12 May 2021

Education charity names new chair and trustees


Services For Education - the Birmingham-based charity that brings music and learning to life - has appointed a new chair and two new trustees.

Sarah Smith (pictured), diocesan director of Education for Birmingham Diocese, has taken up the chair role.

She became a trustee of the charity - which employs 250 staff, teaches music to 38,000 children a week in Birmingham and delivers professional development and school improvement for teaching and support staff - in March 2015.

In her role at Birmingham Church of England, she oversees 51 Church of England schools across the diocese.

She is also involved in setting up a new secondary Free School and is looking for further free school options for the Diocese.

Sarah succeeds Martin Chitty as chair of Services For Education who retires as a Trustee in Autumn 2021.

She said: “I have seen at first hand the work of Services For Education - both as a customer but also as head of a school, as a parent and more recently, as a trustee.

“It is a remarkable organisation teaching music to 38,000 children each week and with an unparalleled range of training courses delivering high quality support to teachers and schools in the city. ”

Two further trustees, Joanna Cooney and Parmjit Singh, have also been appointed as part of a programme to further reflect the interests and diversity of the city.

Joanna, who grew up in the West Midlands, is a trainee solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, qualifying in September 2021 with a specialism in employment law issues in the education sector.

Parmjit was previously a trustee of West Midlands-based Angling Unlimited which promotes social inclusion, wellbeing and improving confidence with disadvantaged groups and supports several NGOs that provides re-cycled technology for education.

Sharon Bell, chief executive of Services For Education, said: “We are working for the future, to counter the impact of the pandemic, meet the demands of the external environment and use the power of learning and of music to create and build confidence amongst children, young people, adults and communities across the city of Birmingham.

“These new appointments come at a hugely important time when our schools, teachers, children and communities need additional support to restore the educational equilibrium. ”