Oldham and Blackburn with Darwen and from 2000 to 2005 he was director of education in Knowsley, Merseyside. Steve was chief executive of the National College for School Leadershipfrom March 2005 to November 2012

John joined BEP at the start of the academic year 2016/17, having previously worked for The Children’s Society in a business development role. John holds a Masters’ in Business Administration.

John is a social worker, with a particular interest in mental health and learning disabilities, who worked in the West Midlands as both a social worker practitioner and social work manager for a number of years before moving to North East Lincolnshire. On his return from Grimsby John served as a member of the senior leadership team in a West Midlands council and held several senior positions with responsibility for a diverse portfolio of services and strategic partnerships. Outside of work John spends his time indulging his interest in sport, music and travel, with a particular interest in Africa.

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