The Primary First Trust was founded in October 2013 at The Barnehurst Federation of Schools in Bexley, South London. Chaired by William Harwood, the current Board of Trustees brings a wealth of experience and expertise in a wide range of disciplines from both the public and private sectors. Its mission is clear - to ensure that the Trust observes the highest standards of quality assurance and accountability in all its activities.
Bill is one of the founding members of the Primary First Trust and is the Chairman of our Board of Trustees. He has a background in effective governance and as a governor worked with the local authority and other stakeholders to establish a successful school partnership model to enable schools that were struggling to succeed.
Bill has professional qualifications in portfolio, programme and project management and a breadth of experience in managing large budgets, building high performing teams and developing strategic vision. He has expertise in leading business change at scale and is an Academy Ambassador. Bill is probably best known, however, for his passion to improve outcomes and life experiences for children.
Sandra is an experienced human resources professional working at senior and board level positions within the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She held an HR Director role within a large exam board and also brings a wider business perspective through working with many differing sizes and types of organisations dealing both with UK and International teams.
As a human resources consultant Sandra supports and advises small to medium sized businesses, schools and academy trusts in the south east of England. She has experience as a chair of governors and governor for two local authority primary schools in Thurrock. She was an IEB Board Member for a local school that was judged to be in urgent need of improvement and oversaw plans to raise standards and progress, Ofsted inspections and parent engagement resulting in the school now being graded as ‘good’.
Steve has spent almost 30 years of his career working in the financial services industry both for BlackRock and T. Rowe Price (2 large US investment management firms). He has also owned his own business for 3 years offering his pensions knowledge on a consultancy basis. Steve has held various directorships including BlackRock’s Life Company (over 10 years) which is responsible for managing £70+bn of client assets.
Andrew is a qualified solicitor and is a Partner and founder of a niche City law practice. He leads their Family & Private Client teams, but has been distinguished in the sector for his specialism in international surrogacy law and modern family structures. He is frequently in the High Court and Court of Appeal on cases and representing clients for their children.
Andrew has experience as a governor for two primary academies and was appointed by the Secretary of State of Education to be the Chair of an IEB for a school in difficult circumstances, overseeing public consultations, OFSTED inspections and rapid improvement drives to raise standards in primary children’s education and their accelerated progress.
Paul is a Management Consultant who works with the public and private sector to lead and embed change in large organisations. Paul started his career in Programme Management before moving into the people side of change. He has led significant organisational transformations and adopts a hands-on approach to helping organisations and their leadership teams make change stick. Paul has spent many years working with looked after young people as a respite foster carer.
We have an excellent track record of developing and improving primary schools. Since joining us and becoming academies, all our schools have attained the ofsted rating of 'Good with Outstanding Features', or above.