Central staff

Simon Bentley

Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Simon took up post as Deputy Chief Executive Officer in July 2022. In his role Simon acts as the Trust’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining BDMAT he was Regional Operations Director at E-Act for 3 years where he led on operational strategy and transformed the delivery of professional support services across E-Act’s southern region. Simon has extensive experience working within the public sector, working as Head of Finance at Windsor Academy Trust during a period of growth, as well as a range of finance and operations roles at Solihull Council. Simon also serves as Chair of Finance and Human Resources Committee for Robin Hood Multi Academy Trust.

In Simon’s own words “I am delighted to be part of the BDMAT family, where we strive to provide all pupils, whatever their background, with a high quality education, the opportunity to reach their potential and to life live to its fullest”

Linda Gregory

Director of People

Linda has over 30 years’ experience working in the education sector and joins us with over 5 years’ experience from a similar role in another Multi Academy Trust. She was also previously CEO of the Birmingham based charity University of the First Age. She is passionate about developing people and ensuring we make a difference to the lives of the young people we support.

In her personal life she loves gardening, her 4 chickens and travelling with her husband.

Damian Booth

Deputy Director of Education

Damian began as Deputy Director for Education in February 2023. He took up his first headship of a CofE VA primary school in 2003 and since then has held the position of headteacher and/or Executive headteacher for six schools, at both primary and secondary level, within Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Wiltshire.

Damian has worked as an Ofsted inspector, a local authority school improvement adviser and has supported the work of Oxford Diocesan Board of Education by chairing interim executive boards.

Damian recently completed an MEd which explored the links between psychological safety, leadership style and school culture. He is committed to working with schools, to help ensure the professional development of their existing staff, so they can continue to build excellent future leaders.

Emma Turner

Deputy Director of Education

Emma Turner has served in primary education for 25 years. She has worked in multiple schools across Leicestershire and has been a class teacher, assistant headteacher, deputy headteacher and one half of one of the UK’s first and youngest all female co headships.

She has written five bestselling books on multiple aspects of education including leadership, curriculum design, cognitive science and flexible working.

Emma has been a consultant for the national strategies, trust research and CPD lead across 15 primary and SEMH schools, as well as providing school improvement support nationally and internationally. Emma is also a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and Advisory board member for the global equality collective; she also co hosts the popular education podcast, “Mind the Gap” with Tom Sherrington. She speaks at leadership and curriculum events across the world and has over 20 years’ experience in school to school support. Emma regularly guest lectures within ITE and ECF and has a special interest in the development of early career teachers.

Diane Henson

BDMAT Head of Secondary Education

Diane is an ex Headteacher of a very successful South Birmingham school where she worked for 10 years before joining BDMAT school improvement. She has worked in secondary education for 30 years with a special interest in the attainment and progress of boys, specifically disadvantaged boys, and the methodology of how they learn to secure the best possible outcomes.

Diane has extensive experience in whole school improvement and specialises in curriculum, teaching and learning and assessment. She has led teaching and learning conferences for the SSAT and improving attendance webinars for the Department of Education.

Khushboo Longhurst

Head of Data and Business Intelligence

Khushboo joined BDMAT as the Head of Data and Business Intelligence in June 2023. Prior to this she has spent the last 10 years working in similar data and performance roles at housing associations. She’s keen to support organisations to make evidenced based decisions and use their data to better understand performance. Khushboo is excited to join the team at BDMAT and looking forward to learning about the education sector. Outside of work Khushboo is a keen cook and can often be found reading cookbooks.

Cern Diston

IT Technician

Cern joined BDMAT as an IT Technician in November 2022. Before starting at BDMAT he worked for Romero MAC as a level 3 into level 4 network apprentice. After completing his apprenticeship, he worked as an IT Technician before moving up to become Senior IT Technician, where he supported the schools with working effectively in the cloud. Outside of work he spends much of his time writing stories, socializing with friends and gaming.

Louise Darby

School Improvement Partner

Louise took up the post of Key Stage 2 School Improvement Partner in September 2019.  Prior to this she was a senior teacher at St Michael’s Primary School, Bartley Green, where she taught for 15 years.

Over the course of her career she has taught children of all ages and abilities although her main experience lies within Key Stage 2 with a particular focus on Year 6.  She believes that the children should be at the heart of everything schools do and that learning should be proactive and centred around the child’s needs.  Louise endeavours to celebrate children’s academic achievements as well as developing their moral and spiritual awareness.

Louise has been curriculum lead for various subjects during her teaching career however her passion and main expertise is within mathematics.  She has led and managed maths for most of her career in two different schools and more recently also took on the role of pupil premium champion.

Tammy Smith

School Improvement Partner

Tammy took up post as EYFS and KS1 School Improvement Partner in September 2019.  Prior to this, for the past 15 years Tammy has worked in Early Years and Key Stage One in Sandwell and Birmingham schools. She was the Early Years Leader for the schools in the Barchelai Trust and more recently became a Lead Practitioner for EYFS where her passion for EYFS is evident.

Tammy believes that quality early education is vital as it is forms the foundations for all future learning. As EYFS and KS1 Teaching and Learning Consultant, she encourages an atmosphere of curiosity and engagement in learning where children are encouraged to take ownership of their thoughts and ideas; where their voices are listened to and respected but also challenged. Tammy believes children early in EYFS should be recognised as competent learners who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured whilst also being aware that they develop in individual ways and varying rates . Supporting staff across the BDMAT promote these skills in our youngest pupils is her aim as she takes up post with the Central Team.

Vicki Broad

School Finance Partner

Vicki joined BDMAT as a School Finance Partner for the North Warwickshire Hub. For the last 16 years she has worked in the maintained Primary Education Sector as a Business Manager in Staffordshire and Birmingham. She has just finished her BA (Hons) in Business Management after completing her Certificate in School Business Management with the University of Essex studying whilst working full-time. Vicki has 4 children, (26, 21, 18 and 14), a furbaby, Grandson and Grandfurbaby. On a weekend she can be found walking loves the Peak District and exploring new places, enjoying time with friends or visiting family up North where she was born.

Elizabeth Paterson

School Finance Partner

Elizabeth joined BDMAT as a School Finance Partner in February 2022. For the last 7 years, Elizabeth has worked in the finance team in two schools, based in North Worcestershire and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. Prior to working in education, Elizabeth gained experience in a wide range of projects in the Birmingham and Sydney offices of Ernst and Young including fraud and forensic accounting, corporate recovery and restructuring. Elizabeth was also the Financial Accountant for a multicentre South African Aid project which aimed to provide financial and business support in South Africa post-apartheid. Outside of work, Elizabeth coaches juniors at her local cricket club, enjoys the theatre, skiing, history and travel.

Jonny Waterworth

IT Technician

Jonny joined BDMAT as an IT Technician in July 2021, having worked in IT for over five years, four of which were spent supporting primary schools across Birmingham under the WHMAT. He also has IT experience within the logistics industry. Prior to working in IT, Jonny undertook seasonal work in Söll, Austria as a snowboard instructor and assisted in the setting up and management of an après ski bar.

Amber Willetts

School Finance Partner

Amber joined BDMAT Central Team as a School Finance Partner in August 2022, prior to this she worked at Quinton Church Primary School as an Admin Assistant in 2016 and became Office Manager in 2018. In her spare time she enjoys playing netball, coaching a junior netball team, watching sport and spending time with her family.  

Amy Kiely

Payroll Officer

Amy joined BDMAT Central Team in August 2020 as payroll officer, she had previously worked for 10 years in accountancy practices and more recently spent nearly 3 in the finance department of a steel manufacturing firm.

Amy lives in Stourbridge with her partner Jamie, two dogs, two cats and two rabbits. When she is not looking after the mini zoo she loves to travel.

Justin Leslie

IT Technician

Justin joined BDMAT as an IT Technician in February 2022.
Before joining BDMAT he worked for Kennet Equipment Leasing as an IT Administrator for 2 years, where he supported the sales teams with their IT enquires. He then moved to Trident Housing as IT Support Assistant/Engineer where he supported the housing staff & charity staff with their IT issues.  Outside of work, he spends time catching up on the latest released technologies & is into Gaming.

David Benbow

IT Technician

David joined BDMAT as a part-time IT assistant in August 2020 and since February 2021, is now a full time member of the BDMAT IT team. Before joining BDMAT he attended Hull University where he combined his twin passions for music and IT, graduating with a degree in music technology. David is now enjoying the challenge of learning on the job and problem solving, and is keen for the chance to improve his IT knowledge and skills during his training. Outside of work, he spends much of his time writing and performing music; he also enjoys running, playing badminton and walking.

Georgia Fisher

Finance Apprentice

Georgia joined BDMAT Central Team as a Finance Apprentice in September 2020. She is studying for her AAT qualification and aspires to gain chartered accountant status.

Bhupinder Leer

Finance Apprentice

Bhupinder joined BDMAT in December 2022. After a year of studying accounting and finance at university, Bhupinder decided that university was not the path he wanted to take and chose instead an apprenticeship in finance. He is now studying for his AAT qualification with the BDMAT finance team.