We’re delighted to announce the appointment of three new members to our Board of Trustees. Ashwin Tirodkar, Neil Miley, and Mike Crowhurst join The Access Project as Trustees to help steer the organisation and ensure we are on track to achieve our mission and support young people access top universities.

Ashwin Tirodkar

Ashwin Tirodkar joins The Access Project as a Trustee specialising in finance and will also join our Finance Committee.

He has a background in qualitative financial services, with 17 years of experience working in investment banks including Goldman Sachs. For the last 11 years, Ashwin has worked as a Chief Operating Officer, firstly with UniCredit and later with a financial marketing startup. Ashwin studied at the University of Chicago and later became a member of the board of the University of Chicago Alumni Association.

Ashwin is on the board of The Economist Education Foundation and on ASCEND Herts, where he has supporting in auditing financial statement and advising the finance director. He has diverse lived experience and is passionate about our mission.

Neil Miley

Neil Miley joins the Board of Trustees as an Education expert. Neil began his education career as a maths teacher in Leeds, before joining the Future Leaders Programme and Dixons Academies Trust. There, he served as Assistant Principal at Dixons Allerton Academy – one of our partner schools – serving more than 1,900 students in Bradford. He later became Principal at Dixons Kings Academy, helping improve the Ofsted rating of the school from Requires Improvement to Outstanding within two years, placing the school in the national top 50.

He is currently Deputy Chief Executive officer of Dixons Academy, working across all 17 academies. and is set to become Chief Executive Officer of Mercia Learning Trust, a seven-school trust in Sheffield, in September 2024.

Neil’s experience lends itself to The Access Project’s mission. His education career has been driven by commitment to challenging educational and social disadvantage in the North. He brings specialist knowledge of the education sector and a wide network which he will use to support our work.

Mike Crowhurst

Mike Crowhurst is joining the Board of Trustees having first interacted with The Access Project as a volunteer tutor, demonstrating his passion for our mission and alignment to our cause . Mike holds master’s degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of Warwick. He trained as a teacher with TeachFirst and has more than 10 years of experience working in education policy.

Mike has expertise in external relations, advocacy, and positioning with key stakeholders. Mike previously worked at 10 Downing Street and advised ministers on major policy decisions in different departments in Government. In his current role as a Director at Public First, a leading education and policy think tank, he works closely with a range of educational and other organisations advocating for policy change. He was a founding governor of a new school and supported their development.

John Kelly-Jones, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “As The Access Project continues to pursue its objective of helping as many students as possible from under resourced backgrounds to gain entry to top UK universities, it is important to support the organisation’s management with the broadest range of relevant experience and knowledge.

“The board is pleased to have successfully recruited three new trustees from diverse backgrounds, who will contribute meaningfully to the organisation’s governance and pursuit of its objective.

“On behalf of the organisation’s management and the other board members, I would like to give a warm welcome to Ashwin, Neil and Mike”.

We look forward to working with Ashwin, Neil and Mike.