Our Advisory Board helps us keep our finger on the pulse of the sector and know what matters most to teachers and those responsible for running our schools and academies. The Board members are:
Tom Clark CBE FRSA
Chairman of the Board
Tom was formerly Chief Executive of George Spencer Foundation School and Technology College in Nottingham. George Spencer School received three consecutive ‘outstanding’ Ofsted reports.
For 3 years Tom was an Associate Director of the Schools Network and led on workforce-remodelling and helping to develop international school networks to prepare Deputy Headteachers in England Australia, The United States and Hong Kong for Headship.
Tom organised conferences in the USA and provided performance management training in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur where he led Ofsted inspections. He has co-authored training programmes for middle and senior school leaders in England, Hong Kong and Australia and has published booklets on ‘study leave’, ‘benchmarking and financial planning’ and ‘workforce reform’ for the DfE and the Training Agency.
For the last 6 years, Tom has been Executive Chairman of FASNA.
He is a Trustee of the West Bromwich Albion Football Club Foundation and was made a CBE in 2003.
Sir Andrew Carter OBE
South Farnham School Educational Trust
Andrew is Executive Headteacher of South Farnham School Educational Trust, an Academy trust comprising 756 pupils (aged 4–11yrs) at South Farnham Primary School and 190 pupils at Highfield South Farnham. South Farnham Primary School has achieved many awards and accolades and has been named as Sunday Times Primary School of the Year twice. It has achieved success in both the National Training and National Business Awards and featured in the DfE publication ‘Making Great Progress’ as one of the 20 highest achieving schools nationally.
South Farnham was selected as one of the first ‘Teaching Schools’; it is also a National Support School. Andrew has been featured in educational DVDs and featured in the BBC2 programme ‘Turning the Tables’ in which roles were exchanged with the Headteacher of a challenging school in Birmingham.
Andrew is a National Leader of Education and has contributed articles and features in educational journals; his publication, ‘Financial Management in Schools’, has been widely used by Headteachers and Governors to support them in school improvement. Most recently, Andrew chaired the Independent Review of Initial Teacher Training which published its report in January 2015.
Andrew sits on a range of national strategic policy groups including the Teaching School Council and the Regional Commissioning Board for the South East England. He has recently written ‘School to Academy’ a detailed publication to guide schools going through the conversion process.
In 2003 Andrew received an O.B.E. for services to education and a knighthood in 2014.
Joan is currently Vice Chair of FASNA, Chair of the Academy Trust of a large 11-18 pupil converter academy in Essex, former chair of a 300+ pupil community primary and has served as vice chair of a special school. In 2007 she won the DfE Governor of the Year Award for the Eastern Region. With a professional background in education she has taught in both the secondary and primary phase and in the adult education service. She has a BTECH Higher qualification for chairs of governing bodies.
Since 1994 Joan has continuously been involved, at a national level, on a whole range of consultation and strategy groups through predecessor associations of FASNA and is now responsible for the FASNA professional development programme for Governors and School Leaders. She has recently edited the FASNA book ‘Effective Governance – greater accountability for raising standards. Is your governing body prepared for the challenge?’ which has received ‘outstanding’ reviews. She also edited the FASNA publication ‘Effective Financial Management’ which is a practical guide for school business managers and governors.
She believes that a skills focused process for the appointment of trustees, governors and in a Multi Academy Trust the members of the school local governing body, is the most appropriate model of governance enabling a professional approach in terms of practice, operation and structure.
Outside education, Joan was chair of an independent local sheltered housing association leading the change from an Industrial and Provident Society to a charity and company limited by guarantee
Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL)
Stephen Morales is the Chief Executive of the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) and was appointed in September 2013. Stephen has a 20-year career history in operations and finance, working at a senior level in both the public and private sectors. He has managed significant change management and quality assurance programmes. Stephen has held the position of Finance Director in the UK education system and enjoyed a spell performing a similar role in an international setting.
Stephen returned to the UK in 2007 and has since worked closely with the Department for Education in areas of policy reform. More recently, Stephen has been involved in education research in Europe, the Middle East and the US. Between 2014 and 2015, Stephen presided over the development and subsequent implementation of nationally recognised school business management professional standards.
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Diverse Academies Learning Partnership (DALP)
Debbie is Acting Chief Executive of the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership (‘DALP’) – a 3 to 19 academies’ partnership of two academy trusts (one multi and one sole) educating some 5000 students. DALP is an approved DfE sponsor based in Nottinghamshire. All bar one of DALP’s current academies are judged to be ‘Good’ or better by Ofsted. Debbie joined DALP in August 2015.
Debbie is a former HMI and was, before that, the Principal of Nunthorpe Academy in Middlesbrough – a high performing 11-19 converter academy judged outstanding by Ofsted in all S5 aspects (April 2013). Nunthorpe received much ministerial accolade and Debbie was invited to a Downing Street reception for ‘Inspirational Women’ in 2014 as a result of her work at Nunthorpe – now a Teaching School leading an innovative regional alliance of primary, secondary, special, HEI and PRU providers.
She has been a qualified teacher for over 29 years, working in a range of schools and organisations across a number of local authorities. She has wide regional and national experience in leadership development and school to school improvement, and has supported national projects and conferences for the DfE, the Institute of Education (London) and Roehampton.
Finally, Debbie is also a representative on the national executive board of FASNA – the Freedom and Autonomy for Schools National Association. In this capacity, she has worked with DfE teams in various guises including developing National Funding Formula and SEN/High Needs Funding for schools. She has also represented FASNA in recent developments in Teachers’ Pensions.
Jennifer Bexon Smith
Former Regional Schools Commissioner for East Midlands and the Humber
Jennifer began her educational career in Warwickshire as a teacher of Geography and Business Studies. She moved on to become Head of Department and Head of Faculty before taking an advisor post in the London Borough of Redbridge. In the early 1990’s she became Deputy Head at Tudor Grange in Solihull where she was promoted to headteacher in 2002. Tudor Grange became one of the highest performing secondary schools in the country and became one of the first school sponsors in 2009 when they sponsored Elgar School to become Tudor Grange Academy Worcester.
When she left her position as CEO for the Tudor Grange Multi Academy Trust in August 2014 the trust was responsible for three secondary schools and two primaries. In September 2014 Jennifer became one of the first Regional Schools Commissioners taking responsibility for the East Midlands and Humberside Region. She retired from full time education in April 2017 and has recently returned to her roots by becoming a Director of the Tudor Grange Academies Trust.