Nitesh Gor OBE – CEO and Trustee

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 Younger – Chair

Mike Younger is a Trust Chair. He has extensive experience in teacher education and in gender studies. He was Dean of Education and Head of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education 2006-2011, having previously been Director of Teaching and of Teacher Education. Whilst Director of the Teacher Education programme, 1992-2001, he led the Faculty through three very successful Ofsted inspections which resulted in the programmes being awarded ‘outstanding’ status. His main research and teaching interests are located in teacher education and in teacher professional development, in gender studies and in school leadership and curriculum development.

Gerry Davis OBE – Trust Director

Gerry Davis OBE (BEd, MA) is a Trust Director. He is retired from a working life in the voluntary, public, and private sectors. He currently volunteers as the Synod Secretary of the London District of the Methodist Church. He started his working life as a scientific assistant at the Atomic Energy Authority before qualifying as a teacher. He taught at three comprehensive schools and has been an education adviser, secondary school inspector, deputy director of education, and director of community development in London boroughs.

Dr Krutika Pau – Trust Director

Dr. Krutika Pau is a Trust Director with a Doctorate in Education and a Masters in Business Administration. She is currently the interim Director of Children and Families for The Children’s Society, a national charity supporting young people experiencing multiple disadvantages. Her career in the public sector has been dedicated to improving outcomes for children, young people, and families living in diverse communities. She has been the statutory Director of Children’s Services for Slough Borough Council and led the work to establish an independent Trust to manage children’s social care services in the borough.

Janet Hilary – Trust Director

Janet is a National Leader of Education. She has led two outstanding primary schools in London and provided leadership support to schools and academy trusts across the UK and in the USA. She recently served as CEO at Floreat Education Academies Trust (FEAT). In 2016, Janet was an expert lead for the Keeble Review into Primary School Effectiveness and in 2018 she was a member of the DfE review group for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Molly Warrington – Trust Director

Dr. Molly Warrington is a Trust Director and Chair of the Standards Committee. She is a Human Geographer and has undertaken research into homelessness, the geographies of domestic violence and gender and education. With Mike Younger she co-directed a four-year research project funded by the then Department for Education and Skills, working with around sixty schools across England to explore strategies addressing gender and achievement. Molly has also worked through the Centre for Commonwealth Education in the Caribbean and East Africa. In partnership with governments and NGOs in Kenya and Uganda, she directed a longitudinal study exploring why some girls from very poor backgrounds were able to remain in school ‘against the odds’. She has over forty publications in the form of peer-reviewed academic papers, books, book chapters, and reports.

Bavaani Nanthabalan – Trust Director

Bavaani is passionate about children’s learning and has had extensive experience of teaching in the entire primary range, working in schools first in Singapore and then in England, before taking on her first headship. She has had substantial experience as an Executive Headteacher leading four schools as part of a soft federation. In all schools, she has left an impact on standards of attainment and achievement and built leadership capacity.

Bimal Shah – Trust Director

Founder/CEO of Elemental Concept; Director at TeleRail and Elemental Connect, Director at Wellteq and Director at Aladdin Healthcare Technologies.

Bimal has experience across multiple sectors including technology, insurance, communications, M&A / Investments, and Finance. His niche is Business Strategy, being able to pinpoint what a business idea or failing business needs to pivot to become successful.

Sumit Sahni – Trust Director

Sumit is a partner at Bain & Co, dealing with Fintech strategy and business build for Global banks, coordinating the development of Bain’s digital technology capability. His area of expertise includes leading the development of digital strategy for top retail banks, transformation practice for retail financial services, and coordinating the firm’s response to the turn-around of the economics of global financial institutions.

Salina Ventress – Trust Director

Salina is an experienced school leader and outstanding teacher with extensive experience leading improvement at secondary level in Essex. Her specialist areas include leadership development, teaching, and learning strategy, curriculum planning, behaviour for learning, and post 16 provision.

Salina has a geography degree and PGCE from the University of Cambridge and was one of the first cohorts to complete the Fast Track school leaders programme. She currently works as an education consultant supporting schools with a variety of needs. Salina is committed to improving the life chances of young people through the improvement of secondary education.

Andrew Read – Trust Director

Andrew is Group CEO of the Diocese of Ely Education Trust, Director of Education for the Diocese of Ely, an author, lecturer, and current and previous trustee/governor of numerous national and local education charities & institutions, including three other academy trusts and various new schools. He has 12 years’ previous experience as a Lead Ofsted Inspector and has acted as an advisor to local and central government. In addition, he has spent significant time as a Director in the commercial sector.

Upendra Kalan– Trust Director

Upendra Kalan – Upendra qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Deloitte within the Financial Services Group and has over 40 years of finance and accounting experience. He went on to become a Director in Global Equities Management at UBS where he spent 14 years. His experience includes being Finance Director and Head of Operations for the South East Asian Equities Businesses responsible for all financial, operational, legal, regulatory and compliance matters. Upendra served as a trustee for the Hindu Education Authority, which was established in 2004 for the purposes of establishing the first state-funded Hindu school, Krishna Avanti Primary School in Harrow. Prior to retirement, he worked for Avanti Schools Trust across school finance and operations. Upendra has held various voluntary President and Treasurer roles across different education and community-based charities in the UK, Hong Kong and South Africa, and has led community fundraising for international aid relief campaigns (including the Gujarat Earthquake and Asian Tsunami).