Stephen Meek (Chair)

Stephen Meek has been Acting Director General for Education Standards in the Department for Education since the beginning of 2012. He joined the Department in 2006 as Director of Strategy, and from 2008 was Director for Qualifications and Participation. Prior to joining the Department he spent a year on secondment with the Local Government Association as Programme Director for Children and Young People. He joined the Civil Service in 1992, working in HM Treasury in a range of posts, including welfare reform, education, financial services, transport and EU issues.  

Shahed Ahmed

Shahed Ahmed is headteacher of Elmhurst Primary School, Forest Gate, a very large, successful primary school in the heart of London’s East End. He also supports other schools as a National Leader of Education. The school has been judged outstanding by Ofsted.

Peter Barnes

Peter Barnes is headteacher of Oakgrove School, Milton Keynes. The school was rated as outstanding by Ofsted in 2010 with Peter’s leadership described as ‘inspirational’. Peter holds four separate degrees in subjects including English and law and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Chartered Institute of Management. 

Dame Yasmin Bevan

Dame Yasmin Bevan has been the headteacher of Denbigh High School since 1991. She became Executive Principal and headteacher of Denbigh High School and Challney High School for Boys, both in Luton, following their federation in 2008. The schools are currently deemed to be outstanding by Ofsted and Challney High School for Boys was designated a Teaching School in September 2011.

Dame Yasmin has previously contributed to policy development through the Expert Group on Assessment and the Practitioners Group on School Behaviour and Attendance and has chaired the Department for Education’s Secondary Heads Reference Group since March 2010. She was made a DBE for services to education in 2007.

Sue Gregory [Observer]

Sue Gregory became one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools in 2000. She is the National Director for Education at Ofsted and is a member of the Executive Board.

Sue has responsibility for developing Ofsted's education and early years frameworks, and the inspection and regulation of education, early years and learning, and skills providers and settings in the north of England. Sue is also responsible for the management of the inspection service provider contracts.

Mike Harris 

Mike Harris is Head of Policy Development at the Institute of Directors, with responsibility for the IoD’s member research programme and strategic planning. He also acts as policy lead on education and skills issues, covering primary, secondary and higher education as well as the adult skills and training agenda. Mike has contributed oral and written evidence to committees of both Houses of Parliament and sits on a variety of advisory fora. He also edits the IoD’s leading policy journal, Big Picture.

John D F Martin MA 

John Martin is headteacher of the Castle Hill Junior School in Basingstoke. Castle Hill is a multi-award winning school that has travelled from threat of closure to over-subscription with a doubling of numbers on roll.

The school has previously been cited in the Chief Inspector’s report as one of the most improved schools in the country. Throughout the last four inspections Ofsted have cited numerous outstanding features of the school with a particular focus on outstanding teamwork, outstanding leadership and outstanding manners and behaviour. The school was graded outstanding by Ofsted in 2010/11 and continues to receive both national and international visitors. 

John has been cited in World Class Britain, is a Common Purpose graduate and has worked as a strategic consultant for the Department for Education covering the South-East of England presenting at national and local conferences. John is an Honorary Fellow of Winchester University and a member of the National College for School Leadership Advisory Board.

Bernice McCabe

Bernice McCabe has been headmistress of North London Collegiate (an independent school) since 1997. Bernice is also Co-Director of the Princes’ Teaching Institute (PTI), a charity that has provided subject-based training for over 3600 teachers since 2002 and which runs a programme for head teachers in curriculum-centred leadership.

Bernice has 20 years’ experience as a head teacher and was previously headmistress at Chelmsford County High School (a state-maintained grammar school). Before that she worked for 16 years in mixed comprehensive schools in London and Bristol.

John McIntosh CBE

John McIntosh retired in December 2006 after nearly 30 years as the headmaster of The London Oratory School, an all-ability school for 1400 boys, ages 7 to 19, in central London.

He was a member of the Health Education Council from 1985 to 1988, the National Curriculum Council from 1990 to 1993 and the Teachers’ Standards Review in 2011. He was a pioneer in the introduction of the Licensed Teacher Scheme in 1989, the predecessor of the Graduate Teacher Scheme. More recently he has been a tutor on the PGCE course at the University of Buckingham. He is a member of the Skills Tests Review Panel and the National College for School Leadership Advisory Board.

He was responsible for establishing a bilingual (English & French) course involving a partnership between the Local Authority, the French government, Westminster Diocese and the governing body of a RC primary school, and now chairs its management committee. He is a governor of three schools and a trustee of three educational charities. He has a particular interest in education policy and has been actively involved in several think tanks concerned with education throughout his career.

Ruth Miskin OBE

Ruth Miskin is a leading authority on teaching children to read, and is a proponent of synthetic phonics. She has a background in teaching and was a headteacher for 12 years. She has now developed her own programme, ‘Read Write Inc.’, and has worked with the Government as an advisor on literacy. Ruth was awarded an OBE in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Tim Oates                                                                      

Tim Oates has been Director of Assessment Research and Development at Cambridge Assessment since 2006. Previously, Tim worked at the Qualifications and Curriculum Agency as Head of Research and Statistics. Tim led the National Curriculum Review Expert Panel until it reported in December 2011.

Dennis Opposs [Observer]

Dennis Opposs has been the Director of Standards at Ofqual, the regulator of qualifications, examinations and assessments in England, since January 2010.
In his early career, Dennis taught chemistry and other sciences in comprehensive schools in north London and Hertfordshire. Over a number of years, Dennis has held senior roles in the regulation of examinations and qualifications, including for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

While in regulatory organisations in the 1990s, his work included responsibility for GCSE and A level science subjects and the early development of National Curriculum science tests. In Ofqual he is currently responsible for ensuring that the standards of regulated qualifications are maintained and aligned with international competitors, for keeping under review all aspects of National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage assessment arrangements, and for research.

Joe Prendergast

Joe Prendergast is headteacher of Wennington Hall School, Lancaster, a day and residential secondary community special school. All students have a statement of special educational needs, with the primary category being behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. Many students also have additional learning difficulties and disabilities, including attention deficit and hyperactive disorders, autistic spectrum disorders and speech and language difficulties.

The award-winning school has been graded outstanding on three occasions by Ofsted, citing the quality of teaching, care and visionary leadership. In 2010 Wennington Hall School was a finalist in the TES Special School of the Year Award. Joe also serves as an advisor to the Education Foundation Committee.

Heather Rockhold

Heather Rockhold retired in 2011 as headteacher of Lauriston Primary School, Hackney, a school judged outstanding by Ofsted. Her teaching experience covered the entire primary age range and specialist work with secondary pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties. She won the Ted Wragg Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007.

Heather has been a non-executive director on the board of the Learning Trust, Hackney’s education authority, for eight years and is currently acting as an advisor to the Board. Her particular areas of interest in education are creativity, boys’ achievement, inclusion and primary/secondary transition. Heather was a member of the Expert Panel on the Tickell review of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Professor Nigel Thrift

Professor Nigel Thrift took up his role as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick in July 2006. He joined Warwick from the University of Oxford where he was made Head of the Division of Life and Environmental Sciences in 2003 before becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research in 2005.

Nigel is one of the world’s leading geographers and social scientists and has, during his academic career, been the recipient of a number of distinguished academic awards, including the Royal Geographical Society Victoria Medal for contributions to geographic research in 2003 and Distinguished Scholarship Honours from the Association of American Geographers in 2007. He is co-author, author or co-editor of over 35 books.

Susan Higgins

Sue Higgins is headteacher of Parliament Hill School, a successful fully-comprehensive school in the London Borough of Camden with a vibrant, diverse, student body.

She gained a place to read English at New Hall, University of Cambridge from Fairfax Comprehensive in Bradford. She completed at PGCE in English and Drama at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London and has worked in London comprehensive schools for thirty years. She was Head of English at Walthamstow School for Girls for ten years and deputy headteacher there and at Skinners’ Company’s school in Hackney before becoming headteacher of Brentford School for Girls in 2000-2005. She has also worked as a PGCE Tutor at the Institute of Education.

She is a National Leader of Education and one of the programme leaders of the ‘Securing Good’ school improvement strand of the London Leadership Strategy. She is a committee member and past president of the Association of Maintained Girls’ Schools. Sue is a Trustee of Tender Education and Arts, a charity acting to end abuse and domestic violence. She is interested in narrowing the gap initiatives, leadership development in schools especially for women, literacy and arts education.