LOUISE DOUGLAS (Chair)
Louise is a consultant and trainer working in a variety of settings across the world, many of which are schools. Her current activities include leading HR consultancy for a federation of schools in an inner London borough, training and development activities, safeguarding audits, policy development, support and advice. Louise has strong relationships with many schools across the country and regularly supports them with employment issues and safeguarding activities. She also works with solicitors, doctors, social workers and other professionals in safeguarding.
She has worked at senior levels for over 20 years and was for a number of years a trustee of YMCA training. Louise has successfully developed child protection strategies for many third sector organisations and gained much of her experience in this area, whilst a director of a high profile youth development charity. She also supports voluntary organisations with training, audit and consultancy activity and currently works with a large London based young learners’ training provider. Louise is a director of Graffam Consulting Ltd a leading consultancy focused on safeguarding and learning and development.
Louise holds a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management Practice and is particularly interested in learning and management. She is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and often combines her child protection expertise with specific HR activities, particular in support schools with allegations made against staff, senior team recruitment processes and in formulating staff documentation.
Her interim and management consultancy work has included major change management projects for national and international organisations focusing on people and organisational culture. Louise is also the independent reviewer for the Bishop of Chelmsford, scrutinising personnel and clergy files in line with current statutory requirements and is the safeguarding adviser to the national Cathedral and Choir Schools Safeguarding Group.
MICHAEL DEBENS (Vice Chair)
Michael holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies from London Guildhall University and Practitioner accreditation in Managing Successful Programmes. Michael was a manager in the Met Police for 31 years until retirement in 2011. The post included managing teams in specialist areas such as analysing accident claims and injury liabilities to assess accuracy of data on criminal records and arrest and conviction reports. Michael was a Business Manager for the police in the Borough of Tower Hamlets involving, among other things, budget control, recruitment, promotion, discipline and oversight of the local estate and Michael has experience of chairing various HR related boards.
At a more senior level, he was a Programme Manager on corporate change programmes such as Met Police Modernisation, balancing the demands of local community expectations for safer neighbourhood teams against the more specialist requirements such as anti-terrorism, sexual offences and fraud. Michael became Director of Business Strategy setting out annual and longer term strategic business plans in conjunction with the Senior Leadership Team at the Met, the Metropolitan Police Authority and latterly the Mayor's Office.
Since he retired from the Met in 2011, Michael has joined the Parent Staff Association at Frances Bardsley and chaired this group until he became a Parent Governor in 2014. As a Governor he has recently been elected Chair of the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee and is also the link Governor for attendance.
JULIAN DUTNALL (CEO)
Julian studied Law at Exeter University and qualified as a barrister in 1996. After a year working as a Crown Prosecutor he completed a PGCE at Anglia Ruskin University and began teaching. He has taught in 5 state schools in 3 local authorities. At Chelmsford County High he was Deputy Headteacher when the school was graded Outstanding by Ofsted and gained the highest GCSE results in England in the January league tables. He is in his 7th year as Headteacher at Frances Bardsley Academy, a Good school with Outstanding features. Julian holds a 1st Class honours degree in English, a Masters in Educational Leadership and the NPQH. He is a Committee Member of the Association of State Girls Schools, has chaired the cross phase Havering Education Strategic Partnership and writes for the National Education Trust.
After reading law at University and winning a scholarship to the Bar, Sophia was called to the Bar in 2001. Sophia has developed a successful career as a commercial lawyer, both in-house and in private practice working with US multinational utility companies and also acted for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Ltd on the procurement of telecommunications and technology infrastructure for the 2012 Olympics.
Sophia is qualified as a solicitor and also holds an International Practice Diploma in Intellectual Property Law. Sophia is Vice President and Head of Legal at Colt, a multinational technology company headquartered in London.
Toni is a management consultant and currently a Doctoral Researcher and Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy (UK) at Manchester Metropolitan University. As former International Director of one of the UK’s largest NGOs, she has specialist experience in social development policy reviews, national programme management (including child care/ safeguarding protocols and young people’s participation). Much of this work entailed working linkages across the private, public and third sectors. Having worked as an Independent Consultant, her background spans: high level missions with ministries, corporate through to small enterprises, local government and town partnerships. These initiatives often helped to support local governance and business enterprise for social transformation.
Toni is a recipient of a Government of Canada Presidential Star Award (CIDA, 2005). As a former Consultant Coordinator to the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (Eastern Caribbean), Toni has worked extensively with international Donors (including: DfID, UNDP, UNICEF, the OAS and the Inter-American Development Bank). Her most recent work on youth enterprise and non-formal learning in the UK was included in an EU funded (SALTO) publication (2014). Toni is very accustomed to cross-cultural settings and maintains an active research interest in relationalbusiness models and youth enterprise.
Mary joined Norwich School in 2013 and is the Bursar and Clerk to Governors, overseeing all support functions including finance, facilities, human resources, compliance, procurement, administration, information technology and catering. Her career in education started with a brief assignment as Finance Officer at Broomfield Primary School. This was followed by five years as the Business Manager at Chelmsford County High School for Girls, where she played a key role in the school’s early conversion to academy status and a successful bid for funding and building a new multi-million-pound languages centre.
She graduated from Loughborough University with a first-class honours degree in Manufacturing Engineering and Management. She was sponsored by Ford Motor Company as an undergraduate and continued working for them for another 14 years after graduation in a number of commercial roles. Her last role was Financial Controller of the Material Planning and Logistics Operations in Europe. She qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 2014 and is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
Mary was the Responsible Officer for Frances Bardsley Academy for three years and for Benhurst Primary School for one year.
Steve has been in sales and business development roles within the information technology sector since the age of 18. From his early years as a salesman on the road, through a high-profile career in one of the world’s largest technology companies and culminating in his founding of his own business in 2004, he has accumulated a vast and wide-ranging set of skills in PR and marketing, business development, leadership and setting a culture and charisma of success. Steve is a visionary and a pioneer. He is recognized as a key influencer in the world of education and learning technology adoption and digitization.
Steve is founder and director of Ixxus Ltd. Ixxus is a global data systems integration and knowledge engineering company, 160 staff operating from 4 global offices in Boston US, London UK, Seville Spain, Cluj Romania. They work with over 40% of the world’s largest educational publishers, in undertaking digital transformation programmes.
Ixxus was sold in 2016 to Copyright Clearance Centre, having been a successful enterprise that had achieved 35% compound growth year after year, was debt free, achieved very high EBITDA, and yet operated at a below 4% attrition rate with all staff.
Steve continues to work with the global group in a consulting capacity; providing thought leadership, mentoring, and yet is still actively involved in selling solutions that solve the problems of their largest global clients.
David is an experienced Executive Headteacher with a track record in a wide variety of contexts in the UK and overseas; Director of an Examination Board; Director of an Education NGO; consultant, trainer and School Improvement Partner; academic researcher and writer. He has successfully led four schools, a grammar, a comprehensive, an international school in China and a celebrated bilingual Chinese International school. He has sat on national steering groups, been a Professional Association rep and gain, an understanding of education in its widest sense. He enjoys helping others in shaping schools to face the future whilst providing children with the highest quality education and most vibrant learning experiences. He has developed an interest in supporting school developers and investors in the business of education.