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Brentwood Academies Trust

The Board of Trustees


Mike O'Sullivan - Executive Headteacher   

​Mike has been a Headteacher for over 11 years, in that time leading two secondary schools, both with sixth forms. The first, Maltings Academy, he helped to remove from special measures in 18 months. Mike was then appointed Headteacher at St Martin’s in 2010, and helped transform a school that had been ‘good’ for the previous three inspections to ‘outstanding’. St Martin’s converted to an academy on 1 July 2011. 

Prior to becoming a Headteacher, Mike had been a Deputy Headteacher in a highly performing comprehensive school. During his eight years as a deputy he undertook a two year secondment to a school that had been placed in special measures. The school was removed from special measures after the two years. Mike has the NPQH and an MA in educational management

 Anita Pratten - Director

Anita qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG in 1993 and has extensive experience of strategic leadership and governance within the education sector. Currently employed as a School Business Manager in a large primary academy Anita has a successful track record of securing funding, achieving value for money through robust procurement processes and ensuring a strong internal control environment.  Anita is the company secretary for the Multi Academy Trust established when the primary school converted.  Anita was previously employed with the Local Authority education finance team involved in the assessment  of the FMSiS standard in schools.

Anita has been a school governor since 2001 in both primary and secondary settings and is currently chair of the committee responsible for monitoring achievement and outcomes at St Martin's School having previously held the positions of vice chair of governors and chair of the Finance and Premises Committee.  Anita has been involved in a number of senior recruitment exercises including that of the Headteacher, and is a member of the Headteacher Performance Management Committee.

Chris Hearn - Director

A qualified accountant since 1992 - Chartered Institute of Management Accountants - ACMA CGMA , Chris has worked in senior financial positions throughout his career, specifically as a Regional Finance Director (not a Companies house director) from 2001 to 2009, Academy FD for ten months 2009-2010, and Chief Accountant/Finance Director from 2012 to date. Responsible for Monthly and Annual Accounts, Budgets, dealing with Auditors, etc. 

A part of the Board of Directors developing strategy, monitoring performance and ensure controls in place.Chris worked as Finance Manager at the Girls' Day School Trust, the biggest educational charity in the UK, including two academies, for eighteen months. Responsible for all finance aspects, including monthly and annual accounts.

Chris held the position of Trustee Treasurer of Centre 404 for 4 years to 2013. Centre 404 is a charity for children and adults with learning difficulties. Part of Board that developed long term strategy and ensured financial controls and best use of resources.

Married to Alison since 1991, they have two children who both attended St Martin's School and have subsequently gone on to University to study Business Management and Fashion & Textiles.

Kanta Wild-Smith - Director

Kanta spent 10 years working in the field of  adult and children’s mental health before becoming a qualified primary teacher in 1991.  After working 3 years as a classroom teacher she worked in an advisory capacity with schools cross phase throughout Essex. Kanta was President of the National Association of Teachers of Travellers for 3 years. Since 2007 Kanta has worked in the local authority children's services as a multi- agency team manager with a group of schools and agencies in East Basildon and as a Commissioner of parenting and family support.  As a local government officer Kanta has extensive experience of the performance management of staff and managing a substantial budget at a senior level.

Kanta has been a school governor for twelve years, seven of these as Chair and recently completed the Chair of Governors Leadership Development Course. Using skills developed in her professional life Kanta has been involved in the use of pupil, group and whole school data to monitor school and individual performance.

Anthony McGarel - Director

Anthony has been a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants since 2005 and is currently Deputy Principal and Chief Executive of South Essex College of Further and Higher Education. At the College, Anthony is responsible for all aspects of supporting the College including Finance, HR, IT, Estates, Marketing, MIS and Administration as well as deputising for the Principal. Prior to working in education

Anthony worked for the Law Society Pension Scheme, QBE and CE Heath PLC. Anthony has been a governor at Earls Hall Primary School for four years until 2016 is also currently Chair of Governors at Chase High School.