RET Board


The composition of the Board is:

  • Up to 7 Directors appointed by the Sponsor,
  • 3 Academy Directors (appointed by the Board to reflect the composition of the Trust)
  • The CEO.

The Board's current directors have experience as: headteachers of outstanding secondary and primary schools (two community, one grant-maintained); senior local government; directors of a successful private-sector company and governors of outstanding schools. The Board is advised by its CEO, CFO and by its external accountants UHY Hacker Young LLP and legal advisers Browne Jacobson.

Karen Lynch (Chair)

Karen was, from 2010 until her retirement in August 2019, the CEO of RET. In this role she successfully established the infrastructure of RET from scratch and opened our 5 secondary schools, building each of them from Year 7 upwards. The success of RET Schools is reflected in the MAT's position in the 2019 Performance Tables (top 5% of progress nationally and highest overall EBACC attainment in the country).

Karen was before that the Managing Director of Education London (EL). She is by training a teacher, LA officer, OfSTED inspector and IIP Assessor. She was the EL Project Director for the Department for Education (DfE) London Challenge contract 2003-2011. Under Karen’s leadership EL went from one of five London Challenge school improvement contractors (2003-August 2007) to be selected by the DfE as the Sole Education Services provider for the London Challenge (September 2007 – 2011). The success of this school improvement project has been of significant national and international interest. Karen has been privileged to work with education professionals all over England and Wales.  

Colin Mackinlay (CEO)

Colin took over the role of CEO in September 2019 on the retirement of Karen Lynch. First appointed as headteacher in 2002 Colin has had significant educational leadership experience in a range of schools. Most recently, Colin was the founding Headteacher at Turing House School having advised and supported the Turing House Steering Group from the start of the project. Prior to that he was a senior adviser at the Russell Education Trust and Education London and the Principal Education Adviser for Bristol Free School and Becket Keys Church of England School during their establishment and early years and spent a period of time as headteacher at King's School, Hove.

As well as leading schools, Colin became an Ofsted Inspector in 2011 and inspected both primary and secondary schools as well as specialising in the inspection of new schools prior to opening. He was a governor of an Infants school for almost 20 years, latterly being a trustee of a primary multi-academy trust.

Danny Lynch

Danny was the Operations Director for Education London and, in this role, oversaw all school improvement activity undertaken by the Company including its delivery of both the London Challenge and Welsh Challenge school improvement contracts. Danny spent 25 years in secondary schools, including 9 years as a deputy and headteacher. He completed 8 years as a governor at a local, now judged Outstanding, secondary school. He is an active member of his church and supporter of a local charity for the homeless.

Marina Pareas

Marina is a psychology graduate and runs her own research consultancy specialising in education and training. She has extensive experience in human resource research, project management and executive development with government agencies and the education sector. Her education and training are in the area of research and survey methods. She has worked at all levels of Further and Higher vocational education and training. Before setting up her own consultancy practice in 1990, Marina was a member of the senior management team at the Hotel and Catering Industry Training Board, and played a key role in developing national occupational standards, and seeking recognition of qualifications across the UK tourism and hospitality industry. She has worked as a consultant with a number of national Examining and Awarding Organisations in quality roles with accountability to the qualifications regulators. Marina has a Masters degree in Survey Research Methods and Practice and is an approved Psychometric Test user. She is a member of the British Psychological Society and a Diploma member of the Market Research Society. Marina has also had her work published in a number of industry and government journals. She is one of the founding governors and a member of the Local Governing Body of St Andrew the Apostle Greek Orthodox School.

Clive Brazil

Clive gave up Electronic Engineering in Edinburgh to become a coach of the Scottish Ju Jitsu Team and part time share dealer. Clive moved to Bristol as a single parent to raise his son and pursue charity work. This led to helping start Parents Voice who joined with RET to open Bristol’s first Free School; where he is the Vice Chair of the LGB.

Patricia Taylor

In over 40 years in education, Patricia has taught English in two universities, a college of FE and over one hundred secondary schools. She was also a head teacher and lead inspector before joining Education London as Lead English Adviser in 2007. During the London Challenge project she led a team of English advisers working across London, and later advised and taught in schools across England and Wales. Patricia then became the lead adviser for English in all RET schools until her retirement in July 2019.

Fran Stewart

Fran has over 20 20+ years’ board-level experience as a Director and Senior Advisor and is delighted to be joining the RET Board. She has a proven track record of ensuring optimal service and organisation performance through a depth of strategic, commercial, procurement and management insight,

Fran has a broad public sector experience including matrix management of private sector contractors, unifying financial, legal and construction staff around a team ethos and shared goals to ensure timely delivery. Fran’s experience managing major complex projects and budgets of up to £150m has equipped her with a strong capacity to identify key issues and develop pragmatic solutions.

As well as being direct, focused and detail oriented, she is skilled in providing appropriate challenge and ensuring that there is a clear focus on strategic objectives.

Fran recently stepped down from being a Trustee of a Sixth Form College for 10 years and was also a Governor on the Trust Board at Great Ormond Street NHS Foundation Trust.

Jenny Downs

Jenny has been involved in the establishment of Becket Keys since its inception and as a founding Governor has served as a Governor and Chair of Governors at the School and will retire from the role in the summer of 2024. Three of her four children have attended Becket Keys. Jenny runs her own IT Consultancy and freely gives her time across several voluntary organisations. Jenny brings her twelve years of Governor experience to the RET Board and looks forward to remaining connected to Becket Keys and supporting the other Schools in the trust.