Directors and Associates Statutory Information

The information contained via the link below, discloses the Business and Pecuniary Interests of the Fairfax Multi-Academy Trust (FMAT) Directors and Associates, together with any governance roles in other educational institutions, in line with the requirements of the Academies Financial Handbook.




Director Pen Portraits

Please find below a list of FMAT's Directors and a brief summary of their background and areas of expertise.


  • Simon Small; Chair of the Trust Board

    Born and bred in Sutton Coldfield, I am a Chartered Accountant by training and spent over thirty years in private sector finance roles, mostly in large service-sector corporates. For the last seven years I have been a Senior Civil Servant in the Ministry of Defence.

    My association with Fairfax began almost 25 years ago when my daughter entered the school, and I was a governor for 17 years before my job took me to Bristol. I re-joined the MAT when my job moved to Lichfield, initially as a Member and then a Director. I am honoured to have served as Chair of the FMAT Trust Board for the last two years, and am excited by the prospects for the future.

  • Andy Best; Vice Chair of the Trust Board

    Qualified Charter Accountant and Corporate Treasurer, previously held Finance and IT director posts in HSBC and worked within a number of other financial institutions. Founding shareholder/director of school advisory business, which was contracted by the DfE to undertake the “Schools Facing Challenging Circumstances” programme and provided education consulting services to the BSF programme. Currently shareholder/director of school support organisation providing school improvement software and services in England and Wales. Former Chair of large “Outstanding” secondary school. Has been a school governor for nearly 20 years. FMAT director to support social mobility and future prospects of all our students.

  • Simon Sheppard

    I am a qualified financial manager with more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services sector.  For the last seven years I have worked in finance within schools which provides me with an understanding of current issues and the financial operation of schools.  I first became a school governor in 1993 and was elected to the governing body at Fairfax as a parent governor after my daughter began at the school in 2006 and have subsequently served continuously as a director, a member and latterly as a trustee.

  • Karen Bloor

    Retired HR Executive for Marks and Spencer with 20 years responsibility for UK and European stores . Following relocation to the midlands, I became a Non Executive Director in the NHS taking Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust to Foundation Status .

    I have been Chair of Governors for a local primary school of which I am still a Governor.  I joined Fairfax Governing body  in 2012 as  parent governor whilst my children attended the school and joined the Trust Board in 2016.

    I am passionate about education and ensuring all students are able to access a balanced and fulfilling curriculum at the same time preparing them for the next stage of their lives .

  • Barry Cooper

    I have just completed 38 years in the automotive industry both as an employee, mainly of BMW UK and Sytner BMW and, since 2001 as an owner and director of Cooper Solutions Limited, which I sold in December 2019.

    Founding a start-up takes a mixture of belief, persistence and naivety; you have to keep getting up when knocked down, especially in the early years, while you also need to ignore how long it will take and how difficult it will be to really succeed, otherwise you probably wouldn’t even begin.

    I want to bring that drive and determination to my role as an FMAT director where I have joined a tremendous team of people currently facing unprecedented issues and challenges.

    I aim to balance my time supporting day to day provision of great education and preparedness for life after school, with the development and execution of a longer term, strategic plan that sees FMAT grow into a stand out, benchmark MAT in the Midlands and the UK.

    I have enjoyed time as a parent governor at two primary schools while my three children were of that age. Whilst I am by no means an expert in education, I understand the impact inspirational leadership can have on any organisation. I will continue to support all the relevant people across FMAT as they optimise their time spent leading and inspiring the students to great success at school and beyond.

  • Simon Jones; CEO

    Having spent 25 years working in the education sector, I was delighted to be appointed as CEO of FMAT in February 2020.  Previously, I have held a wide range of senior MAT and school leadership positions, including Deputy CEO of a mixed phase MAT, Executive Head of a group of secondary academies and Principal of a secondary Church Academy.  During these roles, I have led on many areas including school improvement, quality assurance, curriculum development and finance.  Originally, I started out as a Chemistry teacher in Nottinghamshire, having previously honed my chemistry skills for a year at ICI.

    I have always highly valued the opportunity to develop others and have also committed time and energy to coaching and delivering training sessions including some at national conferences.

    It is only when we come together and combine our collective energy that we will genuinely benefit the communities we serve.