Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

James Toop

 (Chair of Trustees, and Governance Link Trustee)

I am an experienced charity Chief Executive in the education and youth sectors, and passionate about social mobility and opportunities for young people.   I have recently launched Bite Back 2030, a new 10-year youth-led movement to halve childhood obesity by 2030. Before that I was Chief Executive of Ambition Institute for eight years leading it through two mergers to become the largest leadership development charity in education.   I was a teacher in the inaugural cohort of Teach First and have been a Chair of Governors at three schools over the last ten years.   I grew up in Petts Wood and still live in Southeast London with my wife and two young children.


simon garrill

 (Chief Executive Officer)

Having taught and led, in and around London for the last 25 Years, I established two new schools in Haringey, running a small multi academy trust. Passionate about social mobility, fairness and opportunities for young people, I am looking forward to leading Education for the 21st Century to ensure that all of our schools achieve excellence through collaboration.  


dr rachael norman

 (Chair of Quality of Education Committee and Pupil Progress Link Trustee)

I started my career in education 25 years ago as a History teacher in a Lambeth Secondary school and currently work with primary and secondary schools across London as a School Effectiveness Adviser. As a former Secondary Headteacher, I am passionate about education and I have a Doctorate in Education from King's College, London.  I am currently Chair of the Local Governing Board of a Merton secondary school.  I seek to use the latest educational research to apply best practice in driving school improvement and my main objective is to enhance the quality of teaching and learning to secure aspirational outcomes for pupils of all abilities. I firmly believe in education as a liberating, powerful and empowering force that changes lives and brings about social justice and equality.  

brendan hollyer

 (Pupil Premium Link Trustee)

I have been a school governor for eighteen years, serving on governing bodies across all phases of primary and secondary education. I also have experience of governance of a special school. I am recognised for my ability to work with senior leaders to drive significant, rapid, sustainable improvement and in 2014 was designated as a National Leader of Governance. I currently serve as Chair of one school in a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) and Vice-Chair of another school in a different MAT.  


penelope jones

 (Joint Looked After Child, Safeguarding and Child Protection Link Trustee)

I have a wide range of experience to support the continued development and improvement of E21C and its schools. I began my professional life in retail leadership for a number of national chains. I moved into education teaching and leading in a range of settings, mostly inner London. My first Headship was of the first primary academy in the UK. My latest role was as Leading Headteacher of an Multi Academy Trust in Kent and Bexley. I now work in a number of voluntary sectors including courts, prisons and adult mental health.


claire singleton

 (Joint Looked After Child, Safeguarding and Child Protection Link Trustee)

I qualified as a solicitor in 1991 and worked for two well-known regional firms. I specialised in employment law and, in time, took on the roles of staff partner and managing partner. During the course of my career, I advised and worked with a wide range of clients including small and large businesses, charities and educational establishments. I developed and presented many training courses for HR and line managers. I retired in April 2015.I have served as a longstanding governor at Coopers and more recently at Mead Road Infant School. I was a trustee of the William Willett Learning Trust. During my spare time, I sing in a local choir, enjoy walking and spending time with my granddaughters.


indrajit dey

 (Chair of Finance, Audit and Resources Committee, and Whistleblowing Link Trustee)

I am a global finance leader with experience in driving business in IT and ITES industry covering Growth Markets (Asia Pacific, S Africa, LATAM), for Accenture and the technology sector. Led large global teams with Profit & Loss accountability for over $1B business. Led Business Finance with strategic focus on delivering the key business outcomes including all aspects of financial management. Successfully led several global mergers and acquisitions including due diligence & reporting. Driving the Innovation & Transformation framework to build capabilities for Next Generation Finance Leaders.

I am passionate about education and have been supporting a school for specially abled children in Bangalore, India for the last several years. I was previously based out of Singapore & currently live in Cambridge with my wife & son.



Genevieve Field has been in the education sector for over 15 year and is currently Director of Programmes at Ambition Institute.  She currently leads the national initial teacher training programme for Ambition which will train over 500 teachers each year.  Previously she has led the early roll-out of Ambition’s ECF provision, and a number of teacher development programmes including the TLIF funded Transforming Teaching, Master's in Expert Teaching, Fellowship in Teacher Education and a series of instructional coaching and curriculum programmes. Genevieve has previously lead Ark Teacher Training's SCITT, playing a key role in partnerships and continuous improvement, as well as running early career provision and piloting School Direct for Harris Federation. She has been a school governor for 7 years and is a deputy-chair of trustees for another multi-academy trust.

krupesh patel

nI have over 25 years of executive experience within the financial services industry focusing on compliance, business management, investor relations, risk management and governance. During the course of my professional career, I have worked in London, Asia and Ireland, for global banks and privately owned businesses. I am a keen advocate of early education and youth development. In addition to being a trustee at E21C, I serve as a member of the Development Board for The British Exploring Society. My past voluntary roles have included being a trustee/board member at Le Cheile Mentoring (Ireland), The Hygiene Bank (Ireland), Stepaside Educate Together National School (Ireland) and East Oxford Primary School.