We employ a rich mix of educationalists and other professionals around the world. Our people – from accountants to researchers and from analysts to project managers – are passionate about education and committed to excellence. Find out more about some of the people in our organisation below.
Dan has an exceptional track record as a leader in the education and commercial global business sectors. Most recently he has been CEO of Sparx Learning, the schools’ maths solution, where he grew the business from its original two schools to serving nearly two million learners in over half of the secondary schools in the UK, in addition to establishing a global footprint in 25 countries. Across his career, Dan has been a founder, CEO and investor in technology, education and EdTech, taking businesses from start-up to global scale.
Alongside his executive career, Dan has also held several non-executive positions. Until recently he sat on the board of the British Education Supplier Association (BESA) and currently sits on the Leadership Council at the Centre for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution (Washington) and on the board of Foresight VCT plc as a non-executive director. In 2020, he founded the EdTech Evidence Group to support evidence and efficacy in the EdTech sector. In 2022, he was awarded the Asian Tech Pioneer award by Diversity UK.
Tony McAleavy is Education Development Trust’s Education Director with corporate oversight of the educational impact of all Education Development Trust’s activities and our public domain research programme. Tony has worked extensively on school reform in many countries, particularly in the Middle East. He has an MA in Modern History from St John’s College, University of Oxford.
Marketing and Business Development Director
Cheryl is passionate about creating change at scale, enabling people to make the most of their lives. At Education Development Trust, she is instrumental in telling our unique and inspirational story to audiences around the world ensuring we can continue to transform lives through education. Prior to joining Education Development Trust, Cheryl led the public engagement function at the Fairtrade Foundation.
Director of Research and Consultancy
Dr Anna Riggall leads Education Development Trust's global programme of academic educational research and promotes evidence engagement across the organisation. She has over 20 years’ experience leading international educational research and holds an MA in Education & Development Studies and PhD in Education. She specialises in the areas of education system reform, education for marginalised groups including children with disabilities, girls and refugees, teacher development, leadership, accountability and education in emergencies.
Interim UK Director
Steve has extensive leadership experience across international organisations, including the United Nations, the OECD and as CEO of an education charity, of designing and delivering change to ensure more efficient and effective delivery of results and impact. As Interim UK Director, Steve oversees our UK programmes and operations and is leveraging our expertise to ensure our programmes across education, and careers, employability and skills work together to transform lives.
Director Africa, Middle East, and Asia
Tarek oversees our Africa, Middle East and Asia operations. Dynamic and experienced, he uses his exceptional expertise to work closely with governments and partners to realise ambitious and far-reaching reform in both public and private education systems. With extensive knowledge of system reform, inspection and school management, he develops solutions that improve learning outcomes for children and empower teachers and principals. Educated in the UK and Australia, Tarek is a fluent Arabic speaker and has lived in the Middle East for 12 years.
Director of People
Sarah has extensive experience of working for not-for-profit organisations and has seen how education empowers individuals to achieve their full potential and act as a catalyst to transform our communities, creating more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable societies. At Education Development Trust she works collaboratively to develop the culture and people strategies which attract, retain, and enable our talented people to thrive and deliver impact.
Director of Finance and Corporate Services
Mick leads the finance team at Education Development Trust, overseeing financial accounting, financial planning and analysis and commercial finance for the Trust. Through the application and promotion of highly effective commercial expertise, high standards in systems and controls, and a culture of transparency and accountability, the finance team ensures Education Development Trust programmes are characterised by compliance and value for money. Mick is a Chartered Accountant with a BSc in Philosophy and Economics, an MSc in Development Studies and 20 years’ experience in audit and finance roles in the professional services and charitable sectors.
Chair of Trustees
Formerly Chair of the Board of Trustees at Unicef UK, former Chief Executive at Freeview and lead of the BBC's public education programme about digital technology, Ilse passionately believes in the power of education to transform lives and in 2017 she fulfilled a lifelong ambition to teach, leading A-level World Development at Godalming Sixth Form College. In her executive career, Ilse was Managing Director of Freeview Play at Digital UK. Prior to this she was Managing Director of Freeview, the UK's leading digital TV provider, following roles at the BBC where she led the corporation’s digital marketing.
Sara has been involved with Education Development Trust from the organisation's early days and was appointed trustee in 2006; she was appointed Vice Chair in 2012 and Vice President when she retired from the board in 2014.
Sara’s main areas of expertise are in director, senior leader and manager personal development and effectiveness in the workplace as well as in governance, recruitment and selection of trustees, directors and senior appointments, succession planning and working with organisations and individuals through periods of growth and change.
Formerly a governor of the University for the Creative Arts and the Surrey Institute of Art and Design University College, she was also a non-executive director of the Royal Berkshire Ambulance NHS Trust.
Starting out as a teacher of children with special educational needs, and then a lecturer in politics and philosophy, in 1989 Tanya joined VSO, becoming their Head of Programmes for Eastern Europe and the CIS. After three years with the European Children’s Trust, in 1999 she was appointed as the first CEO of Home-Start International. During this period she was seconded to Brussels to manage a grant-making facility for the European Commission. From 1995-2002 Tanya was the Chair of the UNICEF NGO Committee for CEEC/CIS in Geneva. Tanya was appointed as International Director at Leonard Cheshire Disability in 2004.
In 2003 Tanya was given the European Woman of Achievement (Humanitarian) award and in 2016 was made an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for helping to provide safe education for girls internationally.
Dr Tim Coulson is Chief Executive of Unity Schools Partnership, an academy trust of primary, secondary and special schools serving 15,000 children. He started his career in education as a primary teacher and taught in five schools, becoming Headteacher of William Tyndale Primary School in Islington in 1990. He subsequently worked for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, leading the development of curriculum and assessment materials, led the Lambeth Education Action Zone and then led the Government’s National Numeracy Strategy. He worked at a senior level in five local authorities, including as Director of Education for Essex County Council, overseeing 550 schools across the county. He was the first DfE Regional Schools Commissioner for the East of England.
Tim is currently the chair of The Eliot Foundation Academies Trust, the Norwich Priority Area partnership Board and the Schools Wellbeing Partnership.
Julia is Chief Executive of Pro Bono Economics – a charity which helps other charities understand their costs and improve their impact. She was also invoved in setting up the Education Endowment Foundation – a £135m fund to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged children. She holds a portfolio of non-executive roles including a ministerial appointment as Forestry Commissioner. Julia studied PPE at Oxford and has an MBA from London Business School.
Nimal Hemelge, formerly Vice President – Global Contracting & Commercial Operations at UnitedLex, has worked worldwide for FTSE100 and NYSC listed organisations in a variety of senior leadership and operations roles. Currently, as a commercial and contracts expert, Nimal drives process and quality improvement across key national infrastructure contracts ensuring operational delivery. He is also an Accredited Assessor for the UK Government Commercial Function. Prior to this, Nimal built and led a global Contracting & Commercial Excellence Practice providing enterprise commercial and legal services to DXC Technology. Nimal is also a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (MIET), a self-professed ‘technology and data analytics geek’ and proud father of five.
Bob is a chartered accountant who was Head of Finance at Oxfam GB having been partner and Head of Charities at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Bob served 7 years on the board of Prostate Cancer UK, stepping down as Treasurer in 2018. He is a member of the Charity Finance Group Large Charities Group Committee, and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Corporate Governance Committee. He has previously served as a member of the FRC's CAPE Committee for Accounting by Public Entities, and has been deeply involved in the development of accounting standards for charities in the UK and internationally. He speaks frequently on issues related to charity finance and accounting, as well as accountability and risk.
Joy Hutcheon was a member of the Board of the Department for International Development (DFID) from 2011 to 2018. From 2011 to 2016, as Director General for Country Programmes, she oversaw DFID's bilateral development programmes in some 30 countries. From 2016, as Director General Corporate Performance, she was responsible for DFID's finance, HR, programme management, commercial and communication functions. Before joining the Board, she had been Director for East Africa, Director for Communications, Research and Evaluation, and headed up DFID's programmes in Zambia (from Lusaka) and Afghanistan and Pakistan (from the UK). Before joining DFID in 2003, Joy worked in the Home Office.
She was made a CB – Companion of the the Order of the Bath – in 2017 for services to international development.
A qualified secondary school science teacher, Angela went on to join and then lead a curriculum development and research unit within the Faculty of Education at Cambridge before joining the UK government agency for technology and education as director responsible for evaluation and research.
She has held professorial title in four leading universities; Bristol, Bath, King's College London and Oslo. Throughout her research career, she has worked with teachers and learners in a range of schools and is an experienced designer and deliverer of CPD for teachers. Most recently, as CEO, she has led the transformation of the College of Teachers into the Chartered College of Teaching working with practising headteachers and teachers across the country. Angela is also trustee for CfBT Schools Trust.
Jonathan is the Director of Education at Public First, a leading policy and strategy consultancy that works with some of the biggest and most prestigious organisations in UK education to give advice on public policy, government relations and communications.
He has spent the past 15 years working in education for and with the UK government. He spent 8 years in the civil service, including two and a half years working in No10 Downing Street in the administrations of Gordon Brown and David Cameron as the Head of Education in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. Jonathan has also worked in the private sector (Serco), in the voluntary and international education sector (Varkey Foundation) and in a think tank for three and a half years as Head of Education for the think tank Policy Exchange, where he wrote seventeen reports, book chapters and policy papers covering all element of schools, further education and higher education policy in England, many of which were subsequently taken up as government policy proposals.
Jonathan is a frequent media commentator in print and broadcast and has discussed education policy on various outlets including the Today programme, Sky News with Adam Boulton, The World Tonight, BBC Breakfast, Jeremy Vine, and in all major national newspapers.
Jonathan is also a Member of Astrea Academies Trust, and was a Co-Founder and Chair of Governors for eight years of Greenwich Free School.
Muchemi is the Head for Technology for Development at the Tony Blair Institute (TBI). Prior to joining TBI, Muchemi was a Technology Consulting Partner and the Advisory Leader for County Initiatives at PwC Kenya. With over 20 years of global experience in business-centric ICT and dynamic technological solutions, Muchemi has guided private and public sector organisations through global technology implementations, ICT transformations, strategy, operations and governance work, and change management. This includes extensive efforts to bring technology-led changes to communities in Kenya and the East African region. Passionate about youth empowerment, Muchemi founded the Presidential Digital Talent Programme to bridge the employability gap in the ICT industry, receiving the Moran Order of the Burning Spear award from President Kenyatta in 2018.