Our Trustees

Andrew Burns

After graduating from Warwick University in 1994 with a mathematics degree, Andrew became a mathematics teacher in inner city Birmingham. He has worked in a number of different schools, all in challenging circumstances, as his passion is making a difference for the children who need good teachers.

Andrew became Principal of Ormiston Forge Academy in 2012, when the predecessor school was put in a category and forced to academise. The academy is now securely good.

Andrew was the first in his family to go to university and signed up to the Access Project to give the children at his academy the same opportunities he was afforded.

Katie Brewis

Katie works for Google in London, where she leads the EMEA Marketing Finance team. She is responsible for managing Google’s budget for Marketing, Policy and PR activity, and puts these financial skills to work as Treasurer for the Access Project.

Katie started volunteering with the Access Project in 2012 through her previous employer, Bain & Co. She raved about tutoring so much that she recruited dozens of tutors and then applied to join the board in 2016. Katie has an Economics degree from Cambridge University and a Masters from Toulouse School of Economics.

Neil McIntosh CBE

Neil is a highly experienced chief executive and chair in the not-for-profit sector, having spent more than 35 years working in the fields of education, housing and social policy.

From 1991 to 2012, Neil was the CEO of the CfBT Educational Trust. He transformed CfBT from a small organisation with 12 staff in the UK into one of the leading school effectiveness agencies in the world, now employing more than 2500 people. Neil’s earlier roles included Director of Shelter (1977 – 1984) and Director of VSO (1985 – 1990), during which time it became one of the ‘two most effective overseas aid charities in Britain’.

Neil has also achieved much beyond his work. He was a local councillor for six years in Camden in the 1970s and Chair of the Housing Committee, in the 1980s he founded Homeless International, now a leading NGO on human settlement issues, and since 2006 he has been Chair of the Freedom of Information Campaign. Neil is Chair of Governors of two schools in London and he is an honorary (Norham) Fellow of the Oxford University Department of Education.

Jane Newman

Jane works for Social Finance as International Director where she is responsible for international relationships, developing financial products that support social organisations to raise capital and deliver lasting change. Prior to that she was Director of Governance and Company Secretary at The Social Investment Business. She joined the social investment sector after a long career as a senior corporate partner with an international law firm, Simmons & Simmons.

Mary Curnock Cook OBE

From 2010 to 2017, Mary was Chief Executive of UCAS, the universities and colleges admissions service. Earlier in her career she held executive and non-executive positions in the education, hospitality, food and biotech sectors.

She is Chair of Governors at Kensington and Chelsea College and Chair of Governors at Swindon Academy. She is also a Council member at the Open University, a non-exec Director at the Student Loans Company, A Trustee of National Numeracy, and an adviser to the University of Buckingham. She is an investor and/or mentor to a number of edtech entrepreneurs.

Mary has an MSc from London Business School and she was awarded an OBE in 2000. She is an honorary Fellow of Birkbeck College, University of London and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire.

Peter Denison-Pender

Peter Denison-Pender is a specialist small business and technology tax consultant, working with small business clients on operating and tax issues. He has more than 20 years of operating and investing experience in early stage technology companies.

Peter is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and read Economics and Economic History at the University of Exeter.

He was a trustee of the Royal Albert Hall from 2004-2015, where he chaired the commercial trading operations, and was a secondary school governor in Brent from 2000-2007.

Jimmy Daboo

Jimmy is a chartered accountant working with large corporate clients mainly in the energy and natural resources sector. He is a member of the UK’s Financial Reporting Review Panel and is a member of the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Jimmy studied mathematics at Cambridge University where he also coxed the Cambridge University Women’s crew.

Matthew Wood

Matthew Wood is Founding Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Lancaster Investment Management, a specialist investment management firm. Prior to establishing Lancaster in 2007, Matthew held a variety of investment and management roles with firms including Magnetar, Deephaven Capital Management, Lansdowne Partners and UBS Philips and Drew. He graduated from Cambridge University with a double First in History, and is a CFA Charterholder.

John Kelly-Jones

John is a founding partner and COO of Independent Franchise Partners, LLP, a specialist investment management firm. With a background in asset management and banking in Europe, South East Asia, Australia, and the USA, John has seen the difference that access to quality education makes to everyone. He is passionate about improving the quality of education generally and ensuring that all students have access to the best possible resources and curriculum.

He holds a BSc in Finance and a BA in German, both from the University of Illinois.

Neil Cosgrove

Neil Cosgrove is a managing director of the D. E. Shaw Group based in London and has worked for the firm since 1998. He holds a mathematics degree from the Cambridge University.

The son of teachers, Neil is a committed supporter of The Access Project and has recruited several of his colleagues to work as tutors alongside him. He also sits on the Teach First development board.