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Harlow Co-operative Trust director earns silks

A Harlow education trust director is the only comprehensively educated barrister to become a member of the Queen’s Council this year.

Dan Kolinsky is vice chairman of the board of directors for the Burnt Mill Co-operative Academy Trust (BMAT) which looks after five schools in Harlow and one in Stansted.

Barrister Mr Kolinsky, whose practice covers planning, environmental, rating, local government and public law, joined the board of directors in July 2013. The QC received his silks in this year’s selection process – the only person from a comprehensive school to have done so this year.

Mr Kolinsky said: “I have been vice chairman of governors of an East London school for more than ten years as it’s important to me to have a meaningful voluntary role outside of work.

“BMAT is not a governing body; we try to take a strategic view, looking at financial arrangements and educational achievement. Our mission is to ensure children in our schools have a fantastic educational experience from the age of three all the way through to 16.”

BMAT looks after Burnt Mill Academy and neighbouring primaries Freshwaters, Roydon, Little Parndon and Cooks Spinney, as well as Forest Hall School, in Stansted.

Mr Kolinsky, who has one child at secondary school and two at primary, said: “As a parent with an oldest who has just started at secondary school, I know how it is a whole new world for him and for us. It’s a very changed relationship as a parent when your child goes to secondary school. For that change to be smoothed with there being the work of secondary school going on in primary is great. It provides a massive level of resource to primary parents and enables secondary schools to hit the ground running. If you’re a parent of a primary age child, it’s a fantastic opportunity when you have got every confidence in the secondary school.”

Mr Kolinsky is passionate about ensuring the Trust lives and breathes its co-operative values. He said: “We are working to make sure the BMAT schools all work well together. This is a tremendous, unique opportunity for a very successful secondary school to spread best practice and to develop the skills of all staff. That best practice will travel in all directions.”

Helena Mills, CEO of BMAT, said: “Dan’s expertise has really strengthened the leadership of our Trust.

“What is great about Dan is that he is eager to support in more practical ways, too. As a first class law graduate from Oxford, Dan is eager to talk to our students about applying to top universities and get involved in developing the debating skills of our students, something Dan feels has certainly helped him to be so successful in his chosen profession.”

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