Secretary of State for Education
Gillian Keegan was appointed Secretary of State for Education on 25 October 2022.
She was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Africa) at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office from 7 September 2022 to 25 October 2022.
Prior to this Gillian served as:
Minister of State (Minister for Care and Mental Health) at the Department of Health and Social Care - September 2021 to September 2022
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills) at the Department for Education - February 2020 to September 2021
Gillian was elected as Conservative MP for Chichester on 8 June 2017.
Consultant Psychiatrist, Bestselling Author & CEO Chimp Management Ltd, BA, PGCE, MBBS, MEd, MRCPsych, PhD, DSc, Dip Sports Med
Professor Steve Peters is a medical doctor; he specialises in mental health and the functioning of the human mind. He has dedicated his working life to help people get the best out of themselves and to be in a good place.
Steve's work past and present in the field of psychiatry and education includes Clinical Director of Mental Health Services within the NHS at a district hospital, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist at Rampton, Senior Clinical Lecturer of Medicine and Undergraduate Dean at Sheffield University, and visiting Professor at Derby University. He has spent 20 years as an examination panel member at the Royal College of Psychiatry and has been an expert advisor to the World Anti-doping Agency.
He has been a consultant to over 20 Olympic and national sporting teams including Liverpool FC, British Cycling, GB Taekwondo, England Rugby, and England Football. Outside of elite sport, Prof Peters works with CEOs, senior executives, teachers, students, hospital staff and patients. Steven Gerrard, Sir Chris Hoy, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Victoria Pendleton, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Lee Westwood, Jonathan Trott and Raheem Sterling are people that have all spoken publicly about how Prof Peters' has helped them during their career.
Professor Peters is also a best-selling author, and his latest book ‘A Path through the Jungle’ was published in 2021. Steve has also authored 3 other books including the bestselling self-help book of all time in the UK, The Chimp Paradox, which has sold over a million copies - as per Nielsen TCM Chart 2020. Other achievements include attending Downing Street for winning the senate award twice for his excellence in teaching.
For fun, Steve competes in track and field athletics and has held multiple World Masters Champion titles and world records over the 100, 200 and 400 metres.
Education & Public Policy and Director of the Evidence Centre for Education, Durham University
Stephen Gorard is Professor of Education and Public Policy, and Director of the Evidence Centre for Education, at Durham University (https://www.dur.ac.uk/). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, external assessor for the Universities of Hong Kong and Barcelona, a member of the Cabinet Office Trials Advice Panel as part of the Prime Minister’s Implementation Unit, and Lead Editor for BERA’s Review of Education. His work concerns the robust evaluation of education as a lifelong process, focused on issues of equity and improvement, especially. He is author of around 30 books and over 1,000 other publications – making him the most published/cited UK education author in the Web of Science over the past 50 years. He is currently funded by the British Academy to look at the impact of schooling in India and Pakistan, by EEF to evaluate the impact of self-affirmation, by ESRC to compare teacher supply across the world, and to investigate the impact of the ethnic diversity of the teaching workforce, and by the DfE to evaluate the impact of Glasses in Classes in Opportunity Areas.
Arlene is a specialist in Classics education and public policy. Her research explores the learning and teaching of Latin, Greek, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History in primary and secondary schools, and she is particularly interested in the impact of these subjects on students who experience disadvantage. She runs a project with colleagues in English, Psychology and Education titled ‘Shy bairns get nowt’ to help young people in the NE find and use their voices. A current British Academy Innovation Fellow, she is collaborating with the Oracy APPG and national charity Voice 21 to investigate the impact of oracy education on social mobility and employability.
Principal/CEO The Duston School/The Duston Educational Trust, BA (Hons), MA, PGCE, NPQH
Sam Strickland is the author of Education Exposed, Education Exposed 2, and The Behaviour Manual, as well as the organiser of ResearchED Northampton. A leading voice in the current conversation in education, he has published educational resources and research, regularly delivers courses and keynotes nationally, and has served as a lead facilitator for a variety of NPQs.
Sam began his career as a history teacher in Bedfordshire, where he became a head of history and classics. He has subsequently been a lead professional, worked for a SCITT consortium, been an assistant head teacher with responsibility for the sixth form (and led a post 16 consortium arrangement), a vice principal, the safeguarding lead for an entire trust, and an associate principal. Sam is now the principal of a large all-through school and has helped to guide its results from the bottom 20% nationally to the top 20% at GCSE level, and into the top 5% for A Levels.
Sebastian Payne is the Director of Onward. He was previously Whitehall Editor at the Financial Times, where he also held the position of political leader writer and digital opinion editor. He is the author of Broken Heartlands and The Fall of Boris Johnson.
Before he joined the Financial Times, he was a reporter and editor at The Spectator and The Daily Telegraph.
Colin Lofthouse, CEO, SMART Multi Academy Trust & Trustee, Schools North East
Colin trained as a primary teacher 20 years ago. He has worked in 4 different local authorities as a teacher and school leader. Recently he became the CEO for Smart trust in Newcastle upon Tyne. His leadership principles have always been to promote curriculum design focused on relevance for pupils through motivational experience and local context. His thinking has been shaped by the work of Mick Waters who he regards as his guru for curriculum design and through research projects with Newcastle University and Tyne Valley Teaching Schools Alliance. He recently contributed to ‘The Primary Curriculum Leader’s Handbook’ Ed Roy Blachford 2019 ; John Catt Publishing. He is also a Trustee for Schools North East leading on our children’s mental health project Healthy MindEd.
Senior Journalist, TES
John Roberts is a senior journalist on the newsdesk at Tes having previously been its North of England reporter. He has covered the education sector as a journalist for more than a decade. Before joining Tes he worked for the Yorkshire Post and the Telegraph & Argus in Bradford reporting on education. His patch for Tes includes academies, Local Authorities, Ofsted and special educational needs.
CEO Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust (BWCET)
Nick was appointed as Head Teacher at Cardinal Hume Catholic School in Gateshead in 2005 and became CEO of The Trinity Catholic MAT in 2017 which was reformed into the Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust in 2019. BWCET currently has 47 schools in its Trust but is planned to expand to 48 members this year. Nick not only understands the challenges and pressures that today’s school leadership teams face, he is also committed to helping them overcome them.
Nick believes in unlocking the potential of every individual and every school he is involved with, improving standards, and creating opportunities. He is an entrepreneur and innovator. He is a founder member and Chairman of Education Mutual, (a staff absence cover service), School’s Mutual Services (a recruitment and staff supply service) and Education Commercial Services (a school procurement service). Nick helped form these companies in an effort, to provide a better service for schools in these areas and to try and keep public funds in the education system. Nick was also an elected member of the Head Teacher Advisory Board for the RSC of the North between 2014 and 2021. He was appointed by Rt Hon Damian Hinds to the Opportunities North East Strategic Board in December 2018 and was also asked to serve on the Opportunity North East sub-board by Lord Agnew in January 2019. Since 2015 he has worked closely with the DfE and Teacher Regulation Agency as part of the selection team responsible for the appointment of TRA panel members and advising TRA with regards to recruitment and processes. Nick was also appointed as a Premier League Education Adviser in 2017 charged with inspecting and monitoring Category 1 Football Academies focussing on their education provision. He was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to education.
CEO, Right to Succeed
Graeme Duncan is CEO of Right to Succeed, a charity that works collectively to strengthen communities and systems that enable children and young people to succeed. Graeme set up the charity in 2015 after 12 years working in education, fundraising and policy. In 2003, Graeme was the first graduate hired by Teach First and taught for two years in a secondary school serving a highly disadvantaged community. He is passionate about building support for collective working, and establishing a place-based change approach to create strong communities where every child is supported to succeed.
Interim Programme Director, Right to Succeed
Previously Communities and Services Programme Manager at Right to Succeed, Steff has 9 years experience working in Local Authorities across a variety of areas including Children’s Social Care and Public Health, and more recently as a doctoral researcher looking at child poverty across the Liverpool City Region at the University of Liverpool. She is passionate about community-led development and has volunteered for a number of charities and organisations in her own community, working to remove barriers to opportunities and improve outcomes for children and young people.
Deputy Headteacher, Our Lady & St Edwards Catholic Primary
Fliss Salisbury is the Deputy Headteacher at Our Lady and St Edward’s Catholic Primary School in Wirral. She took up the post in January 2018 just after the school received teaching school status. During this time, she worked with the Headteacher to design a programme of training for newly qualified teachers which continued until 2021. Fliss is responsible for Initial Teacher Training at the school and is the Alliance Lead for Birkenhead North School Direct. She works closely with Liverpool Hope University.
Fliss was previously the Assistant Headteacher at Sacred Heart Primary School where she held the position of SENCO and Designated Safeguarding Lead for a number of years. This ignited a passion for inclusion and family support which is something she continues to promote and develop through curriculum and pastoral work.
Director of the Healthy Living Lab, Northumbria University
Greta is the Director of the Healthy Living Lab at Northumbria University. Her current research interests are food insecurity, social and educational injustice and holiday hunger. She has received funding from multiple sources and has published over 100 papers on school breakfast clubs, food insecurity, and holiday activities and food. She is now a recognised expert in this area and in 2015, she was made a Fellow of the British Psychological Society in recognition of her research with ‘hard to reach’ populations. More recently, she joined a prestigious line up of award winners by winning a Food Heroes Award from Sustain for her research and evaluations on school breakfast clubs and holiday hunger. In 2017, the Healthy Living Lab won the British Psychology Public Engagement Award (North East) for their translational research on feeding disadvantaged children. In 2020 she was recognised, by the Big Issue, as one of the top 100 changemakers for her research and policy impact on food poverty. She has also conducted research on children’s engagement in physical activity (in and out of school), and recently she has led the co-design of the HAF programme; followed by a youth led co-design project that engaged young people in co-designing a specific HAF programme to meet the evolving needs of young people. Greta is currently working with the School Meals Coalition and the World Food Programme. A sample of her publications and films showing her work of engaging young people in co-design can be found at: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/takeontomorrow/it-is-time/holiday-activity-and-food-programmes
Dame Rachel de Souza has more than 25 years’ experience working in education and has been at the heart of delivering academic and organisational changes across a multitude of different schools. She is currently the Chief Executive at Inspiration Trust - a multi-academy trust based in Norfolk and north Suffolk, including 14 academies – which is recognised as one of the country’s best comprehensive schools’ groups with a reputation for turning around underperformance.
She has enjoyed a highly successful career in the educational sector, including her key work to lead the formation of Inspiration Trust, Rachel has been a trustee at Shakespeare Globe and Ambition Institute and has numerous qualifications in Leadership and Education.
Rachel was appointed a Dame in the New Year’s Honours in 2014 for her services to Education.
CEO, Northern Lights Learning Trust
Jo is CEO of Northern Lights Learning Trust, a primary MAT with schools in Sunderland and Hartlepool. The Trust is the designated Teaching School Hub for Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead. Jo works closely with the Dfe, chairing the Dfe Primary Heads’ Reference Group and sitting on the Dfe Advisory Group for Teacher Recruitment & Retention. Jo is a strong believer in system generosity and partnership working.
CEO, Lingfield Learning Trust
Nick leads Lingfield Education Trust, a very successful, highly inclusive multi academy trust in the North East. His determination to remove barriers and set high expectations for all pupils is reflected in trust performance data. The trust is committed to
educating the whole child, placing a very strong emphasis on the emotional world of the child.
He has successfully coached and developed leaders at all levels in schools and has a strength and a great track record in supporting leadership in schools that are in challenging circumstances.
Nick is Founding Trustee of North East Wellbeing, a charity dedicated to building emotionally healthy school communities through high quality services. He is also a member of HMP Independent Monitoring Board.
Debi's role as NEAT CEO is to be accountable to the trust's Board of Directors for all aspects of our school's performance and the trust's financial position. She believes passionately that a good education is the key to unlocking potential and is at the heart of the trust drive to provide a world class education to all young people.
Debi has over 25 years’ experience of working in education in a range of different roles including Head Teacher of a very large primary school of 700 pupils, Local Authority Literacy Consultant and Additional Inspector for Ofsted. The vast majority of Debi's career has been spent in schools in areas of high deprivation. Currently, alongside her role as CEO, Debi supports individual school leaders and trusts with aspects of school improvement in her role as National Leader of Education (NLE). This is a really exciting role as it enables Debi to not only support other schools and ultimately young people, but also learn from other schools and identify best practice, which she is able to share within our her trust.
Debi provides strategic leadership to the research school (Newcastle Research School) which is based within the trust. The Research school is currently working intensively with several local authorities but has national reach.
Debi believes in growing potential from within and as a trained professional coach, she uses quality conversations as a way of developing and growing leaders. Debi regularly supports schools to improve outcomes for children and young people. She chairs a number of committees including the School Effectiveness Committee for Newcastle City Council and is a trustee of Right to Succeed, a charity that champions a place-based approach to bring the community together to transform outcomes for children based on the belief that every child deserves the right to succeed, no matter where they live. Having been born in an area of socio-economic disadvantage herself, Debi believes passionately that education opens doors and provides opportunities for progressive change.
In her spare time, Debi can be found cheering on her grown up sons who both play football and looking after the family dog, Ned, who is a regular visitor to our schools.