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Member Biographies

Peter Martin - Chair

Peter is the Chair of Fortis Trust as well as The Thinking Schools Academy.  He has a wide level of experience as a Trustee.  He is also Chair of Medway's School Forum, which is the vehicle that the authority use to distribute cash from Central Government, and this gives him a very practical insight into the finances of schools as well as the authority.  Peter is Chair of Medway Youth Trust, which aims to transform young people’s life chances through IAG and training.  As a final note he is Chair of a local Charity called Halpern Charitable Foundation which is focused on the promotion of arts within the community. Peter works as a Business Consultant and as such has excellent financial and auditing skills, HR management and Business Development expertise enabling him to provide robust strategic leadership and challenge.

Mark Gedye - Vice Chair

Mark Gedye, Vice Chair of the Trust Board. Mark has worked in the printing and publishing industry for over 30 years in general management, commercial, project management, consultancy and marketing roles. He has experience in all forms of business change, e-commerce, publishing, data and project management. He enjoys developing, testing and implementing solutions, data management and processes to improve profitability, productivity and accountability. Mark provides objective views and advice based upon his commercial and personal experience, on governance, constitutional and procedural matters. He has three adult children, a primary school teacher, another works in procurement for a major retailer and a trainee optician who has ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia which helps in his understanding at Bradfields Academy and Fortis Trust.

Nick Pearson

Nick was a Governor at Bradfields Academy for two years before becoming a Member.

He has worked at C Brewers, a decorating merchant, for over 40 years, working as a seller and buyer and as a warehouse supervisor.  He brings the following knowledge and skills to the Trust: good commercial awareness, strong work ethic, and ability to understand our apprenticeship scheme and give valuable insight. He holds the board to account and evaluates the effectiveness of their work.

Nick also enjoys photography in his spare time and is passionate about the arts and diversity that we offer at Fortis Trust.  He is a fervent supporter of Bradfields Academy's dramatic endeavours and has been known to act as the photographer during Bradfields Prom.

Cllr Elizabeth Turpin

Elizabeth has been a Parent Governor of Balfour Junior Academy for 4 years, before becoming a Member of the Fortis Trust and is now a co-opted governor as her children have moved on from the school.

She has been a Local Councillor for Medway Council since 2019, representing Strood Rural. Within her role at the council, Elizabeth sits on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Children and Young People. She is a mother four children ranging from 16 down to 7, her youngest child has severe disabilities and attends Abbey Court Special School. Elizabeth is passionate about speaking up for children, especially those that may struggle to have their own voice heard for whatever reason.

In her spare time Elizabeth enjoys country walks, reading, cooking and especially eating a Sunday Roast.

Chris Williams

Chris was, for ten years, Governor of St. Thomas of Canterbury School and was Chairman of Governors for eight of those years.

Chris spent many years teaching and lecturing in schools and colleges.  His experience ranges from Reception children to University Pre-Master courses.  In addition to his teaching qualification, Chris has a business qualification and has run a management course in Europe and the Middle East.

He has a Law degree in addition to one in English and Drama, together with his Post Graduate Certificate in Education. He has also been responsible for apprenticeship qualifications from Level 1 to Level 5.

Sport has always been important in Chris’ life, and he is passionate about Welsh Rugby and is a qualified Welsh Rugby Union Coach. He is also a qualified football referee.

Chris is married with one daughter and a young grandson, Evan.  He has recently become an author and has written three children’s books with Evan as the main character.  Each book is in aid of children’s charities.