About Us

The Trust is a registered Charity (number 1149609) and is incorporated (company no 8194371)

The Trustees

Elizabeth Filkin, CBE, Acting Chair

In addition to becoming Acting Chair of the Trust on 19 July 2017, Elizabeth currently combines chairing Annington Homes with chairmanships of public regulatory appointment bodies for the General Pharmaceutical Council and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.  Her previous roles have included; Independent Advisor to the Metropolitan Police Service on the relationship between the media and the police; Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards; Adjudicator for the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise; Deputy Chief Executive at the London Docklands Development Authority; Non-executive director with Britannia Building Society, HBS, Logica, Jarvis and Hay Management Consultants.  Her first major management role was Chief Executive of Citizens Advice.  

Other public sector posts include Chairman of the Legal Aid Advisory Committee for the Lord Chancellors Department, Deputy Chairman of the Regulatory Decisions Committee of the Financial Services Authority and Commissioner at the Audit Commission.

Other private sector roles include Chairman of The Advertising Advisory Committee and the Association for Television on Demand, and Advisor to IDDAS (Independent Directors Advisory Service), estate agents Wetherall Green and Smith, the Institute of Business Ethics and Terra Firma.

She has also carried out inquiries for the greater London Magistrates Authority and the North Yorkshire Police.

Her voluntary roles include Chairman of the Refugee Legal Centre, Rainer, the Socio Legal Centre Advisory Board, Oxford University and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors of the University of East London.  She is also a Trustee of the Vodafone and Annington Trusts.

Ann Chant, CB, Chair of Executive Committee

Ann Chant has been the CEO of the National Insurance Contributions Agency and the Child Support Agency and the Deputy Chairman of the Inland Revenue.  She has undertaken Reviews for Ministers of the Legal Services Ombudsman, the Public Trust Office and the Social Security Advisory Committee.  For 5 years after retirement from the Civil Service she was the Deputy Director of Charities for TRHs The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Ann has been a Lay Governor of London South Bank University, a Trustee of National Citizens Advice UK and a Trustee of the Garfield Weston Trust for St Paul’s Cathedral. She was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1997 and was awarded an Hon Doctorate of Law by LSBU in 2010.

She supported Frank Field in his Review of Poverty and Life Chances and has been a Trustee of the FYT since its creation.

Why I Became a Trustee

Simon Fuller, Treasurer

Simon joined the McColl’s Retail Group (FTSE convenience retailer & newsagents) as the Deputy Chief Finance Officer in October 2015, becoming a permanent member of the Operational Board. His responsibilities include day-to-day management of the finance function, supporting the development & delivery of group strategy and liaising with external stakeholders (including suppliers, investors and banks). 
Prior to McColl’s, Simon worked for 7 years at Tesco in a range of senior
Business Partnering Finance roles.  He started as Finance Manager for Stores Distribution, progressing to Finance Director for Distribution & Supply Chain, helping to drive cost efficiency whilst building strong financial controls.  From March 2012 Simon was Finance Director for UK Operations, financially responsible for all UK stores, depots and dot.com centres and heavily involved in the store and supply chain elements of the plans to ‘Build a Better Tesco’.  In March 2014 he completed a bridging programme, with time in different parts of the UK Tesco business and at the IMD and Cambridge Judge business schools.  Simon concluded his time at Tesco as the Commercial Finance Director for Food, then combined Food, General Merchandise and Clothing (November 2014-October 2015), supporting the delivery of both a significantly improved control environment and enhanced financial performance.

Prior to Tesco, Simon spent 5 years in senior Business Partnering and Financial Planning & Analysis roles in the Telecoms industry (split across BT and COLT Telecom).  He qualified as a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW) with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was from 1998–2004.

Outside of work, Simon is a devoted father of 3 young children, an active member of a local Christian group and enjoys past-times such as Digital photography, travelling and reading.

Sir Terry Leahy

Sir Terry Leahy was Chief Executive of Tesco PLC from 1997 until his retirement in 2011.  He received a Knighthood for services to food retailing in the 2002 New Year Honours and in the same year was made a Freeman of the City of Liverpool.

Voted Britain’s Most Admired Leader by Management Today from 2005 to 2010 and named as European Businessman of the year in 2004 by Fortune Magazine. Terry is now a part-time senior advisor to Clayton Dubilier & Rice, the US private equity firm and Chairman of B&M Bargains.  He also invests in entrepreneurial businesses and is involved with various charities.  He is a member of the Liverpool Enterprise Partnership Advisory Board.

Married with three children, Terry enjoys sport, reading, theatre and architecture in his spare time.

Why I Became a Trustee

Lord Tony Hall, CBE

Tony Hall - Lord Hall of Birkenhead - was appointed Director-General of the BBC on 22 November 2012 and took up his post in April 2013.  He is the 16th Director-General of the BBC.

Prior to this, Tony was Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House from 2001-2013; and Director of News and Current Affairs at the BBC from 1993-2001.  He was Deputy Chairman of Channel 4 between February 2012 and November 2012.  In 2009 he was asked by the Government and the Mayor of London to set up and chair the Cultural Olympiad Board and also joined the board of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.  He is currently a Trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, a member of the board of the Creative Industries Federation, a member of the Go On UK board, and a member of the 14-18 Now board. 

He was awarded a CBE in 2006 and made a life peer in 2010. He sits on the crossbenches in the House of Lords.

Why I Became a Trustee

Professor Edward Melhuish, OBE

Professor Edward Melhuish
Edward Melhuish is Professor of Human Development at the University of Oxford & Birkbeck, University of London.  He was the Executive Director of the National Evaluation of Sure Start from 2001-2012.  He has also been involved in the Effective Provision of Pre-school Education (EPPE) and Effective Pre-School Provision in Northern Ireland (EPPNI).  These studies contributed to the formulation of social policy in the UK in the area of families with young children, early years services and education, such as the universal provision of a pre-school place for all 3 & 4 year olds and the establishment of 3500 Children's Centres, the government's Every Child Matters and 10-Year Childcare strategies, the 2004 Children Act and the 2006 Chilldcare Bill.

He has undertaken research in 12 countries.  His research in the 1980s influenced the 1989 Children Act and later research has influenced the 2005 Children Act, 2006 Childcare Bill and policy on childcare, early education, child poverty and parental support in the UK and other countries.  He has conducted research for the Medical Research Council, Economics and Social Research Council, Save the Children Fund, DCSF, DoH and several other government and voluntary sector agencies.  Professor Melhuish has acted as a consultant for design for children, children's organisations (e.g. Save the Children Fund), government departments (e.g. DfE, DWP, DoH), Treasury, Prime Minister's Office and film, television and radio companies.

Ted was awarded an OBE for his services to Social Science in June 2016

Ben Gummer

Ben Gummer was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Care Quality at the Department of Health until June 2017 and was also a Member of Parliament for Ipswich from 2010 to 2017.  Before then, Ben was a member of the Government’s education team, serving as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Education from October 2013 until May 2015.  He previously held a similar role in the Department for International Development, prior to which he was the parliamentary adviser to the Conservative Party Chairman. 

Prior to entering parliament in 2010, Ben ran an international corporate responsibility consultancy and before that a small engineering business.  In 2009 he published his first book, "The Scourging Angel: A History of the Black Death in the British Isles".  In addition to his trusteeship of the Foundation Years Trust, Ben is an associate governor of Ravenswood Primary School in Ipswich and Patron of Home-Start Suffolk.    

Ben is married with two children.

Joanna Healey

Joanna is a corporate lawyer at Linklaters during which she has had secondments to Vodafone, BP and Old Mutual.  She is a trustee of the Autism Schools Trust, which manages The Rise School, a special needs free school, based in Feltham, West London.  The school supports children and young people with autism, working in collaboration with two national organisations, Ambitious about Autism and  Dimensions. She is also involved in an outreach programme with a number of schools in the London Borough of Hackney both helping in early years and acting as a "mentor" for school leavers.  Prior to Linklaters she worked at David Chipperfield Architects.

In her spare time Joanna enjoys theatre, architecture and reading.

Sue Robb, OBE

Since training as a teacher, Sue has worked in a variety of schools in differing roles. After seven years as a Headteacher of a large outstanding Infant and Nursery School she joined Surrey county Local Authority School Improvement Team as a Primary Consultant with responsibility for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

She then moved onto the London Borough of Sutton as Head of Early Years and Education. In her local authority roles Sue has worked closely with a variety of schools, settings/ nurseries – private, voluntary and independent, childminders and sector partners.

Sue left local authority work to lead on the Children’s Centre programme for London. She then became the Senior Director for Early Years in the National strategies with a particular focus on quality, partnership engagement and working with parents.

In May 2011, Sue joined the charity, 4Children, as Head of Early Years with the specific brief to lead the development of the Department for Education’s new early years strategic programme. She is now carrying out the same role at Action for Children.

Sue has worked as a SIP and Ofsted inspector and is recognised nationally for her work on early years’ quality improvement.

Marcus Bell

Marcus Bell is a senior civil servant. He is currently based in the Cabinet Office where he is leading a cross-Government project looking at how ethnicity affects outcomes across the public services. He has a background mainly in education and social reform and has worked in the past for the UK Government on projects to address teenage pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, children in care, unemployment and prison reform.
He is Chair of Governors of a primary school, which he helped lead out of special measures. He is married with four children and lives in Kent.

Lucy Powell, MP

Lucy is the Labour and Cooperative MP for Manchester Central. She was elected in a by-election on November 15th 2012, becoming the first female Labour MP to represent a Manchester constituency.

Lucy was born and brought up in Manchester, where she attended Parrs Wood High School and Xaverian Sixth Form College, before going onto study Chemistry at Oxford University and King’s College London. She lives in the city with her husband James, an A+E Doctor, and their three children.

Since her election Lucy has campaigned hard against the government’s cuts to Manchester’s public services, the privatisation of the ambulance services, and for stricter regulations for private landlords. Lucy has previously served in the Shadow Cabinet, as Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office (2015) and Shadow Education Secretary (2015-16). She now sits on the Education Select Committee and chairs a number of All Party Parliamentary Groups, including the Greater Manchester APPG, Nurseries APPG and Families in the Early Years APPG. Lucy has recently been appointed by Mayor Andy Burnham to lead efforts to improve school readiness across Greater Manchester.

Before becoming an MP Lucy led a major investment project in Manchester for NESTA, the UK’s innovation agency, working with local businesses and other partners to support start-ups and creative companies. This investment programme brought over £10million to the city between 2007-2010, and created many new jobs