Our Trustees

Jan Hatchell CEO

Date of Appointment: 24/08/2018

As well as being BEST’s CEO and a Trustee, I am the Headteacher of Riverwalk School. I have been a Headteacher since 2005, building upon my extensive experience of teaching in Specialist provisions in London, Surrey, Hampshire and Norfolk.  I qualified to teach in specialist education in 1984, then awarded my MA in 2002.  I am passionate about the education of children who need an innovative and inspirational approach to learning, engaging with research and the professional development of those providing the learning environment. I am an active member of the Federation of Leaders in Special Education, and attend the SEND Forum in London. 

Viv Hughes – Chair of the Trust Board

Date of Appointment: 25/02/2016

Viv has a passion for the innovative education of SEND and SEMH children and young people. Since becoming a Parent Governor 11 years ago, Viv has gained extensive expertise and widespread knowledge and experience of governance. As a Chair, she has grown and led school governance to Ofsted ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ ratings. Her leadership philosophy ensures that all governors are very knowledgeable and highly competent to thrive without her at the helm. Viv was appointed a NLG in 2015. Viv was an All-through MAT Trustee before resigning to focus on BEST. Any spare time is devoted to gardening and house restoration.


Gulshan Kayembe – Trustee

Date of Appointment: 05/12/2018

Gulshan has a passion for lifelong learning. She works as an independent consultant and as an inspector, having begun her working life as a teacher. She is involved in leading inspections. Her consultancy includes working closely with academies and MATs. Gulshan has worked all across the education sector including PRUs and special schools, universities, multiple local education authorities to provide advice, guidance and training to improve provision and, hence, outcomes. She honed her strategic planning skills, as well as her ability to ask the right questions through her board experience with the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, and chairing the Suffolk Police Authority from 2005 – 2010.

Andrew Mason – Trustee

Date of Appointment: 21/12/2018

Andrew is an FCA qualified audit director with a broad experience of financial accounting and business advisory services currently working in practice for a top 30 accountancy firm.  He has over 20 years audit and accounting experience across a wide range of industries, from educational bodies, charities, legal practices and membership organisations, to manufacturing, construction, technology and retail companies varying in size from early stage businesses to large international groups.  Andrew has previously been Chair of Finance for his local primary school, and when he gets any free time he enjoys football, running, and spending time with his family.