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Nick MacKenzie, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP (Chair)
Nick is an education lawyer, executive coach and a member of the firm’s board. Recognised as a leading expert in education by The Legal 500 and Chambers for over 10 years, Nick specialises in corporate and governance advice in the education sector.
Anita Bath, Chief Executive, Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust
Originally from London, Anita moved to the Northeast in 1988 where she began her career as an English teacher. She was appointed headteacher of Sacred Heart High School for girls in Newcastle which became a sponsor academy in 2017 and a Trust of 3 schools. In October 2019 the MAT began to expand rapidly. By July of 2022, Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust was a community of 39 schools. Anita is a fellow of the RSA. She chairs NETSP and currently sits on the Advisory Board for the region.
Tom Campbell, CEO, E-ACT
Tom is CEO of E-ACT, one of the UK’s original multi-academy trusts educating more than 18’000 primary and secondary pupils across the country. Tom has been an educator for 22 years with over a decade as headteacher and trust leader transforming many of the system’s most challenging schools. As a psychologist, Tom is passionate about organisational psychology, culture and performance bringing these facets to his leadership. These areas formed the focus of his research at University of Cambridge whilst completing the Executive MBA. Tom is also a non-executive director at SDSA, MAT trustee and Vice Chair of the DfE’s Headteacher Reference Group.
Owen Carter, Co-Founder and Managing Director, ImpactEd
Owen is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of ImpactEd, a social enterprise partnering with schools and trusts to support them in evaluating the impact of their programmes and interventions. Prior to running ImpactEd, he led a number of research and evaluation projects at education charity The Brilliant Club. Owen is a winner of the Teach First Innovation Award, the Fair Education Alliance's Scaling Award and has been named one of PwC’s ‘Tomorrow’s Business Leaders’.
Mark Cole, CEO, Rise Multi Academy Trust
Mark is the lead officer in the Trust and has been teaching, leading and inspecting in education for 25 years. He is a qualified teacher, holds the National Professional Qualification for Headship and a Master’s Degree in Leadership. He has been a Headteacher, Executive Leader, Local Authority Advisor and was one of Her Majesty’s Lead Inspectors.
Dave Douglass, Chief Operations Officer, Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust
Dave is an experienced senior leader in the secondary sector. Prior to his role as Chief Operating Officer at Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, he held senior team posts in two large Secondary schools. Dave has worked nationally on raising achievement programmes, leading both the 'Leading Edge' programme and ‘Gaining Ground’ programme (Coasting schools). Dave is passionate about social mobility and in particular is interested in all areas of research concerning the raising of literacy and comprehension skills of students. In addition to his role as COO, Dave is the Director of a SCITT, training approximately 60 teachers each year.
Paul Edmond, Chief Finance Officer, HEART Academies Trust
Paul is the CFO at HEART Academies Trust, Bedford and a Trustee for the Diamond Learning Partnership Trust. At HEART he is also the Climate and Sustainability lead, a role that developed during 2021/22 in tandem with a fundamental review of the Trust’s core priorities. In 2022 he accepted the role of co-chair of the new UK School Sustainability Network Operations group, a growing national network of schools and Trusts working to help support staff navigate a way to a more sustainable future.
Dave Ellison-Lee, Director of Education, Rise Multi Academy Trust
Dave is the Director of Education and the Trust Safeguarding Lead. He has strategic oversight of school improvement across the trust, and is responsible for ensuring a high quality of education for all pupils, in line with the Rise vision. Dave has previously worked as an Executive Headteacher, Headteacher and school improvement partner for a large multi academy trust. He has successfully led both schools in crisis and those moving from good to great. Dave has led a variety of schools, ranging from growing free schools with small pupil numbers, to large inner-city schools with over 700 pupils. He has also worked for the DfE and Standards and Testing Agency on primary assessment and chaired a review of assessment practices for the National Association of Head Teachers.
Clare Flintoff, CEO, ASSET Education
Clare has led the Trust since 2015, with prior experience as a headteacher, local authority adviser and school improvement partner. Clare has expertise in headteacher performance management, governor training, and curriculum development. Clare is involved in strategic boards for two Suffolk HE institutions and chairs the Ipswich Priority Investment Area Board. Her focus is on school support, leveraging strengths, classroom practice, and staff development. Under her leadership the trust has expanded from 3 to 14 schools in 5 years and established a strong central support team. Clare leads with purpose and integrity, aiming to address social injustice and educational inequality, whilst promoting excellence, engagement, empowerment, and equity for all children.
Robert Gould FRICS, Partner, Barker
Robert is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Partner heading up Barker’s education sector. He works with schools, trusts, universities and colleges to deliver capital projects and surveying services including condition surveying and estate planning. He also assists education clients in applying for capital funding and advises on energy efficiency strategies.
Ryan Green, CEO and Founder, Eduprise
In 2005, Ryan launched one of the pioneering systems and training programs for school income generation. In 2016, the Department for Education commissioned Ryan to research and propose innovative ways to support school business leaders. Ever the entrepreneur, in 2018 Ryan launched his next successful venture, Eduprise, a digital marketing and communications agency for schools and multi-academy trusts. Through Eduprise, Ryan has gone on to advise some of England’s leading CEOs and COOs on their strategic communications and public relations. ISBL recently recognised Ryan’s expertise and honoured him with the role of Subject Matter Expert in marketing and communications.
Kelly Hannaghan, Mental Health Champion, Writer, speaker and consultant
Kelly is a mental health and wellbeing consultant for The Education People and has spent her professional career passionately focusing on enhancing the opportunities and life chances of people in education. Through the power of her mental health training and therapeutic relationship skills, she has successfully led a school on the Wellbeing Award for Schools process, resulting in the school being the first nationally to achieve this. Kelly is an active speaker, blogger and writer of wellbeing in education and is passionate about creating the conditions under which teachers and pupils and families flourish. Her approaches in leading school development processes have created outstanding outcomes.
Iona Jackson, Head of Insights, Edurio
Iona runs the insights team at Edurio, responsible for the creation of new surveys and analysis of the national datasets on staff, pupil and parent experience. Since joining Edurio in 2021, Iona has worked on national reports focused on topics such as equality, diversity and inclusion and staff retention. She is currently working on the launch of the national Pupil Safeguarding Review. Iona brings more than ten years of research experience, previously working in fields from technology, to food waste, to finance.
Ernest Jenavs, CEO and Co-founder, Edurio
Ernest is the CEO of Edurio, England’s leading stakeholder feedback platform for schools and school trusts. He is a frequent public speaker in the UK and internationally on effective use of stakeholder feedback in schools and has published extensive research on stakeholder feedback, staff wellbeing and Covid-19 impact on education.
Vivienne Porritt OBE, Co-founder and Global strategic lead of WomenEd
Vivienne supports school and trust leaders with vision, strategy, professional learning and development, and impact evaluation.She is a co-founder and Global Strategic Leader of WomenEd, a global charity which empowers aspiring and existing women leaders in education. She is also a Vice President of the Chartered College of Teaching and holds several governance roles. A former secondary headteacher, she is Director for School Partnerships at University College London's Institute of Education. She writes for practitioner and academic journals and is co-editor of 10% Braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education (Sage, 2019) and Being 10% Braver (Corwin, 2021).
Garry Ratcliffe, CEO, The Golden Thread Alliance
Garry is the Chief Executive of The Golden Thread Alliance, consisting of nine primary academies clustered in North Kent which serve just under 5000 young people. Believing that every single person who works in education must be child centred, his philosophy about education is underpinned by the values that he holds at his core which are - Respect, Responsibility and Equality. These are the foundation stones that are actively promoted and practised across the whole trust - an invitation to a way of life.
Shonagh Reid, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant
Shonagh is a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant working primarily in the fields of education at the arts. She has an extensive background in leadership in education, specialising in performing arts and pastoral senior leadership. She has worked as a DEI Leader in the East Midlands, UK for six years. Shonagh is currently working with The National Theatre, London and many education organisations across the UK, supporting with strategic inclusion planning, creation of and embedding of robust and effective DEI networks, mentoring, and training.
Iqbal Vaza, Chief Executive, Newham Partnership Working and The Education Space
Iqbal Vaza leads Newham Partnership Working (NPW) and The Education Space. He works across the education ecosystem to prepare children for the future. Prior to NPW, he led social care, health and education service improvements in Haringey, Newham, Brent, Harrow, Tower Hamlets and Thurrock. He has dedicated over 20 years of his professional career, in supporting local communities and championing voices for disadvantaged groups.
Tom Wallace, Senior HR Consultant, Browne Jacobson LLP
Tom works as a senior HR consultant in Browne Jacobson's education team, managing six consultants across the South and has over 12 years’ experience working with schools and trusts, including working for six years with one of the largest academy trusts. Tom is experienced in all levels of HR management including complex union negotiations, high-level safeguarding cases and large-scale restructures. He specialises in pay and reward initiatives and has supported numerous trusts with executive pay and structure reviews, including creating trust-wide pay scales/job families and R&R incentives. Tom is extremely passionate about improving education through proactive HR strategies and has supported many trusts in developing HR initiatives and five-year ‘People’ plans to achieve this.