Profiles

Helena Kennedy QC, Labour peer and barrister
Helena Kennedy QC, Labour peer and barrister
“This is no misery memoir,” says the Labour peer and barrister Helena Kennedy of her upbringing in the south side of Glasgow. Raised in a two-room and kitchen...
Tom Wilson, director, Unionlearn
Tom Wilson, director, Unionlearn
Raised in rural Shropshire, in a family that was “very middle of the road” politically, Tom Wilson was an unlikely teenage leftie. In fact, his parents – both...
Simon Bartley, president, WorldSkills International
Simon Bartley, president, WorldSkills International
Simon Bartley’s school memories could have come straight out of an Enid Blyton novel. Educated from the age of eight at a Catholic boarding school in Lancashire, by...
David Hughes, CEO, NIACE
David Hughes, CEO, NIACE
David Hughes said he never had any “grand career plans.” In fact, the chief executive of NIACE, who has also had top jobs at the Learning and Skills...
David Travis, head of learner support, Lewisham College
David Travis, head of learner support, Lewisham College
At 25, David Travis is certainly one of the youngest college senior managers in the country – not bad for a guy who fell into working with young...
Toni Pearce, vice president for FE, NUS
Toni Pearce, vice president for FE, NUS
The last time I interviewed Toni Pearce, she was visibly nervous. As the incoming NUS vice president (FE), it was her first official press interview and it was...
Daniel Khan, CEO, the Open College Network London Region
Daniel Khan, CEO, the Open College Network London Region
Daniel Khan had his first lessons in entrepreneurship from his father, who ran a corner shop in Trinidad. Helping out in the shop at weekends and cycling round...
Peter Lauener, CEO, Young People's Learning Agency
Peter Lauener, CEO, Young People’s Learning Agency
Numbers have always been Peter Lauener’s thing. His first job, at the age of 13, was checking calculations on pension funds for his father, who was an actuary....
Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow
Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow
“I always think the best test of a person is not when they’re winning; it’s how they recover from defeat and adversity,” says Rob Halfon. And he would...
Geoff Russell, CEO, Skills Funding Agency
Geoff Russell, CEO, Skills Funding Agency
One crisp Monday morning, back in 2009, Geoff Russell found himself sitting in the government’s Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills, with a shiny new Blackberry in his...
Alison Wolf, professor of public sector management, King's College
Alison Wolf, professor of public sector management, King’s College
Alison Wolf says she had “no intention of having anything to do with education.” In fact, when she left university in the early 1970s, she was destined for...

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