About Founding Trustees

The College of Teaching has appointed Founding Trustees who will play key leadership and governance roles in driving the College forward in consultation with the teaching profession.

The Trustee Board is led by Chair, Claire Dockar with support from Vice Chair, Victoria McDowell and Sonia Blandford.


Claire Dockar cropClaire Dockar – Lead practitioner at Lipson Co-operative Academy, Plymouth.
Claire is Lead Practitioner at Lipson Cooperative Academy, having previously been a lead practitioner in maths and staff governor at Woking High School. Through her role Claire has raised awareness of research-based practice and led the school’s teaching and learning action group, tackling a range of research projects including the value and effectiveness of feedback and intervention strategies.

Vice Chairs

IMG_20160531_181253Victoria McDowell – Class teacher at Bridekirk Dovenby School, Cumbria.
Vicky has been a teacher at Bridekirk Dovenby Primary School since 2009. For part of this period Vicky was simultaneously working as a teacher with the Fairfield Junior School. Vicky specialises in RE and effective teaching and learning. She is currently involved in planning RE for Carlisle diocese and managing the RE strand of the school improvement plan.

Sonia Blandford Professor Sonia Blandford – Founder and CEO at Achievement for All.
In addition to founding Achievement for All, Sonia is a leading practitioner of education within the voluntary, community, charity and public sectors with over 30 years’ experience. She has founded, co-founded and led eight educational charities. Sonia was director of research and leadership at Teach First. She is a former pro-vice chancellor and dean in education and is currently professor of education and social enterprise at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning at the Institute of Education London and Honorary Professor of Education at the University of Warwick.

Paul Dwyer Paul Dwyer – Director of sixth form and history teacher at Putney High School London.
Paul has been director of sixth form and teacher of history and politics at Putney High School since 2014, having previously been with Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow as a history teacher, head of house and acting associate assistant headteacher. His current role requires input into the strategic direction of the school and overseeing a number of key areas such as pastoral support, curriculum planning and careers guidance.

Malcolm WilsonMalcolm Wilson – Class teacher, Buckinghamshire.
Malcolm is a Year 4 teacher at Robertswood School in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire.  He is in his fourth year of teaching; prior to that he spent nearly 20 years as a trainer, project manager and management consultant with the Nichols Group.  His areas of specialism include strategic reviews, organisational development, stakeholder management and competence development.

Victoria WalkerVictoria Walker – Head of English at Addey and Stanhope School, London.
Victoria is a teacher and Head of English at Addey and Stanhope School in London as well as a Teacher Leader at the Prince’s Teaching Institute and a member of University College Oxford’s Student Support and Access Committee. Victoria has been a teacher for the past 10 years and has carried out roles such as Literacy Coordinator and Curriculum Coordinator.

Penny Barrett Dr Penny Barratt – Executive headteacher at The Bridge London.
Penny has been executive headteacher at The Bridge London (a specialist school for Communication and Interaction and the first SEN Leadership and Innovation Academy in the country) since 2007 and she also runs a teaching school, after school and holiday provision and an outreach service. The Bridge is one of only 42 special schools across the country designated a National Teaching School. In her time as a teacher, Penny has worked across maintained primary and secondary schools, independent secondary schools and further/higher education.

Dame Kate Dethridge – Headteacher at Churchend Academy, Reading. 

Kate hasDame Kate Dethridge been Headteacher of Churchend Primary Academy for 17 years. The school, which was graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2005 and 2008, is a National Support School and Teaching School. Kate has been a National Leader of Education for seven years. She has completed six short-term executive headships of schools in difficulty. Kate was an additional Ofsted Inspector for many years and is a member of the Ofsted Primary Headteachers Reference Group. Kate was vice chair of the Bureaucracy Reference Group at the DfE and was part of Lord Bew’s panel that reviewed Key Stage 2 assessment and testing in 2011. Kate was recently invited to Chair a panel at the DfE to write new standards for teaching assistants.

Jon Coles – Chief Executive of United Learning

Since January 2012, Jon Coles has been Chief Executive of United Learning. Prior to this, his career in the Department for Education included four years on the Board as Director General, first for Schools and then for Education Standards, responsible for a wide range of policy areas, such as the review of the National Curriculum, the Academies Act 2010 and the National Challenge. As Director of 14-19 Reform, he led the drive to raise participation post-16 and attainment at 19, reduce NEET numbers and reform curriculum and qualifications.  As Director of the London Challenge, Jon was responsible for developing and implementing the strategy to improve secondary education in London, which also led to similar approaches in other parts of the country. In his career, Jon has been responsible for various Green and White Papers and took the 2002 Education Act through Parliament.  A qualified secondary teacher, his previous jobs included implementing the infant class size pledge and a period of cross-government strategy work at the Cabinet Office.

Joan Deslandes Joan Deslandes – Headteacher at Kingsford Community School, London.
Joan is the Headteacher of Kingsford Community School, an 11-16 mixed community school situated in the heart of the economic and business district of the London Docklands. Kingsford has International School Award status and has been recognised as one of the most effective schools worldwide for its work as a Confucius Classroom. Joan has been in post as a successful inner city school leader since 2000 and has been a member of a number of government advisory boards including the Teachers’ Standards Group and Headteachers’ Standards Group. She is currently a member of the Independent and State Schools Partnerships Forum and governor of successful schools including free school the London Academy of Excellence and Brighton College, an independent school. She was recently included in the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000, where she featured as one of London’s most influential figures in education.

MarcusMarcus Richards – Treasurer of the College of Teaching and Principal Advisor to the Chief Operating Officer at KPMG UK.
Marcus is a chartered accountant and a financial management and commercial consultant experienced in the public and private sector.  He is currently an advisor to KPMG UK’s Chief Operating Officer and has led on a number of initiatives, improving the performance of organisations and driving effective decision making at a strategic level in his career to date.  Previous to this Marcus was Associate Director within KPMG’s Financial Management function and Senior Management Accountant at London Borough of Ealing. Marcus is a fully qualified CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) accountant and studied Chemistry and Law Bachelor of Science (BSc) at the University of Bristol.                                                                                                                                  

Paul Barber Paul Barber – Director of Catholic Education Service.
Paul has held the post of director of the Catholic Education Service since April 2013. Prior to this he was the director of education for the Diocese of Westminster for 11 years. He is a qualified barrister with previous experience as a lecturer. As a lawyer, Paul’s possesses expertise in the legal structures used in governance in education and he has established a number of different types of multi-academy trusts                                                                                                                                                

Andrew de Csillery Andrew de Csilléry– Business leader and management consultant at Csilléry Consulting.
Andrew is a strategic leader and experienced general manager with international experience in complex consumer-focused businesses. In previous years, Andrew worked at EuroDisney with specific responsibility for the strategic development of the business. He has also worked for Tesco as business planning director and has proven skills in strategy, operations, finance, business development and marketing.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd imageProfessor Jonathan Shepherd CBE – Professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Cardiff University and directs the Violence and Society Research Group.
Jonathan is a practising surgeon and fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, which he has served as a council member and trustee. His research on clinical decisions and community violence has made major contributions to practice and legislation over three decades. In 2008, the government took up his proposal for an independent professional body for policing, and the new College of Policing was launched in 2013. Jonathan was also instrumental in the formation of the Probation Institute, the independent professional body for probation. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and of the Faculty of Public Health at the Royal College of Physicians. He is a member of the Cabinet Office ‘What Works’ Council, the Home Office Science Advisory Council and the Welsh Government Public Services Leadership Group.

Kevin KibbleKevin Kibble – CEO, The Nurture Group Network.
Kevin has been the CEO of The Nurture Group Network since January 2013 – an organisation that exists to promote the development of nurture groups and to ensure the continuing quality of their delivery through accredited training programmes and research on effective practice. Kevin has over 30 years’ experience in management, communications and marketing, 17 of which have been in the fundraising and voluntary sector. He is a trustee of the Institute of Fundraising (IoE), immediate past chair of the IoF London Region, and an executive coach and mentor.

In addition to the Founding Trustees outlined above, a nominee from the College of Teachers will join the board taking on a specific role for one year to ensure a smooth and effective transfer of a revised Royal Charter to the new College. The process of Charter revision has begun and will be completed in 2016.

After 164 years of operation, the members of the College of Teachers have made the magnanimous decision to offer their Charter to help found a new and fit-for-purpose professional body in line with the duties and responsibilities of the Charter to support the profession and those they serve.

Angela McFarlaneThe nominated representative from the College of Teachers is registrar and chief executive, Professor Angela McFarlane
Professor Angela McFarlane began her career as a teacher and head of department in secondary schools in Hertfordshire. She went on to design and direct a number of highly successful educational research and development projects over a 30 year period and has experience of developing and delivering professional development for teachers.

The Founding Trustees were appointed by an independent selection committee with experience in primary, secondary and SEN from across local, independent, government-funded and direct-funded schools.

The Founding Trustees, who are undertaking voluntary positions for a period of three years, have relevant professional knowledge and experience in one or more of the following fields:

  • Effective teaching and learning
  • Professional development
  • Professional accreditation
  • Research and evidence-based practice
  • The expertise necessary to found and run a competent professional membership organisation; including legal, HR, financial, project management, communications, professional membership organisations, marketing and fundraising.

You can find out more about the role and remit of the Founding Trustees here.