Burnt Mill Academy Trust

The Board of Directors


Helena Mills CBE 



Helena Mills left the Royal Holloway London University in 1989 with a B.A. Hons in History, and after completing a PGCE in History at the Institute of Education began teaching at the Brampton Manor Comprehensive in 1990.

Between ’93 and ’95 Helena was head of History at Bonus Pastor Comprehensive School before returning to Brampton Manor as Head of Humanities for five years, and Assistant Head from 2000 - 2002.

2002 saw the start of a 7 year period as a Deputy Head starting at St Catherine’s Comprehensive for Girls with 5 years at St Bonaventure Comprehensive for Boys.

Helena Mills joined Burnt Mill School as Head Teacher in January 2010 having taught and led in East London where she lives, and has led the rapid improvement of the school from 27% 5A – C including English and Maths to the 2013 results of 76% and the 2014 results of 86%. In November 2012 the school was judged by OFSTED to be outstanding in all categories. Helena led Burnt Mill through its conversion to an Academy in December 2011. In September 2015 she has taken on the full time role of the CEO of Burnt Mill Academy Trust.

In July 2013 Helena became a National Leader of Education. As an NLE she offers support to a range of Head Teachers both nationally and locally. Helena was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2017 for her services to education, both locally and regionally. Helena is also a lead and team inspector for Ofsted. Helena remains a passionate teacher, teaching English at GCSE.

Dan Kolinsky


Dan Kolinsky is a Barrister whose practice covers planning, environmental, rating, local government and public law. He frequently acts as an advocate in the High Court and Court of Appeal, at public inquiries and before the Upper Tribunal. His clients include central government, local government, developers, interest groups, ratepayers, individual claimants and NGOs. He is a member of the Attorney General’s "A" Panel. He is also a CEDR accredited mediator.

Dan joined the Board of Directors in July 2013 and was appointed Vice Chair in July 2014.

Ffion Griffith

Ffion Griffiths has worked as a HR Director in law firms since 1998 before which she was a senior HR practitioner in a number of other sectors and industries, including publishing, IT and the professional body for General Practitioners. Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development. Currently a NED on the Board of Inmidtown, a Business Improvement District. Ffion joined the Board of Directors as a non-executive Director in November 2015.
Ashley Reid Ashley Reid is a Financial Analyst with over 25 years’ experience. Head of UK Discretionary Wealth Portfolio Management, HSBC Global Asset Management. Ashley joined the Board of Directors as a non-executive Director in October 2015.
Nick Tesseyman Nick Tesseyman is a Managing Director, Financial Institutions Business group, European Bank for Reconstruction & Development and former charity trustee. Nick joined the Board of Directors as a non-executive Director in October 2015.
Roy Sanders Roy Sanders is an Honorary Professor in Plastic Surgery, University College London. Chairman, Fund Raising Committee, Royal Free Hospital. Roy joined the Board of Directors as a non-executive Director in November 2015.
Jo Coton

Jo Coton is a CEO of an academy trust with a proven track record of effective and rapid school improvement. Jo has a breadth of leadership and strategic experience across the primary phase.

Jo took up the post of Executive Headteacher of the Harlow cluster of NET Academy schools in January 2015 when her three schools converted to academy status having previously been categorised by Ofsted as Special Measures. Jo has successfully led the schools for the past two and a half years, during which time there has been significant improvement. A recent Ofsted report for one of her schools graded leadership and management as outstanding. She was appointed CEO of the Trust in November 2017.

Jo has additional experience in leading school improvement beyond her own schools in her role as an associate of the National Education Trust. Most recently, she has worked with the RSC and two CEOs of local trusts to establish a support network and provide training for CEOs of Trusts in the East of England that are new to role.

Jo is a trained Ofsted inspector which has benefitted her professional practice evaluating the quality and standard of education in a range of settings.

Iain Martin

Professor Martin grew up in Hampshire before taking up a place at the University of Leeds to study Medicine. After his undergraduate education he completed post-graduate training in Surgery in Yorkshire, concluding as Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Leeds. He then took up the role of Senior Lecturer and Consultant Surgeon at the University of Leeds and the Leeds General Infirmary. His clinical and research interests focussed on gastrointestinal cancer and minimally invasive surgery. During his time in Leeds he developed an ongoing interest in Higher Education more widely.

In 2000 Professor Martin moved to the University of Auckland, New Zealand, as Professor of Surgery. Over the next 13 years, whilst at the University of Auckland, he held a variety of roles including Head of Surgery, Head of the School of Medicine, Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences and for the last 18 months Deputy Vice Chancellor with responsibility for external and international engagement. In 2012 he moved to the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia as Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, a position he held until his appointment as Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University.

Paul Drayton

After graduating from Bristol University with a degree in biochemistry Paul taught English in Sudan and Japan. That gave him his first taste of education as a career and on returning to the UK he trained as a Science Teacher at the University of London.

Paul spent thirty years working in London Secondary Schools, first as a Science Teacher and then as Senior Leader. He learned from the many inspirational and remarkable teachers and young people he worked with that schools can have a huge positive impact. Paul believes that all those involved in education should have high expectations of our learners and a commitment to provide the very best education possible.

Paul is now retired from full time work and is using some of his time for further study of the philosophy and history of science, an interest he first gained when he studied for his masters degree in education.

Paul lives in East London where he swims, runs and plays football.

Registers of Business Interests can be viewed below.

Uploaded Download
A. Reid - Business Interest Feb 2018 26th Feb 2018 Download
D. Kolinsky - Business Interest Feb 2018 26th Feb 2018 Download
I. Martin - Business Interest Feb 2018 26th Feb 2018 Download
J. Coton - Business Interest Feb 2018 26th Feb 2018 Download
N. Tesseyman - Business Interest Feb 201... 26th Feb 2018 Download
P. Drayton - Business Interest Feb 2018 26th Feb 2018 Download
R. Sanders - Business Interest Feb 2018 26th Feb 2018 Download