David Ardill

David Ardill

Head of Trustee Recruitment at Governors for Schools

David joined Governors for Schools as Head of Trustee Recruitment in June 2022, having previously worked for more than five years on trustee recruitment in the education sector. David previously worked as a Marketing Manager for British Cycling, where he was responsible for the delivery of Sky Ride, Britain’s largest initiative to get people into recreational cycling.

Join David on 27th September at 1:00pm for the session 'Trustee recruitment with Governors for Schools'.

Nis Bandara

Nis Bandara

Deputy Director for Excise & Environmental Taxes Policy at HM Revenue & Customs

Nis has worked at HM Revenue & Customs since 2017. She is currently Deputy Director for Excise & Environmental Taxes Policy. Nis has worked at other government departments including the Department for Work & Pensions and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Nis has been a governor at Webster Primary School in Manchester since 2017, and Chair of Governors since 2018.

Join Nis on 27th September at 12:00pm for the session 'Conversations around academisation'.

Pat Barber

Pat Barber

Member of IGovS - Independent Governor Support

Pat is currently Chair of four schools, including maintained schools and academies, and works as a clerk for four additional schools. During her career, Pat has been asked to chair both interim executive boards and interim management boards to support schools in challenging circumstances. Pat is committed to supporting schools independently and free of charge through IGovS. She promotes this work through word of mouth and social media messaging.

Join Pat on 28th September at 8:00am for the session 'Keynote - my journey from failing to outstanding - a governor's reflection'.

Steve Barker

Steve Barker

Head of Governance Services at Better Governor

Steve is Head of Governance Services at Better Governor and an experienced and regular speaker at national and regional governor conferences. He has had articles published in national titles and been interviewed as a governance expert on the Radio 4 Today Programme on several occasions. Steve has contributed to many national governance initiatives, including being part of the team commissioned by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to develop External Reviews of Governance.

Join Steve on 27th September at 9:30am for the session 'Good governance in 2022'.

Dr Tony Breslin

Dr Tony Breslin

Public policy analyst and writer, Chair at Bushey Primary Education Federation

Tony is a former Chair of Human Scale Education and the Association for the Teaching of the Social Sciences. He has held various other governance roles across a range of education-focused organisations. In addition, Tony has served as a Chief Examiner at GCSE and a Chair of Examiners at A level and has worked in a range of school improvement, curriculum development and governor training roles. A teacher by profession, he has taught and held management and leadership responsibilities, including Head of Department and Director of Sixth Form Studies at schools in Haringey and Hertfordshire.

Join Tony on 28th September at 12:00pm for the session 'Staff recruitment and retention: The crisis of the education sector?'.

Georgina Burt

Georgina Burt

Development Manager - England at Child Poverty Action Group

Georgina Burt is the England Development Manager for the UK Cost of the School Day project at Child Poverty Action Group. She works alongside schools, local authorities, and policymakers to make schools more inclusive and equitable for children from low-income families. She believes young people’s voices should represent the basis for challenging education policy and encourages school leaders to think outside the box when it comes to enhancing the school experience and improving participation for children growing up in poverty.

Join Georgina on 28th September at 4:00pm for the session 'Pupil Premium'.

Juliette Cammaerts

Juliette Cammaerts

Director of Policy, Planning and Delivery at The Office of the Children’s Commissioner

Juliette has been Director of Policy, Planning and Delivery at the Children’s Commissioner’s Office since April 2021. Prior to taking up this post, she worked in various roles in the Department for Education, including Private Secretary to the Children and Families Minister and Deputy Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State. Juliette is interested in child- and family-focused public services and how to involve children in designing and implementing policies.

Join Juliette on 28th September at 2:00pm for the session 'Improving attendance rates: How governors can help'.

Ellie Cheshire

Ellie Cheshire

Product Manager at GovernorHub

As Product Manager for governance at The Key, Ellie works to ensure The Key for School Governors and GovernorHub provide the tools governors need to do their job, grow their skills and evidence their efforts. With a decade of experience working in governor support and as Chair of governors at a primary school in Buckinghamshire, Ellie really understands the impact of good recruitment and induction.

Join Ellie on 28th September at 9:15am for the session 'Effective onboarding: Steps to creating a governor induction plan'.

Jackie Eason MBE

Jackie Eason MBE

Consultant at the Confederation of School Trusts

Jackie works for the Confederation of School Trusts (CST) as part of the professional consultancy team, undertaking external reviews of governance, training and development for Trust Boards and mentoring support for Chairs. Jackie has worked in school governance since 2001 and is currently Chair of the Leading Edge Academy Partnership in Cornwall. She also works closely with Local Authorities to support and chair maintained schools requiring governance development.

Join Jackie on 27th September at 12:00pm for the session 'Conversations around academisation'.

Steve Edmonds

Steve Edmonds

Director of Advice and Guidance at the NGA

Steve’s role as Director of Advice and Guidance at NGA involves the development of high-quality guidance for NGA members and supporting the organisation’s work on good governance practice. Before joining NGA, Steve was Governor Services Manager at Birmingham City Council, where he oversaw the council’s statutory responsibilities in relation to maintained school governing boards, as well as guidance provided to both maintained schools and academies.

Join Steve on 28th September at 10:15am for the session 'Succession planning: creating a strong foundation for the future '.

Annie Evans

Annie Evans

Clinical Lead, Mental Health & Wellbeing Programmes at Place2Be 

Annie is a clinical supervisor and counsellor with over 12 years’ experience in delivering therapeutic services for Place2Be in primary and secondary schools. Before becoming Clinical Lead across all schools and community programmes, Annie worked as Programme Leader for a suite of programmes designed to improve understanding surrounding mental health in the classroom. Prior to becoming a counsellor, Annie worked in the advertising and television production industry.

Join Annie on 28th September at 2:00pm for the session 'Improving attendance rates: How governors can help'.

Katherine Howard

Katherine Howard

Digital Safeguarding Specialist at Smoothwall

Katherine is Smoothwall’s Digital Safeguarding Specialist. She is passionate about safeguarding pupils and has been working with schools, colleges, multi-academy trusts and local authorities for over 17 years to develop their understanding of online safeguarding. Katherine supports leadership teams and governors in primary, secondary and further education settings to foster community engagement in our ever-changing digital world.

Join Katherine on 27th September at 4:00pm for the session 'Safeguarding: Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022'.

Andy Mellor

Andy Mellor

National Director of Wellbeing at Schools Advisory Service

Andy is the SAS National Director of Wellbeing and has over 30 years’ experience in England’s state education system. Andy was headteacher of a two-form entry primary school in Blackpool for 17 years, leading the school to Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ in March 2016. Since then, he’s helped launch and run the Blackpool Teaching School Alliance and joined the board of the Blackpool Opportunity Area and the Blackpool School Improvement Board. From May 2018 to May 2019, Andy was the National President of the NAHT. In December 2019, he became National Director of the Wellbeing for Schools Advisory Service.

Join Andy on 27th September at 8:00am for the session 'Conference welcome: Wellbeing governors 2022'.

Faye McGuinness

Faye McGuinness

Director of Programmes at Education Support

Faye is responsible for the development of Education Support’s services and programmes. Prior to joining the organisation, she was Head of Workplace Wellbeing Programmes at mental health charity Mind, helping to develop campaigns and programmes related to mental health in universities, COVID-19, and improving wellbeing in the workplace.

Join Faye on 27th September at 8:00am for the session 'Conference welcome: Wellbeing governors 2022'.

Dominic McGonigal

Dominic McGonigal

Trustee at Governors for Schools

Dominic is a director, entrepreneur, and composer. He is Chair of C8 Associates, JiveBird, CICI, and DashboardFX, and a non-executive trustee director of Governors for Schools. Dominic has a reputation for driving business growth, developing robust commercial strategies, turning around under-performing organisations, and establishing startup companies in the creative sector. His non-exec work builds on his deep experience as a successful executive in the creative industries.

Join Dominic on 28th September at 8:00am for the session 'Keynote - my journey from failing to outstanding - a governor's reflection'.

Hannah Stolton

Hannah Stolton

CEO at Governors for Schools

Hannah has been CEO of Governors for Schools since January 2020, having joined the organisation in 2017 to manage the development of operations. After starting her career as a primary teacher, Hannah moved into the recruitment field, managing the UK operations of an in-house agency. She brings 20 years’ experience in this area to Governors for Schools, where she focuses on expanding our reach across England and Wales. Hannah is currently Chair of governors at a primary school in Essex.

Join Hannah on 28th September at 4:45pm for the session 'Whitepaper takeaways: Developing an action plan for your board'.

Nicola Townson

Nicola Townson

Head of Recruitment Operations at Teach First

Nicola has worked in recruitment for around 12 years, serving a range of sectors including aviation, IT and law. She has been with Teach First for six years and currently works within the recruitment operations team. As part of this, Nicola oversees Teach First’s end-to-end recruitment pipeline, working with internal teams to recruit trainee teachers and match them with schools across England for the duration of the organisation’s Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme.

Join Nicola on 28th September at 12:00pm for the session 'Staff recruitment and retention: The crisis of the education sector?'.

Scott Walker

Scott Walker

Attendance Advisor to the Department for Education

As part of the Department for Education’s (DfE) Attendance Policy Team, Scott supports schools and trusts to improve attendance rates. Scott has worked in various advisory roles throughout his career, including national advisor to the early academy programme, Ofsted inspector, and National Challenge School Improvement Partner (SIP). Throughout his career, Scott has helped to drive improvement in academies and support the opening of new schools.

Join Scott on 28th September at 2:00pm for the session 'Improving attendance rates: How governors can help'.