Nitesh Gor OBE – CEO
Nitesh Gor is Chief Executive of Avanti Schools Trust. His previous experience encompasses CEO and director roles across the exploration and investment banking industries and a broad business strategy background gained as a result of working for two leading management consultancies. He is a published author. Nitesh has an MBA from London Business School and an undergraduate degree from the University of London. He is a Deputy Lieutenant with the Greater London Lieutenancy and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2018 for Services to Education.
Mike Ion – Education Director
Mike Ion is a former secondary headteacher and was Deputy National Director for School Improvement with the Department for Education/National Strategies between 2008 and 2011 when he had responsibility for the National Challenge programme. In April 2011, Mike went to work full time for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation where he helped to establish the Face to Faith schools programme for 12-17 year olds, which is now active in 19 countries and growing. In May 2014 Mike returned to work for the Department for Education as an Education Adviser where he supported the formation of new academy trusts, assessed free school applications and visited open academies that were underperforming.
Kekshan Salaria – Head of School Improvement (Primary)
Kekshan Salaria has been a headteacher in the London Boroughs of Brent and Islington. She joined Ofsted in 2004 as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) focussing in particular on school improvement and quality assurance. After 10 years as HMI she joined The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai, as Principal Inspector. Most recently she was the Director of Schools with Athena Education.
Kirit Patel – Finance Director
Kirit Patel is the Finance Director of the Trust. Kirit is a chartered accountant and also a qualified teacher. He started his teaching career at Waltham Forest College where he spent four years teaching IT and Law. Thereafter, a career move took him into accounting and finance. He joined PwC where he gained extensive financial consulting and audit experience across various sectors and industries. His experience includes establishing corporate finance functions and serving as Head of Finance.
Joanne Hatfield – HR Director
Joanne Hatfield is the HR Director for the Trust. As a Chartered Member of the CIPD with 20+ years’ post qualification experience gained within varying medium and large Local Authorities across London and South East. Extensive experience as a HR/OD generalist and specialist on both a strategic and operational front. Joanne is able to effectively integrate workforce strategy within organisational culture to follow through on business direction changes to support the transformation of services delivered. She has excellent skills in influencing and advising at senior levels including the Leader of the Council, Chair of Trust Board, Cabinet Members, Board Members, Chief Executives, Chief Officers and senior trade union representatives. Joanne is experienced in delivering HR services in very diverse organisations and has a deep personal commitment to the principles of equality and fairness. Her last role held was as the Head of HR/OD for Slough Children’s Services Trust. Appointed to support the startup of the Trust and transition of the staff to the new organisation which was created to deliver sustainable improvement and outcomes for the most vulnerable children within the borough.
Ashutosh Bhardwaj – Operations Director
Ashutosh Bhardwaj is the Operations Director for the Trust. He has experience in Schools, Hospitality and Warehouse Management. He also worked in Pricing and Revenue Management and studied Strategic Hospitality Management from Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, New York. He ensures that all children have a safe environment to experience high quality education and development. He is also passionate about market analytics, dynamics and leadership development.