Chair of the Academy Trust Board
Mrs S Roberts, BSc, FCA, FCIS
Sharon Roberts was educated at King Edward VI Handsworth School and the University of Liverpool. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales having trained with Ernst & Young before joining an international chemicals group where she held several senior finance roles. She is also a Chartered Company Secretary.
She has worked in the health and social care sector since 2008 and her current role is Chief Financial Officer for Grosvenor Health and Social Care, a national provider of homecare to vulnerable elderly people.
Gill Ball is a qualified accountant with the majority of her career spent within Higher Education. She was Director of Finance at the University of Birmingham for 20 years until retiring from that role in December 2014. The University of Birmingham is a significant global, national and local organisation with a turnover of £680m, 35000 students and 7200 staff.
Within the King Edward Foundation, a trustee of the Staff Pension Fund, at King Edward’s Handsworth Girl’s School- a governor, Chair of the Finance Committee and a member of the Site Committee.
Gill is an advisor to Accelerus Education Limited, director of Professional Higher Education Services Ltd and an Associate of AdvanceHE. She was formerly President of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) – the largest global accountancy body with 170,000 members and 340,000 students. Gill was also in a Non-Executive Director role as Deputy Chairman of an insurance mutual and Council member of one of the UK Research Councils.
Gill was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honors in 2012 for services to Higher Education.
Hywel Thomas is Emeritus Professor of the Economics of Education, University of Birmingham and was the Director of the Centre for Research in Medical and Dental Education at the University.
He was Head of the School of Education for 10 years, from 1993-2003. His research and writing included studies on resource management in schools (DFE/OECD), the school workforce (DfES), smoking prevention strategies (EU), the career paths of graduates (HEFCE), designing a curriculum for training medical general practitioners (RCGP) and evaluating selection processes for medical specialty training (DH).
Hywel has undertaken work for The World Bank, UNESCO, the British Council and the Department for International Development (DfID). He has been Education Adviser to the British Council and specialist adviser to the OECD.
Erica Conway has been a volunteer, board member, audit committee member and chair of a number of education related and mental health charities since she was a teenager. She has been involved with the Foundation since 2011, initially as a governor of Camp Hill Girls, becoming Chair of the local governing body soon after. She supported the creation of the multi-academy trust and was part of its initial board.
In her day job Erica is the Chief Financial Officer of the University of Birmingham, a member of its executive board and a director of a number of the group’s subsidiary companies.
Prior to 2010 she worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers across the UK providing audit and advisory services to a variety of client types.
Alison is a Chartered Architect (retired) after 34 years in private practice.
Her career ranged from hotel, residential commercial and health and for the last 23 years of her professional career, when she joined ADP Architecture Ltd she focussed primarily on education projects, schools, colleges, universities and research projects.
Alison was an equity partner at ADP for over 15 years and closely involved in its transition from an LLP to an Employee Owned organisation at the beginning of 2017; she then sat on the Executive Board and performed the Company Secretary role as well as being responsible for HR, Training & Development and Staff Welfare across the multicentred (9 studios)practice with its ongoing commitment to Investors in People (Gold) until her retirement in 2021.
Alison is also a Trustee Board Member of Smart Works Birmingham, a charity that supports women in need into work by providing a suitable interview outfit and personal interview coaching.
Alison was on the original Board of the KE Academy Trust from 2016 until 2022. She is currently VC of the Board of Governors of KE VI Handsworth School for Girls, serving since 2015.
Alison strongly believes in advancing and developing opportunities for girls from all backgrounds; and that education should be broad, wide ranging and inclusive.
David Wheeldon was born and brought up in rural North Staffordshire and attended Alleynes Grammar School Uttoxeter. He has first degrees from Birmingham and Birmingham City Universities and a Masters Degree from Coventry University. He completed teacher training at Worcester University and has an Advanced Diploma in Educational Management from the Open University.
He taught in selective schools in Shropshire, Cheshire and Birmingham over a period of forty years. The last sixteen years of which he was Head Master of Altrincham Grammar School for Boys and Headmaster of King Edward VI Five Ways School. David retired in 2012.
David has been a Governor of a middle school and a first school in Worcestershire and was a Governor of Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School until 2015.
David was Interim Executive Director of the King Edward Foundation for six months in 2016. He is currently Chair of Governors at King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls, a Governor of King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys, a Trustee of King Edward VI Academy Trust and a Governor of The King Edward Foundation. He has also completed two terms as Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff of the Foundation.
In his retirement, as well as significant governance activity, he is an educational consultant and an Associate Director/Consultant of a capital fund raising company.
A Foundation Governor since 2012, and Vice-Chair of the Finance & Investment Committee, and is this year’s Bailiff. He has also been Chair of Camp Hill Grammar School for Boys since 2012, and a Governor since 1994. He also serves as Chairman of Finance of the Academy Trust.
Barry has worked as a Chartered Accountant in public practice all his working life, specialising in Charities, and Not-for Profit organisations, especially in the professional arts and media.
He was President of the Birmingham & West Midlands Society of Chartered Accountants in 2003-2004, and served on the National Council of Chartered Accountants between 2007 and 2015. He has been Chair of the ICAEW WM Regional Strategy Board since 2006, and through that connection served on various business associations such as WM Business Group.
He is a director of SAMPAD ( South Asian Music Performance and Dance ). He is Chair of Midland Opera and has sung in the tenor chorus for approx. 30 years!
Brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne, following completion of a Post Graduate Diploma in Careers Guidance at Swanley, Fazle Kinkhabwala moved to Birmingham in 1989 to work in the Careers Service . He joined as a governor of KEVI Camp Hill School for Girls in 2000 and was elected as a Foundation governor in 2004. He has served as Vice Chair of the School since 2006, chairs the Curriculum and Pupil Discipline committee and is a member of the Finance sub-committee and the Foundation Audit committee. He is also the Special Needs lead governor together with Safeguarding lead.
Passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion, he has a Diploma & MA in Equal Opportunities from the City of Birmingham University and encouraged collection of diversity statistics before it became a requirement for organisations.
He helped put in place vacancies for civil servants across the West Midlands on Civil Service Jobs (CSJ), later rolled out nationally when he was working for Job Centre Plus. Within Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs he recently led the trials in Knowledge Analysis & Intelligence and Assets prior to rolling out a revised Performance Management System for 65000 staff. He is also the Professionalism, Case Governance and Business Expansion lead for South West Wales and West Midlands and national lead for Post Quality Reviews.
He has previously served 10 years as President of the Dawoodi Bohra Welfare Society GB and helped host an international conference for 400 members, debating issues such as FGM. He is also an active supporter of the Who is Hussain charity and can be seen serving food at the food drive on most Tuesday evenings.
Lynda was born and brought up in South Wales. She is a qualified teacher and has a certificate of education from Birmingham University and an Open University Degree. She taught in Birmingham schools throughout her career and was Headteacher at Hillcrest School and Sixth Form Centre. Lynda was also a National Leader of Education until her retirement in December 2011.
Lynda has been a trustee of the King Edward VI Academy Trust since 2019 and sits on the Education Committee and Audit Committee. She is also the Trust Safeguarding governor. She is Chair of Governors at King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy and King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy.
She is passionate about education and working to improve the life chances of young people. Lynda is a governor at Selly Oak Special school, Vice Chair of the Stonehouse Gang and treasurer of the Friends of Hillcrest School and Weoley Trefoil Guild.
Lucy Williams is the Group Head of Conduct, Policy and Whistleblowing at HSBC plc. Prior to this role, Lucy was the Executive Committee member and Head of Regulatory Compliance for HSBC UK Bank, responsible for overseeing the commercial, retail, wealth and private banking operations of HSBC in the UK. She held this role from 2013. She was the first senior executive to relocate from London to Birmingham in 2015, ahead of the opening of the Bank’s new UK head office there. She still lives locally with her family and is a strong advocate for the region. She says of this move that it taught her much about the place that banking has in a community and the role that teams play in reflecting the values of HSBC on those around them. She’s proud to lead a global team from a regional base and thinks the connectivity it gives them to our customers and colleagues improves their performance.
Lucy joined HSBC in June 2013 from Prudential plc where she was the Director of Group Compliance. Prior to that, she was Head of Compliance at Aviva Life UK. Her earlier career included a range of roles over some years at the Financial Services Authority, in the Markets Division and Retail Supervision, and managing ABN AMRO’s Government Affairs team in Brussels.
Outside of work Lucy supports a range of globally-renowned arts organisations with a regional base – she is a Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Lucy is proud to Chair the Independent Schools Governing Body of the King Edward VI Foundation Birmingham.
Lucy is married with three children, all of school age.
Sam is an experienced Chair of Governors, and a business professional, with over twenty-five years’ proven track record as a company director and owner of a commercial insurance brokerage in Birmingham, within the financial services sector. She held Chartered professional status during that time. Whilst continuing to work full time, Sam led the Governing Board at KEVI Northfield School for Girls (formerly Turves Green Girls’ School), during what was probably the greatest period of transformation in the school’s history.
Sam retired as Chair of the Governing Board at KEVI Northfield School for Girls in 2022, having served five years as chair on the board, and believing it to be time to move on, seeing change and a fresh pair of eyes as a positive for the school.
Sam herself was born in Birmingham, and was lucky enough to gain a bursary to King Edward VI High School for Girls in the 1970’s. She and her sister were the first in their family to stay in education beyond 16 years of age. Sam has seen how improvements in education pass down the generations, with her two children gaining a Masters in Chem Engineering, and a Doctorate in Philosophy (General Relativity), both at Cambridge University. It was the pleasure of seeing her children flourish, combined with a feeling of injustice for children less fortunate, which led her to apply to join the GB at Turves Green, to put back into the local community. That drive remains.
Julie was born and brought up in Birmingham, completing her secondary education at Lordswood Girls’ School. She later studied at Birmingham University and University College Birmingham, gaining a foundation degree in Educational Administration and Post Graduate Diploma in Audit Management and Consultancy.
She is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, holding Chartered Internal Auditor Status as well as an Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist.
Julie has held a number of roles within Birmingham City Council’s School Improvement and Special Educational Needs departments, starting off her audit career in 2008 as a School Auditor for Birmingham maintained schools. She later moved onto a number a professional practice firms (Deloitte, RSM, Moore Stephens), undertaking internal audit and fraud reviews within the NHS, charity and not for profit sectors. Her current role is Internal Audit Manager at Correla – the data processor for the UK’s Gas Distribution Networks.
Julie has held a governance position at two Secondary schools, Perryfield’s High School in Sandwell and Lordswood Girls’ school in Harborne, Birmingham. She was previously Chair of Governing body at Lordswood Girls’ School before moving onto the Trust Board Chair role in 2021.
Served in the last 12 months
Senior Leadership Team
Director of Aston University Mathematics School (Company No 14638078)
Member Southend High School for Boys Academy Trust (Company No 07485584)
Governor at Harborne Academy