Trustees Profiles


David Allan QC

Chair of Trustees


David worked as a barrister for over 40 years and continues to work part-time as Deputy High Court Judge and Recorder.  All four of his children attended Beaver Road Primary School.




Nick Brown



Nick is an HR Consultant working for a Cheshire based law firm. He has worked with education providers for 12 years in both the public and private sectors. Nick lives in West Didsbury having moved to the area in 2017.



Kate Dean



Kate has worked in education for over thirty years.  Firstly as a Primary Teacher in Salford, then as a college Lecturer in Education.  Kate spent eighteen years working for Trafford Council as a primary School Improvement Adviser and Senior Early Years Adviser.  As well as school improvement work, Kate was the Local Authority Lead for quality in the early years, managing a team of people working across different sectors. 

Kate lives and has family roots in Didsbury.  She is honoured to serve children and families in the local community through the role of Trustee.




Beverley Hughes, Baroness Hughes of Stretford PC



Bev was MP for Stretford and Urmston from 1997 to 2010 and the former Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families in the Department for Education and Skills. She was appointed to the Privy Council in 2004. Bev is Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Combined Authority with responsibility for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire Bev lives in West Didsbury and has grandchildren attending Beaver Road Primary School.



Mark O’Keefe



Founding director of Optima Consultancy, Mark is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Operating across commercial finance, strategic change and digital transformation he has 20+ years’ experience in the payments industry and is a member of the Payment System Regulator Panel.  A seasoned speaker at conferences and events, he has also delivered many training workshops across Europe for the major payment networks.




Karen Walkden



Karen Walkden is a Human Resources professional with 40 years experience working in HR in a variety of organisations within the nuclear industry. She has experience across the full spectrum of HR activities, the majority at director/executive level.  Karen is experienced in working with senior stakeholders across industry, in particular on the UK skills agenda, government reforms and transformation projects.  The focus of Karen’s work in recent years has been on organisational change, with an emphasis on consistency of values, standards and processes across organisations spanning multiple locations.  Karen is married, lives in South Manchester and has 2 grown up children.  She is also currently a trustee of a nuclear industry charity and has 5 years’ experience as a trustee director of a national pension scheme.


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