Conduct of Trust Business

Our Trust’s Principles

At the heart of the Trust’s governing body code of practice of all schools in the Mulberry Schools Trust are the Nolan Seven Principles of Public Life:
  1. Selflessness 

  2. Integrity 

  3. Objectivity 

  4. Accountability 

  5. Openness 

  6. Honesty 

  7. Leadership 

In addition to commitment and adherence to these principles, it is expected that trustees of the Board or governors at all schools in the Mulberry Schools Trust should embody:

  • Unwavering commitment to the vision for young people in the schools;
  • Conscientious application to the tasks required to be done to ensure that all of the schools’ systems and structures are working for the benefit of the students; 

  • Courage and determination to achieve Mulberry Schools Trust’s strategic aims.

The Company Members

The Company Members 

The company members meet once a year for the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Some company members are either on the Trust Board or the LGB of the founding school, Mulberry School for Girls and attend relevant Board and LGB meetings, as well as visiting schools within the Trust.

Mulberry Schools Trust Company Members

Jane Farrell

Member, Chair of the Trust Board and current Chair of the Mulberry School for Girls LGB

Sue Barrow

Member, trustee on the Trust Board and Chair of Mulberry UTC LGB, chair of the Board’s Standards Committee and governor of Mulberry School for Girls LGB

Alice Crawley

Member, trustee on the Trust Board and chair of the Board’s Finance Committee and governor of Mulberry School for Girls LGB

Mujibur Rahman

Independent Member – local accountant and governor of Mulberry School for Girls LGB

Delia Barker

Independent Member – Programmes Director at The Roundhouse

jane farrell

The Trustees

The Trustees

Membership of the Trust Board

Jane Farrell (Chair of the Trust Board and Chair of the Mulberry School for Girls LGB)

jane farrell

Jane Farrell is a member of the Mulberry Schools Trust and Chair of the Trust board. Ms Farrell is CEO of Equality Works and a successful business woman, as well as the long-standing chair of Mulberry School for Girls and founding member of Mulberry UTC.

(Specialism: Business, Board Development and Project Management)

Nizam Uddin OBE

liz bromley

Nizam is Chief Strategy Officer of “algbra”, a technology-based financial ecosystem dedicated to global financial inclusion by focusing on the underserved and underbanked. Nizam was previously the Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration at The Prince’s Trust, where he oversaw the organisation’s community cohesion and social integration activities and led Mosaic, an independent Initiative founded by HRH The Prince of Wales to uplift diverse communities across the UK’s highest areas of deprivation. Nizam has a strong interest and background in overcoming the societal and economic challenges that prevent disenfranchised and minority communities from fulfilling their potential. He is a 2019 Greenberg World Fellow at Yale University and a 2019 US State Department International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) participant. Nizam was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honours list for services to social mobility and community integration.

(Specialism: Charity Law, Education, Community and Business Leadership) 

Sue Barrow

sue barrow

Sue Barrow is a member of the Mulberry Schools Trust and the Chair of the Trust Board’s Standards Committee. Sue is also Chair of the Governing Body of Mulberry UTC. Previously she was the Deputy Director of Education in Tower Hamlets with responsibility for the Schools Division with major responsibility for HR and resources including buildings, assets and finance. She was Director of recruitment at Cambridge Education Associates (CEA) and the interim project director for Islington when CEA ran Islington Local Authority. Ms Barrow has worked with a number of sponsors assisting in the development of new Academies including Pimlico and Mossborne.

(Specialism: HR, Personnel, Academies)

Alice Crawley

alice crawley

Alice Crawley is the Chair of the Finance Committee and the Chair of Mulberry School for Girls Local Governing Body. Ms. Crawley is a qualified Corporate Lawyer and has many years of experience in corporate finance. Alice works for a multinational investment bank and is responsible for company mergers and acquisitions.

(Specialism: Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions)

Mark Traynor

mark traynor

Mark Traynor is a Partner at Bates Wells and Braithwaite LLP and acts for commercial, charity and private clients in all aspects of transactions involving commercial property, including development, acquisitions and disposals. Mark has high level experience of PFI, academies and property law relating to these fields.

(Specialism: Academies and Property Law)

Ndidi Okezie OBE

ndidi okezie

Ndidi Okezie is the Chief Executive Officer at UK Youth. Prior to this Ms Okezie was the Executive Director of Delivery—Access, Ambassadors and Collection Action for Teach First. Ms. Okezie was an Assistant Vice Principal at Burlington Danes Academy and contributed to the rapid improvement which lifted the school out of Special Measures to Outstanding.

(Specialism: Education and Leadership)

Ian Chivers

ian chivers

Ian Chivers is the Director of Finance and Operations of the Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity (GOSHCC) and is a long-standing supporter of Mulberry School for Girls. Mr. Chivers has experience in finance, technology, legal and compliance and property. Prior to joining GOSHCC Ian worked for Merrill Lynch in a number of executive roles.

(Specialism: Finance and Health Sector)

Sarah Sarwar

sarah sarwar

Sarah Sarwar has recently completed her Teach First teacher training placement at Lister Community School and is now Head of Department for History. Ms. Sarwar is a former student of Mulberry School for Girls. Prior to training with Teach First, Sarah was the President of Queen Mary Student Union.

(Specialism: Community and Alumni)

David Gracie

david gracie

David Gracie co-chairs the Mulberry Academy Shoreditch LGB and is a Director of Global Entity Management Legal Services at KPMG. David took responsibility for KPMG’s Global Entity Management team in 2016, having previously spent 17 years with KPMG Makinson Cowell, where he provided corporate governance advice to large multinational companies. David has extensive experience in subsidiary governance, investor relations, shareholder identification and shareholder engagement on corporate governance matters. David is also Chairman of the KPMG Company Secretary Association in the UK, and as a qualified company secretary of 12 years’, is heavily involved in promoting the profession through his work with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

(Specialism: Legal, Audit and Governance)

Councillor Denise Jones

vanessa ogden

Denise Jones is a Councillor for St Katharine’s and Wapping in Tower Hamlets and has held this position since 1994. Denise is also the Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing at Tower Hamlets Council and was the former Leader of the Council from 2006 to 2008. Denise runs a bookshop in Bricklane and she has led on many community projects over the years including the creation of Mile End Millennium Park and the Idea Stores. Denise is also a Director Lea Valley Park, Trustee at Rich Mix, V&A Museum of Childhood, Trinity Buoy Wharf and Aldgate & Allhallows Foundation.

(Specialism: Education, Community and Business Leadership)

Dr. Vanessa Ogden (Chief Executive Officer)

vanessa ogden

Dr Vanessa Ogden is the CEO of the Mulberry Schools Trust and Headteacher of Mulberry School for Girls. Dr Ogden has been a designated NLE since 2011. She has a track record of success in co-ed schools in challenging circumstances prior to taking up headship at Mulberry. She has subsequently had a successful track record in ‘school to school’ support and in chairing the board of the Somerset Challenge.




The Trust Board retains close oversight by appointing a range of committees to take responsibility for different areas of work. As well as these committees, each of the schools has its own governing committee, known as a Local Governing Body (LGB). The powers of the Trust Board, its committees and the LGBs and the authority that is delegated to each one are clearly set out in the Trust’s scheme of delegation.

The Trust Board meets four times per year to discuss matters of performance, finance, audit, quality of education and growth. Meetings of the committees and LGBs report in to the Trust Board meeting each term.

The Finance Committee:

The Finance Committee is comprised of trustees with financial and resource expertise. It meets three times a year to consider matters of finance, audit premises and estate, assets, HR and business development. There is a separate audit committee that is called as required. 

The Standards Committee:

The Board’s Standards Committee is comprised of trustees with education expertise. It meets three times a year to consider strategy, school improvement and matters relating to the overarching quality of education, performance of schools and experience of learners within the Trust. There is a separate pay and appraisal committee that is called once a year to consider teachers’ performance related pay and the quality of appraisal.

Local Governing Bodies:

Each school has a LGB responsible for the oversight of that school and the implementation of the Trust’s policies and strategy. The LGB is chaired by a trustee so that information flows consistently between the Board and the LGB. You can read more about the LGB of each school and their work by clicking on the individual schools’ websites.


Trust Board

Trust Board 

Mulberry Schools Trust is governed by a skilled Board of Trustees. Under the scheme of delegation the Board is responsible for the vision and strategic direction of the Trust, its financial strategy and efficiency, the appointment of all governors (except staff and parent governors) and the overall performance of Trust schools.

The Members

The Trust is overseen by five Company Members (the Members), who have the power to appoint and remove trustees. They are responsible for upholding the values and ethos of the Mulberry Schools Trust. You can read more about their role here.

The Trust Board

The Trust Board is composed of eleven trustees, nominated and appointed by the Members based on the skills they bring to the Board. Skills include: finance, accountancy, human resources; project management, personnel; estates; education; business leadership; audit and risk; recruitment and talent management, and law. 

Co-opted Trustees

Trustees may co-opt a trustee to fill a skills gap for a temporary period, as permitted within the Articles of Association. The Mulberry Schools Trust does not have any co-opted trustees at present.

Training and Board Development

On appointment, trustees receive extensive information and attend an induction on the Trust as well as their role and responsibilities for governance. During the year, trustees are offered training – both face to face and online – by the Mulberry Schools Trust. There is a regular skills audit and a Board development programme with a strategic away-day each year.