Who we are
The Elliot Foundation is a group of people with a wealth of experience brought together by a passion for giving children the best start in life. We believe in openness and transparency in all things, so feel free to contact us about any aspect of our work.
Dr. Caroline Whalley CBE
Caroline was previously an Executive Director in the London Borough of Ealing leading on education and community services, she instigated one of the first all- through 3 - 19 age range academies in the country. All schools she inherited were removed from categories well within time expectations. She achieved her doctorate in performance management in 2001 and subsequently became Director of Education & Training in Babcock International Group a FTSE 100 company developing their successful BSF programme.
She has worked with The National College on succession planning and in The Innovation Unit, creating programmes that have enhanced the way that managers learn about managing and inspired learning leaders in local government, private sector as well as schools.
She is currently a Trustee of SHINE Trust (Support and Help IN Education) and until recently City Year that “unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, giving them skills and opportunities to change the world.”
She has written for professional publications, such as The Times Educational Supplement and Management in Education as well as books and papers on mentoring, learning about learning and the 9 -19 curriculum.
Caroline was awarded a CBE for services to education in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2015.
Enhanced DBS Number: 0001374143398
Founder & Chair
Henry is the Chair of The Elliot Foundation. He has significant executive level experience building and leading small teams in both the private and voluntary sectors. He started his career at Goldman Sachs and was offered a partnership in 1992. He founded his own investment management company and has worked for several prominent fund managers since selling it. He has been a trustee of Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.) for more than a decade. Over time, he has served on nearly all of the Board’s committees and currently chairs its Investment Committee, while also sitting on Budget & Finance, Nominations and the Executive Committee.
He is a member of the Advisory Board of IntoUniversity, the Development Board of City Year London, and a trustee of SHINE and Next Step, a small American charity providing education and support for young people with blood disease and cancer.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001464324143
Hugh is an award-winning international business leader with over 20 years’ experience enabling education and learning organisations. Over the last five years he has built the Elliot Foundation from concept to one of the most successful primary academy sponsors in the country. Over the same period he has helped other academy trusts with their organisational design and has contributed to the Bloodhound SSC project which aims to inspire a generation to study STEM subjects with an attempt on the world land speed record.
At Reed Learning plc (2004-2011) he drove double-digit growth, launched successful partnerships with Google and Royal Holloway University of London and won multiple industry awards. Between 1998 and 2004 he ran several of Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s education and training businesses across Europe including major turnaround and restructuring projects in the UK, France, Sweden and the Netherlands. In the 1990s Hugh launched his own education business in Moscow, which he ran successfully until 1998. Throughout his career Hugh has volunteered in the state education and third sectors including Vice-Chair at the West London Academy (2006-11) and is proud to have supported Business in the Community, the Princes Trust and Teach First.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001384167487
Julie is an experienced Finance Director with solid commercial acumen and experience in leading people and developing systems and processes at director level both in industry and the education sector. Her previous roles have extended beyond finance enabling her to take a wide perspective of organisation leadership. Her most recent role was as Finance Director at Teach First where she focussed on strengthening the finance team, improving financial controls and developing management reporting. Julie’s previous experience in the education sector includes working as a member of senior executive teams for both a multi-academy trust and a newly opened academy. Her roles focussed on managing growth, developing and restructuring teams and developing financial controls and reporting. She worked as part of the team that set up Bedford Academy where she co-wrote the strategic and operational policies to set up the Academy for opening and negotiated operational contracts ready for opening. Post opening, she assumed full HR responsibility for the Academy staff and its operations team covering finance, administration, facilities, catering and IT. She led the development of and relocation into a brand new £25m facility and led the tender for its £2.1m IT contract. Earlier in her career Julie worked for the international IT solutions provider Systemax Europe, starting as Financial Controller and subsequently moving to UK General Manager and latterly UK Commercial Director where she had multi-site responsibility for sales, marketing and procurement in addition to finance. She trained as an accountant whilst working for the Daily Mail Newspaper Group.
Dr. Sue Robinson
Sue is a former head teacher and National Leader of Education. She is working to develop professional learning and system leadership in the Elliot Foundation. In 2016 Sue was granted the title of Visiting Fellow at the University of Warwick. This award was in recognition of several research projects she has undertaken with the Director of the Centre of Education Studies together with her role teaching and supervising on MA modules. Sue was previously an Associate with the National College for School Leadership and has facilitated on their programmes
She has written for academic and other educational journals and school evaluation reports. These include Times Educational Supplement, Educational Management, Administration and Leadership and Teaching Leaders. School evaluation reports include system leadership, school collaboration and the effective use of Pupil Premium.
In 2012 Sue wrote a book School and System Leadership published by Bloomsbury which built on her award winning PhD thesis from 2009 (link here: http://bit.ly/1PR7QST). In 2017 they will also publish a forthcoming book ‘Working Together for Effective Leadership’ co written with Middlewood and Abbott, colleagues from the University of Warwick. Sue has also contributed to edited books, for example this chapter: The primary school with CPD at its heart (link here: http://bit.ly/2j4xmQM)
Enhanced DBS Number: 001380226606
Senior Regional Director
Travis is a trained Ofsted inspector who has worked across five local authorities since 1991, starting as a class teacher, moving on to Head Teacher in 2006 and then Executive Principal in 2011. More recently he has worked with colleagues in Sudan and from the far east for The British Council in improving leadership. Travis has been a Local Leader in Education for The National College for School Leadership since 2010 and volunteers as Chair of Governors at a local primary school.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001488793850
Rachel’s experience includes extensive advisory and inspection work across primary, secondary and special schools. She was a secondary head teacher in south-west London, where she led her school out of special measures in two terms. Key to this rapid success was a focus on using technologies to accelerate improvements in the quality of teaching and learning. Piloting the Ingenium Classroom of the Future, proof of concept for BSF, provided a nationally recognised focus for this. She has continued providing school improvement support to underperforming schools through various programmes since leaving headship.
Since 2006 Rachel has steered education strategy with Steljes, an innovative technology company. She has led the company’s work on pilots and projects, which support the adoption of new technologies and the development of effective pedagogies.
Rachel is a national speaker on technology and school improvement, and regularly contributes to policy debates in this area. Her work has been featured in the TES, the Times, Independent and Guardian newspapers.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001384941453
Simon has been a successful Headteacher in a small church school and in one of the country’s largest primary schools, where he developed links with a partner school in Beijing, China. He has worked within the advisory service in a local authority and he has carried out inspections for OFSTED. He has worked in two schools in special measures and led them out of their categories.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001380146468
HR & Governance Director
Bob has been an Assistant Director with responsibilities for bursarial services, personnel and payroll, school workforce modernisation and development, continuing professional development, extended services, healthy schools and health development, children’s workforce, school governance (development and intervention), relationship mediation, investigation and managing critical incidents. He specialises in assessing, analysing and developing leadership and governance from a holistic and practical perspective with the aim of creating strong and sustainable relationships, systems and structures. At local authority level he has led the development in schools of workforce reform including support staff roles, TLRs, performance management, professional development and staff restructuring. He has led school intervention projects including changes to and removal of governing body and replacement with an interim executive board but working on the principle of taking the least intrusive action to achieve optimum outcomes. His extensive and long experience of supporting school leadership, management and governance in all phases and size of school enables him to recommend appropriate and pragmatic change programmes.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001380956688
Trish is an experienced education strategic planner. She has held a number of senior management posts within Local Authorities and has, over a 15 year period, led major education capital investment projects through their initial scoping and briefing, stakeholder consultation and detailed design development into successful completion.
She has substantial experience in preparing business case proposals and strategic plans for significant school reorganisation and major capital development proposals across the country. Trish has been lead project manager for the successful delivery of several sponsored Academy projects across the country. Most recently, she was commissioned to manage the establishment of one the country’s first tranche of 24 Free Schools which successfully opened in September 2011. As a specialist in education capital strategy, asset management and project management, Trish is an established lecturer, delivering national programmes of training courses, seminars and conferences on a range of capital planning and project management matters.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001470098476
Andy is an extremely successful strategic programme director having overseen more than 40 academy and free school projects. He honed his project management expertise putting together multi-million pound managed service contracts in both public and private sectors for the Reed Group and then oversaw multiple BSF programmes for Place Group. He oversees all conversion and major procurement projects for the Elliot Foundation and with the Managing Director is responsible for risk management.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001400536112
Trustee - Primary Leadership & Innovation
Deryn was a Director of the Innovation Unit from 2002 to 2009 and supported hundreds of schools, colleges and LAs in their quest for solutions to the biggest challenges facing the system. In the privileged position of senior civil servant in the DFE she and the Innovation Unit team had direct access to ministers and policy makers, thereby helping bridge that gap between practitioners and policy formation. She has been head of middle and primary schools at one point amalgamating 3 schools in a challenging situation. She is a national associate with the National College and has particular expertise in New Models of Leadership, School Business Managers, Teaching Schools, and the NLE Fellowship programme. Currently she is working nationally with emerging chains of academies. She is expert in the Power to Innovate legislation as well as federation and collaboration governance regulation.
Trustee - Inclusion & Special Educational Needs
Sue’s last post was as Head of SEN Strategy and Inclusion in a London Borough, with responsibility for the SEN Assessment and Statementing Service, the Educational Psychology Service, SEN Transport and the Outreach Support and Portage Services. She was part of an integrated service for children with additional needs, where the focus was on preventative work and integrated working across health, social care and education.
Sue has spent her career working in the field of inclusion and special educational needs. She has worked as a social worker with children in care, as a teacher in mainstream and in a special school, and has carried out research at the Institute of Education with SCOPE. She has spent 27 years working as an Educational Psychologist for several different Local Authorities, including 6 years as a Principal Educational Psychologist. She has extensive knowledge and experience of policy and practice in all areas of SEN. She has worked with teachers to set up programmes ensuring inclusion for children with a very wide range of SEN and has a detailed knowledge of the Code of Practice on SEN, SEN funding and resources, the statementing procedure, tribunal issues, disability discrimination, Parent Partnership services, commissioning of specialist services and new developments in SEN.
Sue is currently a trustee of a charity that provides mobility training and social activities to children with significantly impaired motor function. She also works part time in the NHS, sitting on a panel reviewing the rights of those who are sectioned under the mental health act.
Trustee - Family law & child protection
Joanne was previously a Registered General Nurse, before she qualified as a Barrister and was called to the Bar in 1993. She continues to practice as a Barrister at No 5 Chambers (London Annex) in the field of Public Law. Part of her practice includes Education Law, acting for both parents and LEA’s at all levels, Tribunals including SENDIST and the High Court.
She also is a part-time Immigration Judge, dealing mostly with deportation of criminals. This involves making difficult decisions about foreign national criminals and their families including British children.
She is an Adjudicator for the Legal Services Commission which involves making decisions on which cases ought to be granted public funding in the area of Immigration and Human Rights Law.
She is also the Moderator for Central Law Training in the area of Immigration and Human Rights.
Trustee - Chair of Finance Committee
David is the Greater London Authority’s Assistant Director of Finance, leading on the preparation of the Mayor of London’s £16bn budget for fire, police, transport and the Olympic legacy. He is also responsible for the GLA’s financing of major infrastructure investments across London such as Crossrail and the Northern Line Extension. This included leading the first local authority bond issuance in 25 years.
Previously he worked in senior finance positions at three London Boroughs, including running a local authority’s schools and education finance function.
David was Chair of Governors of a newly established secondary school in Southwark over the past ten years, where the schools achieved ‘outstanding’ in its last two inspections.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001494421642
Trustee - Trust law & Litigation
Damon Parker is a respected city lawyer and founding partner of Harcus Sinclair LLP where he leads their litigation practice. He began his legal career with Withers in the 1990s where he specialised in contentious trust work. He was listed in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 in 2016 and is recommended in Chambers & Partners as one of the leading practitioners in his field.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001507314433
Trustee - Chair of Standards Committee
Jem is Chief Executive of Music Mark - UK Subject Association for Music Education; a membership organisation representing the 123 DfE funded national Music Education Hubs alongside schools, indiviudal classroom practitioners and music educators. Previously she worked for a number of arts and education organisations, most notably Arts Council England and Ofsted, often working on programmes where the creative arts were integral to delivering whole school improvement.
Jem is Chair of Governors at 2 Elliot Foundation schools, Greenside and Pinkwell alongside being a governor at Cambridge Special School. Jem has been an NLG for a number of years and was recently apppointed an LLG for the London Tri-Borough working primarily to improve governance in schools facing challenging circumstances.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001496434680
Trustee - Chair of Audit Committee
Stuart, a chartered accountant by profession, spent the majority of his career in the global pharmaceutical industry. For many years he has been active in education and the arts, as a school governor and as board member of several music and arts based organisations, including the Buxton Festival. He has been Chair of Governors of four schools, and in 2008 was presented with a Civic Award by the London Borough of Barnet for his exceptional dedication and commitment to education in Barnet.
Enhanced DBS Number: 001463188496
Keith is a retired Police Officer who served 27 years in Cambridgeshire Constabulary after previously working for the British South Africa Police and Zimbabwe Republic Police under both governments. For 14 years he has been chair of governors at Nene Infant & Nursery School. In 2015 he was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the town of Wisbech for his committee work on the Cambs 876 remembered project
Enhanced DBS Number: 001501771024
Trustee - Education Policy