Kay Willett – Chief Executive Officer
Kay Willett has worked in special and mainstream education for over 25 years, and has been Head Teacher of Iffley Academy, Oxfordshire’s largest special school, since 2003. The academy received an Outstanding Ofsted judgement in January 2015. Kay is a National Leader in Education, working alongside colleagues in schools to effect positive change, and has a strong track record of providing school to school support. As a coach for ‘Women Leading in Education’, Kay mentors Head Teachers and aspiring school leaders. Kay has served as Chair of Oxfordshire Special Schools Association, chaired High Needs funding block reviews, and works with Oxfordshire County Council on the SEN provision map and growth strategy.
Sian Rodway – Chair of Trustees
Sian Rodway has a rich and varied background in Education and Childrens’ Services. Sian has worked as a secondary school teacher, Education/Schools Officer, special needs officer, Strategic Lead for Performance at Oxfordshire County Council Children Services Directorate, and as Governor Services Manager at Oxfordshire County Council. In her role as Governor Services Manager, Sian completed numerous governance reviews for Oxfordshire schools and was a member and chair of task groups set up by the Local Authority as a consequence of schools being identified by the Local Authority or Ofsted as requiring improvement.
Stephen King is a Human Resources professional with 38 years’ experience and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. Stephen has held various senior roles in industry, including Personnel Director of Ferguson Limited and HR Director for a UK subsidiary of Prudential, before starting a consultancy business specialising in HR management in 2001. Stephen has worked in senior HR roles for a number of local authorities and other public bodies.
Professor Anne Edwards
Former Director of Oxford University’s Department of Education, Anne is a fellow of St Hilda’s College Oxford and undertakes consultancies involving the reviews of international educational institutions. Anne regularly sits on panels assessing the quality of educational research in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Hong Kong and has been a member of national research assessment panels in the UK over the years. Anne writes extensively on pedagogy, teachers’ learning, organisational development and inter-professional working with vulnerable children. She has received two honorary doctorates in recognition of research on inter-professional collaborations.
Karen Shaw (Vice Chair)
Karen has an extensive interest and knowledge of SEN and as Link Trustee for SEN, Karen reports regularly to the Board on SEN research and development, policies, processes and SEN issues. Karen has extensive commercial and business knowledge gained through the property sector.
Gary Thomas (Vice Chair)
Gary has recently retired from the Army where he served in a range of roles in a senior capacity for almost 40 years, including several overseas deployments in conflict zones. Gary brings to the Board experience and knowledge in areas including project management, management of teams, logistics, organisation, and leadership and his excellent team working skills promote effective working and a collaborative approach.
Chris has worked in education throughout his professional career, both in the UK and internationally. Chris is a trained Ofsted inspector and has worked for many years as a School Improvement Partner, supporting Local Governing Bodies with the performance management of Head Teachers. As a teacher, Chris has worked in a range of inner city, suburban and rural schools, including over 15 years in senior leadership roles. Following his teaching career, Chris joined Oxfordshire County Council as a Schools Adviser, and as a senior adviser leading a team of curriculum specialists, Chris specialised in supporting effective leadership and management of schools in challenging contexts.