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 leadership yielded 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, 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.

Heath Monk, Director

Heath has had many different roles in education. He started his career as a secondary teacher of English and Drama in Kent. After six years and two different schools, Heath joined the Department for Education where he led a national programme to reduce teacher workload (the 2003 “National Agreement” with the unions), oversaw a major piece of legislation (the 2006 “Education and Inspection Act”) and was appointed as the first Deputy Schools Commissioner for England. In 2007, Heath became Chief Executive of The Future Leaders Trust, in which role he trained thousands of school leaders and developed the first MAT CEO programme. Since 2016, Heath has held the role of Executive Director of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham.

Andrew Hodge, Director


Nick Scully, Director

Nick joined the BEpboard as a Director in the summer of 2016 having previously worked with the leadershipteam 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.

Michelle Gay, Director

I have served as the Erdington representative of Birmingham Education Partnershipfrom the outset and am in my seventh year as Head Teacher of Osborne Primary School in Birmingham. Previously I have taught in six separate Local Authorities, and always in challenging urban schools; including roles as a Key Literacy Teacher and Deputy in a National Support School.

Currently, I am working with seven other like-minded Erdington Heads to create a contractual collaboration between our schools in order to secure: continuous school improvement; specialisms within each of our schools; greater financial security and promote pride in our local community.

Debbie James, Director


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.

Mushtaq Khan, Director

Mushtaq is a Director at BPL. He is a highly regarded solicitor with more than 17 years’ experience, including at a senior level as a partner and national head of department at top50 national corporate law firm, Freeths LLP. He has worked with a wide range of enterprises spanning the private, public and the third sector. Mushtaq is a former President of The Birmingham Law Society, 2015-2016. He is highly recommended as a leading lawyer in the globally renowned directory on lawyers – Chambers & Partners UK. In 2016 Mushtaq was named by the Birmingham Post as one of the top10 most influential lawyers in the West Midlands region. 

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

Debbie James, Board Member

Debbie is a secondary headteacher representative on the board. She is currently the headteacher at Swanshurst School and Sixth Form Centre and was previously the headteacher at Wheelers Lane Technology College. Between headships she spent 2 years working for Ofsted as a senior HMI in the West Midlands and she continues to lead inspections on a regular basis. Debbie currently chairs the Birmingham schools’ forum and is a member of the IEB for Al Hijrah school. She has extensive experience in school to school support and mentors and supports a number of new headteachers.


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