Our Trustees

There are normally nine Trustees on the Board of The Educators’ Trust, excluding the Chairman.  The Trust Board is serviced by an Honorary Secretary, who is an educational and charity lawyer and an Honorary Treasurer.

The Trustees have three main responsibilities:

  • Stewardship in respect of the funds and expenditure of the Trust
  • Development of charitable activities
  • Fundraising to increase the Trust’s income.

Dr Jennifer Somerville, Chairman

Jennie Lancaster_Somerville

Dr Somerville’s academic career as a social scientist in UK universities, led to senior leadership positions, including that of executive dean of faculty and Pro-Vice Chancellor. She contributed to national HE developments in modular structures and credit transfer systems, in competency-based curriculum and in the commercialisation of academic expertise in research and CPD.  She was a HE quality auditor for the Higher Education Quality Council.

Jennie also has extensive international experience. At one time Chair of the European Deans Academic Network, she became a senior consultant for the European Foundation for Management Development designing and delivering executive leadership and management development programmes and capacity-building projects for HE in Europe, Russia, central and eastern Europe, Latin America, Malaysia and Africa. She is Vice Chair of Governors of a North London Secondary Academy and provides pro-bono ESOL tutoring to local community groups.

Jennie’s commitment to education goes beyond a professional career. While working fulltime she participated in a volunteering scheme for disadvantaged primary schools in East London and a mentoring scheme for women managers. In retirement she has volunteered to tutor girls from low income families for GCSE and run ESOL classes for Turkish women. She is Vice Chairman of the Local Governing Body of a large North London secondary academy. And of course she gives a lot of her time to the Educators’ Company!

Brett Bader

Nick Bence Trower


Nick is the newest of the Educators’ Trust and is an independent member.

Nick has had a life-time career in the City with Schroders, a British multinational asset management company working in financial markets and ultimately managing portfolios for clients in the charity sector whilst working for its subsidiary, Cazenove Capital. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute for Securities and Investment.

Nick is passionate about livery companies and their ancient rights and traditions. He was admitted to the Drapers’ Company in 1982 and was elected Master for the 2014/15 company year. The Drapers’ Company has close links with Queen Mary, University of London, and they co-sponsor the Drapers’ Academy on Harold Hill, Romford.

He is currently Chairman of Governors of the Sir William Boreman’s Foundation, a charity originating from the will of this gentleman dated 1684, in which he bequeathed to the Drapers’ Company a school he founded in Greenwich. Whilst the school no longer exists, the Foundation continues to give small educational grants to students and charities located in this borough and its neighbour, Lewisham.

Nick is also on the Court of the newly established Guild of Investment Managers.

Nick is also active in charitable activities raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society and the Royal British Legion by participating in sporting events – he has run nine marathons and has cycled in the past to Paris three times!

Dr Susan Cousin

IMG_1340 Sue Cousin-2

Susan has a degree in English and Linguistics from Nottingham University, a PGCE at the University of Durham, and a PhD from the Institute of Education/UCL.

She joined the teaching profession as an English teacher in a comprehensive school before becoming Director of English in a sixth form college where she was promoted to the Senior Leadership Team. Susan’s interests expanded to the big picture of educational policy.  A one-year secondment as policy advisor at the DoE, led to a permanent position as the policy lead for post-14 teaching and learning, responsible for a multi-million pounds budget; 12 curriculum teams; reporting to Ministers and liaison with a range of educationalists including Ofsted, Teacher Unions, Sector Skills Councils and Examination Boards.

In 2008, she became Head of Programmes at the Specialist Schools and Academy Trust, responsible for national school improvement programmes. She led the headteacher group of regional representatives which liaised with the DfE sponsor team and external evaluators on the policy design, implementation and evaluation. In 2012 Susan returned to the front line joining Wakefield City Academy’s multi-academy trust where she was responsible for leadership training and teaching and learning across the trust’s schools.

On retiring in 2016, Susan became an Associate of the Institute of Education, UCL. She splits her time between travelling, conducting research, writing and contributing to Masters courses in the London Centre for Leadership in Learning. She is a member of the panel of judges for the Educators’ Trust Awards.

Susan was the LA governor of a local Ofsted Outstanding infant school for ten years; is a member of the Speakers for Schools Steering Group; and has been a Fellow of the RSA since 2003.

Professor Simon Denny

IMG_1304_Simon Denny

Simon’s route to higher education was not traditional. From a young age he was determined to be a soldier and at 17 went to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.  In April 1977 he was commissioned and served in Germany, Northern Ireland, Berlin and the UK, initially with an infantry regiment and latterly with the Royal Army Educational Corps.  The Army sponsored his university education, a BA at Exeter and a Masters at Warwick.

When Simon left the Army he joined Tesco’s training department, rising to become director of management development.  It was clear to Simon that his life had been transformed because of his educational experiences, and he was increasingly interested education as a catalyst for social mobility.

In 1992 he joined Nene College of Higher Education which became University College Northampton, and then a full University in 2005. As the institution developed, so did Simon.  He gained a doctorate, became professor of Entrepreneurship, and then Executive Dean, Research, Impact and Enterprise, a member of the senior management team of the University. He was also responsible for the University’s apprenticeship strategy and fundraising. Since retiring from the University he works as an independent research consultant.

In 2010 he was granted The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in recognition of the results of the many projects he had devised and implemented to educate and support people with significant disadvantage to set up their own businesses.

Simon is the Honorary Treasurer of the Trust.  He is also military liaison officer for the Company, responsible for links with our affiliates: 22 Group RAF, the RAEC and ETS Association, the Defence Academy and CVQC.Sir Peter Estlin is a senior banker with over twenty years experience with Barclays and Citigroup in London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. He trained as a Chartered Accountant, becoming a partner with Coopers & Lybrand in 1993 before joining Salomon Brothers Asia, as regional CFO. Following a series of acquisitions and mergers he then served as CFO for Citigroup’s Investment and Corporate Banking divisions in New York and London.

 Professor Sir Deian Hopkin

Sir Deian Hopkin1

Born and educated in Wales, Sir Deian graduated in history at Aberystwyth where he gained his PhD. In a career for over 44 years, he worked in six universities, moving from academic life into senior managementFrom 2001 to 2009 he was Vice Chancellor of London South Bank University followed by a subsequent period as interim Vice Chancellor of the University of East London.

He is Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the RSA and has received honorary degrees from six universities including London, McGill and the Open University.

He was the founding Chairman of Cityside Regeneration in London, served on the Learning and Skills Council and the Health Sector Skills Council, chaired the Higher Education Progression Board at the DFES and served on the Court and Council of Essex University and the Corporations of Hackney and Lambeth FE Colleges.

He has had many roles as a government advisor.  He led the inquiry for the government into the Student Loans Company and was subsequently appointed its interim Chairman. He served for six years on the Cabinet Office Education Honours Committee until 2017.  In his native Wales, he served as 10th President of the National Library of Wales until 2016 and is currently Expert Adviser to the First Minister of Wales, Chair of Wales Remembers 1914-18 and member of the UK Centenary Board.

He is a Trustee of the Council for Academic at Risk (CARA) and the Campaign for Learning; he serves on the City and Guilds Council and is a judge of the bi-annual Times Higher Awards

He was knighted for services to higher education and to skills in the UK in 2009.

Paul Bowers Isaacson

David Skidmore

Peter Williams

Peter Williams was born and went to school in Oxford; he graduated in English from the University of Exeter. His earlier career was in the printing industry and the academic administration of the Universities of Surrey and Leicester. Between 1984 and 1990 he was the Deputy Secretary of the British Academy from where he moved to specialize in quality assurance in higher education.  In 1990 Peter was appointed as Director of the CVCP Academic Audit Unit (AAU), one of the first higher education quality assurance agencies. In 1992 he became Director of the Quality Assurance Group of the Higher Education Quality Council (HEQC), which took over the responsibilities of the AAU.  In 1997 he became the Director of Institutional Review in the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), rising to the office of Chief Executive of QAA in 2001 and retiring in 2009.

Between 2005 and 2008 he was President of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and was one of the principal authors of the original European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.  His aim was to make quality assurance a vital tool for professional academics and a means of underpinning and promoting the strengths and reputation of higher education in the UK and the European Higher Education Area.

Following his retirement in 2009, Peter took on a number of voluntary roles, including Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Cardiff Metropolitan University (2009-16), Chair of the Academic Committee and Trustee at Richmond, the American University in London (2012-19), and Chair of the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education (of which he is now President), 2012-18. He was also a member of the Education Honours Committee (2011-17) and the Treasurer of Little Malvern Priory. Current roles include Chair of The Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation (NORAH) and churchwarden at Honing and Crostwight, Norfolk, where he now lives.

A liveryman of the City of London, he was Master of the Worshipful Company of Educators in 2014-2015 and is now a Trustee of the Educators’ Trust.

Peter holds three honorary doctorates and was appointed CBE in 2009 in recognition of his services to higher education.