Our Members

Ammo Talwar MBE

Ammo Talwar MBE

Ammo Talwar is the founder of Punch, a dedicated music and arts agency. He is a well recognised and respected arts champion, pioneering work with young people and artists nationally.
Ammo is Chair of UK Music’s Equality and Diversity Taskforce. He was the Chair of CORE Education Trust from September 2016 to September 2020.
In 2008, Ammo was awarded an MBE for his services to music and young people.

Professor Monder Ram OBE

Professor Monder Ram OBE

Monder is the Director of Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), Co-Director of the Enterprise and Diversity Alliance (EDA) and Director of the Enterprise and Diversity Cluster based in the Business School at the University of Birmingham. Monder has extensive experience of working in, researching and acting as a consultant to small and ethnic minority businesses. Monder is a leading authority on small business and ethnic minority entrepreneurship research and has published widely on the subject. Monder regularly speaks at conferences across the world on the importance and value of ethnic minority businesses and has also advised Government on this. Monder is responsible for initiating the annual Ethnic Minority Business Conference in 1998, which has developed into the most important event in the calendar for disseminating policy and research on ethnic minority firms. Monder has held visiting positions at the Industrial Relations Research Unit at Warwick University, and the Herbert Felix Visiting Professor at Lund University in Sweden. Monder was named as one of the country’s most influential Asians by the Institute of Asian Professionals and was awarded an OBE in the 2004 New Year Honours List for his services to black and ethnic minority businesses.

Dr Lynne Morris CBE

Dr Lynne Morris CBE

Dr Lynne Morris CBE has spent 40 years in education, 30 of them in Senior Leadership. During her career she has served in seven schools; secondary modern, grammar, comprehensives and sixth form colleges. In 1988, after Deputy Headship in a large 11-18 comprehensive school in Walsall, she became Headteacher of Aston Manor School, and in 1997 she was appointed as Principal of Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College in Highgate. Under her leadership the college achieved a Grade 1 Ofsted, and won the Queens Anniversary Prize for exceptional contribution to Further and Higher Education.

Lynne is a Life Fellow of the RSA. During her career she served on the National Council of the LSC and was a Board Member of Partnership for Schools. In 2005 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Birmingham, and in 2006 she received a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for outstanding services to education. She project managed the building of the new £40m campus for Joseph Chamberlain College which won the Prime Minister’s Prize for the Best Public Building in 2009.

In retirement, Lynne has continued with local school governorship and is a long standing Trustee of Birmingham Ethnic and Education Advisory Service (BEEAS).

Yvonne Wilkinson

Yvonne Wilkinson

Yvonne is the first female head of King Edward VI Five Ways School in 132 years – a large outstanding co-educational grammar school in Birmingham and one of the eight King Edward VI Schools. Yvonne has 12 years’ experience as a head – 9 years previously in two independent schools in Worcestershire and Yorkshire. Yvonne was also the first female deputy Head at King Edward VI Five Ways School in 1997-2003, overseeing the transition to co-educational status. Yvonne has worked for 10 years as an ISI inspector.

Our Trustees

CORE Education Trust CEO

Adrian Packer CBE

Adrian Packer CBE

CORE Education Trust CEO

Adrian was appointed Executive Principal of Park View Educational Trust (now CORE Education Trust) in 2014. He was also Principal of Park View School (now Rockwood Academy) at that time.

Prior to this, in 2012 Adrian was the founding Principal of Everton Alternative Provision Free School and 6th Form College, the first Free School set up by a Premier League football club.

From 2010, Adrian was part of the founding team of Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA), an arts academy partnered with The BRIT School. Adrian was a senior Artistic Director at the BRIT School for 12 years and taught some of the country’s highest profile, award-winning talent in the music, theatre, film and television industries during that time.

Adrian is currently a Member of the LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) Council and Director and Governor of the LIPA 6th Form.

Adrian is an independent non-executive Director of ukactive and the Chair of ukactive Kids Council.

In 2018 Adrian conceived the Echo Eternal project, a commemorative arts participation project, which brings together groups of schools with different characteristics and uses Holocaust survivor testimony to inspire community integration and empathy. In 2019, he was awarded a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister for this work.

Interim Chair of Board of Trustees

Andy Argyle

Andy Argyle

Interim Chair of Board of Trustees

Andy is KPMG’s Head of Midlands Devolved Government and Infrastructure. He leads KPMG’s regional engagement with the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Andy is a member of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Council informing its decisions around skills, transport infrastructure and its relationship with the LEP. A fluent German speaker he previously led KPMG’s Transaction Services business in the Midlands and has extensive experience of heading up large complex projects such as KPMG’s work for Ford on the disposal of Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover.

Andy also heads KPMG’s Midlands CSR activity with a focus on social mobility and access to careers in the professional services sector.

Tom Gibbins

Vice Chair of Board of Trustees

Tom Gibbins

Tom Gibbins

Vice Chair of Board of Trustees

Tom is currently the Head of Children, Young People and Education at the Lawn Tennis Association and Tennis Foundation. He is also a serving governor at a primary school in the Midlands.

He has extensive experience of partnership working with a range of providers including the DfE. Tom also has a background in business development and event management and has spent the last ten years working in a range of Education roles within the Tennis Foundation and Lawn Tennis Association.

Tom is passionate about the four core values of CORE Education Trust and hopes he will be able to utilise the experience he has gained in his professional career to help the trust, its schools and its pupils to be successful.

Tom Gibbins

Chair of Finance Committee

Laura Thursfield

Laura Thursfield

Chair of Finance Committee

Laura is an FCA-authorised Independent Financial Adviser at Mazars LLP. Laura is responsible for Midlands-based clients and has experience advising a wide range of private clients, from senior partners, directors and business owners through to independently wealthy individuals.

As Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 2018, Laura acted as a national ambassador for Birmingham and is committed to improving the financial literacy of the city, in particular working alongside schools to develop key skills and self-development opportunities. Alongside studying her Executive MBA at Aston Business School, Laura participates in numerous initiatives to support young people, all contributing towards the goal of creating a supportive environment in which all who live and work in the region can thrive.

Professor Monder Ram OBE

Professor Monder Ram OBE

Monder is the Director of Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), Co-Director of the Enterprise and Diversity Alliance (EDA) and Director of the Enterprise and Diversity Cluster based in the Business School at the University of Birmingham. Monder has extensive experience of working in, researching and acting as a consultant to small and ethnic minority businesses. Monder is a leading authority on small business and ethnic minority entrepreneurship research and has published widely on the subject. Monder regularly speaks at conferences across the world on the importance and value of ethnic minority businesses and has also advised Government on this. Monder is responsible for initiating the annual Ethnic Minority Business Conference in 1998, which has developed into the most important event in the calendar for disseminating policy and research on ethnic minority firms. Monder has held visiting positions at the Industrial Relations Research Unit at Warwick University, and the Herbert Felix Visiting Professor at Lund University in Sweden. Monder was named as one of the country’s most influential Asians by the Institute of Asian Professionals and was awarded an OBE in the 2004 New Year Honours List for his services to black and ethnic minority businesses.

Geremy Sagoe

Geremy Sagoe

Geremy is an experienced public affairs and policy professional, passionate about delivering engaging and effective campaigns and stakeholder engagement. He has a detailed understanding of the UK political landscape at both a national and local level as well as expertise in the stakeholder management process.

Geremy has extensive experience of working on ‘in-house’ external affairs related projects and campaigns in addition to working on bespoke consultancy projects for clients and partner organisations. He describes himself as a strong communicator with line management and project management experience.

Geremy hopes his experience can add significant value to the work of CORE Education Trust – especially in regards to the organisation’s stakeholder engagement, its campaigning and its understanding of the political developments which have an impact on its operating environment. Having worked for leading health body UKactive for 5 years – children’s activity and health policy has been a keen area of interest for him, and he has built an understanding of this area which he hopes may also benefit CORE Education Trust.

Prior to working for UKactive Geremy worked for renowned market research, political polling and communications company Ipsos MORI and conducted policy research for a start-up in the renewable energy sector.

Michelle Wang

Michelle Wang

Michelle works as a solicitor at Loynton and Co. Solicitors in Birmingham, and is a member of the Law Society. She came to the UK at a young age as an international student and says she received the best education in the UK, ultimately qualifying as a UK solicitor. During her education she says she received tremendous support from teachers and realised the importance of education, and how it can make a real difference to young people.

As a lawyer, her expertise covers areas of real estate, commercial and personal property investment, commercial acquisition and restructuring, dealing with issues of structure, design, business negotiation and project management. Michelle has always wanted to make a contribution to education and her local community and she is keen to utilise her legal expertise and experience in decision-making for the interests of CORE Education Trust’s school communities.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the Executive Team:

The CEO and the Executive Team at CORE Education Trust have delegated responsibilities for the operational running of the Trust including supporting academies and governance. The CEO is the Accounting Officer, supported by the Chief Operating Officer who is the Chief Financial Officer. The CEO and the Executive team report upwards to the Board of Trustees.

CORE Education Trust CEO

Adrian Packer CBE

Adrian Packer CBE

CORE Education Trust CEO

Adrian was appointed Executive Principal of Park View Educational Trust (now CORE Education Trust) in 2014. He was also Principal of Park View School (now Rockwood Academy) at that time.

Prior to this, in 2012 Adrian was the founding Principal of Everton Alternative Provision Free School and 6th Form College, the first Free School set up by a Premier League football club.

From 2010, Adrian was part of the founding team of Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA), an arts academy partnered with The BRIT School. Adrian was a senior Artistic Director at the BRIT School for 12 years and taught some of the country’s highest profile, award-winning talent in the music, theatre, film and television industries during that time.

Adrian is currently a Member of the LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) Council and Director and Governor of the LIPA 6th Form.

Adrian is an independent non-executive Director of ukactive and the Chair of ukactive Kids Council.

In 2018 Adrian conceived the Echo Eternal project, a commemorative arts participation project, which brings together groups of schools with different characteristics and uses Holocaust survivor testimony to inspire community integration and empathy. In 2019, he was awarded a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister for this work.

Deputy CEO

Joanne Tyler

Joanne Tyler

Deputy CEO

Joanne is a co-founder of CORE Education Trust. She has a wealth of experience and expertise as a business leader within the public education sector. Joanne oversees the day to day running of the Trust and its schools.

Joanne has a well-established track record in education, with considerable previous experience working as a School Business Manager in many varied and challenging circumstances. She continues to mentor and coach other leaders and works with national organisations to inform best practice.

Before working in the education sector, Joanne had a successful career as a contract manager within the private sector.

Joanne is the Deputy CEO, Chief Finance Officer and Company Secretary for CORE Education Trust.

Director of Education

SAIQA LIAQAT

SAIQA LIAQAT

Director of Education

Saiqa is the Director of Education for the Trust. She supports the school leadership teams with school improvement and strategic planning. She started her working career in publishing working for regional, national and international publications. She has been involved in education for over 19 years holding several senior roles including school improvement consultancy and senior management roles in schools across the UK and internationally. She has worked collaboratively with several Government agencies and has setup soft federations to encourage collaboration within education. Saiqa is driven by the moral imperative to improve educational standards and outcomes for all young people.

Saiqa is a keen skier and field hockey player and has developed a passion for photography. She is an active participant in sporting clubs in the region.

Head of Governance

BECKY PERKES

BECKY PERKES

Head of Governance

Becky is the Head of Governance, overseeing governance at all levels across the trust. Prior to joining the Trust, Becky worked in school governance for a number of years, managing the regional governance network for a large multi academy trust.

Becky has spent her career working in education in the West Midlands, and is particularly passionate about working with children and young people from vulnerable or disadvantaged backgrounds. She started her career as a secondary school teacher in inner city Birmingham and has subsequently worked in a range of educational management roles, including as an Education Project Manager for a national charity, as a Head of Centre for a DfE sports based learning programme called ‘Playing for Success’ and as a School Improvement Advisor with the Local Authority.

Head of People and Organisation Development

Emma Ruffinato

Emma Ruffinato

Head of People and Organisation Development

Head of Projects and Curriculum

Laura Borenstein

Laura Borenstein

Head of Projects and Curriculum

Laura is the Head of Projects and Curriculum with the Trust. She works to support and help co-ordinate schools, project teams and external collaborators to develop and integrate COREs unique projects into the educational and life experience of pupils.

She is an experienced educational leader with a successful background in education and Artistic project management. She was musical director for the Channel Four History series ‘Timelines’ aged fourteen and has worked for Music for Youth and the Arts Council. A trained musician Laura was an orchestral instrumentalist and choral singer trained at Chetham’s School of Music and Oxford University as choral and performance scholar. She has presented live broadcasts for Classic FM and was a winner of the BBC Young Artist’s Forum.

In Project Management she has more recently specialized in the development of collaborative working between organizations, donors, charities, schools, universities, broadcasting, marketing and arts organizations to develop original and innovative new opportunities for young people. Laura trained in Program and Project Management at University of Virginia and in IPS schemes, supporting people into work with the Centre for Mental Health. She is a DSL trained safeguarding and pastoral worker, always driven by the belief that when offered the right opportunities a young person’s context does not have to determine their life chances.

She has a particular interest in political heritage, language and history and received the Byrne award for historical research. She speaks French and has used and developed language skills whilst working on orchestral and chamber music projects in France and Italy.

She has always enjoyed creating events and enterprises such as running community choirs, music festivals, art and craft groups and organizing enrichment visits and activities. She is a regular volunteer with the Bethany Food Bank in Erdington committed to working to help improve conditions for vulnerable adults and families. She has a love of the natural world whether gardening, grows a lot of fruit, flowers and vegetables – or being in the countryside. She enjoys running, hiking and yoga.

Head of Student Leadership

Fela Lufadeju

Fela Lufadeju

Head of Student Leadership

Partnership Officer

Clara Matty

Clara Matty

Partnership Officer