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Surinder Buray

JP IENng MICE AMIStructE RMaPS FFPWS MCIAT Member, Chair of Directors,                                         Chair of Professional Fulfilment Sub-Committee, Performance Review Committee

I have been a Governor at the Trust for over 24 years, having served 6 years as Chair of Governors and 3 years as Vice-Chair. Both my children were schooled at the Trust, went on to gain Honours Degrees, post graduate studies and successful careers. As an educationalist, I understand that a child’s life ambitions can be realised through education. However, it is equally important that standards are maintained and raised in both teaching and learning through challenge target setting, monitoring outcomes, strategic management including working with and challenging the senior leadership team. In my working life I am a Magistrate of 22 years standing, I am chair of the Bench sitting at Victoria Law Courts, Birmingham. I am a director of a firm of multi-disciplinary architectural, civil, structural firm of consultants, having links with schools offering work experience placements to children with career aspirations in this area. 


David Douglas




Peter French

Vice-Chair of Governors, Professional Fulfilment Committee, Performance Review Committee

I have been a governor at Hamstead Hall since 1997 when I was the Vicar at St Andrew’s Church in Handsworth. I have been Chair of Governors and have served on the Professional Fulfilment and Finance Committees. Prior to this I have been a governor of another secondary school in Bury, Lancashire and Chair of Governors of a primary school in Bury. Part of my current job as the Assistant Director of Education for Church of England schools in the Birmingham area is to support and train governors – I am also a National Leader of Governance. As well as leading governor training I have participated in governor training to ensure my skills are up to date. As a governing body we have worked hard to ensure Hamstead Hall, and now Grestone, provide high quality all round education for the pupils. 

Gurpal Rai

Chair of Environment and Finance Committee

I have lived in the West Midlands since finishing university in 1997 where I began my career at Prudential Bank/EGG. I obtained a BSc in Accounting and Finance (Hons) from Aberystwyth University and whilst in employment completed my professional examinations and became a member of ACCA. I have various accounting, project and analytical experiences by working in various sectors, such as banking, public sector and more recently at Aston University. I also spend some of my spare time coaching and managing a young football team and within the last year completed the FA Level 2 Coaching Badge. Over the last few years I have helped to establish a young football academy within Wolverhampton. I have three children, two of which attend Grestone. As well as being a Parent Governor, I am also the Chair of the Ofsted Post Action Plan Committee at Grestone academy. 

Dr Rob Smith

I am a reader in Education at Birmingham City University.  I have taught in Birmingham schools, colleges and higher education institutions for 25 years. I trained as a secondary English teacher and I was teaching at Holt Schools in Lozells when the National Curriculum was introduced.  In 2012, I co-founded the Centre for Research and Development in Lifelong Education at the University of Wolverhampton. I am a staunch believer in comprehensive education as a basis for every young person achieving excellence. I also believe in the necessity of pursuing a multicultural ethos.  My body of work explores the impact of funding and marketisation on Further Education provision in England.  I have researched and written extensively in collaboration with FE and HE practitioners.  Recent articles include: Rob Smith  (2015) College Re-culturing, Marketisation and Knowledge: The Meaning of Incorporation, Journal of Educational Administration and History,  47:1, 18-39;             Smith, R. and O’Leary, M. (2015) Partnership as Cultural Practice in the Face of Neoliberal Reform, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 47:2, 174-192.



Jonathan Mortimer

Executive Principal, (Accounting Officer) Hamstead Hall Academy Trust

I have over 20 years teaching experience as a Maths teacher and have worked at Hamstead Hall since April 1998.  I have undertaken a variety of roles including Head of Maths, Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher with specialisms in curriculum and assessment and more recently as Head of School at Hamstead Hall Academy.  In January 2017, I became one of the Executive Principals of Hamstead Hall Academy Trust and recorded as the designated Accounting Officer at the Trust.  Hamstead Hall Academy has been a National Support School since 2009 and I have a wealth of experience of school to school support working in schools across the West Midlands to improve leadership and student outcomes.  In October 2015, I became the Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP) Secondary District Representative for the Perry Barr District.  I am also a member of the BEP School Improvement and Commissioning Committee for Birmingham.

Sukhbir Farar

Executive Principal, Hamstead Hall Academy Trust

I started my teaching career at Hamstead Hall as a Mathematics Teacher in 1989. Over the last 28 years I have held many management positions at the school including Head of Year, Head of Maths and 16 years on the Senior Leadership Team. At Leadership Level I have been a Senior Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher, Head of School and in January 2017 I was appointed as one of the Executive Principals of Hamstead Hall Academy Trust.  My particular areas of expertise are Human Resources, School Improvement and Self Evaluation. I have also been an Associate Headteacher in a number of underperforming schools, in Leeds and Birmingham and I have been an assessor for the Cultural Diversity Quality Standard on behalf of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. In 2013 I became an Ofsted Inspector and have carried out a number of school inspections over the last 3 years.