About MLG 

 
Our mindset is simple. 
MLG Education Services was formed in May 2013, to support schools that are converting to academy status. Many schools have found that making the change can be challenging, and our goal is to help schools overcome the challenges so that both staff and pupils can enjoy the benefits of being part of a thriving school. 
 
With the growth in the number of schools converting to academies, and the number of academies needing to restructure, demand for our services has increased and we now work with over 40 academies on a broad range of assignments. 
We specialise in supporting newly formed trusts and existing trusts that are changing their structures. Based in Warwick, our growing team works with schools across the UK – working with directors and business managers – and increasingly working closely with the Education Funding Agency finance team in Coventry. 
 
Our goal is always to share best practice so that our clients can benefit from the knowledge and experience we have gained in the education sector. We regularly host complimentary seminars to deliver information, pool our knowledge and allow school directors and managers to learn from colleagues in other schools. 
 

 MEET THE TEAM 

At MLG Education services we have a steadily growing team with a solid financial background and a wide-ranging experience of working in the education sector. 
Mike Giddings 
Managing Director 
Mike is an academy expert, working with schools that are looking to convert to academy status, multi-academy trusts that want to expand, and existing academies that require operational support. 
 
Mike trained with Grant Thornton and qualified as a certified accountant in 1991. He worked for seven years as a school business manager for leading city technology college, Brooke Weston, and was instrumental in the creation of independent school funding policies. Mike was also the finance director of an independent school in Warwickshire for three years. 
 
In 2011, he became a trustee of one of the first primary school umbrella trusts in the country and also helped the same trust to create a multi-academy trust. In 2012 he became a director of a multi-academy trust and school sponsor. 
Mike Ison 
Finance Consultant 
Arriving in the education sector in 2008, headhunted by a sponsor of a Midlands based MAT as Finance and Operations Director, Mike has been part of a sector where the only constant has been “change”. As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Mike appreciates that school finance and administration systems have a major part to play in transforming educational outcomes for pupils. 
 
Over the last twelve years Mike has been involved in the full range of activities within the sector including rebrokerage of schools, both incoming and outgoing, serving on local governing bodies and on three Midlands LA schools forums. Building high performance finance teams that support educational colleagues locally and centrally whilst not forgetting the operational aspects such as paying suppliers, analysing grant income and working with external stakeholders such as banks, external auditors and ESFA. 
 
Since joining MLG in 2019 Mike has supported clients both operationally, through day to day financial support, and strategically, including but not limited to, supporting due diligence activities, contract review and internal scrutiny reports. 
Tracey Giddings 
Business Development Director 
 
Lakhpreet Bains 
Finance Consultant 
Lakhpreet joined MLG Education Services in 2018 having worked previously for 5 years at a 20+ school Multi Academy Trust in Birmingham. Lakhpreet is AAT qualified and is also an accredited Xero advisor. 
 
Responsibilities: Lakhpreet is the point of contact for a number of our academies and specialises in PS Financials and multi academy trust system development. 
Amy Maude 
Finance Consultant 
Amy joined MLG Education Services in 2016 having worked previously for a firm of chartered accountants and an outsourcing company providing finance services to small companies. 
 
Amy is AAT qualified and is also an accredited qualified Xero accounting advisor. 
 
Responsibilities: Amy is the point of contact for a number of our academies and specialises in management report development and new accounting system development. 
Matt Leslie 
Finance Consultant 
Matt joined MLG Education Services in April 2021. 
 
Matt has a first class honours degree from Coventry University in accounting and finance and is currently studying towards becoming ACCA accredited. He is also an accredited Xero accounting advisor. 
 
Responsibilities include, Internal Scrutiny, Statutory Reporting, Management Accounts. 
Hayley Clarke 
Finance Consultant 
Hayley has twelve years of experience working within the education sector, delivering to and supporting clients from a range of provisions, including Specialist Language Schools, Government Welfare to Work, Private training providers, Mainstream maintained schools, Hospital and Special Schools. 
 
Hayley joined MLG in 2019 working with clients who are joining new, or expanding their current Trusts. 
James McElwee 
Finance Consultant 
James joined MLG Education Services in 2022 having previously worked for 7 years at a firm of Chartered Accountants within the Birmingham area whom had a large portfolio of Education based clients. 
 
James is a qualified ICAEW Chartered Accountant, having qualified in 2021. 
 
Responsibilities include the preparation of internal scrutiny reports, efficiency reviews for Trusts and completing due diligence. 
Karen Baker 
Finance Consultant 
Karen joined MLG Education Services in 2021 and is a qualified ICAEW chartered accountant. Karen started her career at one of the ‘big four’ accountancy firms where she worked in their education department supporting clients with both external and internal audit. After a period in the private sector working in financial reporting and treasury in the leisure industry, Karen returned to education. She has worked as a school business manager for two Warwickshire schools where she was responsible for budget setting and monitoring, financial management, HR, premises and Health & Safety. Karen volunteered as the Treasurer for her local Pre-School for several years and has served for the last 6 years a parent governor at her local primary school where she chairs the Resources Committee. 
 
At MLG, Karen supports schools and MATs with both day-to-day finance and more strategic CFO-level assistance. 
Anton Campbell 
Finance Consultant 
Anton joined MLG Education Services in 2021, having worked previously in charities, education, and for commercial businesses. 
 
He is a first-class graduate in the final stages of becoming AAT qualified and is also both a Certified Xero Advisor and a Certified ApprovalMax Partner. Anton is passionate about the use of technology to increase efficiency and opportunities for automation to save both time and money. 
 
Responsibilities include Management Accounting, Statutory Reporting, Budgeting, and increasing efficiency by developing systems and processes. 
Courtney Doherty 
Finance Consultant 
Courtney joined MLG Education Services in 2020 having worked previously for a firm of chartered accountants as a Trainee Accountant. Courtney Is currently studying towards her AAT Level 4 qualification and is also an accredited Xero accounting advisor.  
 
Responsibilities: Transferring and the implementation of new accounting systems. Preparing management accounts and efficiency reviews for trusts. 
Lucy Minton 
Finance Consultant 
Lucy joined MLG Education Services in 2020 having worked previously at a Single Academy Trust in Coventry and as a Trainee Finance Assistant within the motor trade industry. Lucy is currently studying towards her AAT Level 3 qualification and is also an accredited Xero/Approvalmax accounting advisor. 
 
Responsibilities: Transferring and the implementation of new accounting systems, preparing management accounts and providing an outsourced ‘finance assistant’ role. 
 
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