Our Trustees

Carol Costello

Carol is a successful senior professional with extensive experience in leading a range of corporate and customer-facing services. Her strengths lie in service improvement, organisational development, and effective management of human and financial resources, along with excellent communication and relationship-building skills developed over many years of working with customers, employees, trade unions, MPs, board members, and partners. She is well-versed in developing strategies to support business needs, as well as the development and implementation of cultural change.

In addition to her career responsibilities, Carol has taken on additional long-term strategic roles, in which she has engaged with other stakeholders and the local community. This has included work in area assemblies with residents, community groups and elected members, raising issues that were important to neighbourhoods, including the co-location of GP, library and customer services in a new hub. Carol also acted as the Lancashire County’s Management Board Link for Chorley District Council, working with them on joint service delivery. Whilst at the University of Central Lancashire, Carol served as a representative on their Employability Board and now serves as the Russell Group University Representative on pensions and clinical employments (joint work with the NHS).

Member appointed Trustee
Appointed: 8 February 2016

Faruk Dasu (Chair of Audit Committee)

Faruk has worked in Further Education and in the private sector. He has been involved in the pharmaceutical industry for several years, working for multinational companies including Daichi Sankyo, Sanofi Aventis and Novonordisk in various sales, marketing and training positions. He is currently employed as a key account manager for a Spanish-based pharmaceutical company called Almirall. Earlier in his career, he operated as a degree-level Curriculum Manager and Departmental Head in the Further Education sector.

Faruk has chaired a number of school Governing Bodies and is currently the Chair of Governors at The Olive School, Blackburn.

Member appointed Trustee
Appointed: 13 May 2013

Harry Devonport (Chair of Academic Board)

Following a successful teaching career, which included working as a Headteacher at a South East Manchester High School, Harry went on to lead Blackburn with Darwen’s nationally recognised Education Action Zone. Harry has held several Chief Officer positions within the local authority, most recently as Director of Education, where he led focused work on school improvement and the raising of standards, with targeted work with vulnerable and underachieving groups. Harry also managed the development of the Children & Young People’s Plan (CYPP) and the CYPP Partnership. He oversaw the development of performance management, quality assurance and systems to support inspection and accountability, as well as the Education Department’s resourcing strategy, workforce development and its capital programme.

Harry retired in February 2012 and continues to remain active in supporting education within the local area.

Member appointed Trustee
Appointed:  1 June 2014

Mohamed Isap (Chair of Policy and Resources Committee)

Mo is Group Strategy Director at Hobs PLC. With over 30 operations across the UK, Hobs are the country’s largest provider of 3D technology. As part of the Group Board, Mo leads the development of business strategy and innovation across a global market including new ventures, acquisitions and market development. Mo established MPG in 1997, and it rapidly grew into the North West’s largest independent digital print company, listed in the Financial Times 100 Fast Track Companies. The business was sold in 2013. Mo has also founded Business Plus and Create Plus as Social Enterprises, harnessing the talents of the business community to serve charitable causes.

Mo is a trained Accountant, has an MBA, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management.

Mo is also Chair of Blackburn with Darwen’s Local Strategic Partnership, the town’s largest and most influential partnership body, which is made up of representatives from the public sector, local business and the faith, community and voluntary sector. Mo has previously been a non-executive Director of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and, for six years, served on the Department for Trade and Industry’s Ethnic Minority Business Forum. He was instrumental in bringing a significant amount of national funding into the region to support business and entrepreneurship. He has been on the Corporation Board at Blackburn College for 6 years and was the Chair of Governors at Wensley Fold Church of England School for 8 years. He is currently the Chair of Governors for Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School.

Member appointed Trustee
Appointed:  23 August 2010, re-appointed in September 2012

Afzal Ismail

Afzal is a qualified accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute of Auditors. He is currently Executive Director of Orbit Group, one of the largest housing agencies in the Midlands. His role includes overseeing the delivery of professional corporate support services to all the departments within the company. He is responsible for the risk and compliance functions, as well as the ICT and Contact Centre.

Afzal grew up in Coventry after arriving from Malawi at the age of 10. He attended a local comprehensive school and is passionate about education.

Academy Trustee
Appointed:  18 December 2014

Kevin Jaquiss

Kevin has recently become a consultant at DWF LLP, having previously been a partner within the firm. Specialising in education, Kevin’s role entails developing new structures for the delivery of community services and employment. Kevin previously led the Cross-Disciplinary Team, which was at the forefront of developing new structures in response to the Coalition Government’s commitment to employees and communities. He worked on new enterprises in education, health, sport, housing, care, utilities and leisure sectors, receiving the Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyer of the Year 2010 award for his work.

Kevin’s background is within employment law and he specialised in high profile or sensitive employment disputes and providing advice on human resource strategy, including collective bargaining issues. He is a qualified mediator and a regular speaker at conferences and seminars on human resources and equal opportunity issues. He is currently working in partnership with the Co-operative Group and the Co-operative College and developed a constitution for the creation of new co-operative school trusts, which has the personal support of the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. He has established more than 200 co-operative schools using the model developed.

Kevin is recognised in the Chambers’ Journal for being an ‘exceptionally bright’ practitioner, and for his ‘robust’ representation of clients operating in the education sector in particular.

Member appointed Trustee
Appointed: 1 June 2014

Kamruddin Kothia (Chair of Board of Trustees, Chair of Nomination & Remuneration Committee)

With a strong background in telecommunications, Kam established eBusiness UK Ltd in 1998 to supply e-commerce, e-marketing and website design solutions to SMEs in the North West. eBusiness UK is now renowned as one of Lancashire’s premier digital agencies. It specialises in helping businesses generate great investment returns from their online channels. With over a dozen years of frontline digital experience, eBusiness UK has delivered over 300 online solutions and won numerous awards along the way.

Kam is currently the Chair of Governors at Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Tauheedul Education Trust and Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire. His previous commitments have included being a Director of Business Link, Vice Chairman and Director of the Asian Business Federation and a Director of the East Lancashire Partnership. Kam was also a founding member and Chair of the North West Development Agency’s North West Ethnic Minority Business Forum, and played an integral role in establishing the Department for Trade and Industry’s Ministerial Ethnic Minority Business Forum.

Member appointed Trustee
Appointed: 23 August 2010, re-appointed in September 2012

Mufti Hamid Patel CBE (Chief Executive)

Hamid is the Chief Executive of the Tauheedul Education Trust, a Trust that he has led from its inception. Hamid is passionate about system-wide improvement, reflected in Tauheedul’s designation as a Teaching School. Hamid, as a National Leader of Education, is a member of several national and international strategic educational forums.

Within his previous role, as Principal of the Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School (TIGHS), the school secured three ‘outstanding’ inspections by Ofsted and became the top school in the country for achievement by students with low prior achievement at primary school. The school is now an Academy within the Trust.

Prior to his role at Tauheedul, Hamid was the Director of Strategy, Change and External Relations at Bradford College.

In recognition of his service to education, Hamid was awarded a CBE in June 2015.

Chief Executive Trustee
Appointed:  13 May 2013

Imraan Patel

Imraan Patel joined Euro Garages Ltd as its Group General Counsel and Company Secretary in July 2016. Headquartered in Lancashire, England, Euro Garages is the largest owner-manager business in the forecourt retail sector.

Imraan has led, managed and negotiated complex, frequently high profile and high value transactions around the world. Prior to joining Euro Garages, he provided legal, commercial and strategic support across a broad range of practice areas at the Paris-based Orange Group for almost 10 years, most recently as Head of Legal and member of the leadership team at its Orange Mobile Enterprise unit. Before Orange, he served more than 5 years in the legal team at BT Group plc. Whilst at BT, Imraan spent some time on secondment to City of London based global law firm, Ashurst LLP.

In 2013, Imraan was appointed Chairman of the Legal Workgroup at FreeMove, the world’s leading alliance of mobile network operators. In 2014, he joined the Board of Trustees of the Tauheedul Education Trust, one of the UK’s leading not-for-profit organisations established to build, promote and support its own growing network of schools in the UK.

Imraan studied Law at the University of Lancaster (LLB, 1999) and completed his Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the College of Law, Chester (PgDip LP, 2000). He is a qualified Solicitor (England and Wales) and lives in Preston, Lancashire, with his wife and two children.

Academy Trustee
Appointed:  18 December 2014

David Rawlinson

David is a partner in the Business Services Group of a leading international commercial law firm, specialising in all aspects of education law. He acts for schools in both the independent and maintained sectors on a range of contentious and non-contentious issues. These include the establishment of academies and free schools, SSEN and Disability Discrimination Tribunals, objections to the Schools Adjudicator, complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman, judicial review of Schools Adjudicator determinations and regulatory appeals.

David is the Head of Schools within the firm’s Education Sector Group. He heads the firm’s Academy Conversion Team and has worked on the commercial aspects of a considerable number of academy conversions, including conversions of maintained secondary and primary and voluntary-aided secondary and primary schools. He has advised on the establishment of multi-academy trust companies by individual schools, including the conversion of an existing secondary-level single academy trust company to a multi-academy trust company to enable the school to enlarge its group of schools. He has also worked on several free school academy projects. David has been a Governor of an independent school for more than 30 years, including a spell as Chair.

Member appointed Trustee
Appointed:  1 June 2014


Trustees are appointed for an initial term of 4 years, but may be re-appointed thereafter. This time limit does not apply to the Chief Executive, who holds the position whilst in post.


Click here to see a record of our Trustees’ attendance at Board and Committee meetings in 2014/15.


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