Our steering group

DR.NUALA BURGESS
DR.NUALA BURGESSChair
Dr.Nuala Burgess is an academic researcher and former teacher, she has nine years’ experience as a secondary school teacher in selective and comprehensive schools and an FE college. Her doctoral research focused on the impact of selective practices in school sixth forms.
JOHN EDMONDS
JOHN EDMONDSVice Chair
John Edmonds is a Trade Unionist, environmentalist and writer about equality for women. He was the former General Secretary of the GMB union and served as TUC President in 1998.
MELISSA BENN
MELISSA BENNVice Chair
Melissa Benn is a journalist and writer. In 2012 she won the Fred and Anne Jarvis Award, presented by the National Union of Teachers for her campaigning and work for the cause of comprehensive education.
ALEXA COLLINS
ALEXA COLLINSTreasurer
Alexa Collins is a Buckinghamshire parent, Secretary of Beaconsfield CLP and Chair of Bucks Labour Forum.

Our staff

JOANNE BARTLEY
JOANNE BARTLEYCampaign Officer
Joanne Bartley’s background is in marketing & social media strategy. She has proved herself an excellent advocate for non-selective education as Joint Coordinator of the Kent campaign group, the Kent Education Network.

Our steering committee

DR.ALAN BAINBRIDGE
DR.ALAN BAINBRIDGE
Alan Bainbridge is the Joint Coordinator of the Kent Education Network. He currently lectures in higher education having previously taught in Secondary Schools for 20 years.
DEREK BERRY
DEREK BERRY
Derek Berry worked in the aviation industry and is now retired. He lives in Buckinghamshire and feels there is ample evidence that selection fails to provide the equality of opportunity and resources which are available to children in the neighbouring comprehensive schools.
DAVID CHAYTOR
DAVID CHAYTOR
David Chaytor has experience as a Senior Manager of a large College of Arts and Technology. He is a former Labour Member of Parliament and a founder member of Comprehensive Future.
JAMES COOMBS
JAMES COOMBS
James Coombs has been trying to collect information about the 11-plus since 2012 and his study into the effects of tutoring, based on National Pupil Database data, was well received by the DfE. He is undertaking a PhD to further his research into test coaching.
PIPPA DORAN
PIPPA DORAN
Pippa Doran has worked within a selective authority as a teacher, manager and senior education officer. As a disabled woman she brings a unique perspective to our organisation.
JOHN FOWLER
JOHN FOWLER
John Fowler has 30 years’ experience in local government in management, performance and policy roles for seven local authorities in London and the south east. He was deputy head of education, culture and tourism at the Local Government Association from 1997 to 2002.
RICHARD HARRIS
RICHARD HARRIS
Richard Harris is a retired Adult Education Principal and senior manager in a Further Education College. He has served as a Councillor on Southampton City Council. He is a primary school governor and a member of the local Schools Forum, as well as representing CASE and the Reclaiming Education campaign group.
NICK KENNARD
NICK KENNARD
Nick Kennard is a resident of Sevenoaks and has been a vocal opponent to the controversial Weald of Kent ‘annexe’ grammar school in local news. He works in IT for an Energy Services and Facilities Management company.
ALAN PARKER
ALAN PARKER
Alan Parker’s career in voluntary and statutory agencies culminated as Director of Education at the London Borough of Ealing. Since then he has been a consultant and held roles such as a Schools Adjudicator. He is a qualified executive coach and served as the Society of Education Officers’ President in 2002, he is a trustee of several education charities.
JO SMITH
JO SMITH
Jo is a comprehensively educated mother of two, and she is passionately opposed to selection and unfair admissions in our schools. Her background is in HR and employment law.
THELMA WALKER
THELMA WALKER
Thelma Walker is the former Labour MP for Colne Valley in West Yorkshire. She sat on the Education Select Committee from July, 2017 to December 2019. She was a teacher and headteacher for 34 years, working across all phases of education.
TORRIN WILKINS
TORRIN WILKINS
Torrin Wilkins attended an excellent comprehensive school and went on to study politics at Aberystwyth University. He is the Director of the Centre Think Tank. He debated Ed Davey on the issue of selection during the think tank’s Lib Dem leadership interviews.