Val has been ASCL’s Business Leadership Specialist since 2010. Her role as part of the ASCL Policy Team, involves
• Providing support for the Association’s growing membership of school business leaders, school business managers, and other non-pedagogical school leaders.
• Raising awareness of the issues and challenges they face at national and regional level with a range of agencies and organisations including the DfE and ESFA.
• Ensuring that these roles continue to be recognised as integral and pivotal within the context of educational leadership.
Her professional background has roots in the world of corporate and commercial finance where she gained a range of financial skills and qualifications that have underpinned her subsequent career in education. A graduate of the National College School Business Management suite of programmes, Val has continued to support the delivery of aspects of these programmes for over 10 years, has mentored colleagues in the profession, and was awarded a NASBM Fellowship in recognition of her services to the profession. Val has worked in education for 25 years, both in an advisory capacity and also in practising school business/leadership/management roles in a range of different settings. She has worked in both the primary and secondary phases, and she has also worked in extended educational settings incorporating the wider aspects of both community and educational support for children and their families.
Julie is a qualified accountant, former Assistant Director of Education and now an independent consultant specialising in school funding and education finance. She has worked in education for 35 years, including 8 years as a local authority representative on the DfE’s advisory group on school funding reform.
Julie is passionate about education and wants to help existing and aspiring school leaders, including SBLs and governors, to make the best use of their resources to achieve better outcomes for children and young people. In 2015 Julie co-founded School Financial Success with Nikola Flint, a School Business Director, blogging regularly at https://schoolfinancialsuccess.com, and publishing books and online courses. You can sign up for free regular newsletters and analysis of major school funding
changes via their website.
Steven Gasser joined the manufacturing sector 1987 and became a technical apprentice. He spent 12 years of his career there, rising to the position of technical sales manager. He then worked in the metal finishing industry before joining IMechE in 2001 as a business development manager, becoming senior business development manager in 2010. During his career he has lead on business engagement, managing key accounts, member recruitment and retention and working with a network of volunteers across the country. Steven played an integral part in developing IMechE’s presence and profile in India. He left IMechE in 2012 and joined the MTC, where he had the opportunity to develop a community of highly skilled, competent and motivated employees. He has subsequently worked in the Nuclear Industry with responsibility for technical and operational training. Steven plans to use all of the skills that he has developed over his career to benefit school business professionals in creating a fit for purpose qualifications framework and clear guidance on career pathways.
Tom leads the Education Endowment Foundation’s work on language and literacy, which includes the North East Primary Literacy Campaign, which aims to invest £10 million over 5 years to improve literacy teaching in the North East through more effective use of evidence. In addition to his role leading the campaign, Tom is also involved with a variety of trials, which seek to build the evidence base through rigorous research. Tom also leads the production of evidence-based guidance reports focusing on language and literacy and is currently working on guidance for early years and secondary schools to build on the published reports on primary literacy. Prior to working at EEF Tom was a teacher and Head of Department in two secondary schools. Tom now serves as a governor of a primary and secondary school.
Graham Fitzgerald is a director at Baldwins, one of the country’s leading provider of audit and advisory services to academies. He works closely with around 40 academy trusts across the North East and heads up the national education team of the company. As a director and trustee at an expanding multi academy trust, he is able to explore issues from different perspectives
Tim Care is a partner in the Public Sector Team at Ward Hadaway. For the last 20 years he has advised mainly public bodies, such as schools, local authorities and NHS Trusts. Tim has a background in corporate, commercial and procurement law and heads up the team which advises on academy conversions and re-brokerages. He is also Chair of Governors of a boys school in Newcastle.
Jon is an influential and inspirational education leader in a large and diverse North East secondary school. His innovative approach to school and organisational leadership challenges the habits that have gone before, looking at ways to improve education through change management.
Jon has also been recognised by Microsoft as one of their Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts every year since 2015 and forms part of their global educator visionary team, showcasing how technology can pave the way to better student outcomes.
As an author, Jon regularly writes for his own education blog on topics about strategic school leadership & classroom pedagogy and has just had his first book published by Bloomsbury Publishing – ‘100 Ideas on Engaging Learners’ (published Aug 2017).
Jon regularly presents at teaching conferences both in the UK and internationally via Skype. This has included presentations to conferences in New York, Ohio and Dubai along with national conferences here in the UK. Jon also delivered a talk on the world famous TED stage in 2015, talking about ‘The Future of Learning’.
You can follow Jon on Twitter @teamtait
Sue Cochrane is Trust Business Manager for the Aspire Learning Partnership, a Co-operative Trust of primary schools in Redcar and Cleveland, and manages the Redcar Schools Primary Administrative Forum group.
Stephen is the Chief Operating Officer for Spencer Academies Trust, a successful MAT of 12 schools in the Midlands. He has been working in education since 2012, and recently completed a thesis on "Improving the quality of management in education". He writes regularly for industry magazines, and speaks at a variety of conferences around the country. Stephen's background is varied, and most definitely not the stereotypical accountant. He believes in the power of letting teachers teach, whilst ensuring that organisations work as effectively and efficiently as they can, getting the most money to the frontline of education.
Digital Engagement Manager covering the North East, Yorkshire, Scotland & Northern Ireland.
"Tom has worked within the Trade Union movement for most of his working life. His roles have included : Health and safety Officer, Training and Education officer and Senior Organiser, with one of the largest trade unions in the north east, the GMB.
Around ten years ago, he left the GMB union, to work on a project for the Northern TUC ( Trades Union Congress ) which encompassed " Workplace Health and Wellbeing ". He developed close working relationships with the NHS and Public health teams across the region, promoting and developing the " North East Better Health at Work award " , something he is very proud of being part of, to employers and individual Trade Unions in the North East and Cumbria.
More recently, Tom has ventured into the world of self employment,working with many local employers and trade unions alike,promoting and delivering Mental health awareness training in workplaces ".
When not working, he relaxes by playing music, traveling and spending as much time as possible with his family and friends"
Andrea has over 20 years’ recruitment experience gained in the private and public sector, working mainly in education. Formerly she worked at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation as a DfE Quality Mark Assessor, (the predecessor of REC Audited Education). She joined CER in 2016 where her job is to ensure the safe, ethical and legal recruitment of the company’s supply teachers and support staff. A vital part of Andrea’s role is to maintain the company’s recruitment, vetting and selection policies to ensure compliance with the requirements of the REC Audited education accreditation. The driver for this award is the safeguarding of children in education recruitment.
I qualified as a PE teacher (Loughborough University) in 1991 and have taught in a number of schools within the north east of England since then. During my time in education I have experienced both curriculum and pastoral roles and have been a senior leader since 2000. I was appointed Headteacher of Bedlingtonshire Community High School in 2006 and moved to my second headship at Ponteland High School in 2012. In 2017 I was designated as a National Leader of Excellence.