Ann Mroz is editor of Tes, formerly the Times Educational Supplement, a publication with a 109-year history. She is on a number of advisory boards in England, including the Sutton Trust, the Education Endowment Foundation and the Education Policy Institute. She is also a member of the Princeton University Press European advisory board.
She was formerly editor of Times Higher Education and was responsible for the decision in 2010 to relaunch to Times Higher Education World University Rankings to make them a serious tool for universities around the world.
Deborah is the founding director of DLB Leadership. She regularly advises school boards and senior leadership teams, as well as mentoring senior leaders from education, business and military. A former headteacher of Babington house school, which she took to excellent in all areas of school life, and advisor to ministers on aspects of social mobility, community engagement and governance. Deborah also Chaired the ISA and was it's Vice President until 2018. Deborah represented the sector with the NCTL, as well as revising many of their qualifications. She is a member of the ISA education Forum and Education Advisor to Child bereavement UK and a journalist for TES.
Simon trained in ballet and contemporary dance, and toured the UK and internationally. He then spent 15 years in print media, specialising in the IT sector, until retraining to teach English and Drama. He has worked in the Independent Sector for over 10 years, including time at a specialist music school. Simon is now Headmaster of St Paul's Cathedral School, an independent pre-prep and prep school in the City of London, which also educates the world class choristers of St Paul's Cathedral.
Simon is a keen photographer and musician and has a life long interest in the support of the arts.
Deputy CEO of The Institute of Development Professionals in Education (IDPE), the ‘go-to’ organisation for all those involved with alumni relations and fundraising in schools. Lou is responsible for developing training, support and resources to support schools’ fundraising, and champions the impact of schools’ development on providing the best educational experiences for young people.
Lou has over 20 years’ experience of working across fundraising disciplines, and has previously held senior fundraising roles at The Stroke Association and Shelter Cymru. Lou has also volunteered for a number of organisations, from being Chair of Trustees for Cardiff Women’s Aid to being a Board member for the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) and more recently, supporting the PTA at her children’s primary school.
Lou is passionate about fundraising, and as such has found herself hiking across Iceland, running a marathon and cycling from Cardiff to Dublin, to raise money for good causes.
Dr David James is Deputy Head Academic at Bryanston School. He has previously worked in a number of high profile public schools including Wellington College, and was seconded to the DfE to work on an independent/state schools partnership project. David is an experienced school inspector, and a member of ISI’s Educational Advisory Forum. He is a TES columnist, and has recently co-edited ‘The State of Independence’, a book which explores the challenges facing the independent sector.
Richard Walden is a Vice-President of the Independent Schools' Association (ISA). He was its national Chairman in 2014; and was also, for several years each, Chair of Sport and Chair of Finance for ISA. He has been a member of the association's National Executive Council since 2005 and led its Midlands Area group for a number of years.
Now retired, after a teaching career spanning 43 years, he was headmaster of a preparatory school in Shropshire from 1997 to 2015. The school, although small, was always committed to having a broad and active sporting programme, with the emphasis on education and maximum participation, but teams also enjoyed considerable successes at regional and national level. The school offered a full and balanced curriculum, with arts, sports and learning how to live well considered as important as academic studies.
Richard was a Team Inspector for the Independent Schools' Inspectorate (ISI) for ten years and has also been a school governor.
In his spare time, he tries to keep control of the many shrubs in his medium-sized garden, and enjoys watching a variety of attractive visitors which fly in daily to feed on seeds and peanuts. He is actively involved with a local Christian church. He likes going to the theatre and concerts, attending local venues quite frequently; and also when he can The Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Symphony Hall, which are not too far distant from home. As a cricket-watcher, he is currently a member of Warwickshire CCC. However, having been born and brought up in London, he has the misfortune of being a supporter of Middlesex CCC, and in football, West Ham United, two clubs which have in common a history of many disappointing seasons far outweighing their occasional successes!
Julie Robinson, CEO of the
Independent Schools Council.
First a teacher then
housemistress, Julie served as head of two prep schools over a period of eleven
years. She led education and training for the prep school’s association, IAPS,
for five years until she joined the Independent Schools Council in 2015.
ISC works with stakeholders
including AGBIS, GSA, HMC, ISA, IAPS, ISBA, the Society of Heads, BSA, COBIS,
SCIS and WISC to inform and promote the independent school sector.
ISC’s team have been
described as “sleepless champions of the sector” and Julie is often quoted in
the national press as well as contributing to books and articles. She has
appeared on national media ( including Newsnight, Sky, BBC and Channel 4
News, The Today Programme, World at One) rebutting untruths and explaining
the value of independent education to wider society.
ISC’s data analysis informs
advocacy of the sector and ISC provides a vital link between schools,
stakeholders and government policy as well as a united front for the sector to
Central Government at Westminster.
Julie is a parent and a
school governor in both a state school and an Independent school.
Durell Barnes spent eleven years as Deputy Director/Head of
Communications at the Independent Schools Inspectorate where he was responsible
for safeguarding and quality assurance, on which matters he was the contact
point for pupils, parents, staff, heads, governors, members of the public, the
press, ISC Associations, Ofsted and the Department for Education. Prior to this
he spent over twenty years in schools, mostly as deputy head. Since 2016 he has
enjoyed a ‘portfolio career’. He leads a small team of specialists as Head of
Governance and Compliance at RSAcademics, assisting governors with evaluation
of their performance and working with school leaders and governors on
inspection readiness. He is also a Specialist Partner at Alder, who offer
schools advice about PR, litigation and crisis handling. Since 2018 he has been
appointed Chair of the Independent Schools Examinations Board. Durell regularly
speaks at conferences and writes about educational leadership and governance, inspection,
safeguarding and mental health issues and has been a governor of seven schools,
in maintained, independent and international sectors.
Rachel Hadley-Leonard has experience in marketing, development and education, gained over twenty years in the independent and maintained education sectors, and in industry working for such organisations as the John Lewis Partnership and ABa.
Rachel has worked within the maintained and independent education sectors as a Teacher, Head of Department & Senior Leader, and has worked as a trainer and consultant with many independent schools and Multi Academy Trusts in the UK.
She offers a wealth of qualified marketing and development expertise gained through a variety of roles, field specific study, and experience at Board Director level. Rachel has written articles for educational media, including Independent Schools Magazine and Fundraising for Independent Schools and is a regular conference speaker for ISBA, AGBIS, the IDPE and AMCIS amongst others.
Rachel was a Board Director for AMCIS for six years, two of which as Co-Chair. She was most recently the Foundation Development Director at Princethorpe College, Warwickshire, and is also a judge for both the TES Independent School Awards, and Fundraising Awards at InspirED Marketing.
Rachel now works as an independent schools marketing, admissions and development consultant, working with independent schools to ensure growth and increased pupil numbers. Rachel’s particular strengths lie in the areas of stakeholder research, strategy and development start-ups.
Being an Independent School Head for 25 years provides Mike with the legitimacy to use his wide knowledge and understanding of education sector to the benefit of his clients. Working as a private educational consultant for the last nine years, Mike has supported more than 100 schools in many different ways. He has led over 80 successful senior leadership recruitment processes, undertaken marketing reviews, advised Governors and Head on compliance issues, and has provided mentoring support and formal appraisals of Head Teachers.
He was first appointed as a Head in 1985 at the Cathedral Junior School in Worcester, where he was also Housemaster to the boarding choristers. He then spent some time working in industry learning the principles of leadership and management in a very different context. Mike went on to be the Founding Headmaster at Yarm Prep School, a new venture in the North East of England, where he grew the school from zero to a thriving, profitable and well-respected 340 pupils. He has also been Head of three other Prep Schools and is known for his marketing strengths and ability to turn around failing establishments.
Since 2010, Mike has worked as a consultant through Heads for Heads with TES Prime and RSAcademics. He has worked extensively throughout this country but also in Mexico, across Europe and in America. He is now a retired member of IAPS, a former ISI Inspector, a Governor at four very different schools and the longest serving member on the steering committee of the cross association, national independent junior school conference. He is currently involved in mentoring and appraising Heads, the recruitment of senior leaders, advising on inspection compliance and is a judge for the TES Independent School of the Year Awards.
Gwen Byrom has worked in education for over 20 years, in a career which spans maintained, independent, single-sex, co-educational, day and boarding schools. She has held academic and pastoral leadership roles throughout her career and is an experienced school principal and school governor. In 2018 she was President of the Girls’ Schools Association. Gwen is currently the Director of Education Strategy for NLCS International, working with schools across the globe.